“Let fascism find not even a single passage to power or else that poisonous snake will infiltrate into every vital corner of the country and kill the future of the nation!” – Turkish novelist, playwright, and thinker Mehmet Murat ildan
Last week I took a moment during my podcast to do a little goofin on the idea that Brooklyn 99 should be cancelled or otherwise moved from its setting in an NYPD precinct to literally anywhere else.
Judging by the tone of the tweet, it appears to be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion, but this being the internet in the Year of Our Lord 2020, you can never really tell. Would I put it past the execs at FOX to see this tweet and in a moment of knee-jerk panic decide that Peralta and the gang would be better off at a post office, bakery, or website that specializes in POV scat porn? Absolutely not.
Cops and Live PD were both cancelled this week. I don’t agree with that decision. I understand how in the days and weeks following a brutal, on camera, police killing, it would make sense to remove two programs that show real, often volatile, sometimes violent interactions between the police and community. Especially since there is video floating around of a man dying in police custody during the filming of one such show. Both were fun shows to watch, but I can do the math and see where business and PR minded folks might reasonably see them as being not so great for the bottom line.
Personally, I think there’s actually a benefit to those shows because we get to see people with white, brown, and black skin being run down and manhandled by the 5-0. Watch any police reality show for an hour and you’re bound to see a balanced spread of rednecks from the Ozarks getting busted for hitting their cousin-wives or strolling about the neighborhood with a pocket full of meth meant for distribution to the community, followed by a drunk Mexican from Long Beach getting pulled over with a 12 inch machete in the glove compartment, and a homeboy from South Carolina trying to hide a gross of crack rocks under his tongue and up his ass while he gets hassled by the boys in blue — if that’s not equality then I don’t know what is.
Actually, the only people I don’t see getting busted during these shows are Asians. I’ve seen the way they drive, so I’m sure they’re interacting with the cops on a regular basis, but for some reason it just doesn’t make for good TV. Nobody sitting home, drinking a beer on a Friday night wants to put their feet up and watch a Tiger Mom get pulled over for clogging up the left lane doing 45 mph in a minivan and changing lanes without signalling. I’m sure it’s a scene that plays out ad nauseam on our nation’s highways, but it’s just not the kind of thing that keeps viewers glued to their screens…unless of course it’s a hot Asian chick, then we’ve got something worth watching.
Of course with those two homages to police brutality out of the way, the path has been cleared for the digital pitchfork mob to move in on its next victim — Paw Patrol. That’s right, the popular children’s show is now under fire because its main character is ‘Chase’ a German Shepherd police dog.
I’m sure a good chunk of the people (internet liberals) behind the Twitter trend were just having some fun at the expense of the just as easily outraged conservative users of the site, but all the same a hefty chunk probably do believe that TV should be cleansed of any and all ‘copaganda’ — that’s the cute little portmanteau they use to describe TV shows that depict police officers as anything but complete pricks.
There are few things I love more than a good troll job, but the thing about trolling is that it often contains elements of truth. That’s what makes a good troll job work, it has to be at least somewhat plausible. So if we consider the fact that the twenty and thirty somethings of today are the same people who believe that a statue of two people having a conversation and a football team that goes by the name ‘Cowboys’ are both symbols of white male oppression, then it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they would view a police puppy rescuing a kitten as a thinly veiled piece of fascist propaganda.
If nothing else the responses to Paw Patrol’s #BlackoutTuesday tweet were indicative of the way this particular online hoard seems to think.
As a child of the 1990s who grew up alongside the internet, I have a keenly honed sense for things like trolling and shit posting. My current boss is a professional wrestling fan and commentator who lives by the credo “assume everything is a work.” It’s good advice, and I think it applies here. It is more likely than not that the groundswell of support for the euthanizing, or at least forced retirement of Chase the police dog, is a troll job being done for LOLz at the expense of conservative boomers.
BUT and there is a big BUT!
BUT, BUTT, But in the year 2020, can we really put it past some moron in a suit at Nickelodeon, deeply engrossed in his morning shit/Twitter scroll/work bathroom masturbation session, to see a headline about ‘people calling for Paw Patrol to be cancelled’, prompting him to fire off a missive to his underlings about taking Chase to the vet and putting him to sleep?
We all know how it works. The idiots that run TV networks don’t have time for nuance. They skim headlines, read hashtags, see a couple angry comments and assume that shit-posters and bored humanities professors represent the bulk of the viewing public. I can see it happening now; he pens a hurried email subj: Paw Patrol Cancelled Immediately, rushes through wiping his ass leaving a streak of doody on his undies and an unflushed pile of turds and toilet paper in the commode, runs down the hall to the social media department a light whiff of human poo wafting through the fabric of his Van Huesen slacks, and orders the team to set up a video feed to be streamed across all Nickelodeon digital platforms. Our shit stained business man then does what any rational middle aged man or woman would do in such a situation; he dons a traditional African Kente cloth, takes a knee, and explains that Chase has been sent to live with other dogs on a farm in the country and that funds previously earmarked for future Paw Patrol episodes will be donated to a bail fund for transwomen of color.
Did it happen? Not yet. Could it happen? In the year 2020, anything is possible!