Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Year...

I have officially been in Los Angeles for a year now.  In the words of Augustus McRae from Lonesome Dove, "Quite a ride, Woodrow, quite a ride."

A couple of film reads today I'm up for.  Nothing terribly important, but possibly some good stuff for the perpetually changing 'reel.'

Angie's birthday is coming up so I'm thinking of birthday presents.  Topping the list are new clothes for me.  Haven't quite figured out how to make those sound like a birthday present for Angie, but I'm working on it.

We've been hunting for a new couch (and a chair) recently and yesterday scanned IKEA in hopes of finding something suitable there.  We actually did find a nice couch, but it wasn't 'perfect' so we passed.  But more importantly we discovered there are hotdogs for only 50 cents inside IKEA at the, um, IKEA hot dog place.  Go figure.  Being a lifelong fan of hotdogs in general, I stored the knowledge away for another time.

I was momentarily enraged to read yesterday that the transit cop in Oakland received only two years (half of which he's already served) for murdering, on tape, in cold blood, the young black man in the train station.  The young man was face down, cuffed, completely docile when the cop pulled his gun (mind you, this is all on tape) and shot him in the back.  The young man died a few hours later.  The cop claims he thought he was pulling his Tazer and accidentally pulled his gun instead.  Why would anyone Tazer someone already cuffed and face down?

Michael Vick received more prison time for arranging dog fights.

I had a flashback to Chicago when I read of this.  In that god-forsaken city cops routinely shoot black people and don't even see the inside of a courtroom for it.  In fact, just before I left, a cop had just gotten a slap on the wrist for gunning down a 13 year old boy after he pulled a comb from his pocket.  The cop, naturally, said he thought the comb was an AK-47 or some such nonsense.  Today he is back on the force ostensibly shooting more black people.  I'm constantly amazed that more people, white people, aren't as incensed about this that I am.

There is a racial divide in this country as wide and ominous as The Grand Canyon.  Personally, I'm not sure it can ever be crossed.  Maybe I'm a skeptic, but if you'd lived in Chicago as long as I did, you might feel the same way.  Oakland, Chicago, Washington D.C., three cities where the divide has reached critical mass.  It is a terrible and shameful blight on this nation's countenance.  And every time a cop gets away with it, the canyon gets deeper and further across.

I, or you, or anyone can't hope to address all the incredible injustices in this country, but this one, renegade cops operating above the law, is one I've spent a few years lamenting.  It's funny what a badge will do to people.  Not all cops, of course, but too many that I've known, see it as giving them a moral right to resolve situations by killing people.  Yes, this is a bit strong, but I've spent years watching it time and again in Chicago (twenty two times the national average in incidents of citizens being gunned down by officers of the law) and now this particular case in Oakland.  It is, quite simply, unacceptable.  Policeman must be held accountable for their actions.  Otherwise, we need to abandon the pretense of 'serve and protect' and just outfit them all with brown shirts.


So I've been here a year.  My, what a year can do.  Marriage, new house, new career, union affiliation, new plays, new agents, reconnecting with old friends, new a sense, it's still overwhelming.  And nearly every single moment has been a kind of beatiful dream. 

To quote a line in Bachelor's Graveyard (premiering this Sunday at 8:00pm in its first public showing), "Yes, sometimes, sometimes, everything works out okay."

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to make some coffee for my wife.

See you tomorrow.