Saturday, July 16, 2005

BUBBLEGUM CRISIS

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There is this Japanese anime called "The Bubblegum Crisis" which depicts a world of robocop only these are used stupidly. Just the other day, in California, the police shot a deranged man holding his own child hostage, 90 times. I would call that rather excessive except this is what we are doing in Iraq to people who drive past our soldiers when they patrol.

The 9/11 attitude of shoot first and ask no questions is permeating our society. An excessive use of force like I detailed here such as the poor woman who was tasered twice because she panicked and wanted to talk to her husband on the phone when the police pulled her over (they claimed this was more humane than shooting her dead!) or the little kindergarden child who was arrested for acting like a child. When we put all our money, energy and love into police, they end up being used for anything and everything and especially, to use violence or heavy handed force out of proportion to the problem they are trying to solve.

The militarization of the police has been ongoing since the Vietnam war and is now totally out of control.

This latest episode, my son spotted and told me to write about it. From the BBC:
An 11-year-old girl who threw a rock at a group of boys pelting her with water balloons is being prosecuted on serious assault charges in California.
Maribel Cuevas was arrested in April in a police operation which involved three police cars and a helicopter.

She has since spent five days in detention, in which she was granted one 30 minute visit by her parents, and has spent a month under house arrest.

Her lawyer accuses the authorities of criminalising childhood behaviour.

"They're treating her like a violent parole offender," Richard Beshwate said. "It's not a felony, it's an 11-year-old acting like an 11-year-old."

The girl is due back in court at the beginning of next month.

Police say they had to investigate as the boy who was hit by the stone she threw suffered a deep gash to his head and needed hospital treatment.

He has reportedly acknowledged to officers that he started the fight in late April.
Several things about this story: First, any boy that loses a fight with a girl and then lets the cops arrest her is...well, we know what sort of adult they become. Second. the boys admit they attacked the girl who was minding her own business. Third, they were a gang and I am assuming, white. She is minority. Fourth, a helicopter and three police cars? And they didn't arrest the assailants? Fifthly, a girl walking alone who is assaulted by strange boys in a gang has a right to self defence and this includes using rocks and sticks and whatever to drive them off.

Period.

In my mispent youth in Arizona, we had "Desert Wars" which were fought over the no-man's land between the golf course and my parent's home grounds. This battle raged for years. We used all sorts of weapons and developed tactics though the trench digging got us in hot water when a boy broke his arm falling into one, but he never ratted on us. This was universally understood that we kids kept our secret wars secret.

One day when I was in the fifth grade, a boy decided to ambush one of us and used a slingshot to fling a piece of teddybear cacti which was long, venomous spines, at us. It slammed into my foot right through the leather shoe! I fell, screaming for this ran right into my young bones. I was hospitalized. None of us told the adults who did it. We kept that a grand secrect.

But I was told! I made certain it was really Timmy and then, while still limping, I nailed him with a rock and knocked him out. Again, he didn't rat on me nor did anyone turn us in.

All's fair in love and war.

Many years later, I went into Poco Loco, a notorious biker bar, to find someone. This tall, blonde tatooed guy was there. I told the bartender to tell Red Fromme that I was looking for him. When I said my name, the biker turned and yelled, "Goddam! Elaine! Haven't seen ya since sixth grade!" He then bellowed, "I hit her with a cactus and she knocked me out with a rock! She made me what I am today!" refering to our battles back then.

I was stunned. I had other commitments but would have reconsidered hitting Tim with a big rock if I knew he was going to stop being a pesky skinny buck toothed kid and turn out a hunk. Oh well.

But back to the news, the whole thing is, we kids would rather die with a rattler in our beds than have parents or cops or anyone interfer with our stuff we did when not under supervision. Indeed, when my son moved up to our mountain, he had to carve out his place the same way. There was a certain amount of violence involved including his famous taco tackle in the school lunchroom when he used a taco as a weapon of mass destruction. Ask him sometime about that. Heh.

The only time police needed to come was when someone reached for a gun. This was a sign of a coward. This is dangerous. But rocks in self defence?

I have used worse, much worse, and with great effect. And I did it always in self defence.

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