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Disobey the police – Part 1: Biking without lights

In an older article, I suggested disobeying the police as an outlet for aggression and rebellious sentiments. The first times I did it, I was ashamed and felt like a little kid who is doing something stupid. The more I do it, the more I am convinced that I am perfectly right and the cops are really just stupid bullies. Here is what happened today.

I was riding the bike home from a visit in the forest.

It was night, but inside the city – Munich – the streets are very well lit, so I never use lights. Also, I ride without using my hands most of the time. Why? Simply because I can.

I pass a few coppers. There is a lot of them in the area. I leave the bikeway towards the walkway and ask a group of cops what is going on. They tell me it is a demonstration. Ah, right, thanks. I drive on. A normal human interaction.

I continue on the bikeway and pass a few groups of policemen.

Eventually, I approach a larger group and a particularly tall moron decides to stand in my way. I give him a clear look that communicates dude, you are in my way.

He keeps blocking my path and says: Biking without lights and hands, that is a no-no.

Annoyedly, I ask: Why?

He says: Because it is forbidden to drive without hands.

I say: Who says so?

He says, with his trained indifferent authority voice: I am telling you that it is.

I say, clearly and loudly and with slight anger: I do not give a damn fuck about you. There is enough light and I am a skilled biker. I am making sure not to endanger anyone and that is all I care about.

He asks: May I see your id?

Fucking asshole.

I give him my driver’s license and he vanishes into his stupid little green van.

A shorter, slightly fat cop looks at me and I enter a serious staring contest with him for about twenty seconds. I blink first, we start to grin a bit, then he looks away.

Some other bikers pass by and one of them bitches at me for standing in his way. Emphatically, I point at the cops and exclaim: Not my fault, bro!

Well, not a great idea to be standing in the way, I guess.

I move my bike towards the side and stand beside the short cop. I do not feel particular hatred towards him or anything, neither do I feel that towards the tall cop. It is just a conflict. I mean, yeah, I would love to beat that asshole up, but so what.

I casually ask the short cop what the whole demonstration is about. He says it is about the Crystal Night. You know, where they destroyed Jewish shit.

He says the cops are there to make sure there are no fights with Pegida, a nationalistic extreme right-wing group.

I ask him why. Why not let them have their fights and solve it among each other? I am asking with amusement, but I am serious. Why bother? Why do I have to pay the cops to protect some stupid idiots from each other?

He laughs and shrugs it off. I think he kinda does agree with me and enjoys my fresh and clear thinking. Well, fuck it.

The dude from the van comes back. He hands me back my driver’s license and seriously says: You will get post.

I say: Yeah, nice. You did well, son.

Note here that the German language knows two ways to address people which can not be reflected in English. There is a kind of polite pronoun that corresponds with Mr. Surname and a informal pronoun that rather corresponds with Tom. The former expresses respect, the latter expresses disrespect or acquaintance / friendship. Since I do not feel respect for that idiot, I used the latter.

He says: Well, you should be careful how you address me.

I say: I do not give a fuck. Oh, is it forbidden or what?

He hesitates for a split-second and says: No, but I could interpret it as an insult.

An insult is something he can charge me with through civil law.

But I choose to interpret his words not as a threat or as some kind of official jargon. Rather, I interpret them as the kind of victim talk they are.

I say with contempt: Oh, poor you.

He tells me to move on.

I mount my bike and drive on. Another cop shouts after me: Now, should you not rather shove your bike? You still have no lights!

I shout back: Oh dear! Well, you can try and catch me!

I drive on.

Fucking sheep.

I then buy some fruits at the fruit stand and share my anger with the merchant whom I know.

A customer who stands by tells me that they are right to stop me without lights.

I look at him with the same annoyance I felt when talking to the cops. I point at the street and ask him: Hey man, do you see well in that light or not?

It is not an annoyance of wanting to put him down. It is the annoyance of disbelief. How can he stand here, in the glaring light, and say that one should not bike without lights?

He has no answer. Of course not, it is such a fucking mystery and such a deep philosophical question to ponder about!

This is ridiculous.

It is forbidden to drive without hands.

Jesus motherfucking Christ. Such babies.

Now, the great thing about the whole episode is that I did not feel shame or the need to prove anything. I did not turn the anger inside. I expressed it right at the right people. I expressed annoyance, anger, contempt, all those emotions I used to be ashamed of. Also, I was not ashamed of my own judgment of my biking skills and the lack of danger in my actions. I confronted them and then I moved on without losing much thought about it – I just felt slightly annoyed, angry and amused. Triple A!

This is freedom. Not the freedom that others grant you and allow you, no. The freedom to fucking live as you see fit and not let assholes bully you. See that faggots with uniforms are still faggots and treat them like faggots. Trust in your own intuition and judgment. Control of your emotions, allowing you to chat casually with idiots despite being angry at them. Being in the moment.

And the one big thing that my intuition just shouted at me from the very beginning was: What the fuck is the purpose of a life in which I can not even relish a simple joy like riding my bicycle without my hands? The mere proposition of a life like that – or a system that in all seriousness stands behind such an idea – deserves to be relentlessly spat at, ridiculed, demolished and replaced with something life-affirming. It is just plain wrong and not even worthy of being seriously considered. I doubt that even my sickly grandmother would see the greater good in such a preposterous and childish vision. It is not even oppressive, but outright comical. Living the cold grey life of a slave, ashamed of your own physical existence. Wish I had better words to express the clarity of this vision.

Take care.


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  • Smokingjacket

    It’s about preserving the system as an automation. The system they obey exists outside of the everyday empirical reality of daylight which the cops couldn’t see even though it was clearly sunny.

    • Why do you use the word ’empirical’ in this context? Empiricism is quite the mistake they make, their goal not safety, but statistical safety or probability of safety. Replace safety with justice at will.

      • Smokingjacket

        The sun was shining. It was bright. That’s an empirical fact they can’t see in any sense. Why did they stop you for not using your lights. Because they’re blind even to the Sun.

        • I think that ’empirical’ refers to observing greater sets of data, not individual cases.

          And no, the sun was not shining. But the street lamps are quite bright here. I corrected the part that may have been incurred.

        • Ah, I think I was wrong. Just looked the word up. You are correct.

          • Smokingjacket

            That’s allowed! After all your English is much better than my German.

          • The word does exist in German, too: Empirisch.

            But since the normal use of it is to make an experiment, collect lots of data, then average the shit out of that data, I was not aware of the intrinsic meaning of the word. Only learned it through association, so to speak.

    • thordaddy

      The “system” NOW desires radical autonomy… It desires to “transcend” the input/output paradigm IT SET AS the dominate paradigm now when even an ignorant mass can “game” this input/output programming due an open source media. With all inherent authority destroyed, the zeitgeist MANDATES its underlings push the cultural, social, political and physical envelope AS THE PRETEXT for a larger and more radically autonomous zeitgeist.

      So when one reduces this interaction with the zeitgeist to its most primitive elements, it is as Tom says nothing but an invisible, indifferent mob ready to pounce on the most blind of its “citizens” leaving everyone else seeing “nothing” at all.

  • thordaddy

    Good stuff, Tom…