On Friday, the Occupy camp at UC Davis was broken up by university police, as part of a federally co-ordinated crackdown on the Occupy movement that has seen Zuccotti Park in New York cleared by overwhelming force and Darth Vader clones throng the streets of Portland. At Davis, students forming a human chain around the encampment were pepper sprayed, beaten, and arrested. Of course, it’s not at all fair to paint the police as unprovoked aggressors. After all, these trained thugs in stormtrooper body armour have been subject to shouting, ‘active resistance’ such as curling into a ball and a protester pulling back her own arm from a policeman, and being given the finger. Broken bones are one thing, but some of these police may well have suffered critical injuries to their feelings.
In the video above, the guy with the piggy little eyes and the piggy little face and the piggy little mind wearing a stoically bovine expression while casually pepper-spraying students is Lieutenant John Pike. I don’t hate John Pike. I feel sorry for him. Here’s why.
John Pike has a face the colour of clotted cream and the texture of pizza dough. John Pike can’t see his own penis under the bulging mound of his corpulence. John Pike has Dorito dust collecting in the folds of his stomach fat. John Pike’s tits are bigger than his wife’s. John Pike can survive for days in the desert by storing fat in his chins. John Pike ate at Olive Garden once but found the food too exotic. John Pike’s list of inspirational people on Facebook consists of Jesus and Ayn Rand. John Pike masturbates to footage of villages being napalmed in Vietnam. John Pike’s initiation at Theta Chi involved anal penetration with a Sharpie pen. John Pike feels confused and conflicted about that experience to this day. John Pike eats mayonnaise with a spoon. John Pike pronounces the ‘h’ in ‘vehicle.’ John Pike cries in front of a mirror in the lonely hours of the early morning. John Pike went to a strip club but left with an ineffable sense of shame and revulsion. John Pike enjoys the cool refreshing taste of Bud Lite. John Pike is addicted to anabolic steroids. John Pike is addicted to OxyContin. John Pike whispers sweet nothings to his gun. John Pike smells like vinegar and onions. John Pike rides a Segway. John Pike suffers from early-onset incontinence. John Pike suffers from hyperhidrosis. John Pike suffers from premature ejaculation. John Pike has nappy rash, bed sores, flatulence, and herpes. John Pike owns three Thomas Kinkade collector’s plates. John Pike wears a t-shirt depicting a crying bald eagle and the words ‘9/11 never forget.’ John Pike believes WMD were found in Iraq. John Pike believes that the continued existence of winter disproves global warming. John Pike believes Barack Obama is a Muslim, an atheist, a fascist, and a Communist. John Pike has every swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated since 1982 in a slowly decaying pile in his basement. John Pike has a ‘nuke Mecca’ bumper sticker. John Pike has truck nutz. John Pike queued up outside McDonald’s when they brought back the McRib. John Pike tried to commit suicide by jumping from a building, but he bounced. John Pike never shuts up about his Irish heritage. John Pike’s friends refer to him as ‘Shrek’ when he’s not around. John Pike beats up the homeless. John Pike has never known real happiness, or real anger, or real pain. John Pike drifts through a life of unfathomable ennui. John Pike knows something is missing in his existence, but he doesn’t know what. John Pike uses his position to brutalise protesters because it is his only revenge against a world that has utterly failed him. John Pike is a victim. John Pike deserves our pity.
Meanwhile in Egypt, where the state is far less neurotic when it comes to the use of deadly force, five have died and up to a thousand injured after a series of clashes between protesters and riot police in Tahrir Square. As the elections draw closer, there’s a growing recognition that the democracy being offered by the ruling military junta is little more than a palliative. The revolution is not finished, and as it carries on it’s diverging markedly from the liberal-imperialist Western narrative imposed on it from the outside. After Mubarak was ousted, the slogan of the revolutionaries was ‘take Tahrir to the factories!’ It’s starting to look a lot like 1917. The capitalist-representational model of democracy may well be reaching its final crisis: bypassed by financial interests in Greece and Italy, unable to effectively manage opposition in the United States. Perhaps the germ of something new can be found in the Tahrirs sprouting up across the world.