The whole “nobody is trying to take your guns” mantra has always struck me like this:
It has always been so glaringly obvious that they are in fact trying to take away our guns, despite the lies seeping from between their teeth. During the 2008 Presidential Election, I commented to a coworker my concerns over upcoming gun control measures. My coworker shook his head and said, “every time a Democrat gets elected to office the conservatives think they’re going to ban guns.” And where would we everget that idea?
The real question is why do they think we’re so stupid? Don’t run, We are your friends. Nobody is trying to take your guns away. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? These are not the droids you’re looking for. We still know alarmingly little about our current sitting president’s history, but we do have a very clear picture of his stance on guns. It was obviously only a matter of time before the administration took on gun control as a pet project. Despite their best efforts, our representatives are actually doing their job and have blocked unsavory and unpopular legislation to limit our rights. Obama has not hidden his disappointment at all and in fact has pouted about the defeat.
But still, nobody is trying to take your guns. Right.
I received several comments on my Open Letter to Stephen King, and one of them was submitted by Jeremy, who seems to believe that I posited an imperfect analogy.
Very poor analogy. Roland carried a six shooter and was trained to use it responsibly as one of the only men in he realm to carry such a weapon. No assault weapons. He also murdered a young innocent boy in the first novel we meet him in because his way was so obsessed and misguided that he didn’t appreciate a human life to be as valuable as his own crazy obsession.
(oh and the people who won’t read his books anymore because he dated to speak his mind: good. I love when someone is so easily influenced away from something they previously enjoyed)
Admittedly, had my post been an analogy at all, it would not have been a good one. I never intended to compare the gun control debacle of our time to the storyline of Mr. King’s fictional world. But, to address the concerns as Jeremy wrote them as quoted above, let’s just see exactly what he’s stepped into…
Roland carried a six shooter and was trained to use it responsibly as one of the only men in he realm to carry such a weapon.
Are you seriously starting out with an ‘Only Ones’ argument here? So, Roland is an equivalent to a cop, with special, magical training? You may note that in the course of the story, he recruits laypeople (the same young boy that you mention, a heroin addict from Brooklyn, and a paraplegic woman with dissociative identity disorder) and subsequently trains them with the same skills, to make them as gunslingers in their own rights. Similarly, in real life, not only is police-stylegun training available to any law-abiding, adult, free citizen in our wonderful nation, but the classesthemselves have a substantial crossover in students between law enforcement, military personnel, and the private sector. I stood side by side in a pistol class with two young men who were in the Air Force who were in class that day simply because they didn’t feel that the handgun training they had received from the United States Air Force was sufficient enough for them to be proficient and competent in a combat situation. Indeed, much gun training that is widely available to the public is superior to the training that many law enforcement officers ever receive.
No assault weapons.
Why must you fetishists obsess over the object employed in an act of violence? In point of fact, “assault weapon” is a vacuous and dishonest term that was invented by politicians to scare people into advocating gun bans. Whenever you have a new term pop up in a contentious subject, it is best to follow the agenda (or in some cases, money) trail before accepting it offhand. Before “assault weapon”, politicians made up other terms to the same end such as “gangster gun” and “Saturday night special”. Sadly, even the tired term “assault weapon” seems to have quite a fluid definition depending on which politician you listen to. Discussions such as this would be far more honest and productive if we could cut out the scary rhetoric and discuss factually. If we are talking strictly of Evil Black Rifles, you need to understand that these are the most popular rifles in the nation today, and that there are millions of them in private possession that have never been, nor ever will be used in the commission of a crime, violent or otherwise. The word “assault” is a verb, which means:
1 a : a violent physical or verbal attack
b : a military attack usually involving direct combat with enemy forces
c : a concerted effort (as to reach a goal or defeat an adversary)
2 a : a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact — compare battery 1b
b : rape 2
1 : something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy
2 : a means of contending against another
Therefore, if we ditch the agenda-driven, political definitions and stick to strict, English-language definitions, an “assault weapon” is not at all an Evil Black Rifle so much as it is any object that one utilizes to mount a physical attack against another. The black rifles with collapsible stocks, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, and bayonet lugs, with their thirty-round (standard capacity) magazines, peacefully sitting in the safes of millions of Americans are not at all “assault weapons” and it is simply bigoted, prejudiced fear-mongering to assert that they are. For an actual analogy, if your girlfriend gets mad at you for eating too many tacos and attempts to stab you with her spork, that very morphoditic eating utensil is the assault weapon, and much more so than her AR15 which she left at her house, which has never hurt anyone. Indeed, during the fictional course of The Dark Tower series, Roland assaults infinitely more people with his revolvers than the overwhelming majority of all so-called “assault weapons” (as per the current, politically expedient “definition”) ever have or ever will, by a margin of some to nothing. This is primarily why the gun rights advocates find the
“high-velocity-assault-clip-shoulder-thing-that-goes-up” rhetoric so insultingly stupid. What I have found is that there are two types of people who argue for more gun control: Those who are motivated out of ill-intent (i.e. politicians who incite fear to tow the line to ultimately disarm the populace for greater power) and those who are motivated out of ignorance (the masses who simply repeat the talking points that have been fed to them by their betters, because they have been told that they are “common-sense”). And, this tends to be an inclusive continuum, in which some individuals fall into both definitions.
He [Roland] also murdered a young innocent boy in the first novel we meet him in because his way was so obsessed and misguided that he didn’t appreciate a human life to be as valuable as his own crazy obsession.
I admit that it’s been a while since I last read these books, but I seem to recall that Jake’s first death occurred when Roland’s nemesis deliberately pushed him into traffic. After that, Jake and Roland met and continued on the adventure together until Jake’s demise, of which you speak. Roland did not actively “murder” him so much as allow him to fall when he could have made the choice to save him instead. Although cowardly and deplorable, this is not “murder” in the strictest sense any more than ignoring a drunk and brawling domestic couple makes you a wife-beater, or not stopping a shoplifter makes you a thief. If you are going to define “murder” to include the failure to save a life when you are afforded the opportunity to do so, or to put someone in a hazardous situation that ultimately plays out to their demise, that’s painting with an awfully wide brush. The argument then can easily be made that the very act of gathering children in a place with no defenses, and no means of escape, where a madman can force his way in and slaughter with impunity against no effective resistance is murder. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really prepared to call someone a murderer for dropping their kids off at school, or for being employed by the school, or even being a politician writing policies concerning schools, even if I vehemently disagree with them. As atrocious as I find gun control to be, I’m not even prepared to call gun control advocates “murderers” although they have not always afforded me the same regard. I do agree with you in that Roland’s irrational obsession caused him to make the choice to not save the child. And yet, suspension of disbelief in The Gunslinger’s world includes rampant reincarnation. As opposed to our world, where when one dies, they are ostensibly gone for good, in the world of The Dark Tower, death is easy to play off with “There are other worlds than these.” That is to say that death, being less permanent in the fictional world, and therefore, murder or even manslaughter by negligence as framed in the book series is simply not as much of a natural offense as it is in real life.
(oh and the people who won’t read his books anymore because he dated to speak his mind: good. I love when someone is so easily influenced away from something they previously enjoyed)
I will assume that was supposed to be “dared” and not “dated”. But, I’m glad to be of entertainment to you. I hope that brings you back for more, and I shall exploit the bandwidth you provide in an unrepentant and blatanty capitalistic manner. I don’t know whether you actually read Mr. King’s essay, in part or in full, but he shows that he is antagonistic towards politically-charged inanimate objects with scary nicknames and aesthetic features, as well as the NRA, which is the oldest, most effective civil rights organization in our country. It is not so much that Mr. King “dares to speak his mind” as it is the fact that he speaks down to all of the little people. He tells us that he owns three handguns “with a clear conscience” as though it’s acceptable to say, “I’m friends with lots of ni**ers.” In an attempt at taking on a leadership role over the rest of us, he shows how he courageously asked his publisher to pull Rage after collecting a mere nineteen years worth of royalties, because it was linked to some violent crimes. All of this, and he has the audacity to ask readers to pay for privilege of enduring this sermon. I don’t ask for a penny from you, Jeremy. And yet, I will freely admit to profit being a motivating factor.
Additionally, it is not so much being “easily influenced away” as it is standing up for one’s principles. To give you an analogy that actually is an analogy, if you found out that your favorite restaurant, Neighborhood Trough Buffet had a corporate policy that they did not like dogs, and actually supported animal shelters that euthanize, specifically because they wanted to kill dogs, you might just take umbrage to that. If it just so happens that you adopted your much-beloved dog, Skippers from the local no-kill shelter, it might take on personal meaning to you that Neighborhood Trough sought to destroy dogs that are so much like yours, and that violates your personal values. Skippers didn’t do anything to anyone, and he’s a great companion and he is protective of your family. You now have a choice to make. You could say, “Eff it, Neighborhood Trough is da bomb and I’m going to eat there anyway. Sure, they may support dog euthanasia, which is sad and wrong, but it’s not like I can change that on my own,” which would be well within your rights, even if it would make me question your personal convictions. Then again, you could say, “As much as I have enjoyed eating at Neighborhood Trough in the past, I am a man of my principles and I simply cannot patronize an establishment that supports activities that I find to be so reprehensible.” However, in your comment, you play it as though it is a point of weakness when in fact it is not. Just as in my analogy there are plenty of other restaurants in town that you can patronize that don’t support the wrong animal shelters, in my world there are plenty of talented authors that support my rights and freedoms. As an example, Larry Correia is a New York Times Best Seller and has written probably the most comprehensive and exhaustive argument on either side of the gun debate, that he doesn’t even charge anything to read, unlike King. In fact, he was recently invited to speak on the subject with Huckabee:
So yes, I’m remorseful that my hard earned dollars have played any part in the royalty pot of someone who holds my rights in such low regard. Indeed, Stephen King can go pound sand with his opinions unless he has been grossly misrepresented by others. The excerpts that I’ve been able to read certainly seem to be a condescending dissent to my rights as a free citizen, and it is not worth the ninety-nine cents to me to read the whole thing myself to test his defense. I hope I’ve been able to clear up a few things for you.
Can I call you ‘Steve’? Great. Thanks. It has recently been brought to my attention that you have a nice little op-ed floating around, in which you appeal to gun owners to ban certain types of guns, as though guns in my safe have ever been guilty of crimes committed. I have particularly enjoyed your The Dark Tower series of books as well as some of your other works of fiction. However, you are overstepping here. You see, you are not a role model nor a leader. You are, in fact, no more than an entertainer. When we want your opinion, we’ll give it to you. Beyond that, keep producing the entertaining material that amuses us and don’t otherwise open your trap. It’s tiresome when Bono does it, and it’s not even cute when Scarlett Johansson does it, and it’s sure as heck not cute when you do it either. Or as it has been immortalized on the internet by my lovely wife; DANCE, MONKEY! What little of your diatribe that I have managed to read illustrates to me that you know very little about gun culture, defensive gun use, gun mechanics, freedom, or the law. How dare you attempt to dictate to me or anyone else for that matter what tools are appropriate for defense, as though you were an expert in such things instead of a fiction author? If I could read your entire 25-page essay without making the contribution I would, if for no other reason than to gauge exactly how much I will boycott your work in the future. However, with such a blatant display of self-righteous arrogance, I fear that I will be unable to reconcile putting money in your pockets with fully hearing you out. To quote words that you wrote:
“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.”
So you do understand that the tool is not to blame then? Indeed, a gun alone is not violent nor dangerous, but inert and inanimate. Evil hearts and minds are dangerous regardless of whatever tool is or is not available. The murderers that the anti-gun faction has been taking advantage of recently to justify further infringement of our Second Amendment were committed by bad people. They did not kill with the gun, but with the heart. And you sir, have forgotten the face of your father. With all due respect,
Aw, shucks! I’ve got a few irons in the fire that look really good at the moment. Have you ever had that feeling that you could be really really successful next week even though you’re broke this week? Yeah. I’m getting tired of that feeling.
While playing the Moulin Rouge CD, I commented to Wee Bot that the movie had great costuming, beautiful sets, a creative and well-executed sound track, and a really crappy story. I told him that the songs were all old songs rearranged for the movie and that the voices on the CD were actually the actors in the movie. He thought that was cool.
“So,” he asked, “what was it about?”
Indicating points with my fingers, I explained, “Dude falls in love with the wrong girl. She doesn’t return his affections. Then, she dies.”
“That kind of sucks,” he commented.
“Yes,” I affirmed, “yes it does.”
And with that, I’ll leave you with Nature Boy as performed by David Bowie, which is why I put that CD on this morning in the first place.
So, Stephen Spielberg is slated to direct the live action movie of Ghost in the Shell. From the hints at the players that are working on this film, I’m pretty well convinced that they are going to completely screw the story and alienate fans of the manga and anime. Oh well. It happens. I didn’t see the latest version of The Day the Earth Stood Still as I heard from nearly all sources that it was a hot, steamingpile. As preachy as the original was, I understand that the remake is exponentially more so. But, I digress. I’m a fan of GITS. I’ve got a copy on laserdisk, DVD, and Blu Ray. Like I said, I’m a fan.
However, speaking of remakes starring Ted LoganTom AndersonNeoEddie KasalivichKeanu Reeves, apparently he’s been cast as Spike Spiegel in the upcoming live action film Cowboy Bebop. Although he does have the look for the role, it will certainly stretch his *ahem* skills as an actor. There have been quite a few suggestions on how to fill out the rest of the cast. They’ve been fascinating to say the least:
Christina Ricci as Faye was a stroke of genius. I’m looking forward to that one, but I kind of expect them to screw it up as well. And, on to my point…
What I’d really like to see is a live action adaptation of Eureka Seven. In reading The Reluctant Paladin‘s Girl Friday entries, I ran across the perfect actress to play Eureka‘s psychotic nemesis Anemone. And that would be Natalie Dormer. For that matter, she could probably play Eureka just as well. Admittedly, she’s a little old for the parts, but her face is nearly a perfect match to the two girls. I don’t think that they are supposed to be identical, but their likeness to each other in the artwork is certainly no mistake. What do you think?
She does look more like Anemone but I think she could probably play either one. It might be interesting if she played both roles though. It would emphasize the duality that is a theme throughout the story. Besides that, she would look totally hot with pink or green hair.
Alright. I’ve completely had it up to here reading references to this ‘Snooki’ character. Who the eff is ‘Snooki’ and why should I care anything about him? Finally, I had to Google the name yesterday. It’s not that I actually had any interest in knowing so much as I was annoyed at seeing and hearing references with absolutely no background info. So, I decided that it was about time to find out who Snooki is once and for all so maybe I could get the jokes at least.
Seriously? So, Snooki is some obnoxious Chilean girl playing an Italian girl on a game show? Is she noteworthy because she is obnoxious, or because she was on a game show? I don’t watch much on TeeVee, but I certainly don’t make it a practice to sit around and watch vapid, melodramatic ‘reality’ shows. I did watch the first season of Top Shot, and largely regretted it. I put a little too much faith in it breaking the mold, but it went the same soap-opera-ish, melodramatic direction as every other one of these game shows.
The Real World may have originally been as close to a ‘reality show’ as any of them, and ‘reality’ it was not. For classification on these shows, one has to look no further than American Gladiator or possibly as far as Japanese game shows. Yes, ‘reality’ TeeVee is no more than warmed-over Japanese game shows where the contestants are kept in quarters together as a side act. And, when I say ‘warmed-over,’ I mean that they didn’t even include the charming wackiness that has been typical in the Japanese shows. They kept the banal absurdity and somehow left out the appeal. Only American producers could manage such a feat.
But wait, it gets even worse! Do they even play games or have ‘challenges’ on Jersey Shore? Not that I can tell. Apparently, it’s all the charm of obnoxious twenty-somethings being dramatic and acting poorly without the charm of the unimaginative games? As in, it’s a bunch of New York brats pretending like they are from New Jersey? Why is this entertainment? Seriously, what’s the appeal? Is it like watching a train wreck or someone falling down a flight of stairs? Painful to watch, but you just can’t turn away for some reason?
So, please refrain from asking me if I saw the last episode of Big House or Survival. I didn’t. I’m telling you right now. It’s no secret that Jennifer and I are not sports fans, but I am about a thousand times more likely to have watched the last college game than any of that drivel. After reading the Wiki on Snooki (which was the most helpful ‘document’ I could find), I don’t understand why she is even worth mention. I just don’t get it. I should have known that it was a lost cause when Wiki was more informative than anything else on the interwebtron. My mistake, I guess. You know what? The more I write about this, the more my head hurts so I better wrap it up. I repeat myself and yet, I just don’t get it. So, to you millions of people that willingly subject yourselves to this brain-draining faux-tainment, my thoughts and prayers are with you. God help us all!
Honda has a series of short films posted here that seem to be about exploration. I just watched the intro video, and I’m impressed. It kind of reminds me of BMW’s The Hire series, but these look to be more of a documentary format rather than fictional stories. I haven’t watched all of the Honda videos, but at this point I intend to. Of course, there was brand recognition and a little product placement in the intro video, but it was certainly not telling me that I should buy a new Accord. Most of the product mentions had to do with new technology development (as in stuff we won’t see on the road for another decade). Anyway, I fount it interesting and thought you might as well. With that, I’ll close with “The Star” from The Hire from BMW, starring Madonna and Clive Owen, directed by Guy Ritchie (and my personal favorite in the series). This, incidentally is an exaggerated example of why people should wear their seat belt particularly when they ride with me.
Go. Rent. It. Seriously. Now. Why are you still sitting there, reading this?
It is odd that a film that was made out of South Korea and filmed in China could elicit this reaction from a dude like me, but this has to be among the top five ‘westerns’ that I’ve ever seen, even if it was not at all a ‘western’ in the traditional sense. This movie is the embodiment of everything that Hollyweird doesn’t have the balls to do anymore. “So,” you ask, “what’s so great about it?”
Do you like beautiful cinematography? A fusion score made up of old Mexico, trance, jazz, and far-eastern folk song? Train heists? Gun fights? Chase scenes? Sergio Leone? Period motorcycles? Horse riding? Epic battles? Old military guns? Edged weapons and martial arts? John Wayne style lever action? High fashion? Sexy allure? Actual stunts not muddled up with tons of CG? Anime? Nonstop action? Massive explosions? If you answer ‘yes’ to any three of these, you need to see this flick.
This multiple award winning film is a western, filmed in China with hat-tips to Indiana Jones, The Man With No Name, and Akira Kurosawa, just off the top of my head. It opens with a bigger-than-life train heist and quickly establishes who is The Good, The Bad, and who is The Weird. Watching the film, I kept waiting for them to drop the cool factor and slide into something lame. It never happened.
The actors say, “To meet your expectations…” “We promise a great film.” “You won’t be disappointed.” They aren’t lying or bluffing, either. Jennifer and I had seen a trailer for this film on a DVD that we rented at some point or another. We decided to give it a whirl because it looked like fun. I honestly didn’t expect a whole lot, with preconceived notions on what a Korean western could possibly be. Suffice it to say, we were all blown away. Two days ago, we watched the original True Grit. I would put this movie up with that one, if that means anything to you. For full disclosure, it does contain a lot of violence, some nudity and sexuality. I wouldn’t show it to the younger kiddies, but the older ones will enjoy the action and adventure.
It takes place in Manchuria during the 1930′s. I’m going to have to check out other films from the writer/director, Kim Jee-woon, as this one was truly a masterpiece. If you have two hours and a three-dollar movie rental fee to spare, go check it out. You will thank me. Don’t stream it to your iThing via Netflix, either. This film deserves a big screen, surround sound, and a rumbly sub-woofer. The God, The Bad, The Weird. Go rent it now! In fact, don’t bother renting it. Just buy it on your favorite format.