Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hard Truths

You will die.

Everything you love will die. So hard to write, I want the things I love to last forever and delight my children's children's children. I want to write that all things change and take the word 'death' out of it...I want, I want, I want.

Your character is fragile. Read 'Night' and see what good people will do to those they love if they are hungry enough or scared enough or hopeless. Who you will be in twenty years will be as different as the callow youth of twenty years ago.

Who you think you are is a fragile fairy tale.

Rules contradict.

Social Dimensions change things. You do not work, live or love in a vacuum. Politics even enters into SWAT operations. That's not right, but it is true.
Corollary: sometimes, to everyone else, the politics are more important than the operation. In general, reality wins in the particular (My officers need the tools to protect themselves) and politics wins in the abstract (Officers are using too much force, something must be done).

We put these social disconnects on the shoulders of a very few people. There are people who deal professionally with a world made up almost entirely of things that are not the way the world should be- broken bodies and minds and shattered families and identities.
Corollary: They deal with these things specifically so that everyone else doesn't have to.
Sub-corollary: This allows people the freedom to pretend that these broken places really don't exist or are just like they are used to but with different props.
Corollary 2: This may be the most traumatic incident of your life, but something I do twice a week. Don't expect me to match your emotional involvement.

We put these social disconnects on the shoulders of a very few people- and then we punish them for adapting.

The best intentioned things will be exploited by bad people.
Corollary: If you are exploiting something designed to help people (such as abusing FMLA or the ADA or working under the table while accepting workman's comp) you are a bad person.

The only defense against violent evil people are good people who are more skilled at violence.


Anonymous said...

I've never been able to decide whether the writings on this site are straightforwardly profound or profoundly straightforward. Another great little essay. May I quote it elsewhere?

Regarding the question asked previously, about which book you should write, I'd be tempted to vote for the one that's for the general public--the disconnect between your world and our world is frightening, and our lack of knowledge has to be making your job harder. The trick is getting the people who most need to read it, to read it.

Thanks for your work and words,
Geoff McLain

Anonymous said...

[B]The only defense against violent evil people are good people who are more skilled at violence.[/B]

And those people scare the hell out of the other good people who ignore violence.

"Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." [i]Orwell[/i]


Anonymous said...

And then there are some people who just don't have the capacity to be violent, and there's not a damn thing they can do about it.

Not good or bad, just karma.

Cestla vie.