Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Remembering Rodney King

What year did that Rodney King verdict come down? Ninety-two? I was living in the Western Addition of San Francisco in a great apartment right across the street from Section 8 housing and a large group of homies. My best friend was down from Girdwood, Alaska and I had my mother's Chrysler that could speak. No, really, it could talk. It would say "Your door is a jar." I didn't say it was smart, I said it could speak. I think my mother and her long-time companion were vacationing in Australia. Jim and I were on our way to San Jose, just about to get on interstate highway 280 having entered the freeway at Glen Park in San Francisco, when two motorcycle cops passed on either side of us and immediately in front of us, began weaving back and forth, causing us to stop which, of course, was their intention. At that entrace, there are two lanes entering and adjoining 3 others, making it 5 lanes of traffic at once just below an overpass. Those two motorcycle cops got off their motorcycles and stood in the middle of the 5 lanes and stopped the traffic on the interstate highway. So, there's Jimmy and me sitting there, smoking dope, wondering what the fuck was going on. We can't exactly go ask the cops, reeking of dope as we were, so we sat there listening to good music and speculating. I speculated that since the City College of San Francisco was ahead of us, that students possibly were in the overpass throwing things at cars. I figured we'd be able to continue on our trip just as soon as the police secured the overpass. Where do I get this shit? 'Bout that time, we noticed that way up ahead there appeared to be people in the middle of the interstate. Couldn't tell from that far, but it looked like a lot, and they definitely looked like they were headed our way.

If I can be indulged a little flashback here. Most of that afternoon, we had been glued to the television watching Blacks going native down in L.A., pulling that poor schmoe out of his truck and nearly beating him to death. Like he had anything to do with anything.

Okay, back to the story. There we sat, watching a crowd--still too far away to be sure about the racial make-up, heading towards us. Of course, "us" at this point is 5 lanes of stopped traffic, with the backup on the interstate being more than a mile, and that only took 10 minutes. Okay, my mind begins immediately to figure the odds and angles. I'm the first car in my lane and there's no where for me to go. Can't back up; can't turn around; can't escape. No reason to panic, there's two policemen between me and the approaching mob. By that time, we could tell they weren't a Black mob, but one of students and other radical Lefties that look for these kind of opportunities. There's this hardcore group that thinks they can provoke The Revolution by provoking the police and committing random acts of violence against property. During the recent anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, this group actually called themselves something like the Black Block.

Okay, back to the story. They're coming at us. They have signs. They look very angry. They're chanting, "No Justice? No Peace!" They've come up to the police line. Line? There were two motorcycle cops, holding back a couple of hundred protestors. A couple of the protestors, broke through and dumped one of the motorcycles. Things are really tense. I'm nervously trying every button in the Chrysler trying to figure out how to make the antenna retract. Damn Chrysler!

So I turn to Jimmy and solemnly say, "You know, Jimmy, this is my mother's car and I'm not going to let those mothers take it alive. If they come towards us, I'm going to floorboard it." I did say it, but I didn't mean it, because I immediately followed it with, "No, what we really do is wait till they almost get here and we jump out and start hollering with them and trash the cars behind us, then we'll double back and wait for help." Okay, maybe not in so many words, but that was the real plan.

And just when the police line didn't seem to be able to keep back the surging mob of protestors, to our rescue came about 40 or 50 motorcycle cops coming up between the stopped lanes of cars and relieved the very stressed police line of two lonely cops who had valiantly held off the mob for the 5 or 10 minutes that this drama played itself out. Sitting in the front row as we were, it seemed to have taken place over an hour or more. When the mob saw the calvary coming, they sort of exploded in several dozen directions, heading up the side of the freeway to escape into the neighborhood. Jimmy and I got out of the car, hugged each other and waved our handkerchiefs at our saviors.

And that's a true story.

Inspiration for this remembered story goes to the blog entity Celissa's Blog. I have to go back now and see who she is. I think we belong to different churches, but I'm inclined to want to like anyone who gets me to remember something and write about it. Thanks, Celissa.
Surfing the Blogosphere

Remember earlier when I said I had a few entities in the Blogosphere that I liked? A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this guy by the name of Bill. Bill tells good stories. Even when he makes them up. He turned himself into a fly on the wall of the conference of Putin, Chirac and Shroeder.

And then he takes off and rants about colored ketchup. He's right, of course, some things just aren't normal. I can't say it any better than he does, so I'll just say "amen," and y'all go over and visit Bill. Be sure to say hello and tell him rlbtzero (it's pronounced Ray. No really, that's how it's pronounced.) sent you.
Exploring the Blogosphere

If you want to see some great pictures of the war in Iraq, go and visit Andrew at his blog, Apostablog. He speaks straightforthly and has an interesting point of view. And he's got a great source for pictures. Go visit.
Gwen Ifill

Most of my pictures of the war come to me via ABC, with a smattering of CBS and Fox. I don't subscribe to cable and I don't have a dish, so it's the ol' rabbit ear trip for me. NBC isn't available in most of the Bay Area except my cable or dish. Without it being personal, they decided they could forego my demographic. Likewise, I'm sure. Fuck NBC. Who needs them.

My buds on the Right think Peter Jennings is terribly biased. I think he handles it pretty well. Of course, it's a comparative thing. They (my buds on the Right) seem to generally like Fox. Back from when I had cable, I watched Fox a bit, and when I visit family and friends in Texas, I'm exposed to Fox as well. Fox News is mostly a bunch of shit. Pardon my French. Oh, got to come up with a new expression, French is out, English is in.

Tonight I watched the Jim Lehrer News Hour. Hey, buds on the Right! Let go of Jennings's leg and get over here. Those dudes on Jim Lehrer are a bunch of pinko-Leftists-who-are-having-conniptions-about-anything-Bush idiotarians. Poor Gwen Ifill is positively livid with anger. She's still sexy, but oh boy, is she working through some anger. Get over it, Gwen. George W. Bush is President whether you like it or not. And not only that, his friends and supporters run the government, and there ain't nothing you can do about it. Be careful, though. That much anger is consuming. If I've noticed it, so have others. No, I'm not threatening payback, I'm talking about the hit your reputation will take from your lack of professionalism. So, quit being mad at President Bush. Ask the questions that will count. I presume that you're a liberal because you believe in the inevitability of reason. So do I. What I perceive to be our major difference here, is that I do believe in the inevitability of reason, but I'm not so ego-driven as to think it has to happen right here and right now just because I have it all figured out. If arrogance were body odor, sugah, you'd stink.

Well, lordy me. I expended so much energy on ripping Ms. Ifill a new butthole that I need to stop and catch my breath. The night's young, though, and I'll be back.

I'm Still Mad

I think the anti-war protestors are one of the biggest collection of losers to ever gather together since the French formed their army. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY SHOULD BE SHOT. Can you hear me now, Police Chief Word? Can you hear me now, Mayor Brown? You have my permission to arrest them, fine them, put them in prison, anything you wish after due process. I don't care for them or their message. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY SHOULD BE SHOT. How many times do I have to say that? BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY SHOULD BE SHOT.

I am so outraged that I can hardly speak coherently. Let the idiots riot on International Boulevard. Hell, it's only a bunch of Blacks and Hispanics tearing up their own neighborhood. Hell, let those Blacks kill each other off and give Oakland just about the highest homicide rate in the country. Those two items obviously haven't bothered Mayor Boombeam and his number one lackey, police chief "quickdraw" Word. Why don't you ask the voters for more money for police now, Mayor? Maybe we can vote no on that one at the same time we vote for your fucking recall, Loser.

It is never alright for the police to shoot unarmed demonstrators.