So here I was reading Jeff Sharlet’s The Family (more about which in a future post) during the recent period of Internet withdrawal, and the author is describing how he had obtained an eighteen-tape lecture created for a Christian college, and was down by the Brooklyn waterfront, pausing to scribble a note,
… when a white and blue police van rolled up behind me and squawked its siren. There were four officers inside.
“What are you writing?” the driver asked. The other three leaned toward the window.
“Notes,” I said, tapping my headphones.
“Okay. What are you listening to?”
I said I didn’t think I had to tell him.
“This is a high-security area,” he said. On the other side of a barbed-wire fence, he said, was a Coast Guard storage facility for deadly chemicals. “Somebody blow that up and boom, bye-bye Brooklyn.” Note taking in the vicinity might be a problem. “So, I gotta ask again, what are you listening to?”
How to explain — to the cop who had just clued me in on the ripest terrorist target in Brooklyn — that I was listening to a Christian jihadi lecture on how democracy as practiced in America was defiance of God’s intentions, how God gave to the United States the “irresistible blessings” of biblical capitalism unknown to Europe, and how we have vandalized this with vulgar regulations, how God loves the righteous who fight in His name?
Like this: “American history.”
Don’t you just love it?