The maladjusted protagonist of the horror classic The Shining, Jack Torrance is played with wiggly-browed panache by a top-of-his-game Jack Nicholson. A school teacher by trade, Jack accepts a job as winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in hopes of using the position’s five months of solitude to work on his writing. Sadly, this ill-tempered alcoholic underestimates the pitfalls of isolation and writes just one sentence before succumbing to a particularly deadly strain of cabin fever.
Few would argue that the Jack we know is unfit for employment. A sufferer of paranoid delusions with a taste for murder, he is a danger to the workforce and himself. However, let’s not cast him into the pile of the unemployable just yet.
Jack possesses one highly marketable skill that, with proper rehabilitation, he might be able to put to good use. His flair for intimidation would be valued in many sectors, from the nightclub industry to the military and law enforcement. The ability to strike fear in the heart of a rowdy frat boy with a simple narrowing of the gaze or command the attention of a courtroom with a slam of the fist is a rare gift indeed. In its service, Jack deserves a second chance.
That’s not to say that a wild-eyed sociopath and onetime axe murderer would make for a comfortable coworker — of course he wouldn’t! Still, when we consider the societal need for order, perhaps we can be more tolerant of the notion of rehabilitating him, especially considering the myriad options that modern therapy has to offer. A veritable reformation buffet is available to this damaged man, from AA to anger management to cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Think of the upside if Jack does regain control: Working World, look out, we might just have a “doorman of the year” on our hot little hands.
Criminal defense attorney