“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.” — Allen Ginsberg
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD NATION
Writer John Cassidy posts ten reasons why America is crazy in the July 24th New Yorker blog.
Here are a few of his reasons:
- Gun laws and gun deaths are unconnected
- God created America and gave it a special purpose
- Cheap energy, gasoline especially, is our birthright
House Of Worship
These are things many, many citizens of this holy land accept as, well, gospel. “[T]he popular sentiment underlying these statements is so strong that politicians defy it at their peril,” he writes.
Crazy? You decide.
Only paramedics, firefighters, and cops reacted faster to the Aurora, Colorado, Shooting Rampage than the gun fanatics who shrieked and howled that even the slightest jigger to the nation’s firearms laws would be a dastardly infringement on their sacred rights.
We don’t even argue much anymore about whether or not NRA members and their fellow travelers have the god-given right to lull themselves to sleep at night holding their loved ones close — and I’m not referring to their spouses or lovers. The gun control debate was settled and signed-off ages ago.
Those folks who
are sexually aroused by guns are staunch defenders of an absolutist read of the Second Amendment have pounded their chests for the last six days and declared the gun to be an honest citizen’s only possible defense against a tyrannical government.
I had an online exchange with one such soul last night:
Gun Rights Defender: “The reason I believe we should be able to have guns is simply because the armed services and the police have them and they work for the rulers not the people.”
Me: “The ‘rulers’ never fear guns in the hands of the citizenry because they (the ‘rulers’) will always be able to outgun them.”
The defender’s conceit holds that a bunch of old men in Lawrence County who own hunting rifles will stand as a robust defense against the jack-booted thugs who want to impose the unimaginable horror of health care reform on us.
I, on the other hand, happen to know the US Army issues to its soldiers, among other kill-toys, M16 rifles, M4 carbines, 7.62x51mm FN SCAR assault rifles, M203 grenade launchers, Mossberg 590 shotguns, M107 Long Range Sniper Rifles, and — as sidearms — 9mm M9 pistols. Oh, and the soldiers are trained to kill people with these things.
Groups of soldiers regularly practice firing M2 heavy machine guns, MK19 grenade machine guns, a variety of mortars (the smallest of which launches a 60mm shell), several types of towed howitzers, the FIM-92 Stinger shoulder-launched heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile, and the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile.
How well do you think your Uncle Wayne and his fishing buddies would fare in a showdown with a battalion of 18-24 year-olds lugging hardware like that around?
Oh Yeah, Uncle Wayne’ll Do Just Fine Against These Guys
History teaches us corrupt, despotic governments usually fall in a whimper. No shots were fired, for instance, to bring down the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union. Here’s another anecdotal example: The only regime still standing against the Arab Spring revolts is the one — Syria — that insurgents took up arms against.
The gun romeos need to come up with a better rationalization for their defense of the madness.
Actor Wm. Bullion points out that one of the survivors of the Aurora, Colorado, Shooting Rampage not only will sue the parent company of the movie theater in which the incident occurred but has hired a publicist.
Wm. (Billy) Bullion
One of my legal sources informs me it’s unlikely the theater would be found liable for the shootings but would probably settle for a tidy sum with any of the ghouls (my characterization) who’d throw court papers its way.
Bullion quotes Cassandra Williams of W.E.T. PR: “We’re going to make sure whoever is accountable is going to take responsibility for this tragedy.”
Bullion observes: “”Yes, the FAMILY’S PUBLICIST is holding the movie theater ACCOUNTABLE.” (His caps.)
The source story reveals that the survivor’s attorney is also considering suing Warner Brothers for releasing violent movies and any of James Holmes’ doctors for allowing the suspect to walk the streets.
You have to give this survivor credit: Apparently he can find the silver lining in any dark cloud.
Payout For a Bullet Hole
THERE’S A MAN WITH A GUN OVER THERE
A redux posting: Here’s Buffalo Springfield (with the shockingly young Stephen Stills and Neil Young) performing “For What It’s Worth” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967.
BTW: Tommy Smothers was one of the unheralded coolest guys of the ’60s. Check out David Bianculli’s book, “Dangerously Funny.”
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
❏ I Love Charts — Life as seen through charts.
I Love Charts, From The Sunlight Foundation
❏ XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
❏ Skepchick — Women scientists look at the world and the universe.
❏ Indexed — All the answers in graph form, on index cards.
❏ Present and Correct — (New Listing) Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.
❏ Flip Flop Fly Ball — Baseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.
❏ Mental Floss — Facts.
❏ Caps Off Please — Comics & fun.
❏ Sodaplay — Create your own models or play with other people’s models.
❏ Eat Sleep Draw — An endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.
Illustration By Maneco, From Eat Sleep Draw
❏ Big Think — Tapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.
❏ The Daily Puppy — So shoot me.
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
◗ IU Auer Hall — Summer Arts Festival: Pipe organ faculty recital; 1pm
◗ Bear’s Place — The Jeremy Allen Quartet; 5:30pmpm
◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Laura Connallon; 6-8:30pm
◗ IU Ernie Pyle Hall — Journalism seminar on Public Access and Government Transparency; 6pm
◗ Third Street Park — Outdoor concert, Jenn Christy Band; 6:30pm
◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — Musical, “You Can’t Take It with You”; 7:30pm
◗ The Player’s Pub — Open mic hosted by Martina Samm; 7:30pm
◗ Serendipity Martini Bar — Team trivia; 8:30pm
◗ The Bluebird — Three Story Hill; 9pm
◗ The Bishop — Young Magic, Quilt, Floorboard; 9:30pm
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits:
- John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This @#!%”; through July 30th
- Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
- Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
- Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
- Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th
◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
- Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
- “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
- Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
- Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
- “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
- David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
- Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
- Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
- “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st
◗ IU SoFA Grunwald Gallery — Exhibits: Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd
◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — “Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st
◗ IU Lilly Library — Exhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st
◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break
◗ Monroe County History Center — Exhibits:
- “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
- Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th