This is a test of your emergency autonomic system. This is only a test. Your media networks have set up this emergency warning system so that if there were ever an actual crisis in America, your media could be used to protect the citizenry by warning them of trouble spots or outbreaks, so the duly informed citizenry could then take action to protect themselves. Sounds great on paper, unless, as it turned out with the H1N1 virus, the media were by far the most virulent of carriers.
So I propose this test instead. This is a test of our neural connectedness to the world around us to see whether we as individuals possess sufficient instinctual survival skills to bail water out of our leaky lifeboat. This week I think the leaks are winning.
Sometimes in television-land, a soap opera or a situation comedy will get stuck in a recurring theme long after all the entertainment value has been beaten out of it. Thus it is in the current week of the comedy that passes for TV news.
At least that is the way it reads with this week’s installment of the now continuing series “Gun-Toting Rednecks for Jesus.” As you may recall of late, cranky rank and file “Joe Six-pack,” er, excuse me, I mean “Joe Six-Shooter” right-wingers have been growing more paranoid and militia-style scary. And our “fair and balanced” media has been lapping it up and egging them on.
Fearing the Black Man and the Big Bad Government in equal measure, the average GOP mouth-breather on the street has become more frighteningly rabid each time some shock-jock tweaks their strings. This week, the same week that CNN once again takes the time to urgently reassure us that there is a plan to rebuild the Republican Party, as if it were something the majority of Americans were missing, the network starts running primetime rifle ads. No connection, no.
Later on the website, I find an “I wish it were funny” article on the latest trend: gun stores are running out of ammo as gun owners, falsely feeling threatened by the bogus anti-Obama rhetoric whipped up by the right-wing pundits, are now hording bullets in case the big bad government comes after them like Uncle Rush and Cousin Glenny keeps saying.
Of course all those bullets are American citizens’ patriotic right to horde. Men have fought and died for those rights, died, btw, killed by bullets. But one has to wonder, since bullets are made for shooting and handguns ain’t good for nothing else, what or whom do those gun-toting bullet hoarding right-wingers for Jesus aim to be shooting at, that they might need to horde such big old bunches of bullets? Has Bambi become that much of badass that NRA members are gonna have to cap her with their Nine several thousand times to make sure that that Jane Doe stays down?
Would it be too much of an obvious pun to note how much the word “overkill” relates to this news item? No, no, my apologies, we are only supposed to talk about this issue as a matter of rights. So Americans, of course, can have guns and own bullets, and those same people also have a right to talk about armed insurrection and hating the rest of us, and the GOP have the right to mine their votes and the MSM has the right to make a killing off of buying and selling the various forms of advertising it takes to broker such a deal; but again one must wonder, how far will the GOP and the MSM take this dangerous dance with inciting riot?
So far they are only testing the waters, seeing if we are paying attention. Chances are we weren’t. If this had been an actual emergency you would have been screwed. And so as the gun crowd, drunk on the attention they’ve gained thus far, continue to become ever more belligerent and ever more scary, you can rest assured CNN will be there to feed this beast of a political movement its favorite drug: airtime.
(And btw, speaking of what we are learning about them from all this airtime, if nothing else all the ugly rancor coming off of the right-wing shows the rest of us that Robert Heinlein had it wrong (as did those who send out emails that wrongly attribute the much misquoted quote to Jefferson), a gun owning society is NOT a polite society.)
Thanks again Main Stream Media for watching this growing epidemic closely enough and in such a way as to promote our general safety. We couldn’t’ve made it to this edge of disaster without your help. If this were a test you’d have failed. Too bad it’s only real life and death instead.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.