a comment to the cops and their many ardent fans

Watch this video, and listen to what the officer says to Breaion King, who works as a teacher in Texas. Listen to his advice.

You hear what he said, how chilling it was? The diabolical nature of his certitude? The confusion on her face, and then, the realization that he is not seeing her? Trapped, captive, she realizes that she has all-but-nothing to do with this. It’s what she looks like, and how that makes him feel, that got her captured in this way. She was arrested for his feelings.

“Violent tendencies,” he said. “I want you to think about that.  I’m not saying anything, I’m not saying that it’s true. I’m not saying that I can prove it or nothing. But 99 percent of the time when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that’s being violent. That’s why the white community are afraid… and I don’t blame them.”

And I hear this sort of sentiment *all the time* in white rooms, indignant white people, white cops, white security. I’m calling you out. This sort of thinking is a problem.

The Austin police chief promptly apologized publicly and profusely to the victim and ordered an administrative investigation into the details of the stop. That’s not the problem. Actually, that’s fantastic. That’s a way we can move forward. And much forward movement needs to be done.

Let’s go down this, line by line. The remark was made as part of a discussion on race, and the officer begins: “I think a lot of people are afraid of black people.” He rephrases it, rhetorically. “Why are so many people afraid of black people?”

“That’s what I want to figure out,” Breaion replies. “Because I’m not a bad black person.”

“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way.”

“Why?”

“Violent tendencies.” Stated as a fact, with no evidence or elaboration, about all black people.

“I want you to think about that.  I’m not saying anything, I’m not saying that it’s true.” But you believe it’s true. 

“I’m not saying that I can prove it or nothing.” You believe it is true, and you wish it could be proven. You know it for a fact in your heart, and that’s good enough. 

“But 99 percent of the time when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that’s being violent.” Shockingly, insanely untrue. What is “stuff like that”? Is it acts of violence? Ninety-nine percent of acts of violence are the work of the black community? You said this.

“That’s why the white community are afraid… and I don’t blame them.” Because I agree.

You say no cop gets up and wants to go commit race violence. You say no cop wakes up and wants to kill. My father was a cop. I agree with you. That’s not the problem. The problem is all of the people who think exactly the same as this guy here. The people who enforce laws selectively, with selective degrees of force, against threats as they perceive them. No cop gets up in the morning and wants to kill—they just want to go to work, do their job, come home safe. Some people see the world a certain way, and until that kind of thinking can be trained out of them, they will see it on the job. They’ll incorporate their racism into their work. They will keep their communities safe, well-intentioned, satisfying their definition of safety. They’re not bad people. They’re not trying to hurt anybody.

But they are.

And they must stop.

It’s very hard to bite my tongue about this sort of thing.

Violent tendencies. I want you to think about that.

Video Credit: New York Times

Nom Like a Child

So I’m reading garbage forum posts on the internet, like I do, because it’s fun to me to lurk around reading the thoughts of oddballs who guilelessly reveal strange things about their life when I have time to kill. It’s that, memes, video games, and then books. This is if I don’t have a new issue of Harper’s. Harper’s is extremely good. Anyway, I am becoming infinitely dumber as I age, so I read more trash perhaps than I used to.

Doing this, I come across a guy, thirty-something, talking about his diet. It’s very funny to me. I’ll just repost it:

This is a list of pretty much any meal I eat ever:

-Steak and a baked potato with cheese and sour cream

-cheeseburger with ONLY ketchup and mayo and potato chips

-broiled fish (either whitefish or tilapia, no other kind) and clam chowder

-fried chicken and jojos with ranch dressing

-kung pao chicken and steamed white rice

-beef and cheese burrito with tortilla chips and salsa

-hamburger helper (classic) and potato chips

-tuna helper (classic) and potato chips

-buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce

-cheese ravioli with marinara sauce and garlic bread

Holy shit! Aside from being a bulleted compendium of everything I ate today, that’s hilariously bad. I find people with bad diets like this to be very funny, especially when they go on, like this guy, to claim supertaster status, genetic issues, or that a vegetable in their mouth literally makes them vomit, instead of considering that their issue might just be psychological. Imagine going your whole life eating only this! Never crunching a delicious apple! No wedge salads! I mean, fuck health—I don’t even see any cake in here. Or eggs florentine! Fucccck. So salty. So colorless!

That diet is a damn kid’s menu. That diet is a carbohydrate death injection. That shit makes my chest ache. We have finally found the formula to turn a heart literally to stone.

Anyway, the word of the hour is bleph·a·ro·spasm. Blepharospasm. It refers to an involuntary tight closure of the eyelids. Sounds scary. So dark in here!!!

Do not lean into negative emotions. Everyone is scared and petty. Balance the world with your smile.

Photo Credit: Applebee’s

Current Meal Status: Applebee’s

Sometimes You Want to Go: Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Which, for me, is Applebee’s)

There’s a Sarahsze.com

And in keeping with tradition, she strikes me as very creative. Also very successful. I need to give her a call. It sorta goes against the literal truth of the modus operandi of the Same Name Squad, but in spirit, it is a-OK. We can always use some help with the visual aesthetics around here.

I mean, look at this. I can’t do this. There’s so much care and precision, here. Some of the best art I’ve ever produced is basically a story about me throwing up with the word “fuck” used fifty times. When it comes to me, y’know, it’s like, art? More like “fart.” You can use that one. Pull-quote. Right above the title of a book jacket. “More like fart.”—Stephen King. And then SARAH SZABO: Haunted Contemplations.

Speaking of book jackets, I was named writer of the month for the current issue of California-based literary magazine Drunk Monkeys! Issue number 4. Free stories at the link! One is called “Beer Mile,” and it’s a comedy. It’s kind of funny! The main characters are real dopey assholes, I love ’em. The other is called “Fit of Inspiration”, and it’s short. Short and strange. So, yo dawg, are you bored as fuck? You want me to weave something for you? You wanna get swept away by our shared imaginations to the far-off place where wings take dream? Then please, get up on this dick.

Youtube Rabbit Hole: The atmospheric loops and jams of Lee Bannon
Photo Credit: Sarah Sze

I spend a lot of money buying groceries for myself

because I eat good, bitch.

Fridge full of Powerade and nut milks. Fresh celery with a crispy crunch. I have meat. I have soda. I have beer. I eat and drink it all. When I go home to my apartment, I actually climb inside of the fridge. It’s been modified. It’s very spacious, with a chair. And then, I consume. I spark a joint and inhale. But I only eat the finest offerings. Fresh shrimp, the most delicious decapod. Frash shramp.

The rain pitter-patters on the rooftops and I while away another day. I’m reading this book and it’s frickin’ good. I gotta get this guy’s other books. He’s a history dude. But before I do that, I gotta finish this one before this comes in the mail!!

Anxiety is in your mind, most days. The lions, in reality, are rarely breathing down your back.

Youtube Rabbit Hole: Norm Macdonald

Photo Credit: You Made Me Smile

oh thank god, you are here.

I came to the coffee shop to play video games on my phone while listening to the “Heady Beats” playlist on Spotify and I got a coffee with a shot of espresso and I wanted it for here but I got it to go and they didn’t put any soymilk in it but y’know what I don’t really mind. I spent over $200 at the grocery store yesterday.

I used to be really self-conscious about typing things up at coffee houses because there was something about it that felt forced, but it doesn’t feel forced anymore—as a matter of fact, this is my most natural environment in the world, and the only thing that would make it better would be if bae was here for me to lay my head upon their lap and peacefully watch anime until I fall asleep, because I am very tired, although also wired. I work nights, y’know. It’s simply no way to live. Once this caffeine wears off, I’m going to fall into a coma and wake up in the middle of the night.