The Two Brittanys

 

Lance Cpl. Brittany Holloway (left) talks with Brittany Dunklee next to their LAV.

Lance Cpl. Brittany Holloway (left) talks with Brittany Dunklee next to their LAV.

 

I was reading an otherwise unremarkable article about women in combat when I stumbled upon this photo. It absolutely took my breath away.

It’s of two women, both Marines, both harsh and beautiful, their strength and poise almost palpable. It’s like a modern-day Dorothea Lange photograph, crisp and real, but still with a dreamlike quality.

I don’t know why the image struck me so hard, but it did. I haven’t been able to look away from it. As an added mindfuck, the caption told me their names — Lance Corporal Brittany Holloway and Lance Corporal Brittany Dunklee.

They’re both named Brittany. The socio-political implications of that alone are staggering, but it also just adds to the poetry — “The Two Brittanys.”

I desperately want to meet them. I don’t know what we’d talk about, and they’d probably hate my guts, but I don’t care. I’d be totally okay with that.

 

(Source: NPR)

 

Color For the Colorblind

 

This got me. Damn it. I’m over here crying actual tears to these people’s reactions at seeing certain shades of red and green for the first time.

It just seems so magical and profound, to suddenly have the world pop with all the colors of the rainbow. What a gift. I want that. Hell, I need it. Not so much on the visual spectrum. On a spiritual one.

Robert Durst Already Won

Robert Durst is transported from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to the Orleans Parish Prison after his arraignment in New Orleans, Tuesday, March 17, 2015.  Durst was rebooked on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a weapon with a controlled dangerous substance, a small amount of marijuana. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

 

Yes, Robert Durst killed those three people. Of course he did, and yes, he will probably spend the remainder of his life incarcerated, but so what? He’s a bored old psychopath with a hundred million dollars and nothing better to do with his time than to burn it all down.

All of this is by his design. The documentary. The arrest. The eventual trial. He wants this. He needs this. Hell, he practically planned it all himself. Like all men in their late sixties, Robert Durst began reflecting on his legacy, and about a half decade ago, he reached a tipping point where his legacy became more important than his liberty, so what did he do? He tapped Andrew Jarecki on the shoulder and dangled his story like a piece of raw, dripping meat.

Admittedly, “The Jinx” is one of the most brilliant pieces of true crime docudrama I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t change the fact that HBO funded Bob Durst’s final bid for infamy. Everyone involved with the project was patting themselves on the back after the arrest, but they should all know better. Now Durst gets his legacy, served up by the inevitable onslaught of a cable news murder trial so sensational that it might even eclipse coverage of the 2016 presidential election.

Andrew Jarecki is a smart guy, and sure, he’ll deserve the Emmy he’s inevitably going to win, but I hope when his head hits the pillow at night, he feels a little twinge of self-awareness deep down in that dark sticky place he won’t talk about in interviews that he was Robert Durst’s pawn all along. I hope he knows he got played. Shit, we all got played, but it makes for great television, and there’s a lot more to come.

Yeah, I’ll be watching. Of course I’ll be watching. I won’t be able to look away, and I’ll feel bad about it too, because I know that ultimately it doesn’t matter what happens at his trial.

Robert Durst already won.

 

On The Uses Of Both Glitter And Enemies

Yes, I am aware of all the shipyourenemiesglitter.com nonsense, and no, I don’t endorse it. The whole idea of anonymously shipping one’s enemies a letter filled with glitter feels like a Fisher-Price My First Revenge™ playset.

Fucking with my enemies is something I hold much too sacred than to merely prank them with mildly annoying craft supplies. Enemies are for vanquishing, and revenge should be an orgiastic ritual that would make Machiavelli weep.

I’m just saying, we can do better than a little glitter.

Our legal system is not a justice system.

 

“America is just 5% of the globe’s population, but we have 25% of the world’s imprisoned people, and I tell you, that is not because Americans have a greater proclivity for criminality, it is because our legal system is not a justice system.”

— Thank you, Senator Booker. I’ve been saying this all along.*

 

* As it turns out, I may have inadvertently been the source for this entire theme. A reader reached out on twitter to let me know they’d used my line on Senator Booker’s Facebook Wall about calling it the legal system instead of the justice system, to which the Senator replied, “Profound.” A week later, he delivered this speech. Profound, indeed.

No Officers Were Hurt

Last night, a man with a pocket knife was shot dead by the LAPD on a bustling corner of Hollywood Boulevard. Of course, no officers were hurt.

“No officers were hurt.”

I’m constantly reading that sentence these days. It’s the go-to closing line for every dry and dreary news report about some poor bastard being beaten up, choked out, or gunned down by the police.

The news that no officers were hurt is supposed to be a good thing. It’s supposed to be an assurance. For me, it’s not. For me, it’s an accusation.

If no officers were hurt, then tell me why another man is lying dead in the fucking street. If no officers were hurt, tell me how you can even begin to justify the use of all that lethal force.

“No officers were hurt.”

Every time I read that line, it feels like further proof that police are trained to kill before risking even the slightest injury to themselves. I’m sorry, but I’m just not okay with that.

We give these men badges, and in exchange for that authority, we expect them to be held to a higher standard. We give these men guns, and in exchange for that power, we expect them to put the safety of others ahead of their own.

They aren’t living up to that standard — not in Los Angeles, not in New York, certainly not in Ferguson, and probably not in your neighborhood either. Time and again, all I see is evidence that the police aren’t putting anyone else’s safety ahead of their own.

Do you know how I know that?

“No officers were hurt.”

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