Wednesday, April 24, 2013
To Protect And Serve
You all know how much I love Falguni Sheth; she's really the perfect Salon contributor, seemingly engineered in a lab somewhere in the darkest recesses of Glenn Greenwald's Brazilian compound. Over the weekend she published a piece both at Salon and at some blog called "Translation Exercises" about how the "surveillance state" boogeyman that terrifies the shit out of professional liberals didn't work in preventing the Boston Marathon bombings. It was one of those rare occasions where even the basic premise of a column had me shaking my head because I couldn't quite fathom how the need to make hay out of a pet issue could so blatantly override basic logic and reason, that being: No, the various cameras and social networking tools that occasionally seem to indeed put us on the wrong side of the glass in Bentham's panopticon didn't prevent the bombing in Boston, but it damn sure helped lead to the very swift killing and capture of the guys who did it. But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of the political point you need to score.
In addition to the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the scary surveillance state, there were of course the requisite complaints leveled at the press and the general populace, who, in the opinion of Sheth, allowed themselves to be herded like sheep by the commands of the police and the feds. See, in the world of pissy far-left liberals, the dreaded "state" isn't made up of actual people and is therefore always to be eyed with suspicion; when the police instruct you to do something during a crisis situation in the name of trying to keep your ass out of the line of fire, you should immediately stand your ground and shout, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me, man!" Of course nobody's saying that you should blindly follow every order you're given for as long as you've given them, but it's stupid as hell to assume that everything the police tell you is part of their secret cabal aimed at keeping you imprisoned in your home indefinitely so that the state can institute martial law. That's Alex Jones territory, proof that the political spectrum isn't a line but a circle and the far ends of the left and right most certainly meet.
Anyway, all of that brings me to the picture above. It's of a Boston police officer named John Bradley taking milk to a family during the citywide "shelter in place" request last Friday. I'm not saying that every cop is a doll, but by the same token, not every cop is some dangerous thug -- in fact, the vast majority of them really are fine men and women committed to public service. They don't issue requests or commands just for the hell of it, particularly not in crisis situations; they're actually interested in keeping you safe. There's no shame in not being a contrarian asshole and just listening to what the cops and feds have to say instead of proudly boasting about how you're not one of the "sheeple" and will do whatever you want because you don't trust the man. In other words, there's no shame in not being an asshole like Falguni Sheth -- far from it.