Obscurity: No Crueler Punishment!I gather this is the sociopath's version of, "I'm not a racist, but..."
I feel awful about what happened in Colorado...
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?
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.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.)
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.
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.But...but...!
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: AeroMéxico Flight 576, a Boeing 737-800 flying from Cancún 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.Time is a bitch, Ann. Maybe you should try not to be.
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.