Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Paranoid Style, Part 2: State of Siege

It continues to be the one of the most fascinating dynamics in this -- or indeed any -- year:  the way political demographics who have distinctly characterized themselves by an intense, almost instinctive mistrust of the flex and impact of the gubmint jackboot, rush quickly and readily to defense of militarized, trigger-happy cops and their self-serving bullshit excuses for why they had to perforate that kid brandishing a BB gun in a playground in just two seconds flat. Well, as my dear memaw useta tell her Sunday school kids, fuck that noise.

It should be abundantly clear by now (and if it isn't, watch the video in the Reason link) that that whole "protect and serve" thing is done; it is simply your duty to comply, to shut the fuck up and do what you're fucking told. That might earn you the right to survive and get back to your meaningless hamster-wheel existence, but we're not making any promises, pally.

What's so weird and amazing is how thin-skinned they are, how any and all criticism, no matter how well reasoned and explained, is so frantically dismissed. Tamir Rice and John Crawford, both black males brandishing BB guns in an open-carry state (Ohio), get put down like dogs, without even being given a chance to comply. This is not in dispute, both murders are easily viewable on the YouTube.

As with Rodney King and Oscar Grant, who knows what lies these assholes would have told and gotten away with, but for the irrefutable video evidence? They shot someone because they failed to comply, to obey, because they could, because no one will call them on their bullshit. Because at heart, America is neither "liberal" nor "conservative," but merely authoritarian.

And a cheap, lame type of pseudo-authoritarian at that, pretending to chafe under the yoke of largely deferential federal and state authorities, while local and urban police forces run wild with no accountability whatsoever -- and indeed, the sincere support and appreciation of these erstwhile Red Dawn fantasists, the last civilized bulwark against those people.

This is of a piece with the collective 'murkin shrug over the "revelations" of torture, of which neither the torture allegations themselves nor the public coverage of same surprised any sentient being, domestic or foreign, friend or foe. These are the maroons who whinge about the consequences of terrorists finding out what they already knew, who in the next breath denounce the idea of rapprochement with a regime that tortures its political opponents. Oh, the humanity!

If irony and hypocrisy were Ebola, this country would be bleeding profusely from every single orifice. Our currency is now a hopeless mix of manufactured outrage and handwringing inaction, as if the perfidy of a few protesters posed a greater threat to the republic than, say, criminal financiers robbing you blind every goddamned day, the ongoing transformation of the economy into a series of rentier rackets, the impending commodification (and thus bankruptcy and peonage, due to the massive labor surplus it will cause) of the American workforce.

Everyone knows the old saw about politics basically being two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. There is a great deal of truth to that, especially the higher you go in policy-making levels. A corollary to this premise is that "success" is largely contingent on the wolves' ability to gull the sheep into at least going long with the game. It's worked well for a couple hundred years so far.

What's changed in the last thirty years or so is how eagerly the sheep actively support the wolves now, if for no other reason than to not be identified as a fuckin' sheep. They bleat incessantly about the virtue of dying on their feet rather than living on their knees, which is admirable enough. Yet they can't wait to put the kneepads on at every opportunity; hell, they'll do it without asking at this point. Jamie Dimon could fuck their wives and rifle their underwear drawers right in front of them, they'd still man the Facebook barricades to post another stupid meme about how the asshole cop who blew away a twelve-year-old in a playground had no choice.

This is the sort of shit that makes me want to sell everything, like tomorrow, fucking high-tail it to Costa Rica, spend the rest of my life teaching tourist milfs how to surf and play guitar. I may yet do it; there is less and less reason not to. When the alternative is slaving away to pay down college debt, for the privilege of listening to seething mouthbreathers dog-whistle to each other, maybe it's time.

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