[ by Charles Cameron — the Holland Tunnel arrest and the beat poet’s Howl — a note on semiotics ]
A Dodge SUV registered to Higher Ground Tactical sits in the Port Authority impound yard near the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City on June 21, 2016. Photo: Chad Rachman/New York Post
The SUV is somewhat eye-catching, to be sure, and the photo presumably good for clicks — but is using the image also a sort of dog-whistle, for or against those who decorate such vehicles, train with such guns, etc? I certainly posted it here to add color to the page.. and to raise such questions.
So there was an arrest outside the Holland Tunnel, and reports variously claimed Group Caught With Weapons In Holland Tunnel Claimed To Be On Vigilante Mission and No link to terrorism is suspected, also Man Stopped in Gun-Laden Truck Was on ‘Mission to Help Other Families’ After Daughter’s Drug Death, Friend Says. Different strokes for different folks?
Here’s a brief rundown:
Heavily armed and angry about the heroin epidemic, the owner of an Upper Milford gun range who said he was on his way to rescue a teenage girl in New York City was stopped by police Tuesday at the Holland Tunnel.
John Cramsey, 50, of Zionsville was one of three people in a truck decorated with anti-drug dealer and pro-gun logos and banners from his business, Higher Ground Tactical.
Around 7:40 a.m., Port Authority police stopped Cramsey’s truck on the New Jersey side of the tunnel after spotting a cracked windshield.
Police found weapons in the vehicle — five pistols, an AR-15 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun — as well as marijuana and a marijuana pipe, according to a news release from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Authorities also found body armor and knives.
Here’s what caught my attention, and what it reminded me of:
Ginsberg and an anti-drug crusader?
These details are of interest to those who track and analyze “signs” — likewise the two place names, Emmaus and Zionsville, both of them Biblical, likewise the name Higher Ground Tactical, with “higher ground” having both metaphorical (moral) and military meanings — and likewise the vivid imagery of the SUV itself, with its decals & detailing.
We speak with our gestures and the imagery we use, not just with the plain literal sense of our words.
The Morning Call, Emmaus area gun range owner stopped at Holland Tunnel
Allen Ginsberg, Howl