Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bistrôt de justice

One needs to guard against
rigging the game of think-
ing against oneself in the
crafting of public policy.
By no means is the obliga-
tion less in unmentionable

There is a natural tenden-
cy, we all discover in law
study or other sports, for
resemblances between dis-
tinguishable circumstances
to lead to poor inferences.

Yesterday a schoolboy was
acquitted of felonious as-
sault and convicted of us-
ing a computer to achieve
it. This is not a sane re-
sult of prosecution. It is
necessary to question this.

I don't know about you, but
this reminds me of that in-
opportune association of 
ideas which persuaded the
most powerful nation the
world has ever known to de-
stroy a fragile nation be-
cause the idiot president
of one didn't like the vile
president of the other. All
that was left was the fal-
sity of the pretext: the
equivalent of a computer,
which in that case wasn't
found, of mass destruction.

The boy used devices. Surely
he must have been guilty of
something. Someone is crying
and his semen's on her pants.
Well, somebody has to pay. A
crime would be convenient.

Interesting deductions, yes?
But telling circumstances?
Grounds for the power of the
state to be unleashed for an
outpouring of justice? My, my.
Preserve us from that kitchen.

Arthur Miller didn't write
The Crucible to complain a-
about adultery. He wrote it
to kvetch about McCarthyism.
Louis Malle didn't re-live
his Murmur of the Heart to
denounce incest. He did so
to celebrate Charlie Parker.
A common strand inseminates
the works, and it is moral
illumination of great warmth.
Inadmissible in the courts
of New Hampshire this week,
but irrepressible as ever.

Is it impossible to tire of
scapegoatings? Probably so.
Every generation achieves a
glimpse of illumination but
never stops crying out for
someone to pay for the dark.
The criminalisation of the
laptop was designed to ter-
orise a people, by assuring
guilt for something; it's
the mechanical equivalent
of conspiracy theory. Mul-
tiply the strands of a whip,
you bag even the innocent.
One could indict a mouse.

That an American district at-
torney could take a case to
trial, of felonious use of a
computer to procure sex with
a minor, where the ethernet
of a community of teenagers
churns, 24/7, for precious
little else, and that catas-
trophe did not even occur,
scales the peaks of Miller's
witchcraft trials, without
Malle's reminding oxygen
of the prevalence of jazz.

Is it possible to be made ill
by what they serve for virtue
in this restaurant? Is it pos-
sible to be ashamed of it for
any constructive purpose? Or
does one just get up and walk.

I don't know, but one could
suspect this: that there are
very few trauma more vicious,
few remedies less discrimin-
ating, than bestowals of jus-
tice prompted by the fear of
broad daylight. New Hampshire
tried to crush someone this
week, and who'll ask, Why,
if not to restore the dark?

André Kertész

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