Wednesday, October 14, 2020

So.... Cracked is back to gun control...

And doing so in a article that....  questions if free speech and representative governance is good.

Buckle up.

After a part decrying free speech for the commoners we get this part:


For example, after every mass shooting, my feed is full of celebrities saying "Get rid of the guns" and columns about how it's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment, pointing out that half-measures like background checks and mental health interventions won't stop similar attacks. The problem is that, even without looking at polls, you have to know that Americans really, really like guns. If you do look at the polls, you'll find that only one in five Americans want to repeal the 2nd Amendment and only one in nine feel strongly about it. Yet, when we see a video of sprawled corpses in a shopping center, millions of well-meaning people think, "It'd be nice if we could just, you know, do it anyway."

This is coming to a head sooner than you think. What happens when those exact same voters stand in the way of fixing global warming, aka, the thing that could collapse civilization? In order to curb emissions in time, we apparently have to ban new gasoline cars within 15 years or so, and beef consumption has to drop dramatically even sooner than that. But Americans love their gasoline cars even more than guns (more than 97% of new car buyers still choose gas over electric, with huge gas-guzzling trucks being the fastest-growing market), and they love their hamburgers and steaks even more (Americans average more than a pound of beef a week, only 5% of us are vegetarians).


So....  the whole "background checks and red flaws" are just half measures?    And the mentioning of Celebrities filling my twitter feed, right after decrying free speech....


So much for "nobody wants to take your guns" or... nobody wants to take your cars or meat...
And note this is *AFTER* the item where the writer muses that most of the populace just can't handle free speech.

That's actually the unspoken tension behind every argument about censorship or "cancel culture." Speech only exists in human brains, so the problem isn't the comedian's bigoted joke; it's the assumption that some segment of the audience will not have the brainpower to know what to do with it. You're giving a blowtorch to a toddler. 


Blow-torch toddler.  But guns should be banned because Celebrities want it.



If society can't be saved without a strong majority of citizens on board, and we secretly believe that most of them are immune to both reason and empathy, then what are we suggesting be done? This isn't a rhetorical question! We literally will have to answer it! Shit!

Saved.  
So....  what is the answer?

If right after complaining about people having free speech....  one complains about what to do to with a majority of voters who "are immune to both reason and empathy",  what conclusion would you come to?

Followed by an item about.... dropping testosterone?  And bemoaning some culture war: 


That is, in fact, the larger problem -- our addiction to antagonism has made us even worse at processing information than we already were. When every spoken word is seen as a shot fired in some goddamned culture war, then facts are useful only as ammunition.


Yeah shame that.

ANd then gets into a neo-luddite rant about automation.  Which then goes to "twitter feed solutions"

The obvious solution, among the people in my Twitter feed, is a Universal Basic Income. To make up for paychecks lost to automation, the government taxes the corporations and gives us a monthly check just for existing. This would apparently mean that a skilled and ambitious minority will continue to do the tasks too advanced for robots, but the hundreds of millions displaced by self-driving cars, delivery drones, and retail kiosks will just become full-time consumers, I guess? Planted on the sofa, staring at a screen and getting zombified by social media dopamine drips?


That's the positive solution!


But what about people who still have to work?

He or she then passes by a porch full of stoned, giggling UBI neighbors, still up from an all-night gaming session (it doesn't matter if this characterization of the neighbors is unfair -- what matters is the perception). You're saying this person won't feel any resentment toward them? That they won't feel like their own vote should count for more, that the system shouldn't be geared more toward the needs of the "producers?"


Well....  given earlier you proposed that some people can't handle free speech, and that people who like such icky things as guns.... meat... or cars.... can still vote is "problematic".....

Again, what solution comes to mind?


And to be clear, I'm not pointing the finger at anyone but myself here. I don't have children, even though I have a yard, a spare bedroom, and a penis that almost works too well. Shouldn't I be forced to raise at least two replacement kids and train them in some high-value task? Shit, am I even doing a high-value task? I make a good living writing escapist novels with increasingly stupid titles. Isn't that a frivolous inefficiency in the system? Shouldn't somebody be forcing me to write patriotic propaganda or cautionary tales about climate change?


Umm....  doesn't that sound pretty fascist?  So much for, I can do what I want as long as I'm not hurting anyone else....


But it gets better

I spent thousands of dollars on vet bills when my dog got cancer; would that be allowed in a perfectly just and efficient society? In fact, should people capable of treating cancer even be allowed to waste their talents on dogs?


Should. Be. Allowed.   We have a man who literally is bemoaning not just that people are allowed to care for pets, but that veterinary workers are ALLOWED to provide such care.

Nobody is taking your veterinary oncologists.

If you want to know how compassionate, caring, eco-woke people can end up oh-so-reluctantly endorsing fascism? Here you go.  (And for more examples the comments can be pretty chilling)

And this shows why a grounding in what was once called Classical Liberalism is so *vital*  because without a foundation of: "Yeah individuals for all their flaws have rights in what they can say and do"  you end up with....


"Well, maybe for the good of all free speech, universal suffrage,  self defense, vehicular mobility should be replaced by food rationing,  assigned labor serfdom,  censorship of books,  full rationing of medical care"  And not one wiff or worry about the corruption or /who/ would be running such a state?

I mean going "*We* need to take away all the freedoms and inefficiencies of liberal democracy, for the duration of the emergency" sounds a /bit/ familiar no

Friday, August 7, 2020

Cracked on the NY AG suit on the NRA

A..... shockingly non vitriolic (other than the standard boilerplate) article from, even more shockingly, the very angry Dan Duddly.


And isn't wrong about the worries of corruption.  If anything the article understates the severity and amount of it.

Though it wouldn't be an anti-gun bent if there wasn't the standard disconnect.

 I mean, this is an organization that was so fervently pro-gun that they lobbed insults at survivors of a school shooting. Could it be that the NRA's true motivations were not necessarily protecting gun-rights, so much as they were to stoke the flames of the gun-rights debate to drive donations to line their pockets and take trips to the Bahamas? It's just a theory, but I don't think it's a bad one.


Sure sure.  The whole Ack-Mac advertising firm is a big example of advertising that is confrontational and tribal and more about "Go Team Red! Hate Team Blue!" than anything gun rights related.

But then you get the next sentences:

 After all, there was a time where the NRA supported sensible gun legislation and even drafted the legislation requiring permits for concealed weapons. Perhaps people on both sides of the aisle would be a lot closer together on gun control if guys like Wayne LaPierre didn't have a direct financial incentive to drive them apart

Ah.  And yes both those articles are of the bent of "Why doesn't the NRA just support gun control!" 

So the important goal that the article ends on is... the NRA needs to protect gun rights by....  supporting gun control.

It is a tell when a guy who would write daily articles (or did before Cracked may have put the editorial boot on him) about how awful Trump and everyone not a Progressive is (this is just to point out that the man is quite happy to write vitriolic screeds)

And cheered  any gun control, and mocked the NRA.... and /his/ reaction to a state AG moving to dissolve the NRA is to the effect of "Well, guess we'll have to wait for the netflix documentary to see the real story?"

Not cheering or high fives?
Interesting.

Then again when the top voted comment, on the article itself, is this:

the NRA is a bloated organization that has bent the knee & outright supported every major gun legislation made in the US. they care more about getting donations & corporate sponsorships than they do about the 2nd.

you wanna take them down, & leave a giant NRA sized hole for competent 2A organizations to step into?

DO IT. FUCKING DO IT.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Cracked: Police, Guns, and the Dog that didnt' Bark

After a few months, Cracked finally has an article about guns and the police.

Specifically about how Police in Other Countries Treat Firearms.

Shocking from Cracked it's not how police treat armed citizens... it's how police treat their own guns.

There's not even a mention int he article about gun laws in the use for the public.

And this is from Dan Duddly, one of Cracked's more angry writers.

The most gun controlish is when he cites The Trace....
George Floyd did not die by a bullet. His cause of death was asphyxiation brought about by compression of the neck. Still, it could easily be argued that the officer who killed him, and the three other officers who prevented bystander intervention were empowered to do so because they were armed.

 And this end may hint....

I don't know whether the solution is to defund the police, disarm the police, abolish the police, or something else entirely. But we're clearly doing something wrong here, and it's all the more frustrating because everyone else seems to have figured it out already.

Though I suppose he avoids a reflexive demand for gun control because

1) the two examples he cites neither person killed was armed

2) any gun control would be enforced by the police.  So could be like Stop and Frisk or like the War on Drugs in general, where the police would be even further empowered to go after people,

3) the argument of "cops are trigger-happy racists who will kill unarmed minorities. Clearly they need to go around disarming minorities," is a bit.... tough.

and

4) This doesn't even get into how police departments are except from gun laws.  They can have high capacity magazines, assault weapons, even full on machine guns.  And officers are except from many laws for their personal weapons (safe handgun rosters, carry permits) which carries on after they retire from the force.

So when one of Craked's most prolific angry culture warrior writers can't bring himself to go after gun rights....

Friday, May 15, 2020

Cracked: Bored with Gun Control?

Well....  maybe.

Take this rather expected article about "Everyday Stuff America Sucks at Compared to Everybody else"
There are a lot of not-great things about the great U.S. of A. But we're not talking about the big stuff like healthcare or gun control or deciding which handsy uncle gets to become the next de facto Emperor of Planet Earth.

That's an amusing opening.  Both for the two bugaboos that the writers just give up on, and for admitting that Biden is equivalent to Trump.

I mean...  not arguing here.

And the list itself is, pardon the pun, a pretty pedestrian bucket of gripes.

Couple this with that Cracked's only mention of their recent mass killing and sweeping (if... clumsy) gun control up in Canada.  Which was #9 our of 12, so near the very bottom

And there's no mention at all of the killing, just the ban, which even they admit has the whole 2 year amnesty...

And then today... no gun control mentioned... but they do use a picture of a senator they don't like holding a gun while calling him a "trash boy".

The article that also came out today,  see the previous post shows Cracked still has a hostility to gun owners, but for now they're not putting much effort into articulating it.


Cracked: Self awareness what's that?

Our Brains Can't Handle This Without a Villain.

Craked... isn't wrong.

Amazingly.... no mention of President Trump.  And only a veiled reference to "political leaders".  And wow...  no mention of China at all.   Not even to mock Anti-Asian racists or conspiracy theorists who thought it escaped a lab.

That's right.  In an article about people needing a villain in the Pandemic they won't even touch the two big villains in popular culture.  (And it's not like they won't mock conspiracy theories,  they'll mocked people blaming it on 5G).

That's a real "dog who didn't bark" right there.


The history of anti-government attitudes in America needs about 500,000 more words to go over than we have space for, but equating "We're technically ordering you to stay at home so people don't die, but ultimately we're just working on the honor system here because some of you are fucking nuts" with Orwellian tyranny is the culmination of treating every issue as having two equally viable and diametrically opposed viewpoints. At a time when the deletion of a horny tweet promoting a video game can be decried as "cultural Marxism," there has to be a pro-virus side. If there are heroes tolerating the death of loved ones, financial ruin or, most horrifying of all, hair that looks a little shaggy, some villain, however improbably, has to be benefitting from, and encouraging more of, all this human misery.

What's interesting is Cracked has a looong history of documenting horrific abuses of the US goverment has done to it's own citizens and other countries.   And as for there having to be a villain... recall the whole "oh so you want Grandma to die"  thing or the "Georgia genocide"   or "grim reaper at the beaches".  And that doesn't even get into the whole cancel culture around video games.  Again... something Cracked has a long history of detailing.

And there's a few oblique gun references.

Maybe the people currently pushing American gun sales to record highs aren't major cinephiles, but their apocalypse cosplay certainly puts them in the center of a reality where their violence is conveniently righteous. 
Less gun control and more.... well the standard classist "gun owners are stupid".

The article itself is...  well it raises some good points on people using simple narratives and how pop culture depicts pandemics.   And how it all has heroes versus villains versus sheep.  And the privileged versus the meek

But when you take a meta standpoint... it's clear that the article itself has a group of villains who for various selfish, paranoid, or greed reasons are not "doing their part". 


Of course, the obsession with giving every story heroes and villains has also given the handfuls of people waving signs about how 5G will melt your brain into goo outsized attention, because no one wants to read profiles of the people who did their part by staying home and re-enacting the entirety of Point Break in Animal Crossing. The escapism of post-apocalyptic stories is that the hero only has to be a little more ethical in their mass slaughter than the villains to be worth rooting for, that the societies we've spent millennia establishing will just melt away and never be thought of again. 
Emphasis added.

It is... interesting that the article is valorizing...  lazing on the couch.  Which.... well being able to do that, for MONTHS at a time is pretty damn privileged.

For all the talk about "global empathy" there is little attempt to understand why some people...  can't just play video-games on their couch.

And it was only....   about ten days ago that Cracked mocked the privilege of Celebrities... for being able to stay home and make vlogs...

And this whole...  wow,  look at all these people making enemies.... has a meta component as also published today on Cracked is a piece about a nasty protest   And while it raises good points about the mobs and ill-conceived protests the whole thing has a very "only these garbage people protest the state, you don't want to be one of them do you?"

And no... that's not reading too much into it as also today Cracked posted.... The Senate's Two Biggest Trash Boys Could Lose This November.  Which is itself not too far out of Cracked's wheelhouse and tone.  But when combined with the daily short articles that seem nothing more of agitating about the wrongs of the Trump Administration...

Well, it's kind of funny given today's article about the "need to make villains."  I'm sure it's a coincidence that during the 2nd month of the pandemic lockdown Cracked decided to go even further on articles against the enemy they see in all of this.


So... the article is right.

And they were right to go "our brains", because clearly the Cracked writing staff  needs a villain in all this as well.  They just can't connect the dots, or openly admit that they're just as human as the rest of us.


Monday, April 20, 2020

Cracked: The Media doesn't cover school massacres enough

How can cracked take a school massacre where no one was shot and turn it into a dog whistle for gun control?


This:
"4 Reporters Skipped America's Deadliest School Massacre To Witness Charles Lindbergh's Transatlantic Flight"

"As opposed to facing the gruesome realities of a school massacre, the return of the Lone Eagle was exactly the uplifting story needed during the Great Depression. News organizations pulled journalists covering the Bath disaster and reassigned them to report on Charles Lindbergh's heroic exploits, and the story of 38 murdered students was forgotten within the year. We're sure there's a lesson in there about America needing to take school tragedies more seriously and not get distracted by attention-seeking fascists, but how would that still be relevant today?"

Because school shootings don't get much media coverage in the US?  Note that it's not a plea for gun control, directly.  Just bemoaning how the US doesn't learn and the media isn't... pushing for it enough?

Huh?

And does Cracked really want to get in with Nazis and Gun Control?

Because the last time they tackled that it sounded a bit like an apologia. Including insinuating that Nazi gun control did not go far enough, victim-blaming the Warsaw Uprising, and other creepy pro-fascist statements.


 Such as how it's not "gun policy" when a gun law "strip[s] Jews, communists, union leaders, and other enemies of their guns with the help of the registry" but it is pro-gun  when the law "exempt[s] Nazi Party members from most regulations".


And it's not like Cracked hasn't covered Bath before.

Where they also get in a jab at gun control by ending the other entry on Bath this way.

So, why did he do it? Apparently, he was upset about high taxes, losing the town clerk election, and, oh yeah, he was fucking nuts. Obviously, the U.S. invested heavily in mental health after the disaster, and nothing like this ever happened again.
Related:
How The NRA Lost Its Mind

Gee....

And yest that link does go to an Adam Wears article where he and another person basically rail against the NRA's Cincinnati Revolt. Basically getting angry that the NRA started to actually lobby and organize against gun control.



Friday, March 6, 2020

Gunshows didn't exist before the mid 90's?




In another false claim, Bloomberg went on during Monday's town hall
to say federal law doesn't apply to internet and gun show sales because
the internet and gun shows did not exist when the federal background
check law was passed in 1993. 
"Why? Because those two things came after the law that applies to gun stores was passed," Bloomberg said. "And what I tried to do is just to get every state, because the federal government doesn't seem to want to do it, to just check before they sell anybody a gun to make sure they are not in one of those categories where people really—I think most people would agree—should not have guns."

Huh.

Or... it could be that Bloomberg has no idea what the basic federal laws are about a subject he has spend hundreds of of millions of dollars lobbying.

Or he knows the actual laws, but is happy to lie to get his way. Which is more comforting? It's lying. It's definitely lying.