Black Mass: a light film about an important story of US corruption

Summary: Here Locke Peterseim gives one of his typically excellent reviews. He looks at Black Mass, explaining not just the film but also how and why it gets brought to the screen. The film tells one of the most important stories of corrupt law enforcement in US history, showing how the system is fundamentally dysfunctional. … Continue reading Black Mass: a light film about an important story of US corruption

Learning about the police to understand why they so often act badly

Summary: Modern technology gives us unprecedented tools with which to run America, but only if we have the necessary clear vision. These tools work equally well to feed our delusions about the world. Our response to revelations about police behavior suggests that many Americans have chosen myths over truth. See the magnitude of the problem … Continue reading Learning about the police to understand why they so often act badly

The Castle season opener shows our divorce from our police

Summary: The TV show "Castle" shows how the police have become a strange tribe that TV explores, like National Geographic used to write about central Africa.  The season 8 premier episode shows how far TV has evolved from the 1950's idealized portrayals of Dragnet and Highway Patrol to today's dark fantasies.  Spoilers! Warning: spoilers to … Continue reading The Castle season opener shows our divorce from our police

A big month for police violence. Will they reform? Lessons either way.

Summary: Seven big incidents during the past 30 days! This post looks not just at what's happening, but at the likely consequences. Unless they respond effectively, this growing flood of videos will inevitably redefine the image of police in the minds of many America, with ugly results. Unfortunately they, like so many of our institutions, … Continue reading A big month for police violence. Will they reform? Lessons either way.

Are protests about police killings causing crime to rise?

Summary: First came the revelations of brutal police killings of unarmed people for little or no reason. Then the blowbacks of police excuses and rising crime. How we deal with this will have large effects on our cities and show how well we can deal with problems in American society. Indications that the 3 decades … Continue reading Are protests about police killings causing crime to rise?