Slow news day
Greetings from Huntsville, your latest source of American workplace shootings.
Pass the chicken.
There's nothing quite like waking up one morning to learn that your adopted hometown is the news event of the day. "Four men dead in workplace shooting; police say that the gunman is holed up in some..." ... unnamed apartment building that's apparently over on my side of town.
It was comforting to see that for at least one day out of the year, the Huntsville news stations actually had something to report on for a change. It was also comforting to see that the reports of the shooting were related in that same breathless tone of doom that marks every rain forecast or low restaurant health score. It would be much more of a compliment to say "they treated today's news like any other day's news" if they had any concept of how to treat a normal day's worth of news.
The stories change, but the tone never does: "Workplace Shooting, 4 Dead" is reported with the same note of urgency and horror as such obviously-filler topics as "Is Your Child's Drinking Water Safe?" More often than not, Jeff and I catch a 15-second teaser for the nightly local news, hear the topic, look at each other, shrug, and say, "Slow news day."
Of course, since we have the glory that is TiVo, we watched the first three minutes of the local news (yep, they're dead; yep, we've got shots of the traumatized family members; yep, we've got testimonials from survivors; now let's show recaps of the last few shootings in Huntsville that we've got film on so we can keep viewers tuned in), got the hint, and moved on.
Strangely enough, TiVo had an episode of the Daily Show. Even more strangely, one of the DS topics was about Smith & Wesson's decision to sell a .50-caliber revolver. Have I mentioned how glorious it is to have the freedom and liberty to pack a gun so large that if I decided to shoot someone with it, there wouldn't even be a body left to identify?
What, exactly, was the reason for making this gun available to the public? Something like "real men need more than a .24"? "Only pansies carry a .45"? Is there a single demonstrable reason for this gun to exist, except for the final pistol-topper in a my-penis-is-bigger-than-your-penis contest?
This is America. Bigger is better. I'm waiting for the ultimate super-sized package: a free .50-caliber with your next purchase of a Cadillac Escalade.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, I live in a planet where George Bush insists that we must go to war with Iraq because he says they are hiding weapons of mass destruction; meanwhile, North Korea shoots missiles into the sea.
Now, I don't know about you guys, but when did a missile get taken off the list of "weapons of mass destruction"? You know, light the fuse, it flies away, it comes down, and then goes boom on some heretofore-unsuspecting city? Cities, as you may have learned in your geography classes, tend to contain people and buildings and other very soft and appealingly squishy things that in war terms are known as "targets." Their eradication generally equates to "destruction," with the potential modifier 'mass' depending on the amount of actual destruction.
If North Korea has non-weapons-of-mass-destruction uses for its missiles, what would they be for, inviting Japan to a radioactive tea party?
Ah, yes. On this planet, potential Iraqi missiles are weapons of mass destruction that merit a war, but a real Korean missile really fired into a real ocean is something to be downplayed...and there's an actual need for a private citizen to own a .50-caliber weapon.
Now that's news.