Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Voyeurism of America

In 1985, Joe Theismann suffered a career ending injury on Monday Night Football.  The injury was not replayed again and again and again.  It was shown once on live tv and they did not hover over it.  They obviously talked about it, of course, but that was it.

In 2013, Kevin Ware, a student athlete at the University of Louisville, suffered a very similar leg injury in their Elite Eight game against Duke University.  This was replayed constantly and it's only a couple hours old as of this writing.

In this country we (collective we) watch things that disgust us. We watch it with a kind of horrific wonder.  Whether it's reality shows (especially TLC's slate of them) or YouTube vids, we consume this stuff.  This stuff would not be consistently popular and shown if people did not watch them.  So the problem is not quite the media's fault but our own.

Yes the media could decide not to air something, and in all honesty I wish they would but they're in a race for the bottom in their zero-sum game of reducing the intelligence quotient in this country.  Everyone in the news media, or sports media, or sports entertainment media (No not the WWE. I mean ESPN) knows that if they do not show it, someone will.  And if no one did (which would be a miracle) it would still end up on the internet and some blog somewhere would get it.

Because we as a people consume this stuff as if it was made out of delicious high-fructose corn syrup.  We love to watch things that horrify us, that disgust us.  If it creates a visceral reaction in us we seek it out.

And if our current media is rushing to the bottom in trying to shovel this that we guiltily crave down our gullets?  What will be shown 10 years from now? 20?  Where are we going as a people?  Frankly it fucking disgusts me.

(Yes I realize part of this reads as "Things were better in my day"  I'm old, deal)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2nd Amendment Silences First. Gun ramblings.

So the great Val shared this on Twitter not too long ago: Men With Loaded Rifles Intimidate Moms Gathered At Gun Safety Rally.

This is an under-reported type of story.  Because it underscores a very real problem.  People do not engage in their Rights to Free Speech/Assembly when they're afraid.  (As an aside, this is one of the reasons I do not write.  But that's the inner fear of criticism/judgement/whatever.  It's also why these posts never get a link posted on Facebook).

Guns silence critics.  People show up loaded to counter protest an assembly?  They aren't really there to counter protest, they are there to intimidate.  To silence the other side.  They want people to see those guns and have those people imagine those guns pointed at them.  Most people who do this tactic are smart enough to know all it takes is the presence of guns, they don't need to threaten.  They don't need to look like they're doing anything illegal.  But they are threatening all the same.

Guns are not toys.  They are not fashion accessories.  Guns were built for one purpose and one purpose only, to fling small pieces of metal at high speeds into the bodies of living creatures.  They have no purpose to be worn to any type of protest.

In this supposed civilized age (Hey we're not using them to permanently silence protesters) the fact that people truly believe that they have this inherent right to hold these items made to kill out in public disgusts me.  And it frightens me, greatly.

The fact that people still truly believe the NRA fights for their rights, rather than the rights of Gun Manufacturers sadden me.  But then, the ability of people to delude themselves is great. (It's not just a Right thing.  How many left wing Dems keep getting re-elected despite their electorates hatred of the banks the Dems answer to?)  We have not truly evolved as a people, as we're still the same cave-men, afraid of the loud noises out at night and easily manipulated by our leaders to respond how they want us to to those loud noises)

This is yet another reason why our country is not great.  Why our country is not free.  For all it takes is a few people with guns to stand there silently, to silence a large group.