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Guns and Gods.

I rarely make such comments, but...

America, with Guns and Gods hand in hand, where the fuck are you going?

Crazy. For me, as a pacifistic and totally atheistic person the combination seems unbearable. And totally out of my system. Luckily.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
olamina
Dec. 17th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
None of this is anything new. Guns and Gods have been here for over 500 years. Don't be sucked in by the news. It's the oldest story, the foundation.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
I know it all has been around for centuries. But the debates around it still shock me every single time.
eloquentwthrage
Dec. 17th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
America is broken. I'm thinking of immigrating to Iceland.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
And I just feel no wish to come and visit America again.
coffeeguy777
Dec. 17th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Im thinking of immigrating to Italy
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:56 am (UTC)
Italy is GREAT :) Sometimes.
leafshimmer
Dec. 17th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
America is a sick puppy, but it's also huge. Imagine if all of Europe from Scandinavia to Western Siberia were one country and everyone was supposed to speak... I don't know Russian. The linguistic and cultural diversity doesn't match up except in certain cities (of which Boston is one) where non-whites are finally beginning to outnumber the "caucasian"population. The economy is in much worse repair than anyone will admit, prescription drug addiction and mental illness are both achieving an epic scale (and often intertwined of course), and somethlng like 48 percent of the electorate voted for Mitt Romney and his running mate, who is a religious fanatic. It's all quite scary. But you have to bear in mind that some of us are trying to salvage some shreds of decency in the midst of this increasingly ruinous Empire.

paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:59 am (UTC)
I know that all is not as bad as it seems, but the general image we're getting and the way I see it, it's going down down down. And I don't like it.

Sometimes it feels like a land of Nike, McDonald, Coca Cola and mass shootings.
cornekopia
Dec. 17th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
The more I think of the tragedy, the worse I feel. The guy's mom is now being called a "gun enthusiast." Horrifying.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
Yes, and it all looks like a freaking reality show. Who was/is better or worse, I can't tell any more.
jawnbc
Dec. 17th, 2012 07:58 am (UTC)
I am very please I've moved to New Zealand. It feels safer being farther away from the savagery. I despair for my homeland.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
I hear you, Dr. E. I am just happy I am stuck in Europe now.
herbe
Dec. 17th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
it's curious, but i believe we are too free here in America, to the extent that people feel free to screw things up or hurt others with often little to no consequence.

yet, decent folks who may not be fantastic with particular methods of service or procedure or the ridiculously fast expansion of technology are often penalized greatly on a financial/mental/emotional level for functioning differently than what's considered normal of the expected.

both of these things can happen anywhere, as we're all human, but America seems to be a large proving ground for both the extravagant excess of all things, or the unending red-tape, fine print bullshit of everyday life.

either way, it's far too large a country with far too many differences within it to have a single face, to be controlled, to last.
"Land of the free and home of the brave" has a certain mixture of irony, extremity, and pride that just says it all right there.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
Well, take Europe. 48 rather distinct countries with wildly different society structure. 711 million people. And probably less than 200 killed in mass shootings till 2009.

I know that also sociology can draw totally different picture of American and other societies, but some things are just completely bizarre when you take the stand of an external observer. A very cheap example: not allowed to have a bottle in your hand on the street (so we read), but completely able to buy guns in supermarkets. Why on Earth for?
dendren
Dec. 17th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
I wish I could say it made more sense to me actually being in the US but it doesn't. I just don't understand so much of what goes on in this country. It's difficult because so many of the people I associate with are all like-minded so it feels like it should be a no-brainer, everyone I talk to says "wtf are we doing here" but then I see or hear the other minds in the country that are such 180 degree different than me. It's shocking. Your example of can't walk down the street with a bottle of booze is a good one. There are so many weird puritanical rules here or rules that are supposedly for our safety but the big ticket items in the un-safe category (such as guns) just seem to be ignored. So very very weird and sad.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess all those "rules" keep the nation sedated while the big (money) game is going on. Unharmed and undisturbed.
dan4behr
Dec. 18th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
You've hit on one of the very core issues in modern society. Probably more so here than most any other place, but I sadly think its becoming that way most everywhere. Eventually...
paterson_si
Dec. 23rd, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
I hope I won't live long enough to see it coming here.
herbe
Dec. 18th, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
trust me, it doesn't make sense here either.
but everything you read or watch or listen to just says "buy, buy, buy" and everything will be okay.

i can't even imagine this country 50 years from now.
it probably won't exist, or at least not without some sort of huge tragedy, split, or Chinese/robot take-over.

it's not funny of course, but sometimes i laugh when i think about what the founding fathers would say if they saw it today.
paterson_si
Dec. 23rd, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
I think they would just say: Oh, fuck it.
osodecanela
Dec. 17th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Tomaz,

When I was in Ljubljana in Jan '04, the drums of war were beating. Iraq was about to happen and I was repeatedly asked what we as Americans were going to do about our President. This is a country where it takes an incredible amount of push from our populace to make significant change, and we are far from a united people. This alleged democracy is dominated by powerful monied interests; lobbies, like the NRA hold a lot of power to thwart change, particularly against things enshrined in the constitution, such as the 2nd amendment.

I have watched over the past 4 decades, gun control legislation enacted and then overturned or not renewed, as the painful tragedy of a Columbine or now a Newtown ebbed and faded from our collective memory. I thought when the Tuscon shootings happened, maiming a sitting congresswoman that there might be a change in the 'will of the people' sitting in Washington, but nothing happened. I fear this horror in Connecticut will be more of the same.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
I hear and understand all that, but I can't understand one (more) thing. Enshrined in the constitution, you say. You constitution is more than 200 years old. Many things have changed in those 200 years, I guess we all should go with the flow. Slowly.

I just know that I find America, as it is now, generally, a scary and frightening country.
osodecanela
Dec. 17th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
And in 236 years there been a total of 27 amendment. The whole amendment process is designed to be difficult.

To amend the constitution requires an approval from congress, followed by ratification by 2/3 of the states. Only once in our history has an amendment be removed after ratification and that was the removal of prohibition (enacted 1919 and removed in 1933). Two amendments have been approved by congress in my lifetime that did not get the requisite state ratification.

Your marvel at our process is no surprise. It frustrates a huge number of us here, myself included. There is a Move to Amend push going on now to undo the Supreme Court's ruling in the 2010 Citizen's United decision, but I can tell you, despite a lot of bluster on the left, it stands a snowball's chance in hell in actually getting done. We couldn't get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified and that was with a congressionally approved time extension.

As for this being a scary and frightening country, yup, it sure can be. However, there is much in this world I find frightening. Much of it focuses on the oppression of a minority by a majority population. As a gay person, one highly minority identified, it's hard for me to see it otherwise. The events that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia and the violence south from you, still haunts me. As much as I adored my time in Venice, my visit to the Jewish Ghetto there, where I learned only 6 individuals survived and returned to Venice after the Holocaust, still gives me pause.
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, Europe - with Germany as the leader of the pack - has some really, really dark moments, also Yugoslavia. And we shouldn't forget tens and tens of thousand people killed on the territory of today's Slovenia right after the WW2. Pointless, cruel revenge and murders just to protect "newborn" country.

But... all these horrors aside, what gives me hope is the fact things have changed in Europe. And it took them only a couple of decades.
osodecanela
Dec. 18th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Europe indeed. When I told my grandmother 15 years ago I wanted to see her native Lithuania, she was not pleased. "If it was so wonderful, why do you think I left?"

For my grandparents who fled both antisemitism and abject poverty, they saw the US as the greatest country in the world. My mother's mother lost her entire family in WW II. Not only did her family perish, her community was literally taken off the map. She survived because she was here.

As a teenager, when I studied what this country did to our Japanese community, how they were scapegoated and interned, I was horrified. How were we any different from what the Germans did during the war? Grandma's response was to remind me how wrong it was, but that the Japanese-American community got to go home after the war was over. She reminded me of the inequities our own community has had to face in this country. But always she reminded me, no matter how much we may be the 'other' here, there will be others who will extend their hand in support.

I am grateful for the folks not of color, who fought for civil rights, along side Dr King. As I look at the changes in how the LGBT community is now being supported and the 4 states where we won at the polls last month, I have faith that change actually can happen.
paterson_si
Dec. 23rd, 2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
Time will cure all.
(Deleted comment)
paterson_si
Dec. 17th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
My goodness... for us, 10 or 20 is almost like forever.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )