Thursday, November 14, 2019

You know, after last night’s slog, I had sort of planned to take it easy today. Maybe talk about video games I’m not playing and why. Unfortunately, the morning started off stupid and just got more depressingly dumb as the day went on. In writing this a bit early, I’m sort of worried what would come next.

The first thing we need to touch on is a heartbreaker. That is, another shooting in a high school. In Santa Clarita, CA, a young man took out an automatic pistol and shot five of his fellow students before shooting himself in the head. As of right now, two of the young people have died while the shooter is in custody in grave condition. Finally, the shooter’s girlfriend and mother are in police care.

And that’s where we are today, November 14, in the 2019th foul year of our lord. Mass shootings, particularly at schools, have become so common place that one that “only” causes the death of two (at the time of writing) kids is almost not that worrisome. On Twitter, we’ve already seen some wingnuts claiming the school was a unprotected – because “liberal California” are they’re ghoulish morons – but that’s hogwash. There was a resource officer, fencing around the school, lock downs during instructional times, check-in signing, the whole shebang. And a shooting still happened because god knows why, some kids are dead, and way, way more are emotionally scarred for life.

I’m not going to pretend I have any answers. Personally? I don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s ding-a-ling if all the shooty-bangs are melted down into playground equipment. You can stomp your feet all you want about the holiness of Second Amendment, but I honestly really do not care. But I am a pragmatic fellow and we have to deal with the reality we’ve got. And the reality is, as a culture, we’re down to the ground with using guns for just whatever damn reason and we’re not going to budge from that anytime soon.

We’re about a month away from the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, where 20 toddlers were killed by a pissed-off kid with a gun. What’s more, everything was all nice and legal until that kid started shooting little children. We didn’t move. On October 1 two years ago, some twit shot up a bunch of country music fans at a festival. Again, everything was nice and legal until the guy stopped popping caps in two-steppers. We didn’t move. By February, some asshole teenager shot up at a high school in Parkland, FL, killing 17 of his classmates, and once again, everything was legal until the kid started shooting people and, again, we didn’t move.

Today, the Wal-Mart in El Paso where some Trump fan shot and killed 22 people back in August re-opened for business. Again, the killer was all nice and legal and, you guessed it, we didn’t move. And while that was going on, a high school with a resource officer and fencing and all sorts of thing that were supposed to prevent shootings absolutely failed to do so.

And we won’t move.after this, either. Granted, I’m cynical, but when the first responses I see concerning this are yay-hoos moaning that those rotten Democrats will use this to take away their shooty-bangs as the NRA braged about how AR-15 sales jumped by 10% last month. We’ve accepted this as the new normal.  The politicians are too gutless to do anything and way, way too many of Our Fellow Americans are more than willing to shoot us dead in the street on the merest hint that maybe, just maybe we shouldn’t allow people to have things like automatic pistols or AR-15s when there’s really no real reason to have them.

But, again, here we are on the 14th day of November in this, the 2019th foul year of our lord, and mass shootings will keep happening because we really, actually don’t care. Kids shot dead at school don’t budge us. The chance of getting shot at a movie theater isn’t enough. Buying your weekly groceries at Wal-Mart might get you blown away by some douchebag who thinks he’s saving White Womanhood or whatever the hell motivates those clowns is just another Saturday afternoon. Nothing will change anytime soon, another mass shooting will happen sooner or later, we’ll make noise and give prayers, and nothing will change. Still. We don’t want it to change, so it won’t.

Anyhow. More news as more information is released. Let’s try to end this on an entertaining note. For one, NBC News and, in particular, reporter Jonathan Allen  popped a stunningly out-of-touch take on yesterday’s Impeachment hearings, bemoaning the lack of “pizzazz” and “drama”, and they’ve caught all sorts of hell from Twitter all day. This shows not only little the big-time political press is worthy of the jobs they hold, because this is an impeachment not Wrestlmania, but also how easily they given into GOP-pushed takes. For his part, Allen has been being a smug prick since the story ran, answering even the merest hint of criticism with a smirk and a snark. Maybe he’s angling for a job with The New York Times opinion page, I don’t know.

For as much grief as I’m deservedly giving Allen, he’s merely a symptom of the rot in big-time political journalism covering Washington D.C. and American politics. The main problem with it isn’t partisanship or even access journalism. It’s laziness, sloth and indolence. Allen is a perfect example of a journalist who fell bass-ackward into a sweet gig and he’s definitely not going to shake any boats to lose it. It’s damn difficult for any pro journalist to not fall into a rut and play it safe to keep their kids’ private school payments up to date.

Once you get to the big time, like working for one of the networks? Forget about it, you are not going to shake anyone’s monkey tree because you never know who your boss is friends with. This is another thing that isn’t going to change soon, either, despite how much shit everyone on the planet is giving Allen’s silly ass. It’s something we’ve accepted, probably because we took “House Of Cards’ and “The West Wing” far too seriously.

 

The Times eliminated their ombudsman role, saying Twitter and the internet would keep them honest, and have spent every second since then proving that claim total bullshit. CNN is owned by someone who’s partied regularly with Donald Trump. That’s just the reality of big-time political journalism. The richest man on the planet owns The Washington Times at a time when billionaires are completely losing their shit over the rather modest proposed tax increases by Bernie Sanders and, especially, Elizabeth Warren.

Speaking of whiny rich bastards probably trying to screw the rest of us over, former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital’s “foreclosure king” Deval Patrick thought there were just not enough billionaires running vanity campaigns that will do little more than crash and burn, wasting all sorts of money that could be spent on things like Congressional races or voting registration drives. But, no, apparently we need another milksop “centrist” who promises to not do anything to worry Republicans once they “realize” Trump’s a goddamn mess. Joe Biden’s got to be pissed, anyway.

Finally, the student body president for the University of Florida, my old alma mater,  is facing calls for impeachment due to paying Donald “Daddy Do You Love Me Yet” Trump Jr. 50 grand for some goddamn reason. Last month, Junior and his former sidepiece Kimberly Guilfoyle came to speak at the school because those are two people who are definitely not coasting on others’ coattails and are worth paying attention to, no really, you guys.

The student body’s senators claim president Michael Murphy (not the kickass cosmic cowboy, but probably some Herb) violated student government policies prohibiting tuition funds in support of or against a political party at any level. Plus, there was the little matter of possibly endangering students by the wild-eyed fanatics who worship Trump, but let’s face it, even they don’t like Don Jr. It all seems fairly cut and dried, despite Murphy claiming he wants to bring Bernie Sanders as well, but time will tell. If memory serves, though, the only part of the student body that will give a shit are the representatives themselves and maybe folks who write for the Alligator. The rest of us had exams.

Okay, that’s enough, I think I got it out of my system. The latest news out of Santa Clarita says no more deaths, so I guess that’s a blessing. Like I said, I have no answers nor do I think anything will change much until we as a people want it to change. And since this is on the gun nuts who worship their shooty-bangs more than their own flesh-&-blood, I’m not holding my breath.

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