The Human Condition
The Last Community/West Seattle/Wed Sept 6/3:35 pm: Officer Askew reports: "On the above date, I saw four juveniles on 45th Ave SW smoking what appeared to be marijuana through an aluminum pipe. [I] recognized that the kids were smoking marijuana because of the way they were passing it around and smoking it from the pipe. [I] distinguished the group as being two females 13 to 14 and two males 13 to 14..." The practice of smoking pot is easily recognizable in this society because it is one of the last truly communal practices. We do not pass around a beer or a cigarette or a hotdog. We consume those things individually. But with pot, it is normal, if not required, that we share. The reason for this surely has, in part, to do with the fact that pot is bought and sold in the informal economy, rather than the formal economy. The formal economy encourages individual consumption and a strong sense of ownership, whereas the informal economy is still wild, still on the margins, and as such still has ties with older, precapitalist modes and customs. The moment pot becomes legitimate and is sold over the counter, is the moment when passing "the kouchie 'pon tha left-hand side" becomes socially improper, and asking for a hit sinks to the low status of bumming a smoke.
The Fall/Queen Anne/Wed Sept 6/4:16 pm: Officer Williams: "John Doe was wearing a maroon sweatsuit with black tennis shoes. Witness observed Doe falling at approximately 50 feet off ground before impact, as he drove eastbound on Westlake Ave N. Sgt Coomes responded to the scene and called Homicide and spoke with Sgt Nelson. Homicide declined to respond. King County Medical Examiner's office was called, Investigator Midkiff responded. Midkiff provided case number. Midkiff did search of Doe for any form of identification and found only a bus pass and club card with no name or other identifying information. Midkiff removed Doe's body to the Medical Examiner's office." There is something sad and cold about Homicide's complete lack of interest in this incident. Apparently, the detectives in that department have seen it all, heard it all, and nothing, not even a 50-foot fall to the death, can ignite their curiosity. Cupping the mouthpiece of his office phone, Sergeant Nelson to Detective Bucket, who is heading down to the deli on the ground floor: "Make it two old-fashioneds and no cream in the coffee. Thanks, Bucket." Uncupping the mouthpiece: "Now, what's this all about? 50 feet? Dead? Look Sergeant Coomes, I can't do nothing for you man. Call the medical examiner."
The Realm of Random/Cal Anderson Park/Wed Sept 6/11:35 pm: Officer Shelhorse reports: "I contacted victim who stated that he was exiting Cal Anderson Park on the northeast side when he observed the suspect walking toward him. [Victim] attempted to walk around the suspect. [Suspect] brandished a weapon and began stabbing victim. When victim fell to the ground, the suspect continued stabbing him. The suspect walked northbound after the attack. SFD responded and treated victim at the scene. (He was stabbed multiple times in the right hand, abdomen, and upper chest area.) Victim was then transported to HMC for additional treatment. An area check for the suspect was unsuccessful." (If anyone has information about this incident, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)