badness, life

On Christopher Jordan Dorner: We might’ve been friends

An ex-cop named Christopher Jordan Dorner wrote an 18-page manifesto that I felt compelled to read for some reason.  He’s killed three people so far.

The majority of the suicide letter (let’s not mince words here) lists the specific people who have wronged him and acted unjustly in the past (including a high school administrator who lied to him in 1996).  A lot of it sounds legit.  He discourages anyone from coming after him, saying they will not survive if they try to pull him over or arrest him. He talks about his experiences with racism, and the need for better gun control laws: “Who in there right mind needs a fucking silencer!!!”

pictured: murderer

pictured: murderer, victim, human

Then at the bottom of page 12, he starts thanking people for being good friends, honest politicians, talented doctors: “I’m sorry I’ll never get to go on that moose and bear hunt with you. I love you bro.” At this point, I wondered how many people had written letters just like this, and, upon realizing that the list of wonderful people in their lives they would miss spending time with was surprisingly long, got up from the computer, called one of them and made plans instead of going on a killing spree.

Like most manifestos, this one goes off track once he stops being quite so angry, and starts lauding the people he admires (“Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama”) and the things he loves (“Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is the greatest piece of music ever, period”). While it’s fascinating to see inside someone’s head without a filter, I can’t give this guy too much credit. He’s killing people. Some part of his brain is broken.  Still, I can’t help but think of Shan Yu, the fictitious “warrior poet” quoted for claiming that we can only really know a person when they are pushed to the brink.  I wonder if manifestos like these seem crazy because we never really know each other; as a result 18 pages worth of raw honesty and what this man considered truth comes across as proof of insanity.

In the order they appear, here are the parts of the manifesto that jumped out at me for their candor and silliness.  I am shocked by how much I agree with him on so many topics:

Thank you for the superb surgery you performed on my knee… I never had the opportunity to thank you for allowing me to live a life free of knee joint pain. Thank you.

I thank the unnamed women I dated over my lifetime for the great and sometimes not so great sex.

It’s kind of sad I won’t be around to enjoy the Hangover III. What an awesome trilogy… World War Z looks good and The Walking Dead season 3 (second half) looked intriguing. Damn, gonna miss shark week.

Hillary Clinton.  You’ll make one hell of a president in 2016… Chelsea grew up to be one hell of an attractive woman.  No disrespect to her husband.

Gov. Chris Christie. What can I say? You’re the only person I would like to see in the White House in 2016 other than Hillary. You’re America’s no shit taking uncle. Do one thing for your wife, kids, and supporters. Start walking at night and eat a little less, not a lot less, just a little. We want to see you around for a long time.

Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhuman piece of shit… You are a failure of a human being. May all your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you.

Ellen Degeneres… You changed the perception of your gay community and how we as Americans view the LGBT community… Oh, and you Prop 8 supporters, why the fuck do you care who your neighbor marries. Hypocritical pieces of shit.

[Redacted] Church, may you all burn slowly in a fire, not from smoke inhalation, but from the flames and only the flames.

Cyclist, I have no problem sharing the road with you. But, at least go the fucking speed limit posted or get off the road!!! That is a feasible request. Livestrong you fraudulent assholes.

Cardinal Mahoney, you are in essence a predator yourself… May you die a long and slow painful death.

Charlie Sheen, you’re effin awesome.

My opinion on women in combat… Many want to see you fail. Remember everyone of you is a pioneer. There was a time when they didn’t allow blacks to fight the good fight. This is your civil rights. Don’t quit!!!

It’s time to allow gay service member’s spouses to utilize the same benefits that all heterosexual dependents are eligible for.

Mr. Bill Cosby, you are a reasonable and talented man who has spoken the truth of the cultural anomalies within the black communities that need to change now.

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badness, goodness

I am the worst

sonofabitch

I lost my iPhone tonight.  Again.

I lost my last one over Thanksgiving.  I got drunk with the cousins (had a ton of fun), left it in the bathroom, and walked away.  Half an hour later I remembered, went back, and it was gone.  I tracked it with MobileMe the next day, and set off to find it.  I heard the alarm go off once before whomever stole it turned it off or removed the SIM card.  So infuriating.  I can’t believe there are people who exist who wouldn’t return a phone.

So tonight, Ballerina Friend was picking me up near her new place (she moved in with Treehouse Friend in a place they bought together.  How crazy is that?!).  I was sitting on the curb behind my car, just playing my ukulele to pass the time with my phone sitting under my uke case.  She pulled up, I grabbed my uke case, stepped into her car, and drove away.  I saw the new place (super cool!), walked back to the car (from the wrong direction to see the phone if it was still there), and drove home, at which point I realized what I had done.  I immediately tore through my purse, raced downstairs, did a quick search for my phone in the car, drove back to the curb, and then the panic set in.

I came home to do the desperate MobileMe dance, and drove to where it said my phone had been kidnapped.  No dice: I couldn’t get a wireless signal to set off the phone’s alarm, so I couldn’t figure out where it was.

he drove a crown victoria instead of the new charger (not enough trunk space, apparently), like my dad’s old car, which I loved

But there’s a police station not a block away from where my poor phone was being held hostage (imagine how frightened it was), so I popped in with my laptop, explained the situation to a cute Asian LAPD officer (I’m a sucker for uniforms), and was handed off to a very nice white cop who said he would get his car ready, and we would go.  After about twenty minutes, he came back and we came up with a game plan.  We would go to a nearby Starbucks to get free wifi so I could update the location of the phone in case it had moved, then go after it.  Of course, we forgot that it was past 11pm and the Starbucks would be closed, but luckily a nearby business unknowingly obliged, and we discovered that the phone had stopped updating, which could only mean that they had turned it off, or removed the SIM card.  In short, they had no intention of returning it.

My heart sank.  I showed the cop the last known location on the Google map.  He said he would check it out, and meet me back at the station.

I drove back to the station slowly and sat on the short blue bench, waiting for the cop to return empty-handed.  Ten minutes passed.  I saw movement through the glass doors.  I looked up to see the cop, and in his hand was my phone, still in its case.

My eyes popped out of my head while I smiled and blurted out, “NO. WAY.”  I couldn’t believe it.  He said the person who gave it to him said that his kid had found it and removed the SIM card (yeah, right).  What an asshole.  But seriously, who cares.  The expensive part is back in my hand, so I can’t complain too much.

May the Flying Spaghetti Monster reach down and touch that police station with his noodly appendage.  Seriously.  All those shining stars bless the LAPD.  Just sitting in that lobby, listening to the calls the cute Asian cop was getting was exhausting and depressing.  I can’t imagine dealing with that night after night, year after year, when I could be cultivating friendships, making love with my deamboat Boyfriend, spending time on the beach eating watermelon and playing ukulele with friends and getting a light sunburn (guess what I did on Memorial Day).  All you shining stars, bless those cops.

What crazy about this is I haven’t felt this good, this excited about something in a really, really long time.  I went to Disneyland with Boyfriend, and felt next to nothing, which scared me.  I’ve been numb for a while now, and I can’t figure out why.  It’s not to say I don’t enjoy myself.  I had a great time at the beach yesterday, I love play ukulele, I have great sex with boyfriend.  But this was… a sense of how a little luck can just make my day.  I put work in, good things come out, this standard (and good, but I’ve grown too used to it I think).  Here was a small-ish problem in the greater scheme of things that would have tainted my trip abroad (I leave day after tomorrow), and it turned out so much better than I dared hope that I feel rebooted.  I’m too comfortable with my beautiful life.  A change of perspective is in order.

Unrelated side-story:
While I was at the station, three generations of the same family came in (boy, father, grandfather) to report that the 19 (?) year old boy had been hugged and kissed against his will by the grandfather’s caregiver.  The father gave the report, while the boy kept saying stuff like, “I feel like I’ve lost my manhood.  I told him what he did was wrong, and that he had to leave.”  The whole thing had sort of a smell to it.  The grandfather had a very obvious toupee.  At age 91, I hope I don’t care so much about my appearance that I feel the need to wear something silly.  I haven’t had that tendency yet, so I think I’ll dodge that compulsion with any luck

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goodness, life

My Los Angeles

People chuckle when I call Los Angeles my hometown, but that’s how it feels.  Being raised here makes it feel small, even cozy despite how spread out everything is.  Nothing feels very far away, even though getting anywhere usually involves between one and four freeways.

It’s a difficult city to get to know, not only because it’s so spread out but because it’s so unpredictable.  Nice neighborhoods become rundown, unsafe and unkempt within a block.  The border of Hancock Park, a neighborhood full of multi-million dollar mansions, started just one block north of where I was raised.  But two blocks south of my house was a park where we would go to play during summer days, and where drug dealers would meet at night.  Two blocks south of that is Pico, and Los Angeles High School just to the west.  I used to run on their track in elementary school, and one afternoon we got trapped on campus during a lock-down; there had been a gang-related shooting on campus.

semi-oblivious

My parents did a good job of making us understand that there was danger around without allowing us to feel threatened by it.  I wonder sometimes how they did that in a city like LA.  It probably helped that the LAPD Chief Willie Williams (the first black LAPD Chief) lived next door to my family for a short time while I was six.  When asked by the LA Times why he chose to move there, he said something about “the neighborhood’s green lawns.”  Mom had a good laugh when she read that, and went outside to turn on the sprinklers that morning.  A small detail of two or three body guards would pick up the Chief every morning.  My mom would occasionally send me or my sister out with a gift of Girlscout cookies (we were both Brownies).  Once I gave one of them a drawing of a badge tucked into his hip next to his hand, thumb hooked into his pants.  He told my mom I was already an accomplished artist if I was drawing details instead of people at age six.  I remember my mom telling me about that, and realizing it was a genuine compliment.  And not just that, but a real compliment, from a total stranger, who was an adult AND a police officer?  I must have been glowing for a week.  Mom said my drawings always had the subject falling off the page.  She was right, and seemed really proud of me for that, which in turn made me feel really good about myself.

frame that shit (approximate reproduction)

My folks (especially Mom, who had also been raised here) educated us about Los Angeles at every turn.  She would take the scenic route to wherever we were going to point out local landmarks, who used to live in which house, what “used to be there,” and her personal memories of the city.  She’s known in our family for saying stuff like, “This is why people come to Los Angeles,” or “This is why people came to the west coast,” to which my sister once responded, “I’m pretty sure all these palm trees and the Hollywood sign weren’t here for the pioneers to see.”

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