There is sooo much going on. And, I just want to go and hide. Let all the kids fight it out and live my live in a cabin in the woods. I don’t want to write about protesting, protestor nor of protests — if only because everyone else is. I like like being a contrarian.
However, I will ask this: If speech is violence and silence is violence and a punch to kisser is violence, what really is violence? I always thought violence was violence, and I reckon if I had to chose a violence to be subjected to, I’ll take the silence is violence brand. Hey, but that’s just me.
* * *
I cleaned my desk off the other day and ran across a news item I saved. (I tend to save news items, phone numbers, napkins, doodles — lots of things on the top of my desk, some of which I want to write about, others only to throw away.)
The news items that catch my eye have interesting or offbeat headlines. And, these headlines often lead me down a dark path to some absurd thought — all this before reading the actual bit of reporting. Before getting to the point, I want to take this moment to school all would-be “journalists” (and I guess that includes — although it pains me — social media influnencers and online blogger-types, too). Young Cub Reporter, know this: Headlines are important. They need to be big, bold, short and interesting. Headlines are the proverbial bait on the end of your hook. You are fishing for readership. Use the headline to catch the most fish. Now, back to what I started . . .
“Detroit police halt pillow fight”
That, my friends, is an excellent headline!
But, it got me thinking . . . my, how the mighty have fallen. I’m not jumping on the bandwagon and talking about how the mega-corp General Motors has crumbled and had to rely on the federal government to be rebuilt a decade ago. No, no, no. I am discussing Detroit. Detroit used to have street cred. Detroit was tough. Detroit was mean. I mean, like Jim Croce used to sing, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind” and don’t mess with a Detroiter.
As historians know, STRESS was the bad-ass, abusive, overly zealous and totally authorized Detroit Police unit — it took care of business the Detroit way, with knuckle sandwiches and blackjacks. Detroit streets were corrupt and mean, so I guess the thought was Detroit cops had to be corrupter and meaner. And, much like today, bad cops lead to riots.
I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. I was a few months shy of 5 when the riots rocked Detroit in 1967. My dad used to love watching all the cop TV shows like Manex, Hawaii 5-0, Cannon and the like. And, one of the things that always caught my attention in these shows is when one of the good cops would say to other good cops something like, “Hey, I heard Tony the Tooth is bringing in the boys from Detroit to take care of business . . .”
And then the other good cop would get a look of consternation and concern, “No, not the boys from Detroit!” Que the dramatic music.
Detroit was recognized for its rough and tumble ways. I remember when I was a young man or maybe teenager, there used to be black T-shirts on sale which stated in white lettering:
Where the Weak Are Eaten
When I traveled to other parts of the country I was proud to be from Detroit. And, though I was only born in Detroit and really raised on the mean streets of lily-white Clarkston, I used the Detroit name for credibility. Come on, we had the Bad Boys — the toughest bunch of thugs to own a professional basketball court. We were the murder capital of the universe.
We burned the city down every Devil’s Night.
We were independent.
We didn’t use mass transit.
We all drove our own stinking cars.
We weren’t wussies, pansies or twinkies.
We were dirty and gritty.
We were real and alive.
We were bad, man. We were so bad, we were good.
And, that headline from I don’t even know how many years ago showed Detroit cops reduced to halting pillow fights. Ugg.
Soon the world will dictate we will all ride electric trains and wait for the powers that be to tell us what to do. No more pickup trucks and muscle cars. No more independence.
We’ll take what is given us, smile weakly and return to groveling.
We’ll be sheep and instead of being the tough guys on TV, we’ll be the victims — those who need pity.
My, my, my . . . how the mighty have fallen.
(See what a good headline can do.)
Comments to DontRushDon@gmail.com