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Hell on Earth

Here’s another one for Billy’s oft referred to description of hell: the impossibility of reason. Note that it’s the concept of "impossibility" that’s operative. When something so elemental to the essential essence of humanity becomes impossible, well, he said it: that’s truly a description of hell.

An elementary student in Marion County was arrested Thursday after
school officials found her cutting food during lunch with a knife that
she brought from home, police said.

The 10-year-old girl, a
student at Sunrise Elementary School in Ocala, was charged possession
of a weapon on school property, which is a felony.

"Police said." Charged with a felony for, I guess, acting with the civility to cut her food in a modern, man-made manner; rather than, I suppose, acting in the inferior god-made manner of gnawing it off the bone with with claws & teeth. But, you know: the law’s the law, right? Isn’t that what you always say? Is that not what you mean, then? If the law is the law — "that simple" — doesn’t it mean that, ultimately, "when push comes to shove," reason is impossible? Should you beat your way out of that logical wet paper sack to conclude that at the outer bounds the law is hell, you’ll find no disagreement from me.

Yea, I know: the "authorities" will probably eventually "come to their senses" (a phrase I employ with terrified trepidation). There’ll be talk of "message sending," "lessons learned,"  "zero tolerance," and all of that whatnot. Somewhere along the line — if it hasn’t already been uttered — some "authority" will have belched: "you did the right thing." …Which is insult to injury, since — and I’m sure I have to remind you — doing "right" applies only to human beings and necessarily presupposes reason (already well established to have no standing in this whole sordid affair).

This isn’t the questionable but understandable act of calling in Sheriff Andy Taylor to give a boy caught with a stolen pocket knife or wallet a talkin’ to, along with an appropriate scare. Do you grasp why? About 40 years ago, when I was a boy of seven or eight, my mom found a wallet in my trousers as she was tossing them in the washer. Though she knew what was up in an instant (we had not been but a day or two from shopping at the 10 or 12-story Montgomery Wards department store in downtown Reno, Nevada), her and my dad calmly took hours to confront me in a verbal cat & mouse until I finally admitted to stealing it.

Then they called in the police; et cetera, et cetera

Actually, no. The very next morning my mother got me up and I got cleaned up and dressed in slacks, dress shirt, and a tie; with hair properly greased down as was done in those days. My mother too, dressed herself formally. We then proceeded down to Montgomery Wards, leaving behind my empty piggy bank. We took the elevator up to the top floor management offices and without appointment, my mom kindly asked that we be able to see the store manager. In those days, being a manager of a big and important store like that was something quite special. This wasn’t your floor walking manager, but rather your suit & tie manager behind an executive’s desk, before which I was encouraged to stand up, tell him that I had stolen a wallet from his store, and offer to pay for it. He accepted; and though it was over 40 years ago, it is impressed upon me as though it were yesterday, and I’ve never taken another thing that didn’t belong to me in all my life.

Do you grasp the difference? Here, I had actually done wrong. I’d taken something that I had no right to, and I harmed others in doing that. It was handled without an ounce of equivocation, yet completely and proportionally reasonable within the context of my age, understanding, responsibility, and accountability. It was also handled amongst the only people in the entire world in possession of the slightest moral authority to handle it. It was no one else’s business, least of which: "the police."

Contrast that with a girl of ten who did no wrong. She violated an arbitrary rule that she would have had no business, necessarily, of knowing anything about because of its arbitrariness. And even if she did? …Now she’s arrested, hauled off by police to the "Juvenile Assessment Center," and charged as a felon.

My hope that we get through this reverted, primitive, stone age-like period of pre-conscious "justice" without good people resorting to arms grows dimmer every day.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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