Sunday, May 4

#25 Right Back Where We Began

"So don't you try to equate liquor to marijuana, mister, not with me. You may be able to sell that jazz to another pothead, but not to somebody who holds some kid's head while he vomits and wretches on a curbstone at 4 in the morning. And when his legs get enough starch into them so he can stand up and empty his pockets, you can bet he'll have a stick or two of marijuana. And you can double your money he'll turn up a sugar cube or a cap or two. So don't you con me with your mind expansion slop. I deal with kids every day. I try to clean up the mess that people like you make out of 'em. I'm the expert here, you're not." - Joe Friday

Dragnet 1967 & 1968 are popular DVDs around here. Sure, the show's outdated drug episodes are good for a sure laugh, but Dragnet was also unafraid to voice the opposition's arguments. As in The Prophet, where a Timothy Leary-type drug guru named Brother William gives it back to Friday & Gannon as good as he gets it. His hippie dreamscape made it into our latest live tape, "And We're Right Back Where We Began." The Meat Beetles are thinking along the same lines. They borrowed our "Humbucker (Short Version)," from #12 John Carpenter's King Heroin, and dubbed some "squiggly noises" & similarly themed source material, calling it "Just Say Know." It's here and at The MB's blog.

Listen

And We're Right Back Where We Began (6:46)
Just Say Know (2:43) - We're Late For Class/The Meat Beetles


Free Download

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

liquor = marijuana
QED
Dragnet eh? truly a brilliant lp by The Fall
scav

We're Late For Class said...

Scav,

You just don't know what it's like...

It's awkward having a policeman around the house. Friends drop in, a man with a badge answers the door, the temperature drops 20 degrees.

You throw a party and that badge gets in the way. All of a sudden there isn't a straight man in the crowd. Everybody's a comedian. "Don't drink too much," somebody says, "or the man with a badge'll run you in." Or "How's it going, Dick Tracy? How many jaywalkers did you pinch today?" And then there's always the one who wants to know how many apples you stole.

All at once you lost your first name. You're a cop, a flatfoot, a bull, a dick, John Law. You're the fuzz, the heat; you're poison, you're trouble, you're bad news. They call you everything, but never a policeman.

It's not much of a life, unless you don't mind missing a Dodger game because the hotshot phone rings. Unless you like working Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, at a job that doesn't pay overtime. Oh, the pay's adequate-- if you count pennies you can put your kid through college, but you better plan on seeing Europe on your television set.

And then there's your first night on the beat. When you try to arrest a drunken prostitute in a Main St. bar and she rips your new uniform to shreds. You'll buy another one-- out of your own pocket.

And you're going to rub elbows with the elite-- pimps, addicts, thieves, bums, winos, girls who can't keep an address and men who don't care. Liars, cheats, con men-- the class of Skid Row.

And the heartbreak-- underfed kids, beaten kids, molested kids, lost kids, crying kids, homeless kids, hit-and-run kids, broken-arm kids, broken-leg kids, broken-head kids, sick kids, dying kids, dead kids. The old people nobody wants-- the reliefers, the pensioners, the ones who walk the street cold, and those who tried to keep warm and died in a $3 room with an unventilated gas heater. You'll walk your beat and try to pick up the pieces.

Do you have real adventure in your soul? You better have, because you're gonna do time in a prowl car. Oh, it's going to be a thrill a minute when you get an unknown-trouble call and hit a backyard at two in the morning, never knowing who you'll meet-- a kid with a knife, a pill-head with a gun, or two ex-cons with nothing to lose.

And you're going to have plenty of time to think. You'll draw duty in a lonely car, with nobody to talk to but your radio.

Four years in uniform and you'll have the ability, the experience and maybe the desire to be a detective. If you like to fly by the seat of your pants, this is where you belong. For every crime that's committed, you've got three million suspects to choose from. And most of the time, you'll have few facts and a lot of hunches. You'll run down leads that dead-end on you. You'll work all-night stakeouts that could last a week. You'll do leg work until you're sure you've talked to everybody in the state of California.

People who saw it happen - but really didn't. People who insist they did it - but really didn't. People who don't remember - those who try to forget. Those who tell the truth - those who lie. You'll run the files until your eyes ache.

And paperwork? Oh, you'll fill out a report when you're right, you'll fill out a report when you're wrong, you'll fill one out when you're not sure, you'll fill one out listing your leads, you'll fill one out when you have no leads, you'll fill out a report on the reports you've made! You'll write enough words in your lifetime to stock a library. You'll learn to live with doubt, anxiety, frustration. Court decisions that tend to hinder rather than help you. Dorado, Morse, Escobedo, Cahan. You'll learn to live with the District Attorney, testifying in court, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, judges, juries, witnesses. And sometimes you're not going to be happy with the outcome.

But there's also this: there are over 5,000 men in this city, who know that being a policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that's gotta be done.

I know it, too, and I'm damn glad to be one of them.

Lonnie said...

Jack: Tell me something, Sergeant; what's your personal opinion of marijuana? We already know your official one.

Joe: Prejudiced.

Jack (smugly): Now why do you say that?

Joe: I see the results--every hour on the hour, ever day. The kids - I've seen what it does to them. Every time you pick up a youngster using acid, nine times out of ten he's holding marijuana. I judge weed by the company it keeps.

member said...

High folks,
we're back again....
with a shiny diamond out of our vaults....
stay tuned....
more will follow...
all the best & stoned greetings
memberrrrrr

The Meat Beetles said...

Hey, friends, sorry to be out of touch for so long. Thanks for posting "Just Say Know". It's at the Meat Beetles site too.

Just a bit of personal history/trivia: Back around 1978 one of the Meat Beetles was sitting around the house in Johnson, VT, when there came a knock-knock-knocking at the front door. Upon answering, the Meat Beetle was greeted by a young man about 25, and an older man, about 60. They asked for one of the other people who lived in the house. This person appeared and they asked, "Have you got anything?" The person in question answered, "Yes." and disappeared into his bedroom, emerging a minute later with the ubiquitous sandwich bag and a pipe. All present sat down and enjoyed an hour or so afternoon herbal relaxant. The two visitors then purchased a small quantity and left. After they had gone the roommate turned to The Meat Beetle and said, "Do you know who that older guy was?" "No." replied the Sloptop. "That was the chief of police of [one of the five largest towns in Vermont]." You never know who is going to light up!


http://meatbeetles.blogspot.com

We're Late For Class said...

Thanks guys.

mick55 said...

Best use of Jack Webb's voice since
"Do You Hear Me? (No Pie)" on Hal Willner's
"Whoops, I'm an Indian".

(For a really funny Johnny Carson segment with Jack Webb
checkout "The Copper Clappers Caper" on youtube.)