“So it’s like A Modest Proposal?” my husband asked me as we sweated side by side on a couple of Planet Fitness elliptical machines this morning.
“Eh, I’m not even proposing anything,” I said. “I’m just… making a joke. Kind of.”
While I appreciated the comparison to old Jon Swift, I couldn’t describe the two-minute read I posted on Medium last night as an elegant satire, a send-up of our times, or a grand hyperbole. It’s really just an odd insight I stumbled on.
Click for the full story!
After writing it, I had a similar thought about smoking. Sure, tobacco’s never been good for you, but when I used to hear about badass old Native Americans with their ceremonial pipes, or see James Dean with that unfiltered Chesterfield pressed between his lips, I would think COOL.
Now, decades into big tobacco’s relentless pushery and indescribably evil chemical additions to an already junky product, smoking can’t be cool anymore. It can’t be a casual pastime. It can’t be fun. It just reeks of death.
Same with guns. NRA and big tobacco: thanks for nothing!!
When I first heard about BuzzFeed News’s exposé of NYPD misconduct from the new owner of Bushwick Daily, I had two thoughts almost simultaneously:
- Sounds like a scoop! Way to go, investigative reporters.
- But everyone knows there’s police misconduct. What are they going to reveal that’s new?
For better and worse, the answer is plenty.
Ace reporters Kendall Taggart and Mike Hayes published “Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs” two days ago. (And I was pleased to hear them with Brian Lehrer on WNYC yesterday. My hat’s off to all of you!)
- Some NYPD employees who have been allowed to stay on the force after repeatedly lying in court have sent innocent people to prison—and kept guilty people from doing time.
- New York taxpayers foot the bill to settle accusations against errant officers who continue to serve, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per officer—on top of paying some of them six-figure salaries.
- The secrecy and subjectivity of NYPD misconduct trials mean life-altering case decisions can easily be made based on the simple personal prejudice of one police commissioner—and cannot be challenged.
Today, I was pleased to share a summary of Taggart and Hayes’s findings and some information about alleged misconduct in Brooklyn’s 83rd Precinct with the Bushwick Daily community. You can read the post here.