The (Complete Lack of) Power in a Scream

(Cop Show Part 2)

A: Why are you screaming at me?

B: Because I heard screaming! You cannot make a screaming noise! It is not allowed!

A: But you are making a screaming noise!

B: That is to make you stop screaming!

A: But it’s terrifying! How can I stop screaming when you’re terrifying me? Look, here come more people, they heard you screaming!

C: We heard screaming over here.

B: Yes, I am screaming at this bad man.

C: What did he do?

B: He made a screaming noise!

C: That is not allowed! We will also scream at him! Thank God you were screaming or we wouldn’t have come.

A: Wait, why is it ok for you to scream but..

B: Shut up!! (To C) Call others! I am single!

C: Ok!

B: You, stop screaming like that!

A: Like what? Like this noise here?

B: Like that, every couple of seconds you scream!

A: You mean this noise, like this?

B: Are you taunting me, you madman? Yes, you must stop that now!

A: Hold on, that noise right there? That’s what you want me to stop!

B: Yes, you sick SOB! Stop that screaming right now!

A: That noise isn’t not screaming. That’s a yelp of pain. I’m working out and my back hurts.

B: Your back hurts?

A: Yes, it’s like spasming every couple of seconds. Feels like someone is kicking me.


A: Ok.

B: There, that’s much better.

A: It still hurts.

B: Right, but you aren’t screaming as much.

C: Never work out again.

B: High five!

I’m trying to understand why people think screaming at criminals is effective.

Sickos like screaming, especially girls screaming. Most actually bad people–your terrorists, rapists, and drug dealers– are not going to be the least bit phased by it. They can move through it like a hired killer through a crowd. It provides a most welcome distraction.It only scares animals and decent folk. And children especially. Is that who you want to scare? Animals, decent folk, and children? Of course not.

Why do we scream at criminals? To draw a crowd, I think. We might think it is because we’re in pain or made to scream– because we’re really mad, or pretend mad– because we’re confused.

But really we scream because self-defense books say to scream, because experts know it will draw a crowd.

We also are taught to scream because it keeps us from being able to listen. Screaming keeps an argument going, because it keeps everybody (not just the screamer) upset and unable to hear what’s going on.

That’s what we were told to do, and that got passed around.

What if everyone gave it up? What would happen? *

*Not screaming doesn’t mean being quiet. It means be quiet and also calm. So everyone else be too.

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