Hell. Or, as we called it around here, Friday night.
The picture above is from Regg Inkognito’s incredible livestream of the carnival of chaos, the wonderful, dreamed-of land where all is permitted and nothing is judged. It was Lake and PArk. I drive through it on the way to work all the time. The video feed is sharp, because the people who enjoy the destruction of every common civilized norm demand no less.
This feed was available to everyone, and it’s even possible the mayor might have access to it, and see what was going on, and be moved to act. I mean, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility.
People are sitting on cars, drinking.
The camera overhears a drug deal, a young woman asking a young man for a half. He says he knows a place where they can go and get some. The narrator goes around the corner to show the cars that were burned.
Music is playing. The narrator sings along, poorly, at the top of his lungs.
We've got a mind of our own
So go to hell if what you're thinking is not right!
Love would never leave us alone
A-in the darkness ya must come out to light
"Bob Marley!" the narrator shouts. "Rest in Peace!"
Why should Bob Marley rest in peace? Why not dig him up and dance with his bones, if it provides a moment’s amusement? I know some people would think it was wrong, but that sense of restraint and respect is off the table. They burned the table. If I want to do it, why can't I?
What do you mean it would be wrong?
The crowd has been working on some remaining glass. Not a lot of enthusiasm, but it’s something to do. And it works: glass shattered, and people enter the building.
The stream narrator shoots FREE TACOS, but he’s sounding a little bored by it. I mean, everything right now is FREE TACOS. It loses its thrill after a few days.
There seems to be a desultory quality to the street, despite the happiness of total freedom, a discomfited restlessness: is this all there is?
You don’t know if they’re sated, or disappointed that all the good opportunities were consumed before they got there.
Another wireless store is being trashed.
It’s a mystery why no one got around to this before, but it’s something to do. Looting a cellphone store is almost work now, an obligation. Nearly everyone has a phone, it seems, but who knows: might be an upgrade opportunity.
A woman is angry that they are fucking with the community. I stand with y’all, but don’t hurt the community. A fight breaks out. The narrator says whoa that (bleep) strapped. The narrator is temporarily distracted by three people who are displaying the attributes of Long Beach California, and he welcomes them. LBC! LBC!
Then everyone starts running; narrate shouts guns, guns, guns, and everyone scatters for a hectic minute, unsure what to do - somehow solidarity evaporates in a second, and then the narrator laughs as he points to this man and that man and that car and that car - all the people are strapped.
In a minute this becomes the normal shape of things.
Back to the cellphone store, which has been breached. Industrious protestors are stripping its contents.
“GRAB SHIT, GRAB SHIT” says one woman.
“Not worth it,” another man notes. Perthaps he is displeased with the store’s offerings.
“Leave them alone!” says the woman who previously tried to stop them.
“Call your insurance man,” says a distinctly white and nasal voice. It’s like Wally Shawn wandered up.
Ah: the owner shows up. He appears Indian or Pakistani. He implores them to get out, please, at the pace of their own choosing. One man falls out of the window, carrying bags of merchandise.
The owner helps him up.
“Ipads!” says the narrator. “Insurance! Insurance! Ipads!”
The owner hears this and addresses the narrator: he doesn’t have insurance.
“Oh shit oh shit,” says the narrator. “He’s Muslim.”
This suddenly makes all this a bad to do, maaaaybe?
“Why aren’t we stealing from the white people,”’ someone says. A few people hand their phones back. They apologize.
“And his wife is pregnant. And his wife is pregnant.” It’s almost like there’s something close to remorse. But: “Reality in real life,” the narrator says.
Elsewhere, white anarchists decide that a neighborhood Dollar Store has to be destroyed. A neighborhood resident attempts to dissuade them, and is called names and eventually assaulted.
“Don’t film crimes” screeches the unhinged little harpy at the end, because it might mean consequences for people who have peeled off a board with the name of George Lloyd in order to protest the killing of George Lloyd, a crime, which was filmed.
LATER It’s around 3 AM, and the streamer has moved on to the Midway complex, where my wife used to work. He arrives in medias res. A three-story building has been set alight; it’s a furniture store, so all the cushions and wood have provided excellent tinder.
It's this structure.
Take a look at that. This is, in Minneapolis terms, a neighborhood on the high side of “transitioning.” It has some issues, but it was better than it used to be. Does that look like the picture of a neglected neighborhood?
Community Safety Center, eye clinic.
Well, not anymore. Folks will have to squint, for Great Justice.
People are wandering around, looking at their phones.
Ah, look: an opportunity to pose for Instagram.
The building on fire starts to groan and sag . .
And it falls to the ground.
There isn't much celebration. The selfies have been taken, and it's uncomfortably hot. The action seems to be elsewhere.
Or maybe the night is over.
Well. There's always tomorrow.
Comments are off, because I don't have the time to moderate - and while I trust the Bleatnix amongst you, who knows who might wander in.