17 November 2009

randomly annoyed with authority

I think I figured out why I don't like rap as much. This was 10 years ago.

Stiffer stipulations attached to each sentence
Budget cutbacks but increased police presence
And even if you get out of prison still livin
join the other five million under state supervision
This is business, no faces just lines and statistics
from your phone, your zip code, to S-S-I digits
The system break man child and women into figures
Two columns for who is, and who ain't niggaz
Numbers is hardly real and they never have feelings
but you push too hard, even numbers got limits
Why did one straw break the camel's back? Here's the secret:
the million other straws underneath it - it's all mathematics (no there's no actual video, I was more interested in finding the song)

So there's a market for crap you can dance to that means nothing and glamorizes stupid shit. But not for this? I have to wonder sometimes whether my civil libertarian/anti-police bent comes out of rhymes like this or whether it comes out of annoyance. If it did, it did something useful I should think.

Of course, then I read stories like these....
police and their handiwork framing people

two pages of charges before a cop goes to jail?

because as we all know a GPS unit is a crime worth confiscating property over

....and I realize that being annoyed at authorities overstepping their boundaries isn't just a racial thing that a few rappers and comedians notice. It isn't just a libertarian thing that weirdo quasi-anarchists like me notice. It's something that just has to be called out where it is or we're not going to get to a system that works for everybody else. I go back to the battles I had with people over Gates' arrest. I could not believe that we live in a society where the police are on a higher plane of order such that we're required, under any circumstances, to do what they say. And what's more: that some people want it that way. More cops won't do a damn thing if some of them still act like they own the place. They are the law, yes. But the law doesn't just get to fall on people's heads out of spite and anger and whatever else the officer brings into work with them.
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