Saturday, December 15, 2012

Politicizing tragedy

Why did Obama win an election that should have been a lock for the GOP? Because too many people have grown tired of conservative horseshit. Our wacky rightists simply do not provide a credible alternative, even when they face a very disappointing (if not infuriating) Democratic president and party.

The Connecticut school massacre provides a case in point. Immediately after the shootings occurred, the rightists warned: "Do not politicize this tragic event!" Yet in their own writings and tweets and public declarations, they have done nothing but politicize the tragedy.

The result is hypocrisy raised to the level of psychosis. Examples:

-- Even as the right tells the left to hold its collective tongue, conservatives feel free to pronounce that the children of Sandy Hook Elementary were killed by gun control laws.

-- Republican geniuses in Michigan decided that now is the time to push for legislation allowing guns in schools.

-- Mike Huckabee (as noted in the post below) and others have claimed that the massacre occurred because schools no longer lead children in public prayer. I'm not sure someone as psychotic as Adam Lanza would have cared one way or the other.

-- Alex Jones, whom Matt Drudge has been "mainstreaming" in recent years, used Sandy Hook for one of his characteristically insane rants. He claims that Obama plans to use this incident to "repeal" the Second Amendment. Not only that: Jones accuses MSNBC and Salon of being "state" media, supported by the government. (I'm old enough to recall when conspiracy theorists recognized at least some obligation to offer evidence.)

-- Here's Glenn Beck, by way of Salon:
Glenn Beck was a bit more contemplative. “It is not the gun. It is the soul,” he wrote. “Our society is broken. Our communities are suffering, and it is because of the ever expanding lack of self control & personal responsibility.” Apparently the shooter didn’t have enough personal responsibility.
That's right, folks: Glenn Beck -- the original lachymorose,  hyper-emotional Creature of the Id -- has seen fit to lecture the rest of us on the need for self-control.

-- The Breitbarters scored CNN's Piers Morgan for "exploiting" the tragedy, and uses that same word against Representative Jerrold Nadler. Yet the Breitbarters themselves have gone full P.T. Barnum in their coverage of the massacre. They blame the goth subculture. As I recall, the Breitbart crew was just as inane in their discussion of the previous massacre in Oregon, which they blamed on Occupy Wall Street.

(Actually, Adam Lanza was a computer geek. Maybe we should blame the tech-heads.)

Perhaps liberals should encourage our conservative brethren to persevere in this behavior. When the right-wingers heat up the hypocrisy and pile on the crazy, they help Dems get elected. Right-wingers spend so much time screaming paranoid nonsense at each other that they don't know how foolish they sound to normal people.

They would do their own cause a lot of good if they cut out the double talk about "politicizing" the tragedy. Of course people are going to discuss gun control legislation after a mass shooting. That conversation is inevitable. The people who initiate that conversation are not evil conspirators; they are normal human beings. So when that debate begins, opponents of gun control should not become angry or suspicious or accusatory. They should simply present their case in a calm, reasonable manner.

That's how you win people over.

If Republicans have lost the ability to speak in that fashion, they consign themselves to the fringe.
If gun owners could control their rage their fetish would atrophy.
I'm not saying we ought not to regulate guns...the Constitution specifies that.

But what if the first question people asked about the shooter/s was, "what meds was he on?"

At a ritual-killing time such as this, Joseph, do you ever check what crypto-guru Loren Coleman has to say about these ghastly events, their in-your-face occult symbolism, and the "twliight language" the mass media is seemingly obligated to employ as it captures the public imagination for yet another bloody round of mesmeric (NLP) thought control?

The fact that Coleman's enjoyed a tiny bit of mainstream success may signify that he observes certain lines that he absolutely cannot cross and stay alive, but I'm pretty sure he's not as commercially and spiritually co-opted as, say, Alex Jones or Matt Drudge.

I read Loren Coleman's "Mysterious America" a long time ago. Lots of fun, that book is. That's where I learned about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, about whom much more has come out in recent years. Whatever the truth of the matter, that tale is a great slice of Americana.

Speaking of "co-opted" -- there was another writer in Coleman's mode back in the day. Under the name Jim Brandon, he wrote "Weird America," a work that inspired me to visit a few very unusual southwest vacation spots, back when I had money. That book came out in -- what, 1973? There are lots of Fortean guidebooks nowadays, but back then, Brandon's was the first. Because his writing style was zippy and wry, I thought he was probably a hippie intellectual -- one of the groovy people.

Years and years later, I learned the truth. The dude was, is, anything BUT groovy. His real name is William Grimstad and he is (not to put too fine a point on it) a white supremacist. I've even heard him called a neo-Nazi.

Moral of the story: You can't presume that a guy is cool just because he's a funny and engaging writer.

(You know, I ought to do up a post about Grimstad one of these days. Alas, I no longer have my copy of WA. They're quite expensive on the used market.)
Correction: "Weird America" came out in 1978, according to Amazon. I could have sworn I saw it earlier.
Brandon and Grimstad may indeed be the same person... and then again may not. What's the proof? A documented confession? Years ago I heard a related-but-different rumor that I've as yet been unable to confirm: that "Brandon" had experienced a bizarre, life-changing event that caused him to disavow all of his prior research -- and that's why he's kept both of the sought-after "Brandon" books out of print, despite their potentially profitable (for re-issue) current status as underground classics. As for Coleman, perhaps you've not kept up with his own provocative and disturbing later research into serial/mass/ritual killings. Check out his current blog Joseph, and tell us what you think of the Loren Coleman of today.
James Carville says, when your opponent is drowning, throw him an anchor.

I believe we should encourage the crazies to be as crazy as possible. Liberals should spend as much time and energy as possible doing and saying things to rile them up to get them to proudly display their craziness.

We should get them careening off the walls at least once a day.

Carolyn Kay
Andy, Andy -- everyone interested in weird things knows that Grimstad and Brandon are the same person. Use Google. There's a photo of Grimstad on the web and there's a photo of Brandon in his book. Same guy; different decade (and name).

Holocaust revisionism is a toxin that sometimes has an inexplicable allure to those interested in outre ideas. Colin Wilson fell prey to it for a while -- a mercifully brief while.
Its probably a counter productive thing to say, but in my opinion, opponents of gun control should go f*ck themselves.


I'm more sceptical (of "obvious" truths) than you, Joseph, as I think you know by now, as evidenced by my longstanding suspicion that some of the most prominent neo-nazis and Muslim extremists are actually role-playing Mossad agents. So let's leave the Brandon/Grimstad duality open to a least a tiny degree of questioning.

But nevertheless, what do you think of Loren Coleman's take on ritual/serial/mass murderers and their occult symbol-laden sprees of carnage?
Thanks, Andy Tyme...I was very nearly amused until 12 seconds into my search on your leads led to ....ooooooOOOOOooooo...Zionist bankers!!! Yawn fucking city. The (gasp!!!) Jews still rule the world in conspiracy circles, I see. In other news, aliens abduct and probe man's anus.

Some of us could really use the escapism, guys. Do better.
If these dementos who go berserk with automatic rifles every other week (or so it seems) quit shooting their families, neighbors, and co-workers and started shooting the 1% instead--how quickly would the 1% shove the strictest gun laws on the planet Earth down Bubba's throat?
If they doing something for Gun control than we should appreciate them.
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