Normally when I’m in here I don’t really touch on political matters.
It’s not because I don’t want to rile people up or piss people off, it’s
just that, honestly, usually I don’t care. I don’t have the time or the
energy to try to check-and-balance everything that goes on in the world.
I have to trust that the people in charge know what they’re doing.
Lately, though, I’ve been getting a little worked up about things. I
guess it all started about a week ago when Marty started going off
about things in
his blog. I had stuff to say about those things, I just never got around
to it. Then I went and rented Bowling For
and I have stuff to say about that, too, but just didn’t get to it.
Well, I finished a lot of stuff today, so I’m going to take a break and
write this stuff up. I’m sure this will be a long one, so read on…
Let us first address Marty’s original
rant that started
all of this about bicyclists. Marty’s point that bicyclists are
generally a bunch of fucking morons that can’t figure out how to obey
traffic laws is absolutely correct. I can’t tell you how tired I am of
coming to a four-way stop, having my turn come around, start going, and
then have to slam on the brakes because some numb-nuts decides he
doesn’t have to stop for a stop sign.
I don’t give two shits if you think you’re “too small to have to obey
the law” or whatever. You’re on the road, you obey the traffic laws.
This means that you signal when you turn, you follow the lights and the
signs, and you ride on the correct side of the road. If you’re coming at
me head-on in my lane, you’re probably going to lose, and I’m not going
to feel bad for you.
I also have to fully agree with his shopping cart
rant in which the
general conclusion is that the assholes riding bikes who can’t figure
out how to obey traffic laws are the same people who can’t figure out
how to manipulate a shopping cart through a store in a courteous and
efficient fashion. If you’re too stupid to work a shopping cart without
parking it in the middle of the aisle and blocking traffic, you’re too
stupid to shop at my store. Get the fuck out.
Also on that note, if you bring your family shopping with you, we have
something called “single file” in my country. Try that out - you don’t
have to walk side-by-side down the aisle like you’re playing Red Rover
I do take a bit of an issue with the part in his
rambling where he
talks about the Portland funding of a baseball team. God only knows that
I think baseball is, like, the most boring game ever and that whoever
thought it up should be shot. However, I’d like to point out that the
taxpayers, to the best of my knowledge, are not funding the stadium;
the stadium is coming from taxing players’ salaries. At least, that’s
what I heard on the morning news.
Regardless, I’d rather that money went to other things. Baseball is
bullshit, and I don’t think we need more. I’ve been to a Portland
Rockies game, folks, and let me tell you - the stadium wasn’t remotely
close to filled. Somehow I think you’ve got like 500 people out there
who want this thing really bad and they’re forcing the rest of us into
it. As long as I don’t have to pay, I guess…
And now, on to Bowling For Columbine.
Basically, what the movie does is explore the reasons why people in the
US are so violent. How come other countries can have in the low hundreds
of shootings every year and the US has in the tens of thousands?
The thing I liked about it was that the filmmaker (Michael
Moore) explored the differences between
our country and other countries - we have the same movies here as in
other countries; we have the same video games; we have the same number
of guns as other countries; and in many cases, we have less blood on
our hands historically than other countries. So what is it?
The conclusion I drew from it was that the media - particularly the
news media - is to blame. If you watch the news in the US, you see
shootings and stabbings and kidnappings and all sorts of death and
destruction. You watch the news elsewhere, and they show you more
uplifting things more often; it’s not all just chaos and despair. Of
course, I’ve never personally watched the news from other countries, but
I’m going from what the movie showed, which could admittedly be biased.
But Moore didn’t seem to want to stick with that, and that’s what irked
me about the film.
Okay, the Columbine thing was terrible. A couple of kids get some guns,
go down to K-Mart, buy a bunch of bullets, and come in to school and
kill people. That’s really tragic, seriously.
But does that mean that you should go to K-Mart and tell them that
their sporting goods section should no longer carry bullets? I don’t
think so, but that’s what they did. What, precisely, does that
accomplish? If you’ve already made the conclusion that it’s not the
guns that are the problem, what difference does it make if a store
doesn’t sell bullets? They still sell the guns anyway, moron.
Or how about this: A lady has this job to pay the state back for the
welfare she took. To get to this job, she has to get on a bus and travel
for an hour each way to get there (that sounds familiar, except I have a
car). Okay, well, the job doesn’t make ends meet so she has to move in
with her brother. Fine. One day, the lady gets on the bus to go to work.
After she leaves, her six-year-old kid finds the uncle’s gun, takes it
to school, and shoots one of his classmates. One six-year-old killing
another six-year-old. Tragic? Yes. The fault of the welfare system? I
don’t think so.
Moore does seem to think so, though. He goes and finds out that this
lady worked for some American Bandstand restaurant in Ohio that Dick
Clark owns. He then proceeds to fly to California to confront Dick
Clark about this - that the lady wasn’t at home watching her kid because
she was working at his restaurant.
Dick Clark, of course, has nothing to say and drives away. I’d have
done the same. What did this guy expect? That Dick Clark, who probably
has his name attached to the restaurant and that’s about it, has some
sort of explanation or answer for this? No, no, no.
Then Moore decides that it’s time to confront Charlton Heston, actor
and president of the National Rifle Association. Let me remind you, lest
you’ve forgotten, that Moore has already come to the conclusion that
guns are not the problem.
Moore commences his interview and he asks Heston what the cause of all
the violence in the US is. Heston says he thinks it might be the
culture. Moore says that, no, we have the same amount of violence in our
culture as other, non-violent countries. So, Moore asks, what else could
it be? Heston says he thinks maybe it’s our history of bloodshed. Moore
says that, no, we have, in many cases, less blood on our hands than
other countries. So, Moore asks, what else could it be? Heston fumbles
around, looking for an answer for a guy who’s obviously not going to be
pleased with any anser, and then ends the interview.
I think Moore was trying to make Heston look bad, but I think he only
succeeded in making himself look bad. I mean, where was the constructive
discussion? What happened to the conclusion that the media was to blame?
All in all, it was an interesting movie, though. I learned alot about
stuff I didn’t know the US was involved
anything, rent the movie just to see the statistics and whatnot. But I’m
not sure where Moore was trying to take this one. Maybe he just wanted
people to think. If that’s the case, I guess it worked. I mean, I’m
writing this now, right?
This all has spawned some interesting discussions between me and some
of my coworkers about the state of governmental affairs and what needs
to be done. One of them brought to my attention that there’s sort of a
cycle that society goes through, like first there’s Slavery (of one form
or another), then Freedom (from the Slavery), then Apathy, then Plenty
(if you’re just sitting around accumulating material wealth…), then
Slavery again. Looking at the way things are going, I think we’ve just
exited the Plenty phase and now we’re headed into Slavery. Slavery to
our jobs, to the government… No good.
And there’s no way I can see to get out of it, short of a complete
overhaul of the way government works, from the ground up. Less
“tolerance” and “consensus” and more action. I mean, the way things
are now, it’s like 12 Angry
rather than just getting things done, we all sit around and discuss the
impacts of this and that, then discuss the impacts of our discussions…
No. Just fix things already. It’s not that simple? Yes, it is.
Get rid of these pork barrel projects that keep the politicians rich
and just soak up the government funds. Find people for office that are
experts in their field and want to actually get things done. Fire all
the existing politicians. Ensure that there’s not a fortune to be made
in government - if there’s a career to be made that can make a person
fat, the person will probably focus on the career and less on the work.
Make lobbying illegal - all lobbying. Money or not. Let the people
decide, not the various “causes” out there.
On a different note, we probably also need to overhaul the whole legal
system, too. Less tolerance. Less “human rights.” Seriously. We live in
a world where someone can break into my house, I can shoot them, and if
they live, they can sue me and win. There’s something very wrong about
that. If you break into my house, you just lost all of your human
privileges. If I decide to tie you up in my basement and get out a pair
of pliers and the blowtorch, there’s nothing you should be able to do,
man. You broke into my house. Period.
Obviously the pliers and blowtorch might be a little much, but you get
the idea. There’s something wrong when the legal system can consistently
work against common sense.
I wonder sometimes if it might be better to go all the way back to the
Code of Hammurabi
- eye for an eye (code #196) and all that. No lawyers, just one guy
against another, and a jury using common sense rather than looking for
legal loopholes. Would we convict a few more people wrongly? Maybe.
Reduction in crime? Almost definitely.
There you go, my controversial post for the week. Got something to say?
Either leave a comment, or, better still, go bitch in the