Stupid Is No Longer Acceptable…

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. Heinrich Heine

Time for some preachin.  As you probably know I have my panties all in a bunch over the TSA.  And Lord knows I hate bunchy panties.  Some of you have suggested that I get over it and others think I’m seeing conspiracies in a situation mostly defined by incompetence.  A few of you are even trying to blame the opposite political party.  After giving it some serious thought I’ve decided that I’m right and all you’all are wrong.  So there.  Now listen up.  The next bit of freedom they steal might be yours.
This is no longer a left/right, gop/dem issue.  This is a squirrel issue.  Busybody fucking squirrels running around and telling everyone else what to do.  The Obama administration announced yesterday that the much maligned and thoroughly bullshit color coded alert system was being phased out.  Good news, right?  Wrong.  It’s being replaced by a new system that has only two levels, ‘Elevated’ and ‘Imminent’.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Is this some kind of sick joke?  If the lowest level is ‘Elevated’ than exactly what the fuck is it elevated above?  Does this mean that there is no imaginable time in the future when we won’t be under attack?
Think about it.  The paranoid, fear-filled cretins have created a code that not only defines ‘Elevated” fear as the new normal, they’ve denied the possibility that it can ever get better.  They’ve gotten so bold that they don’t even bother to pretend any more.  They can shout their evil propaganda from the mountain tops.  “Be scared and it will never get better.”  Never mind that terrorism isn’t that big a damn problem.  Never mind that millions more people die because of ignorance or crappy health care.  What a fucking scam.  Give me all your freedom because evil people want to kill you and this information is based on nothing but my own paranoia.  Every time we let them get away with it they get bolder and stronger.
Exactly when are the people in this country going to remember that they’re Americans with certain inalienable rights, and that the government can’t just take them away whenever things get a little spooky?  Every single time you allow yourself to be dehumanized, humiliated, groped, or searched, you lose a little bit of your freedom.  And each time it happens you’re a little bit easier to marginalize the next time.  Before you know it you’re a sheep, quietly going where someone tells you and doing whatever you’re told.  They tell you that drug addicts are taking over the world so you give up a few search and seizure civil liberties and take blood tests to get a job in order to help win the ‘war on drugs’.  They tell you it’s ‘all about the children’ so you let them censor what you read and see.  They tell you that some dude in a cave wants to blow up airplanes so you let them fondle your genitals before you fly.  Is there anything you won’t let them do?  Cause they have more plans…
Like I said, the squirrels have gotten bolder since the whole TSA debacle.  When questioned about why the TSA was failing by missing things like guns and knives the government replied that they were pleased with the searches because of the number of drug and contraband arrests.  Jeez, why not come right out and say that this shit isn’t about security.  In their own documents they freely admit that airports are the pilot program for concerts, sports events, and any other large public gathering.  I guess the right to gather peaceably is next civil right death on the horizon.
It might not seem like it but I’m actually not that into conspiracies.  I don’t think there’s a group of rich white guys in a room manipulating things according to their master plan.  But the fact is we do have a fairly permanent ruling class in this country and they behave like every other powerful group; they try to consolidate and expand their control in order to stay in command.  To do that they take rights away from the people they rule.  Not in any planned way, just by constantly pushing the edges until they find resistance.  It’s a story as old as time and it’s ridiculous to think that the good old US of A is immune.  Our founding fathers knew it, we just seem to have forgotten.  Or maybe we’re dumber.  Now there’s a thought worth expanding upon.
Perhaps part of the problem is that stupid seems to be cool.  Michelle Bachmann can give a speech saying that our founding fathers outlawed slavery.  Wrong.  Sarah Palin can go on tv and claim that the Soviet Union fell because of their space program.  Silly and wrong.  The SF board of supervisors can make statements like “the government doesn’t have the right to tell people what to eat” as they outlaw happy meals.  Self contradictory.  There’s a group in Ohio building a theme park to expound on their belief that the earth is 6000 years old and humans rode dinosaurs.  Oh come on now.  Not a single one of these idiots is laughed off the public stage.  Stupid stupid stupid.
Recently one of my heroes, Henry Rollins, wrote a piece in which he pointed out that the best way to end shootings like Tucson was to have smarter people in the country.  Not only is that EXACTLY FUCKING RIGHT but it might go a long way toward solving the encroachment of government on our freedoms.  Besides standing up to tyranny let’s also shout down stupidity.  No, you can’t search me or fondle my balls.  You also can’t get away with being stupid in public without being horribly shamed.  It could work, but it probably won’t happen.  We don’t really educate people any more.
It sure would be easy to get depressed and think the situation is hopeless.  We’ll keep getting dumber and dumber as we have fewer and fewer rights.  But I do still have one glimmer of hope; good old fashioned American orneriness combined with government hubris.  As the squirrels keep winning they’ll keep pushing and eventually they will push too far.  And when that happens I think heads will roll.
Don’t believe me?  Just imagine the following scene:  Billy Joe-Bob and his brother Leroy have packed their families in the camper and driven all day to get to Talladega for the Nascar race.  Some TSA clone in a uniform stops them and tells them that their teenage daughters will have to fondled in front of them in order to gain entrance.  He says it’s for their own safety.  Now these good old boys consider themselves true patriotic Americans but they don’t fly much so this is new to them.  They want security but having a 14 year old’s breasts groped in order to watch Dale Jr. drive in circles just doesn’t make much sense.  So they get a little pissed and maybe start asking some hard questions.  And they don’t ask them gently.  Cause they have guns, and even more importantly, they still have votes.  That, folks, is how revolutions start.  Until that happens let’s keep fighting and fussing and shaming the stupid.  It couldn’t hurt.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.

God damn us every one…

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.  The Dalai Lama

Sometimes I just want to weep for humanity.  Are we ever going to learn to feel compassion?  Is there any fucking arc in our learning curve?  So much potential for beauty and kindness and joy but it’s lost in stupid tribal caveman shit.  Perhaps we should have a long moment of silence for ourselves…
On Saturday an angry, pain filled, and mentally unbalanced young man lashed out and shot a congresswoman, a judge, a 9 year old, and a bunch of other folks who just happened to be there.  The ONLY human response should be deep sadness and profound, bone shaking grief.  But no, not here and not now.  Instead we get a thousand voices looking to accuse somebody, blame something, or advance their own belief system.  The pools of innocent red blood didn’t even begin congealing in the parking lot before we were at each other again, doubling down on divisiveness.  Exactly how will that help?
The left couldn’t wait to start blaming the right.  Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle used murderous rhetoric and imagery so it’s their fault.  Bullshit.  Freedom of speech means just that.  No one is responsible for another’s actions.  End of discussion.  Unless, of course, you’re willing to stop printing books, making movies or publishing music that some nut somewhere might take the wrong way.  After all, isn’t it Jodie Foster’s fault that John Lennon was killed?  Same logic.  If it turns out that the shooter was influenced by a specific bit of hyperbole it would be appropriate for that person to feel like shit, but that still doesn’t make them responsible.  I’d also like to address the Left’s assertion that “only the right uses that kind of violent imagery”.  Excuse me?  The Weather Underground?  Black Panthers?  SDS?    You have your own rich history of violent extremists.  Hypocrisy anyone?
While the left was blaming the right for bad language the right was sinking to it’s normal level of sleaze.  Messages left on Ms Palin’s FB page included a few congratulating the shooter for killing a nine year old girl cause ‘she was probably going to be liberal anyway’.  A few right wing bloggers suggested Keith Olbermann or other liberals be the next victims.  The hateful Westboro cretins threatened to picket the funerals of the deceased ‘in God’s name’.  Fox news crawled all over themselves blaming the left for being the divisive side.   It all makes me physically sick.
Close on the heals of the ‘blame the other side’ crowd came the gun demonizers.   Really?  That’s the lesson here?  I own guns and so do many of my friends.  So what?  He could’ve killed just as many people with a station wagon, gasoline and a match.  Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer and the 9/11 dudes used airplanes so we should ban shitting and flying too?  The hard cold fact is that if you’re bent on destruction you can get it done.  Guns just allow you to be a little less creative and banning them will save no one.  As my friend Tim says “Guns don’t kill people, bad parenting kills people”.
Next let me address the “he’s a monster’ crowd.  No, he isn’t a monster and turning him into some kind of demon doesn’t help.  What he did was horrific and deserves to condemned.  But he’s just a boy.  A sad, angry, sick, lonely boy.  His life and pain are tragic too.  The right friend, the right mentor, or maybe the right medication would have saved his life as well as those of his victims.  I’m no bleeding heart liberal, I just know babies are not born evil and no young child is beyond saving if the right people step in at the right time.  This in no way absolves him of guilt or responsibility for his actions but his pain and isolation are hardly unique.  We need to cry for him too.
I understand that everyone wants to explain what happened.  We want reasons and causes.  We want to think we’re DOING something about it and making sure it WON”T HAPPEN AGAIN.  But we don’t want to address the real issues when it’s easier to just blame someone else.  Do you really want to stop these kind of shootings?  Go find some lonely, angry misfit kid and be his friend.  Volunteer at a junior high school and mentor the weirdest kid you see.  Find the geek or gay kid or fatherless nerd in your neighborhood and be his hero.  Offer understanding to people that scare you.  Pay a slightly higher tax in order to fund mental health care.  Practice kindness and compassion to EVERYONE.  Otherwise shut the fuck up.
So this is what we’ve become?  Left vs right.  Us vs them.  Gun owners vs gun haters.  Good people vs monsters. Christians vs heathens.  Real Americans vs Others.  Every shitty thing that happens is another excuse to hate or fear?  Are we now only defined by those we disagree with?  Are we so divisive that we can’t mourn the dead for 30 FUCKING SECONDS without attacking the other side?  Well fuck us.  You can stop worrying about hell.  We live there.