Things can’t be too bad out there, because the invaluable Titania McGrath is writing for the New York Times. At least, I think she is. If not, there’s a critic there named Anne Hess who’s doing a creditable imitation of Titania’s hilarious imitation of an excruciatingly woke, perpetually angry, self-regarding social justice drone.
Hess writes in the Times (the paper where staff throw tantrums over mainstream opinion pieces) about how the thought police are going after cop shows and movies -- right down to toddler cartoons like “Paws Patrol.” Which is fine with Hess -- she doesn’t like cops much at all.
“As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops, too,” she writes. And this is a good thing -- a sign the revolution is here. Get this little Maoist declaration:
New and intense relationships with content have filled the gap, and now our quarantine consumptions are being reviewed with an urgently political eye. The reckoning has come for newspapers, food magazines, Bravo reality shows and police procedurals.
Up against the wall, pigs. Hess calls “‘Cops’ the show that branded suspects as ‘bad boys.’” Well, the theme song, which existed before the show, calls them “bad boys.” Presumably, that’s because “Alleged perpetrators, Alleged perpetrators, Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?” just isn’t quite as catchy.
Anyway, Hess is super-serious about all this. How do we know? Only super-serious people write sentences like:
The more salient critique of the crime genre is not how it depicts the police, but just how obsessively it privileges their ambiguities and pathologies over all other players in the criminal justice system — namely, the people cops target as suspects.
“Privileged Pathologies” was a terrific Hawkwind album. “The people cops target as suspects” is an awesome phrase, isn’t it? This is how we’re supposed to speak now that the revolution has come.
Oh, one final thing Titania, er I mean, Hess doesn’t like: videos of cops being nice to people. There’s no room for that in her Two Minutes Hate:
They reframe protests against racist police violence into a bland, nonspecific goal of solidarity. These moments are meant to represent the shared humanity between officers and protesters, but cops already rank among the most humanized groups in America; the same cannot be said for the black Americans who live in fear of them. Cops can dance, they can hug, they can kneel on the ground, but their individual acts of kindness can no longer obscure the violence of a system. The good-cop act is wearing thin.
Things must be a real blast around the New York Times news room these days.