Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Mr. Wrong: You Should Support the Rights of the Protesters who Interrupt Holiday Stuff

City Paper

OK look, I Believe even the most casual reader of the Mr. Wrong Column knows that errbody here in this space (OK, it’s just me) is all about Law and Order, and not just the kind that’s on all afternoon on the Cable Television, I am talking about the Rule of Law in this country, which is also frequently referred to by Patriotic People as the Greatest Country on Earth and is all about having what smart people like to call this over-200-year Experiment in Democracy or whatever, so you should know I’m not taking this detour from the usual “Good Times” of The Mr. Wrong Column unless I am profoundly Disturbed about what’s going on all over the place in The United States of America, and also on Television.

Not the Protesting, man, see, the Protesting is the Good thing about what’s going on because it is forcing people in this country to wonder what the hell is going on around here. The most American people out there, in terms of Individuals who are using 110 percent of their U.S. Citizenship? It’s all The People who are out there Protesting, man, as in We The People, out there on street corners and going around Occupying spaces, and using their Democracy, man, the right to assemble and say stuff with the First Amendment and the Freedom of Speech, and it might be inconveniencing people right now, but that is how desperate people are to communicate they are not happy with the cops, and I’m not talking about when there’s a shootout with some bank robbers, I’m talking about when there is a Reaction that is out of proportion with whatever the requirements of Law and Order are. There are people who just want you to Behave, they aren’t bad people, they just think that if the cops tell you to do something, and you don’t do it, then hey, if the cops kill you while they are trying to get you to do whatever they wanted you to do, that’s your problem. I don’t feature that, you know?

The other night, I was feeling very much in the manner of The Holidays. I was still in the Afterglow of Thanksgiving, thinking about how Fortunate I am to have a roof over my head and hot meals, and I was planning to engage in the primitive tradition of going out and getting a dead tree to put in the living room, and what it would smell like (better) in the house with the pine sap and stuff, and how the stupid cat would try and climb up the tree and would this be the year it gets Electrocuted from chewing on the light bulbs, stupid cat. I was in my comfy cozy velour outfit I wear when I am casual and lounging, enjoying a snack and basking in the warm glow of my friend Television, and my pal TV was showing me the News, all about how people are upset with so many people getting killed by the cops. 

The guy in New York City who got killed, there’s lots of people who say it was murder, which is just another way of saying there was No Good Reason for that guy to be killed while the police were taking him to jail, that the Police Solution to whatever he did or was doing was completely out of proportion, and that’s when an officer can end up getting in trouble at work, and going on trial for committing a crime, for abusing the Power police are given by the Citizenry to maintain Law and Order, but the police officer did not get indicted for any crime, and people were out on the streets of New York City and they were protesting, and I realized there was gonna be the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Plaza Xmas Tree, and if you have never been there and seen that whole deal, you should go and see it, you can get a cheap bus ticket from here, I totally recommend it for a day trip.

Anyway, I generally don’t tune in to the broadcast of the lighting of that tree, but this time I did, because I thought it might be a good opportunity for the protesters to be heard live, for citizens to get their chance in front of the camera. There’s lots of it on the Internet, of course, but right now, Television on the TV set is still pretty big.

I thought about how weird it was that there were all these shiny Popular Music celebrities who were singing Holiday Songs while there were piles of Citizens trying to point out there is a Problem, all over America. It made me think of that movie series about The Hunger Games, and it’s been out for a while, the latest one, and it’s about an oppressive society, where if you get out of line, the cops just kill you, and there’s this Revolution, and they use this young woman as a Symbol of their resistance, she has a bow and arrow because she’s a hunter, and the Revolutionaries hack into the network and get her on TV to show everyone there’s another opinion about how things should be run. I thought about all the activity around that tree in Rockefeller Center and I had a mental image of the lady from the movie shooting a flaming arrow into that tree. To get everybody’s attention, not to hurt anybody, and then the next night, right here in Baltimore, America, the protesters got on the teevee news when they swarmed the annual Monument Lighting, which is always a good Holiday Event, and you should go next time if you never have.




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