Thursday, February 27, 2003

Every Neighborhood Needs A Cop

This morning I was listening to a talk radio abomination called The Doug Stephan Show. It was 5:20am okay? You find something better to listen to.

Anyway the host was speaking about the sad news that Mister Rogers had died. He praised Mr. Rogers as an upstanding and honorable man who taught children many valuable lessons. I couldn't agree more.

But then he tried to tie Mr.Rogers in with the imminent war with Iraq, asking if we wouldn't be better off to have Mr. Rogers as our president. He mentioned that in 1991 during the Gulf War a poll asked children who they wished was president and Mr. Rogers grabbed something like 80% of their vote. The host then intoned, "You know sometimes there is a lot of wisdom in the words of a child."

I know talk like this is silly and probably not even worth getting in to but there are a decent number of people out there who share such naive beliefs (a few weeks ago there was a much publicized photo of an anti-war protester in rural Minnesota holding a sign the read What Would Mr. Roberts Do? obviously an example of this type of sentiment however brain addled the protester was). Wouldn't it great if we lived in a world where Mr. Rogers was president and it was just like his neighborhood?

The problem with this world view is that it ignores an essential ingredient in the harmony of Mr. Roger's neighborhood.

Officer Clemmons, the cop.

Yes there was a cop in Mr. Roger's neighborhood. From this one can infer that there was or had been at some point crime in the neighborhood as well. When the new neighbors moved in next door, turned their house into a meth lab, started dealing off the front porch, and menancingly brandished shotguns and shouted obsenities whenever Fred got too close to the property line he didn't invite them over so he could show them how to tie their shoes or offer them a nifty button up sweater as a peace offering. He grabbed the phone, called 911, and soon Officer Clemons and the tactical strike force were battering down the neighbor's door and hauling them off to the big house.

Mr. Roger's neighborhood needed a cop. Don't you think the real world does too?

1 comment: