The Tabernacle of “It’s Good Blood.”

The Tabernacle of “It’s Good Blood.”

The Tabernacle of “It’s Good Blood.”

Alex Ziperovich

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The red clay path is a snake suckling blood, children’s’ feet dripping droplets from slices in the tall grass into its round, kind, killing face.

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“The killing have started,” Yes, they certainly have. “Anyone who has the power to lead a rebellion against the Khmer Rouge will be exterminated.”

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I scream and claw against the granite of my forehead; I spent forty-eight hours in the jungle nether region between Cambodia with the Vietmen guerrillas. I poisoned the river and fed the shrimp to Pol Pot and Duch and Brother #2, Num Cheam.

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I saved Chum Mey the horrors of Tuol Sleng.

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They tell me to stop, but I cannot. My desire to understand those at the top and bottom of the regimes that crumbled human bones to make more human bones to feed human bones to human’s has become me, I am completely lost to the total mystery and there is hell that is sweet with wine and honey that awaits me. For I know nothing, somehow I was there.

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Traditional Kampuchea, reincarnated? It’s possible. From 77-86 I could have been leading the rebellion that finally brought the Vietcong. I don’t understand how a nine year old child does that. Influence, I presuppose.

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Chain-smoking, back in S-21, the University of Madness. I am now the guards, the supervisors, the prisoners, the cameramen, the documenters. The documenter. I breathe breath deep so that they may all be there, stagnant, statues in time and place. I unhook the shackles from Chum Mey’s bleeding ankles and remove him, throwing him over my back and out the back door and I am shot in the back of the skull.

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This is my political phantasmagoria and it will not recede nor will it retreat. It will only bleed me, until I can possibly, one day write a decent thesis on the insanity of the sanity of perfection and biology and the psychology and theology of a being that is one man and one country united in a desire that is to be misunderstood and destroyed by itself by its own fear and bloodlust.

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It curdles in my mind like angel dust while saving us (me) from having to deal with reality; the past grows back like amputated legs do not. I am walking from spot to spot to spot, leaving one drop of blood like crumbs for a trail and where I stay will be where I will resurrect all these tyrants from hell and I will hold a conference a council a confession and I will be professional and take notes on legal paper while I have their fingernails slashed open and their throats razorbladed and I don’t know how long this will take but I am willing to go to any length.

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Justice? There is no word profound enough.

I have the same goddamned human blood-lust.

Since I was ten and saw that the world was wrenched.

I just want revenge. I am the same, yet different, diffident, defiant.

I will kill to keep the killers quiet.

Back to the Killing Fields to work on my diet.

NEAT.

Neat.

by Alexander Michael Ziperovich

A Short Story

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“…the old man would ever have.” Almost arching his prepubescent back up toward the ceilinged sky, the child breathed in Hemingway’s finale. “Get back to the Abacus. Now, Charles.” He glanced sidelong at the horrid teal wall with the crooked spines of the books. “I’m just putting away my ultimate division scenario arithmetic, Ms. Apple.” He had adjusted the room so that he might read a short story, here Hemingway, over by String Theory, Ezekiel, by addition/substraction he kept the Koran.

The Abacus was a wretched teal bubble stick with which Charlie never would have been exposed despite his extreme calculative abilities, which he could perform in his heart, if not for his father and his mother’s docility toward his father’s hatred for art. “The only art you’ll ever have boy, is the art of selling paint for cash.” It was a wretched time to be alive. It always was. He imagined himself languishing in the desert outside Cairo building pyramids and tombs with massive rock and—. “Back to work.” The Abacus slid into his hand like a snake and he gazed at it lovingly for the sake of Ms. Apple.

He took the Abacus to his corner of the nearly shrill room full of the pain of children being forced out of art into death. As was customary for him and Abacus Hour he turned inward and faced the corner that was his that day at the Academy for the Righteous Arts and Splendors. “Georgina, I need your string theory proposal in two and a half minutes, you’ve had three days by golly!”

He gingerly worked the Abacus with his small, nimble fingers and pried it in half so that a small Papyrus scroll rolled tight fell into his torso. He unrolled the ten foot document about seven inches and his fingers hurt and he knew what arthritis was and he glanced at that horrible wall covering the heavens and asked why, again. “The Beauty and Solace of Man Lie in The Struggle to Achieve the Freedom of Paranoia from The Reality of The Beasts of Servitude…”

Ms. Apple was staring into his physical cave where he was reading his scroll that he had created based on the diseased ideas the Academy suggested he was experiencing due to a strong and difficult to pry open codependency with his mother and the world above the teal. They suggested aversion therapy based on Pavlovian and B.F. Skinner models.

“No.” He knew he would be forced to burn it himself. He had worked on the transcription from only his mind in the fashion of Dumas forever.

“Bring in the slavery bucket!”

All the children immediately turned inward, angst, pain, and humorous sadness on their faces apparent as the color of their scorched eyes. Charlie moved to the middle of the chamber.

“THE SLAVERY BUCKET!” The children chanted once, twice, thrice.

A black crockpot filled with gasoline that supported a single, tiny, white candle appeared.

Charlie fell face first into the drum of gasoline right before the commencement of the Slavery and the entire Academy was burnt from the very innermost sanctum.

Charles incinerated the split Abacus and smiled, burning in flames.

Art or nothing.

Everything Cried Into My Eye

alone in the rainA tiny divine murmuring echoes through me whenever a raindrop lands in my eye. My eyelids encircle the droplet protectively as I blink reflexively and as I open my eye a blurry mixture of my own tears and rain runs down my cheek like a tributary.

The heavens cry immortality.

The droplet meeting my eye is but the tip of the needle that threads together this electric, beatific heaving; my own small, human ellipses of rain clouds resting inside my face are but small windows from which to weave the smallest, surest part of the plenitude of life back into a blinding sun which we humans bathe in, in its perfect light, so unknowing and filled with our humanity that we might forget how we are only tiny snowflakes in the tundra of the universe.

Each one of us the prodigy, each of us the plague.
Each one of us the robbery, each of us the take.

Writing

wrinkdpaper21.jpg

When I write I bleed onto the page, the pen like a syringe drawing up my soul and the paper like some kind of breathing, animate test tube being smothered with lives and pain and the angst of humanity; I am just some kind of medium for all these great, purging exhalations, this emancipation of lustration that I must give to whatever impetus that is screaming, calling for these words I scrawl and I scrawl and I scrawl and I scrawl.

sommelier of sorrow and bad dreams

sommelier

alexander michael ziperovich

dedicated to Philip Seymour Hoffman

icarus flew too close to the son again
and illumination shamelessly burned him like syphilis

with a kiss
from the heavens’ misted baptismal eclipse

the dramatist, the tragedian, the blind and bound prophet
recording reorderings, hapless with a snake for a toothbrush
or a tongue
Sophocles’
idiot sun

and as he grasped at the falling, fallen icarus,
he could not discern between the stars & the dust
that rose from the terra from which icarus was thrust
and he still grasping up, clutching grass blades
thinking “breaking harps may stop breaking hearts”

exhume a plague from a mind-field of sharp, rolling rocks
have a new burial inside his own personal graveyard
rearranging the remaining ghosts all laying charred
on the floor of the house he built from scars
with a tiny window from where he could not
see the stars

beloved rain please wash me
no one is watching

in the mud, sobbing with grief, relentlessly not free
caught in a forest of poppies smiling at me
as i try not to be

but i am
harbinger of pain as i try to heal i am mauled
by flippant, sick little
nothings
and and and my brain boils
my blood tinted with lives as it tries to dry on the soil

i must make the devil recoil
i must make god feel like black gasoline
i myself feel everything
too
bad
drowning in a pool of bloody, shattered wedding rings

and my love escapes me

Everything was Built in a Factory Called ‘Unimaginably Cruel Shit’

volcanoAlexander Ziperovich

I found a three pronged twig. One prong was sliced short, a dangerous fork with a jagged rusty middle tine and so I snapped the fucking godless twig and then I snapped it again into disintegration and I threw it on the concrete and vomited all over the torn mess and I leaned back, surveying my work and I wished for anything I could feel that didn’t feel like walking backwards blind accumulating contusions brought about by smashing into hard, jagged metal signs, everything creating pain inimitable in my spine. I carry a bloody encrusted dagger wrapped in a bloody handkerchief in the left pocket of my shirt over my heart to protect myself but it never, ever, ever works.

Anything that wasn’t not a part of my schedule but wasn’t associated with my schedules’ ends – like flying down into a burning volcano in a wheelbarrow full of ice and hot pussy, me letting my hands drag dancing like spiders atop the volcanic rock on this inverted volcano even though my hands should have been soaking in the cold ice and the warm pussy in the big fuckin’ wheelbarrow and all this useless conjecture because I missed my only chance to fly down into a volcano in an icy, pussy bath cause I had to fuck it all up by letting my hands fly free and of course, what do you know? My hand gets stuck in some lava or some other viscous sap and my other arm got caught in a tree, simultaneously!

The Last Flower

Image

Alexander Ziperovich

The last flower died today; it was a beautiful blushing crimson and lavender and a lovely beautiful butterfly was sitting atop it, thinking, when some gentleman botanist flower-saver reached down to smash the insect, ugly fucking blasphemous thing, off the perfect pink orchid, the last flower, so he could save the the last flower but the beautiful butterfly took flight in haste and the man beat the last flower to death. It was an accident, he claimed later, doing an interview for The New York Times Magazine eating a calzone, marinara slathered and dripping from his perverse mustache. “The poor flower disintegrated, yup, just evaporated making a ‘whoosh’ sound when I tried to scare the damn butterfly away.” He said it just disappeared. It disappeared into death or orchid heaven or whatever the fuck and that was the end of the flower. But only then was there true acclaim and fame and veneration, money and prestige and praise for the flower-saver’s. Only after the last orchid was smashed to death did anyone pay any attention to the flower-savers’ flower saving efforts!

GO FLOWER-SAVERS! HOO-RAH!

Police Brutality: Its Origins, Its Nature, and Its Ontology 12/6/11

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Alexander Michael Ziperovich

 

“You only know who you are through the enslavement of another.”[1]

 

            In this paper I will explore the nature and the origin of the ruthless enforcement of the law by the police, their oft-overlooked vicious and random brutality, the way they consistently employ an “ends justify the means” philosophy and further why we as a society accept that philosophy, their distinct psychological affect and profile, both in the group and in the individual police officer, and how all of the aspects of what we term “police brutality” are accepted, normalized, and integrated into American society at large. This paper will include personal anecdotes, philosophical and psychological interpretation, and will attempt to piece together a more clear and lucid understanding of the complex ontology of the efficient, effective, and pervasive violence of the police in the United States of America, and will attempt to answer how, when police so often behave as barbarically as they do, our collective, societal conscious reacts or fails to.

 

            I was going to eat with a friend four or five years ago on a busy sunlit day in the University District of Seattle with human beings everywhere walking, talking, and enjoying life and the light in the rare sunny day in Autumn in Seattle. After I parked my car I needed to get across a usually busy street to reach our culinary destination. The street was at that moment, however, completely devoid of traffic, so I decided to “jay walk” instead of needlessly walking down the block to the crosswalk to cross. I hadn’t noticed the gleaming police cruiser parked idling on my left as I walked across the street, passing almost directly in front of it. The imposing white and black vehicle suddenly pulled out fast as if to strike me; I watched through my peripheral vision its silver grill wrench after me like a fist being thrown or a knife being jabbed, and then as unexpectedly as it started the car stopped, a few feet short of hitting my body. I looked back for an instant and I continued walking and before the air above me had collected the words of frustration that I had muttered under my breath in my terrified anger, I found myself surrounded and then suddenly manhandled and restrained by six or seven uniformed police officers, who saw it fit to press my neck onto a nearby rounded steel bicycle post while screaming at me to “Stop resisting!” over and over; an insane irony, as if I could possibly have done anything to resist this small army of muscled, well-armed men created and positioned for combat. They pressed my Adams-apple down hard onto the horizontal section of the steel pole, sticking out of the concrete like an overturned U, until the unrelenting pressure on my throat disabled my ability to breathe and I disregarded my natural instincts that told me to defend myself against attackers and I let my body go limp in the hopes that they would release me for air before I suffocated and lost consciousness. After they allowed me to breathe, they took my ID and finding nothing of interest in their computer networks, threatened me with jail when I meekly questioned their use of force for jay-walking, and ultimately released me from their custody and fled the scene uncharacteristically quickly (for the police), not charging me with any crime or an infraction of any kind as all the students and other onlookers glared at them after the violence everyone had just witnessed. That night my family and I were deeply contemplating bringing suit to the Seattle Police Department for this act of tyrannical and arbitrary violence until, in my blind rage, I drank myself into a stupor, falling down my stairs into a wall, ruining my face for the moment, and ruining my chances for any sort of retribution. How could I go report police misconduct with a self-inflicted injury caused by my own drunken disrepair? I was left in a state of rage and fear and disillusionment.

 

“Let me initially put the issue this way: one is insulted, and insulted deeply, because one loses all possibility of innocence.”[2] George Kateb explicitly states that one is being directly harmed when watched, that it is injurious to one’s “personhood” to be surveilled, or to know that one is being surveilled. Now, anytime I see a police cruiser, or a police officer, or any member of law enforcement stomping around in shiny black combat boots with the demeanor of someone itching for battle, dressed high in blue with all of their variously intimidating regalia on their wastes alongside their huge black Austrian semi-automatic weapons strapped to their torsos, I feel immediately threatened and frightened; the police, through their first act of arbitrary violence against me that I have just described, succeeded in retarding my innocence and now forevermore I am condemned to be afflicted with the fear and the anxiety that was produced from that single incident, it has been seared into my psyche. I will never forget begging and pleading with them for the right to breathe oxygen because I had unwittingly made some police officer angry for a reason I will never be able to ascertain.

 

Thus, their insane act of violence against me has reminded me that fear is necessary whenever I am within close proximity to one of these men or women or one of their machines of imposition, that I should be aware that as I am watching them watch me, the chance of random violence is unequivocally real and ever-present. My right to privacy, then, has become something of a sick joke. I am forever surrounded by police as they are everywhere amongst us, and I am, thus, almost always in some state of angst thinking that they will succeed in doing me physical harm, and based on the level of unhinged aggression that they unleashed upon me the first time they decided to for no reason whatsoever, I now find myself in fear for my life when I see the police, and not without good cause.

 

This is the logic of fear that causes our society in the face of so much evidence of unrelenting, unpunished police brutality, so many newspaper articles accompanied by and describing disturbing photographs of violence and videos of police inflicting horrifying mayhem gone viral on the internet, of a police officer pepper-spraying an 84 year old female protester and a pregnant 19 year old protester in the face at point-blank range recently in Seattle, to accept a small line of justification from a journalist that “the specific officer involved has been placed on administrative suspension” as justice of some sort. We have been rendered helpless as children in a den of lions and since the abuse of power that is being inflicted is not quite so overt or corrupt or outrageous as it is in many other countries, and, perhaps more importantly, that those in political power are the least likely to ever be injured or affected by this type of abuse, we are content, as a “civilized” nation and society, to let the issue of extreme violence allowed to run riot upon us by those that are sworn to enforce our law and maintain order as an issue that is one best discussed in private, in university classrooms, dinner tables with family, and essentially all but ignored alongside a proverbial, collective sigh that at least it was not us that was assaulted with poisonous gas in the face for asserting our constitutional right to peaceably assemble and protest.

 

“The idea of human status contains more than the imperative that basic rights, as currently interpreted, be respected. It also includes the imperative that no policy, seemingly within the scope of rightful state policy, can have the effect of treating a person as if he or she were a child rather than an adult, or as a mere means to an end; or has altogether forfeited consideration as a human being because of some crime or alleged crime.”[3] As George Kateb explains, any true policy respective of currently accepted human rights cannot violate an adult wherein that adult is made to feel like a child, or in other words, helpless, and as I have previously asserted, we have been made to be as helpless as children in the den of a lion in our public sphere due to brutal policing and a lack of strong reaction to this style of policing. Police officers consistently are in the business of delineating who should be rendered helpless, which communities, which races, which religions, which groups, and which individuals are expendable or need to be made to have limited rights and status. Drawing from my own encounters with the police, observations, and my personal understanding of the police on a larger level, they operate on a foundation whose guiding principal is that there exist two types of people with little differentiation or thought as to who fits where excepting the obvious: cops are good and, well, the rest are not until they prove themselves otherwise, there are good people and there are bad people, one must be either right or one must be wrong and there exists no grey area for debate or further examination and if you are not good you must be dealt a swift blow of violence or incarceration; it must be assumed, then, that if you are a police officer, you exist in the obvious and coveted position of righteousness, that if you are a police officer you are a good person. The rigidity in this kind of institutionally mandated thinking leads to an intensely problematic scenario where a group of select individuals forget or dismiss the importance of nature of the means in order to achieve the end. Crime is bad, cops are good, the equation is simple and the targets are plentiful; the machinery of the modern police is an example of what happens when slaves are given weapons and told to forget what they must do to accomplish the task of ridding the streets of crime, but to just do it. The statistics of any department reign supreme over the conduct of any individual officers conduct.

 

These cops, who are of the same social status as those that they are commanded and indoctrinated to condemn and destroy through physical violence or the threat of physical violence and imprisonment, are filled with a kind of self-loathing God-complex. This self-hatred has its origins in the neighborhoods where ordinary cops come from and they are led to believe that they are somehow better and superior to those that they must enforce the law upon. But this is a shallow lie, a thin illusion that doesn’t work; these men are not idiots although they may often act like sheep. These police officers know that they are of the same social status as those they are supposed to subjugate and you find the slave enslaving the slave, trying to find a realization that he is a master where there is none, he is simply another common slave with a shiny gold badge given to him so that he may work for the masters and protect the masters’ wealth but never work with the masters nor share in their wealth.

 

This creates “ressentiment”[4], Nietzsche believed that all existence, or all that we could possibly know of it, consists of a struggle between different “wills to power”[5], that various “forces” were constantly at work as the motivators “behind every concept [arising] from the equation of unequal things.” These police officers are a collective force in the grand struggle between differing wills to power and they represent a contradictory, self-desecrating group; the men that are in tow with the responsibility of ensuring the imprisonment or death of criminal elements originate from the same tribe where that criminal element is born and bred and cultivated, they are the same men as those they are charged with murdering and incarcerating. This is a heavy, horrible burden, for who but an antisocial monster can feel righteous when they kill and maim their own? There must, then, be an opposing ideological resistance to being the same as the men they hunt, and from this resistance comes much of the self-hatred that fuels the police in their corruption in the application of the law.

 

I claim that a specific, externally hidden self-loathing is the primary driving force behind police brutality; a frustration at the knowledge of their own true slavery consumes these “public servants” that the masters have manipulated to their own benefit to ward off “slave revolt” and ensure that they can continue in their complete domination by creating enmity between the subservient and the other, better subservient, the police. This is a classic tactic used by totalitarian regimes; they use their own peasantry as a barrier between themselves and a weapon against itself by propping up one special group or sect creating animosity and envy amongst what was once a whole community, ensuring the ressentiment at being a slave is not focused on the masters but always remains trapped in the peasant quarters, festering and becoming stronger – this is something we can see today in Baghdad and the modern American ghetto: hatred towards the police by the people and hatred toward the people from the police. Although many of Nietzsche’s concepts work well for this composition, I am only using bits and pieces from his entire Genealogy of Morality and reforming his ideas so that they fit my own so as to aid in completing my analysis.

 

As the “police are always on the border between legality and illegality”[6] they inhabit an awkward, dangerous position in our societal structure. They are at once the modern guardian of the aristocrat, the capitalist and his wealth, and yet they almost exclusively find their origins amongst the plebian. The disenfranchised and often impoverished neighborhoods that breed the modern American gangster criminal are very often the same ones that breed the modern police officer; the foot soldier cop almost never comes from wealth, status, or power of any relative importance. Thus, there is a class of men and women pitted against their own to protect a tiny, rarefied bracket of power and money for people that they will never know and a group they will never truly play any role in. Here we find the cyclical nature of Nietzsche’s slave morality[7] in play: these police officers and the prison guards responsible for maintaining their captured status that are born in poverty are collected and indoctrinated with a false, propagandist debt which becomes a hope of elevating their political, social, and financial standing and they are sold into the idea that might be achieved through their slavery to the rich as cannon fodder to the violence in the ghettos surrounding the suburbs where they could never hope to live but only to protect and patrol. Thus, they are slaves controlling lesser slaves, but they are taught that they are slaves of a higher “patriotic” order and this is the illusion they must reliably to believe to be successful and rise through the ranks. The police are put in a position where they can derive “the pleasure of having the right to exercise power over the powerless without a thought,”[8] and experience “even a foretaste of higher rank.”[9] The latter is critical to the police officer. Without the appearance of an ostensible access to a higher social strata there would be no gain as a slave police imposing alien laws on other fellow slaves, the money isn’t enough and it’s danger is extreme and constant.

Now that I have uncovered the origins of the psychology of self-hatred that contribute to the violent conduct of the police as a whole force, now I will introduce a more individualistic approach that focuses, ironically, on Freud’s theories on group psychology and “massenpsychologie” in particular. Freud believed there was a direct correlation between the decrease in rationality and intellectuality and the increase in the irrational fervor and behavior of a group. As each individual member loses his identity to the will of the group he succumbs to the simple, irrational desires of the group and loses his own identity and ability to think outside the dictates of the group. The NYPD during certain periods and specifically the LAPD’s Rampart Division Gang Unit known also as CRASH during the late 1990’s is a perfect symbolic police unit to exemplify this theory.

The only way to achieve relative success (success being prestige and rising through the ranks in this group) inside that group was through corruption and violence, and the more that corruption and violence increased the more it spread and the less police thought about it in consequential or intellectual terms, as long as it was somehow framed as “fighting crime”: CRASH’s motto was “We intimidate those who intimidate others.” Officers were awarded special plaques for killing suspects and there were ritualistic meetings and tattoos where officers would congratulate each other on taking out gang members using illegal methods. If you bucked the force’s status quo you would be an instant enemy of the LAPD and a target of their violent regime. This helps explain why arbitrary and racially motivated murder, graft, drug dealing and all manner of corruption went unchecked for such a long period – there was no one capable of pushing the stop button once the fervor of the crowd grew so loud the individual officers voice was completely muted; there is testimony that everyone involved in CRASH operations was aware of its culture of illegality and that around 70% participated, including lieutenants and other higher ups. As the violence and corruption grew and the Rampart Divisions CRASH team’s tactics became increasingly more grisly and blatant (and the fervor of the group’s culture increased) there seems to have been a declined awareness amongst the individual members of the true nature of their own behaviors and actions because they were always construed as being for “the cause” and thus membership to the police force alleviated any responsibility the individual might have felt committing murder or stealing cocaine from the evidence room and reselling it if he had not been so deeply entrenched in the tidal wave of group fervor, deep love, and ultimate loyalty for that group’s cause: wiping out LA street gangs.             

In that specific police unit “all [the police officers’] individual inhibitions [fell] away and all the cruel, brutal and destructive instincts, which lie dormant in individuals as relics of a primitive epoch, are stirred up to find free gratification.”[10] As the violent apogee of the Rampart Division came to an end there were 70 police officers under indictment and far more than 70 unsolved homicides, robberies, and other felonies that were attributed to CRASH and its players.

CRASH is an important case study but it would be foolish to think that because that specific unit was so extreme and its correlatively matched fervor and violently irrational behavior were so extraordinary that other regular police units don’t have a similar culture; I believe that almost all police units possess some measure of what CRASH epitomized. There is violence, excess, misdirected anger, corruption, cruelty, and self-loathing. Whether they are as brash and impetuous as CRASH or as diffident as the officer who uses a some extra force when tightening handcuffs to show who’s boss, these are traits that I believe are universal to modern police-work in the United States. Cops hate themselves because they have the worst job there is, they force themselves to believe they are of a different social status, that they are not from near-poverty, that they are the same as the lawyers, doctors, and businessmen they defend but in the end the truth prevails and they are forced to confront the fact that they have hurt many to defend what can never be their own and to honor those who would never honor them.

The final psychological puzzle piece to me is perhaps the most obvious when trying to gain an understanding of the brutality of police. Cops are subjected, day in and day out, to crime. They are around crime and criminals around the clock and one can only deny himself to be the result of what one knows himself to be apart of for so long; police begin, after a period, to typify the crime they ingest for a living and eventually, in the worst case, they embody it. As CRASH’s motto was to “Intimidate those who intimidate others,” it makes logical sense to believe that a young, right-minded police officer is a different man after 5 years and a different man again after 10 years on the job. One only has to witness how hard a human being will try to blend in and become like what is around him, so this acclimation or desensitization to crime may in fact reflect Freud’s views on group psychology, that something “is unmistakably at work in the nature of a compulsion to do the same as others, to remain in harmony with the many.”[11] In fact, here I will make what may seem to be an outrageous claim: the police are in the same group as criminals, excepting formalities, there is little difference in motive between a cop with a gun facing off against a murderer with a gun. Freud describes one losing himself to the group, the larger, the more powerfully he is consumed and how the “individual loses his power of criticism, and lets himself slip into the same affect.”[12] He becomes entangled psychologically with the criminal mind as the cop spends more and more time around more and more criminals, “the affective charge of the individuals becomes intensified by mutual interaction.”[13] However, on Freud and his Oedipus Complex, I believe it an imprudent if not an impulsive and irresponsible answer to such a complicated matter, a matter that involves the perversion of an individual’s idealization of economic class and social status as two far more important facets of determination than does Freud’s libidinous suppression acting as the master of my theory. Human nature is police brutality, but I am not sure that psychoanalytic theory and moreover Freud provides any concrete answers outside of group psychology. I believe Nietzsche offers many more lit torches on the dark path towards understanding those that would seek to do us harm in the name of justice and his Genealogy of Morality provides an excellent way of understanding the furious rage seething beneath the calm and controlled exterior of many of the law enforcement officer’s we trust to save us from the evil’s they portray; they are committing metaphorical macro-masochism as they try to run from their origins, become anything but what they are, and suppress the truth of these matters. There must be a way to make police more accountable and the only reason police brutality continues to exist is because our police and our politicians want it to exist, but for what reason? That reason is the deleterious nature of the question at hand, if one confronts an entire system, one must be prepared to eliminate and replace that system. We are comfortable in our lazy hostility and we are terrified that if we turn the pressure valve left we will be left in chaos. Perhaps, we will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Kateb, George, On Being Watched and Known. in Patriotism and Other

Mistakes (Yale University Press, 2006)

Freud, Sigmund, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. Sigmund Freud

Copyrights Ltd., 1959, Reprinted by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation

Nietzsche, Friedrich, Genealogy of Morality. (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Miller, Greg MD, “Lecture on slave consciousness”, Contemporary Political Thought, 

Seattle University, late Autumn 2011.

 

 

 

           

           


[1] Dr. Greg Miller, “Lecture on slave consciousness”, Contemporary Political Thought, Seattle University, late Autumn 2011.

[2] George Kateb, On Being Watched and Known, in Patriotism and Other Mistakes (Yale University Press, 2006) 97.

[3] George Kateb, On Being Watched and Known, in Patriotism and Other Mistakes (Yale University Press, 2006) 95.

[4] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge University Press, 1997) 20.

[5] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge University Press, 1997) 52.

 

[6] Dr. Greg Miller, “Lecture”, Contemporary Political Thought, Seattle University, mid Autumn 2011.

[7] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge University Press, 1997) 20-27.

 

[8] [8] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge University Press, 1997) 41.

 

[9] [9] Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morality (Cambridge University Press, 1997) 41.

 

[10] Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Sigmund Freud Copyrights Ltd., 1959, Reprinted by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation, 15.

[11] Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Sigmund Freud Copyrights Ltd., 1959, Reprinted by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation, 22.

 

[12] Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Sigmund Freud Copyrights Ltd., 1959, Reprinted by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation, 22.

[13] Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Sigmund Freud Copyrights Ltd., 1959, Reprinted by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation, 22.

The Box (Chapter 1?)

Ziperovich & Silvis

The first generation Boxes were buggy as hell, they’d power off and you’d die, they would get hacked and you’d spend 60 years staring at a Cambodian golden shower video on repeat, they would sometimes even have system failures and you would see, hear, and feel nothing but complete blackness for eternity.

When LiveTech came out with Box 19.5 it was finally the product it was meant to be and it was almost perfect by every account. 94% of humanity was plugged in, 22 trillion beings stacked like anchovies at the LiveTech warehouses for barely pennies. The golden age of technology was upon us and no one could say with any legitimacy that it was better outside the Box than in, it was a horrifying, painful world outside the perfect comfort of the Box and no one wanted any part of it. At orientation, or birth as it was once referred to, LiveTech explained life before the Box in stunning detail and showed how the Box was life perfected.

The Box was invented in 2042 by a certain Dr. H.L. Heigel and he chose these as his last words before he continued on to his digital death: “The Box will forever and always be the epitome of human existence.” The Box made earth livable again for all the trillions of its inhabitants and it saved humanity from extinction after we found we were incapable of living on any other planet; after the great space colony failures Heigel declared: “Now, we must find a way to live within ourselves, the search turns inwards.” He paved a way for humanities massive population to live on earth and to live with pleasure insurmountable.

The Box isn’t actually a box, it certainly doesn’t feel like living in a “box” and it doesn’t look like a box. Rather, it looks like an adult in the fetal position covered in green holographic currents that click and chirp and buzz and beep according to whatever algorithm the person in that Box is using. Every Box is essentially a simulated existence, although that term is frowned upon because people hate to think they aren’t living “real” lives and in 2067 the word “simulation” and “simulated” we’re deleted from the LiveTech mainframe and there are less problems with that now, of course.

There are countless human beings climbing Mount Everest every day in their Box, having sex 900 times a week with 900 different, beautiful, disease free people, writing novels at cafe’s in 19th century Paris, watching lions eat Christians in the great Roman Coliseum, flying through space and time ignoring the laws of physics or perhaps just drinking orange juice in the mornings with their children all in the same millisecond. No human before the era of the Box could ever have imagined a life so full and rich and a reality so colorful with such purpose and beauty and possibility. The Box allows anyone, the poor, the rich, the tall and handsome, the short and ugly, the graceful, the beleaguered and depressed and stupid and genius to become whatever it is they want and to do whatever it is they want to do without any limitations, all through electricity flowing through your brain. It is the ultimate expression of humanity. It is the great equalizer. You feel like a beautiful woman accompanying you to your first Nobel prize acceptance speech in Prague or perhaps you feel like racing a Ferrari through 1998 Los Angeles, the Box is capable of letting you do anything you want whenever you want however you want simply by allowing you to tap into its vast network of preprogrammed experiences and all you have to do is think it and it becomes your reality. The Box transformed and elevated human existence for everyone. LiveTech’s motto is: Be Anyone Doing Anything!

In the past the majority of the population of earth could expect short, dull lives of dreadful poverty and hunger for food and water. Even the more fortunate people born in industrialized nations were usually bored, fighting wars, or sick. The days when men slaved all day at menial labor with no meaning for little reward and women had excruciating pregnancies with horrifying, painful births and slaved over the tedious children they produced all day are gone. There is no longer the need for government, lest you call LiveTech and it’s Final Maintenance Committee a government, there are no countries or wars, there is no class or political struggle, and during the last official Happiness Index there was almost 100% Happiness. Even religion has been relegated to the trashbin in this new world. If life is perfect and every desire is fulfilled, there is so little time to think about anything else.

You can get married in a Box, have Christmas with your perfect family on the top of a cloud in a Box, and even father a child in a Box. There is truly only one thing you cannot do when you are in a Box, and no one is really bothered or thinks much about this single limitation anymore. You cannot leave the Box. You are born into your own latest generation Box and you die in that very same Box. No one would ever leave their Box so the issue is largely irrelevant, people are too busy using their imaginations to tap into and add to the vast meta-library at LiveTech’s Preprogrammed Life Experience Database and of these experiences, there are infinite possibilities. Everyone finally content with life. The epitome of human existence.

I was born into my Box and I never had a thought cross my mind about leaving my Box, the network usually deletes these glitch ideas anyway with their Bliss Protection Agency programs so that we don’t have to worry about them. I was born into a late generation Box and so I had very little if anything to complain about. Life was better than good. I was living in perfection, the epitome of human existence. We all knew what life was like in the days before the Box revolutionized human life and we all knew the horror of war and disease and marriage and divorce and physical pain. When I was born I went through orientation or what you might call an introduction to human life pre-Box and I stood among the dead in horrible battlefields watching the pointless carnage over politics or religion, I watched disease ravaged bodies in hospitals waste away in pain and suffering, I saw the overcrowded slums of Mombasa and the criminals of the pre-Box cities stealing and raping and murdering people. No, I had no desire to leave my Box and its ultimate perfection. No one could conceive of anything other than the perfect, painless, freedom of the Box.

I can’t account for what happened. Perhaps it was a glitch at LiveTech’s Central Division of Technology or perhaps one of the few remaining employees they kept outside the Box for physical maintenance of hardware got the bright idea to unplug some people against their will and violate the conduct sections of Network and disconnect them from the confines of their digital utopian bliss. I don’t know and I doubt I ever will. I just know what happened after.

I was with a beautiful, perfectly proportioned brunette in a lavish bed in silk sheets in a penthouse at the top of a grand hotel in what used to be London and then I felt something I had never felt before: physical pain. Darkness. I felt my body creaking as the various aches that ran through it manifested and my eyes opened and adjusted to a dim light in a massive warehouse center and as I looked around me I saw millions or maybe billions of people of various sizes and shapes in the fetal position covered in this translucent, wavy green holographic electricity stacked on ledges all the way to the ceiling around these huge circular towers, all of them enclosed in the same glowing, pulsing electric light. None of them looked awake but I could see how each person would twitch and I imagined these twitches to be whatever experience they believed they were having taking place in their brains.

I climbed down from my rack after removing the various adaptors and plugs I found protruding from my body, they were plugged into a kind of metallic tower that rose up to what I imagined to be the top of the ceiling many times over for each circular stack of glowing green, twitching, fetal bodies. The muscles in my body quivered and ached but they weren’t completely atrophied somehow so I began to climb down to the ground. At first I was so disoriented that I didn’t know which way the ground was but after some time I began to get used to the feeling of my body and its movements and I found that I was able to use my eyes and ears to determine where I wanted to go. In my Box I had never before experienced the laws of physics, people flew or jumped or walked depending on whatever program they felt like using, I was now at the mercy of gravity and as I inched around trying to make sense of this new world it became apparent that this body I had never seen before wasn’t capable of much beyond moving clumsily and with difficulty. I inched my way down, climbing down stepping gingerly from each small shelf to the one below it and I realized I came to the bottom rather quickly and this is what makes me believe still that someone unplugged me deliberately. The ground was a matter of balance and I took my first steps trying to find mine. I spent a long time just walking toward a light, it was a different light, brilliant and golden, that was unlike the glowing green everywhere else or any light I had ever seen before and I just walked straight in that direction until I finally approached a large door with a red button in its center. Whatever was behind the door was the source of that yellowish light that drew me toward it and the light spilled from the borders of the door into the dark facility.

I pressed the red button and a gush of depressurized air could be felt releasing and I heard something click and the door unlocked and slowly slid open and I saw the yellow light becoming larger until the door vanished completely. I was staring at something I had never seen. I walked out into the hot sun and felt the warmth of a thousand days in the Box compressed into a single moment and a rush of air carried by the wind blowing into my face and onto my body that felt like nothing I had ever felt before and I walked boldly forward into this new realm. I looked down and saw that I was on the lip of a great valley and I saw the massive warehouses that filled the valley and I felt the great humming being exuded from the warehouse behind me and the warehouses in the valley below me and this great buzzing electronic vibrations led me to my first philosophical realization as a real, non-digital person: this electronic heartbeat I could feel running through and around me, carried by the wind, was life inside the Box. A great cadence of pulsing and throbbing currents flew around the warehouses and I realized that I had lived in these currents, that everyone plugged into a Box was at this moment just a buzzing electricity conducted by a grand machine.

My first instinct was to escape the throbbing pulse and I ran, slowly at first, higher up, until I reached the absolute peak of the valley upon which lay a large collection of trees where a small rugged footpath of dead plants and soil lay in the center. I started down this trail away from the great digital throbbing and I found myself in a clearing where I found a blackened pit where a fire had once been. I touched the burnt logs and felt soot come away on my finger and as I stared at the black dust on my hand I heard something like a voice but different, more human than I had ever heard. I can’t explain how everything was in a way the same but so much different but this is how it was.

It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes and the color and feel of the world had some kind of added dimension that I never knew existed. I walked toward the voice I thought I had heard. At the end of the clearing was another trail and I entered a darker, thicker forest and walked through it, through thorny bushes that scraped my pale skin leaving small bloody lacerations and huge hanging leaves from gigantic trees that held dewy condensation which I drank from and past giant spider webs that caught on my face. I walked for what seemed like forever until I began to see the forest thinning out, the trees becoming less thick, the plants covering the ground receding behind me back into the depths of the middle of the deep wood from which I was emerging from.

I stared out from the edge of the forest upon a great blue water and I saw and felt and heard the white waves thrash the beach becoming foam running up the sand. I walked out of the forest back into the sunlight and I looked across at a panorama of blue ocean under blue sky and it was endless, I could see neither the beginning nor the end and it was as if the entire world was surrounded by this thrashing, living force. I walked, naked feeling the sand caressing my feet and the sun and its warm, decadent radiance upon my body and as I walked feeling these things I saw a group of children with dark golden skin playing at the edge of the beach by the foamy water. I heard them laughing as each wave crashed, running toward the water and away from it as if to tease a great beast. As I walked I threw my hands out up at the sun in the sky and as I walked toward the children I used my voice for the first time to howl in joy.

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