Paranoid Police

gun

Over the last few years police officers around the world have been found to be increasingly violent and dare I say “unprotecting” of citizens, resulting in unnecessary fatalities.

Around two years ago 44 striking miners were shot and killed by the South African Police at Marikana, a Platinum mine near Rustenburg. This was the most lethal of many such incidents over the years where even innocent bystanders were fatally shot by the police.

More recently, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer of the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri USA, caused huge civil unrest. The aftermath of this shooting is still being felt around the USA, and racism is being singled out as the root cause.

Just last week, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old boy was shot and killed by Cleveland Police, also in the USA, after being reported to be playing with a toy gun in a park. Video evidence seems to show the police shooting the boy less than two seconds after arriving on the scene.

The next story, while not involving a fatality, is really quite absurd and also comes from the USA.

A Colorado man was arrested for pointing an (apparently loaded) banana at two police officers and is facing felony charges. This is where it gets weird. The guy, Nathan Channing is from Fruitvale, Colorado and the arresting officer is called Deputy Bunch. The officer claimed that from training and experience he had seen guns in many shapes and colours.

These two officers were obviously choice mutton-heads, but if a police officer cannot distinguish between a yellow banana and a yellow gun, us citizens are in very serious trouble.

While the police admittedly operate in increasingly dangerous situations, we expect them to protect and serve. Gung-ho shooting of innocent people and even suspects is really very unnerving for any citizen. It really wouldn’t do for people to start getting the crazy notion that we need to start protecting ourselves from our police.

The music of Route 66, more or less

The musical production Route 66 at the Barnyard Theatre Boksburg on Sunday promised a nostalgic trip down memory lane. And it most certainly did not disappoint.

Stage banner

Stage banner

The cast of 10 instrumentalists, singers and dancers were pretty accomplished, and produced an electrifying reproduction of the songs I grew up with. It didn’t matter that they presented songs from more than the recognized Route 66 states of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California – it was an added pleasure to see songs from Tennessee and Kentucky thrown into the mix.

The drummer

The drummer

What a pleasure listening to the music of Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Shania Twain and The Dixie Chicks,  ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses, Kid Rock and Bon Jovi, being performed right in front of you.

The violinist

The violinist

South African artists rock!