Fright Night

Dear J-

After today: is this even worth discussing? After today, what happens? What do I do next? There’s a fair amount of work doing the things I do … best? There’s a presentation. There’s some fun things, creatively, in knowing the audience is lawyers and you want them to gasp when they see some of the charts for the first time. I suppose there are many in that audience who would fancy themselves excellent poker players, full of nonplused faces and cool under pressure, but even the best are human and I’d wager (ha! like I wager) there’s something dramatic to be unveiled so they should enjoy that particular brand of fun too, right?

I dunno what I’m saying. I’m reading a novel — The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks which is probably a fine enough novel on its own (the omniscient narrator, in a nod to the concept of the panopticon, keeps dropping tantalizing hints about future plot points) but right now my eyes are riveted to Ferguson, Missouri and what’s happening in the streets along with the words being used to marginalize the protests (it’s not a demonstration, it’s a riot complete with looting (folks breaking in to McDonald’s to get milk to flush their eyes) and violence). It doesn’t help Frankie‘s cause that I just finished Saving Lucas Biggs, which speaks eloquently of nonviolent protest and the sacrifices involved.

What’s happening every night in Ferguson is uncontrollable grief born of love and loss, enflamed by the idiots in power who thought it would be a good idea to muddy the water through victim blaming. I understand the need to close ranks around your fellow officers, but when you look at what you’ve wrought then it’s clear your policies will no longer be tolerated. The latest vibe is how the violence is being incited by a few bad characters who are attracted by the violence and lawlessness, but I can’t help but wonder what you expect after knocking people down with rubber bullets and tear gas every night, decades after watching folks being knocked back with water cannons and dogs. I watch history being replayed — dark moments from fifty years ago — and I can’t help but wonder at the chasm between words and deeds.


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