Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't taze me bro

As usual, I'm a couple weeks behind the times. But the Andrew Meyer Incident is actually local news for me, and it's still reviberating in this community even though it's pretty much deflated into a beer-drinking catch phrase for the rest of the world.

Watch it for yourself. Although everyone can agree that Meyer is annoying and looking to stir up a ruckus, does he constitute a threat when he's got six — count 'em — six big-boned police officers on top of him? This is the important question to me because this is the moment that he was tazered, twice.

No doubt about it, he was clearly resisting arrest. But the math (6 cops, 1 loudmouth) doesn't seem to carry a remainder of 50000 volts. Twice.

Unlike many of the paranoid voices at the University of Florida, I don't think this is a signal of the police state to come. This is what a police state looks like. But it's gonna play a big part in formulating the policy for police action at free speech rallies in the United States for the next generation. A University of Florida task force on the subject of Tasers met for the first time this week.

As I'm new to town, I'm just taking the temperature here and I'm finding that the south is as raucous as ever. And that makes me a bit proud.


feralkevin said...

Indeed, this is what a police state looks like. Unfortunately, this is business as usual. The thing that makes it even harder to makes sense of, is that the political situation is a farce in this country and has been for a while. We're facing a mass extinction event, the world has been on the brink for years, and this isn't even talked about in the political realm. A police state is the least of our concerns, as horrific as it is.

dungan said...

We'll, if this is a police state, the prison walls are very padded comparatively speaking. i.e., the shooting of protesting monks doesn't generally happen in Anytown, USA. instead, the protests are simply unheard, shuffled behind free speech zones, and muted by the next celebrity showdown.

but word on the M.E.E. do you know where your water is?

feralkevin said...

comparitively, yes. What's going on in Myanmar is terrible and very different than what goes on here. I would imagine, however, if we weren't so brainwashed and satiated here and would actually stage a "real" protest that anyone would pay attention to, it would be met with just as much brutal force. I know we'd all like to think it wouldn't though. After all, we are talking about the same people who have poisoned everything on this planet, and are trying really hard to make sure that our children won't have a chance in hell.

On another note, I know where my water comes from, and I'm not very happy about it. I know where I could get clean water, but it's not really walking distance from my house. And I would have to deal with the raving mad hordes of urban dwellers after the shit hits the fan. We better start figuring out how to catch and store rain, which is more difficult than it sounds, but they would probably try to make that illegal, too as was done in Bolivia. So yeah, I know where my water is. It's owned by somebody else far away and it's poisoned and continues to be poisoned with even newer scarier poisions.

dungan said...

scary water! my water comes from a river that's being bought out by south florida. the folks here are fighting hard to keep it local tho.

as for "real protests" i think they happen all the time in the US. i doubt very much that american troop s would shoot monks on the street. the problem perhaps is that mass protests are not as effective as they used to be - especially if they are not heard about. there was a hope for a while that internet action would be the next big thing (like but it seems to be replacing old fashion activism, not enhancing it.

Jonathan said...

a guy at vision video here in athens has a "don't taze me bro" t-shirt he bought online. he agrees that the video's popularity, more than anything, indicates the media driven world we live in. check it out online and you'll note that there's like 7 or 8 different versions of the video from as many different vantage points. All them kids had camera phones! And one kid yells "rodney King!" in the background, which is about as reflexive and memetic as a media studies grad student cd ask for. also, it was a staged event, not unlike a performance art "happening," which kicks the discourse up a notch. Sure, that fact don't change that we live in a policed world, in fact it highlights it. But it also highlights the role that the media plays in commodifying events, vantage points, and anything else phenomenolgical. Therefore, it's a police state, but I prefer to think of it as the United States of Advertising.