This morning talking on the phone with my friend Carole, I was talking about how paranoid I've become about driving. An alarming number of people I know have been given tickets over the last year. I've not seen it in the past anything like it is now. The state has it set so you don't get out of a ticket for less than $200. The ticket may be less, but court costs and fees run it up. Obviously, the highway patrol has increased the quotas for patrolmen, keeping state revenues up in a time when the working people of the state are bringing in less income, hence paying less taxes. What do you do? Screw the working poor. They're easy to rape. They have no recourse. You never see a Cadillac by the side of the road with a highway patrol car behind it, blue lights flashing. The attitude of cops toward we the people has become more hostile, year by year, to the point we "citizens" (a dead word) are taken for criminals, treated like criminals, spoken to as criminals. They think they're being smart in the manner of arrogant people. They're making enemies and stand all the taller for it. This is why we did not want police state. Now it's a law that police departments are right to exclude the more intelligent applicants from a job as a cop. I thought that was already a natural law. It's like making a law requiring us to observe gravity. Throw something up in the air and if it keeps on going you're arrested. I said a whole lot more than this, talking with Carole, that I'm too paranoid to repeat in print. Paying the fine is bad enough, then the hell you're put through from the moment you see the blue light until it's finally over, regarded a criminal every step along the way. Franz Kafka and George Orwell were prophets. We are now living in the adult world they foresaw. I lived it throughout childhood and youth, as have many. It is particularly reprehensible to see Kafka become the way of American enforcement. It must be inevitable, a process, a pattern. We laugh now at the old slogan, to serve and protect, like we laugh at wind, rain, sleet or snow, except in a Jerry Lee Lewis song.
I was telling Carole that all my adult life cops and people in authority positions dislike me on sight. I don't have to make a face, say something smartass, nothing. They look at me and they see the enemy. It's so close to a hundred percent that I'm used to it. I've learned to go slack in the face of authority the way black people have learned that when a cop stops you, you go slack, be passive, no resistance. Otherwise, they beat the shit out of you, and might anyway. When you're white, it's not so overt. They don't give you respect, but they also don't treat you like a coon. People that go about with a superior attitude regard me exactly the same. On sight, like reading an aura, an authoritarian of any sort, official or self-styled, sees the enemy when they see me. I think my eyes have something to do with it. My eyes do not show respect for uniform or position. Nor do they show fear. They show absence of interest. That's what I feel. I know people I would call friends who have been involved in law enforcement in one way or another, people whose egos don't require they be deferred to as authority. The ones that need to be looked up to the most are the ones that hate me. I have this objectionable way of regarding people as who they are themselves, seeing through the transparent mask of appearance. I have this odd way of knowing people for who they are. Like when I saw Maureen Stapleton play Stella in Streetcar Named Desire, I saw Maureen Stapleton playing Stella, an actress, an artist performing a role. I don't know that I've ever lost sight of a performance enough to see just the role. Maybe in childhood I could have, but don't recall. Pre-teens I was in love with actress Claudette Colbert. Susan Hayward, too. Colbert as mother, Hayward as whore. My grandfather kept a picture on the wall of reclining Susan Hayward in his garage. It was the only thing I wanted after grandpa died, but couldn't ask anybody to attempt to mail glass. I imagine it's in a landfill by now.
I'm recalling the time of the music store. The parking lot was across the street. PhDs were a riot. I could see it in them getting out of the car. It's a certain trim of a beard, a stance, presentably dressed in something English, and professorial patterns in behavior. I like talking and visiting with intelligent, educated people. I like it very much. One comes in the door, I speak, we engage in brief conversation. Right away I see he is sizing me up, asking test questions, assessing my knowledge in relation to his. That's when I say them for those. It's all it takes. Don't even have to go so far as to say aint. I see the conclusion register in his eyes that it's just another yokel, exactly as per expectation in his wife's home town. I realize in that moment this is not an intelligent, educated individual, and I lose interest too, at the same time. Its in my horoscope. Not many years ago I found a friend from the years just after high school by way of internet. We emailed quite awhile. Turned out he had a PhD in Psychology; mental institutions, teaching at a university, in charge, authority, retired. I got really tired of his emails full of instructions that I am to read Henry Kissinger's memoirs, lists of assignments and essay test questions. I didn't do any of the assignments and sure as hell did not read Henry Kissinger's self-praise. I started writing the blog and he'd quiz me on what I'm talking about, told me to explain this and that, explain, explain, you're wrong, something else is the case. The worst, according to an old Sufi saying, the straw that broke the camel's back, was when he told me to explain something I'd put up in the column on the right, of quotations, the one from the Tao te Ching, Not knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease. Another essay question to be graded. All I answered was, "You had to be there." Explain the Tao te Ching to a PhD in psychology? He's Doctor Science: he knows more than I do. Of course he'd heard of Carl Jung. No matter how I would have explained it, he'd have known better than I did. He really didn't get it and I couldn't help him with it. It was too wide a strait for a bridge. It wasn't long after that I told him to quit writing me and unfriended him on facebook. Next thing, I got another list of essay questions to answer. I blocked him from my email. He had become an authority. He let me have it for not addressing him Dr, saying, I have a lot invested in my PhD. I said, I don't give a shit.
It's the same with people who believe having more money than I have makes them my superior. I tend not to see it that way, nor do I honor the expectation. They call me strange because my eyes don't light up and grovel in the mud of greed when they speak down to me. I am able to give authority to someone I assess deserves it, like a martial arts sensei, or a meditation master, a teacher of something I want to learn. Just because somebody puts on a certain kind of clothes doesn't mean shit to me. I see an individual human being; their clothes usually show what they want me to think about them. Carole suggested my resistance to authority personnel goes back to daddy. Bingo. He was not right in the head. He did not adhere to the rational. Didn't pay much attention in school. He never saw but one look in my eyes after a certain point, indifference, nothing. Sometimes he'd explode, I want some respect outta you! The kid would think and dare not say: Show me something to respect. My eyes came to show absence of interest. This is what authoritarians trigger in the look they see. I could not talk back or defend self or explain. You cannot control my mind, I am the enemy. I used my eyes to say it. This, I suspect, is the root of why authoritarians and people who need to be seen high up hate me on sight. They see no light of respect in my eyes, the look of the enemy. It kept me in trouble all the time in the Navy; authorities everywhere requiring obeisance in the form of a salute and being called sir. Out of the Navy, I never said sir again but in irony. It runs awfully deep, so deep I choose to leave it be and not bother with changing it. I feel like it serves me well. It keeps me away from people I don't want to be around without any effort on my part. The same as my attitude that anybody too good for a Pruitt is too good for me keeps the pretentious away, indifference to self-importance keeps authoritarians away, too. Win-win.
antoni tapies himself