"Jim Wise" - the real story behind the song

As a big fan of Benji, Jim Wise always stood out like a sore thumb - at least musically. The use of a raw Fender Rhodes is interesting, though the chord progression is embarrassingly simplistic to any educated musician.

Regardless of the merits of the music, there are some discrepancies between Mark's lyrical account and the reported facts. Thankfully some helpful podcasters have reported on the story here:

http://courtjunkie.com/ep-11-mercy-murder-john-barbara-wise-story/

The podcast gives an unbiased account of events. It's also available from iTunes, Stitcher and all the other obvious places to find good podcasts.

In a way I wish I'd never heard the true story. Mark's account may be romanticised, but also sounds a lot more acceptable and humane. Turns out even rednecks waving the Bill of Rights can embarrass a coherent argument for the current constitutionally-accepted tenuous interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Anyways this post was not intended to be about shitty politics, but rather an opportunity for fans of Benji to hear the real and more nuanced story behind Jim Wise - enjoy!

Comments

  • I don't understand where your comments on the second amendment come from... I didn't get anything about Gun Rights from this podcast or song at all...

    It seems to me Jim Wise overreacted by thinking his wife was going to be a vegetable for life when there was a chance she could actually come out okay with a long rehab process, but instead he shot and killed her.

    It was dumb, short-sighted and likely borne out of an emotional breakdown of sorts and a lack of intelligence.

  • Posts: 82

    John Wise endangered all the staff and patients at that hospital, for the sake of his wife. A narrow-minded and selfish act in any reading of the situation.

    How might Mark have reacted, had Carissa been working her RN shift in that vicinity?

    No matter how unfortunate Mrs Wise's condition, nor how sympathetic we may want to be to John Wise - he behaved in an outrageously reckless fashion.

    The means by which his behaviour is enabled, comes from a tenuous interpretation of the placing of a comma in the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

    If the founding fathers had been more careful in their use of language (or modern-day gun nutcases hadn't so successfully squirrelled their way into creating such an absurd legal precedent) - American society would not be plagued by the cancer that is gun violence, currently protected from any sensible reform by intransigent jurists and lawmakers.

    For the TL;DR crowd - I think hearing the true story shows that the most annoying track on Benji (well, at least joined with "I Love My Dad") is predicated on a romanticised interpretation of the real life story the song purports to tell.

    This is not an implicit criticism of Mark's writing. I'm sure he has better uses for his time, than just fact checking news stories.

    However at the very least, this throws some doubt on the veracity of the lyrical account of real events - as portrayed in the song "Jim Wise"!

  • Posts: 1,185

    So you're saying he was unwise.

  • An impeccably privileged, metropolitan and (I hazard a guess) college-educated judgement on a person who in many ways seems to typify the downtrodden working class of the decaying mid-west rust belt. These people voted Trump for a reason.

  • Besides which, Jim Wise is a magnificent song. The simple repetition of the lines "she loved the garden and the budding rosebush" and "the bright red cardinal on the empty birdbath" is masterful, emotionally devastating songwriting, exemplifying why the album is rightly regarded as his masterpiece outside the insular bubble of his pre-existing cult.

  • @mojofilters said:
    John Wise endangered all the staff and patients at that hospital, for the sake of his wife. A narrow-minded and selfish act in any reading of the situation.

    No matter how unfortunate Mrs Wise's condition, nor how sympathetic we may want to be to John Wise - he behaved in an outrageously reckless fashion.

    The means by which his behaviour is enabled, comes from a tenuous interpretation of the placing of a comma in the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

    If the founding fathers had been more careful in their use of language (or modern-day gun nutcases hadn't so successfully squirrelled their way into creating such an absurd legal precedent) - American society would not be plagued by the cancer that is gun violence, currently protected from any sensible reform by intransigent jurists and lawmakers.

    Dude, you have to be fucking kidding. John Wise endangered his wife and his wife alone.

    I don't know if you've ever held a gun but guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people.

    Nobody in that hospital was endangered other than his wife.

    I'd like to add- I am a FLAMING liberal, I love Bernie Sanders, I think we should have single payer healthcare, I think we need more gun restrictions, but holy hell man... Throw a little reality into your viewpoints....

  • edited May 2017 Posts: 82

    @admiralfellpromises said:
    Dude, you have to be fucking kidding. John Wise endangered his wife and his wife alone.

    I don't know if you've ever held a gun but guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people.

    Nobody in that hospital was endangered other than his wife.

    I'd like to add- I am a FLAMING liberal, I love Bernie Sanders, I think we should have single payer healthcare, I think we need more gun restrictions, but holy hell man... Throw a little reality into your viewpoints....

    So in a state such as Illinois, with a proactive progressive programme attempting to restrict rampant inner city gun violence - how come it's weapons rather than people they're attempting to keep out of Chicago?

  • Did John Wise kill anyone other than his wife at the hospital? No.

    Was anyone else in danger other than his wife? No.

    If he didn't have a gun would have tried to kill her? I think so.

    Chicago has nothing to do with rural gun control. Not to mention the proactive gun control measures haven't done a thing to stop the problem....

    "How come it's weapons rather than people they're attempting to keep out of Chicago?"- WHAT?

    If guns didn't exist within society already, banning/outlawing them would be great. Once you have guns in a society, if you try to remove them only the people you DONT want to have them, will keep them...

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