Orwell & Poetry, Me & Police, ELF & FBI (December 2015)

Three items:

1- I have a review essay at Toward Freedom, looking at the new collection of George Orwell’s poetry and considering what his poetics reveal about his prose.

2- I was interviewed by WFHB in Bloomington, Indiana about community policing, militarization, and the criminalization of poverty. My bit is followed by an interview with the police chief.

3- Will Potter quoted me in a short, interesting article about FBI documents showing that their agents decided not to interview a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front because he had never answered their questions before and had publicized their investigations in the media. The lessons here are pretty clear: If you don’t want to talk to the FBI, you should start by not talking to the FBI. Do, however, talk to other people about what the FBI is doing.


A Movie and a Review (Nov. 2015)

I have a short interview in the new film by Scott Noble, Plutocracy: Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule). The movie offers a look at the role of class conflict in U.S. history, especially in the nineteenth century. I (predictably) talk about the role of the police.

Meanwhile —

I was interested to see a blog post about Our Enemies in Blue by Greg Saville, a former cop turned public safety consultant. He begins: “This week I heard from two old friends, an ex-police chief and a current chief. … [O]ne offered, “there needs to be a new narrative”. The other, surprisingly, referred me to the controversial anti-police book by Kristian Williams, Our Enemies in Blue: Police Power in America.” He clearly disagrees with a lot of my conclusions, but the review is pretty fair, and he even defends me against a troll in the comment section: “Even unpopular anti-police critiques are worth a read!”

It’s strange to think of a police chief reading my book, and stranger to think of him recommending it to a friend. I wonder what they get out of it.