A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I spent about 2 weeks last spring enamored with the idea of a Michael Bloomberg presidential run. I've followed politics one way or another from a (relatively) young age, and then studied the subject in a Ph.D. program; that, plus my advancing age, has turned me off from a lot of the process. Those few ideological principles I've hung on to are either stuck in an unsatisfying, tense gridlock (pro-choiceism) or held hostage as we wait for a lot more people born before 1968 to die off (gay unions). So, the concept of a post-ideological campaign that would presumably be a lot more concerned with making the goddamn trains run on time was pretty attractive. Plus, anything that wedges off more Wall Street Republicans from their mouth-breathing, dirt-farming, gay-bashing, Negro-lynching bretheren and hand the election to the Democrats could only be a good thing, right?

Imagine my sigh of disappointment upon reading the following from the Times:

The mayor, who spoke from 1:17 p.m. to 2:05 p.m., called for taking DNA samples from every person arrested in New York City, no matter how serious the crime; ending social promotion for eighth graders, as he has already done for students in three younger grades; and extending a $400-a-year property tax rebate and a 7 percent property tax deduction despite mounting budget pressures. He promised to give “a six-figure prize” to anyone who invents a device that allows the Police Department to analyze DNA immediately, at crime scenes.
1) This is some fascist fucking shit. DNA swabs for carrying a dime bag? Shoplifting? And how long until that DNA database gets stolen out of the backseat of somebody's car and then, without explanation, ends up in the hands of your health insurance provider. "Mr. Dudebro, there is no possible way that we could cover your soon-to-be-preexisting diabetes."

2) What is with this country's fascination with forensic science? Although roughly 90% of television hinges on crimes that are either unsolvable (Cold Case), can only be solved by magic (CSI) or only be solved by the four competent law enforcement personnel in Manhattan (Law & Order), I feel like that's not how the world actually works. 96 crimes out of 100 must either be drug possession, spousal abuse or killing someone in your immediate family. In what fucking world are criminals running around scot-free because the crime lab couldn't return a blood type on time? And "instant DNA analysis" is something you need to invest a 100K bounty + R&D and distribution costs for?

Pretty much all the crimes that Vic Mackey solves are essentially random and gang-related, and his entire precinct has one fucking computer.

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Blogger steve said...

Man, Neill, you really need to watch more of the Wire. The most recent season (season 4, in the schools) was probably the best season of television I've ever seen.

Also, I'm with you sort of wondering how far the rich republicans are going to stretch in social policy before it breaks the Republican party. If ever?

11:13 PM

Blogger neill said...

I was going to try the new season since I'm receiving HBO for free right now, but it's not in HD.

10:24 AM

Blogger steve said...

To clarify, I don't know how good the one that is currently just starting is, but the season 4 on DVDs that just came out are awesome.

10:30 AM


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