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    The professional explainers of the news media are all over what happened in Newtown. They're filling the airwaves with empty words in a vain quest to reduce everything to comfortably normal platitudes, to maintain that professional detachment. What's different about this event is that it's one which exceeds their normal ability to fit everything into a pre-set framework that won't challenge anyone's worldview or overturn conventional wisdom. Sure bad things happen, but it's somewhere else; no need to connect any dots or look at a larger context, and what about that crazy celebrity who...

    Not today. Today they're as lost as anyone else when it comes to explaining the unspeakable. And maybe it's because they've spent so much time NOT looking at certain things, NOT connecting dots, NOT learning from past experience.

  NOT too much more below the Orange Omnilepticon.

         When one looks at the basic question of why we have so many guns available in this country, guns optimized for mass killing, and body armor and other aids to massacre available wholesale, one might consider some additional facts that have some relevance.
1) Guns are a hugely profitable commodity.
2) Gun culture has been subsumed into a larger political agenda
3) That same political agenda is also about serving the interests of money
4) That same agenda is based on a paranoid world view that is destroying society.

    I'd expand upon these four points, but I have no need to do other than point to the excellent Digby here, here, here, and here, and an absolute must read piece by Charles P. Pierce. An excerpt:

Resist, then, the forces who tell you that the creation and maintenance of that commonwealth is too expensive or too complicated, or that it is an appeal to a time now lost to technology and modernity and the glories of free trade. Resist the frauds and mountebanks who seek to prosper from fragmentation and isolation, and who tell you that your "freedom" exists in a place outside of that creative process of self-government, and that, in fact, the institutions produced by that process are the enemies of that "freedom." Resist, as strongly as you can, the people who seek to profit by isolating you in your homes, and in your anger, and in your wounded sense of aggrieved entitlement, and with all your guns.

We, The People. Those words are not an accident. They come before everything else in the document. Yes, even before the Second Amendment, they come, and there is a reason for that. When we commit ourselves to the American experiment — and our military does this formally, but we all do so when we accept the freedoms and benefits of that experiment — we commit ourselves first to We, The People, and the public institutions that are the manifestations of our political commonwealth in our daily lives.

         I'll close by mentioning that the title stuck on this piece is paraphrased from Shakespeare's MacBeth, one of his great tragedies. In a society that loves happy endings and feeling good, we ignore tragedy at our peril. It's not pleasant to look at people making bad decisions, falling into despair, committing terrible acts for bad reasons or no reason at all. It's uncomfortable to ask what could have been done, what might have been different - and what would be involved in making it so. It's dangerous to look too closely at real villains for whom tragedy is just the by-product of profit. When we ignore tragedy, we also ignore all the things we could learn from it. And then we're surprised when it catches up with us...

        It remains to be seen what this latest tragedy will signify when all is said and done.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)

    Will we be surprised the next time Birnam Wood comes to High Dunsinane?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:18:48 PM PST

  •  Well done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, John Crapper

    I'm not sure how many readers will fully understand the sound and significance of your analogy, but more than at most sites, I'm sure.

  •  The media keeps asking the question of their (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    guests:  How do you explain how this happened?  The guests come up with all kinds of creative answers.  But the answer for me is simple: NRA - but none of them say that.   Let's hear them ask the questions of that fine patriotic organization.   "Since you bear the responsibility for these assault weapons being so legally available how do you plan to correct the situation?  Have yet to see one of their  representatives put on the hot seat.  

    MSM treats this whole situation as a grand opportunity to milk it for ratings with all the platitudes.  It's a revolving door soap opera we live in with no solutions forthcoming.  

    Can we please start talking about the fiscal cliff again!  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:16:10 PM PST

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