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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Shooshie
Member # 2205
 - posted January 10, 2011 08:16
Snaggy and Nitrozac, thank you for the "It's time to take a stand" comic. I had to catch a tear when I saw that, and suck it back up. Yeah, I shoulda let it go, but I don't know if I could have stopped.

That's just what we need. You nailed it.

Thanks again, and bless you, our Canadian neighbors.

Shoosh
 
Shooshie
Member # 2205
 - posted January 10, 2011 08:20
…PS: To my fellow readers: I slipped our comic geniuses a twenty. Can I count on you all to do likewise? They deserve it.
 
Snaggy
Member # 123
 - posted January 10, 2011 11:43
Thanks Shooshie, for the very kind words and the much appreciated 20! [Happytears]
 
TheMoMan
Member # 1659
 - posted January 10, 2011 17:20
____ I have followed the news out of Tucson all day. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around this event.

____ Is or was this political? Was this the actions of a deranged young man?

____ All I know for certain, is that I am tired of death, I know the Reaper, I have watched him snatch people that should not have died and spared people that should have died. In the last fifty years too many of my Friends, Sailors and Marines have gone with the Reaper.

____ I agree with Nitro & Snaggy, and I also wonder if it was political. So I fear that I will go to sleep troubled again, or as my bro says getting old is not for wimps.
 
Callipygous
Member # 2071
 - posted January 10, 2011 20:30
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
Is or was this political? Was this the actions of a deranged young man?

One thing I have learned over the last few years is that in American right wing politics especially, the two are seldom mutually exclusive. More seriously, he appears to be suffering from the kind of paranoid and nonsensical delusions associated with schizophrenia. However he was also acting within a context where hatred, and express and implied threats of political violence, made this a horribly predictable event. You should never assume that your audience consists solely of balanced reasonable people.

Sadly, even more predictable has been the reaction of those on the right. Naively I thought it might take a day or two before they started painting themselves as the victims of all this, but no, they've gone for getting their retaliation in first, as soon as it was suggested that this might be a time for reflection. The news item I found most most depressing was that the Republican senator, who did express the opinion that it was time to change the tone of the debate, would only talk off the record for fear of the consequences to his career.

And there's the rub. For it matters not what we think or say, change can only come when some moderates within the Republican party are prepared to make a stand against this, and I fear that will not happen unless they start suffering very badly at the polls, which at the moment does not look too likely. The only comfort I can derive is that before all this, there did seem to be indicators that Palin and Beck's stars might be on the wane, with diminishing audience figures for their shows, and less than spectacular sales for her second book, but who knows, this might actually reinvigorate them.

Lastly let's not have any of that mimsy bipartisan "plague on both their houses" bullshit. This problem originates with and is constantly stoked up by the Right. It's their problem. That is the fair impartial view. This article nails it.
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted January 10, 2011 22:13
Wow, Callipy! I don't think there's much left (*cough*) for me to say, especially in the wake of that great article [cum blog post].

Not much except this: WTF is wrong with the 'right' that they have to be such sore losers about things. Seriously...if they lose control for a moment, their entire goal becomes retaking power rather than letting someone have a go at things and cooperative. I'm no sports fan, but that doesn't seem very sportsmanlike to me. (The NY state government came to a complete standstill not long ago because the teeny Democratic majority in the state senate was erased by two greedy scumbags. Their temporary gain furthered our proud state's decline, all to achieve that super-important Republic majority. [It had been unbroken for decades.])

I routinely deal with a dimwit who recently commented on how he doesn't recycle. After recovering from a near brain explosion, I made a remark to the effect of "Well, I'd like clean air to breathe in the future." (And I left unsaid "Don't you want the world to be a better place for your kid?") His rejoinder? "Oh, well there's probably going to be a CIVIL WAR before that becomes an issue."

God damn...these talk show pundits really piss me off.

The biggest problem with the left is that they try far too hard to be polite and reach a consensus to accomplish something. Clearly the right way to accomplish things is to ignore everyone else and use a steamroller (prob. not this one, though =P). Admittedly, turnabout was fair play on healthcare.

So...was this bloodbath out and out political? Hell no, it was the act of a nutjob. A nutjob with a semiautomatic handgun and the freedom to carry it concealed, but a nutjob nonetheless.

Did a bunch of rabid people who should know better paint a bunch of targets out there, offering, um...hints...as to how he could best manifest his insanity? Oh hell yes. And for all the poor souls out there in AZ, that's a damn shame, and my heart is with them. :/
 
TheMoMan
Member # 1659
 - posted January 11, 2011 03:49
____ Please read the first from the readers letter:

http://www.uaw.org/story/readers-21
 
GrumpySteen
Member # 170
 - posted January 11, 2011 08:29
This article is a good one to read before anyone speculates about why Jared Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords.

As others have said, this was a result of mental illness. It was years in the making and political hyperbole of the past election (including Palin's stupid map) came along after he had already decided that Giffords was his enemy.

Understand, I'm not defending the behavior that we've seen from our politicians. I think it's abhorrent and I won't be surprised if it does eventually result in violence, but it wasn't the source of this event.
 
Shooshie
Member # 2205
 - posted January 11, 2011 12:04
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
This article is a good one to read before anyone speculates about why Jared Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords.

As others have said, this was a result of mental illness. It was years in the making and political hyperbole of the past election (including Palin's stupid map) came along after he had already decided that Giffords was his enemy.

Understand, I'm not defending the behavior that we've seen from our politicians. I think it's abhorrent and I won't be surprised if it does eventually result in violence, but it wasn't the source of this event.

It wasn't my intention to start a political debate here, and that's the honest truth, but I've got to say here that it is just as erroneous to assume we know what did NOT cause this man to go ballistic as it is to assume that we know what DID cause it. If his condition was mental illness, it was almost certainly exacerbated by the violent and hateful rhetoric of our current zeitgeist. This is not the first case. In other cases, people have actually told us what motivated them, and it was the violent rhetoric. One, caught by the FBI before he was able to kill, named names: Palin and Beck.

When we live in an atmosphere of such violent rhetoric, it is inevitable -- not "possible" but inevitable -- that we'll see violence emerge. It's just not possible to say that the programming works for selling toys and playing soldier, but not for selling guns and playing soldier. Marketing research proves beyond any shade of doubt that the rhetoric works for shaping people's opinions, behaviors, and actions. We reap what we sow.

Interesting side note: having witnessed the 60's and 70's "love generation," I can tell you that when "love" was the buzzword, we all did get along a lot better, though there were those who just couldn't stand "love" and lashed out as a reaction to that! Still, I prefer love to "lock and reload."

I think Snaggy and Nitrozac got it right. We need to identify those who've fallen into the pit of hate and send them love. Love tames snarling wild animals; why wouldn't it tame snarling and vicious people? Couldn't hurt to try it.

Shooshie
 
GrumpySteen
Member # 170
 - posted January 11, 2011 12:13
Watch these videos and tell me that you honestly believe that there is anything other than mental illness at work.
 
spungo
Member # 1089
 - posted January 11, 2011 12:36
I was watching Bill Maher last night -- he said something interesting: "what does small government give you? Mentally ill people at large, and easily-obtained firearms for them."*

(* Or words to that effect... )
 
spungo
Member # 1089
 - posted January 11, 2011 12:37
stupid double post...
 
TheMoMan
Member # 1659
 - posted January 11, 2011 12:39
____ Shooshie There no way that this thread was going to stay on topic, or off topic. As TFD says often we seem to have a nutter/s loose and we do not have a big enough asylum.

____ GS. Yup he is deranged, but go to some areas of many states and he would fit right in, Northern Lower Michigan, Idaho, Montana. I happened to end up on a road past a Militia Camp, I as a Vet. felt uncomfortable.

____ How do we shut up the talking heads that fuel the fire. One thought I had was to contact the advertisers of their programs, and write letters claiming I will not buy their products as long as they sponsor that form of hate.

____ And then when I checked my E-Mail..


Texas Traffic Stop




This old story out of Texas . Seems a guy makes a rolling stop at a
stop sign, and gets pulled over by a local policeman. Guy hands the
cop his driver's license, insurance verification, plus his concealed
carry permit.

"Okay, Mr. Smith," the cop says, "I see your CCW permit. Are you
carrying today?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well then, better tell me what you got."

Smith says, "Well, I got a .357 revolver in my inside coat pocket.
There's a 9mm semi-auto in the glove box. And, I've got a .22 magnum
derringer in my right boot."

"Okay," the cop says. "Anything else?"

"Yeah, back in the trunk, there's an AR15 and a shotgun. That's about it."

"Mr. Smith, are you on your way to or from a gun range...?"

"Nope."

"Well then, what are you afraid of....?"

"Not a damn thing..."

____ Kinda says it all...
 
Shooshie
Member # 2205
 - posted January 11, 2011 13:52
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
Watch these videos and tell me that you honestly believe that there is anything other than mental illness at work.

I saw those videos the other day. And yes, there's plenty at work besides mental illness. The mental illness is just the filter through which he processes the world around him. That world is one of guns, hate rhetoric, threats, and massively exaggerated misinformation about what the government is "doing to you." You can't surf the web very long without coming upon some mention of the private militias that are planning to survive the coming apocalypse with violence. Then you've got pundits on mainstream network news stations (or at least ONE of them) who suggest that its time to kill those who disagree with your politics. That's been happening for several years now, even when their side was in complete power over the government for 8 years. (example: Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck) And now: Palin and her gunsight targets. And she doesn't even have the honor and veracity to admit her mistake, but now is saying that they were surveying symbols. As if we should go survey those congressmen on her map? Maybe whack 'em with a plumb bob?C'mon. That's silly.

I do not have a television. Decades ago, I basically banned them in my house, though I allowed one while my children were growing up so that they wouldn't be cut off from the popular culture of their peers. I kept informed through a voracious appetite for fine journalism, opinion, and literature. My kids followed my lead, though, and rarely watched TV, and now they don't have TV's either. As a result, when I see a TV broadcast, it is really difficult to subject myself to the imagery and language being used. By language, I mean the manipulative use of propaganda, hate rhetoric, and violence. Though I know to expect that from TV, it still shocks me that we have let it go so far. Currently, I'd call our society mentally ill. We have created an almost suicidal culture. We've come to equate heroism with violence, and patriotism with war. In either case, that's a very narrow, one-dimensional view. Loughner's nutty blog rants contained grains of truth; he just wan't educated or smart enough to know what to do with the tiny bits of knowledge which were beginning to grow inside his mind. Being mentally unstable, he was vulnerable to the conditioning of our popular and political cultures, and rather than seek understanding, he sought control. (in the vernacular: shoot first, ask questions later)

On a Bell Curve of people's behaviors, you will see people like him at the fringes. Because they do not know how to handle the sensory inputs they are bombarded with, they are all capable of such tragic errors of judgment. The wonder is that there have not been more incidents like this one. We've seen lots of people show up at political events wearing side arms strapped into a holster in plain view. I suspect that at least some of those believed they would do it, then something triggered a rational response once they were faced with the actual insanity of drawing their weapon and pulling the trigger. Most of us would back out for the same reason, even if overwhelming circumstances pushed us to the brink of anger and despair that might cause us to WANT to kill. The moment you see a child smiling or a lady petting her dog, or a man holding hands with a woman, you suddenly realize that you don't hate anyone, that there is no reason to do harm. But a person with mental illness and/or enough social conditioning to believe that they are acting patriotically, or that "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots," might manage to ignore the impulses that restore sanity in a normal person.

Mental illness is only a factor in the larger picture. In a society in which love was touted as the remedy for all, a crazy person might push through a crowd and kiss his congresswoman. While that may be the other extreme, and it might seem silly to the point of absurdity, many societies think our worship of violence is absolutely crazy to the point of absurdity.

Shooshie
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted January 11, 2011 16:31
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
Watch these videos and tell me that you honestly believe that there is anything other than mental illness at work.

Seriously...you have to be mentally ill to make videos of text. :/

(WTF?!)
 
Callipygous
Member # 2071
 - posted January 11, 2011 16:42
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
Watch these videos and tell me that you honestly believe that there is anything other than mental illness at work.

Grumpster, Shooshie and I aren't saying that he's not mentally ill, or that the killing was politically motivated, but just that it did not occur in a vacuum, and though we can only speculate to what degree he was influenced, and whether it would still have happened if we all were super nice, pink ribbons, and candy floss with each other, at the very least it is hard to argue that the step from thought to action must have seemed less of a leap, less transgressive when public figures around you are making express and implied threats of violence, and armed insurrection.

Shooshie also mentioned the sixties, love and peace man etc. I also remember another buzzword from that time was "revolution". The Stones sang about being a street fighting man, there were all manner of political protests and movements, May '68 in Paris, Kent State, etc etc, and though some issues, especially the Vietnam War aroused genuine serious passion, there was also a lot of silly posturing too, for instance it was really quite fashionable and socially acceptable (in Europe at least) to describe yourself as a Trotskyist, or a Maoist. Absurd of course, except that from that soil there sprung the Bader Meinhoff gang and others. Even Charley Manson imagined that his bloodthirsty killings would start a race war, leading to revolution. So though those Republicans, using this rhetoric, or posing with their guns in election leaflets, are likewise just indulging in political theatre, that is as much silly as despicable, I believe they are also sowing the wind, and who knows what harvest it may bring.
 
TheMoMan
Member # 1659
 - posted January 11, 2011 17:39
____ I wish that I was as good a wordsmith as most of you, however I do know that when some damn fool pulls a gun, it is time to take cover. I have seen Marines return fire, I have also watched as they went from defense to offense.

____ The damn fool that thinks buying a hand gun to protect himself and family is just plain delusional what is he going to do, play shoot out at the Ok carrel. The punks on the street have played their game many times, they know that you may be armed. They also know not to look away long enough for you get your weapon ready, your best shot will be as they escape.

____ Vile talk in politics is a feature set, part of the program. Being uncivil is the new norm, and I do not like being uncivil.
 
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted January 11, 2011 18:08
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
"Mr. Smith, are you on your way to or from a gun range...?"

"Nope."

"Well then, what are you afraid of....?"

"Not a damn thing..."

Bullshit.

The guy driving around with a gun in his jacket, another in his boot, and 3 more in his car is afraid of **everything**.

What the author of that 'joke' is really saying is... "maybe if I had one more gun I wouldn't be afraid all the time"
 
TheMoMan
Member # 1659
 - posted January 11, 2011 18:26
____ I have long believed that the Conservatives need a "BOOGIEMAN" to be afraid of. If they do not have one they will invent one "Weapons Of Mass Destruction." By the way where are those weapons?
 
Callipygous
Member # 2071
 - posted January 13, 2011 05:10
Obama's address at the memorial in Tucson was pitch perfect. Once again he rose to the occasion. If you haven't seen it already, you can watch it here, or read the text here.

Remarkable, and in my opinion, completely in tune with the JOT comic.
 
Snaggy
Member # 123
 - posted January 13, 2011 12:24
I agree with Calli, it was a remarkable and moving speech.
 
dragonman97
Member # 780
 - posted January 13, 2011 22:39
Wow. Calli & Snaggy - thanks for giving me the prod needed to go read it.
(I prefer reading to watching/listening...)

I would really hope some folks could take to heart the message of civility. We really need some more of that. (And we really don't need extended magazines for civilians!)
 




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