The Bronze Law of Force

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In the late afternoon of May 31, I heard on the radio that a curfew had been declared for Los Angeles County, to begin at 6:00 p.m. and to run until sometime the following morning. I texted a friend who lives in Los Angeles and told him that he and his family had 23 minutes to prepare for the lockdown. He wasn’t happy. In fact he made sarcastic references to the anticipated approach of police helicopters to spy out curfew scoffers and arrange for their apprehension. Since he lives in a quiet, uphill suburb with few stores or public buildings and a low population density, I wasn’t surprised when he said “there was basically nothing going on” around there, and certainly nothing that would prompt such draconian measures.

The next day, he was even less happy. The curfew was back. “At 4:30 they told us it would start at 6:00; three minutes later they said it would start at 5:00.”

As I write, the curfew thus begun in indecent haste has been extended until June 5. At least.

In human life — or perhaps I should say quasi-human life — the shortest distance between two unrelated things is almost always the use of force.

In case you’re wondering, “Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, as provided by LACC section 2.68.320 or any applicable state or municipal law.”

Now. Los Angeles County is the home of 10 million people. If it were a state, it would displace Michigan as the tenth most populous. It occupies 4,700 square miles, the size of Delaware and Rhode Island together, and almost the size of Connecticut. Most of it is desert. The rioting and looting that somehow produced the emergency imprisonment of 10 million people spread over 4,700 square miles occurred in two or three tiny areas in the urban center. It’s a mighty long way from that cause to that effect.

But in human life — or perhaps I should say quasi-human life — the shortest distance between two unrelated things is almost always the use of force. This may not be an iron law, but it is at least a bronze one.

A lazy, ugly, insignificant man is lucky enough to have an intelligent, attractive wife. Still, he craves personal recognition; he longs to be noticed; he wishes that he could impress other people. Solution? He beats his wife, thus impressing himself on someone.

Unable to assert their imaginary greatness, they gaze for a moment into the great mirror of life, where they glimpse themselves as the futile dullards they are.

A vain, stupid woman takes pride in keeping herself at a trim 120 pounds, when it is evident to all that her weight is about 240. One day, she visits the house of a friend and happens to do what she never does at home: she glances in a mirror. The sight severely damages her self-esteem. Solution? She “accidentally” breaks the mirror, thus restoring her figure to a trim 120 pounds.

Braindead politicians are stumped by the fact that their liberal clich├ęs are incapable of controlling civil disturbances on the part of people whom they are used to regarding as automatic supporters of themselves. Unable to assert their imaginary greatness, they gaze for a moment into the great mirror of life, where they glimpse themselves as the futile dullards they are: ugly, bloated, helpless non-entities, whom no one would notice if they were on the other side of a microphone. Solution? They decree the house arrest of 10 million innocent men, women, and children.

You can supply your own examples, and unfortunately you will have no difficulty doing so, merely by consulting the events of this year.

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