Monday, March 26, 2012


I don't really think that most people think things through.  I don't  mean to imply that these folks are lazy, or ill informed, or even stupid.  I just think that the act of thinking things through, wrestling with all of the ambiguity and moral compromises involved are not the fare of the common critter.  Instead, folks just create an image in their head and worship it without thought. 

Jesus loves me.

Right to keep an bear arms.

Economic justice.


Godless commies.

Gun Control

Welfare queens.

Axis of evil.


Free market.

The list can go on as far as you would like to take it.  Complex issues with moral shadings and repressed voicing of self-interest everywhere around.  Simple logos applied to complexity.   All of them not to be questioned on pain of ostracism. 

Consider for a moment the crap going on down in Florida (God, we ought to just get it over with and rename that shithole Hell).   Keep and bear arms meets racism at the corner of fear and anger, tribalism meets the twenty-four hour news cycle.  Everyone in the country rings in with an opinion and none of them are completely right.

We confine ourselves willingly to self-made ghettos.  Suburbia, gated communities, 'hoods, barrios.  When other tribes dare to infringe on the homeland, nasty things happen.  The protection of ones icons from the "other" can take horrendous proportions.  It has happened recently, it will happen again.  To be honest, I see it becoming the norm in the not too distant future.

We are a society.  But more than anything, we are a society bound together not by common interest and a need to serve others, but rather, by a need to attach oneself to a group where one's self interest and petty prejudices can best be served.   The idea of a natural society, working for common goals is antique in this country outside of the occasional small town in the midwest or rural west.  

I don't know where the fiasco in Florida (is that phrase in itself redundant?) will go.  I don't know the facts and I doubt if the facts will ever be found.  There are far too many people making the two tragic players into icons to better serve a manufactured goal 

1 comment:

Gather ye marbles said...

The media circus (including social media) that's sprung up around this is familiar and despressing. You have the usual ambulance-chasers seeking the spotlight, and various rushes to judgement in different directions. That said, regardless of exactly what happened with this shooting, gun-toting "neighborhood patrols" seem to me an extremely bad idea. This sort of ties in, I think, to your dim view of guys with private arsenals. And it reminds me of the "auxiliary police officers" in my area: when people want to be cops so badly that they're willing to do it for free, those people shouldn't be cops.