Friday, July 27, 2012

A Coulter Front Moves in From the East

I apologize in advance, but despite the recent, Coulterless birthday celebrations, I'm afraid it's not going to be an entirely Ann-free week after all...
Obscurity: No Crueler Punishment!

I feel awful about what happened in Colorado...
I gather this is the sociopath's version of, "I'm not a racist, but..."
but can we stop the hugging and the teddy bears? Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment.
You can understand her annoyance.  In the wake of the Aurora shootings the milk of human kindness is flowing freely, and Ann is lactose intolerant.
There is nothing so hackneyed in the world of photojournalism as pictures of the hugging and the shrines with candles and teddy bears after a tragedy, with a piano softly trilling in the background.
As Heidi Klum is fond of saying on Project Runway, "In Fashion, one day you're in, and the next day, you're out," while Ann reminds us that the same is true of National Tragedies.  Grief is so last year, like a bubble skirt from Forever 21; plus, it smears your make-up.  So with this mass murder, instead of the same old, grandmotherly comfort and sympathy, let's try a fresh, young, kicky approach, like flat affect, or attachment disorder.
It is also not helpful to have politicians and television personalities pledging not to discuss the alleged shooter. Unlike most news, that information serves an actual purpose, such has helping us recognize warning signs in other potential mass murderers in the future.
Like buying 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet?  No, that's perfectly normal, like wearing a black cocktail mini-dress for a 7 AM interview on the Today show.
Only people who are themselves obsessed with being famous could imagine that any kind of fame -- even infamy -- is some kind of a reward. Thus, President Barack Obama and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, among others, have vowed to punish the suspect by not mentioning his name. 
Being called a fame whore by Ann Coulter is like getting a stern lecture from Ray Milland's character in Lost Weekend about that second wine cooler you had on the Fourth of July.
If only we had thought of that with Adolf Hitler! Apparently, it wasn't Hitler's twisted Darwinian "master race" philosophy that led to the Holocaust. He just wanted to get his name in the paper. Say anything you want about how much I hate Jews -- just spell my name right! 
Ann may not agree with your insane plan to commit mass murder (or she may, I don't want to put words in her mouth), but she'll defend to the death your right to extensive media coverage in the bloody aftermath.

Say, I wonder how her last paragraph would read if we filtered it through the guys doing those ads for Romney with all the out of context Obama quotes?
 "Say anything you want about how much I hate Jews -- just spell my name right!"

Eh.  Not that big a difference, actually.
This is the apotheosis of the "Jersey Shore" mentality.
And this is pretty rich, coming from the equestrian class Snooki.
Similarly, why is it assumed that we honor the victims by endlessly dissecting their lives for public inspection? Maybe they were private people. The mad quest for fame is nearly as peculiar a phenomenon as the desire to commit murder. Not everyone has it.
It had to happen sooner or later, and today is the day when I finally agree with something Ann Coulter has written.  Even though I suspect it's only because she regards media exposure as a zero sum game, and the more time Fox News spends doing remote broadcasts from outside the victims' homes, the less time they'll have to interview Ann and get her thoughts on how the shooting was regrettable, but all this out-of-control empathy is a clear sign that we as a society are hemorrhaging testosterone, and swiftly becoming a nation run by the kind of people who need feminine hygiene products, rather than the manly sort who merely make big bucks decorating Kotex packages with bilingual trivia.
It's especially strange to assume that fame was the motive of alleged Colorado shooter James Holmes, inasmuch as the murders occurred at the premiere of a Batman movie;
Don't put the blame on fame!
All that not only indicates that Holmes is off his rocker -- the opposite of calculatingly pursuing press clips -- but also suggests the possibility that a movie inspired his deadly fantasy.

But no one would dare raise Hollywood violence as a possible cause of this mass murder. Former U.S. senator Christopher Dodd, now head of the Motion Picture Association of America, instantly came out for gun restrictions in response to the Colorado shooting.
Guns don't kill people.  Movies kill people!  Who are watching them.  While being killed by guns.  Look, do I have to spell it out?  People shoot guns, sure, but they also shoot movies, even going so far as to shoot movies called They Shoot Horses, Don't They?  Connect the dots, people!  (Oh wait -- that's pointillism.  Well, that probably kills too.)

Excuse me, I've just been handed a note...The NRA has asked the producers of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? to add a disclaimer to the forthcoming Blu-ray edition stating that "Guns don't kill horses, Depression-era dance marathons kill horses."
If I were Hollywood's chief lobbyist, I think I'd keep my yap shut after a mass shooting that was inspired, at least in part, by a Hollywood movie. 
So now we know what it takes to get a moment of silence out of Ann Coulter.  Not a mass murder, because we've had plenty of those since she first brayed her way onto the scene, and that kind of thing only seems to yank the nylon string in the back of her neck all the harder; she'd also have to be employed as the chief lobbyist of an industry which was tangentially involved, if not actually implicated, in the tragic events.  Of course, I don't really believe that even under those circumstances she could bring herself to shut up, as impatience with other peoples' pain is Ann's stock in trade.  In fact, she wrote a version of this same screed in her book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, complaining that the 9/11 widows continued to mourn even after she was done with them:
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."
Anyway, until Ann deposes Chris Dodd from the MPAA, the yap is open for business.
I don't blame Hollywood any more than I blame the gun. But the refusal to consider the possibility of a Hollywood connection proves that not talking about Holmes is pure grandstanding.
If I may just quote Cole's response to the Mychal Massie post below:  "WHAT IS A WOOKIE DOING ON ENDOR?  Someone fucks up a logical construction as simple as this and you KNOW you are in for a spectacular display of intellectual rhetoric."
If these self-righteous champions of the victims really cared about stopping the next mass murderer, shouldn't they consider all possible factors?
As that has the skin-deep appearance of a legitimate question, let's treat it as such:  If a horrible event with a fairly obvious cause (lots of people are killed by a nut with a weapon purpose-built to kill lots of people) occurs, and that cause happens to be intensely awkward for most politicians, then "consider[ing] all the options" is a synonym for "doing nothing."  Rather than debate -- just debate -- reviving the assault rifle ban, let's instead consult with Bobby Jindal, who will undoubtedly diagnose demonic possession and prescribe a voluntary pre-purchase exorcism for all potential gun buyers.  The Vatican could set up a booth at gun shows, and hand out pea soup-flavored lollypops to the kids.
The copycat theory is only one of many, many theories about what inspires mass killings, but it's hardly airtight. There have been humans intent on murder since Cain -- and he didn't get the idea from watching an MSNBC special on Richard Speck. (Though I'm sure he would have loved MSNBC's prime-time programming!)
I'm afraid the air hissed out of that joke, Ann.  Do you have a spare satire in the trunk?
The Columbine murderers weren't inspired by an earlier school shooting: The killers originally planned to blow up their school, but couldn't get the bombs to work. Their other idea was to hijack a plane and fly it into buildings in New York -- and this was two years before the 9/11 terrorist attack. 
“No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon ... into the World Trade Center, using planes as missiles.”
Two of the most famous mass murderers in history are Hitler and Charles Manson, and they do not seem to have inspired copycats.
So Hollywood is actually more evil than Hitler or Manson, because killers never imitate real life murderers, they only imitate the imitation murders in the movies, or on TV.  Which is why it amazes me that Perry Mason was never tried at the Hague for crimes against humanity, because every single episode started with a murder -- sometimes two!  Although...if Ann's theory is correct, then during the years 1957 through 1966 this country should have seen a rash of copycat homicides by middle aged character actors.
Nor have any terrorists attempted to hijack any airplanes since 9/11, though there are other factors at work there, such as George W. Bush killing them first.
2006: Turkish Airlines Flight 1476, flying from Tirana to Istanbul, was hijacked in Greek airspace.
2007: an Air West Boeing 737 was hijacked
2007: an Air Mauritanie Boeing 737 flying from Nouakchott to Las Palmas with 87 passengers on board was hijacked
2007: an Atlasjet MD-80 en route from Nicosia to Istanbul was hijacked
2008: An Eagle Airways British Aerospace Jetstream 32EP ZK-ECN flying from Woodbourne, Blenhiem, in New Zealand to Christchurch, was hijacked shortly after takeoff. 
2008: a Sun Air Boeing 737 was hijacked shortly after takeoff.
2009: CanJet Flight 918, a Boeing 737-800 preparing to depart from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Canada was hijacked by a gunman
2009: AeroMĂ©xico Flight 576, a Boeing 737-800 flying from CancĂșn to Mexico City was hijacked

Etc., etc., etc.

I don't mean to disparage Bush's work ethic, but I hope his Supervisor points out that he's got a bit of a backlog building up in his In Box, and yeeeeaaaahh, they're gonna need him to come in on Saturday...
The eternally fascinating question about mass murder is never the means.
True.  If you ask most people how Jack the Ripper killed his victims, they couldn't begin to tell you, although some would probably guess, based on his name, that he somehow offed them using one of those deep fried hot dogs popular in New Jersey beach resorts.
 It is the psychosis behind the desire to do it. We don't need to know details about the guns, booby traps, bombs or fire starters. There will always be a way to commit mass murder. We want to know why.
Pay no attention to the Smith & Wesson M&P15 behind the curtain!  I have to say, Ann, as a piece of misdirection, that wasn't exactly up to Doug Henning standards.  But here's the thing:  You can't ban insanity.  But neither can you buy it over the Internet.  So instead of guessing what was in his head, I'd be content if we simply considered restricting what was in his hands.
But that is precisely the information these grandstanders in the media seek to withhold from the public with the pompous justification that they don't want to give the presumed killer attention.
Well, the news can tell us the "details about the guns, booby traps, bombs or fire starters," while they can only speculate at his motivations.  So of those two, which would qualify as "information"?
But many in the media have taken it on themselves to censor the news as their personal act of retaliation. Not making James Holmes famous -- even famously evil -- is what people who make their living on TV see as the cruelest punishment they can inflict.
 Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Half of this is the usual wingnut special pleading for a protected class of the conservative power base (NRA, gun manufacturers, bitter clingers), half of it is Coulter's well-worn contrarian bullshit, and all of it used to bug me.  But now whenever I see her flailing her unusually large hands in a desperate bid for attention, I think of these words from our friend Larkspur, who wrote in the comments to this post:
You know, nobody has to do anything to Ann Coulter, or anything about Ann Coulter, because we have no leverage for or against her nightmare, which is that she is aging and cannot clutch the sash and tiara of Pretty Girl-ness much longer. (Shut up, I am being generous.) This is something I know from having not been a girl for quite some time, not to mention that I was never really pretty except for the summer that I was 17. I was totally golden and gorgeous, for, like, six weeks.

What I mean is, I don't care especially. I am oldish and hope to become genuinely elderly some day. But Ann Coulter does care. Even if I liked her, I would be powerless. 
Time is a bitch, Ann. Maybe you should try not to be.


D Johnston said...

Wow. I really did not miss Ann Coulter.

Strange to think that, a mere seven years ago, she was a big deal and everyone wanted to talk about her antics. Now she's reduced to scrambling for attention by...being slightly less rude than usual? Well, everyone needs a gimmick, I suppose.

Carl said...

Just as society can become inured to violence, it can also become inured to sentiment.

Really? We can be inured to being TOO human?

That's. Just. Remarkable. Mr Coulter.

Carl said...

Two of the most famous mass murderers in history are Hitler and Charles Manson, and they do not seem to have inspired copycats.

Pol Pot ring a bell. Slobodan Milosevic? Hullo?

As to Charles Manson...well...David Koresh, Jim Jones leap to mind

Cole said...

I was going to make a snarky comment on Coulter's "waning light," so to speak, but Larkspur's comment that Scott quotes now has me imagining the little girl that was...still desperate for Daddy's affection...and I just can't do it.

But as for the shopworn "guns don't kill people; people kill people" shit that she's obviously trying to reframe--until we can refine psychiatric medicine to the point of effectively addressing this all-too-common illness in society, regulating the access to weapons is the most logical, practical, and effective place to start. Anybody who cares about humanity, or even for the little part of humanity they think looks like them (such as white Americans) should be able to see the wisdom in that.

I would argue that not only do professional celebrities like Coulter NOT care about the motives of mass-killers, they are part of the system that actively promotes the normalization of paranoid fantasies that fuel these anti-social acts of violence.

Helmut Monotreme said...

re: the Ted Nugent twitter, if there were no assault rifles used in the rampage, what does he imagine the AR in "AR-15" stands for? If he is being pedantic and claiming the rifle wasn't fully automatic(and therefore not an assault rifle), how exactly does having only one bullet per trigger pull as opposed to multiple, change the outcome for all of the people shot and killed?

It's not like the thing was freaking muzzle-loaded black powder firing, flintlock musket. Given how long it takes to aim, it is safe to say, that guy was shooting as fast as he could aim. You could even argue, that given the fatality rate of his rampage, that he was shooting faster than he could aim.

The AR-15 was designed as an assault rifle. It is the direct ancestor of the M-16 assault rifle used by the US Army. It is only a sporting rifle if you stretch the definition of sport to include "shooting people". Certainly the only sport which it is legally used is "practicing to shoot people".

Having it be incapable of firing fully automatic, no more makes it not an assault rifle than the top speed restriction of the Suzuki Hayabusa makes it not a sport bike. (the top speed is limited to 186mph)

In conclusion: Fuck Ted Nugent.

Keith said...

Amen, Cole!

My fantasy is to cast Ann and Dr. Mike in a remake of "Last Year at Marienbad" but relocated in space/time to an abandoned hotel in the Catskills. No Dior costumes. Just guns, ammunition and maybe an avalanche of mosquitoes. I have no idea where this came from ... could be the sinus drug.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's a good thing Ms. Coulter never had kids...she would eat her young...

Cole said...

I had almost (thankfully) forgotten about Dr. Mike.

Always on my 'worst person' list.

I wonder how he's holding up.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Probably went and bought some more guns, Cole.

heydave said...

One day... ONE DAY!... My collection of Palin/Coulter Sapphic porn will be recognized for being the true art medium it is.

Li'l Innocent said...

Good Goddess, heydave!

What was in that birthday cake of yours?!

Doc Logan said...

Wait... she only now discovered turtlenecks? I'd have thought when you've got an Adam's apple that would make a cartoon hillbilly blush, you'd have more turtlenecks in your wardrobe than Steve Jobs.

Stacia said...

The turtlenecks are to disguise the appearance of aging. She didn't care about the Adam's apple -- it got her attention and was offensive enough that her supporters could use it as ammo against the liberals who thought "haw haw she's a man" was an appropriate attack. Because transgender, or even the mere suggestion of it, is always funny and evil and super weird and stuff.

And she cares about her appearance because we live in a society where women are given power based on their looks. Sure, she used her looks to get ahead. Golly. I mean, she totally didn't need to do that because there are a ton of female rightwing pundits who look just like Rush Limbaugh and Charles Krauthammer and ... oh.

I wonder -- and I do truly wonder, this is not a snide comment disguised as a rhetorical slam -- how many people slam Coulter for her looks (or their perceived lack thereof) but also bemoan a society that objectifies women and only allows them success based on their looks.

Coulter is a horrible person, one of the worst pundits out there. She's sexist and racist and pretty much every *ist you can come up with, plus a few new ones she invented. She lacks logic, intelligence, historical knowledge; she encourages a lack of compassion and makes everyone uncomfortable with her grasping desperation.

But, really, she's probably a man and also an ugly woman and old, plus she's just upset because she's not pretty anymore? Really? Ugh.

Scott said...

Stacia, that's a completely fair point. In fact, it's a fair cop. As much as I hate to admit it, I've been guilty of that kind of hypocrisy disguised as schadenfreude, and I need to do a better job.

Doc Logan said...

Stacia has a point. Making fun of someone's looks is usually a bad thing.


Not Always.

"My pretty-girl allies stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie-chick pie wagons they call 'women' at the Democratic National Convention."

"And I can tell you that based on experience — and my bodyguard will back me up on this — all pretty girls are right-wingers."

“I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn’t.”

All direct quotes from Coulter.

Inferring she's transgender irritates me. I've known a couple of trans women and they've exhibited a bravery and nobility Coulter couldn't even imagine.

Looks snarking is easy, too easy. But when someone declares themselves beautiful and claims every woman who doesn't agree with them is ugly, well, game on.