I’ve been in a blue funk lately. Reading the news is so god damned depressing I just want to drill holes in my head and become one of those loopy bastards who believes he’s gonna live forever. Here are some highlights from my week.
- Running club uses biodegradable and easily testable non-toxic and nonmarring substance to mark route.
- Box shop employee calls police.
- Total cluster fucking insanity.
- Running club route marker comes back to explain what the substance is.
- Running club route marker is charged with Felony Disturbance of the Peace.
It’s pretty easy to write this off as in the same category as the Boston Police Mooninite Ultra Flat Bomb Scare of 07, since it has the same pattern. Idiots squawk, other idiots overreact, in the interest of looking less idiotic, charge an innocent person with a very vague crime. If this had happened in 1997, the worst that would have happened is that a hazardous materials team would have come out and tested it. They would have classified it as “non-noxious” and that would be that. But we’re living in a post-911 world, where we can’t tell the difference between a pile of wheat flour in the shape of an arrow and TERRIBLE TERRORIST DANGER. The fact that one of the people charged with this is not a citizen probably means they’ll end up on some terrorist watch list for the rest of their natural lives. This goes into the same category as the guy who got convicted of checking his email, or the “wiretapper” who had the unmitigated gall to record his buddy’s traffic stop.
Man dies. I love stories like this, because they show a lack of respect for language and for the idea of an unbiased media. Man dies after pulling gun on deputy. I wonder how he died. It’s a little trick to make you think maybe it’s not because a cop shot him. I don’t care that he likely deserved what he got, the headline shouldn’t be deceptive. This is like a headline that says “Bicyclist dies after assaulting car tire” or “House burns after gasoline application”. This headline should have read something more sane like “Motorist shot in altercation with police”. It still avoids laying the blame at the foot of the officers, but doesn’t give the vague impression that he was getting on in years and just kind of keeled over.
After reading these sorts of stories and these sorts of headlines day in and day out, coupled with things like the ever popular “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal”; The stories of regulation gone insane that greet everyone who wants to open a restaurant or bar; Perusing the too little and far too late media realization that the Virginia Tech killer wasn’t a video game controlled murder zombii… I had a thought.
When people compare the United States to Rome, they always talk about hedonistic excess. The ever growing SUVs or the $3000 brownies or the botox ass lifts. Two million dollar houses with private jets and chanel number five in the toilets. But I think what they’re missing is the spirit of convoluted bureaucracy and random enforcement, turned in on itself until government itself is unable to effectively defend it’s populace, identify it’s enemies, and enforce it’s laws. What we are seeing with these extreme convictions is that our laws are not just, and our enforcement is not uniform. I think that the growing trepidation and lack of faith in the good intent and efficacy of our government is a far greater measure of how far we have fallen than some douchebag eating gold foil wrapped chocolate cake.