A Not So Perfect Phone Call

My phone rang yesterday. Who was calling? A Man. As in THE MAN!

By the by, he had asked for me, by name. Uh-oh! His mission? Fundraising, on behalf of some police association, which I had never even heard of.

As part of his spiel, he made a point of emphasizing cops’ mounting concerns; specifically, how they oppose all legislation, which de-funds and demilitarizes their police departments. In the short time it took to ask if he could count on my donation, I felt it necessary to ask…

“Would you mind if we take a few moments for a philosophical discussion?”

My totally unanticipated question had EITHER unnerved him (upset his indoctrinated fund raising routine) OR struck a raw nerve within him. So much so that he asked me to re-ask my Q.

“Would you mind if we take a few moments for a philosophical discussion?”

Upon his warily allowing that, I offered up this follow up…

“Would it not be better for the police to devote their time to the policing, while relying on the social workers…”

He immediately, and rather curtly, cut me off and then opted to cut and run.

The very fact that Mr. Fundraiser was expecting everyone to support cops, unconditionally, to say the least, was (still is) excessively presumptuous; especially against today’s backdrop of worldwide racial / social unrest.

Had he allowed me to continue, I’d have mentioned how society needs police department social workers / psychologists, who gingerly “open” troubled minds, not cops who crack open skulls with clubs.

Alas, Mr. Show-Me-Da-Money’s mind was not open to my brand of business. And that certainly struck a raw nerve within me.

Look, don’t get me wrong. Some good cops, who favor brains over brawn, still do exist. Some may even harbor natural instincts, which make them fairly decent shrinks.

But, what of the bad cops; the bigots, who deem it their duty to go ape-shit crazy, each and every opportunity they get to tackle their work assignments; i.e., when they literally tackle suspects.

And God help said suspects when they’re not Christian Caucasians.

Typically, for a person of color, a phrase such as “they all lived happily ever after” is not how their story ends. Tragically, the suspect is running away only out of his justifiable fear that the racist cop, in hot pursuit, fully intends to gun him down; all the way down; as in six feet down. More often than not, he’ll realize his fears had been well founded; as he gasps his final breath.

Society must fully accept and implement the changes Black Lives Matter adherents are demanding; i.e., the end of police brutality and profiling. Doing so would concurrently halt the trampling of 1st Amendment protections (e.g. freedom of speech / freedom to protest).

And looking further down the road, America does not need and must never respect storm trooper cops who’d [1] snappily salute and bleat out “Yes Sir” to Fascist Donald J. Trump and [2] mindlessly follow his marching orders to complete his overthrow of America.

Considering today’s sickening political climate, whether or not there can be a favorable resolution to all that ails us / the U.S. will depend on who will be seated behind the Oval Office desk at high noon on Inauguration Day 2021.

In the meantime, the people who did cough up their money to Mr. Fundraiser, today, could even wind up buying the tear gas, which protestors will wind up coughing up from their lungs, tomorrow.

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

Oxygen?

 

With each passing nanosecond, it is becoming tougher and tougher to bypass that 136kg / 300lb monument to ignorance and intolerance. On the road of life, he is the personification of a massive, badass orange pylon; the roadblock to the much needed and long overdue road to recovery from a multifaceted malaise…

• Be that disease that aforementioned corpulent Fascist’s choke-hold, which asphyxiates many a citizen’s freedom.

• Be that disease pre-American / American society’s reprehensible, four centuries long history of slavery; the systemic racism, which [1] drives the hangman’s noose wielding Klansmen to lynch people of color and [2] sparks police brutality, resulting in many a black man’s “I can’t breathe” pleas for mercy prior to his needless death.

• Be that disease COVID-19, which smothers economic stability / prosperity and chokes off oxygen from many a ventilator dependent human prior to her / his needless death.

• Be that disease the likely irreversible ecological devastation that will, eventually, render Earth’s atmosphere unbreathable; leave many a human gasping for what little breathable Oxygen may still remain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Far More than a Singing Lesson (Vid of the Day)

YouTube’s Anne Reburn and her “clones” cover I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony). An earlier version of this Bill Backer / Billy Davis / Roger Cook / Roger Greenaway composition had been the soundtrack to an über-successful TV advertising campaign, which, circa 1971, had added more “fizz” to Coca Cola’s™ profits.

Tapping into that advertising blitz’s popularity, recording artists, such as the Hillside Singers and the New Seekers, covered a lyrically reworked version, which dropped all product references. And, from that point forward, “Sing” became an international radio hit.

Interestingly enough, it was during that very bygone era when my younger self’s brand loyalty had “somehow” shifted from Pepsi™ to Coke™… where my allegiance has remained ever since. [Note to Self: On this summery mid-afternoon, be sure to pop open a can and enjoy.]

Yet, there was… still is… far more in play. We’re speaking of the heady, lyrical, upbeat appeal for equality / inclusiveness / world unity. Such principles certainly exemplify my ideals.

Beyond that, “Sing” suggests that Madison Avenue’s impact is not always measured in mere dollars and cents. Indeed, headstrong capitalism, when tempered with a healthy dosage of altruism, hath the power to sell far more than commodities.

Hmm… re the above… might it be time to take this reality check, multiple choice test?

a. Have I been reading too damned much between the lyrical lines?
b. Has pandemic necessitated social isolating rendered me stir-crazy?
c. Is Ms. Pollyanna seated upon some branch of my family tree?
d. None of the above?

Whatever the answer(s), rest assured, both Ms. Reburn and I are well aware of how it’ll take far more than a feel-good three-minute song to cure societal ills (btw, I hope you stuck around to check out her post performance soliloquy / reality check).

To briefly put a more distinct face on those ills… too damned many of our compatriots, worldwide, have been facing down the dual, deadly, “I can’t breathe” issues… one precipitated by the pitiless, out of control coronavirus… the other by the out of control, brutal cops’ chokeholds and asphyxiating tear gas.

And be one fighting for her/his life in an ICU, fighting for freedom in the streets, or too damned scared to even consider exiting our sequestration bunkers, we’ve all been feel powerless to do one damned thing about it… and could never expect autocratic leaders to ever channel their power constructively.

And that’s F’ing depressing! And that’s not healthy!

So, if listening to I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing can cheer us up… even in some small way… even for a fleeting moment… what’d be the harm in that?

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I can’t breathe!”

At issue is NOT that cops need retraining to halt the use of excessive force. Once they sink down to that level, they’re beyond redemption and of no use to society. Our middle finger “salutes” and bye-bye waves are in order.

On to the actual issues…

• How can law enforcer wannabes, with preexisting mental issues, ever get badges pinned to their chests in the first place?

• What the hell ever happened to the rigorous vetting process?

• How is it that good officers, who go bad later on… sometimes as repeat offenders… oft do so with impunity?

• How can cops ever expect to promote civilized behavior when they, themselves, act no better than brutal, club wielding cavemen?

• Is it not long, Long, LONG OVERDUE that we outlaw racially / ethnically profiling law enforcers?

On to the (alleged?) crime specifics…

• How can any decent, thinking person not conclude that cop Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder when the video clearly shows him pressing his knee to the throat of the not resisting arrest, unarmed George Floyd?

• Could not Chauvin (along with with not 1… not 2… but 3 brawny, back-up police officers), have all easily handcuffed his suspect and lodged him… alive and well… in the backseat of their paddy wagon?

• How could he willfully, heartlessly refuse to ease up while a human being was informing him, “I can’t breathe!”

• How could that aforementioned trio of unfeeling, stick-figure cops (Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng) allow a murder to go down before their very eyes?

On to the conclusions…

• Any display of needless, deadly force must become a one-strike-and-you’re-out (kicked off the police force) offense. Each duly accused, arrested officer should also have his day in court… a trial by jury, which reflects an honest cross-section of society’s demographics. And the convicted must do the time for their crime, within either a prison or mental institution.

• Fortunately, good cops still outnumber the bad. Our pandemic ravaged society is going to need honorable, dependable officers to simultaneously keep their heads and keep the peace in what are sure to be, the trying times ahead.

• And the last thing we need, under such grim global circumstances, are police incited riots.