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Shit that Pissed me off – 6/19

NRA Board Member Chooses the Occasion of a Tragic Shooting to Blame the Victims

I could mention a lot of things that piss me off about the latest mass shooting in Charleston.

I’m pissed that in spite of the fact the killer is a self admitted racist, there are lots of people who insist that this wasn’t about race.

I’m pissed because South Carolina still flies the Confederate flag at its state capitol and state leaders continually try to pretend there are no racist connotations that can be associated with that flag.

Flying these two flags together kind of misses the point.

Flying these two flags together kind of misses the point.

And I’m pissed because every time there is a mass shooting, some pro-gun nuts find ways to blame it on the victims because they weren’t carrying a gun.

This dude blames one of the victims because he was a legislator who actively campaigned against allowing guns in churches.  As if that is some sort of crazy far left-wing position that made him some sort of fringe politician.

What kind of whacked out liberal would oppose guns in churches?

The NRA solution to gun violence is always MOAR GUNZ! I guess I understand because that’s their solution to everything.

One wonders, though, if just once they could wait until the bodies are in the ground.

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What the Fork?

Let’s see if I can make this funny…

I was poking around CNN this morning and I came across this article in which Vince Vaughn outlined his opinions on guns.  He likes them.  A lot.

Now I’m on record as not being a big fan of guns.  I don’t like them in much the way that Vince Vaugh likes them a lot.

I don’t like that we seem to have a love affair with guns in this country.  It feels a little bit creepy.  We wrap our adoration with guns up in a whole bunch of contrived excuses but I think we mostly just like guns a lot.

I may not be a fan of guns but I understand that the second amendment gives us a right to bear arms. I’m not questioning Vince Vaughn’s right to carry a gun any more than he should question my right to not carry one.  Since I’ve clearly stated that I don’t want Vince’s guns, let’s get down to my issue.

In his steadfast opinion that we’d all be a lot more safe if everyone carried guns, Vaughn makes the following statement about banning guns:

Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat

Um…ok.  That’s a cute analogy that was probably pulled right of an NRA brochure but it really isn’t the same thing at all.  See, people don’t need a fork to get fat.  In fact, they can down a few bags of Cheetos without any utensils at all.

Maybe that’s what Vaughn means.  If people don’t have guns to kill people, they will just use a different tool.  Just as a gluten sensitive overweight person will use their hands to eat Cheetos if a fork isn’t legal, so too will a crazed lunatic use a knife if a gun isn’t legal.

The difference being that a fat person can eat a lot more Cheetos with their hands but a crazy person can’t kill as many people as quickly with a knife.

Who needs a fork anyway?  You can eat Cheetos with chopsticks!

Who needs a fork anyway? You can eat Cheetos with chopsticks!

The basic argument that we should arm school teachers to prevent school shootings sounds logical until we consider that instead of one shooter, we now have multiple shooters.  No matter the intent of all those people with guns, the fact is there are more bullets flying around and it really seems like that is a recipe for more people getting hurt.

But what if it isn’t?  What if the single best idea for safer schools is an arsenal in every classroom?

Even if allowing teachers to carry guns is a great idea (until a teacher goes crazy and starts shooting up their school – but that would never happen because teachers never go crazy), I don’t honestly think Vaughn or people like him want their guns because of school shootings.

Earlier in the article, Vaughn says this:

We have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government.

A-ha!  The problem isn’t really school shootings, it is our right to rise up and resist the government!

First off, Vince, if we are going to rise up and resist the corrupt government, I think you should have a look at one of these:

It's a tank

It’s a tank

Our government has a lot of these.  Not these specifically.  This is a model and I think it’s British.  Our government has great big American tanks.  A lot of them.

I don’t know what kind of gun you have, Vince, but I don’t think it’ll do much to stop a tank.  In fact, if you stood in front of a tank and fired a gun and I stood in front of a tank and didn’t fire at it with my not gun, we’d both still be crushed when it ran us over.

If our government really wants to put you down, Vince, your guns won’t be able to stop them.  You know that, right?

But let’s explore the likelihood of our government putting us down.  When Clevon Bundy engaged in armed resistance of the government back in 2015 (because he refused to leave land that didn’t belong to him), how many people got killed?  Did the government opress the shit out of Bundy or is he still on the land that doesn’t belong to him?

I know that someone will bring up Waco as an example of the government oppressing people with guns and yes, that was a tragedy.  Let’s keep in mind that the people following David Koresh were also crazy.

In fact, most abuses of government power are police officers shooting unarmed people who are, frequently, black men.  So how do you think the scales will be tipped if those black men were all given guns?  It’s their constitutional right!

Will more or less black men die?  How about more or less police officers?

Let’s assume that Trayvon Martin had a gun the night he was killed.  Let’s further assume it was a firearm he was legally allowed to carry.  Let’s further assume that George Zimmerman approached Martin in a threatening manner and Martin shot him in what he believed to be self defense.

My hunch is nobody would be talking about Martin as a champion of the right to bear arms.

What if we armed everyone at the protests in Ferguson last year?  Would that have prevented deadly violence?  And if a bunch of police, who are representatives of an “oppressive government,” got killed, would we all be talking about how those brave protestors were “taking back our country?”

Honestly, I question how oppressed movie star Vince Vaughn is anyway.  I mean, when he talks oppression, I’m assuming he means taxes.

Because he can definitely say anything he wants.  He can go virtually anywhere he wants.  I guess one could argue being prevented from entering certain rooms in the Pentagon due to national security issues is oppression but how often do movie stars need to do that?

Vince and I can both agree there are things we’d prefer our government didn’t do.  We might disagree on what those are but I just don’t feel the boot of the government on my neck.  In fact, most Americans don’t.  Most Americans spend most of their lives barely dealing with the government.

So I have to assume he is talking about taxes.

Taxes suck.  I’d love it if they were lower.  We could lower them a ton by slashing the military budget in this country.  It would result in fewer tanks, which would make resistance a little bit easier.

All of this is ridiculous.

That’s my point.  The pro gun stance is nothing more than a bunch of people who really like guns trying to make excuses for why they like those guns.

So why not just say “I want to have my guns because I really like guns?” And why not admit that when you are talking about everyone’s right to bear arms, you are really talking about your own right to bear arms?

People in most third world countries would laugh at the concept that our government is oppressive.  You want to understand oppression?  Here’s another picture of a tank.

1_0

So stop with the paranoid rhetoric about how we have to be prepared to resist a government that forces us to drive sober and stop at red lights.

Go to the range and shoot your guns.  Have fun!  And stop making excuses.

The Bull in our Stars

Constellations are weird.

I can understand people looking in the sky and seeing pictures.  I see pictures in the clouds all the time.

From our perspective, stars are just dots in the sky.  It makes a lot of sense that people would just play connect the dots.  Especially given our pre-disposition to finding patterns in everything.

What has always seemed strange to me, though, is the pictures that human beings have found in the stars.  Not all of them.  The big dipper makes sense.

bigdipper_december

I see a handle.  I see a cup.  It looks like a dipper. It also looks a little bit like the Tin Man’s oil can but I’m willing to call it a dipper.

It is also part of Ursa Major.  Which is supposed to look like a bear.

Ursa-major2

Ignore the picture of the bear juxtaposed over that group of stars and ask yourself: if you looked at that particular grouping of stars, would you immediately come to the conclusion it is a bear?

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The Hammer is Not My Penis

mlss_luigi-hammerEveryone has their strengths.  I’m good at many things but if I have one really stellar skill, it is in my ability as an MC.  I can host the shit out of stuff.

When I started with Vilification Tennis, I was a vilifier.  I was OK, I guess.  I didn’t suck.  But when I took over as the host of Vilification Tennis, I transformed the show.  I didn’t transform it by making myself the star of the show.  I transformed it because I figured out how to make the show look better to the audience.

I just have a basic understanding of how to run a show from the stage.  There is a reason that I’m the front guy for The Dregs.  Nobody has to tell me how to do it.  I just know.

Every now and again, though, something happens that freaks me out a little.  I get rattled.

We all get rattled sometimes.  It can be a challenge as an MC because you need to be focused on the show and on the moment.  If you are spending a bunch of the show worried about a choice you made, you aren’t in the moment.

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Death Threats: The Mic Drop of the Internet

6a00d8341c652b53ef0133f4fe59e7970b-800wiLately I’ve been noticing that the default response to someone doing something you dislike on the internet is to send them a death threat.

Say you aren’t going to serve pizza to gay people?

Death threat!

Say you ARE going to serve pizza to gay people?

Death threat!

Be a woman with an opinion that you choose to say out loud?

Death threat! Rape Threat!  Public exposure of your address, phone number, and place of business!  But you shouldn’t take it so personally!

It has become clear a death threat is the internet equivalent of a mic drop.

Think you have a cogent argument?  I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!

BOOM!  Your argument is invalid!

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The Sound of Your Voice

This weekend, someone told me that they hated the sound of their voice.  I replied with a much too flippant “everyone hates the sound of their voice.”

Flippant or not, I think my response was kind of true. Our voices sound different to us than they do to everyone else.  When we hear a recording of our voice, we are likely to have an Yzma moment. f30c7262c3ccfa8a271c83eb425477cf Yes, I’m sad to say.  That is your voice.  Nothing you can do about it except get used to it.  Because you want to know who doesn’t think your voice sounds weird? Everyone else.  Many of them have been listening to you for years and do you know why none of them have complained about how horrible you sound when you speak? Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/10

Police Officer Shot a Man in the Back and was Caught Lying About it

If you click through to the link, there is video of a man being shot to death.  That’s important to know because you might not want to watch such a thing.

Early reports about this incident indicated that the victim tried to take the officer’s taser and the officer shot him in self-defense.  That was the story the officer repeated over and over again.  And it was a lie.

If I said I didn't like ice cream, it would also be a lie.  A harmless lie.  Unlike this lie.

If I said I didn’t like ice cream, it would also be a lie. A harmless lie. So when the officer lied to save his skin, it’s kind of like that, right?

Even if the victim had tried to take a taser before the video starts, it is obvious he posed no threat to the officer when he was running away and eight bullets were fired at his back.

Without that video, the officer would not be facing murder charges.  Thousands of people would be telling us that we weren’t there so we couldn’t know what really happened.  We should take the word of the police officer because why would he lie?

I don’t know.  Maybe for the same reasons as anyone else?

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