Friday, December 14, 2007

I Am Steroid Free and Not On Strike!

Yes, it's true! I'm still writing and, amazingly, am not injecting human growth hormone like vitamin B12 before an Ironman! Wow...hard to imagine how I've gotten this far...

Anyhow, I note that Leonard Cohen has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As many of you know, strange rock lyrics weave through my haphazard life. It was, in fact, a Leonard Cohen song (along with a blast of teenaged hormones and that ole debil sex) that convinced me I wanted to grow up to be a journalist. Hey, so it's not a burning bush, but it beats the hell out of my high school guidance counselor, who said that...Yes!...I could aspire to one day...wait for the angels' chorus — own a Volkswagen dealership!

Sigh...somehow I was never able to dream that point here, and there was a point...I that Leonard Cohen also wrote my favorite depressing song in the world, The Future, from Natural Born Killers:

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant...

Say, there's some Yule cheer for you!

Actually, for all it's nihilism, it's a prophetic song (as is Natural Born Killers).

So what's on my mind beside the future? Very interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle on the nightmare world of Oakland, CA, which echoes Cohen's song:
Many of the convicted killers were quasi-homeless in grade school, moving every 90 days on eviction cycles, or bouncing between friends' and relatives' homes, where they slept on recliners and couches and floors.

Inside the home is pure chaos. Typically, they live with a third-generation relative, an elderly grandmother or aunt, who also opens her home to several other wayward relatives. They all pile into one home, bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends and their children. There's no particular person in charge, no house rules, and people come and go.

Often it's in these houses where young boys first learn how to hold a gun, how to break a rock of cocaine into dime and nickel bags for sale.

Without parents to help them mature, the mental world of these young killers stays stuck in an infantile, egotistic state, said forensic psychologist Shawn Johnston, who has conducted more than 15,000 court evaluations of adult and juvenile criminals in 15 Northern California counties.

"What keeps us from killing each other is empathy, and we learn it from bonding with parents who pick us back up when we get hurt or teased as children," Johnston said. "Without it, you get guys who live in a constant state of protecting the fantasy that they are the most important thing this side of the Milky Way. And because they don't have empathy, they will shoot or stab to protect their illusion."
Clayton Cramer offers an interesting take on this article on his blog:
I'm not quite sure what can be done to fix places like Oakland. There is a tipping point where such a large fraction of the population are engaged in socially destructive behaviors that it is difficult for the government to fix the problem. As the article points out, it is difficult to get witnesses to testify in murder cases in Oakland, because snitches die. The honor violence culture of the Old Southwest, while it had problems (because juries were reluctant to convict), at least did not have this climate of fear preventing the justice system from trying to work.
Guns? You want gun stuff? Hey, it's Friday! What could be going on in Gun World? Oh, all about even as we speak, the Three-Headed Dog is feasting again. My cherubs and seraphim tell me that Cerberus Capital Management, which now owns roughly 28% of what's left of the civilized world, has snagged DPMS to add to their portfolio of Remington, Bushmaster, Cobb and heaven knows what else.

I know what you're can Cerberus spend this much moolah? As my friend Jim Shepherd of The Shooting Wire says, Cerberus has so much money that the entire firearms industry is nothing more than a rounding error in Cerberus' accounting department. In any case, the Three-Headed Dog is now the big player in black rifles.

I imagine that Colt Defense, still clutching to their military contracts for M4s, is sweating the next military contract!

There's also rumblings that the Air Force Future Handgun program is showing zombie-like signs of life after being peed on by Congress last April (and suffering a scathing analysis by the Heritage Foundation in July). Rumor are that the Marines, who have been sulking ever since they lost their 1911 .45s, would jump on board as long as the new pistol is in John Browning's favorite caliber.

So long for now...gotta go make arrangements to get a red fluorescent cloned's the future, doncha know...


Anonymous said...

Its lonley here, There is no one left to torture ...

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Cerberus knows that the rest of us suspect but aren't quite sure of the time frame in which it will happen

Anonymous said...

uhh, that there is a civilian market for ARs AND if/when the military move away from the .223, good'ole Cerberus will be there???

Anonymous said...

The question is when will they buy their handgun company? that's the only thing left missing in their firearms portfolio. My money is on them buying Glock. It is time for Gaston to cash out.

Overload in Colorado said...

The cat only glows under black light. What use is that other than at raves?

Michael Bane said... don't have black lights and old "Summer of Love" posters in your office??????


Anonymous said...

In analyzing the root cause of the social problems found in Oakland (and other similar places, such as the "Murder City", near where I live), the key word found in the text is "culture". IMHO the divider between peace-loving societies and violent ones is the "killing culture" found in the latter. In a peace-loving society, or even geographic area, similarly experienced hardships serve to only make the individual stronger and work harder. In the killing-culture, these experinces have been used to rationalize bad behaviour. Unfortunately, it is the "learned" that have caused
this to happen. They empowered the low-lifes to resort to violence by rationalizing why it is justified (!). There is nothing offered by todays elitist and so-called experts, that actually causes these people to pull themselve up by the boot-straps, get to work and stop their madness. They only dig themselves in deeper.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

With respect to Oakland, and other violence laiden cities, I might be able to draw some similarities to say Iraq, or A-stan, or Ireland in the '80s. This is probably breaking it down too much, but to me anyways, it all seems like so much tribal or gang warfare. They are fighting over bits of "turf".

Of course, the difference between our cities here and their cities over there, is here it comes down to that almighty buck, err... drug money and I guess to some degree ego or vanity, power. Over there it comes down to religion and ideology, and yeah, I guess power too. But still bits of land here and there.

I have to wonder what would happen if the US legalized all drugs. Would that mean that the profit incentive to kill each other over this street block area or that corner would then be gone?

Money from the drug trade is the lifeblood of organized crime. Where would the mob be now if the government had NOT instituted Prohibition in the 20's and 30's. I say legalize at least some drugs. Try to turn it into a legitimate business with brick and mortar store locations and tax it. That's right tax it!

I mean after all they got Al Capone on tax evasion, not murder, not kidnapping, not rape, not racketeering. They got him because he cooked the books (or failed to file, LOL!).

Another thing I have tried to tie into these conflicts, at least with Iraq is the psychological phenomenon of collectivism vs. individualism. Cultures like China are heavily collectivistic. The whole (population) is placed higher than the individual. Here in the US, it's the other way around.

Of course, I think if we could wave a magic wand and give people jobs in Iraq and a Iran, they wouldn't be so interested in making IED's and blowing each other up.

They'd be fat, dumb, and happy (sheeple?) like, well, like us here in the States.