Monday, 6 January 2014

The Continuing Saga Of Officer Friendly

posted on 1/6/2014 by the Salt City Sinner, with significant contributions from Ørn Hansen

Hey there ho there, citizen, do you have anything to fear but fear itself?

NO? Think harder before you answer. Fear is an industry these days, and to refuse to buy any at all is to raise a skinny fist against Industry itself! Aren't you afraid of terrorists? Aren't you afraid of kids these days, what with their droogs and their moloko vellocet and their anti-sex leagues and their Jesus camps?

One thing that you are surely concerned about is the rogue weirdo, the guy who *isn't quite right*, you know, the guy, THAT guy, the you-think possibly one-day armed maybe office shooter?

Well you can look Officer Friendly in the face(plate) and ask “am I safe?” and he will grip his riot gear tighter to himself and answer “No.”

Then he'll squint at you and growl "wait, you aren't 'safe,' are you?!" and kneel on your throat until he can zip-tie you until submission.

(c) (lol, no)

My friend Ørn Hansen has an anecdote to share:

Today I went to an "active shooter" training for work, where we learned about how to avoid dying by the hands of a mass shooter at the university. It was presented by a cop, of course.  
At the end of the presentation I asked him: 
"I'm wondering how to process all of this information as an actual need for survival, and I'm wondering how prepared an hour training will actually make us in these situations. The video we watched even admitted that we are more likely to get struck by lightning than be involved in a mass shooting and even less likely to be a victim of a mass shooter, but we're not going to have a lightning strike training, even though it'd be statistically more relevant. 
"In fact, we're more likely to be shot and killed by you, 8x more likely in fact [ * ], than any mass shooter or any so-called terrorist. So, do these trainings actually work or provide any vital information, or do they just inspire us to be paranoid and walk around fearful of one another, or snitch out people whose behavior doesn't conform to our preconceived notions of what people in civil society act like, but who most likely don't mean anybody any harm?" 
He was not stoked to be asked that [ ** ], or to be outed as a more likely source of violence. That much was clear. He stammered through a response that basically said, "oh, but I'm here to protect you all and so I'd never shoot you blah blah blah." And then called for another question. Then he left pretty quickly after the training. #acab #ftp
Police violence is not something that most of us hear presentations about in school or at work (after all, who would offer them? communists? ANARCHISTS?!).

I would never urge you to fear Officer Friendly simply upon sight (social conditioning has already done half of that job for him), nor would I urge you to turn a blind eye to scary behavior by someone you know, at work or at home.

Violence and how to respond to it is something we all should learn about in a balanced way, and that balance has to include a discussion of police violence in its various forms. One little brush with the law – say, legally smoking wacky tobacky in Colorado weeks before even driving through Utah – and your freedom of movement and communication, your physical well being, and, yes, your precious property, can and will be taken from you, if you play your cards wrong.

And gods forbid you do something even more dangerous -- like be mentally ill and fail to comply with orders barked at you by a frightening stranger. Or peacefully #Occupy a park.

actual image from #OccupyOakland

As the Firesign Theater said,
JOE: Ask the cop on the corner...
DC: Ask the cop in the grocery store...
JOE: Ask the cop in the woodpile...
DC: Ask the cop on the rooftop...
JOE: Ask that cop that's knockin' at your back door...
SOUND: Knocking.
DC: Ask him!
BABE: Mr. Policeman? What makes America great? 

*: This remarkable “8 times more likely” statistic is supported by sources on both the right and the left. Indeed, the overmilitirization and aggression of American police is one of those rare issues – like NSA spying – where virtually every American really does agree, if not on a solution than at least that something is very, very wrong.

**: I know this sounds like one of those legendary "TRUE [IDEOLOGY] STANDS UP TO AN AUTHORITY FIGURE" chain emails, but this is straight from Ørn, and, knowing him as I do, he probably did try to metaphorically kick a 2 x 4 up the cop's ass -- and succeed! He is quite handsome and articulate.

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