5
Jun 18

I’ve been keeping my head down a bit, lately.

My recent essay on guns and dead kids, cheerfully captioned Make America Grieve Again, wasn’t likely to generate much in the way of warm and fuzzies, I suppose.  I’ve taken a few shots since I blasted that dark bit of satire onto my blog.  Two shots, to be precise.  Which represents two-thirds of my usual audience - the other third being moi.

Since it’s been rather nice to have a following, no matter how tiny, after decades of muttering only to myself, I thought it best to raise my head carefully above the parapet to respond to my critics.  Maybe they’ll (please) come back.

“You should mind your own damn business,” was the gist of volley number one, courtesy of my lone American reader. (I took a stab at reproducing his comments verbatim but my keyboard caught fire in protest.)

Fair enough, I say.  My talents are few, and minding my own business isn’t one of them.  But I certainly didn’t mean, by any stretch, to suggest that he and his countrymen are nought but a gang of murderous nutcases, or that every street corner in the U.S. is bristling with weapons.  I know perfectly well that’s not true – I lived peaceably and pleasantly in America for years.  That piece I wrote was satire, people.

Read the rest of this entry »

26
May 18

The globe is staggering, reeling under the burden of more than 7 billion people.

We’ve figured out how to feed ‘em all, for the most part, but they’re wrecking the planet with carbon-spewing, globe-trotting, meat-eating recklessness.

And we keep replicating, like viruses, adding 360,000 souls to the teeming mass of humanity every twenty-four hours, with only 150,000 folks gracious enough to shuffle off this mortal coil each day to make room.  We’re not winning.

It’s not for lack of trying.

China fearlessly led the way with its infamous “one child” policy, but the People’s Republic is on the cusp of abandoning that approach after generating a slightly unworkable male:female ratio of 18,000:1, roughly – welcome to toxic masculinity.

We’ve introduced sex education to preschoolers and employed birth control methods up the wazoo.  Long gone are the primitive days of fending off pregnancy by optimistically hanging weasel testicles around one’s neck as foreplay:  the modern world is awash in oral contraceptives, IUDs, condoms, diaphragms, vasectomies, and tubal ligations; and if none of those suit, one always has abstinence as trusty backup, or the rhythm method, or the timing method, or the “running the neighbour’s son off with a shotgun” method – or, in a pinch, the Lorena Bobbitt method, for the aspiring surgeons among us. Read the rest of this entry »

3
Oct 17

This morning, in off-the-cuff remarks to the media, President Donald Trump pronounced what happened in Las Vegas on Sunday night to be “in many ways a miracle”.

Fifty-eight dead.  More than 500 injured.  Immeasurable horror and grief and misery, untold pain to come, as families try to come to terms with the naked evil that ripped apart their lives and stripped away their loved ones.

A “miracle”?

Kudos, of course, to the intrepid police officers and SWAT teams that scrambled, in the teeth of great danger, to locate the madman and put an end to the carnage.  They are owed an enormous debt of gratitude for their valor.  Absolutely.

But a miracle?

This uttered by an American president both ardently supportive of and staunchly supported by the National Rifle Association, an organization doggedly determined to protect the rights of Americans to carry assault weapons.

A host of different descriptors come to mind:  reprehensible; disgusting; deplorable; disgraceful; blameworthy; shameful; repugnant; unforgivable. 

Pick one.  Pick them all, actually - they all apply.

I suppose it is a “miracle” of sorts that the American president, US congressional leaders, and a great swath of the American citizenry continue to defend their Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms”, while depraved countrymen use said weapons to execute thousands of Americans in massacre after massacre after massacre, from schools to army bases to nightclubs to churches to music festivals.

It’s a miracle that this continues in a civilized, developed society - if by that one means “unbelievable” or “unfathomable”.

Defenders of the “right to carry” should be mandated to spend serious time in the trauma bay of any large American hospital, to bear intimate witness to the unrelenting waves of critically wounded gunshot victims as they crash through the doors, bleeding and broken and dying. 

They should be forced to trudge alongside the families of those who are murdered, as they “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, as they descend into a black hole of grief and despair, never again to see their sons, their daughters, their mothers, their fathers…

Perhaps then, at long last, the enormity of this malignant stain on the fabric of American society would gain some purchase on their souls.

Now that would be a miracle.