The thing about climbing up sand dunes is that you keep sliding downwards. If you slide downward one step for every step you take upwards, you stay in place and get nowhere. Worse, if you slide two steps down for every step up, you go backwards!
To climb a sand dune successfully, you have to take more steps upwards than you slide downwards. I’ve climbed sand dunes; it’s hard; it takes effort (or a dune buggy).
The thing about social progress is that, without real effort towards moving upwards, society tends to slide backwards. Or just stay in place.
I’m particularly angry right now (those with delicate sensibilities might want to leave the blog temporarily just in case I lose control).
Labels have their uses, but they can mislead us into thinking they really describe, let alone explain (let alone define!), a person, thing, or idea. With that caveat, I’m essentially a ‘progressive’ ‘libertarian’ tinged with a dash of ‘socialism’. And I believe that merit comes from,… well, merit (not title, not birth, not wealth, not popularity).
Given that I’d like my vote to be effective, I generally vote Democrat, but I don’t consider myself a democrat (more so some times than others). And, in truth, that party’s views most often align with — or at least come closest to — mine.
But sometimes the left makes me just as angry as the right. Maybe more so, because I expect more sense — more thoughtfulness — from them. (And, yeah, I realize that’s probably an error on my part.)
What’s got my pantaloons bunched is an interview I just saw wherein two (obviously liberal) talking heads — a “media reviewer” and a “comedian” (neither of whom I’d ever heard of) — completely and contemptuously dismissed without consideration the idea that violence in the media was any kind of problem.
You motherfucking moronic wastes of skin.
It would be evil and wrong of me to wish that, among the 80 people who die from gun violence every single day in my country, that someone you cherished was on those horrific rolls. But it does seem it has to actually touch someone that closely before the point sinks in.
The assertion repeatedly mouthed by these two idiot mouthpieces (in anticipation of President Obama’s town-hall meeting tonight) was that a Tarantino movie doesn’t make people go out and buy a gun and then shoot people. Sadly, I’ve made that same stupid argument, long ago.
I was wrong then, and you’re wrong now.
Well, no, you’re right, in the very narrow, very specific, very cherry-picked, very literal sense you (and I then) meant. I didn’t watch Pulp Fiction and then go out and buy guns and shoot people (in fact, we went out for drinks and to discuss what a great movie it was).
But you’ve missed the point, and you’re completely wrong in principle.
It’s not this movie or that movie. It’s every fucking movie. And TV show. And video game. And Saturday morning cartoon. And comics. And toys.
Not to mention the news. Not to mention the real world is filled with violence every single day.
Let me ask you a very simple question:
Does the environment in which a child grows up affect the child?
I dare you to say no. You are so going to lose that debate.
Second question. This one is apparently harder for some of you.
What do we get when children grow up in an environment that is not only constantly awash in violence, but presents it as a viable solution to problems?
Facing off against the bad guy? A fist fight is just the ticket.
Too far away to hit? Shoot bullets at them. Lots and lots of bullets (it’s a sign of affection). Don’t worry if the bad guys shoot back. They almost never hit the good guys.
This all comes up, in small part because of San Bernardino, but in large part from what that led to: President Obama’s recent Executive Action regarding gun control. And let me be clear: I’m with him 100% on this one.
The awful reaction of the liberal left here smashes head on into some notes I made while watching the animated movie version of the Frank Miller classic (and seminal) 1984 gnovel, The Dark Knight Returns.
Make no mistake, the original text has all the violence… the murders of children… the crowbar beatings… and tons and tons of gunplay.
But it is, first of all, different as static images on the printed page. Animating those images, giving them voice and sound effects, gives them more power, more immediacy, more reality.
But what got to me taking notes was the rating given the movie.
PG-13. And labeled as containing “Mild Violence.”
Murders of children; mass murder of innocents; crowbar beatings; dozens of rounds of gunfire as a way of saying, “Don’t run away! Come back!”
And it’s not, no way, no how, a social problem.
We’ve lost our minds. And touch with reality.
And our way.
 Which requires a definition of merit. The dictionary definition is essentially a tautology. Something has ‘merit’ if it ranks high in some value criteria. In other words, it has merit if someone thinks it has merit. You can just imagine how much merit I give that definition.
Merit, here, for me, is the ability to contribute usefully to society. People who can do a job successfully have merit (and there are many kinds of jobs needed in society).
 On the other hand, I tend to favor smaller government, gun rights (gun control is hitting what I aim at), and limited capital punishment (no, it’s not a deterrent, but sometimes you have to take out the trash).
 It still chaps my ass that Sherlock Holmes just had to be another visceral summer action movie. And Robert Downey Jr. is not my Sherlock Holmes.
 If he talked more often like he did there (or in Charleston), I’d have been much more of a supporter! (Honestly, the way he usually talks makes me cringe.)