#336 | All Cops Are Monsters: The Horror Of Police w/ Travis Linnemann

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Author Travis Linnemann joins me to discuss his recently released book 'The Horror of Police,' published by University of Minnesota Press. A good amount of ink has been spilt on the subject of policing — its historical origins; the oppressive and repressive role police play in the day-to-day lives of various marginalized communities; how “copaganda” shapes our collective perceptions of police and police work; and the numerous radical, reformist, and reactionary movements that have risen up against, or in defense of, police across the United States and the world. While Travis Linnemann examines these various subjects and perspectives in 'The Horror of Police,' he does so by delving into the ontological framework police operate within in by “drawing on the language and texts of horror fiction,” philosophy, and police procedurals in film and television. The abject stark horror police invoke, particularly when one recognizes that they are not the “monster fighters” they claim to be, but in fact monsters themselves, is to gaze into the Real — to see, unvarnished and naked, the brutal order police protect and uphold, by whatever means necessary. It is not merely a question of training or militarization or funding, while those individual issues certainly play a part. Police, as overt brute force agents of the liberal-democratic order, serve a crucial function in the collective psyche: as the “bad men” that keep the “other bad men from the door,” to use the words of Detective Rust Cohle from True Detective. As numerous media depictions of cops communicate and demonstrate, in order for police “protect and serve” society, they must occasionally (or frequently) step outside the law to protect and uphold the social order. Because, if the “thin blue line” were to break, civilization as we know it would collapse and descend into chaos — the Hobbesian state of nature would reign supreme. This is the ontology of the police and the order they protect. But, the horror we feel as we gaze into the Real may elicit a different view. It is, again, not that cops are the “monster fighters” they claim to be, but instead monsters themselves. Travis Linnemann is associate professor of sociology at Kansas State University. Working in the area of cultural criminology, Travis’s research focuses on the wars on drugs and terror, US police violence and the ways that crime, violence and disorder are imagined and represented. He is author of 'Meth Wars: Police, Media, Power' and 'The Horror of Police'; coauthor of 'Media and Crime in the U.S.'; and coeditor of 'Ghost Criminology: The Afterlife of Crime and Punishment' and the journal 'Crime, Media, Culture.' Episode Notes: - Purchase a copy of 'The Horror of Police' from Bookshop or University of Minnesota Press: http://bit.ly/3GEmoLn / http://bit.ly/3EVW3ah - Learn more about Travis’s work: https://www.travislinnemann.com - Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/crimemann - The song featured is “B538” by Nick Vander from the album Kodama (Nowaki’s Selection), used with permission by the artist. Listen and purchase at: https://nickvander.bandcamp.com WEBSITE: https://www.lastborninthewilderness.com PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/lastborninthewilderness DONATE: https://www.paypal.me/lastbornpodcast / https://venmo.com/LastBornPodcast BOOK LIST: https://bookshop.org/shop/lastbornpodcast EPISODE 300: https://lastborninthewilderness.bandcamp.com BOOK: http://bit.ly/ORBITgr ATTACK & DETHRONE: https://anchor.fm/adgodcast DROP ME A LINE: Call (208) 918-2837 or http://bit.ly/LBWfiledrop EVERYTHING ELSE: https://linktr.ee/patterns.of.behavior

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