Wednesday, January 9, 2013

But I Didn't Hear Nobody Pray

Hop-skipping around my favorite blogs this morning the AIG suit story is "trending," and also the ongoing effort to kick-start some kind of domestic weapons control, and the fact that last year was hotter than all but one in our record-keeping era. Makes me want to keep this little page a saga of the Houdahenian race. Even stuck in Stalag 109 as they are (for their own good of course), things are pretty swell. This morning they heard a squirrel either on the roof of the kitchen, or possibly even in the ceiling of the kitchen (it's happened and has been a big problem). The three went to investigate and managed to bring down to the brick floor a glass vase, which they then walked around in the shards of, apparently to no pied damage. Houdahenianland is a small province in the east (est) of France, very near La Chaux-de-Fonds, just before you get to Switzerland. They make good cheeze, and some really excellent white wine. There is always a cool breeze blowing down the Alps, and no signs of hurricanes. The nuclear power plant is nestled in a valley to the southwest, and not visible from our porch. This does not explain why Mokey loves only fish (le poisson).

The worst thing I saw briefly on the teevee last night was some ex-Marine, a veteran of the Iraq war I think it was, who said he'd resist any sort of gun control because he wanted to be able to pass down his arsenal to his children and grandchildren, and under any registration system, he said, that would not be possible. This is a very bad sign for any sort of successful steps towards sanity. The Marine was not, as far as I could tell, working for the NRA or Colt Arms. He was just a regular guy.

Another worst thing. Mr Hagel, who in some ways is surely a good idea as Secretary of Defense--the fact that he actually faced combat suggesting that he might empathize with the kids he tosses into the meat grinder--turns out to have views on the physiology of rape and conception similar to that of Todd Akin and Paul Ryan, as well as dubious views concerning gay people. It is flabbergasting to me that these views would be ignored by Mr. Obama. On the women's issue front, one might well say that Mr. Obama owes his re-election to the idiocy of Republican positions on women's rights.

There was also a shining moment. Mr. O'Donnell interviewed a woman from Tucson who actually grabbed the magazine away from the guy who was killing people at the Tucson mall last year, before he could reload. She's become a gun control advocate, oddly enough, and is articulate, very sensible, and obviously grounded in, um, what's the word... Oh yes, reality. She told O'Donnell she's had many conversations with people who are against any sort of gun control, even including limitations on magazine size. Their main argument is, "I have a right to any size magazine I want, and I want a big one."

There is really a breathtaking obliviousness about too many Americans. It's probably always been a problem for us, and probably for humans. In my lifetime this tendency has been fostered and nourished by crackpot moral "philosophers" such as Ayn Rand and her followers, many of whom now occupy daily slots on the radio, and a whole television network which sisters with the network that airs most of the major sporting events and sports genres in the United States. The result is what we now see. Lord Haw Haw has immigrated to Missouri, and walks among us.

But this depressing trend is probably not grounded entirely in the machinations of the Randians. A couple of weeks ago two local kids were killed while racing on a rural road here in central NC. It's not a very uncommon thing, and kids were doing this--and getting killed--back when I was a teenager in the '50s. In this case the driver of the pickup that wrecked was only 16. One of his passengers, a girl of 17, was also killed. They had a big service for the boy at his church, in Durham. Everyone wore camo because he was known to be a hunter. The minister said it was a mystery why these things happen, he was such a good boy, etc.

I do understand, of course, that the minister was aiming to console the boy's parents. There is little more devastating that losing a child. I have to wonder, however, just what the passenger's parents made of these comments--which were public enough to have been printed in the news story about the service. It was in no way a mystery why these deaths occurred. The driver was RACING. The boy was responsible.

The nasty thing about the Randian moral view, even when it's held by people who never heard of Ayn Rand, is that it offers a justification for having no moral view at all. Any concern for others is dismissed as a confusion, a systematic mistake of thought, or even worse, a conscious manipulation of the naive by those who have something to gain. For Rand herself of course, this analysis was among other things a grounding for her efforts to destroy Christianity as a social institution. The Christian Randians among us ignore this salient fact.

The kid ran off the road, over-corrected, crossed the road and hit a tree. That sentence is probably hot-keyed in the Highway Patrol's computers. The woman in Tucson grabbed the magazine before it could be inserted into the weapon. CO2 is a green house gas. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around. If you're standing around at a blood-soaked wreckage, you might want to pray. If you're sitting in the speeding vehicle you might want to say "slow the hell down, NOW, and let me outa here." Of course the drivers of the planet's economic system might have the problem that their accelerator is already stuck to the floor boards. If so, prayer would both be in order, and a public hypocrisy akin to Mr. LaPierre's new proffered "solution." I saw last night that Mr. LaPierre will be talking with Mr. Biden about the gun problem today. Where's that head-slap key anyways?

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