What do you do when you want to refute a story in The Atlantic about a video of literal Neo-Nazi’s sieg heiling the president-elect you voted for? If you’re right wing love squad, the author of today’s DWP, you get obtuse:
(TRIGGER WARNING: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE)
Judge Clarence Clemmons pushed his spectacles up the bridge of his nose with one long, ramrod straight finger as he looked down from the bench on defendant Asher Beauregard Clarke who was before the court, for the first time ever, on his fourth domestic assault offense. “You do understand the charge as I’ve detailed it, yes?”
It wasn’t right to say that Clarke looked back at Judge Clemmons. His eyes were certainly trained in the general area where His Honor was seated, but there was a lack of focus in his gaze. Clemmons got the distinct impression that Clark wasn’t seeing so much as he was using his eyes to indiscriminately suck up everything into him.
After an awkward pause Clarke opened his mouth and let words dribble out of him. “Yeah. But I don’t think I should be here. The charge is no good.”
“Are you saying you’re pleading not guilty?” Judge Clemmons could feel a subtle pull from Clarke’s eyes as they targeted nothing in particular and took in everything.
“I’m saying that the charge is no good. I read the report the officers wrote. It says I threw a can of Bud Light at her. I don’t drink Bud Light. I was drinking Coors. The charge is no good.”
Before this moment Judge Clemmons would not have thought Clarke to be an especially stupid man, and having born witness to so many, many stupid people over the years Judge Clemmons liked to believe that he could pick them out with relative ease. “So, you allege that you didn’t throw a can of beer at the victim’s head?”
Clarke’s eyes remained disturbingly unfocused but there was a noticeable tightening of his jaw and brow. “Not a can of Budweiser.”
“But there was an occurrence where you threw a can of some kind of beer?”
“How can you charge me if you can’t even trust the report, huh? Those police can’t even get right the kind of beer I drink. How do you know they were right about anything else? It could all be lies.” Judge Clemmons took a deep breath in through his nose and out through his lips. He could feel the sucking pull of Clarke’s eyes at the back of his neck, unmooring him from the traditional foundations of truth and right and wrong and trust.
“You don’t know,” Clark continued. “You weren’t there. You just have to go off what was written on some piece of paper and I’m telling you, the guy who wrote that stuff was wrong about the beer and could be wrong about everything else. The charge is no good… Your Honor.”
Judge Clemmons reached for his gavel, wrapping his stiff, elegant fingers around the polished handle. He wanted to slam the gavel down just once, a sharp report to rebuke Clarke but at the same time there was a sinking in his guts, a disorientation that made him doubt himself. But the gavel was a real and solid thing and just holding it was enough to re-center Judge Clemmons. Clarke’s argument was crap and Clemmons was fairly well pleased with himself that he could both so clearly recognize and label it as such. It was an obvious observation but felt important in the face of this violent man who was so empty inside that his eyes threatened to pull in everything they viewed, even Judge Clarence Clemmons himself