June 9th, 2006:
In one of many old-school blog posts that probably no-one read ['cept my brother & his friends, Haviland, and Lo, though likely not all the way through], I announced: "the apocalypse is totally nigh." My evidence: 1. that movie, Cars ? Weird. 2. Gay people want to get married and, for their honeymoons, kill people in Iraq [sarcasm]. 3. The government announced it was gonna troll for terrorists on MySpace.
Obvs, this practice is well underway. So like, watch out! This administration is super-good at stopping killers before they kill. Like, getting down to the marrow of the issue, etc.
And I wanted a Super Soaker really badly.
In our school's front lawn, kids executed massive games signaling the [then-timely] start of summer, wielding Byzantine bright-neon plastic tools designed aesthetically to imitate murder but physiologically to expel tiny sprays of harmless water. On the sidelines, growing groggy with sweat, I'd boil with resentment at my mother for enabling my exclusion. I boiled over other deprivations, too: Nintendo, GI Joe, Lethal Weapon, He-Man--whatever the other kids had. Surely, I thought, the anger I feel over not getting a SuperSoaker would be best cured by a good go-round with a SuperSoaker.
[Side note: Two weeks ago at Le Monde, I totally threw a glass of water at TB/Tara. See! You can make your own wet projectile! And then run from the restaurant as fast as you can!]
Now my aversion to violence is so thick, so true--that despite all that remembered resentment, I can't imagine giving my child a water gun. Not even 'cause I think violent toys make violent kids [I don't think it would've made a difference with me necessarily], but just because the concept makes my stomach hurt. I know what you're thinking: YOU? Have a child? You can barely take care of yourself, Auto-Win!
And let me just say: I'm pregnant. Just kidding! [Impossible!] But if I was, I'd be like "Junior/Juniorette, squirt guns are for J-Ro and Jim-Bob down the street, those 8-year-old pudgettes who drink Natty Light and do perverted things to their Little Bratz dolls and have birthday parties at Long John Silvers. Let's go play with our Lincoln Logs and pick apples."
I mean, violence: not fun/entertaining to me. Is it fun to other people? Is it so fun that we can put it on TV all the time, like anything else, like 30-seconds-for-mass-murder, 30-seconds for HEAD-ON-APPLY-DIRECTLY-TO-THE-FOREHEAD, 30-seconds for a Dancing with the Stars preview? And then make it really easy to buy guns? But really hard to buy birth control? Because, after all, when the censorship powers-that-be wield their misled campaigns, they equate sex [sex. which, unlike guns, is essentially an act of .. um .. LOVE!] with violence.
As my girlfriend (who's getting out of the hospital today after being beaten and mugged on Chrisopher Street) said better than I can, there are certain problems with over-exposing oneself to sexual imagery and language. These problems are, in my words: saturation in sexual words/images takes some of the fun/mystery/passion out of it. But that's got no relation whatsoever to the dangers of over-exposure to violence.
So: "the [Virginia Tech gunman]s writing was 'macabre, twisted'"?" [knowing fully 85% of Americans have no clue what "macabre" means?] Boo.
or: Why I love Rosie O'Donnell, and always will.
This morning on The View, Barbara told Rosie that it made her "sad" to see Rosie admit yesterday that it is not just "futile" but "impossible" to fight for gun control in this country. Rosie's response:
I know. It made me sad, too, but it was really hard, you know? We did the "Million Mom March" after the 1999 Columbine shootings, I mean, everyone thought that would work. What else would it take besides pulling high school kids bloody out of a second floor window? What else would it take to get sensible gun legislation? No one wants to take away hunters rights to hunt. We just want to sort of have sensible gun laws. You know, a teddy bear has more regulations on it than a gun in terms of safety ... I do feel defeated. I have to tell you. When that happened yesterday, it felt like, well here we go again. You know, it’s like "The Truman Show" or "Groundhog Day." We just wake up, and it just continues, and continues.
Rosie's one of a desperate few in the US with a voice and a forum who is moved so much by national/global PROBLEMS that it affects her, deeply, makes her depressed. We should all feel that way, and it makes me sad that people find that dangerous and/or irrelevant. She gives millions to charity and expresses a POV on daytime television that is desperately needed right now. Maybe I admire her so much because that's what I want to do: create a relationship with the mainstream through my non-controversial writing that eventually will earn me the "power" to speak out and be listened to by a lot of people--people on all sides of the political spectrum.
Everyone please rent This Film is Not Yet Rated thanks. And Bowling for Columbine, but since I'm preaching to the choir, I'm sure you've already seen it. Also, the Free Press's website for the National Campaign for Media Reform.
I've not seen [and likely will never] the following "entertainments": Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, The Godfather, The Sopranos, Lethal Weapon, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Die Hard, any Jackie Chan or James Bond movies, Final Destination, Scarface, Braveheart, Friday the 13th, Mortal Kombat, video games. I think violence is awful and horrifying: I can't comprehend picking up a gun. But clearly this guy could. And he liked shooting that gun enough, once he got started, to do it over and over and over and, ultimately, kill 34 people.
Because irony is always, it seems, the last man standing: Virginia Tech's Department of Communication determined that "prolonged exposure to media violence can facilitate hostility indiscriminately." I'm not saying this kid was a violent-movie buff. All he had to do was turn on the television a few times, or like, exist, to be completely bombarded by imagery--out of context--that enabled him, at the very least, to know what kind of gun to purchase.
So, since we're censoring people this week for expressing damaging concepts on television, and we're seeing yet another product of our violent morally bankrupt culture march into his school and open fire, here's some things on television TODAY, Wednesday the 18th, that I think are also damaging and should be fired:
World's Wildest Police Chases:
I used to wonder "Who watches this show?" Then I met someone who does. So I'll tell you: young men who smoke pot and drive large vehicles, specifically those who I quoted in my last blog entry as claiming: "You can run from the cops if you know how to sit right, because my theory is: skipping is faster than running. You know, like Hercules, or like the horse?"
MORAL: Obvs, skipping is faster than running. So is driving your car really fast like you might kill other drivers [the other drivers are also in cars, so you can't see their faces, which means they aren't real. Like ice hockey, drag racing or video games].
I Love New York:
I'm sure you've also made this mistake. "Oh fun! A show about loving New York City!" This show is not about New York City. It's about a girl who calls herself "New York." I don't know why. I'm not sure why these dudes are competing to marry her, or why she once competed to marry Flava Flav, which's how she got this gig. I totes understand the Appeal of Camp (hello, America's Next Top Model! [don't ask me to defend that show though, 'cause I can't]) but why is this show always on? I'd offer more commentary, but after about ten seconds, I tried to strangle myself with my hoodie.
MORAL: If Flava Flav won't marry you, some other douchetard totes will. On television. And people'll watch. Which makes it important?
Right now, Pat Sajack is talking about winning a trip to Bermuda, while the news text-scroll on the bottom of the screen kindly informs us that 35 people were killed today in a Baghdad hospital.
MORAL: You too can win a trip to Bermuda! Don't think about Iraq! Don't think about Iraq! They aren't real people! They are people in Iraq! Iraq isn't real! BERMUDA, y'all! (Unless you're gay, in which case: don't think about Bermuda ).
Style Her Famous:
Summer, a busy Mom of 4, can have celebrity style. She too can look like Halle Berry, which will help relieve the burdens of single motherhood in a racist classist quasi-Democracy like America. The host is Jay Manuel (from America's Next Top Model), who's really annoying.
Jay: "Look at you."MORAL: I've got no clue.
Summer: "Look at me! Who is this person in the mirror?"
Jay: "It's the new Summer. That's all I can say."
Plastic Surgery Nightmares:
So "E! Investigates" has cut together ominous action-movie music with blurry blue surgery footage, mixed it up with some interviews of the unlucky "patients" who got wronged by their plastic surgeons, and has created a two-hour television program. For the three minutes that I could bear to watch, a woman described almost dying from a botched tummy tuck/eyelid lift.
MORAL: There are many ways to risk ones life. If you're poor, you can be sent to Iraq. If you're not poor, you can get tummy tucks from sketchy doctors. If you're not poor, hate rich people, feel lonely and "twisted," you can create a "multimedia manifesto" about "rich, spoiled" students, and then shoot all your classmates and then yourself.
MORAL, ACCORDING TO E!: "Donna did her homework before picking her doctor, but it wasn't enough....next, a story of a woman who did NO research before choosing her plastic surgeon!"
1. (the apocalypse is nigh?)
2. "but there come times--perhaps this is one of them--when we have to take ourselves more seriously or die; when we have to pull back from the incantations, rhythms we've moved to thoughtlessly."