Tag Archives: politics

Daily Discussion with BQB – Should There Be a Space Force?

As a nerd, I give a resounding yes.  The name is awesome and sounds like it comes from a sci-fi movie.  However, I think I can read Trump’s mind.  I think his idea is that thousands of years from now, contact will be made between humans and aliens.  If a U.S. Space Force is started, that will likely be the organization that contacts the aliens. Ergo, Trump wants to reserve a spot in the history books as the creator of the Space Force that eventually made contact with aliens.

My two cents on what he is up to anyway.  Either that, or he’ll push for a Mars expedition with the hope of building a structure that might get the name “Trump” slapped on it, which you might laugh at, but JFK’s support for the space program led to the creation of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

I don’t know.  Love or hate Trump, but I like this idea.  Sign me up for the Space Force.

Come to think of it, our POTUS does like pussy.  (What’s not to like?)  Maybe he is hoping the Space Force might be able to find and bring back some green space bitches with multiple pussies to grab.  Ugh, nice in theory but in reality, way too much work to please all that pussy.

I wouldn’t mind finding some space bitches with three titties though.  That’s just three times the fun.

In all seriousness, life surely exists in the vast reaches of space.  It would be amazing to make contact, though whether or not that contact would yield good or bad results for humanity remains to be seen.  Due to our curious natures, we’ll always keep trying to make that contact, even though the safe bet is to stick to our own corner of the galaxy, so we might as well keep on trying and see what happens.  Hopefully, whatever happens is a good thing.

DISCUSS.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Should our currency be changed from dollar bills to ripe pomegranites?

Discuss.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Increase School Security Today

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

I usually don’t get political on this fine blog.  I want it to be enjoyed by all…of my 3.5 readers.

But this is an issue I wrote about after the Parkland school shooting and sadly, I’m writing about it again after the shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.

Look, I get it.  Gun control is a tough issue.  There are so many strong feelings on either side.

But let’s be honest…while we hope the gun-less utopia, a world where everyone voluntarily throws down their arms because everyone has become so kind, caring and trustable, is coming, it clearly isn’t coming anytime soon.

Listen, in the 1800s, did the world wait when desperados stuck up Old West banks?  Did we say, “Oh, we won’t secure these banks, we’ll just wait for a day when everyone becomes nice enough to not rob banks anymore.” No, they pinned tin stars on the chests of surly, bearded, tobacco chawing U.S. Marshalls to hunt down the bank robbers.  Today, go into a big bank and you’ll see all kinds of guards and security measures.

When terrorists struck on 9/11, did we wait and say, “Oh, we’ll wait until the day comes when no one wants to do anything evil with a plane.”  No.  The department of Homeland Security was started, the whole governmental intelligence gathering/law enforcement apparatus was overhauled and airport security was increased.  We haven’t had a plane hijacking since, knock on wood.

Does it suck that we live in an age where schools require armed guards?  Yes.  Will their presence at schools intimidate the kids?  I mean, if you think about it, you see so many police and security guards all day long, wherever you go – banks, major attractions, airports, subways, etc.  Do you ever feel oppressed when you see them?  Probably not.

Every school should have a security assessment and doors should be secured.  They should be made such that there’s only one way to enter and that entrance comes with having to go through a metal detector staffed by armed guards.  You go through security at so many other locations, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Yeah, I know.  You might say, “Well, that sucks that kids have to be shaken down by security every day” but we have to realize there is an ongoing pattern that has emerged the past twenty years.

Basically, the shooter is almost always a troubled young boy who gets his hands on a gun and after years of being picked on, or teased, made fun of, etc. he decides he’s going to get even.  Young people often have no comprehension of how long life is and how some of the things that seem awful when they are teenagers will one day become things they will barely remember when they are adults.

Video games are more violent than ever.  So are movies.  And with the Internet, kids have exposure to all sorts of naughty stuff you couldn’t have dreamed of seeing as a kid many years ago.

Worse, you’ve got the “me” culture and even worse, “the fame culture” where everyone seems to think the best thing you can do in life is to become famous and it doesn’t matter if you become famous for doing something bad.

We have to be honest here.  Yes, guns are a problem but also, keep in mind that up until twenty years ago, people had guns and yet, school shootings were not a regular occurrence.  Not saying everyone in those days were perfect, but there’s been a breakdown somewhere that so many kids end up deciding to do a school shooting.

Maybe we’ll get to the gunless, peaceful utopia someday. Until then, tighten up school security.

Thank you.  This is BQB, signing off. I’d run for president and solve the world’s problems myself, but I wouldn’t have time to write on this exceptional blog.

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BQB and the Search for Culturally Appropriate Food – A Short Story of One Man’s Search for Elusive Woke-ness

meltypizza

Can’t prove you’re from the boot?  Don’t even think about it.

I was hungry tonight, 3.5 readers.  I should have skipped dinner because I’m fat but screw it.  My tummy wanted foody, yum yum.

I went to a strip mall, where there was a pizza joint and a Chinese restaurant.  Normally, I would enter one or the other place, order, stuff my face and leave fatter than ever and none the wiser that I had committed a hate crime that made me worse than Hitler, namely, that I ate food that did not hail from my culture.

You see, I’m not Chinese.  Of that, we can be certain.  And even though that nice Chinese couple who moved to town and spent their savings to open up a business in which they would utilize their skill in cooking and serving their native dishes to anyone willing to pay, I knew better than they did.

Up until yesterday, I didn’t know better.  I thought it was OK for me to stuff orange chicken and pork fried rice and beef teriyaki and won ton soup and crab rangoons and moo goo gai pan and chow mein into my pie hole with reckless abandon.

But then, yesterday, I read about that girl who wore a Chinese dress to her prom even though she was not Chinese and I realized that I was a monster for eating Chinese food all of this time without being Chinese.

So I stuck my head in the doorway (I didn’t think I deserved to even enter a restaurant that was decorated in a Chinese style because again, I’m not Chinese) and I told the nice couple that I would not be able to purchase their food again because I am not Chinese.  They looked at me and smiled and then when I tried to explain further, the wife grabbed a broom and whacked me in the ass and told me, “Get lost, hipster scum!”

Anyway, so the other place at the strip mall was a pizza joint.  I go there often.  They have good pizza.  However, it dawned on me that I am not Italian.

I thought about it for a moment.  Although I am not Italian, I am of English, Scandanavian and German ancestry.  As you might be aware (you probably aren’t because you attended public schools), there was a time when Europe was conquered by the Roman Empire.

So…I guess you could make the argument that I am the descendant of subjects who were under the rule of Ancient Italians.

But then I thought, “Well…I can’t really prove that.  Maybe my ancestors were aware they were subjects of Ancient Italians, or maybe they were tree people who just danced around in the forest and had no idea about what was going on.  Further, I can’t draw a map of what the Roman Empire looked at during any one point in time, let alone during various times as it lasted a long time, and don’t even get me started on the Holy Roman Empire…”

Oh well.  I decided not to chance.  I got in my car.  By the way, my car is American made, so I think I’m OK, but I’m going to put a call into the manufacturer tomorrow to ask if I share the same heritage as the people who assembled the car on the manufacturing line.  I mean, if the car was made by a man who isn’t English, Scandanavian, or German, then I’d be culturally appropriating this individual’s work and that would be wrong.

I drove for hours until I found a Norwegian Restaurant.  It was called “The Viking’s Helmet.”  Finally, I would be able to dine without it being a hate crime because, remember, I’m part-Scandanavian.

Once inside, I was greeted by a waiter dressed in full Viking battle regalia, horny helmet, battle axe, long beard and all.

“By Odin’s taint, I’m Uncle Sven and I’ll be your server,” said he.

“Glad to be here,” I said.  “I’m a descendant of the Ancient Viking peoples and I just learned it’s cultural appropriation to eat any food that my ancestors didn’t eat.”

Sven and I got to talking and found we were pissed off about the same offenses to our culture.  We were pissed that Marvel was making bank off of cartoonizing our deity, Thor, for he is the God of Thunder and to turn him into a superhero is apparently fine to everyone, yet everyone would shit solid gold bricks if Stan Lee were to churn out a series of comic books called, “The Stupendous Jesus!”  See Jesus cure the lepers in a single bound!

Further, we were pissed that there was an NFL team in the current year called the “Vikings” even though the Ancient Scandanavian heritage of any of the players had not been verified.  The Vikings were a proud lot of warriors who beat the shit out of their slaves to get them to row their long ships faster so they could get to foreign lands and steal their shit, pillage their villages, set their huts on fire, and abscond with their women so…unless you did all that and still looked good in a horny helmet, I’ll thank you to not refer to yourself as a “Viking.”

Soon enough, Thor brought me a steaming hot plate of salted codfish gonads, which surprised me because a) I didn’t know Vikings ate those and b) I didn’t know fish had gonads.  I mean, I guess I knew that but I didn’t know they were anything you could make a meal of, or that anyone would want to.

“Our ancient kinsman would spend many a night looking at their plundered booty and enjoying a plate of salted codfish gonads,” Uncle Sven said.

“Yeah,” I replied.  “It’s just that…well…up until now I was more of a pizza and/or beef teriyaki kind of guy.”

“That’s crazy talk, you un-woke, bigoted, unmitigated pile of whale shit!”  Uncle Sven said.  “You’re not Chinese OR Italian!!!”

“I know,” I replied.  “And had I know it was a hate crime to have eaten anything other than the salted codfish gonads that my Viking ancestors consumed while they burnt the villages of their enemies to the ground and defiled the women folk to prove their manliness, then I never would have developed a penchant for pepperoni and spare ribs.”

“Oh well,” Uncle Sven said.  “At least now you know you were a disgusting monster and now you can change.  What part of Scandanavia did your people hail from?”

“Beats me,” I said.

Uncle Sven gasped.  I explained that my family always told me we were part Scandanavian, but never specified which country.  Uncle Sven told me the specific country matters, for this was a Norwegian restaurant and Norwegians always cooked and salted their codfish gonads.  Meanwhile, the Swedes prefered unsalted codfish gonads and the Finns liked to mix their codfish gonads with a jelly-like substance made out of crushed radishes and the excised tumors of pickled herrings.

Thus, since I couldn’t prove I was a bonafide Norwegian, Uncle Sven could not risk taking part in cultural appropriation, because for all he knew, I could have been the descendant of Finns and he was fresh out of cancer laden pickled herrings.

I told Uncle Sven there were no hard feelings and set off for a German restaurant.  I am, part German, after all.  I found a restaurant called “Haus of Der Wunder Schnitzel.”

There I met a waiter in leiderhosen named Herr Gunter, who told me he would happy to serve me a delicious, hot pretzel, a frothy stein of German beer, bratwurst, as many weiner schnitzels I could eat, all doused with a heaping helping of sauerkraut.

I told Herr Gunter that all sounded delicious and I could eat all of this guilt free because I’m part German.  Alas, Herr Gunter gasped and cried, “Only part?!”

Yes.  I asked if “only part German” was good enough and said it wasn’t.  You see, at this time, there doesn’t exist a process that would allow a doctor to determine which percentage of my stomach was German so there was no way to know how much food my stomach would be able to carry until it filled up the German part and overflowed into the English and Scandanavian parts.  The idea of German food mixing around in a stomach that shared ancestry with non-Germans was morally abhorrent and a definite act of cultural appropriation.

I thanked Herr Gunter for his time and left.  I had a similar exchange at Sir Nigel’s Kidney Pie Factory.  Sir Nigel was willing to sell me a kidney pie until I explained that I could not explain which part of my stomach was English, and then he told me I was banned from eating pies made out of the organs that eliminate toxins from the bodies of farm animals because, hey, that’s better than pizza I guess.

I asked Sir Nigel if he knew what a man of mixed heritage like me could do, because I was hungry and hadn’t eaten all day.  The kind man handed me a box of crackers, which he explained, had been invented by the Brits, for like the British, they are dry, tasteless, and have a history of invading your mouth and leaving crumbs in areas where they didn’t belong.  Hence, why my people would always be known as “Crackers.”

The catch was that I had to promise to eat only one cracker every four hours.  Thus, I’d be able to ensure the cracker would only stay in the English part of my stomach and not mix with the German and Scandanavian parts.

I agreed.  Sir Nigel also gave me a jug of water.  It was ok for me to drink water, the Brit noted, because all cultures have enjoyed water since the dawn of time.

I returned home, where I sat on the front steps to my house.  I ate a cracker, then checked my watch.  I took a sip of water.

A few minutes later, an angry, blue haired feminist wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt slapped the cracker box out of my hand, then seized the water bottle from my other hand and dumped it all over the sidewalk.

“Hey!”  I cried.

“Cultural appropriating scum!”  the angry feminist said.

“I’m not!”  I said.  “I researched this thoroughly!  I can eat crackers because I am a British cracker and also I have agreed to only eat one cracker every four hours so as to not allow the cracker to inter mingle with the non-British parts of my stomach.”

With a triumphant grin, the SJW pointed my direction to the bottom of the cracker box, which was prominently stamped, “Made in Taiwan.”

I looked to the heavens and, much as Capt. Kirk screamed the name of his nemesis, Khan, so too did I cry, “Damn you, Pacific Trade Partnership!!!”

I composed myself.  “But why did you dump out my water?  All cultures enjoy water.”

“Yeah,” the SJW said.  “But uh…hello?  Most anthropologists are in agreement that the first humans were born in Africa and so they were the first people to discover water so unless you’ve got a Ugandan passport on you…”

I sighed.  I told her I didn’t have such a passport and laid down on the stoop.  As the SJW walked away, I lost all hope.  The hours passed, the night went by, and in the morning, my throat was so dry.

As the time rolled on, various helpful social justice warriors stopped by to inform me that my hat, belt, shirt, pants, shoes, socks, and underwear had all been manufactured in other countries, none of which I could claim kinship with.  They were nice enough to take all of my clothing, throw them into a dumpster, pour gas on them and set my duds ablaze.

I returned to my front steps, where I laid their naked…until one of the women who complained about the origin of my clothing accused me of exercising male privilege and/or engaging in Harvey Weinstein-esque activity and so, she called the police.

Not wanting to go to jail, I found a sharp object and was about to stab myself to death when another SJW pointed out that if I were to do so, I would be committing a form of the ancient art of hare kare, i.e. the Ancient Japanese tradition of killing yourself in order to preserve your honor when you have engaged in an epic fail.

So, I wrapped myself in a burlap sack.  I felt bad because I could not figure out which country had invented burlap, but it was my only option.  I headed South, all the way to Antarctica, where I found peace…

…until the world’s only talking penguin accused me of appropriating penguin culture by trying to catch a fish with my mouth.

The End.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Is Apu Offensive?

Hey 3.5 readers.

I write an ongoing column on this fine blog called, “Is Comedy Dying?” where I lament how the “rush to offense” culture is tearing down comedy and not replacing it with anything good.  What passes for comedy now is just going to be Samantha Bee yelling at me about her political views, John Oliver snarking at me about his political views, and Amy Schumer making yet another dumb movie where she’s like, “Hey guys!  I’m a drunk slut who acts like an idiot but nice guys should like me or else they’re super mean, right?”

I digress.  On the surface, I get why an American of Indian descent might not be a fan of Apu, the owner of the Quick-E-Mart on “The Simpsons.”

On a deeper level though, those who watched the show regularly are aware that a) Apu is often the most intelligent resident of Springfield b) he’s an immigrant who built himself up into a businessman c) he suffers casual racism from incompetent Springfield boobs regularly with dignity and grace, often helping those who hurt him and d) he might as well be the one making money selling Homer outdated snacks because if he weren’t doing, Homer would just drive his fat ass to another convenience store and if anything, the scenes where Apu crosses out the date on expired products only for Homer to eat them and get sick is more about how chubby Americans suffer a love affair with junk food and are willing to make the worse decisions about what to shove in their holes.

I get the complaints – Hank Azaria isn’t Indian, some Indian Americans lament that when they were growing up they were called “Apu” or subjected to catch phrases like, “Thank you, come again” and so on.

But I don’t know.  Look at the rest of the show.  If we’re getting rid of Apu, then we also have to get rid of Bumblebee Man, Groundskeeper Willie, Uter the Chubby Exchange student and so on.  From Chief Wiggum, the fat donut chomping cop to Principal Skinner, the uptight, bureaucratic educator, every character is essentially a stereotype because that’s what cartoons are.

I get that people get offended but good comedy offends everyone, eventually.  There’s humor in everyone, everywhere.  If anything, comedy is fair when it offends everyone, when sooner or later, it pokes fun at anyone and everyone and leaves no one behind.

At the very least, can we really harangue the Simpsons creators for doing something that was considered OK 30 years ago?

I don’t know.  I do get the complaints.  I don’t want people to feel bad.  Still, I don’t know how the Simpsons continues if these are the constraints we are working under now.

It makes me a little sad and ready to throw in the comedy towel, to just let the snarky Manhattanite comics take the whole thing and ruin it all with their high falutin, brie cheese sniffing jokes that only three people get.  That’s fine.  Let’s just go ahead and get the Simpsons cancelled then.  What really need is 16 more movies where Amy Schumer laments that she can’t find a man who will accept her drunken sluttyness, more of John Oliver and Steve Colbert making my eyes glaze over with their policy talks, more of Samantha Bee yelling jokes at me that her writers room nerds thought were funny so ergo, I should find them funny.

I’ll be at the bar, 3.5 readers.  Tell me what you say in the comments below.

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Movie Review – Chappaquiddick (2018)

Err…uh…I can’t err…uh believe that liberal Hollywood allowed this movie to be made, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with an…err…uh review.

It was the summer of 1969 and as America kept their eyes glued to the moon landing, i.e. the crowning achievement of former President John F. Kennedy’s support of the space program, another Kennedy was partying on an island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Ted was, for lack of a better term, the runt of the Kennedy litter.  Joseph Kennedy died a WWII veteran, John died when he was assassinated during his presidency, Robert died while running for president.  As Ted (Jason Clarke) states in the film, Joe was the favorite, John had the charm, Robert was brilliant and if you believe in odds, then that didn’t leave much for him.

Long story short, on the fateful night in question, Ted, with young campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne in his car, drives off a bridge.  He manages to escape but Mary Jo is left inside.  Rather than call the police for immediate help, he waits until the next morning to report the incident and well, as often happens, the cover up is worse than the crime.

Ted’s father, also named Joseph, a fabulously wealthy man who built a fortune as a bootlegger in the 1930s, is, at the time of the incident, a withered old stroke victim, little more than a disappointed expression glued on the face of a husk of a body.  He can barely get out a few words and when he does, it’s to let Ted know what a total letdown he is to the old man in comparison to his older, deceased brothers.

I hope I’m not spoiling this for anyone.  This is all old news for a politics junkie like me, but may be new to the general public.  I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot of the sordid details that went on behind the scenes in the ensuing “clean up.”

Joe Sr. maybe be physically useless, but his money, name and reputation still hold sway, and thus at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis, a cavalcade of the best political fixers of the 1960s convenes, each man copiously reviewing every last conceivable angle, leaving no stone unturned in an effort to remove Ted from any ability to be prosecuted.  Favors are called in, the media is manipulated, the judicial system is turned on its ear.

The most damning fact that the team had to contend with?  That Mary Jo had a large pocket of air left in the car, meaning that if Ted had simply called for help right away, the police could have rescued her.  Thus, the ongoing theme that sometimes politicians worry so much about how their political careers will be affected that they don’t do the right thing and this is unfortunate, as it is doing the right thing that often saves a political career.  Had Ted called the cops, the whole night could have been chalked up to a funny story where Ted made a wrong turn into the pond but luckily everyone escaped ok but instead…well, he did the wrong thing, a woman died, and in doing the wrong thing, he didn’t become president.

Another ongoing theme is that sometimes, not every member of a powerful or famous family is up to snuff.  Ted admits he lacks his brothers’ talents and yet feels overwhelming pressure to pursue politics – a life he wasn’t cut out for, a life that killed two of his brothers and causes him stress that he can’t endure, perhaps why he turned to alcohol and womanizing in life, though allegations of alcoholism and womanizing are merely danced around in this film.  The movie focuses on what it can prove and only tangentially mentions longtime rumors, speculation, etc i.e. that Ted and Mary Jo were having an affair, that Mary Jo was pregnant, that Ted was drunk the night of the accident.

Jason Clarke is a dead ringer for Ted, while comic actor Ed Helms plays Ted’s cousin/longtime confidant Joe Gargan (a Kennedy family extended member who according to this film, longs to be considered an actual Kennedy but feels like all he is ever asked to do his be Ted’s fixer).  Meanwhile, comedian Jim Gaffigan plays Ted’s other confidant, former U.S. Attorney Paul Markham.

It’s ironic that in this very powerful, dramatic film, an Australian is called on to play an American politician, while two comedians are tapped to play the senator’s associates.  Frankly, to me, this is a sign that Hollywood probably wasn’t thrilled about this movie being made.  While Ed Helms has long been working on his chance to cross over into drama, I doubt Jim Gaffigan, a comic who jokes about how he eats too much and who to date, his most famous movie role is being the “Meow” guy from “Super Troopers” would have had a chance to play a US Attorney/Kennedy colleague unless there wasn’t a line of actors at the studio’s door looking to snatch up the role.

At any rate, I don’t want to get political, but I think we can all agree Tinsel Town is a liberal place.  That puts the film industry in a tough position – make this movie and tell a very interesting story about how there’s a double standard in the law for the rich and powerful…hide the story to protect the reputation of an iconic left-leaning political family dynasty….don’t tell the story and in so doing, ignore the #metoo movement that’s been sweeping over Hollywood, i.e. people demanding that stories of women being hurt by the powerful be told….tell the story and admit that one of the Democratic party’s top senators for many decades was a womanizing lout who got off scot free on a rap that would have left anyone else in prison for life…this was a movie with a lot of ramifications and it’s being made probably didn’t make a lot of powerful people happy.

I’m not giving the right a pass…I’m just saying, this is a story that has been waiting to be told for fifty years.  I remember as a kid whenever Ted Kennedy would come on TV, I would make a joke about his voice, crack a joke about Chappaquiddick, “I err uh left a blond in the err uh pond” and inevitably some adult would tell me to shush because didn’t I think the Kennedy family had suffered enough already?

Yeah, but no one seemed to care about Mary Jo’s suffering…until today, when the media is finally willing to listen to stories about women suffering at the hands of powerful men.  A film that was made 50 years too late to get Mary Jo some justice, but at least it was finally made.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Search Engine Optimized Poet – Naked Photos of Stormy Daniels

:::Bongo Drum Beats:::

Hey there all you hep cats and hep kittens. Come on down to the East Randomtown Java Bean, where the poets always stink and the cups are never clean.

Next on the mic is the one and only Search Engine Optimized Poet…the only rhyme-smith whose beats bring in the web searchers’ feets, ya dig?

up-korora-beatnik-800px

Stormy!  Whoa, Stormy!

You have enormous bazoombas!

And now every man in the free world,

Is sucking up your videos like a big Roomba…

Vac?  Oh, I’m a hack.

Trying to give BQB’s blog a big ratings attack.

Cut me some slack.  “I’ll be back.”

That’s what Schwarzenegger did say.

What? You want to see Stormy’s monster funbags today?

Hooray!  They’re on the way!  But be filled with dismay.

For filled with silicone is the porn star’s way.

Nay!  The photos of the lady who banged the Prez are not here.

But follow this link, and perhaps Stormy’s storm front will appear?

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What Can the Original Death Wish (1974) Movie Tell Us About the Gun Debate?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here.

So, here’s the deal.  Every new generation, for some reason, truly and sincerely believes they are the very first to discover an issue, as though prior generations had never considered it before.

For obvious and tragic reasons, the gun debate is raging all over TV and over the Internet these days.  Funny though, are you aware that a 44 year old movie pretty much sums up the arguments for and against gun control in one fell swoop?

No, I’m not talking about the recently released reboot starring Bruce Willis, although I do want to see it.

I’m talking about the original Death Wish, which by now, is roughly the same age as a middle aged man.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  I rented it last night and dated as the film is, it still hashes out all the talking points about guns that are being bandied about today.

You see, 3.5 readers, in the early 1970s, there was a crime wave in the inner cities.  Nixon actually won the presidency due to promises to get tough on crime.  People were fed up by the fact that they couldn’t walk down the street without getting hassled by hoodlums and Hollywood cashed on in this development, producing all manner of films where tough guys, fed up with the system’s inability to protect them, take law into their own hands and blow bad guys away with big ass hand cannons.  “Death Wish” was the most notable of these films, though it runs neck and neck with Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” series.

The plot?  New York City architect Paul Kersey is a mild mannered liberal professional and family man.  He loves his wife, his daughter, and abhors violence, having even been given a medical corps position during the Korean War to avoid having to kill anyone.

All this changes when his wife is killed and daughter brutally raped by a pack of hooligans led by none other than a young Jeff Goldblum.  “Life uh..finds a way.”

While some hero tales provide an instant transformation i.e. the main character instantly gains powerful skills overnight, Kersey’s progression from frumpy dad to badass killing machine is a slow one.

Kersey’s informed there’s not much the police can do.  His son-in-law, Jack, laments that to the government, his wife and Paul’s wife are little more than statistics, a certain number of crime victims that the powers that be deem acceptable, even normal, and that they’ll just have to suck it up and get used to it.

Pissed, Kersey starts carrying a sock full of quarters to protect himself.  When a mugger attacks him, he gives the mugger a sock knock and sends the ne’er-do-well running.   He learns an interesting lesson – if criminals are made to fear for their lives, they’ll run.

Our hero then takes a sojourn to Arizona for work, we he meets Aimes, a business associate who can only be described as a walking, talking caricature of a died in the wool NRA member on steroids.  Frontier justice, Aimes says, is the name of the game in the West.  Everyone’s packing heat and criminals know they’ll be instantly bagged and tagged, so crime rates are low according to the cowboy.

Aimes takes Kersey to a range and we can see Kersey feel like he’s regaining control of his life as he takes aim at targets and fires.  He reveals that he did some hunting in his youth and had to qualify as a marksman in the Army, so he has some skill.  The cowboy gives the city slicker a present, a rather menacing looking revolver.

When Kersey returns to NYC, he starts carrying the pistol.  Oddly, he’s accosted by another mugger.  Kersey keeps his cash and puts a bullet in the bad guy instead.  He runs home and is so horrified by what he’s done that he throws up.

But soon…Kersey becomes addicted to murdering criminals…or does he?  It’s sort of an up for interpretation part of the film.

Fun fact – although he’s portrayed as an out of control vigilante, Kersey technically never does anything illegal.  He just takes a lot of walks in the middle of the night in dangerous neighborhoods, on subways, in parks, and is sure to flash a wallet full of money in seedy establishments and/or look like a bumbling old man by carrying groceries.  He never attacks anyone who doesn’t attack first.

Maybe he really is just an old bumbler with a lot of bad luck…but most likely, he’s out trolling, just waiting, nay wishing that some mugger would attack him so he can shoot them in self-defense.

And that’s the rub.  Kersey never shoots anyone who didn’t draw a pistol or a knife on him first.

The overall theme of the movie?  If people arm up, bad guys will pussy out.  Not really a popular message today.

The alternative argument, that society will descend into chaos if everyone is carrying a gun, is briefly explored, but ultimately, it’s suggested that bumbling politicians are to blame.  During one such meeting of incompetent NYC bureaucrats, it’s noted that “the vigilante’s” hijinx have cut muggings down by half, but they’ll never tell the public for fear that the city will become a war zone.

But what’s the alternative?  Better governance?  More police?  A better economy?  More social welfare programs?  A better world where the poor have no need to rob and steal?  Nah, the politicians aren’t going to do any of that.  They’d really just prefer it if families of crime victims like Kersey would shut up, accept their statistic status and go along as if nothing happened.

Is it an awesome film?  In many ways, yes.  The gradual progression from pacified weakling to macho asskicker is fun to watch.

Is it open to criticism?  Yes.  In the past, criminals were portrayed as cartoon characters, bums who made a conscious decision to avoid the honest pay that a hard day’s work could provide and to seek a quick buck by hassling the law abiding instead.  Ergo, they deserved the new holes that Kersey gave to them.  And sure, that often happens but in today’s cinema, criminals are usually given a heartwarming backstory that makes you feel as though the person could not have helped becoming a criminal (often the case, though not always.)

Is the film racist?  Well, I mean, yeah, Kersey does shoot an awful lot of black dudes.  But he shoots white dudes too.  And there are many law abiding African-American characters, from a police officer that assists Kersey in the investigation into his wife’s death, to a working class couple who see a duo of white crooks enter a subway train and decide to get off at the next stop rather than deal with them, to an old black lady who, inspired by tales of the vigilante on the news, whips out a hat pin and stabs the shit out of two reprobates who try to run off with her purse.

I mean yeah, to borrow an SJW term, a white character gunning down so many black characters is “problematic.”  You could argue that perhaps there is a universal code of right and wrong, that no matter what color you are, if you point a gun or a knife at anyone of any color, then you’re getting what’s coming to you if the threatened person takes you out.  It’s a daily war against crime, with law abiding people of all different colors and backgrounds vs.  crooks of all different races and backgrounds.  White Paul Kersey and black old lady with the hat pin are on the same side – two good people who just want to walk home without getting accosted for the money they worked for.

But still, yeah, an awful lot of black dudes buy the farm in this movie so…how to rectify that?  I don’t know.  Maybe if there’s ever another reboot of this film, a black actor could play the Paul Kersey role, gunning down a rainbow of hoodlums from all different backgrounds, or just white guys, or really, does it matter what color the shooter or the person shot is as long as the shooter was being attacked and the attacker was, in fact, a threat to life?  Bruce Willis is one of very few conservative actors willing to touch this franchise, though I think Hollywood missed a real opportunity to hold a coup if they would have cast, say, Denzel Washington or Jamie Foxx as Paul Kersey.

Oh well.  Don’t picket my blog.  I liked the movie though I realize in many ways it’s un-PC, hokey, tacky and well, probably doesn’t hold up today.  I mean, sure if you stand out in NYC in the middle of the night for long enough, you might get robbed once, but no one is as unlucky as Kersey, getting robbed over and over, even if you are out walking around, wishing that someone would rob you so you could kick their ass.  (Note:  just give them the money.)

All in all, what does this old movie tell us?  Does it have any relevance to today’s gun debate?  Basically, the politicians of this movie, just as the politicians in real life today, are as clueless and inept as ever.  Gun control is a sensitive issue and no matter what side you’re on, government officials appear clueless and inept when they fail to make us all safe…and citizens must keep pressure on politicians to make the world a safer place because at the end of the day, they’re lazy and happy to just let victims become more statistics, more faceless victims, more deaths to be expected as just a matter of fact of life.

Overall, depending what side of the fence you’re on, you’ll hate or love this film.  And honestly, I can see why you’d hate or love it.

 

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This Blog is Meaningless So I Must Start a New One

3.5 readers, are you aware that in March, it will be the fourth anniversary of this exceptional blog?

That’s more years than I have readers.

Although you are all wonderful, I must admit that four years to gain such a paltry sum of readers wasn’t worth it.

I could continue this blog but lately, the issues of the day really weigh heavily on my mind and soul.  So much fighting.  So much disharmony and discord.  So many problems in the world, so much unrest.  So many people struggling, looking for hope and finding none.

I can no longer waste my time on writing fart jokes.  Fart jokes are crass and they help no one.  I must, instead, make a difference, so I have decided to start a new blog, one in which I will discuss the many important issues of the day.  Further, I will reach out to experts from a variety of backgrounds to get their take on how the world might improve.

I’d love it if you all follow me to this new blog and hopefully it will have more than 3.5 readers.  If you would check it out and give me your feedback, I’d appreciate it.

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Top Ten Machiavelli Quotes

#10 – “Politics have no relation to morals.”

#9 – “Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.”

#8 – “One who deceives will always find those who are willing to be deceived.”

#7 – “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

#6 – “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

#5 – “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

#4 – “He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.”

#3- “Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

#2 – “The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.”

#1 – “When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence and these opinions generate hatred.”

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