Three Stories to Ignore
Pieces like this one tend to start off with the phrase “by the time you read this,” and there’s a reason for that. See, there’s already a considerable chasm of time between when I write this column and when you guys read it/line your birdcages with it/use it as kindling to stoke the pitiful flame you conjured in the dark, ashy night of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, muttering curses against an ambivalent god (and me for calling gun owners weenies. Foreshadowing!).
But since we’re all about to celebrate some interpretation of the winter equinox — I’m celebrating with a Bell’s Expedition Stout and about a Huckabee belly’s-worth (double foreshadowing!) of snow — I’m actually writing this a full week before it hits stands. The staff is taking the rest of the week off to plan our annual Christmas party. I’m not saying you’ll definitely get to see me face off with three former Metro Spirit payroll clerks in a bare-knuckle Saigon Death Match, but I’m also not saying you won’t.
So by the time this thing actually goes to print, these stories may have become obsolete. Which is kind of the point of this article, yeah? God, I hate it when this thing turns meta. 1. Any Gun Lobbyist Talking About the Newtown Shooting…
…or, for that matter, anyone who blames something other than the stupefyingly anemic credentials it takes to buy a handgun, shotgun or a freaking AR-15 assault rifle (used in the Newtown shootings, as well as many others) in this country. Look: Unless you have a job that issues you a firearm (police officer, soldier, Florida pest control specialist, etc.) or you’re an avid, responsible hunter or professional marksman, or you collect them, unloaded, for historical and aesthetic purposes, you don’t need a gun. You don’t. Owning a gun for any other reason is just a convenient, non-verbal way to tell the rest of the world about your own sexual inadequacy (men) or that have particularly poor judgment skills (women).
In one of his more controversial statements during election season — more specifically, the glory days of the GOP primaries — President Obama said that a certain demographic of Americans have a tendency to “cling to guns and religion.” The man’s not talking out of his ass, either. When he was elected, gun sales spiked, and he was assaulted with completely unfounded charges of not being a Christian. As a side note, there’s nothing wrong with not being a Christian, but the man clearly is. When he was re-elected, well… rinse, repeat.
After every tragedy like this, the moronic thread of logic that we should just make guns more available starts making the rounds: “Well, if only the people in that Colorado theater had been armed…,” “If only the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary had been armed…” The president of the National Gun Owners’ Association, who has a face like a used condom and about half the cognitive capability, recently took to Piers Morgan’s show to toe that same line, and I’ll tell you something: When Piers Morgan holds an intellectual, moral and rhetorical superiority over you, its time to consider chemical castration.
Predictably, a bill written by Senator Jay Rockefeller has already reached the Senate floor to investigate violence in — wait for it — video games. Not guns. Video games. That industry generates about twice as much revenue as the gun industry, but here’s the difference: no one is ideologically, jingoistically self-chained to video games. We like ‘em, sure. But the gun control issue is a politically poisonous one because ownership resonates on a deeper, more primordial level. Plus, y’know, black president.
Like I said last week, I’m not all that surprised that gun purchases skyrocketed after the shooting. I’m not. Or that Mike Huckabee took to the air to blame the shootings on a lack of religion in the classroom, even though that’s kind of like blaming shark attacks on a lack of religion in “Finding Nemo.” It’s getting so expected, so old, that it’s just becoming the norm. And that complacency scares me more than anything. 2. The Psy Controversy
Let me preface this by saying that if we as a nation have become so enamored with the quantum hum of our own anxiety that we are even marginally threatened by a chubby Korean in a lounge singer tux doing a horsey dance, it might just be time to quit life and go live in a hole somewhere. Not since the infamous Obama Terrorist Fist Jab of Terrorism has there been so milquetoast a panic.
For those that don’t know, Korean “rap” “sensation” “Psy” has recently come under fire for some eight-year-old lyrics and, granted, understandably so: “Kill those f***ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives and those who ordered them to torture,” and “Kill [the Yankees'] daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully.”
So yeah, there’s that.
Never mind that they weren’t actually his lyrics (they’re from the song “Dear American” by South Korean rockers N.E.X.T.), or that in his reciting of them Psy was voicing the same rage and frustration that many nations, and many Americans, were voicing around the same time. Remember, 2004 was right around the time we were beginning to figure out we’d been bamboozled by the so-called “intelligence” that got us into the Iraq War. Never mind also that, two years before, an American military convoy struck and killed two 14-year-old South Korean girls on the Yangju highway, for which the soldiers got off scot-free.
Yeah, never mind any of that.
When I was in college, I drew a Hitler mustache on a poster of George W. Bush that was hanging on my conservative roommate’s door. I probably shouldn’t have done it, and I could be kind of a dick back then. Discontentment, though, does not necessarily sacrifice legitimacy when it is expressed inelegantly. Speaking of which… 3. Steven Crowder Eats a Union Left
Earlier this month, Steven Crowder (a Fox New contributor and kinda-sorta comedian) was covering a union protest in Michigan against the state’s right-to-work laws. After constantly badgering the protesters about why they were against the laws — apparently, “right-to-work laws may enable non-union workers to potentially benefit from union negotiated contracts without paying dues to unions to which they do not belong” only sinks in after the 17th try — Crowder was verbally and physically assaulted by union members, just before the Americans for Prosperity tent was torn down, legitimately putting several innocent people in harm’s way.
That said, I don’t feel that sorry for Crowder, because he’s an idiot. When you persist in patronizing and talking down to a large group of burly men who look like they’re made out of leather, mustaches and week-old ham, on a subject that dictates their very livelihood no less, you either have a death wish or a very bizarre, specific fetish. And he got several warning shots: one of the giant-est men present (Punch-Out fans, think King Hippo) repeatedly yells at Crowder to “Step the f*** back!” and to “Shut the f*** up!” The crowd gets unruly, gets threatening. And Crowder doesn’t shut his mouth, thereby endangering himself and everyone associated with AFP at the event.
The point here is to not demonize a movement because of a few hotheads — hotheads at the end of their rope, to boot. Unions are a necessity in this country, and the only reason a few isolated groups are getting a little unhinged is because the state government in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana decided to screw with them.
This — not tax hikes on the wealthy — is the face of true class warfare. You Might Also Like: