Um, literally. Thanks to I guess a chance encounter some twenty years ago, tv viewers are treated to what’s gotta be one of the weirdest reality shows ever (andthanks to Oyster for reminding me to watch this train/boat wreck of a show.)Stephen Seagal doesn’t just play a sheriff’s deputy on tv, but actually is one for Jefferson Parish, which for non Gret Stet’ers is suburban New Orleans (Metairie, Kenner, the West Bank, etc. — my personal favorite moniker was always “Fat City.”
Part bizarro morality play, part “Cops,” part Kung Fu meets Popeye’s Fried Chicken (at least a half a dozen references to his “lifetime of martial arts training” in the two half hour episodes), this was toothache television at it’s finest, to paraphrase the late, great Bill Hicks (who described watching “Cops” as like having a toothache that you can’t stop touching.)
By the way: for all the lifetime of martial arts training (“akido — the way of love” is how I recall his description), it sure seems as if tasers get quite the workout. And, maybe the exception that proves the rule, or maybe that even the vastest television wastelands aren’t entirely bereft of anything worthwhile (ok…but…) you can certainly get an idea of just how hopeless vast swaths of the suburbs are…and I get the feeling that similar areas exist all around the country, not just in New Orleans.
One such location leads to an encounter that should serve as a reminder that the police experience sure is different for some: three young black men are pulled from a vehicle, ostensibly for violating open container regulations (in suburban NOLA, for crying out loud, plus the bottle was capped, just not sealed) and held while id’s and a weapon (the latter not at all uncommon in these parts) are checked with headquarters via the radio. All are clean…but I wonder what would happen if the kids were wealthy Tulane students and the location was uptown…just saying.