Wednesday, April 18, 2007

And These Children That You Spit On


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.

i. "It's stealth design delivers SHOCK and SURPRISE! AQUASHOCK LEVEL 3.0!"
In the early-nineties, my brother argued the "Educational Toy" cause and managed to procure a wooden sword from the Renaissance Festival in direct defiance of Mom's No-Violent-Stuff Rule, but we had no such case for Super-Soakers.

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.

ii. "If you're not angry, you're just stupid, you don't care, how else can you react when you know something's so unfair, when the man of the hour can kill half the world in war, make them slaves to a superpower and let them die poor?"
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.

iii. make love not war
People who censor, e.g. the MPAA, assess sex and violence as equally "damaging" and "immoral." That's like: one falsehood. From which to start. Figuring out how we got here.

Everyone is numb to violence, and so used to it, that it starts to seem like one of many ways for an unhappy kid to act out.

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.

I know: I'm supposed to make jokes. What do I know about anything? Who am I to speak of such things? [No-one! That's the point, I think? I am no-one, just like everyone with the ability to speak?] I will make jokes, I promise! Y'know how most people [with hearts/souls] have a "thing" that really gets to them? A specific "news-worthy" event that makes them totally insane? That's me, with respect to school shootings.


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."
Summer: "Look at me! Who is this person in the mirror?"
Jay: "It's the new Summer. That's all I can say."

MORAL: I've got no clue.

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, 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."
-Adrienne Rich


Mercury said...

That's why I don't watch TV. When I did watch it, I had a weird fascination with America's Top Model, but I was like twelve, and thinking about it now, maybe it's just because the girls were pretty?

My mother and I were discussing gun regulations this morning, on my the way to school, where I rather violently cut my knuckle open? Like five hours ago, and it's still bleeding.

Pike-a-dilly said...

hi. how is tara, i hope shes doing well.

i liked this much, but have a never endin' contention with not liking rosie odonnel one bit. She's like some sort of bull dyke in a china shop feeling so hard sometimes she has to express it in teenager haikus and tell people what to do. she sorta rubs me the wrong way the way he shit comes off as feuds for rating stunts. plus she endorsed K-mart, walmart? one of those, whom sells guns, while espousing gun control. i dont like dodgy hypocrites.

and since im bored and feel rambling and particularly mouthy ill go on about that ass who decided to feel like a big fuck by owning 32 other peoples deaths as well as his own. The media is turning him into a celebrity, fascinated by the macabre everyone watches and wants to know more and more about how this dickhole ticked and why why why. cant just write him off as some fucking guy who looked like bruce lee if he had downe's syndrome with a screw loose that finally snapped and let the people directly affected by him heal. thye gotta go ahead and plaster his face everywhere and give him the tabloid strentgh of a not so young jew hating mel gibson.

then the gun control people attack, and blame lax gun control, fucking guns and the ease of buying. sure. but he could never stal one? buy one illegally? he woulda got one either way, but now they politicise these peoples death. Blame this blame that. is it the school for not locking down, is it the campus police basically ignoring the manny flags he flew by threatening and stalking people, is it the lax gun control this country full of wild west loving ignorant red-neck majority espouses. maybe were all to blame. this shitty society somehow responsible for everything else in the world.

But there's no head to put on the block. so everyones jumping in playing who's at fault and turning hung lo-killer dickface im so depressed and off my meds i need guns into a famous guy almost. i wonder what the ratio of coverage is of the victims to the coverage of political discourse to further agendas along with the fascination with the murderer.

all makes me want to puke. the asshole who shot everyone, the handling of it in the media, and the dogs turning it into issues. no time to breathe or mourn or take it in whatsoever.

buisness as usual, no end of days indicator. i think.



Anonymous said...

pike: She did K-Mart commercials, and K-Mart does not sell guns. That was Walmart.

Also, you should maybe do a little research into Rosie's charitable donations and the fact that she's one of the few Americans who actually puts her money where her mouth is.

Brava on this post, Riese.

Pike-a-dilly said...

hmm. i said i wasnt sure if it was k-mart or walmart. thats okay. also, rosie on air said this:

“The fact is that it’s news all over the world. You know, you can imagine in China it’s like, ‘Ching chong, ching chong, Danny DeVito, ching chong chong chong chong, drunk, ‘The View,’ ching chong.’”
O’Donnell’s imitation was followed by laughter from her co-hosts and a loud “gong” that producers threw in.

pretty racist statement toward the chinese people right.

remember Imus said something racist, has charitable donations and works. yet canned. whats the difference here?

she's also one of the few americans who has the money to run her mouth and get away with making slip-ups that display certain hypocrisies. she does good, sure. but i dont have to like her, yeah? or research where she tosses her boatloads of money to make herself feel good. she no better than any other media whore out there.

now let's not argue and eat sweet cakes and tea.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...1)I knew I was missing TB for a reason. Good news about her being released back into the wild. 2)I have a BFF in CA who has the best gig in the world for maintaining sanity in this world. She's an ER doc in Santa Monica part time where she only fixes plastic surgery disasters. The rest of the time she's at Torrance General, smack dab in the hood, where it's all GSW (gun shot wounds--gotta throw in some lingo) and lead pipes.
3)I am reminded of this sad state of affairs--my personal push me/pull you of violence and sex in media--everytime I show a movie clip in my classes. I contribute to the irony of our times by standing in front of the screen during nudity or sex scenes and then step away for the most heinous scenes of violence. And I ask myself why afterwards every time. The answer is that I'm torn myself. I'm a product of our culture myself. I took some of my senior AP students to see 300 and we joked that we were sitting in the "splash zone" because we were so close to the screen. I have enjoyed the surreality of media violence ever since I saw Clockwork Orange as a pre teen. But I could never strike another person under ANY circumstances that didn't include my life being threatened. Possibly not even then. And it seems that witnessing countless hours of celluloid splatterfests haven't made me reach for the butcher knife yet. Just thank your mother for the healthy home environment.
4)Give New York another chance. I swear you'll be converted. I'm convinced that her audience is actually 92% Phi Beta Kappa.

Anonymous said...

Nice post

I have become detached like a relative twice removed

I totes Rosie

Totes = thin foldable plastic rain boots stored in a small see thru bag with an ineffectual snap??

If I could only drive Out of Range

Peace AKM

Anonymous said...

my thoughts go out to you and tb

powerful post

and maybe rosie isn't perfect, but she just possibly does more good than bad.

riese said...

ok, more later, but for now:

pike--the difference is this:

rosie was making a joke about how the danny devito issue was international news. that's what the joke was about. it was not a joke intended to make fun of the chinese people, or even to be about the chinese people. the joke was about the devito story being international news. it was unintentionally offensive. unlike don imus, who specifically used a racial slur---not even as a poorly delivered joke! and, if you had done your research, you'd know that rosie doesn't think he should have been fired. so there's really no hypocrisy, regardless. she's apologized for her statement which was not made out of racism, but rather just out of accidental mis-use of words she didn't even know would be offensive. there was no intent to hurt or offend. and intention, in my opinion, is the most important thing of all.

Pike-a-dilly said...

beh. whether people intend to hurt or not, people get hurt from careless use of thier influential positions as people on a national stage. i dont like imus anymore than rosie because i see them the same way, idiots who dont think one bit about what thier saying. Which in principal is fine, im not really thinking much when saying this, but when your job,
income, popularity, and influence is based on what you say, maybe think more before blurting out stereotypes about an entire race of people? whether it's a go-between for a danny devito joke or not. and how could she misuse the words "ching chong chong ching ching?" or not know that if you said that in referrence to the way a chinese person talks they would be offended. im sure she didnt intend to hurt them, but shed have to be a pretty big moron to not know thats offensive.

besides, imus claimed his was a joke as well, a bad joke as far as any comedy goes, but he claimed the same excuse.

yeah i didnt research. i did a little research on the gun control thing and found she is against guns but has body guards for her children that carry guns, yeah? everyone else disarm except her personal personell?

one thing ill admit i like about rosie, well two. 1. a league of thier own, and when she did comedy spotlight on vh1. she used to be very funny until the coosh-balls, fake tom cruise love, and bully media rants.

tell tara i said hello and feel better please, yeah?

Bourbon said...

First, I'd like to say sorry bout ur gf and that I hope she is feeling well soon.

Wow, heavy stuff. About Rosie: my bf and I always have this debate. She says that Rosie rubs her the wrong way and I guess I just don't get why coz, like uve pointed out, she does so much good. What I do think though is that Rosie has such a strong personality that sometimes it overshadows what she does and people who like to make fast judgements just see her strong personality and label that as "annoying" or whatever and then it's like case closed, they don't bother to revaluate.

It sounds like your mom was awesome and totally knew what she was doing. I wish I had the luxury of not being exposed to violence while growing up, things weren't so peachy haha. I'm not going to sit here and act like someone who always hated violence coz I can recall a certain suspension in the 8th grade. But eight years down the line my standing point today is definately with you in your stance against violence and its portrayal in the media. I mean, when are people going to stop glorifying Tarentino?!

Kudos on the post.

Tara said...

Hi Glen. I'm totally fine. I think Rosie's doing the best she could possibly do for someone in her station in life. She's got the right idea. Maybe a weird slip of tongue like whoa chingchong whathaveyou, etc., but who doesn't fuck up, right? Anyhow. I'm all right dude, totesbag trooper. Thanks for thinking of me. Miss you; will visit soon. Cheers y'all.

Anonymous said...

yes who doesnt fuck up is correct, but the consequenses are so varied from severe to none to similiar fuck ups that it's just dumb.

anyhow, so i go and read your new thing at the new yawk radicul a few hours ago, and then i take a kick ass nap which was totally interrupted by bullshit, then i go back a minute ago, and its still there but tells me "this blog is not found" when i try to comment.

Hulk Mad!!

anonymous glen is too lazy to type login bull-jive

Anonymous said...

I have a master's degree in film studies which for some reason means people are surprised when I say I can't stand QTarantino or the movies he makes. What disturbs me more however is the celebratising of real life murderers. True Romance made me want to throw up, it incorporates footage from real life and amalgamates it into the fiction. These murderers become action heroes by being put on the big screen and charging the public money to be entertained by their stories. 'Monster' caused me great internal debate. I really wanted to see CT in the 'lesbian' role but as I have said I am opposed to such narratives. I was dissapointed in myself by being so easily swayed, but then I guess that is the case with many of these stories, people can become fascinated by an element of these people's lives, and that is enough to convince them to buy a ticket. After the shootings this week (an event that in New Zealand has basically just been added to the list of things wrong with America and pushed aside) my gf said that she believes that gun control isn't the problem, it's more an issue of mental health. She said "if my friend Tamara called me and said 'Vicky I am really angry and I feel like I might need to hurt someone', I would respond proactively." I replied to that by saying "yeah but how often do you hear someone say 'fuck I fucken hate that fucker, I could fucking kill him/her!'? But then maybe the delivery of the comment is more important here. I agree that mental health is the issue, but isn't it even more daunting and complicated than the issue of gun control. New Zealand has been a pretty safe place to be until the last couple of years where guns are appearing more and more in the news. So often in these cases the people holding the guns have been shouting out for help prior to the incident. But for some reason it's just so easy for us to ignore these calls....

Bourbon said...

I've got to agree with you on the people putting it on the "fucked up things about America list", Abby, it's the same here in Oz.

I don't think its actually due to one thing or another but just the right (or wrong?) amount of a number of things that let shit go wrong. As hopeless as this makes us all feel, the reality of it is that whether it be in Australia, New Zealand, America etc etc people can go around changing laws and regulating shit but horrible stuff is going to happen. Over and over again.

riese said...

well. regardless of your opinion on her: let me just say that we don't have many liberal outspoken voices right now....and i'd suggest that instead of focusing on silencing the few that we do have (especially when it is someone who is so philanthropic)--finding reasons not to like them, trying to prove that they are bad people--i think we should embrace and support rosie and focus our negative energy on people like bill o'reilly. eh? yeah. so there. lets not eat our own, k?

tor: i think it's uncomfortable to watch sex scenes in a room full of students, right? I mean...i'd imagine so. it's hard to watch sex scenes with other people, because sex is an intimate act. it's a whole different thing....violence is equally uncomfortable regardless of your company...I think. I don't think I have a point to make here, just that what you're saying does make sense and isn't hypocrisy or anything...and actually, speaking of all these things...I loved a Clockwork Orange, and I did a presentation on it in my 9th grade english class where I made a movie with clips from the film. My teacher had a heart attack. It was awesome. That movie, though, was about--in many ways--violence. That was the topic. It was an examination of sexual and violent instincts and a very well-done piece with intention. Unlike say...other movies I haven't seen, where it's like: just kill people and make blood splatter everywhere, the people will love it. Kubrick was trying to like...make a point with every camera shot he made and every scene he kept in the film. I think. Yeah? My Dad wanted me to see it when I was a kid, so I guess he and my Mom musta deemed it a-ok.

Anyhow, this discussion is awesome, thanks for sharing your opinions with me everyone. And yeah..Tara is okay now. Emerging like a Phoenix, etc.

Pike-a-dilly said...

Hmm. Liberal voice.

I suppose i came off wrong if you think i want her silenced. I dont always agree with her, more often than not because of the way she chooses to get her message out, mostly by picking dumb over-publicized celebrity fights, but i dont want her silenced. just stating why i dont particularly like her. which is fine, yeah?

as for not many liberal voices, this is true. but i am also not looking for a liberal voice, or a conservative voice. I'm looking for the actual "fair and balanced" voice that o'reilly fakes. which doesnt exist really, closest is probably the friggin daily show, which is pathetic, yeah?

Anonymous said...

I've read a lot of your blog, haven't commented hardly at all, but was compelled to give you kudos on this entry. One can't help but be worried at the fact that daily we hear a blip about how many people died in Iraq, nustled between the news on who Paris Hilton kissed last night and Britney's latest vagina spotting. I hope Rosie doesn't give up all together on her fights for gun control/equal rights/etc. She's a refreshing breath of honesty in a time when everything is skewed away from humanity and toward money/politics/christian fundamentalism disguised as 'morals'

On a lighter note, I'd like to express my enjoyment of your writing. Also, I'd like to say that the new Teddy Grahams Oatmeal flavor are, as they say nowadays, 'da bomb'

sincerely from middle america