Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Citizen's Arrests

I was thinking recently about my time as a security guard, which by the way was one of the worst jobs I've ever had. Before I could take my first assignment, I had to pass a written test. Part of the test reviewed the powers of arrest security officers actually have. Incidentally, these powers and privileges are granted by the Constitution to every citizen. As citizens, our duty to stop crime wherever we may see it is paramount. So, here's a guide to correctly performing a citizen's arrest as I remember it from my security guard days (rent-a-cops are very smart people).
Confirm a crime is in progress: It's important to recognize the difference between true crime and just being mean or stupid. Some things that seem illegal like speeding or breaking a young girl's heart aren't actually against the law. Just to explain how confusing it can be, many things you might think are legal just aren't. You can't be mean to dogs or hit people with cars. Because of these kinds of legal minutia, citizens are only allowed to make arrests for the "Big Three" crimes: theft, murder, and lying to parents.
Secure the Reprobate: Most people won't even realize they've committed a crime. So, you can easily overpower and handcuff them with your homemade handcuffs (use twigs and discarded lint so the handcuffs can double for a friendship bracelet when the arrestee gets out of jail). If he resists arrest, you are constitutionally authorized to lash out with your sharp tongue and cutting insults.
Wait for Authorities: The last step is to call in the professional lawmen. Ring the nearest Crime Bell. A fleet of judges will promptly arrive at the scene ready to carry out swift justice. They'll sentence the reprobate to jail, apology camp, house arrest (no longer allowed to watch the T.V. program House), or a year of hard labor (just another name for unpaid internship in an obstetricians office). You'll want to celebrate your hard work keeping crime at bay by setting off some fireworks or shooting a gun into the air.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How can you change that which is fanaticism?

What does it mean to be a fan? Sports fans place more importance on one team over another, this is so very common. Few embrace logic when making this distinction, however. In most instances our fondness is founded in emotion. Still, once established as a favorite we begin to demand a higher level of performance from the members of these teams. 

The player’s performance on and off the field or court is important to their fans. While they focus on what made them famous – the athlete in their sport, the actor on the screen or stage, the politician in office – it is their personal, their ‘normal’ life, that tends to bring the most consternation.

This week while watching the NBA playoffs, I found myself disgusted by the actions of a few players on my team. Yeah, I considered them my team – at least until this week. No, I don’t play basketball. I’m hardly good enough to play a game of H.O.R.S.E. In fact, I do not usually watch much throughout the normal season. It is the playoffs I find enjoyable. Each game is important. Well, I enjoy watching most of the time. This week we witnessed flagrant fouls and players ejected from the game more than once. Once is bad. Thrice is untenable.

Certainly, the famous didn’t ask to be our role models. They simply did something better than others. Tiger Woods plays golf, Charlie Sheen acts, and basketball players play ball. Not that I thought they were my role models or considered these young men anything more than the basketball players they are but to think I would watch in disgust as these “professionals” flagrantly, and inexcusably sought to cause harm to the opposing team members. So disgusted was I that I left the room without any desire to watch the rest of the game. They earned that loss and will remain losers in my eyes.

A life-long fan of the Lakers, I am left wondering to whom I should throw my support, my fanaticism. And so I question how do you do that. How can one just change what their favorite team might be? Maybe I’m better off just taking a break from professional sports. I’ll focus on the Angels for now, in any case.