Letters from the Lunar Outpost

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, never doubted clouds would break, Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph, Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake.
- Robert Browning, English Poet (1812-1889)

Rodney King poses with his new fiancee Cynthia Kelley

From the autopsy report released today:

Rodney King had been drinking and was on a cocktail of drugs when he plunged into a swimming pool and accidentally drowned, a coroner’s report released today concluded.

His fiancée could not swim and attempted to revive King by prodding him with a pitchfork and hoe before authorities arrived, according to the report.

That’s truly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard, let me try to save you from the side of the pool by poking you with a pitchfork and a hoe.

Toxicology tests showed that King had a blood-alcohol level of .06 and amounts of PCP, cocaine and marijuana in his system, the captain said.

source: Daily Mail

There have been three nationally nortious trials in my life where I was just so shocked and outraged by the verdict that it made me want to physically beat some sense into some of the jurors.

Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, Rodney King.

Casey’s case was built on the most circumstantial evidence of them all, but that evidence of decomposition in the trunk and her outrageuous behavior once her daughter Caylee was nowhere to be found, I’m sorry, that bitch is as guilty as sin, I really hope the jurors who let her off don’t sleep well at night.

O.J.? His DNA was all over the place, “Dream Team” or no, how any jury could be bamboozled by an ill-fitting glove here and an n-bomb dropping cop there and ignore the overwhelming evidence showing O.J. was beyond any reasonable doubt a double-murderer, it just boggles the mind that you could find twelve people anywhere to let that psychotic murderer off.

The worst travesty of justice that I know of in my lifetime, however? Those four white cops getting off on the beating of Rodney King. The story would have never been a blip on the national radar had it not been for one neighbor, videotaping the incident, and regardless of if was recorded long after Rodney King was driving like a maniac and endangering innocent drivers under the influence of PCP at speeds of 100 MPH, once the cops had him on the ground and in a prone position and the only resitence he was offering was a feeble arm raised to fend off the blows, undeniably, incontrovertably, those cops were throwing down some serious police brutality.

So when the verdict came down, South Los Angeles went up in flames. To me it’s just about the stupidest response I can imagine. My dad put it this way, “You don’t shit in your own tent.” Why people would respond to that verdict by burning and looting their own neighborhood stores, stores owned by many of their own neighbors themselves, why these people would then throw molotov coctails and fire weapons at their own neighborhood firefighters and emergency responders, it’s impossible for me to imagine, but I have to put myself outside my own white-assed privledged shoes and imagine what my reposnse might be if I felt I had no other recourse, but it’s still too hard for me to imagine burning and looting my own neighborhood businesses.

Turning back to Rodney King for just a bit, they say that all people who win the lottery hit themselves a little upswing on their curve of their personal happiness and then, almost inevitably, no matter how many the millions may be, sooner or later that curve of happiness comes back down to where it was before they hit the lottery.

Rodney got his settlement and went out the same way he came onto the national consciousness, a man who loved to party with anything and everything he could get his hands on.

I have a soft spot in my heart for hedonists, I know sin and vice quite well myself, but his drugging and boozing are not how I’ll remember Rodney King though. I’ll remember him for maybe the simplest, greatest, six word phrase uttered in all of the 1990s.

Can’t we all just . . . get along?

At the height of the riots in 1992, it was one of the most beautiful quotes I’ve ever heard. God rest your soul, Rodney King.

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One Response to Rodney King, R.I.P.

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