Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travel Advisory Issued For St. Louis

For the last 2 weeks I've been using St. Louis as an example of the worst place I've ever lived. I was afraid to leave the house and I didn't even leave the yard and was robbed once. The house was broken into twice and the neighbor was beaten and left for dead by her boyfriend. I literally got attacked by a fucking dog on my way to drop some mail in the box. I fucking hate St. Louis. My van was vandalized and when I moved it I was confronted and told to leave the neighborhood. Someone left a note saying my van was an "eyesore" which is true, but coming from someone who lives in The Lou it was a real insult. Speaking of eyes, I have a bacterial infection in my eye and the closest free clinic was near Ferguson so I rode my 1974 Vespa Ciao moped from Carondolet to some town near Ferguson where I established that St. Louis was trying to set some kind of record for god awful health clinics. The nurse, or pseudo doctor looked at me like I was trying to buy crack cocaine when I told her all the skin on my eyes is falling off and maybe some Polymixin ointment would help.
Obviously, I left with no medicine or prescription, feeling like an asshole, and rode home through streets that could only be described as modern ghetto, filled with empty brick buildings and graffiti. I was the only white person in sight so pedestrians stared at me in my bellbottom pimp pants and moped for more reasons than one.

True, Louisiana is the place that I will never fit into and have anxiety attacks thinking about my time there, but St. Louis, with live music, a historic river and some evidence of culture that should make it charming also has the worst collective health habits, the bleakest economy, the most prevalent crime rate, a profound lack of education and opportunities and a police state attitude exacerbated by high drop out rate and a racially indifferent crystal meth production crisis. And deadly tornados. It's the worst place I've ever even heard about because while you may point to places like Gaza or Tehran or even 1942 Poland and I will agree there were spikes of aberration and plain insanity, I defy you to find a place with more entrenched problems than St. Louis.

Everything I know about St. Louis makes the news that the police murdered a black teenager in cold blood no surprise. The kid was trying to defend his own life and lost the battle against a total jarhead cop. The cop is not an aberration, and that's the problem. They instigate. They are bullies with badges in a neo-apartheid environment. The cops in St. Louis are encouraged to have complete disregard for black lives, by design. They start fights they can't lose because if pedestrian fights back then they shoot him dead. St. Louis is actually a place I consider too fucked up to be an accident. It takes work to make a place that dysfunctional. Looking at this as an isolated incident will only put you in the company of redneck internet cowboys with the foresight of a blind horse jockey. Like Bob Marley said, "When the rain fall, It don't fall on one man's housetop."

When a cop approaches you with a puffed out chest like he's going to kill you for being black, and then he goes for his gun like he's really going to shoot you down dead in the street no matter what you do, then what the fuck is a kid going to do but try to get the gun first? It's like a cop choking a guy or beating him with nightclubs...if he tries to defend himself then he's "resisting arrest"...and if he accepts blow after blow like a stoic Buddhist monk then he's going to die. There is a saying that the police are supposed to be professional peace keepers and citizens do not have to be professional suspects. I imagine a big sign in the St. Louis police office locker room: "IF A SUSPECT JERKS AWKWARDLY WHEN YOU PUNCH HIS MOUTH THEN THAT IS RESISTING ARREST SO YOU CAN JUSTIFIABLY SHOOT HIM."

Respect is earned by more than a badge and fancy vehicle and cops need to learn that. If you stop a stranger then accept you are nothing until you earn respect. Understand that compliance is not the same as respect. The cop profession is discredited by a collective shitty attitude. I never called the cops when I was in St. Louis because that's like begging to be drug tested and arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. In fact, most people I know openly distrust cops. Don't call 911, it only encourages the assholes. You've got neighbors who probably have guns so knock on a door instead. We're going to reach that point eventually so we might as well start now.

There's a saying, "If you don't like the police then next time you need help call a crack addict." Hahahaha. Pretty funny. I say, don't call either of them. Call me. I'll sort out the problem and the cops and crack addicts don't need to know shit. The money-based justice system is so fucking flawed it's a joke. If you want justice follow your instincts. Like the biker said in Raising Arizona: "You want to find an outlaw, hire an outlaw. You want to find a Dunkin' Donuts, call a cop."

Respect is earned, is the lesson. It's really bullshit that a kid can't stand up for himself when a cop loses his shit, tries to run him over and then goes for his gun. I've had cops randomly slam me against the van and I can't defend myself because I got a bad back and I know I can't win without help. It's the price I pay for blowing in the wind in a tone deaf nation. I had a woman cop get up in my shit because I was singing gospel songs alone in a park. I found out the hard way that she was stronger than me. She knew Aikido or Ninjitsu or something because I was on my ass before I could say "A Closer Walk With Thee". That was in a city named after Jesus Christ...and I was singing gospel songs. True story. hahaha. Same city that kicked me out of the welcome center parking lot...ON JULY 4th! Independence Day. HAHAHAHA. Treated me exactly like dog shit on a shoe. I don't have to slander the cops, they put shit on their face with no help needed. A mom called the cops cause her mentally ill kid was acting wacky. The cops shot the kid dead. That's a meathead mentality. Don't tell me your job is hard if you show up to a call and open fire on a defenseless mental retard! The fucking Italian Mafia is more tactful than that.

Mostly I take my shirt off when I know a cop is going to interrogate or search me because it slightly defuses their belief I'm carrying a hidden Samurai sword. I'm a professional suspect because when they ask me for my ID before I move I say clearly, "My wallet is in my left front pocket. I'm going to reach for it with my left hand. Is that ok?" Otherwise I get shot in the chest reaching for the wallet they just asked me to reach for. If a cop is genuinely human and knocks politely on my van door then I say hello, I invite him in, I give him a tour like I would give to anyone and answer his questions like I always do. "Yes, officer, the country is fundamentally unjust and I don't feel like working to climb to the top of a shit heap. Would you like some coffee?" If I hear a tone of disrespect in his voice then there's usually trouble that has me with my arm in a painful angle. But I've never had a cop cross the line with me where I think it's life or death. I've dealt with lots of bullies in my day and they all have short attention spans. I wait it out and I've been lucky so far. In the end I know I'll sink their ship.

That said, I must echo the depressing advice from Constitutional fundamentalists: when a cop approaches you for any reason, say nothing except, "Am I being arrested?"
The cop will ask for an ID because it's the minimum a cop can do. You will be tempted to ask, "What for?" and that is considered disobeying an officer. Disobeying is an offense they can arrest you for, so you see how quickly the situation escalated. Don't ask, "What for?" Give them your ID and pray you've been a good boy in the recent past. Ask again, "Am I being arrested? Am I being detained?" They will make up some reason to detain you while they confirm your identity...so you can wait it out while repeatedly asking if you are being detained. If they ask you what your name is tell them it's on the ID that you just gave them and do they need you to read it to them. If they ask you what you are doing sitting alone in a public park at noon playing guitar ask them if you are being arrested. Another way to respond is, "My first name is I Want and my last name is A Lawyer." Never argue with a cop or proposition a cop. If he's dirty then he will hint that there's a way to make this all go away. Take it from there. You can't win an argument with a pre-programmed idiot so don't bother. It's no different than being picked on in 7th grade, the bully singled you out for no reason and he's got unlimited backup and resources, there is no justice...you are a nameless victim in the decay/refinement of America. Live with it for now. Lots of people are in jail for failing to follow these rules and because isolated resistance is disorganized and ineffective, although morally justified, I can't agree with it. I was being searched illegally by two cops once on Venice Beach and while he reached in my pockets I was asked, "Do you have any needles that are going to stick me?" I foolishly said, "That's for me to know and you to find out." and his partner punched my liver...and he could've shot me, planted some drugs, and gotten a gold star. It happens every day. I got lucky. Life in the van has given me lots of experience with the cops. I admit I'm an undesirable transient and the cops are suspicious...so they put some heat on me as part of a preemptive strategy. For that reason I hold no malice toward the ones that do their job without malice. As long as they don't try to get a hard on bullying me I'm an obedient puppy dog.

This Ferguson cop fucked up, he lost his temper and executed someone who wouldn't be bullied, and he is a murderer in my mind. Defending his actions and protecting him makes the whole city accomplices to murder. I'm not the only one who thinks this although Obama clearly failed his final test of loyalty to the common man. I don't believe in killing cops even though they execute innocent people and then treat protesters and homeless like the scum of the earth. Call me an asshole pacifist. I also think that, like Buddhist Monks who kill with machetes, this guy isn't a "cop" anymore; he's a goon in a blue uniform with one confirmed execution under his belt. So how can a man defend himself against a rogue cop who has a twisted 007 mentality*?  He gets organized...or he moves to Mexico, whichever is easier. I say this cop crossed the line and can think about it for 20 years in the Missouri State Penn. This is fantasy of course because California set a precedent when Oscar Grant was executed by a low life BART cop who served less time in jail (11 months) than it took to prosecute him (18 months). BART paid the going rate for killing a father: $2 million. Maybe Grant's daughter can buy a new father. Furthermore, a conventional approach to justice pretends conventional justice system is legitimate...which it isn't. So, I don't see an immediate solution.

Citizens need to regain control of the police and there will be bloodshed because the cops are out of control like teenagers on spring break. Yes, I believe the army should be involved in the total disarmament of the St. Louis police force. Fuckwad bullies should not have guns issued to them. While you are at it go ahead and disarm the police force in Los Angeles, Houston, Corpus Christi, Denver and Miami because at best those police forces are worthless and at worst they are homicidal. A guy with orange hair and armored jacket shoots up a movie theater and then waits by his car. Do we really need a police force to deal with that situation? What the fuck good is the 2nd amendment if a citizen can't execute the guy with the orange hair standing next to his vehicle full of ammo and guns? The whole state of Missouri is poisoned by crystal meth and they bust out the armored vehicles and tear gas to suppress a protest after a cop murders a teenager? Really?  If the police response to crystal meth production was as violent and menacing as it was to a protest over an unjustified street execution there would be no more crystal meth. But that's just crazy talk, right? Disarm these pathetic bullies NOW! I'll take my chances with no police force.

Here's a nice clip of 6 minutes in The Lou. Those pretty brick buildings bring back fond memories of applying a tourniquet to my arm after that fucking dog attacked me. Pay attention to the classic meathead cops action: Roll up, get out of squad car, kill a black guy...collect your check. Also note how expertly the cops set up a crime scene after they execute the man. Maybe if they spent some time on crisis resolution rather than how to unroll caution tape this all could've been avoided.


Keep in mind that the police chief said "the officers did not have their guns drawn when they exited the vehicle." I guess he doesn't have eyes because they had their guns drawn as soon as they stepped on the ground. It's clearly in the video that the officers were trigger happy and the Chief lied without hesitation to protect two executioners. It really upsets me that anyone could consider this something other than execution. The main argument in favor of the cops is that "The guy presented a danger to the cops so they are justified in killing him."
That doesn't wash with me at all mainly because if a cop goes to work thinking, "Kill or be Killed" THEN HE SHOULD NOT GO TO WORK. That's the first thing. Go to Iraq. Join ISIS. But please don't be a fucking law enforcement officer. I'm afraid for humanity if this is not clear. The second problem is DON'T GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND EXPOSE YOURSELF TO DANGER IF YOU ARE JUST GOING TO SHOOT SOMEONE. Christ! The black guy is not putting anyone at all in danger, no one is near him, he's not threatening anyone. By getting out of your car, stepping to one side of your door and aiming your pistols at the guy you are basically justifying the execution by saying you are going to "stand your ground". Which makes a policeman's job something similar to a hunter in a safari park. "Well, I drove 15 miles into the savannah, set out a bait of a dead hog, AND SUDDENLY A TIGER CHARGED AT ME. Well, I had to shoot it to save my life."
You are an asshole if that makes sense and these cops are cunts. They did not have to put themselves in a position where it was kill or be killed...so by doing such a thing they guaranteed an execution...which is no different than manslaughter. An even worse justification is, "The black dude should do what the cops tell him to do." My problem with that goes back to my lack of respect for cops. I respect people, not uniforms. When I finally lost any fear of cops was when I knew I had to get out of The United  Police States for my own safety. There was a time when I thought they deserved my obedience because, "I might get in trouble." Now I see that the trouble is much bigger than me and the cops are doing everything they can to ensure it never is corrected. Laws are written by and benefit the rich...so the police are basically private security to the elite. The cops are part of the problem, not a solution...the current law enforcement model will never be part of an equitable society. So it's really a question of pride. Are you the kind of person who would obey anyone in jackboots who has a gun, or do you think for yourself? Most people prefer to live like dogs, this guy in St. Louis died like a lion.

Need I remind everyone that this happened under Obama's watch so when I think back to 2008 and all the folks crying tears of joy that progress had been made in race relations I'm sick to my stomach. No doubt McCain and Palin wouldn't be doing shit either...so Obama is basically as fucked up and useless as a crippled Vietnam war vet and an Alaskan beauty queen. That's progress? Keep voting Democrat or Republican, go ahead. Like Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

So, save your breath if you want to ask if I've been kidnapped by Zeta cartels or extorted by La Familia. If you live in the United Police States then you have worse problems than Mexico has ever had. You have a teenage black kids channeled into poverty and crime who are taught that they are beneath respect and can be bullied and killed indiscriminately by police. Of course the mob is looting bacon and chicken; they are hungry. The police see themselves as heroes in a war on crime but it's a war that was manufactured by ignorance and apathy. And you watch the news and shrug because it's only another black kid getting killed and that attitude is something that I don't understand but I accept is a modern American tradition of inaction. I'm afraid that I may have to return briefly to St. Louis...and that's saying something since I'm going there from a place the Travel Department has determined too unsafe to visit. Their propaganda has worked well because until recently I was the only gringo in sight. No, the violence in America doesn't make Mexico safe by comparison, but I don't pretend that the land of police brutality is better than narco-extortion. That would be a fucking beautiful irony for me to travel from Mexico only to be shot dead in random violence in St. Louis. I'll be lucky a zombie from Florida doesn't eat my fucking face.

*Licensed to Kill
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.