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‘Society as Mutual Masturbation'
The Policeman Is Your Friend And Other Lies by Ned Beaumont
© 2013 James LaFond
1996, Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA, 151 pages
I first read this book nine years ago and just needed to read it again. I bounce between reading fiction and nonfiction, reading each for the benefit of writing the other. When I have emerged from a ponderous nonfiction tome I head right for some easily read well-paced fiction. Likewise, after three weeks plowing through Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I needed some cleanly written nonfiction to clear my hard drive. This reactionary screed did the trick.
Never have so many been so insightfully insulted and condemned by a single voice. I loved this book, and after dalliances with hundreds of others, still do. In brutally clear language targeted for everyday people—not academics, who Ned loathes along with the politicians they serve—the author tears down the edifice that has brainwashed us. He begins with the first plank in our ideology, ‘Officer Friendly’.
As a specialist in ghetto affairs and a writer of ‘urban science-fiction’ I had only one reservation about his theory that our brainwashing begins in childhood with our innocent acceptance of the uniformed government enforcer as a ‘force for good’: ghetto kids hate cops from the cradle! After nine years I had forgotten that he closed this loop. At the end of the book Ned describes why our only folk heroes are now primarily fictional criminals, and goes on to describe the gangster thug as morally superior to cops, teachers and politicians.
Mister Beaumont’s thesis, that society is essentially mutual masturbation, is concluded in his most irreverent chapter, Chapter 8: The Great Circle Jerk. That chapter is preceded by the seven lies upon which he contends America is built:
1. The policeman is your friend
2. We learn at school
3. Scientists are smart
4. Sweating and swindling
5. Death, yes; taxes no
6. Good government bullshit
7. Working within the system
For all of his irreverent vitriol Ned Beaumont offers a very simple personal solution to our monolithic collective lie, and does so in a three page conclusion. Last but not least, the cover is a Loompanics original, a colored cartoon of a cop choking an elementary school student at the head of the class, from a back mount, with his venerable baton.
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Dominick Mattero     Oct 4, 2013

This is like the Bible for me.
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