From Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball:
THE GUN IS OUR MOLOCH
Garry Wills, writing for The New York Review five years ago, after the Sandy Hook grade school massacre:
The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?
Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.
Our gun laws are insane. We, collectively, have agreed that regular mass shootings, often at schools — schools! — are a reasonable price to pay as a nation for unfettered access to military-grade killing machines for anyone and everyone who wants one.
It’s sick. Everyone outside the U.S. knows this. A majority of Americans knows this and supports stricter gun control.
There are new gun laws being drafted. But you know what most of them are for? For making guns even easier to purchase legally, without background checks.
This idea of gun=god was actually explored in an episode of American Gods last year.
If the death of twenty 6- and 7-year olds (plus six adult staff members entrusted with keeping those children safe) at Sandy Hook in 2012 did not bring about gun control legislation in this country, yesterday’s shooting in Florida—or the other 18 school shootings that have happened in 2018 already—won’t do a thing either. THIS is what our country has become. Your elected officials—whose lips are surgically attached to the anus of the NRA and Wayne GODDAMNFUCKING LaPierre—are just fine with the continued slaughter of American children in school as long as their pockets are lined with that almighty blood money.
THIS is who we are, America—and will remain so until every last one of those MOTHERFUCKERS are removed from office and the NRA is driven back under the rock it crawled out of.
Parkland, Florida, teacher on CNN who had to hide 19 crying kids in a closet in her classroom: “We did everything we were trained to do in active shooter drills, and still we had mass casualties. I blame our government for not keeping us safe.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 15, 2018
— Luisa Haynes (@wokeluisa) February 15, 2018
“Dear Donald Trump: you’re a disgrace to the United States for too many reasons to list. You’re a racist, a sexual predator, a lifelong financial criminal, and you committed treason by knowingly allowing Russia to rig the election in your favor. Every day you find a new way to embarrass decent Americans everywhere, while aligning yourself with the slimiest of gutter trash this country shamefully has to offer. This was no different.
You oppose all forms of gun control, Trump, because your slimy political base consists of the kinds of bloodthirsty lunatics who worship guns and violence. You’ve done your best to cut off access to mental health treatment, as you’ve siphoned off the funds in favor of your corrupt wealthy donors. So when a kid took an AR-15 into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School today and left at least seventeen people dead, this was entirely on your shoulders.
Would gun control and mental health treatment have stopped this shooting? Maybe. When you’re the (supposed, for now) President of the United States, and you’re the person who’s almost single handedly preventing those things from happening, you’re to blame for school shootings. Period. You should have been too ashamed to even show his face today. Instead you dared to posted this tone-deaf tweet, which based on the verbiage, you probably didn’t even write yourself: “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”
Hey Donald Trump, take your thoughts and prayers and condolences and shove them up your traitorous ass. You got those kids killed today with your evil policies. You know it too, because unlike your drooling gun-addicted base, you’re just a political opportunist who’s burning this country down in order to keep your shithole supporters happy. You’re literally a traitor who sold this country out to Russia. You’re also a murderer of children.” ~ Bill Palmer
“And remember dear, none of that butt stuff!”
“What’cha reading about, Jenny?
I rise today to say treason is not a laughing matter. It is a serious crime embedded in the Constitution, punishable by death. But since your Commander-in -Chief chose to raise it at a political rally, let’s have a discussion about treason… Is it treason for a presidential campaign to meet with a hostile foreign power to sell out our democracy and rig the election? Is it treason for a presidential campaign to meet with Russian spies who promise information that was negative about a political opponent and then fail to report that meeting to law enforcement officials? Is it treason for your former National Security Advisor to be a Russian asset sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin? How dare you lecture us about treason. This is not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy, and we do not have to stand for a reality show host masquerading as president of the United States.” ~ Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Congressman from New York
As most of my readers already know, I lived in San Francisco for approximately sixteen years, encompassing my late 20s through early 40s.
The other morning, while laying awake at 4 am, memories of San Francisco started bubbling up. I don’t know if it was my age/hormone level at the time I lived there, or whether it is something about The City itself, but going over my memories of San Francisco I came to the disturbing realization that the vast majority of those memories—okay, pretty much all my memories of life in San Francisco—revolve around getting laid or trying to get laid…under the guise of looking for true love, of course.
Of course I worked. I made friends. I went to movies and plays. I took photos, made art, read books, acquired new skills, spent way too much money on way too much stuff, and explored the natural beauty of the Bay Area. But it seems all that was nothing more than background noise amid the unrelenting need to connect.
I would like to think that I fell into that lifestyle over the course of several years, but if I’m being totally honest, I have to admit it started almost the minute boots were on the ground.
While I did date and had several serial boyfriends, the smorgasbord of carnal delights and availability of potential sexual partners literally anywhere in the City is no doubt why so many refer to those 49 square miles as “Disneyland for Adults” and none of those relationships actually lasted. “Cruisin’ the Streets” is more than just an old Boys Town Gang song. You could connect with someone on the subway, waiting for the bus, on your lunch hour downtown, walking home after work—and either go right to your/their place, make plans to meet up later, or duck into an empty stairwell for a quickie; literally anywhere. Buena Vista Park, North Baker Beach, “the whispering bushes” and the southern convenience station at the polo field at the western end of Golden Gate Park, the Hyatt Embarcadero, the 1808 Club, the Shaklee building, the Russ Building, The Playground, the Sir Francis Drake, Mike’s Night Gallery, the Sheraton Palace…
You get the idea. There was a lot of action going on in The City. All. The. Time.
Inspired to start keeping a record of my life in San Francisco after seeing Prick Up Your Ears about a year after my arrival there, my journals read like an embarrassing, depressing erotic novel, full of saucy but ultimately empty encounters, littered with the names of men of whom I now have no conscious memory.
I can’t help but think that in the wake of 9/11 and the added security everywhere that followed, most of those locales have long since been locked down, but I know how industrious and creative horny men can be, and despite the authorities’ best efforts, trysts will still happen somewhere.
Before I moved to San Francisco, when my friend Kent (who had arrived about six years earlier) once related how he stopped to have sex with some guy he met while on the way to a date with another, I was appalled. I could not understand how such a thing could happen, much less that anyone would actually partake. Note I said before I moved there…
While that particular scenario never happened to me, it was apparently not that uncommon, and I had plenty of other equally lascivious encounters during that decade and a half to make up for it. To this day I’m still amazed that I made it out alive, somehow remained STD/AIDS free, and didn’t end up with a police record.
“Jules, I have to say that you could almost pass for a man in that drag.”
Especially in the wake of the Orange Shitgibbon’s desire to have a little parade of his own down the streets of DC.
…is how and why so many people of my generation—who were children in the free-love 60s, teenagers in the anti-war 70s, and came of age in the “Do What You Wanna Do” 80s—have turned into such ridiculous, conservative right-wing christian douchebags in adulthood.
That’s the reason I haven’t been to a single High School Reunion. With only two exceptions, (one a liberal gay I met in first grade and the other a slightly conservative-to-middle-of-the-road straight Jew who was one of my best friends in high school) I haven’t kept in touch with anyone I went to school with. What little I have gleaned from cursory social media searches over the years has told me all I need to know and confirmed that I want nothing to do with any of those people.
I’m getting a colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy today. This was prompted in part by anemia and some slightly-off norm blood tests last fall that had my doctor (who errs on the side of caution, bless her) sufficiently concerned to send me to a hematologist. The hematologist, in turn, referred me to a gastroenterologist, as even though I’ve had no indication of a GI bleed, this is the first thing they check when this sort of thing occurs.
It’s been ten years since the last one, so I was due for a colonoscopy this year anyway. The endoscopy was something my GI at the time of the first colonoscopy wanted to do in response to my decade-long history of recurring GERD. I never followed through with it because the GERD was controlled by Prilosec and quite frankly, I hated her guts. She had the bedside manner of a pit viper.
I’m not worried about results from the colonoscopy; the endoscopy has me more concerned. I’m fulling expecting a hiatal hernia diagnosis at the least.
Excuse me now while I run to the toilet—again—in response to the final prep solution I had to drink this morning.
UPDATE: I worried unnecessarily, both about the procedure itself and the outcome. I was literally asleep two seconds after they inserted the bite guard and don’t remember a thing (other than it was the most restful sleep I’ve had in ages) until I woke up in the recovery room. Esophagus and Colon were unremarkable. The doc removed 7 benign polyps from my stomach lining, all of which were bleeding to some degree. Source of the blood loss located and taken care of! As I told Ben afterward, “You’re stuck with me. No cashing out my life insurance just yet!”
Can. Not. Wait!
Plays an adorable pocket cub on the rebooted Will & Grace.
After a delay of over a year from its original scheduled release, the third and final installment of the Maze Runner trilogy finally hit the theaters last week. I saw it today and all I can say is…well…that was $7.50 and a little more than two hours of my life I’ll never get back.
Okay, I will admit it’s been a few years since I read the book, and I’m a little hazy on the small details. But c’mon. This was one of those films “based on” a book that the script writer obviously never actually read; the “based on” part being the title of the book, a few of the characters, and precious little else. I suppose I should have expected it; the previous film was just as off-script as this one,
It’s kind of sad because the first film was faithful to the source material and it was a genuinely interesting story. I guess subsequent marketing surveys convinced the filmmakers that there just wasn’t enough blowing shit up in the two subsequent books to attract their desired demographic. and changes needed to be made.
And oh…was there ever a lot of blowing shit up in this last film.
As I read in a review,”By the time the villainous scientist played by Aidan Gillen sighs in the middle of a fight scene, ‘Okay, that’s enough,’ you’ll have long since come to share his weariness.”
That about sums it up.