Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Speed Traps


IMG_7647, originally uploaded by camille94019.

Speed traps aren't so bad. Yeah, its a bummer when you get pulled over, and the officer makes you sign the ticket and shines his lights in your eyes, like he's interrogating a dangerous motorist. Its no fun, especially when you are in your hometown, and you know people recognize your car. And yes, it takes the joy out of whatever destination you were looking forward to. The misery continues when you find one of those nasty "courtesy notices" in the mail. But its not all bad, not if you have faith.


Vindication, or why I stopped hating America and learned to Love the Courts.

Justice prevails. The officer knows what he's doing. He knows that what he is doing isn't entirely on the up-and-up. And when you call him on it in court, well, there isn't anything he can do, except, when the Judge calls his name, he can ask for the case to be dismissed for "reasons of justice."

I have lived a pretty sheltered life and I rarely indulge in victimhood (another one of those dead-end brain alleys). I can't call out and point to a lot of injustice that I have experienced directly. So this novel feeling of justice, sweet justice, is especially poignant. The officer's voice sounded so melodious when he announced "reasons of justice." I heard the bells ringing. The Oppressed threw off their fetters.

At the same time, I was slightly disappointed. I had made a special trip to the scene of the crime to photograph the area in question. I spent some time on the internet doing research and gathering evidence. I had my presentation all prepared. When the officers told me I could go, I was suddenly an actor without an audience. I had even dressed the part, with super-respectable bank-teller clothes and a modest mien.

The System
My gaps of knowledge about the inner-workings of the Civic Government are pretty profound. I know what I learned in high school, but as far as the nuances, the nuts-and-bolts of the process, the motivations of the hundreds of humans, and their amazing bureaucracy and what runs that enormous paper-making machine, I pull a cipher. I had assumed it was primarily self-serving. Maybe it is, but it certainly had an opportunity to enrich its coffers by $211, and it didn't, for "reasons of justice."

OK, Che, we can call off the Revolution
Maybe there is hope for the remaining detainees at Guantanamo, if they ever do get a trial.

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