A friend of my wife’s works just down the road – maybe three miles from her house. She owns an old car – the Morris Minor I once wrote about working on, for those who recall. The car is 44 years old; has “Antique Vehicle” plates. She likes to drive this car the three or so miles to her work, both for the fun of it and also to keep the car in good running order – as per my advice to her about not leaving it to just sit for weeks/months on end. Regular use means the gas doesn’t go bad and the carb doesn’t get gunked up. Oil flows – all that good stuff.
But, to get to back my story . . .
This friend tells my wife that a local cop has cruised the parking lot of her place of employment, noted the “Antique Vehicle” tags – and actually went in to the place to issue a “friendly warning” (that is, a not-so-thinly-veiled threat) to the supervisor of my wife’s friend that it is a “ticketable offense” to drive a vehicle with “Antique” tags to work.
Which is true – there is a “law” to that effect. But it takes a real Inspector Javert type to worry about it.
Much less to take action.
I’m actually surprised this cop didn’t simply park his taxpayer-extorted free (for him) squad car, engine idling using gas he didn’t pay for, and wait as long as it took for the “law breaker” to emerge, in order to confiscate some more of other-people’s money.
The truly sick thing is this cop thinks he was being “nice” because all he did – this time – was issue a threat. Like the cop who “gives you a break” by reducing the number on the “speeding” ticket he just gave you. It’s like they expect us to be grateful for only kicking us in the balls once.
Or not too hard.
Think about it – and get mad.
Here’s a guy cruising parking lots looking for an excuse – a legal technicality – to screw with people who’ve done nothing to anyone. Meanwhile, there is no lack of people who’ve done horrible things to others – you know, actual criminals – loose among us. Yet this guy – like so many of his ilk – has time to fuck with middle-aged hausfraus who’ve committed the dastardly offense of driving their old car to work. (Where they work to earn the money which will be heavily taxed in order to pay for the costumes, armament and so on enjoyed by “heroes” such as the one I’m describing.)
Worse, it does not not occur to this guy that he is fucking with her. From his perspective, he is merely “enforcing the law” – which he in his ethical nihilism equates with “right.”
He does not see himself as a bad guy. Because the law is good. All laws are good. Ipso facto, then, law enforcement is good.
Yet is there anything worse – anything more despicable – than shrugging off responsibility for your actions by claiming “it’s the law” – or put another way, to point guns at people or threaten them with violence for no more reason than you were told to enforce the law – any law, every law - by some higher-up authority?
In other words – just because?
Isn’t that the excuse tendered by Adolf Eichmann? Anyone remember him? I doubt this cop does.
A kind of arrested development is a necessary prerequisite for the widespread implementation of authoritarianism. Government schools are essential. Rote memorization and recitation. Never any connecting of the dots. That A logically follows B.
Instead, inculcation from earliest childhood onward of deference to authority – because it is authority. To never question authority. To extrapolate, writ large, the parental response to the inquisitive why expressed by a child: Because I say so.
So that this cop can cruise a parking lot – and not feel bad about going out of his way to bare the fangs of state power at a harmless woman who drove her old car three miles to work. To threaten her with violence – lets dispense with all the sickly euphemisms and happy talk – because he espied her “Antique Vehicle” plates.
A normally developed adult human mind would shrink back from such an assault. Would feel disgusted with himself for having anything to do with it in the first place. Would never voluntarily (and knowingly) undertake such work – or would walk away from it, once the true nature of it dawned on him.
That is the thing to take away from this incident. We are dealing with two-legged Dobermans, their heads bred to be so narrow and small as to squeeze their brains – or whose brains have been scrambled via other means. They are point and click. Stimulus – and response.
They don’t care that you’ve harmed no one. And they absolutely don’t care that they are harming you (or threatening to, if you fail to Submit and Obey).
Their totem – their Master’s Voice – is “the law.”
And it is all that matters.
Throw it in the Woods?
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