The news coming out of Ferguson, MO caused me to experience the equivalent of a bad acid flashback without the initial fun of tripping on LSD. I went back in time to 1999. I was in Grad School at UCLA getting vastly over-credentialed for the job market and educated far beyond my limited frontiers of cognitive ability. There was this scurvy pack of guys I hung with some weekends and we were at another person’s house. This guy was somewhat of a Che Guevara wannabee who was never going to hit it big in Hollywood. He did, however, have a fascinating collection of 8mm films that he liked to set up and roll after we’d turned a few brewskis into dead soldiers.*
The night the Rodney King Rioters stormed up La Brea Avenue was the night he felt that he was going to finally get stuff on film that would make a difference. Being the crazy jack-leg that he was, he had gone up to Griffith Park and was filming as the rioters climbed the seemingly endless incline on La Brea Avenue towards where La Brea crossed Hollywood Boulevard and then dead-ended at Highland. These were like the silent films I used to get shown in History Class in the 5th Grade. In retrospect; it’s too bad he lacked footage of what happened when the rioters went up similar hills on Vermont, Western and Normandie towards Pico and Olympic.**
Ferguson, MO is not even close to getting that far out of hand. The Reverend Jesse Jackson feels safe to rabble-rouse towards the end of extorting more government money and Governor Jay Nixon is closely monitoring the situation rather than hiding from his most loyal voting bloc in a nearby bomb shelter. Here’s what Governor Jay had to say.
The worsening situation in Ferguson is deeply troubling, and does not represent who we are as Missourians or as Americans. While we all respect the solemn responsibility of our law enforcement officers to protect the public, we must also safeguard the rights of Missourians to peaceably assemble and the rights of the press to report on matters of public concern. I have been closely monitoring the situation and will continue to be in communication with local leaders, and I will be in north St. Louis County tomorrow. As Governor, I am committed to ensuring the pain of last weekend’s tragedy does not continue to be compounded by this ongoing crisis. Once again, I ask that members of the community demonstrate patience and calm while the investigation continues, and I urge law enforcement agencies to keep the peace and respect the rights of residents and the press during this difficult time.
Now I suppose I could actually parse that garbage and try to figure out whether Gov. Nixon’s spin-lackeys actually advised him to say anything, but I won’t bother. I won’t bother, because most of the people in Ferguson, MO won’t bother. They know the man is saying nothing. Residents in Ferguson, MO aren’t sure how or why, but they do know that they are screwed. They know Jay Nixon, Claire McCaskill and President “I’ve golfed more this year than Tiger Woods” Obama could all care less whether they take a dirt nap. They know that rioters and looters will continue to take advantage of the police shooting of Michael Brown. Furthermore, the police who march down the street to quell these riots will be using tear gas, MRAP vehicles and many other military surplus items. On top of this, their political leadership will accuse them of irresponsible craziness if they want to carry a loaded weapon to defend themselves from this onslaught of anarchy followed by fascist authoritarianism.
The people of Ferguson, MO also know many other things. They know that once the shooting is over, the “concerned” journalists have gotten themselves arrested in !PRIMETIME!, the Democratic Party has fundraised off it, and corrupt police officers have been found not guilty, things will go back to a completely unacceptable normal. It will be an unacceptable normal where they can’t walk to the corner grocery store without the risk of having someone play “Knockout King” and putting them in hospital. They will go back to a normal where a resident in St. Louis, MO is four times more likely to suffer from violent crime than the average citizen of Missouri. They will send their wonderful children back to a school system that rates 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 according to GreatSchools.org. If nothing changes, once Andrea Mitchell has finished doing everything in her power to make the carnage worse, things will return to a hopeless normal that offers a future devoid of any hope whatsoever – if the people of Ferguson, MO are docile enough to just settle for the same old crap.
Instead, they need to have that elusive Libertarian Moment™ that political bloggers see in the distance every so often the way crank naturalists report sightings of bigfoot. They need to have a Libertarian Moment where they demand a voucher system to get their kids out of those God-awful Public Schools. They need to have a Libertarian Moment where they fire the Police Chief and all his merry men and replace the military occupation force they have now with a police force made up of local men and women who get out on the streets and walk old-fashioned beats. They need to have a Libertarian Moment where they get rid of gun control laws that prevent them from arming themselves against the predators that are taking advantage of social unrest to loot their stores and businesses. The citizens of Ferguson, MO need to have a Libertarian Moment where they cashier every municipal bureaucrat and shut down every government department that takes more in money and aggravation than it creates in wellbeing for the people who live there. They need to have a Libertarian Moment where they grab their dysfunctional municipal government by the shirt collar and yell !LIBERTY! like an insane pack of Ron Paulistinians.
If the people of Ferguson, MO can do that, then the tragic death of Michael Brown can be avenged in the most condign fashion possible. If the people of Ferguson, MO can do that, they can reclaim their declining city as a decent and safe place to live, work and raise children. If the people of Ferguson, MO could do that, they might even learn what is like to live in the America our founders intended. Wouldn’t it be a blessing if the rest of us stood up to authority and reclaimed that noble land for ourselves as well?
*-Not THAT kind of 8mm film!
**- The Hunting wasn't as good in Korea Town.