Things so innocent, silly, and useless as TV entertainment can in reality be so vicious to the bone that it might need to be stopped.
The Good Against the Wicked
The classical police drama starts like this. Villains threaten a policeman or some other ‘good’ citizen the viewer identifies with.
Two scenarios. The threatened person says either of two things:
Please, please, I have a wife and two small kids, please, please …
I dare you, you stinking bastard. You worthless piece of …
That always ends with a bullet. Now the policeman has been coldheartedly killed so it’s not so bad when the villains will be chased and killed too.
(From this, we learn the two fool-proof ways to be killed by someone who threatens you. The way to escape unscratched comes from almost any other response than participating in the script ‘I am threatened.’ You can distract from what’s happening. You may show empathy for the attacker’s feelings ignoring your own. You could play being crazy beyond reason.)
The roots of this good-against-evil storyline lie in the Indians-against-the-Pioneers movies. The large screen portrayed the American Natives as possessive bloodthirsty villains so that the Whites were innocent by-passers who just tried to live peacefully and protect themselves.
This, to hide away the truth that the white colonialists had viciously robbed the Natives of their lands.
Beware of any portrayal of two groups of people as good versus evil, especially along racial lines. There are only two groups of people; people who divide mankind into two groups and people who don’t. (Belgium’s version: There are only three groups of people; people who are bad at math and those who aren’t.)
The Gift that Kept Giving
And now we can see how the image of cops being our pristine protectors worked also to cover up police brutality, especially racial murder. These shows even portray it as if cops must break the laws in order to protect “us.” Us, of course, never includes all Americans.
The truth is that the army fought Nazis a very long time ago and that police fight gangsters only a minute part of the time. Most of the time, these troopers are used to protect the super-rich from any change in society.
Let’s scale back army and police work for what really is their job. To protect the general public, not to serve the privileged only.