One of these days I'm gonnaIf the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) were real, why do our congressional representatives travel freely and unabashedly among the populace? The lack of security around our Senators and Representatives suggests that foreign terrorism is a conjured bogeyman which gives the military and government something to do and with which to distract the people.Meanwhile, though terrorists cannot get to our unprotected VIPs, our indigenous crazies can do so with impunity. What is the actual threat when foreign crusaders and criminals cannot outperform our own nut jobs, of which there is no shortage?
change my evil ways
Till then I'll just keep riding on
--Ride On, AC/DC
far below original sin
far below the state I'm in
far below malicious crimes
far below her for the time
far below is the place you'll go, ho!
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight
--Everything is Beautiful, Kalb and Stevens
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence,
the word and the act
--Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Ranger Question of the Day [RQOD]:
Why do we fly the flag at half-mast when white,
well-to-do folks get shot by a gunman,
but ignore shootings in L.A. barrios, Washington D. C. slums
and all the other free-fire zones we call "inner cities"?
Are some deaths more worthy of sorrow than others?
Ranger attends gun shows and often comments on the bat-shit crazy philosophy and hatred promulgated by the National Rifle Association and associated groups which subscribe to the Glenn Beck Truth Ministry. The annual NRA convention is a bacchanalia of Right Wing paranoia parading as patriotism, deep-fried in all things red, white and blue.
Yet somewhere between the NRA and Congress reside the bulk of U.S. citizens, but how to define them? Surely most would say we are a peace-loving nation, but since 1847 every generation of Americans has fought a major war. We travel with death and are comfortable killing people, presently raining it down surgically from Predator drones, never shedding a tear or taking a moment to reflect upon the need / needlessness of such actions, but shootings in Tucson sure do cause a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Soldiers win medals for killing. This archetype is so powerful that even the best-selling video games want a cut of the action. "Medal of Honor" and "Call to Duty", for example, show nothing but unadulterated, unabated violence. How many hours in a day does the average young person spend participating in such spectacles, wielding such ersatz power to destroy? "I oughta kill you" need no longer be hyperbole.
Our entertainment is filled with violent heroes who kill with weapons. Beloved modern directors like the Coen Brothers or Quentin Tarantino show realistic shootings up close and personal. Any attempt to attenuate the violence by calling it Pulp Fiction is lost on the more disturbed, or more determined, among us. When Sheriff Rooster Cogburn vaporizes a guy's head with his trusty Colt 45, this is heroic; possibly a defective mind conflates and mimics this action by shooting a congressperson. If shooting people is heroic in wars, games and movies, then it must be o.k. on Main Street right?
If your tastes do not run to the art house, there is always cage fighting, World Wide Wrestling, boxing and pro football for your amusement. What is the effect upon those whose minds are unable to differentiate between symbol and reality? Our lives are supersaturated with violence, yet we are befuddled when we see people who fail to differentiate reality from fantasy and pop a cap on someone's head.
We have become inured to violence and killing, and are blase to its ubiquity.
Of course, other national traits feed these actions: We are fiercely individualistic, praised in some circles for "going rogue" and for "letting it all hang out". We gain too-easy accolades from grade school on up, and political correctness demands "everyone is beautiful, in his own way."
We are a culture of violence. While we can legislate gun restrictions and medicate for depression, we cannot criminalize insane behavior, the latter which seems to be a growth industry in America.
Labels: culture of violence, giffords, jared loughner, violence