Daily Archives: June 17, 2004

Overly Simplistic Solution #43293X/B

Thanks to a thread over at Have Your Say Today.

The question: should guns be banned?

My answer is, and I dedicate it to Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck and Arnold Swartzenegger – each who may use it as they see fit:

No. Banning guns violates the Bill of Rights guarantee of the right to bear arms.

We should instead ban the manufacturer, sale, distribution and use of ammunition. There is no constitutional right to LOAD those arms.

That way, both sides can be happy. You get to tote a gun around, decorate a rack (either in your house or your truck), wave it at parades, but you can only hurt anything with it by swinging it at arms’ (it and yours) length — a distance that puts the target both in perspective, and within range of a suitable defense or counterattack – which would serve you right for waving that thing in their face to begin with.

Don’t outlaw guns. Outlaw the bullets.

Peace out.

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Kerrying the Right Message?

Here’s a thought I had in response to a recent post on the KerryNewOrleans group at Yahoo:

> anyone have a monthly meeting or something?
>
> I moved here last year, I now it is Hot here until election day, but we
> are gonna do a rally or something, right?
>
> Who wants to go to the Quarter w/ me and explain Bush to tourists?
>

While I admire your enthusiasm, this plan of action sounds to me a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses canvassing neighborhoods they don’t live in. Why start with tourists? Starting with your own neighbors, and even your own family might be time better spent, or getting residents of Orleans Parish nominally interested in the issues (although a historically Democratic zone, voter turnout is abyssmally low – people don’t make the effort to get to the polls if there is any kind of deterrent, even a slight drizzle). That kind of confrontation requires a lot more fortitude than attempting to convert people you don’t know, though.

What exactly are you hoping to explain, by the way? The problem, or the solution?

As for rallies, they are great for building team morale and making a show of support, but the problem is not with the people who attend rallies (on either side), because at least those people are INVOLVED. The problem is with people who really don’t give a damn one way or the other, or like the candidate they ultimately choose for reasons they assume are right because no one has ever asked them, in person, to think about them.

Remember, if you fight by bashing your enemy, you’re not making a difference. You’re endorsing their tactics; and the medium IS the message.

What a field day for the heat / A thousand people in the streets / Singing songs, and a-carryin’ signs / Most just say, “Hooray for our side”

— Steven Stills, from For What It’s Worth

Or something like that.

Cheers,

John

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What It Isn’t

It’s not about learning to draw a clearer picture of the ruins
It’s not about taking a sledge hammer to the ivied hallowed halls
It’s not about the trash you can talk about those who disagree
It’s not about undercovering where lies are passed as truth
It’s not about reporting the faux paus and misdirections
It’s not about informing others where they’ve gone astray
It’s not about conversion by a sword called something else
It’s not about the polls that show your side is in the lead
It’s not about great solidarity and getting numbers
It’s not about the old news that the corporations run it
It’s not about watching the old order wither and die
It’s not about spelling out in clever words the problem
It’s not about discovering some esoteric They
It’s not about dropping the bombshell in the new Enquirer
It’s not about retaking Washington without a battle
It’s not about some new magic pill, prescription or placebo
It’s not about returning to some halycon of light
It’s not about appealing to the undecided middle
It’s not about pretending to undo decades of hatred
It’s not about protecting and preserving ways of life
It’s not about convincing yourself that your cause is justified
It’s not about selecting from the lesser of two evils

It’s not about the problem.
It’s about the solution.

Everyone can talk for days about how fucked the world is.
Who is willing to admit that changing that world
Means changing yourself,

Not your employer,
Not your neighbor,
Not your family,
Not your Congressman,
Not your President,
Not your religion.

Not just that. But at least that.

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Patti Smith

I will blaspheme to instruct
if those still listening can hear:
the pretense of this world is fucked
beyond repair; that much is clear.

I will replay classic moments
in a whirl of light and sound;
relive near death’s self-wrought torment
in my history’s chains, bound.

I will speak in words, in whispers
of potential still untapped
while you burn away to blisters
where our skins’ touch overlaps.

I will surrender to my vision
and in sonic sculpture rend
epiphanies to indecision
blank postcards I’ve yet to send

I will build a church to reason
in the metaphor of lies
so that thinking is not treason
and its lack, no alibi

I will lose myself in speaking
out against the endless wind
while the freaks go right on freaking
mindless of the world they’re in

I will curse the world’s foundation
built upon the backs of slaves
and in worship of sensation
find my own soul, free and brave.

17 JUN 2004

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