The judge in the manslaughter trial here at the Nelsonia Provincial Culthouse is deliberating whether to charge a local skateboard-wielder for the violent death of an off-duty cop from Abby, and the key issue is whether the living drunk man was acting in self-defense against the dead drunk man. Security video of the incident in question reveals that the angry police officer clambered over a restaurant patio railing to charge the loudmouth passerby on the busy street with the intent of punching him as a form of violent payback, but it’s hard for even the judge to see whether the initial blow connected in a serious way, or even if the assailant fell under his own power or from the self-defensive reaction of the besieged boarder.

This cop-friendly court case seems to be hinging on whether the second blow administered by the attacked party was an act of self-defense, or an out-of-proportion response to the tussle by the enraged dude with the skateboard who had met his piggish aggressor in the middle of the main drag just like in the Wild West. What the corporate-loving media overlooks in its reflexive worshiping of the thin blue line is how much the soused visitor put himself in harm’s way by leaving the patio in the first place.

First of all, most everyone in boozy Nelsonia (which officially encourages its rowdy alcoholic patio scene as part of its obsessive admiration of intoxicating businesses) knows that it’s best to leave the raging mental health patients to their own devices whilst cruising along if they’re not causing any physical harm to anyone other than eardrums with their verbal assaults on the peace. One of the last things any area resident in the know would do is yell to the profane speaker that they’re having dinner with their wife, let alone hop over the railing dividing them and the troublemaker with the misguided aim to meet their sudden nemesis halfway across Baked Street with a flying sucker punch. Whether the gilded legal eagles know it or not, the heart of this tragic legal matter lies in the question of why the arrogant pickled officer of the gun-enforced law vaulted over the cantina barrier in the first place.

Underlying this sad nightmare for all involved parties except the rich lawyers are the obvious mental health challenges being faced by both participants in their ill-advised donnybrook, yet only the less wealthy and lower-status survivor is being scrutinized for their malignant actions on that touristy summer day. Obviously, it’s impossible to try a dead man for a crime of assault which he likely committed in broad daylight, but it’s remarkable how much the one-sided press coverage and biased civic response has framed the thrower of the first errant punch as the deceased hero worthy of infinite sympathy, versus the unconnected retaliator who lost his drink-addled mind in the heat of sloppy battle after a trained gunman approached him with punishing intent. As a hockey-mad culture knows, the retaliation often gets the penalty in the sin bin; however, in this case we have video replay footage that suggests how hostile the off-hours referee was in their quest to inflict retribution for the simple crime of yelling vague threats to no-one in particular while marching down the main strip on a heretofore peaceful afternoon — just like most nutty weeks in the depressing and depressed Valley of Lost Souls.

Lurking behind all this nonsense news is the unapologetic monster called the liquor, beer & wine industry that operates out in the open like a cartoon villain unafraid of the keystone coppers. Except in this case, the good guys are the bad boys who support the harmful cancerous enterprise of suds-mongering without dissent or any sense of their complicity in an environment where children are confronted by drunken louts on their way to dance class near the sanctified speakeasy. We all know that the unabashed idolization of ‘firewater’ and ‘spirits’ in the moneyed temple fills up the municipal tax coffers for years on end, so things will probably never change at their public-siphoning hog of the trough, but wouldn’t it be nice for our youth and those triggered by the misogynistic menace around the man-caves of mead if we didn’t have to deal with out-of-town fuzz who think it’s their place to try and punch out an obviously struggling citizen without any push-back from the pushers of stimulating sleaze?

Mainly, white volk with money are flaunting their fortunate success in the faces of those less privileged in this ongoing pandemic denial of the indelible cost paid by anyone whose wellness was affected by the trial of a lifetime that many power-players ignore as if it never happened, and as if there’s no-one going through tough times in dire straits when a third of Canamerican voters are in terrible shape financially and the bulk of them aren’t able to properly feed their family. How is that good for anyone’s health? So keep this in mind if you’re drinking down cash on a hot sunny weekend patio without a care in the world and feel the urge to punch someone out who’s having a bad day walking by and is unafraid to show it.