Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dirty Harry

      I recently watched "Dirty Harry, a movie I hadn't seen in maybe fifteen years. As much as Don Siegel is in my top ten of directors, I found myself this time laughing out loud. Seriously.

   What a fascist cartoon "Dirty Harry" is. I'm commenting on  the theme of the movie. The movie making is Siegel-brilliant (Eastwood never could act so that was no surprise). 

  As we know today killer cops walk free all the time. Harry gets all the usual yadda yadda yadda about not being a rogue cop but in reality Harry would have been given a parade, a florid John Wayne speech and a statue. 

  "Dirty Harry" foreshadows the kind of killer cops so much in the news today. And the politicians who enable them. Just recently two cops broke into the wrong apartment and shot an innocent guy sixteen times. Yesterday the DA declined to take any action against them.

  I'm neither a cop lover or hater. There are obviously a lot of real bad cops (more than we're willing to acknowledge) who give the decent ones a bad name. Cedar Rapids where I live has a very good police force. Not perfect but damned good.

  About a quarter century ago drug gangs from Chicago started moving in and with them came a kind of violence we'd never seen before. I'll always remember when a particularly obnoxious thug was interviewed on the local news. The reporter mentioned that the black people who lived here were afraid of these gangsters. Guy says: "We're here and everybody better get used to it." Master of public relations. 

  Well, if nothing else the gangs have made the local news more interesting. We had our first mid-afternoon shoot-out on a main street in the history of ole CR. And who knew a town of a hundred twenty-five thousand would be hip enough to have various permutations on the drive-by shooting phenom performed on our very own streets. Not to mention numerous other stabbings, shootings and mid-day drug auctions. And let us not forget your just down home everyday beatings.

  The black section was never purely black nor is it today. It's a mixture of working class blacks and whites and they've banded together to keep their neighborhood safe. They fear for their kids. And the CR Police have helped with bicycle patrols, setting up shop in the neighborhood itself, attending the neighborhood meetings and making serious efforts to protect the decent citizens. They've also established a hot line. You have a problem you get a cop asap. I have two friends who live in the neighborhood, one black and one white, and they both say that they really consider the police officers their friends.

  This is a long way from the fascist cartooning of Dirty Harry and I for one am all for it. 

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

pity, indeed, how many want DIRTY HARRY to be reflected in reality, and reward those who do behave in a Callahan fashion...glad CR has a sane PD.