Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another day in the life

I noticed that there was another mass murder event out in conservative christian paradise. A recent high school dropout got kicked out of his house, lost his job at McDonald's and took the only all-American path to fame open to him. The old murder spree at the mall. How prescient was Dawn of the Dead? Pretty prescient, huh?

On an entirely different note, I'll share another Brooklyn story. Yesterday my eight year old son and I were mildly surprised when a shirtless youth ran by us, torso covered with blood and yelling a challenge at another kid to take that knife out and stab him again (motherfucker). That was different, said John Bob. Yep. I said. That was different.

Although we'd never seen anything exactly like that before, Brooklyn being Brooklyn, it didn't seem that out of the ordinary. Still, I was going to tell the next cop I saw, but strangely enough, I didn't see any cops. No matter. The street was very crowded. I'm sure there were at least three cops in that block. John Bob and I got on the train and didn't comment on it again, not even at the dinner table.

You know, others have noted that violent ghetto youth don't walk into shopping malls or schools and gun down as many people as they can. That kind of mass murder is a conservative christian thing. The ghetto kids just kill each other.

Why? Who knows? Not me, but I'll speculate anyway and suggest part of the phenomenon is related to role models. The ghetto kids look around the city and see people who lead lifestyles they want to emulate. Their role models may be rappers, actors, sports stars, comedians, music executives, firemen, cops, pimps or drug dealers, but they all make good money, have nice rides, get laid whenever they want to and party in style. I'm not saying these aspirations are necessarily good, but city kids see them as attainable. They have a realistic hope of achieving some sort of fame without gunning down mall folk.

The poor christians in the sticks, however, look out over the suburban lawns and see a bunch of constipated hypocrites telling them to do as they say, not as they do, while feeling terrible guilt about what they do, and doing it anyway, and with a distinct lack of style. The only people these kids want to emulate are on the tv. They'd rather die than turn out like their dad, the insurance salesman next door, or the preacher down the block. The people they see living stylish lives on tv are far away. The red state kids see no hope of getting there. Not in this life anyway. Not without murder. Mass murder.

If only both groups could realize that they can have it all. Sex, drugs, rock & roll, a modicum of fame and a happy, life free from violence. It's really not that difficult, is it? All you need is a little education and understanding. Unfortunately, Republican talking points, the wisdom of the ganstas, and Jesus talking through the mouths of hucksters, hypocrites, and madmen have the opposite effect.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More burning man video

Here's the continuation of Dan Webster/Gratis Productions Burning Man video. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Chuckling translation services

The New York Times reports that Iraq is the third most corrupt nation on the planet:

the extent of the theft is staggering. Some American officials estimate that as much as a third of what they spend on Iraqi contracts and grants ends up unaccounted for or stolen, with a portion going to Shiite or Sunni militias.

Please, allow me to translate.
American officials estimate that as much as a third of the billions of dollars of American taxpayer's money they flush down the toilet on Iraqi contracts and grants ends up unaccounted for or stolen, with a portion going to Shiite or Sunni militias.

It's unfortunate that we live in a one party state. If we had an opposition party they'd make a lot of noise about that type of grand larceny and things would change.

Atrios gets the first half of the equation when he questions why people like Hilary and Obama don't use their leadership positions in the senate to actually lead rather than just fly around the country and talk about what great leaders they will be someday?

What he misses is the obvious answer. They are not going to lead because they are not members of a real opposition party. If elected, they will change nothing, unless told to by the Republicans.

As everyone must

David Broder issues a fiat in today's Washington Post:

Both now acknowledge -- as everyone must -- that the failure of the federal government to secure the southern border has produced broad public outrage.

Must we? Must we believe, much less acknowledge, that it is the government's failure that has produced broad public outrage? For that matter, must we believe that the public's outrage is broad?

No, no, and no. We are free to form our own opinions and we can base them on facts if we are intellectually able. The outrage, such as it exists, is not created by the government's enforcement efforts, but by the government/Republican party whipping up hate because they think it benefits them politically. Is this outrage broad? No, it is as narrow as the minds that so easily fall for that kind of racist xenophobic hate crap.

The best evidence that the Republicans care about it only as a hate arousing tool is their efforts to derail any kind of sensible plan to deal with the issues. There are millions of illegal aliens in the country and more clamoring at the border. Employers need many of these people. Yet without background checks or any kind of formal immigration status, criminals can and do get in. It's obvious that some kind of guest worker program could alleviate the problems all around and allow law enforcement to focus more on violent crime and drug trafficking. But that's not going to happen because the Republicans benefit from violent crime and drug trafficking. It's long past time to stop rewarding Republicans for engendering violent crime and hatred, but unfortunately, the clock is ticking backwards these days. And with the permanent Republican lock on power, it's ticking straight for the middle ages.

I now acknowledge -- as everyone must -- that David Broder is a tool. And a useless one at that.