In his brilliant comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wild wrote: “We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality.” — and while I certainly agree with Kai’s studied seriousness about what’s happened here, there is something to be said for Mik’s treating it like a springboard to a good joke or two.
Sometimes all you can really do is just break down and laugh at how insane life has become these days. Like many of you, I saw the images from the gun-nuts swarming the Virginia state capitol building, all of them armed to the proverbial teeth and saying, as loudly as possible to anyone who’d listen, that no one was taking away their guns, that they had a God-given right to them, and that, as far as they were concerned, was that.
And they did this on Martin Luther King Day. Certainly not coincidental by any stretch of the imagination. Still, I looked at all these guys and thought, Damn, if we needed a shining example of a frail and threatened humanity, here it is, in all its glory. The governor of Virginia had said he wasnt taking anything away, just that he wanted them to leave these things home if they planned on taking a stroll through the halls of governance. Naturally, everyone got their ammo clips in a wad and imagined left-wing, tree-hugging, West Coast liberals under their beds and in their gun cases, and this was the result.
And naturally I immediately wondered if they’d feel as secure in their God-given masculinity if they saw a black man toting a rifle into the State Legislature Building. Eh, probably not.
… which leads to: there’s a larger issue here as well, one that precipitated this storyline, the idea that the best way to handle a problem is to just shoot it and hopefully kill it. It’s almost become the default solution to everything in America, one that knows no race, no gender, nothing. Dont like that the wife stepped out on you? Shoot her. Dont like that someone at Waffle House didnt give you correct change? Shoot him. Dont like that someone doesnt share your sense of sexuality or skin colour or religion? Shoot ’em all, and let God sort it out, as the uber-masculine t-shirt of the 70s once proclaimed.
I dont know that there’s an answer to all this, folks. That train has left the station and rolled off the rails. I keep hoping cooler heads will prevail, but then I realize that the reason they’re cooler is that they probably have a shotgun shell that went straight through…
OK, something lighter. I think we need it, right? Besides, there’s a certain couple that just moved to Vancouver Island…