Only the news

Well, it’s Thursday, I don’t feel like talking about what went down during therapy (although it was pretty productive, actually) and there’s some stuff hanging around the browser looking impatient and bored, so I guess it’s time for spring cleaning.

First off, hey, let’s argue about guns! I’ll start us off.

First, hey wow, Jim Carrey. Still around. When is the last time he did a movie? I think the last thing he did of note was Mister Hopper’s Penguins, which tells ya something about career trajectory.

I am not a fan. I was, back in the heady days of Ace Ventura, which I thought was hilarious when I saw it in the theater but I am pretty sure I would hate now.

After that, did not have much use for him. The last straw was when I followed him on Twitter, and found his twitter ramblings weird and offputting and kind of dickish.

Much like the man.

But to give him his due, I really liked Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and I Love You Philip Morris, so I can’t poo-poo his career too much.

So that’s Jim Carrey. Let’s talk about the sketch itself, as comedy.

Well, like pretty much everything JC does on his own, it is brilliant in many ways, but marred by that psychotic intensity of his and his tendency to amp everything up way beyond 11. Because of this, even his legitimate satire comes across as more abusive farce than anything else, like he is a Spitting Image puppet brought to life by a well meaning but terminally clueless fairy godmother.

Also, and relatedly, it means that it lacks the most important ingredient in satire, which is accuracy. Satire needs to be accurate to be funny and not just mean. As with libel and slander, its main defense is the truth. Satire works because it exposes hypocrisy and thus resolves the tension in our minds between, for instance, what someone says and what they do, or what they said then as opposed to what they say now.

This resolution feels great, and that, to put it simply, is why satire is funny. But in order to get at that tension, your aim must be true. You have to hit the target dead on so that people recognize the hypocrisy you are satirizing, and then, boom, comedy.

So while I agree with the general sentiment Carrey is putting forth, he does it in a really sloppy and disturbingly tweaked way. So as comedy, the skit is deeply flawed.

OK, so let’s talk guns.

I agree that gun culture in the USA is destructive macho bullshit, grown up men acting like little boys who can conjure up any number of imaginary aliens to justify their building a pillow fort and running around the house goes pew pew pew.

That is why gun culture and paranoia are so intimately linked. They pretend they need the guns to protect themselves, but in reality, they want the gun because guns are cool and make them feel powerful and dangerous and such, and they will invent whatever phantoms they need to invent to justify getting them.

It is also why gun culture and right wing politics are so intimately linked. In general, conservatism is based on anger and fear, whereas liberalism is based on guilt and compassion.

And so the conservative emotional primitivism, where only primal emotions like rage and fear are trusted and anything more complex or nuanced are mistrusted to the point of loathing, works perfectly with gun culture, which is founded on anger and fear.

Truth is, crime is rare. Very rare. Especially in suburbia. That is why that gun is more likely to hurt you than any criminal. It’s not that you are an idiot. It’s just that crime is so incredibly rare that gun accidents can’t help to be more likely.

So I don’t think anybody “needs” a gun for self-defense. That is pure self-serving delusional bullshit, akin to a man claiming he “needs” a new power tool for some project he will never do because he can’t just admit he bought it because power tools are cool and he wanted to play with it for a while.

Or a woman claiming she “needs” more clothes when she has a closet full to bursting with outfits, and in reality, she just enjoys shopping.

That all said… a lot of gun control legislation is pointless and punitive and kneejerk, purely based on some politician’s need to be seen to be Doing Something About It.

So yeah, background checks. That makes sense. How else do we make sure crazy people and felons do not get guns? Also basic licensing. Nothing too damned complicated.

It should be roughly as hard to get a gun license as it is to get a driver’s license. In both cases, we want to make sure that we can trust this person with a dangerous and potentially lethal machine.

Hmm. This blog entry is going to go long.

Next news item : some great news from Ottawa. Stephen Harper’s government is fraying around the edges as some of his MPs go rogue!

Sure, it’s only a few socially conservatives complaining about the Harper government leaning hard on them to make sure they do not have to talk about abortion in Parliament, but still.

Of course Harper does not want to talk abortion. It’s a third rail topic and a real vote loser for anyone right of center. The problem, of course, is that there is only so long you can string the social conservatives along and pretend you care about their concerns without letting them actually get anywhere near getting anything done.

How rapidly Canadians forgot the entire reason the Reform Party came into existence in the first place. It was because socially conservative voters were shut out of Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives, and that set the stage for Preston Manning to come along and gather up all those dissatisfied folks and lead them under his banner.

But no, then the same kind of bastard that wrecked the Progressive Conservative party forever, basically destroyed it, started up this whole Unite the Right thing, and somehow managed to convince all those Reform people that this time it would be different.

Well guess what? They are not different at all, are they Steve? Just another bunch of crooked businessmen out to loot Canada and keep it all for themselves and their cronies, jerking the social conservatives along by the nose and basically saying “You have to vote for us because we are the only ones who will even pretend we are going to address your concerns.

Now obviously, I don’t want their concerns addressed either. I am a social liberal, after all. So I don’t feel too badly about these people being jerked around by the Conservatives.

But I do wish they would wise up and split the right again. And who knows, maybe that is coming.

I have said before, the only thing that will take the Harper government down is if enough of his own people are willing to turn against him and toss his ass out on a vote of confidence like they did many years ago to that cunt Diefenbaker.

And Stephen Harper is just the kind of smug prick who thinks he is invulnerable to make it happen, too.

So pray with me, for Canada’s sake, for more rancor, divisiveness, and chaos in the Conservative camp.

What’s left… hmmm… I know there was one more thing.

Oh yeah. KISS is hooking up with Hello Kitty.

For reals, y’all. Click the link. I shits thou not.

Seeya tomorrow folks! with SCIENCE!

One thought on “Only the news

  1. I first heard about the Jim Carrey thing by a series of steps in an unhappy order. The first thing I saw was “Jim Carrey calls Fox News a bag of shit!” and I thought, “Hey, maybe Jim Carrey isn’t all bad after all.” Then I find out he only said that because Fox News attacked him for hating the gun owners. So now I hate Jim Carrey even more. I’m not sure whether I want to see this video of his.

    As a pro-gun far-left liberal, I don’t go in for these pat, glib takes on why people want guns. It’s not because they’re cool (though that’s why they’re in every movie) and it’s not because they’re secretly penises (when all else fails, question your opponent’s manhood!). It really is what the Alex Joneses say it is—preventing tyranny; self-defense—and the fact that some right-wing psychos are also really into guns does not mean we should resort to stereotypes instead of reason.

    I wish there was a way to bring the two sides together. I’m sure that there are some reasonable steps that can be taken to make owning a gun safer, and curb those statistics. But that gets lost in the rhetoric of people who really do want to take guns completely away from the average person.

    If there was a device that did the exact same thing as a gun in terms of preventing tyranny and protecting one’s self from crime, but it was a powder-pink plush kitty cat, and there was no way for it to malfunction and hurt an innocent person, that would be perfectly fine with me. And probably with Alex Jones, too. And then you’d see a lot of politicians wanting it banned.

    On that note, I like the Hello Kitty Paul Stanley button. Hey, maybe Pez will make Kiss Hello Kitty Pez!

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