Posted: October 5, 2007 in The Roper Files

last thing you see 

Let’s take a realistic look at things. Put arglebargle in the crosshairs. Fire away at unpleasant subjects. Barrage bullshit with logic. Blitzgrieg ballyhoo with reason. Batter balderdash with the cold clammy heavy-handed fist of self-righteous blogs. It’s helter-skelter time. I want to stick forks in stomachs, figuratively speaking of course. Watching the news this year so far has had the same effect on me as novacaine; that is to say numbing.

Can’t believe the 2008 candidates; with the exception of Ron Paul they all have basically the same non-message. Toe The Party Line. I like Mike Gravel as well, but he’s getting the same shitty treatment from the media as James Stockdale back in 1992. And the rest…oh brother, let’s just say I don’t see Lewis Black running out of material anytime soon. What I’m really afraid of is after eight horrible years of Bush and Cheney America just putting anyone in office as long as they aren’t Bush and Cheney. 

Hillary Clinton? Oh God stop it, you’re killing me! Mitt ” MY kids in Iraq? No way!” Romney? Don’t think so.  Or the Ghoul Of 9/11?  HA!  Or “Mad Dog” McCain? OrFred Thompson? Another actor/president? Wasn’t Corey Feldman available? Or David Hasselhoff? Didn’t you people learn ANYTHING from eight miserable years of Ronald Reagan? I swear…And it just gets worse from there. I hardly even want to turn on the TV anymore. Sad but true. Used to lie semi-comatose in front of the tube for hours. Can’t do it anymore; makes me mad most of the time. Especially the news.

Part of getting the public to accept a police state is convincing them the crime rate is worse than it really is. For a country that boasts about its love of freedom does anyone besides me find it only a wee bit ironic that we have a higher incarceration rate than South Africa at the height of Apartheid? One in twenty five people in America have either been in prison, or know someone who has been or is now. Michael Moore made a very valid point in BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE about the news media making America look like a very scary place. And he was right; if anything it’s gotten even more intense. When I turn on the news every morning it’s one urban horror story after another. Stabbings, shootings, carjackings, home invasions.

Funny, I just walked down the street to the Dairy Queen for a chocolate malt completely un-armed and lo and behold…nothing happened to me.

Not that Fort Worth is some kind of crime-free paradise; it’s anything but.  COPS didn’t get fifty-odd episodes worth of material (before our current mayor pulled the plug on that one) out of here by accident.  But if your only impression of Fort Worth was what you saw on the television, you’d crawl into bed and pull the sheets over your head at the thought of living here. 

A friend from Austin came up for an overnight visit the other night. Had to give him the boot at five-thirty in the morning so I could report to my menial job on time, but we made time for a few cups of French Roast. Opened up the house and enjoyed a cool early morning breeze. The only sound you could hear were trains in the distance. The quiet was almost overbearing; I had to put on some music. And that is so typical. Aside from the Mexicans broadcasting their jungle rhythms out of their lowriders, I live in a fairly calm  neighborhood. Not the urban warfare scenario you might guess about Fort Worth from watching COPS.

So what are the Just Plain Joes like myself supposed to make of all this? Don’t know, but I’m tired of being scared. Weary of being paranoid. I’ve actually had someone attempt to kick in my door at four in the morning. Am I supposed to be wary of his return the rest of my life? Well I don’t choose to do so. I’ve had gang members attempt to steal my truck. I’ve been burglarized more times than I want to think about. I’ve lost three of my favorite guns and two guitars, one of which was a beautiful walnut Les Paul. That alone hurt as much as losing a girlfriend. But it’s all just so much history now. I try not to dwell on these things and just press on. 

And while we should hardly forget 9/11, I don’t choose to re-live it every day. This is part of my refusal to accept a police state. There was an article buried in the back of the local paper recently where the local police chief announced my entire neighborhood is soon going to be under 24/7 video camera surveillance. And like good compliant citizens, there wasn’t a fire-ants fart worth of protest. Call me a whiny Winston Smith if you want ( I’ve been called worse, trust me) but I don’t happen to want my every nuance and twitch recorded and analyzed while I walk to the drugstore fuck you so very, very much. True freedom should include freedom of movement as well.  



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