Saturday, April 21, 2007

Now I'm looking for the dum dum boys / The walls close in and I need some noise

Wow, what a strange, and bloody, week it’s been. That massacre in Virginia came a day after I had to answer an email from some person… Virginia…about whether Bali was safe to visit. That’s neither here nor there but it’s an interesting aside when viewed from my bale.

It certainly bought out the nutters though, especially the very vocal minority in the US (and I think, from memory, that the NRA maintains a fund to back this sort of thing) writing letters and comments to newspapers and forums worldwide decrying their fact that there are too few guns in the USA. Yep, too few 38s in the hands of the populace…the argument being that if the teachers and the rest of the students were armed then the killer would've been taken out by the pistol tottin' students and staff. The second amendment at work......Ted Nugent made the point, rather poorly, on CNN’s site today, and others, in the comments, cheered the man, whose only really claim to authority is releasing several of the most appallingly low rent hard rock albums ever made some decades ago, on.

It makes perfect sense to me. Arm the students and teachers to the teeth, so those same bullet-proof, hot-headed young men that cause such mayhem on our roads can sort out their arguments over girlfriends with a shootout. Yep, that’ll lower the carnage in a nation where the urban murder rate is 12.1 per 100,000…about 12 times New Zealand’s rate, and 5000 children under 15 die by the bullet every year…more than the rest of the developed world combined.

I’ve yet to hear a rational argument against gun control, but the tones and literacy level of the comments and letters in these forums provide a reasonable argument for keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of the authors of such.

Then there is the video of the guy, shown all over the world, and criticised for such. But lets be real, we all, myself included, have a morbid fascination with such things. Perhaps those that loudly decry such things even more so…..Indonesian television has this gruesome habit of showing, in some detail, the charred remains of those killed in our relentless air accidents…at least they are honest about the demand. And I think any footage from CCTV that exists of the shootings in Virginia would garner a massive audience. I have to admit to being fascinated as I saw it on, I admit, Fox. What did strike me about the footage was the Rambo-ness of it all. It was so fucking Hollywood. There were those of course who claimed the Cho’s look was a lift from all those videos taken of potential suicide bombers in the Middle East. There is some merit in that argument, but the point that the argument misses is that they too, in some odd way, are lifting the look and stance from that gun toting all American cinematic lunatic in the seventies.

The T-shirts, and PC wallpaper are not far off, and that the guy will find himself as some sort of twenty first century iconic equivalent of Travis Bickle is inevitable. It will take Hollywood about three years for the bio-pic but I believe the URLs have already gone. And then there will, inevitably be more blood. And the clamber for more guns, more movies, and so on....

Myself, I found some of the other student's comments on Fox almost as terrifying as the shooter's. Clearly this guy was not a happy puppy but the degree of isolation and bullying this guy had clearly endured, whilst offering no valid excuse, was scary. Remember, these are the kids that the NRA wants armed too.

Large parts of this country are very sick indeed (and large parts are obviously not..this is not a blanket condemnation ). Which brings me to the glorious Charles Krauthammer. A man more offensively dangerous it would be hard to find. He has serious blood on his hands…far more than the 32 taken out by Cho. Hundreds die every day partially as a result of this man’s cheerleading and bloodlust. And yet he still commands large sums to speak (the mainstream American right is host to some mightily horrendous minds…it’s very hard to criticize rationally even Michael Moore when all you’re aligned to this guy, Coulter, Malkin and Limbaugh) and is awarded with columns in the Washington Post and, for decades, Time. He comes across as demented at times, the logic he follows makes little sense beyond pushing his agenda. But, I bet he’s allowed a gun. Glenn Greenwald does a fine job of dismantling his hypocrisy today after his bizarre claims on, where else, Fox, of some Islamic link to events at VTU. That’s desperate, predicable and very sad.

The news from the rest of the world doesn’t seem to get any better either………..despite the philosophy that if you repeat a lie often enough it garners an air of truth. I don’t think that works anymore….especially when you don’t matter anymore. Krauthammer’s buddies seem as utterly divorced from day to day reality as he is too. Murder, blood, mayhem, rising death tolls outside Baghdad, with even the commanders on the ground admitting things are not good, and to the neocons, it’s all going swimmingly well.

What a fucking bizarre world we live in.

1 comment:

Myk said...

Nice post, Simon. :)

Mr. Reilly