Watching a news reporter when the camera isn’t on them is an extremely edifying exercise, especially if you can catch the transition between off-camera and on-. It makes you realize that these people are not your friends and they are not stalwart warriors in search of truth. They’re just actors. And last night I saw four of them (carefully not invading each others’ shots) clustered in various places on Market. Little bunches of cops in riot gear stood around near them, shooting the shit with each other. There was no one else around. The reporters were all frantically completing their own makeup and ignoring each other. They looked like a flock of preening little sparrows.
I finally asked one of the cops what was going on, since I’d been walking up Market for many blocks and kept seeing these groups of cops and vans. He told me that about an hour ago there were maybe 300 people walking up the street in a peaceful demonstration. I asked if he had arrested anyone but he said they all kept to the sidewalks. Doesn’t he sound like a nice, friendly cop? Like someone you would get in a 1950’s movie?
I’ll tell you, though, I walked up Market from Civic Center to Montgomery at 11:00 at night in a low-cut tanktop and no one leered or whistled or made a comment or bothered me at all. But this cop stood right up in my face and winked and said a few things I wished he hadn’t and was the only one that night who made me feel like a whore.
For anyone interested, I made a new section in the sidebar with war-related sites that I find helpful. If you can think of anything for me to add, let me know.