Friday, 16 August 2013

In Which I Hate Everything

It's been kind of a shitty week for progressives, or really anyone with souls.  First off, Starbucks in the States decides there's just no fun in drinking a soy latte if you can't stir it with gun barrel.  Which, in itself is up to them, though I hope they make it exceptionally clear to their patrons just who it's' been decided they'll be safe sitting next to.  Of course, the NRA - one of those organisations so horrifically unpleasant at its highest echelons it's difficult to feel for those members who object to being lumped in with their mickity-mucks - decided this was reason to celebrate, and the best way to get their gun-lovin' a goin' was to head off for a day trip to the Starbucks at - and you know where this is going - Newtown.

The bloody-minded insistence that a country can only be safe when it's packing enough lead to sink Grenada (actually, they tried that in the '80s, I think) strikes me as pretty much entirely untethered from anything I can recognise as reality, but fair enough. People can believe it honestly, and they can believe it completely.  Showing up to gloat about their victories in a town that lost twenty six lives in a school shooting just eight months earlier?  That's about just wanting to be dicks.  Every time Aaron Sorkin gets on his high horse about liberals just plain not liking people who like guns, I think of instances like this, and I think "Well, gee, chief, why do you think that is?".

Naturally, when the Starbucks in question shut early, the NRA complained they were being victimised. Because freedom doesn't just mean getting to carry guns, it means being forced to sell coffee to gun-carriers who should be spat upon in the street.

(And not for nothing, but Charles Pierce absolutely nails it here: how can a Muslim-sponsored building near Ground Zero be a profound offensive to the survivors of 9/11, but sending armed caffeine-addicts into Newtown to remind them how utterly, completely their horrific tragedy has mattered to anyone with any power is what the Constitution is all about?)

Sticking with America and guns - because really, how could you run out of material that way? - we stumble across some delightful anti-abortion protesters (via Maha) who are attempting to get an abortion clinic in Wichita moved.  Their justifications for this contain two of the most perfect encapsulations of far-right thought I can remember reading:
[I]t is inappropriate for schoolchildren commuting past the clinic to see protest signs depicting graphic images relating to abortion.

[T]he South Wind Women’s Center is allowing volunteers to escort women into the clinic in hopes that they will harass the anti-abortion protesters outside and provoke a shooting. He said Julie Burkhart, the founder and owner of the clinic, would blame the incident on the protesters in order to raise money.
I'm not sure there's any point in playing Wingnut Bingo ever again.  What right-wing bromides, soundbites, insults or accusations could compare to these statements, these masters of the form.  This victim-complex as artwork.  Abortion protesters should get what they want because otherwise they'll show horrible photographs to passing children?  Volunteers are deliberately exposing themselves to gunfire so that if they're shot they can blame the protesters?  It's not that I've never heard this kind of argument before - I've seen Reservoir Dogs - but there's a reason "If they hadn't have done what I told them not to do they'd still be alive" is a line from an actor playing a psychopath rather than a comment offered to the local press.  It gets hard to listen to the far right complain liberals all think they're smarter than them whilst they also insist they can't be expected to see a worker at an abortion clinic offering support for victimised women without blowing their heads off.

Guns don't kill people, people doing things wingnuts hate where wingnuts can see it being done do.

But let's not pick on the US. Terrible arguments and terrible treatment of people is the sport everyone can get in on nowadays.  Unless they're gay, obviously.  To say that this is an unbelievably cowardly decision by the IOC seems a waste of breath, but it's the decision's basis in a rule banning "propaganda" that turns it from snivelling wretchedness into an out-and-out "fuck you".  Because in an entire country just been told to round up their homosexuals and keep quiet if it makes them queasy, nothing says "presenting only one side of an argument" like the idea there should be one building in six and a half million square miles where people can sit without fear of being beaten to a pulp for the crime of making Vladimir Putin feel icky.

Gods, but I loathe this world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I travelled to the USA not long after the World Trade Center was destroyed and the response was incredible - no water bottles, no sharp objects but the airline magazine was still available, a deadly weapon in the hands of a terrorist, and I had to take my shoes off to go through security. I wonder, though, how many Americans are killed each year by their fellow citizens and why a similar response has not been elicited.
All the best, WhatHappensToTheNitrogen

PS, the lad just siad to me, "Don't talk to it, Merry."