Saturday, September 22, 2007

Don't judge me, bro

Pretty much every angle (and remix!) of the taser incident has been covered by now, but I wanted to talk about a larger issue: the role of university police. In short, I'm against them. University police, at least as I knew them at Harvard, exist not to enforce the law, but to subvert it. Let me explain: a university campus is a hotbed of drug abuse and underaged drinking. The university police, like everyone else, know this, but do nothing about it. Presumably they have taken an oath to uphold the law, yet they make no effort to do so. They basically serve as a free taxi service for the drunk and incapacitated, taking them to the hospital in extreme circumstances, but never arresting the louts (after all, as we always hear, the important thing is the kid's health [physical health, natch]).

If this is so, you ask, why are the police even around? Well, college kids, being morons, leave their valuables lying around everywhere and are easy prey for thieves. The campus police are around to chase bicycle and laptop thieves. And that's what really gets to me. When it comes to important things, like the damage to themselves and others caused by drug and alcohol abusers, the campus police look the other way. For meaningless material concerns, though, like a stolen wallet, the sirens are a-blazin'.

I am not saying that the university police should arrest underage drinkers; if we are intent on preserving the inebriated sanctity of the college "lifestyle,"* however, I think I would prefer if we got rid of such police altogether. You see, it's the hypocrisy (!!) that I can't take. Screw the law as long as you're enjoying yourself, but run crying to police headquarters when your Ipod is stolen.

Of course, I think I would have a much different opinion if, once, just once, the Harvard police would have tased the nipple rings out of an idiot protestor.

And as for cases of sexual violence, the police are hopeless, too. A friend of mine was being stalked, and the cops told her they couldn't do anything about it unless she was actually attacked! Furthermore, sexual relationships have become so depraved and demeaning of late, that even if the police were determined to prosecute predators, they could never separate them from everyone else. What, they're going to arrest every frat boy? Video-surveil every one night stand? Once society has cast aside the principles upon which the law was built in the first place, it is absurd to expect the police to pick through the mess we've left behind.

*As Michael writes here, "looks like people think they can justify a[ny] degenerate set of behaviors by calling it a 'lifestyle.'"

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