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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sheep

"Finns' gun policies scrutinized after tragedy" was the headline on an article in the paper today. The title on the linked article is different, but the article is the same. I read it while I was eating lunch today and it occured to me, why did they publish this article? And then I realized that it served to fan the flames of the conflict between the pro-gun and anti-gun forces, which is one of the big hot buttons in American politics. Any time a newspaper can stir up trouble, it is in the interest of their business to do so. The gun control debate, like the conflict over abortion, survives at least partially on inflaming the passions of people. Impassioned people contribute to their cause. Whenever one side makes some headway, their opponents can use this as issue to rally a counter attack. Both sides gain adherents and contributions and the newspapers sell more papers. Neither side gains a real advantage, but everyone makes money. Everyone wins. Finland's geographic position between Nazi occupied Norway and Russia wasn't mentioned.

My son John went to Church camp at Lake Shasta earlier this summer. Someone compiled some video clips and showed them to the families involved. One of the more entertaining segments was of the whole gang singing "I just wanna be a sheep, baa, baa, baa, baa." I've thought about this since and I cannot say I am real happy about it. I just wanna be a sheep? Is that what our civilization is really about? Well, yes and no. Some people really take it heart, keep their head down, do their jobs, don't make waves, much less any trouble, and when it comes time to be shorn, or even butchered, they go right along with the plan. I remember a scene from Caligula, one of the most unpleasant movies I have ever seen, where all the members of the Roman Senate are baa-ing like sheep.

I went to see "American Gangster" a week ago Friday. There were two items that stuck in my mind about this film. One was the talk between the two protagonists in the police interview room after the arrest. Franks asks the cop what he wants. Arresting him (Frank) is not going to make any real difference, someone else will step in to take his place. Now this is a familiar theme in gangster movies, but for some reason his statement makes a bigger impact. Perhaps because he puts it all in business terms. Look at all the people who are going to be put out of business: the producers (in SE Asia), the smugglers, the distributors, the dealers, and all the cops who are employed tracking down all these other people, not to mention all the prison guards.

The other point is that when they busted Frank, they confiscated $250 million dollars. Wikipedia says only a 100 million, but lets not split hairs. He was only in business for six years. He claimed to be selling a million dollars of heroin a day, just in NYC! There is no way the war on drugs is every going to be won with that kind of money floating around. The drug war is another hot button in American politics, but it does not generate a lot of press on pro side, but then it does not need to. Most of the money is on the pro side. The drug war is basically a political move to provide more money to the police. Too bad they have to spend it on such a futile endeavor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Church camp suck ass. Never send your kids to them, ever. Brainwashing, fascist fuckers.