I spent a good part of last week sitting in my darkened-but-still-hot-as-hell living room, watching a pirated copy of Melbourne mini-series, Underbelly. It's not only pirated but banned from Melbourne TV, by order of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Underbelly documents what came to be called the Gangland Murders in Melbourne between 1998 and 2006, during which time like 34 people were killed in underworld power struggles. Some of the trials are still going on, which is why it's banned from TV here, but I didn't feel bad about watching it because I can't be on a jury here anyway. Also, supreme court? Nothing is safe from public knowledge. It's called wikipedia.
Anyway it's an awesome series and really piqued my interest because of how unsafe it all was. I also learned about how inept the cops are—or at least were—while this was all going down. I thought that was pretty interesting because I remember noticing as soon as I moved here how non-threatening the cops are.
3 signs that you may have lost your authoritative hold on the public:
1. You drive a white station wagon.
2. You wear a blue and white checked baseball cap.
3. You have billy clubs, but no helmets.
If I were a crim and that chick in front tried to arrest me, I'd just punch her in the tit. Also, why are they wearing black leather gloves? Are they breaking in somewhere? Lock their keys in the wagon? Someone get these jacks a stylist.
Okay, I didn't exactly condone Guiliani's technique in New York of putting a cop in fatigues with an assault rifle on every corner in order to stop crime, but (ahem) it worked. Sorry. You should be afraid of cops. Especially if you're thinking about doing something like, I dunno, killing people.
In Underbelly they kept this running line throughout the script about how the cops didn't have the budget to properly surveil these gangsters so they could catch them before they killed more people. Like, honestly, I don't really care about the drugs part. They were ecstasy pills. As tragic as I find flourescent clothing and drum n' bass, E doesn't really destroy lives. It just turns you into a tooth-grinding, bad-dancing, owl-eyed, sleepless, grinning, bro-downing moron for several hours before beating you into submission until you're fetal and can't remember anything about 10th grade. Seriously, the worst it can do is turn you into this:
Killing people is (marginally) worse. But I suppose when you've been a cop in Safety Town, killing sprees catch you off guard. You've been too busy launching a campaign against jaywalking.
I understand not wanting to come off as a bunch of fucking thugs, like a lot of cops are anyway, but there is a spectrum of authoritative figures available. Below, I list my nominees for Melbourne's police academy, Class of 2008!
1. Robert Patrick: either his character in Terminator 2 or the real dude. Either way: tough as nails.
2. The mom from Malcolm in the Middle. You won't mess with this mom. You know you won't because she's already got some psychologically fucked up plan to make you terrified of spoons for the rest of your life.
3. I realize I'm getting into big budget territory, especially with the rising cost of fuel. So another option is just to stick with Australian enforcement, like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He's already gone through all the training, he understands bogan slang, and he has sword fingers.
4. The Ghost of Steve Irwin. Ghost + crocodile = "yessir officer". Can you imagine a crime going down when Steve was on the clock? Cops could just throw barricades up around a drug deal and throw some crocodiles in. Those things will do anything for Steve.
If this is all a bit too OTT for the Victorian police, can I make a suggestion? Get some new uniforms. Paint your cars black with big silver gun decals down the side. Put a big ass (useless) spoiler on the back. Dumbasses always think that makes a car go faster. And stop trying to be cyclists. It's not a good look.