Eclipse Of Venus – 6 (12 Angry Men-3)

I need to speed up, and to do that, at least virtually, I will first try to analyse the few simpler persons of the seven left out.  It always helps to solve easy questions first, since it gives a psychological lift by quickly increasing the count.

These persons may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they are not important for the possible outcome. They too have their own personalities, and probably the shades of these too would be visible in any group interaction. 

Jury #7, on the other head of the table was, declared by him in the beginning itself, a die-hard base-ball fan. He wasn’t interested in the case or the verdict. He wanted the matter to be quickly over so that he can get out, “After all we all know that he is guilty”.

He had tickets for the evening match of his favorite team, and obviously wasn’t in a position to waste time in all these unimportant matters. For him personal things (evening match being one) and personal comforts are of prime, or I may say only importance. When the fan in the room wasn’t working and all were uncomfortable in the humid heat, he was the most fidgety and openly expressive member “Can’t they put an Air Conditioner?”.

He doesn’t have an opinion, or I would say is unwilling to make an effort to form one. It is a completely useless exercise as far as he is concerned. He was obviously one of the “Guilty” and was highly irritated and fidgety when one after other joined the “Not Guilty” group. It delayed their release and he might even miss the match. Not only he thought so, but he put in words too in not too generous frame of mind. In meetings, of course people don’t say openly, at least usually, but we know when we see one from the body language and the eyesights wandering repeatedly on the watch and doors.

He didn’t bother to explain his reasons, “All have already explained it, he is clearly guilty” was his call, and it continued till the balance tilted to other side, and then he changed to “Not Guilty”. Not because of his change in heart, but he saw it would speed up if the verdict is on other side.

He was even challenged and accused of this by #11, “This is a serious matter and you shouldn’t change your vote, since you have other engagement, you should vote for the call you are convinced of”. No one agrees to this type of accusation, he didn’t either and claimed “I am convinced”. If further probed, he won’t have been able to explain, but #11 was not a conflict-philia belligerent type and so didn’t.

These are not ‘Yes Men’ of one side or other. Even that could have been useful for the group, since they would have belligerently or non-belligerently defended their side. These people simply don’t have opinions, nor the want to have one. They come to the meeting, since they are members. They won’t do any home, or even classroom work, and impatiently wait for the bell to ring.

There could be some personal works or engagements to be attended to, who doesn’t have? But for these people those are of paramount importance, and they can’t afford to waste time here. The subject of the meeting, the impact of the decisions, are immaterial for them. However, they do expect that during the meeting all the personal comforts must be ensured.

These are a complete overhead for the group, and don’t contribute to anything other than a head count, but unfortunately their numbers are not too rare.

Like the most, Jury #6 too has formed the initial guilty opinion but not from the beginning, though he probably was inclined to. He was from a working class, and it could be seen from his mannerism. later he said that he was a painter (not the artistic, but house painter). 

Despite being a relatively young man, he symbolized traditional values. He was quite calm but not when his values were affected. Twice he was belligerent threatening violence, both times against the same juror. “You had been repeatedly showing disrespect to the elderly gentleman (#9). Next time you show don’t give a proper respect to his age, I am going to knock you cold

The importance here isn’t the subject of the value, that “The elderly should be respected, and not even argued with”, but the extent he was going to defend it (the value). For another person, this value could be different, may be welfare of the affected/ displaced persons of a project. It is important to visualise the extent that they would treat it to be their personal responsibility, to defend the persons (value), who they consider to be without their own defense (may be son of the Old gentleman) and are weak and can’t defend themselves.

Probably an avid reader of detective novels, he looked for a purpose, “The Motive” of the boy committing the crime. Once he found the motive, and that suited his own ‘Prejudices/ values’ he was convinced, and remained so for quite some time. The motive here was that the father has hit the boy twice, which made the boy scream “I am going to Kill You” and then he (who else would have the motive?) did.

The motive wasn’t too strong (the father used to very often beat the son), and the weakness was shown by a few too, but at least it was one, whether none other existed, with anyone else either, and as one of the Jurors (#4) pointed out, “This two could have been too many”.

These people look for the purpose why the move is suggested. Once they find the purpose, they weigh it against their values and form the opinions. However, if they find that their premises were wrong, they can be easily made to switch over.

Later it was proved that the boy’s swearing  “I am going to Kill You”, that the person on the floor below had said under oath that he had heard, couldn’t have. Or even if he had, he couldn’t be sure it was boy’s voice, with an El-Train passing by at that time, meters away from the window. This Juror had first-hand experience of the noise created by an El-Train, and now the motive (he now didn’t even know whether the boy even swore at his father) being in doubt, he changed his opinion. His hurt value, (A son talking rudely as well as threatening his own father) and the motive, had both disappeared. He retained this stand of not guilty, despite the eye-witness to the murder, the woman’s point still not debated.

Even if she had seen, but still where was the motive? “No action could be justified unless this was known.”

Juror #11 is the third (and last) of the relatively less complicated persons. He has been very attentive to the total proceeding and is perfectly willing to discuss “When the DA had spent six days going over the case, why can’t we spend some time?

From the beginning, his manners seem to indicate that he was sitting on the fence, though he had voted for the ‘Guilty’.

He is a watchmaker by profession, probably second generation American, from Europe. His voice still had soft lilting tone associated with the softer European languages, though not very prominent. Of course, I can’t be sure of it, he could even be first generation American, migrated some significant time back, the Europe factor still standing, since he didn’t deny it.

His baggage is “In democracy, the people can’t be wrong“. He has a very high respect of democracy, especially the American one, “This is a great democracy” or “In democratic institutions, things are to be resolved by discussion and not by fighting”.

With a blind faith/respect for Democracy, Law and Justice (i.e. management team) and he probably never had heard of or even if he had, he didn’t believe how travesty of these regularly takes place. He is a systematic person (he too jotted down of important points) and thinks too. He is actually somewhere on the fence, but for his blind faith on the impartiality of the powers (Police and DA) which had tilted him towards “Guilty”.

He had noticed extremely pertinent points, for example why did the boy come back at 3’O clock. If it was to be for taking back the knife, he could have taken it after stabbing his father to death. He didn’t agree to his fleeing in panic. “He was calm to ensure that there were no fingerprints on the knife. Then when exactly did the panic start?” 

Despite all his belief on the system, with preliminary proofs, and his own self-assessment of the evidences, he switched his loyalty quite quickly (fourth one to change over).

A systematic person, keeps a track of the major points, however there is an inherent belief on the system, which makes him mute his own voice. If there are a few other people questioning the system, and he finds the system is not infallible, or rather the keepers of the system aren’t, he would open-up, questioning evidences presented, not against the system but to save the system from these fallible ones.

Juror #5 is another of the first-time jury and his type could be quite dangerous. He is bringing in a lot of baggages in terms of inherent complex. It made him to vote “Guilty”, though probably he didn’t intend to.

I don’t think his current state in life was ever mentioned, but his manner and dress indicated that he was relatively well off, probably some management position. But he used to be one of the slum children, though not the ‘Traditional’ knife wielding ones, probably one of the handful of the children who studied and went to college. But being one of the ex-slum children, he knew the ways of the slums, including how switch-blade knives are used. His background didn’t come out voluntarily, his internal complexes made him keep it under wraps, till some of the people started using too unsavory statement, generalizing the slum dwellers. At that time he couldn’t keep quiet and burst out.

When you are from a certain section, which You are ashamed of, rarely people take it as something unimportant, others might, but the person won’t. There are two ways they could approach the issue,

  • first is to brag about it, when the chances arrive, or even create the chances. 
  • The other is exactly opposite, hide the fact, and if possible, avoid the place where it has a chance of being discussed.

It would be very difficult to take a philosophically balanced approach.

In both the cases there is a strong undercurrent of an inferiority complex driven defensive mechanism. One goes for “offense as the best defence” the other follows the tortoise’s policy. When there is choice to be made, usually both the type of persons would be heavily biased against their root. The first one would be to show “Holier Than Thou” approach and the second one afraid that someone could find-out, or may be even know, his antecedents and make it a public knowledge by attributing it to his choice. It would really be very rare when one could really vote unbiased.

These defensive mechanism is very difficult to avoid and you would find everywhere in life from a famous Big Apple lawyer to Gujarat Riot Crusader. Even people have hinted Hitler’s grandfather (though illegitimate) was a Jew. But they are among famous, there would be still so many not so famous and we come to know when the things boil over. That’s the time the second type, who had kept his feelings hidden, doesn’t do anymore and explodes. I won’t say that the reasons or the explosions are justified but the end results of any explosion are never good. You can see it happening all over the world.

The reason is only one, not letting them forget and always trying to keep an superiority stand over them. You keep on talking of Nazis and you land up with Neo-Nazis. Had you just let it go into history with dust gathering, over time it would have died, not escalated.

Juror #5 up to certain extent shows the pattern. No one knew he was from slum, and being of second type, who wanted to keep it hidden, he had voted ‘Guilty’, though his attitude from the beginning didn’t indicate, to me, he was too sure of the guilt. But his background was exposed when one of the Jurors (#10) started berating the slum people, infuriating him by generalisation.

When the second vote was taken after this, and there was still one (or rather now it is one more) opposite vote, the obvious suspect was him. Second explosion was when a juror (#3 now) openly accused him of changing side due to his past. Though even this time he really hadn’t voted for “Not Guilty”, but probably the breaking point was reached, and he was the very next one (3rd) to go over officially to other court, not any more bothered about what it would be attributed for.

There had been already few observations, and the “Not Guilty” theory was gaining logical (though not by person count) grounds. Probably, at least it looks to me, he would have been in the “Not Guilty” or at least not in the “Beyond all reasonable Doubts” category, but his baggage kept him from declaring his views.

This is a very high-risk mind-frame in any meeting. The person in most cases won’t be fair, provoked or unprovoked, and in many case this baggage could be even unknown. The companies investigate the history thoroughly, but still there could be some grey areas left out.

Whenever there is a conflict, the respective member recuses, but that would be provided we know, he knows and he is willing (to recuse). Of course, in these days of poaching, it would be a deliberate factor introduced and the persons are conditioned so that the ex-slum dweller act with vengeance against the “Slums”. But even that won’t create in a balanced decision making framework. It might be against “Slum” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be a gold-mine for the high-rise. In certain cases, for example in this, the knowledge of the ‘other party’, helped in tilting the balance in support of the same party (how the knifing is done). He might not have deliberately overlooked the fact earlier, but definitely, he had put it deep inside his subconscious, and it came out only after he had been ‘converted’.

Juror #4 looked to be the only member of the team from high society. He is calm and cultured. From the beginning he had maintained his guilty stand. But when some of his own team became over-excited, he almost scolded them to calm down. By profession, he informed that he is a stock-broker. 

I haven’t have much experience of being in contact with one, so I don’t know their behaviour pattern. But this Juror, as I told was of a calm and polished disposition. He visited clubs as well as went to movies with his wife (Except the star witness, the only other woman referred to in the whole movie). SOmehow his society and disposition indicated him to be a non-neo rich. 

He kept track of the happenings, kept notes and since all the things fell in place, he had no doubt about the “Guilty”. He was the person who gave logical counter arguments to the defence “Two could have been two too many“. But he was also ready to listen calmly to the arguments before countering them.

There were too many props in the “Guilty” theory. Most of the people changed sides even when a single prop was weakened, but not he. There could be more than one knife, but chances of the murder weapon being exactly similar of a not too common knife is a million to one. He is also a law abiding person “Do you know it is against the law to possess switch-blade knife?“, when #8 brought out a similar knife from his pocket and placed on table.

He disliked the slum people “They are menace to the society” but not to the point of hating them. This could be as a member of the upper echelon of the society, who even without contact maintain that attitude. This inherent mindset (of being anti of a certain proposal) is difficult to get over with. He had all the advantages of his preferred proposal on his finger tips, and he is convinced that even if one of it is true, the proposal stands. All of his points have to be negated. In this case, it became like “Guilty unless otherwise proved” 

He is inclined towards but isn’t a blind follower of the management. If I look at him as a Broker, who I assume has to be a good statistician, then his first assumption should be that the data what he is analysing is unbiased and ‘True’ in common parlance. This data could be the management reports, the evidences put forward by the prosecutor, the annual or periodic (say Quarterly) financial reports of the company, or any such thing. With this assumption, he now puts the pieces together and makes a fair guess, and since he looks to be quite successful, he doesn’t make too many wrong ones. 

He has to be logically handled and points countered, in the same calm manner that he had jotted down and placed on table. If they could be, he too could be convinced to change side.

Since he is a logical deducer, he has to be made to think, whether his basic premise, the unbiased nature of the data, was valid? Since it isn’t the only indicator he works with, it would be necessary to blink out quite a few of his data for him to be convinced. 

He was the 11th member to change sides, and that was only after his each and every point had been put into “probably wrong”. A few quarters or few years poor results of a company might make him to suggest “Hold to the shares” or even “Buy” when the market scenario in future suggest him to. His being last but one could have been due to another reason too, because he had been asked for his opinion after the 10th has given. Though he looked to be already convinced, but wasn’t given opportunity to become 10th. His statement somehow contradicted “I am sure of Not Guilty” isn’t same as his following part “I have reasonable doubts“.  Of course on second thoughts, that is right since no one was present at the scene of crime, and only witnesses had been proved to be probably “Assumed what is obvious, for them, without actually seeing or hearing” 

Probably in the groups he would be the best person to logically discuss the merits (which he would support) and demerits of the proposal, and then let the best man (or person) win. 

Of the left out two, the two most complex persons, I have to make a call, whom to take first. 

I will start with #10. An old man, though not as old as #9. He had been uncomfortable throughout the proceeding (had caught cold, and continuously blowing his nose). Probably because of that, but in fact even had it been otherwise, he would have been, a very short tempered person and picking up fight with the supporters and more so with the converted ones of the “Non Guilty” team.

Very restless and highly irritated, and one would infer in the first glance itself that he didn’t like to be contradicted with, and considers all those who do to be personal enemy. This is something one has to handle with very soft kid gloves, and in many case even the softest won’t be soft enough for them. 

To manage these people for a meaningful dialogue, one has to understand whether,

  • They are naturally like this: Angry, dictatorial, one who don’t like to be contradicted, in words or actions or even attempts to.
  • It is because the physical discomfort, and he wants to get out and be in his bed, and is angry at the unnecessary delays, even in a case as clear as this.
  • They have something against this particular aspect of the case, otherwise they might be a bit irritable, but not as hard-headed as this.

Obviously approach to engage them would be different in each case, and you can’t have a panacea which would bring him on discussion table, whatever may his malady and prejudice been. 

Juror #10 owned auto garages (three of them). In that case, since significant number of his employees would be from the more deprived section, the slums, one would have expected him to be a bit sympathetic.  But of course there could be a flip side too, suppose there is too much of ‘Unionism’ among those ‘Labour Classes’, then he probably he won’t like the ‘Slum People’ too much.

Whether like or dislike, it would not be very probable that he would hate the people who worked under him and that too with the intensity he did. It was soon very clear that his basic prejudice and make-up was of the third type in the list. The physical discomfort might have aggravated it, but most likely not by too much. 

He hated the slum dwellers to the utmost and wasn’t too apologetic about it, despite presence of one of them, #5, in their middle.

This type of hatred usually comes due to personal experience which the people later generalise, which is quite common these days. We are repeatedly being exposed to the news about racially prejudiced hate crimes. Someone or a few of certain religious belief or skin color did something, and to revenge for our personal loss, and rightly or wrongly, we put all of them under the same bracket.

The generalisation isn’t always misplaced, for example those of  Charles Manson’s family (who murdered without motive Late Sharon Tate Polanski, when she was weeks away from giving birth to her baby),  or the Aum Shinrikyo groups or even the current menace in the middle-east Asia. But if we leave these cult groups, in general there is no basis to generalise. The perpetrators usually would be the fringe elements, who incidentally belonged to the group which became the target though not having any such profession. 

Say, I am rolling in money, and with my hard earned cash, I tried to buy an apartment (or say shares of Kingfisher Airlines, assuming it would soar to the sky). We know the Kingfisher lost the King and a bit more in the end, and the fish dived deep into unfathomable water. In the same way, there are cases, where the real estate promoters dupe the subscribers. It is not a rarity here, and one has to be very careful of the title deed as well as some other factors. Sometimes the title deeds are disputed, and then not only us, even the promoter himself would be on roads. 

Can we generalise and say that all the airlines  or the real estate promoters are cheats? Do we? They too belong to a Clan, but we don’t hate all. We call them names, but by name, not by the group. Is it because they are usually rich and famous? Probably so. Had they been from slums, we might have.

Suppose one of the directors was closely associated with Enron or Lehman Brothers, and was one of the major sufferers due to the collapse. It would be very natural that if this company tries to diversify into Energy or Energy Marketing or Financial Services, this person would be against it, tooth and nail, due to his nightmarish experience. It would be with good intentions, to ensure that the experience isn’t replicated here, though there may be nothing for him to lose  in the current instance.

This person’s reason of the hatred is not very clear, but my best guess is that some of his very dear person was killed by someone from slum, or even by a gang of them. It could be his wife, children or may even be more than one of them, probably in a robbery attempt. He had mentioned the words criminals, robbers, murderers, and his fury and eventual breakdown indicated a irreparable personal grief, which has manifested into this attitude. Probably choice of jury was wrong in this case, but if I leave the jury part, and look at other type of groups, it is perfectly possible to have one aboard. In fact sometimes they are deliberately chosen, to ensure the mistakes are not repeated with this entity. But that should bring caution, not fanaticism.

I know of a person whose elder sister, only sibling and a student in early twenties, was killed in the infamous Pune bakery blast. Obviously at her age, she should have an indelible hatred against a particular section. But she doesn’t. Naturally she doesn’t talk about it, and I came to know through a third party, though she is quite close to me (to clarify, in an avuncular way). Had the hatred been there, there would have been some clear indications, and also she would be avoiding anyone of the community like poison and definitely not moving around the girls of that community. Mature? May not be by age, she was in her late teens when it happened, but in head, obviously. Unfortunately she is a rarity, and that is visible in the hate crimes taking place everywhere, by those affected, and even by those who are not affected personally. 

This Juror isn’t among the rarest or rare, and is showing normal disposition towards the section, who he he has generalized into the category of mortal enemy. How does he get over this often illogical antagonism? He has to be convinced that the generalization isn’t right. But to do that, he has to calm down enough to listen to logic. 

It was very interesting to see how he understood his folly. It was when he saw that there was someone who was even more fanatic on this issue. That extreme made him pause and think. It could happen. When this other hyperactive person was charging like a bull on every one challenging him, others have temporarily forgotten him. All had united against this person, not with belligerence, but abhorrence.

It was a moment of almost calm for him. With the inferno blazing, his fire had become almost insignificant. Would he side with the water or join his fire with the other? Either is possible, depending on whether his fire almost matched the other one, or it was as good as a dying amber compared to it. In this case, he joined the fire-fighters, probably since it made his major emotion, grief, to come to the fore. It engulfed the fury, and conditioned his mind better to be in a position to indulge in self-reflection as well as reflect on the case in hand, almost minus the prejudice. The verdict from his side remained an emotional one, but with the wrong (other) emotion.

When a group of unknown persons kill your spouse, it is quite natural that you would hate any person who relate to those people.

But what happens, when the same spouse whom you had loved beyond your life, gave you a mortal blow, by walking away from you?
If it isn’t because of any of your fault, from your side you have not given any chance to complain, loving and cherishing all through, fulfilling the smallest hint of a wish?
What if you still love with the same intensity, even after the unfaithful behavior?  

There is more than a good chance that you would become misogynist. There was only one of that gender you loved, and he/she had walked out on you, so you hate him/her too with almost same intensity. Probably you would now equate the behavior to the gender of him/her, just to console your hurt and ego by telling it that it is natural for them. Shaharyar too thought like this and continued to behead his brand new brides. 

It would be interesting to reflect who would hate more. The one, say whose most beloved wife was killed by goons would be more or the case the beloved wife, alive, ditched you? Palanski’s hate for the Manson’s family would be more or Sharyar’s hate for women would be? I assume it would be the second one, since here two opposite feelings directed towards the same person are inside you. 

The last of the Mohicans, Juror #3 was hyperactive, the angriest of the not so young men. He had made up his mind from the moment he had entered the court, or may be from the time he heard of the case. He wasn’t much bothered about the proceedings, “I fell asleep during all those blickety blahs”. It was a clear open and shut case and didn’t need so much wastage of time. In fact even in the juror’s room, it was an criminal wastage.

He is the founder owner of a courier company, and it is quite successful in the business.  He is the father of an only child, a son, at that time, he was 22. And I missed one aspect, he too mentioned one of a feminine gender, the third one of the movie, his wife. His company name was suggested by her (that was the only mention).  

His attitude shows he is of Type A personality, and hence is ready to pick-up fights. However to his dismay, his son wasn’t that way. He avoided fight, probably because he was beaten up by others and would come home after the one sided thrashing. 

Once when the boy was 9, he came home after the usual thrashing by his friends/enemies and then the father thought that it was more than he could take from his son, who was definitely not even the rotten shed bark of the Sequoia Tree.  “I told him that I will make a man of you, even if I have to break you“. He did it so successfully, that during a domestic duel, the boy, then sixteen, licked his father cold with a single punch.

That didn’t make him bitter though, since his manner told that he was quite proud of his creation. But all this has some aftereffects. The boy had been converted into something which probably was against his nature. It was with all the good intentions but may be (or I would say certainly) he didn’t appreciate the showering of attention, and definitely a lot of punches, at least in initial stages. 

Now that he has become of age, and independent, he has cut all his ties with his parents. So much so, that it had been more than a couple of years, that he has seen him. The only way he could see his son was by looking at the photograph he always carried in his wallet. Now due to this treachery, he hated all the young men. They are traitors, who didn’t return the affections that their old men showered on them. And this defendant was young, and hence definitely must have killed the father. With the hate that these young men harbored towards their father, there can’t be any doubt on it. Juror #3 was taking his taking his revenge on the defendant, since he was a Young man. He belonged to the group, of which a particular person he still loved dearly (that could be inferred from the way he looked at the photograph) and hated too with same intensity. The revenge what he wanted on his son. he decided to take it on this boy. 

From the beginning his call was “That Kid” whereas the others, especially #4, #9 and #7 were focused on “Slum People”.

Unlike #10, here there was no scope of conversion. It was too personal. This type of personalities too would be visible in life, and obviously due to the deep personal prejudice would be very difficult to handle, without “Breaking them”.  Here too, in the end, he was broken, though it was self inflicted.