Theses on Holmes

1. Hollywood movies (and capitalist TV) absolutely inspire and cause not just violence, but mass murder.

2. The Second Amendment, like so much else in the Constitution, needs to go.

3. Obama is exactly the disaster/whore we know him to be. He got passed today, in fact, by none other than Mike Bloomberg. And did you see the Zero’s appeal to prayer, and other fake-god jive, including the idea that we who are still alive need to count our blessings? Wow, how beautiful! If you didn’t get mass murdered by a psychotic, Hollywood-chugging social climber who has irrationally free access to — yes — weapons of mass destruction, well, then Praise Jesus!, says Zerobama.

4. This death toll is a fraction of the ordinary daily death toll from our cars-first transportation order.

5. When will white people calm down and admit they have a problem?

31 Replies to “Theses on Holmes”

  1. I agree with #1. It’s funny how the motif of shock is everywhere in the media narrative of this. How can anyone be stupid enough to be, or have the nerve to act, shocked, about this? A culture of apples doesn’t produce oranges. But then again I suppose if you uncritically accept the constant propaganda drumbeat that this is a Noble Society based on Freedom and Truth and such, you would be shocked.

    On the other hand I disagree with #2. The cat’s already out of the bag there, and in fact it actually would have been better if one or more decent people in the theater had guns with them, and a bit of training to fight back and stop the guy. Why should criminals and right-wingers be the only ones who are well armed?

    #3 is so boring I can’t even finish a sen

    #4 Yup, something like 8 times that many people are “routinely” killed every day in traffic “accidents.” Which is on a par with the death toll from guns (including homicides, accidents and suicides). Which is why I frequently find myself making analogies between cars and loaded guns. Using either one carries the same level of responsibility.

    I don’t understand #5. Does that mean I have Whitey Problems myself?

  2. Rollie,

    Regarding number 2, at what point would your “hero” have drawn their weapon?

    Remember, your opponent prepared for that contingency by using smoke gas (tear gas or not, it is still not conducive to ‘getting a bead’ on the bad guy) AND body armor, meaning that only a “well-placed shot” to his gas mask would seem to be the only way to ‘stop’ him. AND, you are doing this is a sea of chaos exacerbated by all of the non-combatants fleeing for their lives.

    So then tell me what happens when one of your “Good Guy Bullets” hits a fleeing innocent person? Because one most certainly will. Or what happens if your shot doesn’t take down your target immediately?

    Subsequently, what happens when a Second “Good Guy,” not having distinguished between Holmes and Good Guy Number 1, starts shooting at BOTH of them?

    The answer: More bloodshed, and the Corporate Media now has a really juicy story: Holmes AND the wannabe Batman vigilantes.

    99.9% of the people who advocate the presence of additional firearms during these kinds of events have never been in these kinds of events themselves – on either side of the gun.

    More Guns =/= Less Violence. Except in Fantasyland. Even Cowboy movies know that.

  3. Sure, Heavy Armor, but consider this:
    You and your landspeople pool together your resources and spend an easy eleven-figures annually making weapons whose sole purpose it to kill people, then you contract your kids (most barely legal young men & women) to use them on strangers – the most hotly-debated sense of equality in this regard being whether or not your men-children should be allowed to proudly declare that they’re queer before pulling the trigger on a gallery of those strangers, or, using the most sophisticated of your technologies, playing Filet a Family whilst cranking something called Death Metal through something called “earbuds” – the logistics of which involves what they might’ve been doing at sleepovers with grammar school chums, but now with an extraordinarily groomed sense of honor, and a legality based solely on the location of those strangers, a location made familiar not in any Geography lesson, but by way of something called “tv programming”, where heroic cop dramas play out next to serious discussions about who all your enemies might be today and tomorrow, and contests between multimillion dollar sports personalities who’d be damned if they didn’t solemnly praise these actions before every ballgame, and multibillion dollar advertisers making sure that your idea of liberty is sitting on the beach with those ear buds crammed tighter, washing it all down with a cool Bud Lite.

    Do you think that that same state you pool the resources for – a state that will give you all the armaments you could ever have a nightmare about as long as you are willing to fulfil the above contract – should be doing more to keep you from having the same arsenal anywhere near the chili dogs? Sounds like you got your priorities all in a row.

  4. Rollie, #5 was just meant to claim that white men are the ones who do these things. Not all white men, obviously, but white men.

    Meanwhile, to extend Heavy’s point, this punk is playing Joker, but also arrives dressed in full body armor? Does the Joker wear body armor? I think not. Clearly, he was expecting return fire. Equally surely some people in that crowd were packing, too. But, as Heavy says, real life gunning isn’t the same as Fantasyland.

    BTW, did you folks catch that there was a guy there with a 4-month-old baby! At a midnight showing of a Batman movie! We do have a cultural crisis.

    Meanwhile, another thesis: Batman is a fascist, and is also the least interesting of all the superheroes, who are a remarkably boring lot to begin with. Adam West was the only tolerable version of this joyless psychotic prick.

    Oh, and also this: This is not a tragedy. Tragedies happen when unexpected flaws emerge. This is pure cultural logic. But it has to be a “tragedy” in the media and political marketing, where flattery and evasion reign.

  5. REGARDING NUMBER 4:

    it’s not just car culture, it’s modern, industrial civilization as a whole.

    to borrow from Gandhi, post-modernism and post-industrialism would be good ideas.

    Steven Pinker is as delusional and dangerous as Status Quobama — which is to say, when one does not cherry pick “evidence” to support the blatantly and offensively absurd idea that, “Violence has been in decline for thousands of years” [1], one understands that today’s Machine of Civilization is the most violent, destructive, deadly and rapacious anthropogenic malevolence Earth has ever known (one need look no further than the unconscionable, unfathomable and irredeemable violence We visit upon The Animal Kingdom and Nature itself to begin to grasp Our Unprecedented Violence).

    never underestimate the myth of progress and the power of denial.

    [1] Steven Pinker, Violence Vanquished, WSJ (9/24/2011)

    REGARDING NUMBER 5:

    while i don’t mean to dispute, dismiss or diminish Racism, it must be said that Egalitarian Fascism is all the rage.

    Big Brother and Sister reign supreme.

    it’s not about Whitey as much as the systems of capitalism and civilization which brutalize and brainwash human primates into believing they can be equal to each other regardless of skin color (or sexual preference, or gender, or ethnicity, or whatever) while they simultaneously deny and destroy each other to compete for status and survival.

  6. There are many, many reasons behind events like this, but one not mentioned here is the ‘nation state’, which really factors largely in all five of MD’s ‘bullet points’, from car-first transport, racism, a brutal entertainment culture, rampant militarism, a history of genocide, slavery and incarceration to crazy constitution worship and executive/elite privilege. It’s a perfect cultural storm for death rampage on a regular basis.

  7. Oh, and I forgot to add the economic system that literally drives all this madness, and upon which the nation state is dependent…capitalism.

  8. “4. This death toll is a fraction of the ordinary daily death toll from our cars-first transportation order.”

    Actually, creepily coincidental statistic here:

    Number of Americans who went to the movies on July 19, chose not to wield an assault rifle, and died by one anyway: 14.

    Number of Americans who, on a somewhat average day in 2010, left their home, chose not to drive a car, and died by one anyway: 14.

    At least Obama’s not using my faith to make patronizing comments about surviving the vehicular transport system.

    Source on the latter stat, if anyone cares: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

  9. Mr. Armor. Just a few thoughts, all of which have a firm root in reality:

    – It’s undesirable to let the attacker be the sole agent deciding how things play out. There will be more bloodshed the longer the attacker is allowed to continue attacking. If you’re fortunate enough to have among your options at that moment, the ability to take more control of the situation, there is nothing fantastic, vigilante, or even particularly heroic about that.

    – Expecting to be able to completely delegate my personal safety to a police force that’s absent, unreliable and beholden to interests hostile to my own, is impractical and the epitome of fantasy. There’s no cool-sounding name for that though (like “vigilante”). How about “durmiente?” (sleeping) Or maybe just “sheep.”

    – People who carry guns should get training as I alluded. Different minimum amounts of training are required in different places, but I’m talking about realistic defensive firearms training. That would cover most of your questions and concerns about drawing the weapon, controlling your shots, taking cover, dealing with body armor, visibility/chaos, etc. Sometimes the way to deal with it is not to take the shot. Nonetheless, it’s a general truism that having more options greatly improves the odds of survival for you and everyone else.

    – “When you realize you’re being shot at” is a great time to draw your weapon. The IDEAL time to draw it is “never.” (Keeping a fire extinguisher in the house does NOT mean you’re hoping for a fire.)

    – Being shot while wearing body armor is intensely painful and difficult to ignore. The more times you can do this to an attacker, the harder it will be for him to continue attacking effectively. Or you can go for the head, crotch or legs, but those are somewhat trickier shots, especially with no gun.

    – If you counter-attack unsuccessfully, the attacker becomes aware of you (if not already), and you become a primary target (if not already). In the “hero” department, this means that for a few seconds, everyone else who’s NOT being shot at, might have a few seconds to bolt out the door. Meanwhile you may get shot. You may even die. That’s what happens when you take a stand — you incur risk. That’s why it’s not always wise to do it and why so few do it. And that’s also why if you do take a stand, it’s better to succeed. Preferably quickly.

  10. #5:

    Here’s the best list I can make of American mass murderers since the year 2000:

    Michael McDermott, 2000
    Chai Soua Vang, 2002
    Douglas P. Williams, 2003
    Salvador Tapia, 2003
    Jeffrey James Weise, 2005
    Terry Michael Ratzmann, 2005
    *Jennifer San Marco, 2006
    Kyle Aaron Huff, 2006
    Robert A. Hawkins, 2007
    Tyler James Peterson, 2007
    Seung-Hui Cho, 2007
    Isaac Lee Zamora, 2008
    Nicholas Troy Sheley, 2008
    Michael Kenneth McLendon, 2009
    Jiverly Antares Wong, 2009
    Robert Kenneth Wayne Stewart, 2009
    Nidal Malik Hasan, 2009
    Omar Sharif Thornton, 2010
    Jared Lee Loughner, 2011
    Scott Evans Dekraai, 2011
    Eduardo Sencion, 2011
    James Eagan Holmes (alleged), 2012

    That’s actually fairly diverse, racially speaking; certainly more diverse than I was expecting. So… whitey? Not so much as of late, apparently.

    But the elephant in the room, though not as white as we thought, is apparently very definitely male. (The single exception, Jennifer San Marco, quite literally went postal.)

    Perhaps Obama should, rather than tendering gratitude to the Triune Patriarchy, be instead offering his thanks to the Goddess for our survival.

    Or maybe he should just shut up already.

  11. The audience went there to see simulated violence, looks like they got the real thing.

    Today I saw a great example of advertising, an article called ‘David Beckham photo-bombs stunned fans at London mall booth’ and at first it sort of looks like the football star popped in randomly to have some fun but it’s really an elaborate Adidas advert. Nearly all of the comments on the article praise him for being a stand up guy with his fans, not sure if they realize he is there holding up his end of a contract.

  12. Michael, It goes far deeper than that. Violent entertainment fulfills much more specific ideological functions:

    1) It provides outlets to the frustrations of the powerless, and inspiring them to believe that they too, can solve their problems, if they are sufficiently ruthless. The satisfying violence in the movies is always perpetrated by the solo protagonists who prevails against all adversity. (
    (I am sure that if someone bothers to do the study, will find the strongest correlation between level of impoverishment/powerlesness and gun ownership. Sadly, this is also the demographics who will also happily sign for the death squads, once the time comes. Yay.)

    2) More importantly, it desensitizes people to actual violence: After so many deaths on TV, real violence seems like no big deal. That’s how you cultivate a public that can simly shrug off the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths US policy is directly responsible for.

  13. Michael – on your point Batman being fascist. Spot on. I watched the movie, and almost vomited at the blatant propaganda there:

    1) Bad communist-like invaders
    2) Frivolous citizen-courts to sentence the rich
    3) Dragging upstanding looking rich citizens out of their homes onto the streets by crazed crowds
    4) Batman coming to the resque to put an end on all this through a heavy doze of violence
    5) a concluding monologue not failing to mention humility, honesty, hard work, and prosperity

    I come from a formerly socialist country and I can vouch that even the 15-minute explicitly idological spots aired before every movie weren’t as ambitious. Also, they were perfectly honest about their indoctrination purposes…

  14. PS And btw, I’m saying all of the above as someone who actually has a mild fascination with guns, and used to own one, and probably will have some again in the future. Controlled access to arms is not necessarily a bad thing, with an emphasis on “controlled” – background checks, skill tests, psych tests, tight grip on distributors etc. Where things get scary is when the irrational cultural hysteria gets inflamed by those who stand to benefit. This is scary because it inflames the worst passions in people, and they know it, but business is too good to pas up: i’ve been to many gun shows and they are full of obviously poor people who nevertheless spend hundreds of dollars on ever more guns.

    Gun hysteria is one of the most juvenile aspects of the many juvenile aspects of american culture. Only pampered people who have never been truly challenged and who have never had an opportunity to be true citizens can derive any sense of empowerment from guns. Ugh. Guess what, many a regime have been overthrown or changed by the pressure of large assemblies of organized civic interests. Not with guns.

    All that said, I have to say that a heavily armed population provides a perverse sense of comfort. Although guns owned by fat and stupid people are useless against state power with unfathomably superior firepower, technology, communications, and organization, and although before it comes to that people with guns will probably be busy killing “the communists”, “the blacks”, “the gays” etc. – instead of fighting their real opressors, it is nevertheless perversely comforting to know that there is at least a chance of resisting a miscalculated attempts of complete domination….

  15. @Maria, re: gun ownership and SES

    Wright (1975) found that gun ownership is most common in rural areas, and that the rates decrease as city size increases. At the time of his study, gun owners were 22% more likely to be Southerners than non-Southerners, 10% more likely to be white than non-white, and 21% more likely to be Protestant than Catholic.

    That’s all reasonably to be expected, I think. Here’s the kicker, though: gun ownership rates peaked in the middle education brackets, but aligned _postively_ (in a “sharp and nearly linear” fashion) with income and occupational prestige.

    That is, a fire chief or a pilot is much, much more likely to own a firearm (or two, or ten) than, say, a stocker at Walmart. And this trend was most marked _outside_ the South.

    This study is extremely dated, of course. However, he entered it with similar expectations to what you voiced and was consistently surprised by his findings.

    Other studies (such as Diener and Kerber, 1979) have shown early socialization to guns is a primary factor in firearm ownership, so I’d hypothesize that Wright’s data would probably still be fairly relevant a generation later.

    Sources:

    Diener, Edward, and Kenneth W. Kerber. 1979. “Personality Characteristics of American Gun-Owners.” The Journal of Social Psychology 107(2):227-238.

    Wright, James D., and Linda L. Marston. 1975. “The Ownership of the Means of Destruction: Weapons in the United States.” Social Problems 23(1):93-107.

  16. (Domesticated violence from a couple days before the latest media event.)

    Lone white people acting completely without any security service or government support are the bogeyman of choice to use against the public opinion of white westerners. It has just enough of an element of self blame to make it palatable to people who feel guilty for the crusades and slavery and stuff.

    And, as said elsewhere, when the press reports that Obama put a terrorist in Guantanamo, you probably question the veracity of the official story of the guy’s terrorist connections, but when it reports that a white guy was arrested for [act of random violence], you instantly believe it.

    It may have been a lone white wacko who planned it and did it all himself for his own maniac reasons. The guy in Guantanamo might actually be an Islamo-fascist terrorist. What’s troubling is how swiftly and easily different segments of the populace will swallow MSM stories. “Radical” internet blog-readers tend to instantly swallow the government’s claim of a lone white wacko, just as swiftly as the folks at townhall.com swallowed stories of WMD in Iraq.

    What’s even more troubling is how often the “lone white wacko” gunman appears at certain junctures in our history. From Lincoln to King, Kennedy to Reagan, there always seems to be a “lone white guy, absolutely unaided by the intelligence services of the elite nations” able to take action. Similarly, 19 Saudis, with help just from Osama bin Laden and a few hillside camps in Afghanistan, came up with and executed 9/11, entirely on their own. Also, Dubya wrote the Patriot Act all by himself, by hand. Authorities say he acted alone. And god knows, we believe them.

  17. @joe remenak – thanks a lot for the info and the sources, I’ll check them out.

    I would be curious to see a similar study using some nuanced psychological measures of anxiety/powerlesness, which are not necessarily going to be precisely aligned with SES. I would imagine that today one of the most anxious groups is the middle, rather than the working class. The working class already know that they are screwed – this is not news to them. However some portions of the middle class is terrified of getting proletarized (which is probably just a matter of time?). I would imagine that groups that ostensibly are doing okay to feel instinctively the insecurity of their position, and to indulge in gun ownership – perhaps for defense against the hordes of unemployed who are above to storm their neighborhoods under the communist leadership of Obama. LOL….

  18. Okay, I mostly take back #5, having seen Joe’s list.

    Meanwhile, I’d be surprised if gun ownership wasn’t positively related to income. That’s not least because race remains a substantial part of class, and white people are more gun-loving than others, if the stats are correct. My sense is that there is something akin to fascism’s social appeal at work, with lower middle class and upper working class whites being the main stockpilers.

    Gotta love Zerobama saying we don’t need any new gun laws, even though everything this kid did in acquiring his equipment was utterly legal.

  19. Pingback: Gun control and the hero hypothesis | Politics is the Opium of the Intellectuals
  20. Michael, “total guns” might be greater in the hands of the proles, but your suspicion is probably accurate regarding income. There is a powerful–and very annoying/pretentious–culture of “self defense by gun ownership” enjoyed by upper-class whites, who don’t hunt or serve in the military, but who go to handgun clubs with the casualness (and the price equivalents) of golfing or power-lunching. It’s an even more surreal culture of gun worship than the silly media image of NRA guys performing paramilitary maneuvers at a public campground. You should see those PTA moms use their “nines” on cardboard men with numbered killzones, then giggle and get into the Lexus SUV to head to Starbucks before putting Bryce and Cameron to bed.

  21. A last comment on the notorious #5.

    I live in Hungary. A terrible murder was committed in the city of Eger last month. The alleged murderer is gypsy (Roma). This has sparked further outrage amongst right-wingers in this country who believe that this murder justifies their stereotypes of an entire race of people. When a gypsy commits a crime it’s ‘typical’ behavior. Of course, when a white person (a native son or daughter) commits an equivalent crime, it’s chalked down to insanity or atypical of the race.

    When Arabs (or Palestinians) carry out acts of violence, it is seldom asked in the Western press what kinds of circumstances might have driven an ‘individual’ to commit such an act; it’s all chalked down to the religion or of an inherited capacity for violence. When Anders Brejvik commits his horrible slaughter in Norway, every effort is made to discover a lunatic dwelling within…a cultural anomaly.

    If white people need to ‘get a grip’, perhaps it might involve either a more universal condemnation of all acts of violence or a global search for real motives beyond racial stereotypes.

  22. Okay, all good points regarding the relationship of gun ownership to income, or more precisely, class. I’m revising it to still include the original terms, but to refer to *relative* impoverishment/powerlessness within the upper strata (i.e. anything above middle-working class).

    I can see how the middle class drones of various stripes could be drawn to gun ownership (lovely and vivid image from high arca, LOL – the mom from “American Beauty”).

    However, in the grand distribution of power in society, these people are still powerless – they know their privileges are unstable, and in the event of actual unrest they will be the first to go.

    I surely doubt that Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon, Bill gates, etc. etc. in the billionaire club waste any time on guns: they got private jets and secluded getaways.

    However, the person in the 50th-99.9th percentile is just another financial meltdown away from being as impoverished and insecure as the less lucky. I think this little fact explains how it is possible for republicans to have such a strong middle class support: in times of insecurity, people simply want to hold onto what they’ve got, and if stomping on the heads of the unemployed is the way to do it, so be it. Throw in some guns for an extra dose of security for when the moochers raise once the fresh faced GOP-ers completely decimate social spending. Yay. To quote the next upcoming violent movie, we were given a ferrari (reason and intelligence ), and we’re treating as a lawn mower.

  23. Jenny, my view:

    Out: 3/5 language, existence of Senate and Electoral College, Amendments 2, 18, 21, maybe others

    In: rationalized and routinized voter registration plus Election Days as federal and state holidays, retained amendments move into body, right to work and basic income, national single payer medical insurance, foreign policy to promote democracy (with real definition), peace, respect for law, stronger restrictions on or elimination of Presidency, establishment of PBS and NEA, simple statement strongly separating church and state, establishment of EPA and Independent Counsel, with election of heads for each, definition of corporations as non-individuals with public obligations

  24. There goes the “idea” that constitutional issues are “too abstract” for the masses to understand…

    Altough I think that the founding fathers were primarily self-interested douchebags, their constitution was probably one of the most reason-infused documents in history at that point. I also think that had they have a way to anticipate what industrial capitalism would look like and its implications for their “society of owners”, they would have been more careful not to get carried away with the whole “checks and balances” thing and safeguarding against the “tyrranny of the majority” thing (LOL).

    Here’s an easy script for a B movie:
    James Madison raises from the grave in present day, looks around and concludes: “Damn, I surely liked my privileges, but boy, did I overshoot it”, and starts a far left-party under the banner “Time to start over, bitches”, at which point Thomas Jefferson and the other marginally more enlightened founding crowd shows up to tip things over towards a reasonably happy ending. LOL

    This is an easy scrip

  25. The “too complex” thing is part of the overclass effort to preserve the entirely manufactured Holiness of FF Writ. Even the Founding Fuckers thought people would be rewriting the thing. How else do you explain Article V? Jefferson, as we know, thought the tree of liberty needed blood every generation or two.

    But rewriting the Constitution is a grave danger to the existing corporate overclass, as it would almost surely close some of the gaps between BAU and public preferences. The mere practice of another Constitutional Convention would put the whole power structure at risk, and would also suggest people might be more in charge than they are.

    BTW, there should be some Constitutional language about fair, non-commercial elections, too.

  26. WinstonSmith, you said it best. Thanks for pointing out the violence humans are inflicting on other species and on nature in general.

  27. Also in: Substitute the preamble to the Declaration of Independence (with “men” changing to “human beings” and deletion of the phrase “by their Creator”) for the current Preamble, which is a raft of fluff. I would also change “self-evident” to “proven by history” in the description of the nature of the truths talked about there.

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