THE CONVERSATION

Evening. A nondescript conference room in an equally nondescript office tower somewhere in Real America where right-wing internet memes are created. A WILY VETERAN sits at one end of the cheap, laminate-topped table across from NEW GUY.

WV: "I don't care if we're here all night, we need to come up with some sort of pro-police meme. Something that everyone's friends from grade school will repost. Something that will seem brilliant to people who don't like thinking."

NG: "Should it be hackneyed?"

WV: "Oh good lord yes. Of course. Don't ask me silly questions, kid."

NG: "I'm sorry. Can we do something to imply that police are killed as often – or even more often – than police kill suspects or innocent bystanders?"

WV: "I knew there was a reason we hired you, kid. Whattaya have in mind?"

NG: "Definitely a photo collage so that everyone can see that they're Good People."

WV: "White?"

NG: "Yeah I mean white. Although maybe throw in a "clean" looking Mexican."

WV and NG, simultaneously: "So no one can say they're all white!" (laughter, the slapping of backs)

NG: "It turns out, though, that there aren't that many cops killed by suspects relative to the enormous number of people killed by police every year in the US."

WV: "Well that's a pickle. Ooh, that reminds me: I need to bring home pickles. How about we include cops who die of heart attacks while on duty, or in car accidents that have nothing to do with a suspect?"

NB: "I like where your head is, sir, but we can't just flat out lie and say a black person killed them."

WV: "We could, but let's see if we can't come up with something better." (grimaces in deep thought) "I've got it! Let's label it as officers killed 'In the Line of Duty'! Which is technically true! No matter how or why they die, we can count them as long as they're on the clock!"

NB, beaming: "You're an inspiration, sir. A goddamn inspiration."

WV: "If I wanted my ass kissed I'd be at home with a shelter dog, a jar of Smuckers, and a long-handled spatula. Now make sure to do it in Microsoft Paint so it looks real shitty."

NB: "Come on, sir. I know the drill." (laughter and mutual respect)

FIN

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17 Responses to “THE CONVERSATION”

  1. Austin Piech Says:

    Oh man, now I want to see the original meme.

  2. c u n d gulag Says:

    Don't forget the last part:
    That's where they send the finished product to Sludge, Rushba the Hutt, FOX "Noose," and the infinite conservative monkey's in front of infinite numbers of PC's in Op-ed rooms all around the country, to trumpet the new meme, so that then the rest of the MSM has to cover their coverage – or be accused of liberal bias.

    This is how "Torture" became twisted into "Advanced Interrogation."

    Which would be kind of like killing you wife or husband, and calling it, "Advanced Domestic Incompatibility."

  3. Wotan Nichols Says:

    Somebody suggested that there was never any slavery in the
    U.S.A., we just had advanced employment systems.

  4. Arslan Says:

    I'm sorry I can't buy this. It says the guy in charge is a veteran. Most right-wingers who make this shit never got anywhere near a recruiter's office.

  5. Stephen G. Zank Says:

    These things actually happened here in Los Angeles earlier this year. A big fuss was made over a cop who died of a heart attack, and a couple of cops who were killed in traffic accidents while off-duty. These struck me at the time as cynical PR efforts.

    Have these sort of things happened elsewhere? I'm surprised that these stories had wider play.

    (P.S.: Of course, there is a difference between "in the line of duty" and "on duty.")

  6. J.D. Says:

    @ Austin Piech

    Here is the original meme, along with a thorough (although less humorous) debunking:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/dec/02/facebook-posts/meme-says-barack-obama-has-given-no-special-recogn/

  7. Skipper Says:

    Let me tell you a god-honest true story. Twenty or so years ago, I was living in an East Coast milltown — pop. 50,000. It had a growing Latino population, which was a constant source of irritation to the white folks.

    One night, there was a large fire that attracted a big crowd. During the fire, a cop on duty collapsed in cardiac arrest. A 20-something Latino guy saw him go down and ran over to start CPR.

    Other cops saw the guy on top of the fallen cop, ran over, and pulled him off. They immediately assumed that the guy had attacked the cop. After all, isn't that what all Latinos do? They put him under arrest for assaulting a police officer and, in the process, proceded to beat the shit out of him. While they were amusing themselves with assaulting the Latino guy, their fellow cop died from cardiac arrest. Then, they tried to charge the Latino guy with murder. He eventually had the charges dropped, but it totally fucked up his life for a while.

  8. Emerson Dameron Says:

    "Facts are stupid things."
    – Ronald Reagan

  9. Hunky Jimpjorps Says:

    I had an interaction on Twitter a few days ago with someone trying to promulgate a mutated version of this meme: that nearly 800 law enforcement officers were dying in New York City every year.

  10. quixote Says:

    (Arslan, I don't know if that's irony I'm not getting but, just in case, "veteran" in the post means "someone with experience.")

  11. Brian M Says:

    Now…if we were talking about BRAZIL….it WOULD be a different story.

    The drug gangs in Rio have gunned down 106 cops in 2014 alone.

    Of course, police brutality and corruption is apparantly a big issue there, too.

  12. Joshua Says:

    You lost me at the end there. Who the hell is this NB character? I was just starting to buy the chemistry between NEW GUY and WILEY VETERAN and you had to introduce a new dynamic to juice the ratings. Typical.

  13. fastEddie Says:

    I "unfollowed" a cousin for posting this meme last week. A much larger group of other relatives were unfollowed after Newtown. As the app that tells you which of your friends and relatives are racist ( and let's be clear – gun nuts are *ALL* gun nuts because of racist fantasies ) – Facebook is 100% accurate and effective.

  14. J. Dryden Says:

    Amusing thought: Imagining how the author and distributors of the meme feel about law enforcement upon receiving a traffic ticket.

    Again, another instance of the profoundly internet-enabled inability to just shut the fuck up. An easily expressed opinion is probably not worth expressing. (He wrote, ignoring the Montana-sized mote in his own eye.) And the problem with easy opinions is how equally easy it is to reveal them as so much bullshit. To wit: The "I Love The Police" harangue that evaporates as soon as The Police is the ASSHOLE who clocked you going 30 in a 25 ZONE, THE FUCKING NAZI PRICK. (You may pick your own version of this–abortion opponents who quietly pay for their daughters to "go out of town for a few days," loud vegans who apply the "it doesn't count on a road trip" maxim, etc.)

    Look, if you have friends and/or family in law enforcement, please, by all means, speak up for them. If not, shut the fuck up. (Based on my last few posts here, I'm seriously considering starting a blog or tumblr or something devoted entirely to subjects about which people unaffiliated with the issue need to shut the fuck up. I can't imagine it would be popular, but it sure would be catharthic.)

  15. Linda Says:

    It's already been done. The touchy-feely kumbuya thing. I saw a Facebook post by right wing news posted the pic of the white cop hugging a little black kid with the caption "most blacks are good people. Most whites aren't racist. And most cops are good at a tough job.". Good to know that we can forget about police killings as a petty misunderstanding, and get back to being outraged about taking away a wife beater's right tobuy a gun.

  16. deep Says:

    @J.D.:

    Yeah, Politifact might label that "Pants on Fire" but did Obama send three reps to attend EACH AND EVERY funeral? I didn't think so.

  17. Gene Altshuler Says:

    I like your editorial choices and writing