please stop tickling me

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

They Know They're Wrong

I have had the pleasure of attending both a junior high and high school that employed off-duty cops as English teachers. The one at my high school was a ring-tailed treat, though.
I'm imagining it's because his name was 'Gale'. Sure, it's a perfectly reasonable male name, resonant of storms at sea, and therefore not sissified in the least. However, that wouldn't stop someone like him from being teased, no doubt, all through his childhood for having a girl's name, and also (no doubt) carrying the resentment from this into his adulthood.
About cops in general: I love how people carry on about how they are so humstrung by society's little "laws" that they can't do their job. And furthermore, these same people will always be first to say that there is no need for citizen oversight as far as law enforcement goes, as the hiring processes there are as sound as any, say, private security company, and certainly don't hire a bunch of meth-heads, people who flunked out of military academy, incipient white supremacists, etc.
The main point these (excuse me) bedwetters are making is-you can't question the police, because they're the police. Now, as any of us who have seen them doing cocaine in their squad cars, accepting free blow jobs from hookers, beating up people for the crime of being homeless or going apeshit on a bunch of people excercising their constitutional right to assemble and yes, voice dissent know-this is a bunch of shit. The police need oversight because their power is unchecked. It's the kind of thing that right wingers would immediately suggest if the police levied taxes. But they don't, so they don't.
They need oversight because they have a gun, and I don't. Even if I did have a gun, I still couldn't legally use it to defend myself against the (excuse me) apes that generally make up the staff of the police department in any city or town. Even if they killed you for no clear or decent reason-shot you on a routine traffic stop, strapped you down to a board then pepper-sprayed you until you asphyxiated, beat you some on the way to the station, and then beat you some more until you died-the grand jury inevitably lets them walk. They're the police, you see.
And to those who propose 'an eye for an eye' type justice: okay, can I strap the fuck who did the abovementioned to an unarmed, developmentally disabled man to a board and spray him with CS gas until he croaks? Okay, why not? Cop or not, he's a citizen, and bound to the same laws as anyone.
Alright. Let's take it back to this evil fuck who worked at my high school. He was very fond of chasing us kids, when we'd leave school property. If you wanna go to McDonald's for lunch instead of the cafeteria, what's the harm in that, exactly? The school had the policy that you must not leave at all, but a lot of us viewed this as the kind of thing that they couldn't really enforce legally...Forgetting that teenagers have no rights under the law.
And again, it was typical hysteria vs. actual thought type stuff engaged in by school boards everywhere, especially in the suburbs. On one particular occasion, my pals and I were enjoying lunch at McDonald's-violating school policy, that is-and Gale bursts through the doors, looking for us. We actually crawled out the back door.
When we arrived back at school, we stopped, as was inevitable, at the smoking section (this was back when high schools had such things). We noticed Gale approaching across the courtyard, and somehow the crowd immediately sent up a wave of obfuscation. They all said, "You'd better run, Dean," and "Here comes Gale, Dean." A lot of things like that were said, despite the fact that none of us in the party were named 'Dean'.
He walked up, said to my friend Gary, "Okay Dean, you'd better come with me."
Gary got detention, under the name 'Dean Jones'. Strangely, he never showed up for it.
A couple weeks later, I violated another well-conceived school policy by trying to exit the cafeteria with a Ho-Ho snack cake. You could have food in the caf, and nowhere else, so if you wished to step outside, you either needed to finish that food there, or be stealthy about it.
As I attempted to exit the building, Gale walked up to me and said, "Dean, you need to learn your lesson."
I said, "Yeah, I really do."
"Gimme the Ho-Ho."
"No. I paid for this thing."
"GIMME," he said, "THE HO-HO!"
"No," I said, and was then escorted to the office. He made out another detention slip for Dean Jones.
Now, should I have felt sorry for his over-zealous, vindictive, inept ass? Hell no. Natural consequences being what you should reward slow children with for repeated dangerous stupidity, I felt that it was just fine that he was assigning detention to a fictional student, who he could have easily determined was fictional, had his simple ass checked.
The next time he saw me, he said, "Your name isn't Dean Jones."
I said, "Really?", or, "You sure?", or something. My two friends and I were on our way to talk with a favorite teacher of ours, and in this case were doing nothing wrong. My friend Gary said something to Gale along the lines of 'you got nothing, leave us alone'.
Gale spun around and faced him. He tried to be intimidating, but was mostly spluttering. He said that Gary was a 'big lip'.
"'Big lip'?", I said, "What's that?" I could tell that he was looking for the happy medium between 'don't give me any lip', and 'you're a big mouth', two favorites of sadists with unchecked power, speaking to the powerless.
He spun on me. "Yeah. He's a big lip! I said it! You got a problem with that?"
So now I had a middle-aged man leaning into me, threatening me, a minor. I could've sued his ass just for that alone. Instead, I stood and laughed. He knew how stupid he looked.
As my third friend Pete was asking if it was acceptable to refer to Gale as 'dirt shoe' or 'bad hair', I took account. This particular authority figure realized that he'd been barking up the wrong tree, had made an ass out of himself, but was too committed to his sacred mission to back down. His biggest problem in the main was that he had gone too deep into a mission that had no real validity in the first place. Then, when he had failed to make any quantifiable difference, he got angry and started violating laws.
He actually was sued, and lost his job, a few years after I left that place. Serves him right. The stupid should struggle, to quote a guy none of you have heard of.
I no longer talk to any of my right-wing blogger counterparts. Or, I should say, I no longer debate them. One of them I'll talk to about anything but politics, as he seems to be a decent guy who actually listens to people who disagree with him. Most of his blog is political, so I usually just read it, and move on.
Another one of them has gone so thoroughly around the corner that I get the shivers reading his hateful mewlings. He goes back and forth on a weekly basis about whether or not he will let people comment on his blog at all, since sometimes people are mean to him. Or, 'disrespectful', or something.
But I've noticed that all one needs to do to be judged as such by him is disagree with him, a lot of the time, and that's childish. No matter how you phrase it, he's still going to have a tantrum against those of us who dispute his well-meant comments, which grow increasingly dark and yes, hateful. He then follows this up with a great deal of twaddle about how liberals (only liberals) are always engaging in immature, ad hominem attacks.
Or, what I always call the I'm-not-a-mechanic excuse: You're trying to get your car up and running again, and you find yourself beset by a squad of men who say, "Well, I'm not a mechanic or anything, but lemme tell you..." and they waste your time for the next hour or so. Look-I'm gonna stop here, but let's just say in general; I don't argue with robots or fools anymore. Especially when they try to simultaneously paint themselves as both an embattled minority and the majority of citizens, in terms of their belief.
Great. You're a minority? Well, work hard, little one. Oh. Now you're a majority? Well, those are often wrong. Almost always. Have you met most people? They're not so bright, easily manipulated by the dumbest of parlor tricks, and given to all manner of tribal taboo, happily swallowed.
As Mistah Chomsky might say, were he here, The Trick is not to Speak Truth to Power. Power already knows what it is doing, and is doing wrong. No: the trick is to remind everybody else, and try to bring them back to their senses.

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6 Comments:

Blogger KOM said...

Gimme the ho-ho.

I'm not messing around.

Gimme that ho-ho.

12:45 AM  
Blogger carrier said...

You know what is said about absolute power. And you know who has the power...that's right young Skywalker, the boys wearing the suits and uniforms.

So in the name of the United States Postal Service cram that Ho Ho into your liberal trash talking mouth before leaving the area designated for the consumption of corporate baked goods. Or you will be sorry my friend...very sorry.

Humstrung?

6:12 AM  
Blogger cats dig me said...

The traditional lighting of the Christmas Fedora has got me thinking about "the reason for the season". It seems that some of us liberals have decided that it is politically incorrect to refer to Christmas in any way, in public. Churches,even Unitarian ones, now have Harvest Festivals instead of Halloween parties. We have holiday trees, holiday gatherings, and wish each other happy holidays rather than Merry Christmas.

Christ on a crutch, people! Do you not know what you are not getting society to not stew about? (I learned that last bit from a KOA Kop a few years back). I joined a group called the Greater Astoria Downtown Historic Holiday Association (I swear I'm not making this up). We go about decorating the living hell out of downtown Astoria each year just after Thanksgiving. At this point you may be asking "Why do you do this Cats?" I'll just say it has something to do with John Lennon and the Vietnam war and leave it at that. Anyway, the leaders of our intrepid troop spent the entire weekend bitching about how AmeriKa is going to hellinahandbasket, and thank Gawd that the Republicans are in power so they can stem the tide of evil that is flowing over all the land, and how great it will be to vote out all these liberal whack-jobs next time around.

I say let them have all the Christ in Christmas that they want, just for different reasons than they think. I have spent a considerable amount of time studying Christmas lately. It is a mostly secular holiday in the first place. In fact the Pilgrims,and later on the Victorians, outlawed it as a pagan festival. Now we all know the futile effort it would be to convince our conservative foes that Christmas has little or nothing to do with Jesus,or even that an X (as in X-mas) is the ancient Greek letter meaning Christ (loosely translated). Christmas is so full of borrowed and stolen traditions that it has no real set meaning. It means just exactly what each individual wants it to mean. So let's give them back Christ in their holiday. If the non-Christians can just grin and bear it for a month or so, we might be able to stop the conservative backlash on this and get some decent liberal polititions elected.

9:30 AM  
Blogger cats dig me said...

Anybody got any ho-ho's?

9:39 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

'Hamstrung', of course, was what the kid was goin' for on that one.
I agree, Mr. Kitty: the possible hurt feelings inflicted upon non-Xtians during Xmas time have always struck me as negligible, though I sometimes can be an insensitive beast.
I'm all for letting everybody celebrate the Feast of the Unconquered Sun with a bunch of non-sequiturs about some Jewish guy who sounds like he may very well have been born in August. Really-this isn't a big deal to me.
If anything, I just get sick of listening to the whining every December by these people. It's not really that big of a deal on their end either; if the nice man at the front door of the Wal-Mart fails to acknowledge Christ during the month of December, how is that inimical to their faith, exactly? But they have societal cache on their side, scrappy little minority that they are.
So yeah, Christ it up, Christers: I don't care...But quit yer bitchin' about what the rest of us choose to do, you loving hosts of Christ-like love.

12:43 PM  
Blogger cats dig me said...

Ah well, you know. They are a insecure lot, those X-tians. Remember the gay marriage flap we had here in Ah-reh-gone during the last election. I couldn't convince this ultraconchristian relative of mine that gay marriage would be a good thing. When I mentioned that a mutual gay friend might want to marry his boyfriend, she was all for him "settling down with a good man". But when it came time to vote... well you can guess how that went. Somehow our lil' gay friend gettin' hitched threatened her marriage. Maybe she is afraid that her husband will leave her for another man. The Christmas whining is merely an extension of that duality that exists in the neo-cons. ( I'm a Nazi, dammit, but I'm so frail and threatened by your unnaziness - that sort of thinking)

1:01 PM  

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