The Year in Bastardry 2011 3


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New Cracked column to close out the year for you, though I think they’re calling it “The Nine Biggest Bastards of 2011,” which will surely rile everyone who thinks X doesn’t belong in the company of Y, and where is Z? I gave you a sampling of the world, dear reader, in all its messed-up glory. Some are righteous bastards who refuse to be cowed, while many are just bullies.

Map of Bastardry

Man, I was shooting from the hip on this one. I fear it’s one of my stumbles into more satire and sarcasm than outright comedy, but what the hell, it’s an indictment of bastards, both good and evil (mostly evil). Next article, I’ll just do a nice, easy, breezy list piece about something family-friendly, like sex injuries.

Oh yes, it’s happening.

Feel free to look around the comic galleries in the top menu, which I brought up-to-date. I recommend Heist.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s 6 a.m. and I need sleep. Saying “bastard” that many times has kind of dulled the potency of one of my favorite words, so I’m going to recharge. I have a big day of eating like a pig tomorrow. Do pigs eat eggplant cheesecake? Because that’s my objective. Goodnight, and good year to you, internet denizen.


3 thoughts on “The Year in Bastardry 2011

    • Brendan McGinley Post author

      Thanks very much for taking the time to say so, Phil. Glad it served.

      A couple of other people wrote me to say I was wrong about Lt. Pike and to watch alternate footage of the event. I will tomorrow and if I feel I’ve maligned him, readjust my stance on the matter.

  • Brendan McGinley Post author

    This is in reply to this comment on the About page: http://www.brendanmcginley.com/about/#comment-20939

    Mark,

    I readily admit to ignorance of what police work actually entails, other than it’s a demanding job. I’m not anti-cop. I do not earnestly believe Lt. Pike woke up that morning eager to pepper-spray anyone. I also understand that a volatile situation like that can quickly turn tides, and I think the protesters shouldn’t have been (and weren’t) surprised by the spraying, given that numerous warnings were issued.

    With all that said, I watched the video, and I see a bunch of idealistic yahoos who probably expected to get arrested and tell a protest story to their kids one day about sticking it to the man. They emphasized their peaceful intentions throughout, and then demonstrating their tone more than dictating it, they quelled some of the bigger idiots in the group who shouted antagonistic chants.

    In my judgment, which is only my judgment, and not Cracked’s — don’t let it put you off their site — the moment at which Lt. Pike erred in judgment is when he douses a bunch of kids who are sitting there. Had any of them made a threatening action when he had attempted to physically remove or detain them, then yes, spray away. But that didn’t happen, and I’m not moved to think that it was wise to pour chemical deterrents in the faces of people sitting in the fetal position.

    I’m not saying the protesters were right, I’m saying Lt. Pike was wrong.
    His actions, more than anything, inflamed the crowd, unless there was more telling footage of the arrests prior in the incident.

    I respect your view of the event, and I’m not trying to change your mind. It’s obviously a different situation when you’re the one in the middle of the angry crowd. But I don’t think it was the right call. My feeling is they could have arrested the seated individuals without pepper spray.

    Again: my feeling. If I were a cop, it might be the same or it might differ. The comments on that video emphasize no one can fully judge without walking a beat themselves, which is true, but I can partially judge from what I’ve seen, and that extended video doesn’t convince me; it does ameliorate Pike’s image somewhat, in that he warned the sit-ins “force will be used,” but no, I don’t think it was necessary to subdue with pain prior to making any arrests. They gave no sign they would resist or use violence. They wanted the police to leave (and stupidly thought they could demand their friends back, which…come on. No way.)

    The cops, obviously couldn’t leave because what if violence did erupt and they weren’t there? Notice that when force was used, the crowd backs down, concedes the arrested parties, and the cops leave, which is what both sides wanted. But when was the crowd most outraged and volatile? In the moments that the spraying occurred.

    So really, he did one thing wrong, but it’s an arresting image (no pun included). He sprayed a bunch of knuckleheads who were doing everything they could to make themselves physically nonthreatening.

    So I’m respectfully but regretfully not convinced. I’d rather have been wrong and feel the officer was perfectly executing his duties. Note also that the protests and campus outrage both escalated following the incident: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/occupy-wall-street-uc-davis-protests-escalate-after-pepper-spray-use-sparks-anger/2011/11/21/gIQAN0r2iN_story.html

    What happened was a clash between two incongruent objectives: a bunch of kids wanted to scream against the rich as if the rich care what they think, and the police, as I said in the article, who get chucked in between them.

    So, I’m sorry to have offended you. I like to think when I’m not writing hyperbolic humor I’m an affable guy. I certainly respect what you do, and police in general. One of my best friends recently passed the police test after I’d been telling him for a while that it would be the perfect occupation for him. Ultimately, we’re all people, not “V for Vendetta” characters. Unfortunately, Lt. Pike’s job brought him into a situation that, unlike most of the people on that list, was not of his choosing.

    By the way, some of the comments on that video are bothersome coming from cops. You sound like a reasonable guy; you came here and made your case rather than just emailing me some vitriol like I usually get when I criticize something people support. Aren’t you also bothered that one of the commenters is a guy charged with enforcing the law justly yet he’s spewing lines like “Forty years ago they’d have been clubbed, then arrested. Just like the Rodney King incident, where the major mistake was not hitting him hard enough the first time.” That was another incident where the use of violence triggered a much-more out-of-control situation than the one it was intended to stop. (King was drunk and stoned, but not the PCP maniac he was portrayed to be.) “Better than being clubbed in the head,” isn’t the watermark of a great situation.

    Can’t we all just get along?

    kind regards,
    Brendan