“Y’see, they say journalism is the art of controlling your environment, but that’s all wrong. I can’t control anything with this typewriter. All this is, is a gun… It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that’s all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.”
Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan: Back On The Street
[from a rooftop overlooking the Angels 8 riot, corner of Cranberry and Nixon]
There’s a jungle rhythm beating out below me; the sound of truncheons hammering on riot shields, police tradition when the streets get nasty.
I’m in Angels 8, above what will doubtless be called the Transient Riot. History’s only written by the winners, after all, and if the cops want it called the Transient Riot, then that’s how it will be.
Because there’s going to be Transient blood all over this place. And you know something? It’s not their fault.
The Transients couldn’t have managed this on their own. They’re just big kids who thought it’d be fun to live inside an alien body. A sane society would have tagged them for the waterheads they are and bought them a big playground.
But no one ever checked to see if their silly claim for secession was feasible. Civic Center just decided to stamp on them instead.
They paid a few Transients off to start some trouble, deliberately marring a non-violent demonstration. Spontaneous violence, the only excuse Civic Center would have to send in the riot cops. These people are bleeding down there for a scam.
It’s a show of power. How dare anybody ignore the authority of Civic Center? How dare a bunch of freaks try and think for themselves?
So let’s go out and stomp on children, lunatics and incompetents, because by damn it makes our balls feel big. I can see a blatantly unarmed Transient man with half his face hanging off, and three cops working him over anyway. One of them is groping his own erection.
I’m sorry. Is that too harsh an observation for you? Does that sound too much like the Truth?
If anyone in this shithole city gave two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about Truth, this wouldn’t be happening.
I wouldn’t be seeing a Transient woman with blood on her face huddled in a porn-store doorway, clutching her belly. I wouldn’t be looking down at a dead boy, thirteen if he’s a day, draped over the hood of a police wagon. No one’s eyes would be bleeding from incapacity sprays or the nerve bomblets the cops are launching down Cranberry.
I wouldn’t be surrounded up here by the people who have to live and work here, weeping openly.
Enjoying this? You like the way I describe disgusting shit happening to people you probably walked past in the street last week?
Good. You earned it. With your silence.
You see, here’s how it works: Civic Center and the cops do what the fuck they like, and you sit still.
Your boss does what he likes. The asshole at the tollbooth, the bouncer at your local bar, the security guy who frisks you at the clinic, the papers and feedsites that lie to you for the hell of it. They do what they like. And what do you do? You pay them.
This “riot” here, this terrible shit-rain visited upon a bunch of naive and uppity fetishists: You paid for it. Lap it up.
You must like it when people in authority they never earned lie to you.
Warren Ellis — Darick Robertson — Transmetropolitan