Embarrassingly obvious undercover cops take to Twitter looking for house shows


112 Responses to “Embarrassingly obvious undercover cops take to Twitter looking for house shows”

  1. chellberty says:

    what him the fat Jamaican guy?a narc,really?

  2. miasm says:

    Radical bad. I’ll be coming up as the bass drops, sipping Goldschlager in my Global Hypercolour. Snoogans!

  3. nehpetsE says:

    Boston’s own Katrina Galore created a FB event related to this situation. Not sure if privacy settings will let it be seen here, but as of now nearly 1500 people (Who are all totally not cops. Srsly!) are attending the “Cool underground basement concert”


  4. Jarrod Henry says:

    Never did hear, Cory, did you get that illegal hotel thing resolved?  Just curious.  Lots of people look like they’re doing such around here because of the economy.

  5. noah django says:

    So many memories.  We were forced to host all the touring bands that way for like four years since the only venues that would host our music kept getting shut down by the fire marshal.  So, the houses that the local bands and promoters lived in became the venues.  It really just blurred over from the party scene, since they were just as likely to have a band at a party anyway.  Saw Karate, Murder City Devils, Party of Helicopters, the Get Up Kids played hacky sack with us on Marco and Marie’s front lawn.

    Never thought about it being illegal, though.  If the cops came, it was a noise complaint and we’d just turn it down until they left.  all money was donations, all booze was BYO, and everyone just helped out with set-up and gear=no business/liquor laws broken.  Either the Boston cops are really bored, or these guys are selling alcohol (didn’t see that til I moved to the big city at illegal dance clubs, but maybe the punk kids do it here, too.)

    • wysinwyg says:

       Boston cops are bored if those are our only choices.  Standard procedure seems to be:
      1. Get noise complaint.
      2. Demand ID from people outside.  Find someone underage.
      3. Break up party/show on premise of underage drinking.

      Massachusetts has a “disturbing the peace” statute so technically whistling is illegal if a cop wants it to be.

  6. Diogenes says:

    Because Boston cops don’t have more important missions?


  7. chaopoiesis says:

    >> Of course, there may be really good undercovers trolling Twitter

    good narc / bad narc

  8. voiceinthedistance says:

    Nobody can top Twitter’s @_NotACop, and his German Shepherd @NotAPoliceDog

    • MB44 says:

      LOL. This is hilarious. Oh by the way fellow “BoingBoingers”, I am really into using 3D print machines to make instant-guns and love discussing ways to topple authoritarian regimes. We should all meet up in person soon! Send me an Electronic Mail with plans!

  9. nixiebunny says:

    Wow. When we did this in Tucson in the eighties, it was only a problem if you got caught with underage people drinking in your house. (I never got in trouble in two years of hosting house parties.) The noise would just result in the cops telling us to turn off the amps. The cops never seemed to notice that our Coke machine was stocked with canned beer.

    Nowadays, they stick an orange sticker on your front window stating that if you disturb the peace again and/or have underage drinkers at your party, you’ll be fined $1000 per head. Which would explain why the cops would see it as a profit center.

  10. Spocko says:

    “Yes, I’d like to purchase a 5 dollar sack of reefer, are you are dealer?”

  11. Spocko says:


    “We’re just concerned that Pot will lead to other things. “Ice, crack, boom, pow.”

  12. NicoleLeeWhite says:

    It’s always fun laughing at silly cops, but unfortunately there have been lots of times when they’ve successfully infiltrated DIY communities (the g20 arrests in Canada for a recent example).  There’s actually a lot of paranoia about this kind of thing in the punk scene nowadays, and anyone visiting from out of town or new to the scene is treated with suspicion.  It’s annoying.

  13. Nancy Jane Moore says:

    I don’t think house concerts are illegal everywhere. They’re a regular staple of the music business here in the Live Music Capital of the World and I know people who do them regularly in metro Washington, DC, too, with no consequences. Probably the most important thing is to be reasonable about the volume and make sure it’s cool with your neighbors, so they don’t call tlhe cops for noise reasons. Otherwise, what’s illegal about having friends over to listen to music or even taking up a donation?

    • Unfortunately, it is as illegal as they want it to be. People start moving into the neighborhood, gentrifying, raising complaints because they want suburban quiet in the middle of the city. The police just start aggressively enforcing existing laws. Having friends over? You had better know them all. Beer? If there is a single underage person there, everyone gets cited. Donations? There had better be no mandatory donations at the door, that’s a show club with no permits and out of zone. My prediction:  The more commercialized SXSW and Austin music gets (the better Austin’s economy gets),  the sooner these crackdowns will become common just like in other cities. Goodbye culture!

      • blueelm says:

        Yeah, this is a great place to buy right now. In fact, that is what I was thinking of doing. But right now I just want to leave at the end of the year so I’m thinking not so much on the buying. 

        I was at a dinner party and the man across from me had just moved here from SF. He was quite exited with the spaces he’d bought because he felt this had exactly the vibe that SF did years ago, and therefore would be as good a profit maker for him as that was. 

        I guess that’s great, really. I mean this is a good place to come make money right now. But it is becoming “just a city” and I wonder if they can keep that from killing the very thing that has all these people thinking this place is so wonderful.

        For me, the places that I identified with, the swimholes, the little paths to creeks, the makeshift hippy festivals in the middle of the woods, the shitty run down strip malls taken over by charity shops and dance troupes… they’re gone. The Broken Spoke is there because it has to stay for “local flavor” but it’s surrounded by the frames of megacomplexes sporting shopping on the first floor (*cough* Mockingbird Station). Not a damned train in sight.

        The Greenbelt, the river, it’s just… manufactured now. It wasn’t actually that great before, just a bit of green shit and water that we liked to walk around in. It was just *here* and it made this place what it was. Everyone moving in may have a great place to live and a great time, but they’ll never know what 20 or 30 years have done. Frankly, it was a dingy little city full of everyone who was sick as fuck of the rest of Texas and people who’d just always lived here because it’s where they were from. That’s the great mystique, and it’s so boring that everyone has to make it into Disneyland to justify their pretension. 

        People tell me this amazing hip bar is so “old Austin” and it’s been there for all of four years. Snore.

        Now it is great, superb, spectacular… just like everywhere else.

        (Ok. I promise I’ll get down from my soap box now. I’m just kind of going through a *thing* here. It’s not even that I’m nostalgic, it’s just I can’t get over how moon eyed people are over what they could have ANYWHERE if they put their minds to it.)

      •  “Mandatory donations”, you say?

        •  Believe me – I have played at, and attended enough shows in houses, art spaces, warehouses – donations are often that in name only. Paying at the door is rigorously enforced at any established place where bands play.

        • wysinwyg says:

          When DIY punk bands tour they often rely on making enough from cover charges and merch to pay for their gas money to the next show.  They’re “donations” because it’s illegal to charge a cover at a house party but they’re “mandatory” because if you’re going to come enjoy the party and the music then it’s only square to help the bands avoid taking a loss on playing the show in the first place.

          Covers for basement shows are cheaper than at clubs, you can bring your own booze, and the shows are usually higher energy and a lot more fun.  There’s no reason not to throw a few dollars towards the band for helping you have a fun night.

          • Oh, I understand all that. But it’s incredibly lame to think that claiming a required price is a “donation” puts you in a legal safe zone. If it’s required, it’s illegal no matter what you call it. Either encourage your audience to contribute in a positive way (a real donation!) or if you don’t trust your audience, at least be honest yourself and just charge the illegal cover.

    • blueelm says:

      Oh god you aren’t referring to the same city I live in are you? *sigh* Why on earth do people call it that? Have they actually been anywhere in the rest of the world?

      That being said actually you can get busted for them in some of the neighborhoods now. You know, same old story, people love how crazy it is… move in… then get rid of all the crazies.

      Why I came back here I just don’t know. Actually, no, I know… it just depresses me.

      In my complex in the used-to-be-edgy part of the city where I grew up you went from living next door to Biscuit to having a “no towels, boxes, coolers, or other unsightly objects allowed on your porch” rule.

      And all around me condos that look like dorms are shooting up like crabgrass, all offering “hardwood” flooring and only 1300 a month for 900 sq ft.

      I’ve lived in Dallas. I have to say, honestly, at this point… Dallas is more authentic. No, really. Both cities are somewhat dead at night compared to others though (Paris, London, Berlin… hell, Birmingham FFS).

  14. grumble-bum says:

    Undercover internet cop must be a sweet gig. All of the intrigue and excitement, none of the risk of imminent death. 

  15. senorglory says:

    Let’s not help them get better by giving good feedback on their techniques.

  16. Whats wrong with America? I tell ya it’s all these darn stoneheads spending all their money buying bongs and doing potloads all day

  17. chris jimson says:

    The Boston Police have indeed been shutting down house shows a lot in the last year.  Some friends of mine had 8 patrol cars show up to bust a show at their place– woulda been a good time for a crime spree with the entire District E13 squad in one place harassing some kids.

  18. SomeDude says:

    (btw it *is* possible to disprove a negative.  example: the impossibility of solving the halting problem.  carry on.)

    • nachoproblem says:

      Disproving a negative is not so hard. It’s proving a negative that’s impossible.

      • SomeDude says:

        One can prove that there is not a limited number of prime numbers, for example (and I happen to know the proof).  Doesn’t that count as proving a negative?

        • Ambiguity says:

           Do you, perchance, have room in the margins to scribble this proof?

          • SomeDude says:

            :) The proof…

            Suppose that there IS a limited number of primes.  Let S denote the complete set of all primes.  Let N denote the largest prime.  Now multiply together all members of S, then add 1;  call the result R.  R is bigger than N, and is not divisible by any of the primes in S.  Thus, R must itself be prime, or must be divisible by some number not in S… either of which proves, by self-contradiction, that the original premise cannot be true, i.e. there cannot be a limited number of primes.

            I really love this proof… I find it very elegant.

          • Ambiguity says:

            A fine proof to be sure, but it doesn’t seem to support your initial assertion: “One can prove that there is not an infinite number of prime numbers”

            (Emphasis added) :)

          • SomeDude says:

            Oops… I blew the wording on my original statement… shoulda read “one can prove there is not a highest prime number.” Edited above. (For some reason can’t reply to Ambiguity’s latest post, so writing here.)

      • wysinwyg says:

         Not all negatives.  “There are no crows in this box” is the canonical example of an easily-proven negative.

        Universal existential negatives, however, absolutely cannot be proven.  “There are no crows at all” is impossible to prove and not just because it’s been soundly disproved.  “There are no unicorns at all” also can’t be proved even though it has not been disproved.

  19. David Aked says:

    No doubt there are cops doing this.  Some better at it than others.  Police aren’t stupid (Some are.  But there are many that aren’t.)  No doubt many ‘busts’ are ruined because of someone that’s not good at this social media fun.  But it’d also be fun to find out how many are intentionally bad.  “Don’t have resources to deal with it.  Just break it up”

    But considering I’ve also worked with law enforcement officers who’s job was to do this sort of thing (To catch rock-spiders), it’s comical to think that people believe all cops are incompetant on social media.

  20. I fucking hate noisy neighbours. If you want a band then hire a venue, arseholes.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Move to the Hebrides. Cities are noisy.

      • If you live in a residential area then no, it doesn’t matter if its a city or a hamlet. Inconsiderate people may disagree, but that’s kind of a given.

        • chris jimson says:

          I fucking hate nosey neighbors, the kind that complain even when there isn’t any noise.

          • Sure, but having a band next door is unlikely to be one of those times now, is it.

          • chris jimson says:

            Ahhh. . . my experience is very different than yours.  “Band” does not necessarily mean “amplification”, and I have witnessed noise complaints because someone was playing banjo on their front porch on a Sunday afternoon.  In my neighborhood the fire department has a station a block away, and they drive by with sirens blaring several times a day, yet somehow it was the banjo that was too loud. 

          • jandrese says:

            These are undergound punk bands.  They have amplification. 

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            We had this neighbor in SF…. He lived in the basement next door. When my roommates would sit out on the front steps, talking quietly, he would run out screaming at us. Because his dog was barking.

          • dr says:

            He moved in next to us.
            Seriously, if you’re going to have a band playing next door, invite me or expect to have a pissed-off neighbor.  Even if I’m your dad’s age.  In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to invite your dad too.

          • chgoliz says:

            Residential neighborhood in a city, hmmm.  Where, pray tell, is the residential area in Manhattan, for example?

          • James says:

            Because all cities are exactly the same, right?

          • knappa says:

            The whole thing? My part is actually pretty quiet – relatively speaking.

        • nixiebunny says:

          Well, if you don’t invite your neighbors to the party, then you’re an a-hole.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          It’s one thing to have a dog that barks non-stop or practice drums every morning at dawn; it’s another thing to have a noisy party on the occasional weekend.  People are allowed to use their property to make a bit of noise once in a while.

          • chgoliz says:

             When I lived in NYC, I had a neighbor in the same air shaft (neighboring building) who played trumpet.  Every day from noon to 1:00pm.  Beautifully.  You could set your clock by him — and thus, schedule around him — and he was a joy to listen to.  I didn’t even have to pay extra for the privilege.

          • Party? sure, live punk band? No.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I get invited to a couple of parties a year that have live bands, searchlights out front, strippers, go-go dancers, burly drag queens working as bouncers, etc. Maybe you should check out a senior community.

          • Maybe you should check out a bar.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I understand that the Orkneys are very restful.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

             These shows usually end the music pretty early with the neighbors in mind, whilst parties have people squealing and hollering with blasting music until 4am. I would substitute my “bro” neighbor’s late night ragers for a DIY punk show any day.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Thanks to the miracle of White Party, I’m enjoying throbbing disco music from Thursday night to Monday morning this weekend. I’ve had Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and J-Lo singing 500 feet from my pillow in past years.

            I don’t mind the music, but I wish that people wouldn’t use the creosote bushes across the street as a public restroom. They seem to think that they’re hidden, but they’re across the street from a three-story condo complex.

          • Ianto_Jones says:

            Actually people are allowed to do whatever they want on their own property until their activity starts infringing on the rights of their neighbors (such as their right to live in relative peace), and/or breaks the law.  In regard to making loud noises (of any sort), in particular, this is generally highly regulated by most municipalities.  For example, it is generally illegal for your neighbor to perform heavy, loud construction projects on their property between the hours of 10pm and 6am in most cities.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

           You realize that a lot of these shows are at spaces where there are really no neighbors right? Or where the neighbors don’t mind if there’s a few hours of bleed over noise once every few weeks? You can have shows in the city where neighbors aren’t an issue, I’ve been to and played many of them.

          The whole issue here is that the cops are wasting their time trying to shut down events that haven’t even been complained about.

          • This I’m totally fine with, for obvious reasons – so when I say I hate noisy neighbours, assume that I mean ‘on the other side of a wall’ kind of neighbours, rather than ‘that house over there’ kind of neighbours.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            They’re mostly house shows in basements that are not directly connected to other buildings. Most of the shows here the city are in (actual) industrial lofts with no neighbors or businesses that are closed for the evening below. These cops are just trying to harass the “weirdos”…

            Most of the U.S. apart from some cities isn’t high density housing.

            Back in the day I toured the U.S. a few times where a ton of the shows were houses or alternate spaces. In lots of (particularly small) cities established venues that cater to underground music pretty much barely exist. Renting a hall is often tough and just attracts harassment from the aforementioned small minded cops.

            The worst mischief at these events is mostly a little beer drinking. The cops are basically harassing young people for doing something artistic, positive and otherwise staying out of trouble. It’s beyond backwards.

          • You see, maybe that’s where the differing perspective lies – I’m thinking high density (simply because it’s what I’m used to). There ‘aint much space left over here.

            For the past 10 years I’ve shared walls with my neighbours in every place I’ve lived (and ceilings/floors). It can be pretty intimate (although that noisy neighbour story can be saved for another day).

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            With you 100% on that. I live in a dense block of 3 flats, and have been tempted to call the cops on my neighbors when they’ve had Sunday(!) night ragers that have gone on until dawn practically.

            These kinds of shows don’t really happen in my kind of residential buildings here in Chicago though. Usually lofts, or areas that have stand alone houses and basements to play in.

    • Even “legit” venues are neighbors to *someone.* Everything loud comes at someone’s slight inconvenience. Remember that the next time you listen to anything, ever.

      • Legit venues are subject to noise level restrictions based on the building and surrounding neighbours. As are dwellings. If your break those restrictions the police or authorities get involved. Not for fun, but because noise pollution is horrible. Having had an inconsiderate neighbour that felt their right to play loud music all the time was more important than my sanity I can assure you that these rules are in place for good reason. And clearly they need to work hard to enforce them,just look at all these comments from other inconsiderate people that think their homes are nightclubs just because they want them to be.

        • Unfortunately, those restrictions are often impossible to actually follow if you are a music venue. Music is loud, and the laws are often written in such a way as to always reward the complainant. Most “legit” venues thus operate in a legal grey area, as there is little protection against NIMBY-ists like yourself and they are always doing something slightly illegal. You might be surprised how many places you patronize on a regular basis that, strictly speaking, are breaking the law. You also might be surprised to hear that if I’m your neighbor and I can hear bass in my house that’s emanating from your house, the law’s on my side. Hope you don’t own a subwoofer.
          The point is: as timely as it seems to focus entirely on one’s own “sanity,” we don’t exist in a vacuum; people like yourself have it MUCH easier than people who rely on loud noise for a living. I’m not even going to go into the bands that must practice in a house in order to make the demo to get the gig in the “legit” venue which can still be shut down at any moment…I doubt you’ll have much sympathy for them, as focused on your own well-being as you are. Try to recognize, though, that owners of bars, clubs, studios, rehearsal spaces, movie theaters, factories, restaurants, dry-cleaners, music stores, and all manner of noise-making establishments are CONSTANTLY having to fight over noise, more than you might think. And I’m willing to bet each one of these places is something that you will use when you need it. (Don’t think you use studios? Well do you listen to music? Ever have a birthday party? Ever watch a movie?)

          • But we’re not talking about those things; we’re talking about punk gigs in dwellings, not grey-area sub woofers that you can technically hear.

            Anyway, I don’t think we’re going to agree, I guess we should just take comfort in the fact that we’re not neighbours!

        • Navin_Johnson says:

           Why didn’t you just call the police on your neighbor instead of letting your anger simmer to this point…..

          We have residential noise ordinances here. You don’t have them where you live?

          • This was a while back, we moved away anyway, but confronted them a few times – with varying results. Dealing with a British council (which is who’d deal with noise complaints), in that case a London Borough council, is an experience that would likely tip an already frustrated person over the edge.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      These DIY house shows usually happen because venues aren’t available or all ages, or wont book the shows.

      In my experience with DIY shows like this, they’re often put on in ways to not draw attention and to cause the least bother to neighbors precisely because people will call the cops and get them shut down before they can have a few bands play.

      As common sense dictates, these house shows are more often occurring at houses and spaces where neighbors aren’t really an issue or are accepting of it.

    • wysinwyg says:

       I hate wet blankets.  If you need to get to sleep early on fridays and saturdays buy some Bose headphones or something.

  21. Vinnie Tesla says:

    Just look at that amazing Cory Doctrow. Just look at him.

  22. joe k. says:

    For fuck’s sake. There are truly evil men in the upper echelons of our culture getting away with huge fucking theft and huge fucking murder who are going on scot free, and yet we’re paying a bunch of imbeciles to stop “illegal” gigs. 

    Cause unregulated music leads to noise complaints and there’s some drugs there and we White Americans can’t abide by that Negro Indecency.

  23. technogeekagain says:

    Always know your local ordinances, and know your neighbors.Legality depends on the former, and whether anyone is likely to cause trouble about it depends on the latter.

    And the law is less likely to complain if you aren’t charging admission and are simply allowing the performer to sell recordings and accept tips. In some places you may need to pay a few bucks for a house-party license; if so, that often comes with some relaxation of local parking restrictions for the night so it may actually be worth the money.

    Schedule the show for a reasonable hour (before immediate neighbors’ bedtimes, if at all possible). Warn neighbors in advance — and invite them. Have decent A/C and/or be aware of the noise effects of opening windows.

    Don’t try it in an apartment or other attached housing unless the folks on both/all sides are on board. If necessary, consider finding a community space “zoned for party” that can be had cheap or free.

    Basically: Go in arrogant, and you’re likely to provoke someone into finding grounds on which to protest. Be a good neighbor, do everything you would do if it were a party with a hired performer — or a jam session with a bunch of friends, for that matter — and odds are that you can overcome or work around most objections.

    (If you have to deal with a condo committee, and you aren’t using the condo’s official party facilities, be prepared for trouble. Condo committees tend to have more assholes than brains. “Intentional community/cohousing” condos may be an exception, since they often see encouraging the arts as a Good Thing.)

    • raines says:

      “Intentional community/cohousing” condos may be an exception, since they often see encouraging the arts as a Good Thing.

      Yes, approach and attitude makes such a difference in the response you receive. I agree with your observation re cohouisng/IC’s, but I believe it’s not just the mission alignment that makes it possible. It’s the genuine relationships between community members, all of whom are often on the condo board, making decisions by consensus. So nobody tries to “get away with” doing something that they know will have undue impacts on their neighbors… there’s lots of accountability baked into the system.

      At this very moment my cohousing neighbor “Yippie Girl” Judy Gumbo Albert is hosting here in our community’s Common House a slideshow chronicling her recent 40th-anniversary-return-to-Vietnam journey, with around 50 guests – similar impacts (other than noise levels) to a house concert. She gave plenty of notice, used our handy DIY tool to estimate impacts, and checked in with the neighbors who would be most affected, and we collaboratively rescheduled some other events so that there’d be plenty of setup time available and no competition for the space, and figured out how she could get the technical support and setup help she needed for a great, fun event that could be enjoyed by both community members and friends. So when somebody approaches me about using our space, I have to ask myself, “is it worth what it will take to deliver that level of impact-management for my neighbors?” and in the longer run “can we invest together in better soundproofing so we can do more with fewer negative effects?”

  24. People who are part of a particular subculture or ideological movement can often easily spot police trying to get information if the officer in question doesn’t take the time to do his or her homework and lay a foundation.  I spot police officers semi-regularly on white supremacist forums like Stormfront, trying to get information about an upcoming extremist event.  When someone creates an account a short period of time before an event and whose only posts are posts designed to get information about the event, it kind of stands out.  If I can spot them, the extremists can, too.  In a couple of cases, I was even able to identify the particular officer and call them up and warn them how they were simply drawing attention to themselves.

    For maximum effect, an officer needs to create an account long before, and not just in one place but in a variety of places, and post in those places over time (and not just asking questions!), so that when the time comes when the officer needs to get some info and has to ask a question, someone googling his or her screen name will discover a prior existence to this persona that seems grounded in the real world and give maximum verisimilitude to the persona.  In some cases, an officer may even want to create sock puppets which exist for no other reason other than to ‘confirm’ that the persona actually exists and is interacting with others in the real world (“hey, bro, we sure got toasted last night!’).

    • rocketpj says:

      Jeez, what on earth would cause you to read those festering pits with any regularity?  I doubt I’d be able to get out of bed in the morning if I spent my time reading supremacist lunacy.  Damn, it’s hard enough just knowing they are out there.

    • noah django says:

      \(--)/ マイッタ
      well, gee, I hope some undercover cops are here so they can take you up on all that great advice. 
      and good luck with all that stormfront browsing…  I guess.

  25. SoItBegins says:

    Hey, better the devil you know…

  26. MrJM says:

    “Hey, gang! Let us party! Who has illegal drug cigarettes?” 

  27. Gilbert Wham says:

    I get invited to a couple of parties a year that have live bands, searchlights out front, strippers, go-go dancers, burly drag queens working as bouncers, etc

    When I grow up, I want to be like you.

    It’s not just quasi-legal parties either. Couple of good friends of mine organise house/techno nights, legal venues, licencing laws, the whole caboodle. Their day-jobs are as community organisers and youth-workers. They constantly have undercover cops PMing them trying to buy drugs through their Facebook page.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      In my case, they’re usually charity fundraisers. If the cops show up, the mayor just goes outside and tells them to go away.

  28. David Aked says:

    I *still* find it funny that people think cops talk like “I want some drug cigarettes”.  In reality, half the time they are up to their nipples in street talk.  The deal with everyone from the single joint posessor right through to an entire crop cultivator.  Don’t you think that some cops would have MAYBE worked out ‘the jingo’?

    I’d place a higher bet that if you come across someone doing that garbage, it’s more likely a ‘concerned citizen’ that wants to do a tip-off.

    (No.  I’m not a cop.  I worked in a electronic support position for a law enforcement agency YEARS ago.  Nothing dramatic.  Paperwork.  So much paperwork.  Dull.  I now work IT)

    • Ambiguity says:

      I’m sure some do, in the same way that some folks have worked out the lingo (whereas others are concerned with being a jingo, maybe because they’re cops). :)

      • David Aked says:

         Very true.  Which brings up another excellent point.  I’ve only heard the phrase Jingo where I am (Very common in Australia and UK.  I’ve even heard the phrase Jingoism used a lot).  Lingo is looked at like “WTF?”  So, it is also a case of there are some phrases that are not universal.  If a person is posing as a ‘fan’ from place ‘y’, then if a cop wants to infiltrate it, they better not be from place ‘x’.  The nuances will be picked up by locals in seconds.

        However, probably stating the obvious with that.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      Possibly it’s make-work for ‘rubber gun squad’ cops who can’t be trusted not to shoot themselves in the foot, or arrest rich white people by mistake.

  29. Brainspore says:

    If the house concerts are truly disrupting neighbors’ lives, why not just break them up as soon as those neighbors complain instead of going through all the trouble to infiltrate them preemptively?

    • Ambiguity says:

      That’s just crazy talk! That’s like saying “why should we do drug testing? If drugs aren’t affecting a person’s behaviour, what business does an employer have knowing?”

      Pah! We have to get more and more preemptive, until at last every thought-crime will be struck from the face of the planet!!!

      That’s the real promise of technology — the possibility of making EVERYTHING illegal and to enforce this with 100% effectiveness and no room for any kind of “human discretion” — and I’m glad twitter is here to help usher in that age.

      • Brainspore says:

        There are some exceptions to the drug testing thing. For example, if the employee in question is a commercial airline pilot then it’s better to know if they’re wasted BEFORE they get in the cockpit.

        • Ambiguity says:

           Absolutely — in some jobs, it makes perfect sense. But the vast percentage of white-collar jobs…. world would probably be a better place drugs were at least an occasional requirement.

  30. I was at a house show that got shut down by the cops after the first band. sucked.

Leave a Reply