by Mykel Board
Mykel's Column for MRR # 358(February)
"Children suffer the world that adults create for them and try their best to adapt to it; in time, usually, they will replicate it.” --Michel Houellebecq
Bzzzzz: Drone 593 launched. Passing 120 miles from Pakistan border. Over.
Bzzzzz: Roger, following on radar. 593 approaching target. Satpix show small house. Over.
Bzzzz: Roger, reaching target in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Bingo! Over.
Bzzzz: Radar reports slight miss. Hit family wedding party, target 2 miles West Southwest. Over.
Bzzzz: Got it. Plus two West Southwest. Will launch Drone 594.
FLASH to Newtown Connecticut: Adam Lanza shoots his way into an elementary school. Twenty-six people die-- 20 of 'em kids. The president flies in... hugs family members... TV spends days covering teary relatives... casting blame. Pundits cry out from here to NRA.
USA Today writes (in a horrible run-on sentence): Several hours before Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults Friday in an attack on a school in Newtown, CT, a 36-year-old man a half-a-world away in China attacked 22 children at a primary school. None of the kids died. The reason? The man in China had only a knife
The NRA answers: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun
The NRA also blames the media, saying news organizations sensationalize mass murders. In an equally horrible run-on sentence they say,
"How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave?"
That rage-against-the-media-machine has strange net-fellows. Something ostensibly posted by Morgan Freeman makes the Facebook rounds:
It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse...Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another... Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet... Congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
Someone else posts that the message was fake. Or at least not from Morgan Freeman. It doesn't matter. It's what a lot of people think.
A Mexican pal of mine suggest that police profile white males since most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men... Follow them like the airports and CIA follow Muslims... like NYC cops target black or Latino guys for Stop and Frisk. My Mexipal suggests that WHITE MEN need some targeting, at least an extra look when they hang around school yards.
Then there's salon.com. They point out the important fact that the shooter was a vegan. This is a tantalizing but somewhat irrelevant point. There is no report of the assassin actually trying to EAT his prey.
The Huffington Post prints an article by the mother of a mentally ill child called, I Am Adam Lanza's Mother.
She's not really, as Adam offed his mother. But she has a son, Michael, who she says is like him:
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself, after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
In the rest of article, the woman explains how so many mentally ill people are left untreated. That can lead to behavior like that of the shooter, or any other kid who goes wild!
Only AFTER some kid hurts someone else can they do something... and that something is jail.
Says the writer:
It seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.
With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.
There's more: Some TV Talking Heads blame the shootings on slasher films and Quentin Tarantino. I'm surprised no one's blamed it on tobacco.
Joel Randell, who, as far as I know, is just some guy, tweeted, Going after the NRA and assault weapons only treats the symptoms. We need to treat the root: the American cultural psyche.
FLASH BACK TO AFGHANISTAN: Reuters reports two marines face criminal charges. They were photographed pissing on the bodies of dead Afghanis. Is that against the law? Nope. Piss where you please. So what are the criminal charges? "Posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties." Get it? It's not the pissing that's the problem. It's that someone took a picture of it. Piss on whoever you want, just make sure you shoot the photographer.
In Vietnam, vets cut the ears off enemy corpses as souvenirs. Seems logical to me... at least American. No, they didn't eat them. Maybe they were vegans.
In Iraq it was the tortures in Abu Ghraib... and smiling soldiers in front of corpses.
Americans have killed more innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq than in a thousand Newtown Connecticuts. And it hasn't stopped.
It's not (only) the mass media that glorifies killers, it's America itself. What is Veterans Day, if not a day in celebration of killers? We can feel sorry for vets. Many have been railroaded into the service to avoid jail or deportation. But they are NOT heroes.
America has been killing people since it's birth. For the last 100 years it's been MASS murder. In this century (and most of the last), not one of those murders has been justified. The US hasn't been on the right side of any war since 1949.
Americans are the most blood-thirsty people in the world. A bunch of white guys sentence Charles Taylor to 50 years in jail for cutting off people's hands in Liberia. Who's gonna sentence our boys in uniform? And the professional murderers in American prisons whose job it is to kill people (often wrongly) to prove that killing is wrong? We're so PUNISHMENT oriented we have more people in prison... a higher percentage of the population... than any country on earth, including Russia or China.
America's bloodlust isn't in slasher movies. It's in war movies. It isn't in glorifying crazy child-murderers. It's in glorifying cold, calculated, paid-by-the-government child-murders.
It's not the guns, mental illness, or Fox news. It's AMERICA. It's the culture that tells every one "if you don't like it, KILL IT!" We worship killers. Have national holidays for them. We travel halfway around the world to kill people who've done nothing to us. That is America, the worst world plague in almost a century.
Listen America, you pathetic excuse for a civilized country, you want a REASON for so many mass murderers? Don't look to pundits, the NRA, Quentin Tarantino, or the media. Look in the fuckin' mirror! You'll find the reason.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or blog viewers (mykelsblog.blogspot.com/) will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column. Your zines, Cds/records, and... er... private videos... can and should be sent to me at: Mykel Board, POB 137, Prince Street Station, New York NY 10012]
-->This is from a punkrock pal o' mine who's stuck living in his car. I even gave him $5!
Here's old Bob, he wasted his life with punkrock, he's really hardcore. He carried the torch, he suffered and martyred so that you might rock, he was a true-believer to the point of idiocy and now he's homeless and broke and can't get a decent job, but he hates all the right political things and cares about puppies and babies.....please help him out..
Sad and pathetic, but thats pretty much the truth......I just keep pricking my finger when I try to pin the punkrock hero badge on myself. Can you help? Cheers!
-->Life imitates entertainment imitating life dept: The Utne Reader reports on a 300-acre "hunting ranch" outside San Antonio Texas. The site streams live video from a platform with a computer, a video camera, and a 22-caliber Remington rifle. When an animal wanders into view, users take aim with their mouse and a remote control device does the rest. For a few hundred dollars more, the cyber-but-real corpse can be sent to a local taxidermist for stuffing and delivery.
-->Vegans strike again dept: I found an old issue of Censorship News that had an interesting report on a San Francisco Institute of Art exhibition. Actually, it was only a planned exhibition, canceled because of a video called DON'T TRUST ME. The video showed animals "being killed by a single blow to the head." The C.N. analysis is perfect:
The images in Don't Trust Me are deeply disturbing, though probably less so than videos of animal abuse distributed for advocacy purposes by some of the animal rights organizations that protested the exhibition... Had the director stated that this work condemned practices of slaughtering animals... it seems unlikely that SFIA would have been subjected to the threats that caused it to cancel the exhibit.
Sounds like "hate crime" laws. Don't punish the crime, punish the thought. Of course the victim, in either case, is dead.
-->Behind every pillar of evil is an American Christian dept: Conservative lawmakers in the Ugandan Parliament are pushing a bill that would make being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender a crime punishable by death.
After he initially endorsed the bill, Ugandan President Museveni responded to international outrage and promised to veto it. But there's intense pressure at home for him to follow his original endorsement.
The newest version of the bill would pit Ugandans against each other. Teachers, parents, and landlords — among others — could be criminally charged if they fail to denounce their students, children, and renters they know to be gay.
Homophobic fervor has been brewing for years in Uganda, but was most recently stepped-up by American, right-wing evangelicals. They traveled to the country to spread disinformation about homosexuality and encourage anti-gay legislation. They've been cheering this bill on and pushing for its passage. (Late news: The bill has been tabled by the Ugandan legislature.)
-->Pray to Pay dept: Also on the religious front Church and State Magazine reports that Washington DC had plans to provide $12 dollars to the CENTRAL UNION RESCUE MISSION. The mission "provides food and shelter to the homeless, but only if those served attend Christian religious services-- once for each benefit. Clearly a $12 million violation of the separation of church and state... as well as the general freedom to worship (or not) as you see fit.” As of this writing, the grant is still up in the air.
-->Pay to help dept: The magazine REASON reports that a 10 year old girl wanted to raise money for the Japanese tsunami victims. She decided to sell cookies and lemonade in front of her home in Miami Beach. The city government, however, refused to grant her an "occupational license" so she was unable to open her stand.
-->You can kill 'em but you can't fuck 'em dept: Germany has just banned sex with animals. The acts had been legal since 1969. The badguys, as are often the case, are "animal rightists" who say that animal sex "forces animals to behave in ways that are inappropriate to their species."
Michael Kiok, the leader of a Zoophile group, has spearheaded opposition to the ban. "There are already laws against hurting an animal," he says. "Of course animals can show if they want to have sex. They can show if they are hungry or want to exercise."
Christian-- and vegan-- morality strikes again.