A blue boy
Will pass a test
And his weak arms
Tomorrow will kill
Tomorrow will make
However unfortunate, death is natural—its occurrence accords with nature, with entropy. Without death, how could we know what life is? The two are not opposed, rather just different forms of being—the functionally organic differs from the functionally inorganic. Merely death is another stage in the transformation of matter from one modal existence to another. The material of the body is distributed back to the world from which it derives.
It’s all natural.
However, Moss makes this point clear, there are instances when Death is aided in its solemn march over natural objects at unjust speeds. The aid is not the unjust part of dying—rather, the unjust part is the immaterial justification for death: through the State.
Death is an entirely material process—lest that death be exacted politically. Capital punishment is not simply another form of death (for then all murder, intrapersonally and capital would be justified—but we’ll get there) since it is not material. The justifications for capital punishment (or political murder) are based on the idea outlined in the 2nd: that the whole of citizenry, or civilianry, harbors this doubled aspect, the interpellated (un)reality of both law-abiding citizen and potential criminal (reduced to potential criminal if we only take into consideration the perspective of the police and the paranoiac). Since we are all interpellated by the police to be potential criminals we become aware of the doubling of identity and become alienated from both. What’s left is the husk which could explode and is perfectly filled with bullets. This, too, is immaterial. The justification of the politicized self (the potential criminal) is one based solely in the fictions of the State that see people as their cells—their living reason—and perceiving the criminal and his crime as a cancer (wherein the politicized selves act according to their own whim and not that of the greater body). When the body starts to decay, the State employs its fictions that transform its citizens into cancer—and must employ measures to extricate that cancer before it spreads.
I will digress in saying that, although we perceive crime as bad, we cannot look to the doubled citizen as the sole problem, as like the originator of that crime—a novel origination of an age-old problem. Rather, we should be looking to the environs of those deemed criminals—those who’ve realized their criminal potentiality—as the origin of said crimes. People coming from urban environs and from impoverished backgrounds disproportionately make up our criminals—being poor and living in a city—which costs and absurd amount of money—seem to be the indicators of crime. (It must be noted too that these indicators are the demographics of those who’ve been arrested—since, as we established in the 2nd, crime is not preventable only reacted to). So are we looking to those areas to find those criminals? Does race play into the question of who gets arrested and whose crimes/demographics are targeted more (absolutely, which is why about 1 in 3 black men will find themselves behind bars before the age of 30, sad to say)?
Regardless, my point above is that environs play more of a role in the generation of ‘criminals’ than anything else, especially above character. It plays into my argument overall because the ways in which we respond to crime and ‘criminals’ is not to improve the environs that helped to breed behavior that society deems unacceptable (being black or latino is unacceptable?) but to extricate the cancer. Rather than make the body healthy, we simply cut out the cancer. Rather than improving the materiality of the environs that people live in, we would rather focus on something as immaterial as ‘character.’ To solve a material problem, we focus on the immaterial.
Missing the forest for the trees.
Death, a material process is enacted by an immaterial belief—this is where injustice in police shootings comes in. For Moss, and mostly for myself, the immaterial is all too common a justification for our actions and furthermore is not a justification at all. We inform our world based on those immaterial fictions (think: PizzaGate as opposed to material fictions, Climate Change; re: 7th and 8th) and feel comfortable knowing we are doubled in our identities.
That’s fucking stupid. And totally misguided.
This prophecy touches on the absurdity of performing something materially (like capital punishment) based on immaterial beliefs (the infallibility of police/the right for police to kill). Obviously, the “blue boy” (ln. 1) with “weak arms” (ln, 3) and “weak soul” (ln. 4) refers to the individual cop. The “test” he will “pass” is the academy people go through in order to become police (ln. 2). In passing this test, the blue boy will be permitted, by law, to “kill…with impunity” (ln. 5-6). Simply passing a test, to show a board of directors, or the governor of a state, that they are capable of following the orders set out in a state’s law—not only following, but also executing (note the double usage of this word ‘executing’) said laws. To pass a test is to show one is competent in following guidelines that express the values, supposedly, of a state—but, the execution of those laws does not, in my opinion, necessarily reflect the values as they are laid out. Particularly in the case of murders by police—say in the arrest of a person or the prevention of a crime—those values of stopping crime do not specifically state that police can kill. But, by whatever means the law can be upheld it shall and must be: even if that means murder. The immaterial aspect of the law, as laid out, say in the book (the 5th), does not touch on the material of the ‘criminal’ but rather only their infraction against the immaterial—which is itself, the infraction, immaterial. The infraction may be carried out in a material plain, but only in the sense the infraction, the ‘crime,’ is an action made by a material agent. To correct this infraction (i.e., against the immaterial), a very material action must take place (i.e., the arrest, the shooting) against the material agent. Infractions enacted by the material agent are judged against the immaterial—but, the material actions of the police, enacted in the spirit of the immaterial, in defense of it, are justified by the immaterial.
Why the double standard? Moss answers this: by passing a test. This test is a gateway into the immaterial, to be absolved of its material actions waged against the ‘criminal’ for infracting the immaterial (the law). This absurdity is like a material/immaterial alchemy that justifies the killing of certain people—one where the law protests its own immune system and not the cancer, so to speak—which Moss represents as the ability to make “flowers grow…from stone” (ln. 8-9). Not only does this image invoke a grave with flowers for the dead criminal the blue boy killed with impunity, but it also shows how absurd the power to kill with impunity really is: that it performs a kind of alchemy of values, a double-standard that can survive. This only makes sense as far as an organic whole is concerned, an actual body. But, if the law seeks to shroud the potentially cancerous cells while ignoring its autoimmune response (the police) even though the autoimmune response is also killing the body—the cells—wouldn’t that mean the body is ignoring that which does it harm? Harm is harm to a (political) body, just as cancer harms and rheumatoid arthritis harms. If this (political) body wants to destroy disease, wouldn’t it seek to stop the autoimmune disorder alongside the cancer?
Metaphors aside, we know cops can kill. Though it is highly discouraged, we know (black) people will be slain by blue boys who passed a test. Is human life worth the theoretical competence of blue boys passing tests? Does the immaterial value of passing a test reflect the material loss of life? Of course not. Who has that right? Why do they have it? We have to look at the psychology of why someone would want to hold such a position so as to kill with impunity. After all, cops are humans, too. But, why do they want to kill?
Also, why is the boy “blue?”
Maybe it’s a little inflammatory to say that cops want to kill with impunity—and that that is the only reason a person becomes a cop. No, that’s too material an answer. Rather, we have to douse the immaterial reasons. So, return to the question: why is the boy blue in this poem? He is blue, as Moss writes it, because he himself is “weak” both in physical body and in spirit. The boy is weak in body because he has a gun—a more powerful arm than any body, human or animal, could ever attain. The boy is weak in spirit because he wants to adopt the immaterial value of the state—a force nominally greater than he. He is morally weak, without the confidence in himself to create new values, to think for himself, or to affirm (here we go with the Nietzsche shit again) the lives and desires of others. Crime is merely a different—and unlikeable—action or mentality as expressed by the other that the state has deemed unfit for existence within itself—by immaterial values. This criminality is likened to the potential criminal—we are aware of ourselves as always-already potential criminal and so we assume every action (and thought if we get right down to the fascistic mentality) not explicitly laid out in the immaterial value of the state as being potentially criminal. If not laid out in the law—or worse yet, already laid out and expressly forbidden—actions are seen as wrong. They are wrong only in the sense that the state does not agree with them. (Of course, the big three: murder-rape-pedophilia come to mind as crimes which would be permissible under my relativistic ethics—but this is not the case. Rather, these crimes are forms of domination, extreme forms, to be exact. Police work is merely a different application of this fetish for power and one that applies broadly and not between two people (with the murder to the murdered, the rapist to the raped, the pedophile to the victim). To say that, without law, these crimes would be rampant is a gross misrepresentation of relativism as well as the assumption that criminality is an essential part of all humans. This level of paranoia justifies murderous police who penetrate us with their bullets and treat us like children who cannot control themselves…simply for personal desires? That have nothing to do with the state themselves?). The blue boy is simply afraid of being that criminal and afraid of those other criminals. So afraid, in fact, that the only solution the blue boy can conjure up is to align himself with the state and enforce its law. He is blue because he hates himself for being a potential criminal and for his own desires which naturally express themselves (one could look at these desires as being entirely human or one could say they are indicative of potential criminality). He is blue because he wants to see it change in favor of the state so that his law-abiding weakness can be justified in consensus (i.e., when everyone acts like him and further acts the way the state wants us to). Police are merely fetishists for power and domination, but a domination which they do not own directly—one they’ve relied on for direction and justification of their own impotence. So, they align (or destroy) their own desires with the state to protect themselves—kind of like a teacher’s pet, but if that teacher’s pet got a gun for offering the apple and his undying obedience.
When the cops take their material desires and give them to the state, they do so not to protect and serve, but to neglect and kill.