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Another Thought From the D.C. Blizzard

December 20, 2009

I saw two snowmen on the Adams Morgan side of Calvert Street, and it occurred to me that an enduring human response to ice crystals falling from the sky is to assemble them into our own image. Sort of.

Snowmen don’t resemble the shape of human beings in any meaningful way.  The two I saw did not have faces, but even when they do, two dots and a half circle doesn’t really look like a human face.  It’s funny how strongly we react to precipitation in 2009. Building these totems is a sweet and atavistic response to the weather.

Update: I keep returning to the same thought about the cop who drew his gun at yesterday’s snowball fight: if a civilian brandished a gun after being hit by a snowball, that civilian would be arrested on the spot.  While the uniformed police responded pretty admirably in the video, they failed to hold their fellow police officer to the standard they would apply to anyone else.

It’s unacceptable to inject the threat of deadly force into that situation, and it  is especially disgraceful for a police officer to have done so.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2009 10:32 pm

    That snowman sucks. You guys get all the cool stuff.

  2. Greg permalink
    December 21, 2009 9:41 am

    i don’t think you can say that they didn’t hold him to the same standard as a regular civilian… not that he had any reason whatsoever to pull out his gun other than he’s nuts, but he does (presumably) have an excuse for having a concealed, loaded gun with him in the first place. besides, the uniformed cops that arrived at the scene knew that their fellow officer was there (he called on his radio), maybe even talked with him. if it was some random dude the police would have had a lot less info to start with. what do you think will happen to him?

    • Barry permalink*
      December 21, 2009 12:19 pm

      The reason I say he got special treatment is that he wasn’t taken to the station in the back of a police car as anyone else would be. It’s not that he shouldn’t have had the gun, it’s that he shouldn’t have pulled it. The only possible excuse I see for his action is that he didn’t actually point the gun at anyone, but I don’t think that would be a sufficient defense for some rando on the street, so it shouldn’t be a defense for a cop.


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