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Mike Randle


March 20, 2003

Well, there we were (hachoo! I have a cold, sorry…), in the studio waiting for Rusty but he was a no-show for 45 min. Then my mobile rang and it was him.

“Mike, I’d stuck in traffic. There’s some kind of Peace rally in Westwood and it’s shut traffic down.”

So I turned the radio on and heard the story; 500 Palisades High School kids had marched to the Federal Building in Westwood to protest the USA invasion of Iraq. Some of them walked on Wilshire Blvd., which blocked traffic. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers ordered them out of the street and on to the sidewalk, so traffic could resume. I guess they didn’t move fast enough because several LAPD officers started playing crickett upside some of the student’s heads with those LAPD batons that Rodney King could tell you about first hand. One of the victims was a girl with a camera who tried to take a picture of one of the cop’s badge. She caught the business end of that baton and guess what? IT WAS ALL CAUGHT ON FILM BY 3 LOCAL TV CHANNELS here in L.A.

Now, the reason I know all this is because Rob, our recording engineer, was on the phone with his girlfriend, who gave him play-by-play of the action. I heard part of it on the radio after Rusty called me but I didn’t know the extent of it and I especially didn’t know the LAPD were smacking high school girls around with batons; now that takes some balls, huh? But it gets better.

For those of you living on another planet (or in Milton Keynes), the LAPD has a reputation for being, ahem…how should I say this…um, aggressive. The last Police Chief (who was tossed out of office a year ago), Barnard Parks (AKA, “Chief Cover-up”), had a reputation for keeping rogue cops out of the news and sweeping the beatings they administered to suspects under the rug (but, in typical L.A. fashion, he ran for a City Council seat in march and WON…I could go on and on about this guy…) but last year he was replaced by Chief Bratton, who PROMISED to clean up the LAPD once and for all (you can stop laughing now) and bring respect back to the badge.

Now, knowing there might be some sort of Peace rally going on in reaction to the USA invasion, Bratton told his underling Sargents to “take a chill pill and DON’T TRIP” (OK, MAYBE HE DIDN’T SAY IT QUITE LIKE THAT…). Guess what? THEY TRIPPED! And the best part about it was when Chief Bratton found out his darling new police force were taking batting practice on Palisades High kids…(read: RICH KIDS!!!!!!!) Yep, these kids come from wealthy families and, although they’ll never have to ever worry about serving time in any war because their folks have some SERIOUS CASH ( Bush could explain how that works much better than I…), you gotta give the little brats credit for seeing first hand what many inner-city people see every other weekend; Police Brutality.

But not just ANY ‘OL Police brutality but the kind that gets caught on film and shown over and over again on television. I tried to imagine Chief Bratton doing a Homer “Doh!” when he saw his boys whacking all those Pali kids, cause (according to the radio) he hopped a helicopter and immediately fly from downtown and landed on the Fed building.

Rusty did eventually make it to the studio and we did actually get quite a bit of work done but when I got home, there was nothing on the TV about the Westwood incident and I even am having trouble finding the story on the internet. It’s not on the LA TIMES web site or the DAILY NEWS web site. I guess the secret word had come down (or inferred propaganda pressure?) not to interfere with this wonderful and perfect invasion that is being conducted with “surgical” precision and should be wrapped up by Friday, as to not screw up the ratings for the NCAA Basketball tournament.

But, there is something consoling about all this; USA President, George W. Bush, before giving the word to Bomb Baghdad to kingdom come, took several minutes to pray to his God for guidance and whatever else you pray for before you blow people to smithereens. I found that kind of endearing that the president would actually consider his own soul in all this. Maybe he knows more than we give him credit for. Maybe not. But one thing you can bet on; George W. Bush better hope God has a sense of humour. Otherwise, ‘Ol Dubya is in even deeper shit than he could ever have imagined. And no amount of praying, propaganda, phoney pretenses and stalled studio time can help him.

And I’ll leave (sneeze) it on this note, as I am sick and don’t feel like writing anything else; forget the high approval rating in USA wartime because everyone loves a winner…forget the “allies” hopping on board when it looks too good to resist, cause everyone loves a winner…forget about what you are watching because the world may never be the same again (but I hope I am wrong about that) and forget about a second BUSH term in 2004; Americans make mistakes like everyone else, but we aren’t INSANE…. Love And Peace Dude.

Mike Randle


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