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Gratuitous Lockdown Syndrome

By Al Schumann on Saturday October 2, 2010 02:34 AM

From suicidal ideation to...

The man's family was escorted from the home, neighbors were also evacuated and a nearby elementary school was put on lockdown.

Police eventually went into the home and detained the man about 7 p.m.

Are there any non-hysterical police left in the country? They sent a SWAT team to cope with a guy having a bad day. From there, they disrupted hundreds of people's lives. Then, and only then, they decided it might be a good idea to talk to him. I'd write it off as Phoenix, where grandiosity competes with paranoia and real estate fraud. But this is a national phenomenon.

Comments (13)

"Are there any non-hysterical police left in the country?"


Al Schumann:
Al Schumann:

Although, it's worth keeping in mind that it's less a cop problem per se than the grandiose hysterics of people who can't feel safe unless there are constant reminders of enforcement around them. I've seen the same mentality at work on school boards, where it finds an easy home, but also at volunteer organizations. They want FBI background checks, just in case serial killers and terrorists decide to find fresh, easy victims by offering to do yard work.

One can fault the cops only so far. There's a strong demand for SWAT teams that blow up toy ponies and evacuate neighborhoods at the first sign of a depressed person.


It's folie a deux, a mutual feedback loop. The cops get into doing all this paramilitary theater, and having the budgets which enable and compel them to do it -- remember Chekhov's Principle.

But the public also gets strangely into it, which is the most depressing part of the phenomenon. The lip-smacking way people say "lockdown"....

I just don't understand it. Free-floating anxiety, coalescing around some shadowy threatening Other that all these Men In Black are supposed to keep at bay?

"One can fault the cops only so far."

Indeed, they're a reflection of the people who hire them and pay them. The American people are hysterical, or at least enough of them are to get a police force that reflects that hysteria.

When at least 50% of TeeVee programming is dedicated to making Noble Heroes of our "law enforcement" personnel, of course the populace is going to treat them with that bizarre mix of fear and pseudo-respect (pseudo- because it's fear, rooted in subconscious acknowledgment of power distribution).

On the TeeVee, coppers are noble people who have incredible technology to help them capture and properly punish the Evildoers of America.

In real life, they're juiced-up thugs who love to punish others. In a detached psychological analysis of the American populace, we'd find some of the most fucked-up psyches among those who are "law enforcement" people.


the pony bummed people out, it wasn't pretty enough.

daddy bummed people out, he didn't know best.

Special Weapons And Prozac.


the pony bummed people out, it wasn't pretty enough.

daddy bummed people out, he didn't know best.

Special Weapons And Prozac.


(it wasn't THAT funny)


The people may be hysterical but the militarization of the police was a policy decision made in Washington, D.C. and reflects, I suspect, elite reaction to the social ferment of the "60's" (which ended in about 1977). Federal money was lavished on police departments that created paramilitary units. The local guys could not resist the money.


In other news:


"The host of "Rick's List" made the comments Thursday during an interview on the satellite radio show "Stand Up! With Pete Dominick." Sanchez complained that Stewart was prejudiced against those who disagree with his "white liberal establishment point of view" and scoffed at the idea that Jews were "an oppressed minority."

"We thank Rick for his years of service," CNN said in a statement Friday. "And we wish him well."

Thursday oops! Friday farewell!! Maybe they can get Imus to fill in. He knows what not to say. Now.


I don't blame people for wanting police protection. America has always been a violent, psychopathic society and it's human nature to fear violence and crime. Having experienced the nauseating terror that comes from having someone try to kill you, or having to worry about one of your loved one's being attacked or killed, I can understand where people who may seem a little obsessive about security to those unaccustomed to raw terror are coming from. The cops and their masters don't have a monopoly on brutality and oppression.

Unfortunately, this terror, while real and justified, creates an opening for the elite to exploit, and deploy their own brand of terrorists. Many people support the police because they have a legitimate need for someone to defend them and have been brainwashed into believing their self-styled "protectors" are something that they are not. It's only after they've had this brainwashing beaten out of them by one of the protectors or have become aware of others being disavowed of their illusions on the end of a night stick that they begin to think otherwise.

Of course, there are always those authoritarian types who are fascinated with displays of violence and power by those they perceive to be stronger and more ruthless than themselves. Go to any YouTube video of police brutality and you'll see no shortage of commenters of the type who consider tasering a 14-year-old kid in the head for misbheaving to be justified. But I think it is a mistake to blame the people as a whole for this, as we don't exatly get to vote for the kind of police force, if any, we would prefer. Our police are imposed on us from on high like everything else, and you will ironically find more support for the right of people to arm and defend themselves from the authoritarian Right than you do from the Left, who seem to hate cops and self-defense with equal measure.

Cops don't protect, Sean. They enforce.

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