How Ferguson, Mo., police got out of control

The Ferguson police have been reigned in, for now. The governor sent in the Missouri highway patrol.

But the Ferguson police aren’t finished riling up the populace (via DailyKos):

6:53 AM PT: Via CNN: According to sources, they say they believe Michael Brown is in a video of a convenience store robbery and that a “description of the suspect was given.” Presumably of a young black guy.

7:03 AM PT: A Ferguson police report, after Michael Brown had been shot, calling him a “primary suspect” in the convenience story robbery.

7:07 AM PT: So for six days Ferguson police have claimed that Darren Wilson simply told Michael Brown to “get on the sidewalk.” Is that the usual procedure for dealing with robbery suspects? (Deep sarcasm.)

Just a few thoughts:

1) If the police are saying Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery, why did they wait more than a week after the shooting to say that. This is a diversion from the shooting. If he was stopped for a robbery, that is the first thing the police would have said.

2) Are more information dribbles out, the latest is that a guy was seen in a videotape shoplifting cigars. If that was Michael Brown, when did shoplifting tobacco become a capital offense.

The family cannot sue this police department enough. A major overhaul is needed. Especially after we see a police department (and I emphasize a police department) turn a community into a war zone.

The great clown Pagliacci

In the wake of Robin Williams’s suicide, this line from the 1986-87 comic book series “Watchmen” is buzzing through the Internet:

I heard a joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.” Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

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Did I see Robin Williams perform?

The news about Robin Williams’s suicide was a shock to everyone, and I’ve been reading obits from all over the country about his life. But these two paragraphs in the Los Angeles Times stopped me:

Williams’ high-energy shtick may not have played before the Juilliard powers that be, but it was standing-room only in the school’s locker room, where other actors competed to keep up with his machine-gun wit.

Williams tried his hand at mime on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and improvised at comedy clubs around town. New York was true to its cold and lonely form, however, and Williams returned to San Francisco, without having graduated, to pursue a woman.

I grew up in Brooklyn, and used to sit on the steps of the Museum of Art where, occasionally, I would see a mime who took on the mannerisms of people who walked by him on the street. They never noticed that some guy in white face was trailing them. The act was done when the mime pretended to lasso a passing bus and get pulled away.

Is it possible I was watching a unknown future superstar?

I had to check when this was happening. And the Baltimore Sun posted this today:

The Juilliard School in New York, where Robin Williams studied in the mid-1970s (he withdrew in 1976 before completing the B.F.A. program) and where he was awarded an¬†honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1991, has issued this statement on the actor’s death:

The Juilliard community is deeply saddened by the death of our distinguished alumnus Robin Williams. Robin’s genius for comedic improvisation, which quickly surfaced in his studies at Juilliard, was matched by his deep understanding of the actor’s art and how to touch his audience in meaningful ways.

He was a generous supporter of the School’s drama students through the Robin Williams Scholarship, which supported the tuition cost of a drama student each year.¬†

His caring ways and effervescent personality will be missed by all who were touched by this special person.

I went to college in Ohio, but vacations were spent back home in Brooklyn. And I did go to the museum. And I did see a mime.
But did I see Robin Williams? It’s possible.
Anyway, I can see him anytime I want, thanks to YouTube. Like this from 1977:
He’s so young.