I think the media has missed a crucial detail about this whole narrative. And I will address it presently.
First, I think it’s important to note that one of the officers, one Lt. John Pike, with his little red can has earned a certain amount of…let’s call it celebrity. The internet at large has had a chance to digest this imagery and a consensus has emerged. The internet has judged him at once hilarious and monstrous at the same time. The internet, the place where all media is carried to its logical extreme, has taken this image and this footage and created a sort of inspiring memetic art series. Each image is more absurd than the last. Each one adds to the narrative without fully realizing the full ramifications.
This isn’t just a political thing.
First, the official narrative. If we look at this purely from the standpoint of law enforcement, the official statement is clearly false. I am not being politically biased, I am being intelligent.
The question that has been asked time and again with respect to Occupy Wall St. and the 99% movement is essentially this: has the response from authorities been appropriate to the situation? The authorities all say “yes” but, of course, they would. The 99%-ers say no, and I tend to agree with them. To an extent.
Look at Pike. Take a good look at this picture because this is the most important one. Watch the video. The justification for the pepper spray is the safety of the officers. They supposedly felt threatened and this was the justifiable response in that situation. To hear officials talk, the protesters should be thankful that Pike didn’t start blasting them with rubber bullets for how unruly they were.
But does his posture look like that of a threatened man? Body language is really difficult to quantify scientifically. That is, it’s hard to quote. So after the fact, all we have is the video and the narratives handed down to us from the authorities and from anyone else that was there.
The problem is, the narrative from the authorities does not match the footage or the images. However, I am about to argue that 99%’s narrative is, while closer to the truth, still not accurate. I am going to propose a third version of the story.
Humans are, by and large, experts at reading body language, barring some sort of neurological disorder. Most people are empathetic enough to understand when a person looks uncomfortable, angry, happy, sad, etc.
In short, we can all recognize a man casually spraying a noxious orange cloud over a bunch of spoiled college students. The media and the authorities spoon-feeding us the story that this man was somehow afraid for his life is the purest bullshit. What I mean is, anyone with half a brain can see that this guy is not feeling threatened. But, I will point out, neither does he feel glee. He takes neither pleasure nor wrath. He is showers these kids with the casual ease of a gardener spraying pesticide. A sort of beatific…peace.
This is what I want to focus on here, because a friend of mine believes, and I think I agree with him, that Lt. John Pike is very likely a heretofore unknown sixth avatar of Vishnu. Or at the very least, a Buddha, or a Bodhisattva, or a Saint or an angel (if you’re of the western persuasion).
Compare with an image of Vishnu. Observe the way he stands in close detail. Not only does the students’ pain mean nothing to him. The students themselves mean nothing to him. He cares not one whit whether you experience pain nor joy. This is a sign of a true enlightened one. The kids on the ground are the true sinners. Buddha said that suffering arises from craving. From materialism. Indeed, in our tableau, it is not Lt. Pike that is the sinner, but the college students. They are the ones who are living in suffering. The mace which is causing their suffering is symbolic of their obsession with the material world and their refusal to pursue the true enlightenment, to cast off that which causes suffering. To cast off their obsession with material wealth and gains.
He is like a Boddhisattva who has chosen not to ascend to Nirvana, opting to stay behind as a teacher. A teacher of important lessons which issue forth from a spray nozzle. Many have denounced Pike for a monster. But he is not. He brings knowledge and wisdom in an industrial can of pepper-spray. Indeed, his benevolence knows no limit for he has put off Nirvana specifically to convey this important wisdom to the masses. The lesson: pain is illusory. By succumbing to it, by allowing ourselves to suffer by wishing for the absence of pain, by craving, we are only distancing ourselves from the enlightenment that could be ours.
And so I believe that this is the truth that the internet has touched upon with all of the fantastically edited versions of this image. But what they say in images, I say in words. This man, Lt. John Pike, is the enlightened one. He is a prophet of a new age. And we should listen. Because he cares. He doesn’t show it, but he cares.
Ein weiser Mann schmeichelt der Narr.