Rights are extremely inconvenient things. If you keep them in a drawer without food, exercise, and nourishment, one day when you take them out for a fine stroll on the town you will find that instead of being robust with a thick coat of fur, happy and healthy companions that you can turn on enemies in a pinch or use to get you through the day, you find instead that they are emaciated, tired, twig-legged, and all their teeth have fallen out.
What’s worse, when you snap them off the leash and say, “Run, rights, run!” they stagger and stumble and you end up having to carry them to the vet, a sad looking guy in black robe who often pronounces them either dead or seriously impaired. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re the proud owner of a right that dates back to 1789, an heirloom enshrined in centuries of jurisprudence and vigorous exercise, only to learn that you’re the keeper of an empty, toothless, saggy-dicked principle that has one foot in the grave and the other in a nasty opinion written by Justice Scalia.
Yes, it’s a shock to have some ignorant, mean, ‘roided out lardass who rode the bench on the JV football squad, a peabrain who’s now packing a gun, cuffs, tazer, radio, and mace, a barely literate boob who drives a patrol car loaded with a riot shotgun and is backed up by helicopters, a SWAT team and dozens of similarly armed brethren, and to have that guy pull you over while you’re riding your bike and write you a ticket for doing something that’s perfectly legal.
Pretty galling, because there you are in your underwear flexing your pot belly as you’re reaching into your back jersey pocket to whip out your rights and have them eat this asshole’s lunch and he takes one look at your puny, underfed, under-exercised, long-ignored rights and flicks them off into the ditch.
Then he writes you the ticket and goes on his way. “Tell it to the judge,” he sneers as you desperately try to pick up your sick and feeble rights and sic ’em on this lawbreaker.
And the question is, what are you going to do about it?
Some people will pay the ticket. Some people will complain on Facegag. Some people will get up at 4:30 AM and write what they hope is a clever blog. Some will hold a small ceremony for the dead rights, take up golf, or excoriate college students who dare to insult the flag.
I’m going to take out my puny, shaky-legged, underfed rights and give them some exercise. They may be sick, but they aren’t dead. And I think that given their genetic makeup and their Constitution, with some vigorous exercise and some healthy time out on the town, they’re going to come roaring back.
The tentative dates for this rolling rights protest, which will take place at the city office in Malibu and then proceed down PCH all the way to the Santa Monica Pier, are April 5, April 25, or May 9. I’m in the process of obtaining permit information from the city and will provide updates once a firm date is confirmed.
The protest will demand that the city instruct its minions at LASD to stop harassing cyclists, it will demand that the LA Sheriff’s Department stop its policy of writing bogus tickets to cyclists, and it will also call for the implementation of political change: Instead of having to fight every harassing ticket, we will start the process of finding a new candidate for sheriff who will take action against these lawless deputies.
My rights may die anyway. But they won’t die without getting a bit of vigorous exercise first.
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