Friday, January 8, 2010
There was a drug bust across the street from my office. It was great. It happened ten minutes before the end of the day, right when everybody was about to clear out. Mine was just one of about two dozen faces pressed against the window, watching. Of course I got there a few moments too late to see anything cool happen. Some unmarked cop cars had just pulled over a navy blue, late '90s Lexus on Penn Avenue. It was as big as a boat, with tinted windows and giant chromed rims like convex satellite dishes. Apparently, I missed the part where the cops arrested the guy, confiscating his gun and two bricks of something. All sorts of plainclothes officers were milling about, taking pictures and looking around, in the trunk, under the hood, in the seats. Eventually we all lost interest and left. I didn’t see the guy, but I empathized with him. He had brought it upon himself--all choices have consequences--but getting busted like that has got to be shitty. All of our interest, watching through the relative safety of the glass, seemed very self-righteous to me. We love to watch the bad guy, the man who lives without the same moral yoke that we’ve all taken up ourselves, get taken down a few pegs. We like to watch with our pseudo-moralistic, self-righteous, slave morality…from behind glass. It feels good to see the wolf castrated and kept behind the door. It seems to validate and confirm our virtue and the correctness of the decisions which we’ve made. Doubtless, he’s probably not a very nice guy, but I’m not convinced that we are either.