Friday Fiends

October 24, 2014

anger-balazs-soltiIntensely-thick gray skies this early Friday on California’s north coast, appearing as if we’re in some kind of cloud bowl, looking out — just some heavy rain apparently getting ready to come ashore.

What a difference a few minutes — out on my patio just now, smoking a butt, the awesome gray had broken into slats of blue sky with an occasional upward cloud swirl radiating a faint blue tint.
Oddly fascinating and astonishing, with maybe more-than-a-hint of fearsome.

A scream of a life right now, huh?
Yesterday afternoon’s hatchet-attack on some New York City cops, all recent graduates of the Police Academy, seemed to amplify that angry, lash-out weird sprouting up everywhere.

(Illustration: Balazs Solti‘s ‘Anger,’ found here).

Even with the quick shadow of Ottawa, the New York incident is still freaky.
Yet can be freaky still — the lede via Reuters:

A hatchet-wielding attacker charged a group of New York City police officers posing for a photograph on Thursday, wounded two, one critically, before the assailant was shot dead, police said.

And from the New York Post:

A hatchet-swinging psycho with Islamic militant leanings turned a busy Queens street corner into a scene of bloody chaos Thursday, chopping a rookie cop in the back of the head and slicing a second officer on the arm before two other officers shot him dead.

One crucial element in a lot of weird shit nowadays is video-techno, near-spontaneous evidence of the weird. The Post colorfully continues with film in mind:

Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, had just four months on the job when Zale Thompson, 32, of Queens — a “scholarly” but “weird” ­recent convert to Islam — fractured the back of the cop’s skull with one swing of a blue-handled hatchet at about 2 p.m. in Jamaica.
A 29-year-old woman walking a half-block away was struck in the back by a stray police bullet and was in stable condition, according to police sources.

The UK’s Daily Mail also does it up good, too.
Fright seems to be the center-core of about everything. And paranoia.

Those with an exaggerated self-importance seem scared the most. And supplying the cover branch of ‘terrorism’ is all of it in one big bonfire. Granted, hatchets and heads make some gruesome news, the flatline of episodic events nowadays radiates human atrocity, human horror. And as this crazed planet warms, beheadings will become mainstream, as savagery (or near-savagery) becomes the ‘new normal.’
Via Think Progress and new study results out this week:

They looked at conflicts between individuals — “domestic violence, road rage, assault, murder, and rape” — as well as conflicts between larger human groups — “riots, ethnic violence, land invasions, gang violence, civil war and other forms of political instability, such as coups.”
The end result?
The researchers determined that changes in drought and rainfall patterns, but especially increases in temperature, all have a meaningful link to increases in both forms of violence.
“We find that deviations from moderate temperatures and precipitation patterns systematically increase the risk of conflict, often substantially, with average effects that are highly statistically significant,” the researchers wrote.

Once again, location, location, location — hotter in Africa, for instance, the study indicates about a 20 percent increase in civil conflict, while in the US, less hotter, “a one percent increase in interpersonal conflicts.”
In America armed to the teeth, and right down/up to and beyond the asshole, most-likely we’ll be getting more of those ‘active shooter’ incidents, and a lot more murder-suicides, too.
This past Wednesday in Houston, Texas, two hospital-pharmacy co-workers died, a guy killed a gal, then killed himself, and the day before, in the parking lot of a hospital in Lansing, Mich., another guy killed another gal, then killed himself.
Is that part of our one percent increase?

And for shit-sure, we can see that African/Middle East 20 percent happening, however. Video might have killed the radio star, but it also boosted reality. And also way-boosted paranoia. Especially from the wingnut, bat-shit-crazy right side of the US political aisle.
During a surf-news hunt this morning, I spied a piece at The Daily Beast by Lewis Beale on the up-to-date and current insight of Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” published ‘50 Years Ago‘ next month in Harper’s magazine.
Although Hofstadter, a historian and considered one of them New York intellectuals, was dissing on Barry Goldwater in the GOP in 1964, the right-sided/lop-sided Republican operation is truly in right now.
As Beale notes this from Meg Jacobs, a history professor at Princeton:

This mindset, says Jacobs, is “a style of those who feel a certain nostalgia for the past, a more pure imagined past, and that comports with a more conservative impulse.
“It’s this idea of people who were once powerful, no longer having the place they once had, and they see themselves as more marginalized.”

Jacobs, who’s not certain that political paranoia is any worse now than in years past, says it might seem that way because of “the explosion of different mass media outlets that allow for more segmented markets.
There’s frustration that our political process does not function in the way we want it to, and with this inaction you get these louder and louder voices.”

And the end result: “The paranoid style,” Hofstadter wrote 50 years ago, “has a greater affinity for bad causes than good. We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.”

Arrogant incompetence coupled with angry, delusional impulses — hello.

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