Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Highway Police 10 Road Cops

I have to stop watching local crime reality programmes. If you ever want to make someone into a conservative, feed them a steady diet of these shows. Snarling, belligerent angry people spitting and waving their (middle *gasp*) fingers at police. It's a snapshot of a person at a particular time and moment and it never tells the full story about who they are or might become, but watching their behaviour there and then, a part of me thinks society as a whole would be better off if they were winked out of existence.

Why is this a bad way to think? Because it sees behaviour without context. Dysfunctional behaviour is created through dysfunctional environments.  It's easy to wash your hands of someone, harder to deal with the issues that created it in the first place. It's also taking what might be aberrant actions from a small minority and making it seem more prevalent than it is - it's not like routine police work is covered, and watch enough of these shows during the week and you can end up feeling like you live in a very scary place. When you're scared and angry you want to lash out - 'take away their benefits', 'lock 'em away', 'where's my gun', 'I could use a muesli bar right about now' (last one may have been me).

And I sympathise. I want the little grotty bastards to go away as well. But more importantly I want that behaviour not to be exhibited in the first place, which means instead of instinctively lashing out you have to look at the root causes and address them. If you want to train a dog you don't beat them and expect good results. People are the same. What I'm really saying is that we should take these snotty brats down to the local park and throw tennis balls for them to chase until they're too tuckered out to cause any more mischief, the little fluffy scamps. And then we desex them.

/ and lets face it, as soon as there is a camera and an editor on board reality television mostly stops being about reality and becomes instead all about framing and people acting up for a camera because they want their five minutes of fame or because they don't want to be seen popping some foulmouthed urchin in the mouth because they'll lose their job.


Shackleford Hurtmore said...

When watching these programmes (my favourite is Border Security; it turns me into a proper mouth-frothing fascist), I wish they would occasionally show the ethnic minorities they are certain are "acting unusual", who get the full invasive pat-down treatment and turn out to be innocent... that would make far more thought-provoking TV to watch...

Dovil said...

That's very true! I suspect that these programmes are for the most part thinly veiled pr for the police so seeing them as anything but one dimensional good guys isn't going to happen any time soon. That's why I actually did enjoy the UK series 'Coppers' because it was at least a slightly more honest look at the profession.

And yes to Border Security. Who knew that someone smuggling in a piece of fruit could unleash my inner conservative.

Shackleford Hurtmore said...

Thanks to "Border Security" I now know that anyone foreign claiming to be a "fashion designer" is actually a drugs mule. Next time NZ Fashion Week is on, I'm going all Citizen's Arrest on their asses.