A “jumper” stands stock still, on a ledge 20 stories up, wind whipping at his legs, while a crowd gathers below, some egging him on, “jump, come on, wadda ya waitin for, jump.” Others are mute with shock, wavering between horror and titillation. The man himself is sweating, even in the cold. Now that he’s up there, seeing and hearing the increasingly restive crowd, he’s plagued with second thoughts. Suddenly, he sees the basket on the ladder truck raise up, bearing a tall figure, coming closer and closer. As the ladder comes within a few feet, it suddenly stops. The jumper launches into a tirade at the tall figure. “Don’t you try to talk me out of it. I can’t go on any longer.”
The tall figure replies, gruffly, “Don’t worry, I won’t. I just needed to get close enough to get your name and next of kin.” “Why do you need that?” whines the jumper? “Dirty Harry” Callahan sneers just a little as he bites off the words, “Well, when you hit the pavement from 20 stories up, there’ll be a terrible mess. We won’t be able to tell who you were, and who wants to sort through the pile of tissue that used to be you?” The jumper is horrified. “Get closer, you won’t be able to hear my name in this wind”, he yells. Harry demurs, “nah, you guys like to grab the officer who is trying to save you and jump off with him. Just a few weeks ago, that happened to an officer friend of mine, from 20 stories, just like we are. The mess was awful, we couldn’t even tell whose legs were whose, arms fell off and everything.” The jumper is starting to sway, “I think I’m going to be sick.” “Don’t do that”, intones Harry. “All those people are looking up. Even the fire chief. You might get him right in the face.”
The jumper loses it at Harry’s cavalier attitude, and tries to grab him. Harry knocks him out then drags him into the basket, which is lowered to the ground. Harry’s partner just marvels at this kind of sensitive policing. This was the 1971 introduction of the iconic character San Francisco Police Inspector “dirty” Harry Callahan, who probably owns more memorable lines than any other movie character. Given the condition of the San Francisco of 2019, Dirty Harry might be experiencing a renaissance. Why wouldn’t he?
Ann Coulter in Takimag.com: “California is wholly controlled by the Democratic Party. The governor is a Democrat. The lieutenant governor is a Democrat. The attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer are Democrats. All these positions have been held by Democrats since the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger (who was a Democrat). The state Senate is just under two-thirds Democratic, while the assembly is more than two-thirds Democratic. Both U.S. senators are Democrats, as are 46 of 53 members of Congress.
“And what a paradise they’ve created! For the last several years, with a direct pipeline to the fifth-largest treasury on the planet, California has been waging war on productive and law-abiding people in favor of drug addicts, the mentally ill, criminals, the homeless and transgenders. Big political movements used to begin in California. Proposition 13’s cap on property taxes led to President Ronald Reagan and a nationwide tax revolt. Proposition 209’s ban on affirmative action was followed by Supreme Court rulings restricting the government’s ability to discriminate on the basis of race. California’s anti-crime rebellion, including a massive prison expansion foreshadowed an anti-crime push-back across the country.
“These days, the only California-originated idea to sweep the nation is: banning plastic straws. The state is a calamity. Its optimism and vigor are gone. It takes single-minded fanaticism to wreck California. Within the borders of a single state, you can visit Yosemite, the Pacific Ocean, Death Valley, redwood forests, the snow-capped Sierras and the pastoral vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, and go to the beach on Christmas Day.”
I say bring back Dirty Harry to start the cleanup.