Wednesday, January 27, 2016

R.I.P. Tarpman

So that fool LaVoy Finnicum managed, in the end, to make himself look tragic, or at least pathetic in the proper Greek sense, a subject of suffering, after all, and I feel bad, partly because this is starting to seem like another side of that distressed middle-aged undereducated white guy suicidal thing. I'm a serious comedy person, and what was great about this whole adventure was its comedy (#DaddySworeAnOath, and the request for throw rugs, and the dildos, and #Tarpman not least), and to me a gratuitous death of someone who may be stupid but still has a soul is a cheap way to ramp up the dramatic stakes, even when it's the Coen brothers.

Not that I blame the authorities, at least not yet. This man was not Trayvon, he was armed and dangerous. He'd said he'd die before he'd be arrested, and he did—it looks like he and Ryan Bundy pulled guns on the cops come to arrest them, and of course they got shot, though Bundy got away with a relatively minor wound; that's based on very preliminary reporting (at The Independent), so it may change as things develop (BooMan links some—contradictory—eyewitness accounts). I don't really know how to accept the theory that there's such a thing as armed civil disobedience. To me there's civil disobedience on the one side, and rebellion on the other; not that I can say rebellion isn't ever justified, but for one thing it's not justified against the US Bureau of Land Management (Roy's allegory on this is really good), and for another thing the BLM is actually on the side of good, preserving the bird habitat and the Native American relics and this-land-is-made-for-you-and-me, not just the one of us that owns a gun, and the rebels are on the side of evil, selfishness, and anarchy.

I ran accidentally across something by somebody with some earned empathy with those cowboys, though, an Indian actually, an Oklahoma Cherokee with a bit of a Wounded Knee background and a Texas trial court judge too, called Steve Russell, who sees all that:
I was not then and am not now a big fan of the feds. Few Indians are. But most Indians agree when pushed that we are better off that the Constitution commands the federal government to deal with us to the exclusion of state and local governments.
In the Oregon situation, though, the state authorities and the Paiute tribal authorities are on the same side as the feds anyway. My own support for the idea of civil disobedience does not put me with the militia. When you do civil disobedience, you accept the consequences of your act. You don’t threaten to inflict casualties on law enforcement officers doing their jobs.
But adds, he feels bad:
Rule of law has value, but it’s a value that does not require bloodshed over Cliven Bundy’s debts...
It's a pretty good piece.

Update: From the Big Bad Bald Bastard, saying anything further that needs to be said and using the wonderful word "Walmartyrdom".

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