My Plague Scorecard Update: First, I was declared a Soldier. Then, I was declared the Enemy.
The Plague has now progressed to the Civil Unrest Phase. Previous protests were against confinement—against the idea that we here in the futuristic-sounding 21st Century should be relegated to the Dark Ages recourse of quarantine as a response to this crisis. Science be damned if science can’t do better than that. In the Ozarks, my people massed near naked around pools and drank. In other places people played out the old Saturday Night Live “Show Us Your Guns” skit about the nearest temples of government authority. A spate of deadly, bizarre police actions against black people have driven a more normal grouping of folks into the streets. As I write this, it is dying down.
I’m not blaming the plague for everything. This is some bastard sort of a harmonic convergence. To me, the major catalyst seems to be the Cheeto in Chief, a man with a gift for disturbing behavior. It is difficult to dignify these impulses he acts out as any form of thought. Even psychotic killer cops can’t be happy with him.
President Cheetolini commenced his mangling of the situation by indicating his solidarity with the family of the poor soul deranged police squashed to death, seemingly on suspicion of passing funny money. So far, so good. But then Cheeto’s mouth started moving again and we were spritzed with some distracting nonsense about black anti-fascists and organized looter gangs. Next was a law and order rant, complete with a resurrection of Nixon’s Silent Majority. Gas was then deployed on the park outside the White House so that Cheeto and his immediates could go walk to a burnt church. He gets to the church and suddenly words fail him. This is someone you can’t shut up with a roll of duct tape and a staple gun, a man capable of riffing idiotic for hours without prompting. Yet nothing occurs to him. Not a few words cross the median into the brain pan during the walk he orchestrated with Military Force against unarmed civilians. Instead, he brandishes the Bible fundy-style and gives a silent Heil Jesus.
It boggles the imagination that any part of that was thought through.
If the present is any guide, expect the dumbfounded to spread. Philosopher King Obama descended today and was clearly off his game. Everything he said was perfectly correct. But this was a time to use as few of words as one possibly can. It was a moment set up for a sentence, such as “Can’t we all just get along?” Obama the law professor showed up and it was a waste, a squandering of limited attention. Perhaps Obama has grasped the obvious, that what the crowd is calling for is a mix of blood lust and pipe dreams.
There is no amount of training that would have saved any of the black people unjustly killed by the police recently. None. The problem of psychotic killer cops has been with us since the advent of organized law enforcement. There isn’t some pre-organized law enforcement state that we can retreat to. On the plus side, the standards for police have been made tighter and higher. Our best hope is that the issue of deranged men with badges will eventually whither. Eventually does not bring back George Floyd, however.
We can pick nits with current trends in law enforcement. The warrior mind, martial focus does have a downside. People are prone to use the tactics they practice the most. Many cops are gifted at conflict diffusion, but that has its limits. Police are largely dealing with strangers, people whose behavior they have no historic knowledge of. The police cannot read minds. A little Zen with their martial arts training might be nice, but who knows how useful that would be. No one gets into law enforcement out of a deep drive to practice lay psychology or social work. No one. The police are not going to become community activist, ever.
We can pick nits with what actually happened in in the Floyd case. Since when does check kiting or passing funny money merit sending in four armed guys? I know that following up on small things is the way big things are uncovered, however there is a rational procedure off point. He didn’t have a bag of severed heads. He’s not assembling a flame thrower. At worst, he’s an unarmed check kiter. Unless something astounding happened before the video tape started rolling, there is no reason to sit on the guy’s head and kill him. That’s depraved indifference.
We are dealing with evil. Not an evil system, but rather the defective product of an imperfect system. The officer who killed George Floyd should not have had a badge. He should have been weeded out.(*1) As for the other Junior Woodchucks observing this execution, it probably didn’t help that they were all dressed alike and given ranks. The moment we start playing army, only one person gets to think. The police are supposed to be professionals. The only person with any rank should be the station chief. Without the ranks and strict stratification of authority perhaps one of the Woodchucks would have piped up. That may be asking a bit much.
We are going to have to live with the police. They are not going to be disbanded or defunded or anything else. We will have less psychotic bigot cops when we have less bigots. And that is a heavier lift.
Getting rid of Cheeto and ALL REPUBLICANS would be a good start.
Note: As a designated enemy of the state, I have decided to skip the protests. Frankly, the looters put me off.
(*1) Who knows what this guy’s issue is? He may have spent too much time on a very rough beat. That doesn’t excuse it, but it may explain some of it. On the other hand, his soon to be ex-wife said he was a monster. 9 times out of 10 evil is what it seems to be.