THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN

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(Four years ago there was a news story about a young Palestinian boy who was snatched from a protest and beaten to death by Israeli police. Shocking as that is, they also smashed the phones of witnesses who tried to call an ambulance and sipped coffee while he died.  A re-post)

 

We snatched this dirty Arab boy when he was throwing stones;

He looked so fucking funny making all his moans and groans

As we cracked him with our batons and we broke his fucking bones;

When some people called an ambulance we smashed their mobile phones.

 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

 

The day’d been uneventful, mostly boring, kind of dull

Then we’d nabbed him from a crowd of youths and in the push and pull

We kicked him on the floor then I caught him on the full

With a pearler on his napper and I broke his fucking skull.

 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

 

The blood ran out around him forming quite a crimson tide

Although the day was hot it took a while before it dried

So I sat and sipped my coffee till I was sure he’d died

Then I laughed so fucking much that I almost fucking cried.

 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

◄ THE TATTOOED LADY

RITES OF PASSAGE ►

Comments

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Aug 2019 19:04

As I say, Graham it was quite deliberate and calculated.
I posted the original for Don below but I expect someone like you in your “grey” years will know it. 😀

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hI1nPd7hezM

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 12th Aug 2019 18:53

JC I thought the serious subject matter of your piece was enhanced by the purile comedy theme (sadly I couldn't bring myself to listen to your recording) Brilliant idea!

Without falling into the trap, of which I accuse others, I can only say that, remember for most, today's shock is tomorrow's chip paper!

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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 12th Aug 2019 18:36

OK Graham, you make your point and I'll make mine...though yours is a little dull and lacking clout.

But who needs credibility these days pal?

And who gives a shit about poetry when confronted by reality? buy yourself a ticket to the Yemen Graham..you'll be writing Graham Greene novels by Christmas with your endowed gifts.

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Aug 2019 18:34

“Boys! Boys!” (Olive Oyl Voice).
I certainly intended to shock. It seems to me that shock is a legitimate response to aim for in writing.
Analytically speaking (and to prompt discussion on the piece itself) I have used a number of devices.
The flippant tone of the narrator
The violent and very pictorial imagery
And (as I say in a comment below) the juxtaposition of this jaunty tune with the horror of its content.
Yes, I expect it to shock. What I didn’t expect was that there would be controversy about something so universally deplorable.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 12th Aug 2019 18:24

That's is exactly the point I'm making. It matters little to the poetry, in fact it reduces its impact, when those making comments extensively bang on about themselves and their experiences.

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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 12th Aug 2019 18:14

Mr Sherwood,

I admire the piece, it was my first instinct to remark upon it.

Maybe people can focus on both writing and experience, feel free to share your experiences from suburbia...I wait with bated misery.

I defend when attacked...join the frey pal...but be ready.

David.

PS, I've generally found I have benefitted by listening to the personal experiences of others, of course I may not be blessed with your personal gifted insight.

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Graham Sherwood

Mon 12th Aug 2019 17:58

As is often the case with poems that aim for the 'controversial vote' the associated commentary always seems to overshadow the content.

I doesn't matter if the source material originates form several sources. it doesn't matter whether the police were security forces or not. It doesn't matter.

What matters is someone has written a strong and shocking piece about something that may well have happened over and over again and is graphically portrayed here.

When commenters focus on the quality of the poetry written and not on their own personal opinions/experiences we'll all learn much more.

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Wolfgar Miere

Mon 12th Aug 2019 16:34

Let's cut the crap shall we...it doesn't matter whether what John says is an amalgamation of shit happenings or not...real life is much worse.

Would you like me to relate a story of human soup...personally experienced from Freetown..you ready for that one?

Jesus...I'm drunk and half of you lot have no idea how fortunate you are...

Getting piss bombed doesn't cut the mustard. Maybe getting your head carved off in Tottenham counts though, I'll give you that.

Not that anyone should be scoring points when it comes to relatable horror. Anyway...more poems about trees thats what I say...

Enough...out!

Of course my apologies for experiencing these things for real and refusing to shut up about it like an obedient citizen...

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Aug 2019 15:38

Well, yes and no, MC. Let me put it another way. All the things I describe did happen. But the picture is not of the dead boy. I expect even Google thought a pic of that would be unacceptable.
And you’re absolutely right. I selected this old jovial music hall song quite deliberately for its horrific juxtaposition with the content.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 12th Aug 2019 15:25

JC - you've certainly put a cat among the pigeons (as usual!) 😏
Artistic licence? Agent provocateur? Rabble-rouser? Stirrer?
They all come to mind when considering this blog and its intent.
Certainly, the effect of combining a famous old comedy song from
a time when such things were the stuff of innocent ribaldry with
such horrendous happenings makes its mark as, no doubt, you
intended. But to what purpose that is not already understood and
accepted by right-minded thinking anywhere?
No one would condone the death described or the actions of those
involved. The word "civilised" does have a relevance but it is two-way; as those who have faced a baying mob hurling objects that
can kill and/or maim from the safety of anonymity can surely verify.
"Civilisation" is often a thin veneer barely covering the structure of
our vulnerable man-made societies across the globe. It needs
buffing up not breaking down.

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Aug 2019 12:55

I feel the need to rectify some factual inaccuracies, all sacrificed for the poem. I believe this boy did not in fact die; I have conflated this incident with another. Further, as MC points out, I don’t think these were regular bobbies but rather security forces. But “The Laughing State Trooper” didn’t quite cut it. The drinking coffee and smashing mobiles may also have happened in similar instances. All in all you may think this is a complete fabrication. But the more shocking still that there are several instances from which I can select abuses.

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Don Matthews

Mon 12th Aug 2019 09:23

Off-poem. You're right John. It does make sense.....😛

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John Coopey

Mon 12th Aug 2019 09:05

Many thanks for your thoughts, Wolfgang. The incident and others like it are all the more shocking that this is not some distant place we dismiss as “backward” and “uncivilised”. It isn’t Rwanda, for instance. The post-Yugoslav atrocities of the 1990’s seemed the more horrific for being in a “civilised” European country.
Don - When you strike for shorter hours (and personally I always thought an hour was too long) you’re bound to end up with a shorter year.

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Don Matthews

Sun 11th Aug 2019 23:59

I apologise but this is nothing to do with the poem. John says "and others of your short years". I was not aware living downunder our years are shorter. My scientific knowledge has been expanded.....😛

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Wolfgar Miere

Sun 11th Aug 2019 22:10

John,

I applaud the horror this piece of writing conveys because it is truth, people can't stand it and are repelled by it. Often more repelled by the utterance of the story than the evil nature of the act it relates.

People don't want to see this stuff let alone be reminded of it.

My heart sank to see the comment made here by Do.RoThY..(who is of course absolutely free to express her opinion)

The mocking tone of her final line just about says it all. I would suggest to Do.RoThY that had she ever witnessed atrocity first hand and then the humanity shown by others to those suffering in the aftermath, she may have come to realise the value of humanity and humanitarian organisations and institutions that dispense that human kindness irrespective of creed, colour or religion.

Maybe Do.RoThY's experience of evil has been accumulated solely via TV I really don't know. But to describe the studies and practice of humanity in the following manner:

"This is why lessons on humanity are worth a dime cuz it teaches nothing!! "

suggests a complete lack of the understanding of human values their studies and practices. Then to finish off with hahahahahah....is truly dumbfounding to me.

Yes there are great evils in the world without doubt, even more reason for humans to find common ground on which to meet, that includes the formulation of structured human values and rights.

I and many others I know have shown humanity even to enemies, for a person to suggest that observation and action was/is a waste of time is pure ignorance to my mind and should be called out.

Then to pick out a particular nationality for criticism when our entire species is guilty of inhumanity indicates the likely presence of an agenda and possibly some specific prejudice.

Do.RoThY, regarding the value of lessons being taught and learned, I might suggest the revisiting of some in respect of making oneself grammatically clear are in order.

John, I applaud this poem absolutely. I wasn't entirely surprised by some of the content of particular responses, although quite disheartened by them.

David.

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John Coopey

Sun 11th Aug 2019 14:47

Thanks for your thoughts, MC.

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 11th Aug 2019 14:10

The original was a popular music hall song that I recall from my own
boyhood - on a small acetate disc owned by my Edwardian stepfather. It still gives pleasure. I'm not sure that "police" is the
correct term for the security forces employed to face public order
in that area at that time. Let us recall the definition applied here in the UK - the yardstick description of the word police - "means the
arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure the inhabitants
keep the peace and obey the law. It also refers to those employed
for that purpose."

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John Coopey

Sun 11th Aug 2019 12:02

No race/nation/class holds a monopoly of evil, Dorothy. Nor do they hold a monopoly of virtue.
(And thankyou for the “Like” Branwell).

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Do.RoThY

Sun 11th Aug 2019 11:50

When the Egyptians in the times of pharoah did the same to Israelis, israelis did wait for the deliverer. What an ugly side of the same species (israelis)? How their ancestors will plead their case with these atrocities?

Humanity fails! This is why lessons on humamity are worth a dime cuz it teaches nothing!!

Hahahahaha humanity studies hahaha!!

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John Coopey

Sun 11th Aug 2019 11:41

Thankyou, Don. I don’t Know if you (and others of your short years) are familiar with the original.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hI1nPd7hezM

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Don Matthews

Sun 11th Aug 2019 11:08

I don't know what to make of this
To laugh or bloody cry
I simply shake my head about
And give a great big sigh.......

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