RANGER AGAINST WAR: Modalities of Mortalities <

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Modalities of Mortalities

 We are not concerned with the very poor.
They are unthinkable, and only to be approached
by the statistician or the poet
-- E. M. Forster 

Out of a hundred people:
Righteous- 35, which is a lot
Righteous and understanding- 3
Worthy of compassion- 99
Mortal- 100 out of 100
(Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.)
Wisława Szymborska 

Outside of the killings,
DC has one of the lowest crime rates
in the country
―Mayor Marion Barry 

Candy is dandy,
but liquor is quicker
--Hard Lines, 
Ogden Nash
____________________

The online news source Slate bemoans the fact in their lede today that five children were killed by gun violence over the Labor Day holiday  ("11-Year-Old, 7-Year-Old, Two 5-Year-Olds, and 3-Year-Old Killed by Guns Over Labor Day Weekend"). No doubt bad news, but let's go for some fair-and-balanced, an approach woefully unpopular among the agenda crowd. 

Using Paul Simon's "50 Ways" method, let's scatter-gun the topic of death: 

  • Four to five children die per day in the United States as a result of child abuse. This is via the brutal beatings that we all picture when the dire topic is discussed. However, far more die via a protracted mental and physical dissipation due to long-term neglect, but these tragic cases are under the wire, and go unnoticed by most people. 
  • Three woman are killed daily in the U.S. as a result of intimate partner (IP) violence. Of course, many others are consigned to lives of brutality at the hands of their partners, coming near death many times before actually dying. We do not like to hear it, and sweep it away with a "She should have seen it coming," or, "Why did she stay?" conveniently dismissing the actual problems on both sides which facilitate such "hidden" brutality in our midst.
  • Nine die daily from the results of "distracted driving," defined as texting, viewing media, etc. Some people do not realize that watching the road is not compatible with reading a Facebook feed. We can dismiss this one as "Darwin at work," save the behavior kills so many people who are faultless, save for being an innocent victim of the others' carelessness and narcissism.
  • 3,287 people die daily on the road in the U.S. from all causes of traffic fatalities. Just the cost of driving in a highly-distracted society, among drivers with varying levels of skills, sobriety and consciousness and vehicles in various states of repair. We have all seen the grotesque videos in driver's ed showing the hideous outcomes of poor driving, yet the statistics remain horrendous. But it is not sexy to suggest that we might do otherwise. The cost of living in a free society, don't you know?  

We have not even begun to look at the toll of our two discretionary wars in the Middle East -- the gift that keeps on giving. We are not looking at reasons, but simply modalities of mortalities and morbidities.

Addiction and a sense of entitlement feed many of these destructive behaviors, poverty and despair, others, so you will not see voluntary changes in these self-neglectful behaviors. But they will kill you quicker than beans, all the same. 

But the damn fool gun-toters, "those Americans" neatly and disdainfully lumped by people like once-progressive candidate Obama as the God-and-Guns group ... they are an easy target for our floating unease that things are not right. If we could just do something about guns, well, we'd have a much better society.

Right?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Ael said...

It isn't right to excuse the failure to fight any particular evil, simply because there are other, possibly worse, evils around. Different people get to choose what plagues they will fight against.

Even if your choice would be different, it does not make their choice wrong.

Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 9:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

It was bad journalism, and that is always a wrong and unnecessary choice.

The only provocation for my piece was the exploitation by Slate of the "child" deaths, and the blind eye turned to all of the the other murders which occurred that weekend via other means.

Banning guns will not ban brutality and murder, but the liberal press makes it seems so.



As an aside:

I don't believe gun ownership is an "evil". What ill or ill-intentioned people do with them is sometimes bad. But using fists to pummel and kill women and children is also very bad.

In the lexicon of evil (if there is such a thing), ongoing patterns of brutality and carelessly endangering lives is much worse, yet we're not calling for control of those fists, and we don't lop them off like they do in some M.E. nations.

Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 11:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

Cliff's are not evil. We often build paths or roads along them. However, when we do build along a cliff, it often makes sense to also build guard rails.

So too with guns.

Friday, September 11, 2015 at 1:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I think we're talking at cross-purposes, Ael.

I'm addressing agenda-driven reportage (such as it is.) Reporters should be disinterested observers and scribes. Unfortunately, this tabloid-style designer news has been mainstream for a while. People do not get perspective.

It's cheap to tear copy off the wire in a discriminatory way. Very few news outlets can pay for in-depth reporting today. (The Tampa Tribune in FL is one of the rare ones left standing.) The internet has cheapened the worth of a fine reporter. Everyone with a smart phone and a FB feed now "reports".

Today, your "news" outlets of choice feed you what you expect. This incessant hectoring from one p.o.v. leaves the viewer none the wiser, and only clamoring for the One Solution, without considering the multifold contributors to the Bad News.

Friday, September 11, 2015 at 3:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I hear you, Lisa.

Alas, I don't think reporting can ever be disinterested.
Everyone has an axe to grind.

It is convenient, however if they keep their axes unobtrusive (probably more persuasive that way, anyway). Furthermore, I find it useful if the reporter will at least try and present some nuance. Whatever situation is being reported is often far more complicated than what the reporter chooses to illuminate.

I guess complexity and nuance don't sell nearly as well as emotion and stridency.

Friday, September 11, 2015 at 6:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Roger, Ael.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 3:13:00 PM GMT-5  

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