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review 2020-06-30 21:59
Help I'm a cop
Burmese Days - George Orwell


"It's a drag being a cop" ~ Frank Zappa, "Help, I'm a rock"


George Orwell was brainwashed. This happened in Myanmar (formerly Burma) during his five years as a policeman. He was brainwashed by the pukka sahibs’ code. The code of imperialist occupiers. The code of colonial hypocrisy. A code similar to the one currently protested by the BLM movement.


The protagonist of "Burmese Days" is not a policeman. However, John Flory has seen through the code and now belongs nowhere--not in Burma, nor back in England.


"It is a stifling, stultifying world in which to live. It is a world in which every word and every thought is censored. In England it is hard even to imagine such an atmosphere. Everyone is free in England; we sell our souls in public and buy them back in private, among our friends. But even friendship can hardly exist when every white man is a cog in the wheels of despotism. Free speech is unthinkable. All other kinds of freedom are permitted. You are free to be a drunkard, an idler, a coward, a backbiter, a fornicator; but you are not free to think for yourself. Your opinion on every subject of any conceivable importance is dictated for you by the pukka sahibs’ code.


In the end the secrecy of your revolt poisons you like a secret disease. Your whole life is a life of lies. Year after year you sit in Kipling-haunted little Clubs, whisky to right of you, Pink’un to left of you, listening and eagerly agreeing while Colonel Bodger develops his theory that these bloody Nationalists should be boiled in oil. You hear your Oriental friends called ‘greasy little babus’, and you admit, dutifully, that they are greasy little babus. You see louts fresh from school kicking grey-haired servants. The time comes when you burn with hatred of your own countrymen, when you long for a native rising to drown their Empire in blood. And in this there is nothing honourable, hardly even any sincerity. For, au fond, what do you care if the Indian Empire is a despotism, if Indians are bullied and exploited? You only care because the right of free speech is denied you. You are a creature of the despotism, a pukka sahib, tied tighter than a monk or a savage by an unbreakable system of tabus."


John Flory's story isn't a pleasant one. It's a story of a conflicted man wanting, but unable, to do the right thing. I wonder how many good cops feel this way, wanting to improve society but hampered by their coworkers. At any rate, it's a good read. This essay about Orwell and BLM is another good read.

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photo 2020-06-03 22:15
Who we are

We are men. We know pain,

Which we freely acknowledge,

Yet we don’t complain.


It isn’t the pain that aggrieves.

It’s the unfairness that comes

From those who deceive us.


Hypocrites all, they try to fool us

With improvised news,

With which they would school us.


They haven’t an ethos they would defend

Unless it’s that destiny decrees they hold the hill,

Even if that means crushing those below.


Winners keep losers poor and in debt.

And as they drown push them deeper

until they sputter, “I can’t breathe.”


Winners need losers in order to win.

So brainwash some. Impoverish many.

Murder a few. But never admit.

You’re no better than they.


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text 2020-06-02 22:53
Why are they protesting?


Is our ship of state off course, or sinking? Here's one opinion:


"The core story of U.S. politics over the past four decades is that wealthy elites weaponized white racism to gain political power, which they used to pursue policies that enriched the already wealthy at workers’ expense." ~ Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 1, 2020

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