Friday, June 14, 2013

FTT Off-Topic: The Temerity Of Not Paying For Not Service

OK, but just don't talk money
Not sports, move along, though that's not real likely, really.

Six months ago today was the Sandy Hook Massacre. I'm not going to call it a tragedy, because tragedies imply narrative elements, as well as sorrow. Tragedy is the opposite of comedy and what we say to trivialize deaths and misfortune. What happens in this country in re guns isn't any of those things. It's just what happens, every day. over and over again, while we furiously do more of the same.

According to Slate, 5,047 people in this country have been killed by guns since Newtown as I type this, which is to say just about 28 people every single day. Sandy Hook just took the nation's daily quota and put it all in one place. It's the only reason anyone noticed it. Oh, and because killing kids is still novel. We were so naive then, right?

This should be a small and obvious point, but probably won't be. I'm also not going to engage in how we actually get to a place where there isn't a massacre every day. I have no actual hope of that happening, because I don't think we're good enough as a nation to avoid it. We hate each other, deeply and passionately, and we want each other dead. With each passing day, we have less and less in common with people who live in other states, more and more Big Fear over the demographic changes, greater certainty that anyone working in public service is venal, and continuing abhorrence of gays. And the fact that other, highly analogous nations -- I'm looking at Australia -- have banned guns and seen dramatic drops in gun deaths means, well, nothing. Because the other side says so. But I digress.

No, the story that I want to focus on is how some on my side -- you know, the side that's so outraged, so galvanized, so moved by the Sandy Hook Massacre that nothing has changed on a federal level since then, despite holding the Presidency and Senate -- are outraged by the idea that the Democratic senators who voted against background checks might not be worthy of continued financial support. Or should be subject to an organized boycott, led by the greatest enemy to freedom ever, a Republican mayor with enough money to think he can actually change anything. (Or improve on our Massacre Every Day track record.)

Why, that turns people into single issue voters! It's blackmail! Heavy-handed! Defeatist, since it just sets up those Senators to crushing losses in the red states! Makes us no better than the other side, who will take back power and... keep everything exactly the same?

You see, I'm jealous. The other side gets their representatives to stand with their cause, even after dozens of children were killed, and 90% of the country favors an issue, because they live in living fear of pissing off their supporters. (Admittedly, many of those supporters are armed to the teeth. And you wonder why I don't have much hope of us not killing each other.)

Yeah, that would be terrible. By all means, don't do the effective thing. Instead, keep coddling and giving money to the people who are with you until, well, they are not.

And while we're at it, can you folks start paying me to post about sports? Say, for the next century, in advance, where I will cover Boston's teams, MMA and the NHL, exclusively. I'm totally good for it.

And if you do give me that money, and I don't do the work?

Well, you clearly will need to give me more, or else you'll lose influence with me.

Play me out, Lady Day...

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