Shooting — Rumination of Ruin

January 11, 2011

Even as the news of the world continues to play out, the shooting last Saturday in Tucson keeps it fingers tight on my brain.
Involved within this tragedy is a mural of how the US has found itself in an intractable vise of how to wiggle out of this horror — guns and nasty-mouthed assholes do not mix.

And even with some wonderful news — Tom Delay being sentenced to three years behind prison bars and blubbering his hammer-like whining: “Judge, I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did,” he said.
Justice, ha!

And in the housing foreclosure debacle, judges chewing the ass of lawyers representing the nefarious banks:
Judge Arthur M. Schack of New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn has taken aim at an upstate lawyer, Steven J. Baum, referring to one filing as “incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous.”

(Pablo Picasso, The Tragedy, found here).

The rampage Saturday should have been datelined Baghdad, or Kabul — not the US.
But as in the words of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik,  Arizona is a mirror of the country, which has slid toward those war-torn cities and into a void of ugly: The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
And, of course, throw a 9mm Glock into the mix, and boom.

James Howard Kunstler, a most-astute writer and author of The Long Emergency, sheds some light Monday on the Tucson event at his blog, the aptly titled, Clusterfuck Nation.
Kunstler wonders at how young people cope with the horror of modern life:

The rewards of entering the realm beyond college are paltry-to-miserable.
Solitary cab rides to the mall. A burrito and a Big Gulp.
Later, back home, an hour in the virtual company of the Kardashian sisters via the E-Network on your parents’ cable TV.
Where are the initiations into manhood? (Try the channelized dry-wash, courtesy of the Barrio Blue Moon boyz.)
I’m convinced that the reason video games and movies aimed at young males in America are devoted almost solely to fantasies about super-heroes and supernatural power (especially the power to kill) is because adolescent boys feel so impotent, so powerless, so unlike real men.
The adults in this culture do not furnish any meaningful alternative scripts.
That’s the market’s job, I guess.

I don’t know if the ambient political mood of the USA is any more poisonous now than it was for about a decade starting in the 1960s, when all those assassinations changed history: John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, George Wallace, plus Lennon and the attempts on Ford and Reagan.
The Baby Boomers produced more than their share of lost souls.
Myth still shrouds the doings of Lee Harvey Oswald, since he was bumped off so quickly, but other shooters have been around for decades.
Surely plenty of people from FBI agents to forensic psychiatrists have plumbed the depths of Sirhan Sirhan and Arthur Bremer over their many years of incarceration, and all they find are a couple of human black holes yielding nothing that illuminates their acts.
I doubt that the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the many others who attended her meet-and-greet will lead to anything like more civility in politics.
The country faces grave problems and most of the political noise rises not from the agony of facing them, but from the desperate efforts to avoid or deflect them.
The deliberations at the highest level in Washington sound these days like the tortured reasoning of Jared Lee Loughner – for instance the hiring of William Daley from JP Morgan.

The shootings of Congresswoman Giffords and all the others took place in front of a Safeway Supermarket in a strip mall in a city of strip malls and housing subdivisions — many of them failing financially.
It must be unbelievably difficult for a young person to make sense of such an incoherent environment and such cruel swindling culture.
A society that habitually and incessantly lies to itself is apt to choke to death on its internal contradictions. Jared Lee showed an unusual concern for language and literacy. His videos were all words, no pictures.
I wonder if the word SAFEWAY flashed through his brain when he pulled the trigger.

And the scam excuse that pot — not wingnutters violent braying — was Jared Lee’s problem.
Nit-wit David Frum offered up a nit-wit’s ignorant reasoning behind the shooting — he was a pothead.

The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.
Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a “pot smoking loner.” […]

Frum never chilled in his life, never, ever smoke a bowl, has no idea…
And on top of that, Loughner had stopped partying.
In a Mother Jones interview, a friend, Bryce Tierney, said the suspected mass killer was clean:

In October 2008, Tierney was living in Phoenix, and Loughner came to visit.
They went to see a Mars Volta concert with friends, and Tierney was surprised when Loughner said he had quit partying “completely.”
Loughner, according to Tierney, said, “I’m going to lead a more healthy lifestyle, not smoke cigarettes or pot anymore, and I’m going to start working out.”
Tierney was happy for his friend: “I said, ‘Dude, that’s awesome.’ And the next time I saw him he was 10 pounds lighter.” Tierney never saw Loughner smoke marijuana again, and he was surprised at media reports that Loughner had been rejected from the military in 2009 for failing a drug test:
“He was clean, clean. I saw him after that continuously. He would not do it.”

Pot alone is not violent — the additives are and booze.
Life ain’t that pretty.

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