I really doubt this is going to foster solidarity with the kind of people who oppose gun control, Mr. President.
If you only see in black and white, you may as well be blind. When I was in the fifth grade, a kid in our school had a sore throat and his parents wouldn’t let him stay home. They were dumb enough to send him on his way with a handful of cough drops, and thanks to our elementary’s “Zero Tolerance” policy toward drugs, that half of a half of a half of a gram of menthol may as well have been a pound of uncut Colombian blow. That kid was suspended for three days for bringing “stimulants” to class, when what he had in his lunchbox was probably less mind-altering than the espresso shots in the teacher’s macchiato. (I thank God for this- he probably had enough to share with the class, and we all know Ricola is a gateway drug. If it hadn’t have been for the principal’s swift action, I might be sucking a cock for crack right now.) These stories aren’t even uncommon- you hear all the time about students getting detention for drawing a gun or bringing a butter knife to lunch because of a “Zero Tolerance” policy toward weapons, too. A policy that’s all or nothing is going to have a lot of casualties- and these casualties will be literal if that policy is a zealous pro-gun stance. The NRA and Americans in favor of the second Amendment hold way too hard a line, especially in the face of the recent Sandy Hook Tragedy. There are some arguments I respect and some I don’t, and the opinion that all Americans should have easy access to unnecessarily powerful murder weapons after twenty children were killed by them definitely fits into the latter category. There’s room for some debate on the second amendment and guns, but sorry, rights to home assault rifles aren’t on the table. Unfortunately, there are some who take a “Zero Tolerance” stance on being rational, like Ben Howe, the subject of this week’s Sam West Writes This Presents: Annotative Mockery. I will mark up Ben’s unbelievable article, “Gun Control: WWJD?” to attempt to gain insight into the mind of the uncompromising gun nut.
These seven states have enough signatures on their petition to warrant a response from the Obama administration.
Growing up in Alabama means dealing with the fact that your ancestors were all racists who fought a bloody war in defense of their terrible beliefs- German teenagers probably know the feeling, too. I’m not one of the history-deniers. The Confederacy was founded to keep slavery alive. Part of that had to do with “state’s rights,” sure- state’s rights to own people as property. And yes, there was a difference between the industrial and agrarian cultures of the North and South- the latter needed a lot of manpower to be effective, manpower that was best provided by workers that didn’t get paid. If you believe that the Confederate States of America was anything other than one of History’s drunken mistakes, sorry. Your predecessors, like mine, died for what they believed in, and that was a literally evil institutionalized nightmare. And whenever I feel like maybe the world is getting to be a better place- what with its gay senators and legalized marijuana- my people manage to step up to the plate to remind me we have a long way to go. A long, long goddamn way.
You guys remember MySpace? It was this thing on the internet before Facebook and Tumblr. The other day, while reminiscing about my terrible Web 1.0 Wikipage filled with an eye-damaging amount of animated gifs and Futurama screencaps, I thought we should all take a walk down memory lane, to a time when our culture was just as stupid as it is now, but in a different way. This is The Journey Inward, in which I answer a MySpace survey written in 2007. You may learn about me, but we will all learn about ourselves. The power of friendship was inside your heart all along.
About once a week, I receive a comment on any given of my musical articles calling me a heartless bastard incapable of enjoying any art whatsoever. And they’re right- I have no ability to feel anything other than rage/hatred or smug superiority. But compared to what you’re about to read, I’m a sunshine wallflower drunk on the sensory ale that is life. What follows is an inside look at an actual, real article by Ben Shapiro, writer for Breitbart dot com. This man considers Nirvana, John Lennon, the Who, and Bob Dylan to all be overrated and horrible, and by the end of it, you are going to wonder what kind of music he possibly likes at all. So, a warning to those with weak constitutions or fans of any music released in the past 75 years- you’re going to get pissed off at what this guy has to say.