AKA: “How Are You Gonna Treat the Police?”
Spent the better part of my being bugfuck anxious, where it felt like my heart wasn't necesarily beating faster just harder, somehow, creating a kind of constant background noise that didn't block anything out but simply made it more difficult to parse. Then there was too much of it - noise - anyhow. I have way too many cats. One of them's in heat - haven't been able to get her fixed - and she's been yowling for weeks. It has to stop sometime, but I don't even remember the last time she wasn't in heat.
Fucking awful. I haven't done shit in a few days, this being day two. God knows I keep trying to get into a writing head space. So, we'll see.
Brewed a pot of oolong tea. Ate some lunch. Re-brewed it with a teaspoon of lapsang. I didn't used to be a tea guy and now I am, at least after breakfast. I don't know my tea academically, I just drink a lot of it. A stimulant to calm the nerves like nicotine, which is a vice I can't afford to trade in.
Okay, so I started re-reading Gibson's "The Bridge" trilogy, which has me beginning with Virtual Light. I've gotten, oh, about 7/8s through it before I've been able to sit down and let my thoughts clear up. Kept thinking I wanted to start with chapter 2, not chapter-by-chapter, but in terms of the whole sub-narrative it creates for us. But space is precious and there's actually too much to write, so I just narrow my focus to Gibson's treatment of the police.
When I read this in college, I didn't give a shit one way or the other about cops, and now I don't like them at all. Full disclosure. I actually wish I could like the police, you know? Like, if there were any kind of way that they'd be like I used to see them in TV - basically good, generally there to protect people. As if you could call the cops and they'd help you. Even Gibson doesn't write it like that. Rydell and Sublett seem to be some kind of aberration in the fabric of the police-narrative. Rydell can't stop himself from reacting, which costs him literally every employed position he has at every possible turn, while Sublett is physically and socially liminal. Like, it's probably strange to see such a fragile security gaurd - allergic to basically everything, including the light - part of a television cult that he's not even in proper adherance of doctrine with. I'm thinking, honestly, Sublett's a surprisingly brave dude. Both Rydell and Sublett are treated by the narrative as figures of personal, if reflexive, integrity.
Head canon seems to lock Rydell in as a Bruce Willis figure, almost based on the speech pattern alone. Read it and tell me he doesn't sound like fuckin' John McClane. Fresh from watching Luke Cage, I want to cast Theo Rossi as Sublett, but that creates chronology issues for my conciousness. This is the 90's, so my head re-tunes its image to, like, maybe James Marsters. Seriously. Anyhow.
I guess you can kind of clock someone's unthinking ideology by their cop figures, and the 90's are just like... they're fucking thick with 'em. I don't know why, because we're fresh out of the anti-government 80's, but there's something about the military and the police that are given a pass. I feel like the reason this happens is that they're granted authority and then break rules, which honestly makes them the worst of both worlds and I'd probably suggest that this results in the kind of scum-sucking blue lives matter movement bullshit I've come to see so often. Turning people into symbols and ignoring structure and ideologies.
Gibson's treatment of the police was similar, I think, to my own unthinking ideology when I was younger, so I think it just kind of... missed me. I didn't think about it. Rydell was good because he was doing things that seemed pretty good, if surprisingly destructive, and he was operating in places where breaking a lot of shit was either not really his fault of fundamentally harmless. He's never really put into a position where he has to make a difficult decision because now he has cop training and "good" cop ideology, but no cop rules at all. This kind of reminds me of David Sirota's book on how our attitudes kind of flow naturally from 80's media and this is fresh from that decade, so it's really no surprise. Gibson's cop writing is basically just that - just a re-heating of media cop narratives overlaid into a 90's cyberpunk milieu. I think it's a little weird, really. As insightful as Gibson can be on some stuff, there's shit he just doesn't seem to catch at all.