Nov 27, 2011

Where's the River of Snot?

A senior US law enforcement official asked me if I noticed anything strange about the video footage of the UC Davis incident.

I told him that I had only seen the famous still photo in the press.  I hadn't seen any video.

"You've been exposed to pepper spray before haven't you?", he asked.  I recounted for him the time that I was responsible for a minimal AD from a large canister of the stuff inside a moving vehicle. 

He reached for his IPad and clicked on the first YouTube video he could find.  "What isn't right about this scene?", he asked.  I answered, "the protesters aren't hauling ass out of there. They aren't acting like they have been pepper sprayed."

"Where is the River of Snot?" He continued, "Before riot cops use pepper spray they mask-up.  Do you see any of the cops standing there wearing gas masks?  The stuff that they are spraying is marker.  They are identifying the protesters that they are intending to arrest.  Look right there, that other cop is standing in the mist with no effect."

He got no argument from me there.  That wasn't pepper spray.

"Then why aren't the cops coming to their own defense?," I asked.

Timing is everything.


AmPowerBlog said...

Are you blogging again, or what?

Send me the links and I'll post 'em!

M1 said...

Yepp -- well, on and off.

Yes, the SMC challenge of 'Show us the snot' has gone unanswered -- and more conspicuously, blogs/sites w/ moderated comments haven't aired our comments when we've offered decent challenge to what was/wasn't sprayed on the UC Davis protesters.

To date, we're still claiming that the UC Davis protesters weren't pepper sprayed. Of course, we've been known to get a thing or two wrong in the past -- or have we? ;)

So Professor, move a mountain for us, will'ya'?

M1 said...

The 'Where's the River of Snot' pepper spray scoop is right on the money. Yesterday I saw a clip online from Jon Stewart's Monday night show that had footage of the faces of the people who were sprayed. Even after a second spraying, some folks were not even rubbing their eyes. (Not to mention that they wouldn't be able to breathe if the spray was capsicum.)

Something funny (likely deep) is going on with that, and I am glad we called BS before everyone else

M1 said...

Upon further reflection, it appears that the UC Davis incident may have been a slick way to take the temperature of the entire Occupy movement.

In many places around the world, an attack by police against peaceful protesters would have precipitated riots. The mood and intentions of the protesters is what was being measured. In this theory, the media messaging was crucial to ensuring a nationwide scope to the survey (and also would suggest that the truth about what was sprayed will never be acknowledged). The ability to cool down any serious unrest by explaining that it wasn't pepper spray provided a perfect safety valve.

When the Occupy protesters indicated passivity in response to the Davis incident, the authorities realized that they could start clearing out the protest encampments.

AmPowerBlog said...

Move a mountain?

You're hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Copy that further reflection M1. Possible it was also the occupy movement types overstated the police behavior at Davies to attempt to reignite or further ignite sympathies for their cause?

Larry Dunbar said...

"Possible it was also the occupy movement types overstated the police behavior at Davies to attempt to reignite or further ignite sympathies for their cause?" I think their silence after the "pepper spray" event underlines their "non-attempt". To me, like jazz, the note not spoken said much.

M1 said...

Sorry for delay in posting your comment LD - been off the reservation (or was it 'on' the reservation:I swear that some days I just can't tell the diff.