By: Moe Angelo
The vision for this latest Lightbrush animation, Donny Troompa and the Cop Hate Factory, started forming a little over a month ago. The way it evolved from a simple memory triggered by a protest chant, into a vast world full of political humor, important messages, and symbolism, was as much an extreme pleasure, as it was tiresome.
It all began with multiple days in a row of waking up with a new protest chant in my head, that had been making its way around protests and live streams. Quarter-note beats of “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, fuck 12,” were rhythmically driving their way into my brain, while at the same time digging out a childhood memory of the old Sesame Street pinball number videos.
“Fuck 12” is a more recent evolution of the age-old adage, “Fuck the Police,” a phrase immortalized by legendary Compton, California rap group N.W.A. Further research into the etymology of the phrase produces unclear results, with a range of different websites and forum posts making claims about the phrase’s meaning. One such definition, according to a post on Daily Rap Facts, is that:
It came from the police radio code “10-12” and the 1968 TV show Adam-12, which followed two police officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed, from the Los Angeles Police Department patrolling the Los Angeles streets in their patrol car, 1-Adam-12.
Personally, I’m not one to use phrases or slogans that imply that every single police officer is bad. Even with the disgusting evidence I have personally seen at protests in the last few months, and credible information widely available about the growth of white supremacy groups, and their infiltration of and recruitment within, police departments, I still reserve my use of those all-encompassing phrases.
However, the message behind this vision quickly started to take shape, and I couldn’t stop it. The more I thought about the 2006 FBI report that warned of the infiltration, as well as the as-of-now unanswered June 2020 call for full release and update of the report by a group of congressmen and women, the more I began to realize that no amount of investigation will be able to truly eliminate this deep corruption in our systems of Law Enforcement.
The way the vision and message for the animation evolved was as much an inspiring and profound experience, as it was tiresome. One little idea, or experience in the real world, led to the next addition to the animation. It started with the pinball from the Sesame Street video viewing police brutality and white supremacy issues and information. Trump’s attempted covert support of these groups through tweets and hidden messages and imagery fueled his appearance in the animation. When the idea came to make him super orange, and dress him as an Oompa Loompa, the title naturally started to form.
I am aware that the title, and the soundtrack, might make one think the message is simply about hating cops, but that’s not it at all. “The Cop Hate Factory” is a play on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and is referencing the idea that the supremacist plague deep in the system is what is producing hate. A deeper cycle of hate spawns from this, and is further fueled by Police Officers’ response to protests against police brutality, and calls to defund police. The officers’ nervous systems are in a constant fight-or-flight response as they view their livelihood as being threatened, as well as their lives when in the field, by any number of mostly fictional groups they attribute violence to. Because of this heightened emotional state, the officers and their supervisors are making poor judgements and decisions. In turn, basic human and constitutional rights are being ignored as police departments target both activists, and independent journalists, for arrest. Other poor decisions by police have led to residential neighborhoods being terrorized by tear gas (a war crime, as defined by the Geneva Convention), and families being awakened by it seeping into their homes.
Personal, real-world experiences at protests, and in dealing with comments during these online conversations and live streams, also inspired some of the characters. Q-laid Man brings a little levity to the animation, as he is a remixed 3D model of Kool-Aid Man, who carries a pitcher full of blue Kool-Aid marked with a Q (to symbolize the QAnon conspiracy theory), and attempts to lead the pinball down a Youtube Rabbit hole that is coming from the door of a church.
Many QAnon followers claim to be religious, and more specifically Christian for most, but are following ideas and theories that are widely presented on a multitude of different Internet platforms like Youtube, 4chan, and Q’s own 8chan, instead of established doctrine or religious leaders. Many have embarked on crusades, demonizing anyone who doesn’t buy into their Flat Earth, Reptilian Shapeshifter, or underground pedophile ring conspiracies. Some of them are even capitalizing and profiting off of independent journalists and their live streams, rebranding them without credit to the creator (which goes against Copyright Fair Use law), and exploiting their supporters to the tune of sometimes $6,000 or more per night, reportedly.
Seeing Tampa police support and protect a group of Proud Boys and their mothers as they were flashing White Power hand signals during a “Back the Blue” protest, was not only the inspiration behind “White Power Cop,” but it was the single event that broke the proverbial camel’s back, for me personally. I’ve know since the Charleston 2017 incidents that these supremacist groups were growing, but seeing it face-to-face in 2020, really drove home how ingrained and increasingly prevalent, they are.
My hope is not only that you watch this animation in full, but that you really look deep into its symbolism and message, and share it, and speak about it with, anyone that you think may appreciate it, or could benefit from understanding its message more deeply.
Thank you for watching, reading, and sharing. See you in the next fictional world full of important messages! Visit Lightbrush for a detailed list of 3D models used under the Creative Commons license.