December 21, 2012

Santa must arm the Elves!

Filed under: Commentary — Bob Patterson @ 1:39 pm

Could the Republicans be missing an excellent opportunity to make new inroads in the gun debate by politicizing Santa Claus and advocating that the only safe and sane way to prevent an invasion robbery at Santa’s toy factory, which would spoil an incalculable number of children’s Christmas celebrations, is to provide the elves with guns and give them firearms training and require them to spend time on the firing range every month.

Would it be politicizing freedom of speech to maintain that no topic on God’s Green Earth is so sacred that it merits an automatic exemption from the tendency of politicians to turn every possible subject of conversation at the local pub to their own advantage?

When hundreds (thousands?) of Santa’s Elves turned out on a cold rainy day in San Francisco to participate in the 2012 Santacon pub crawl, wasn’t the absence of any political activists supporting their about to become illegal right to be naked in public just a matter of common sense and not a verdict on the issue itself?

Theoretically freedom of speech is a good thing, but there are (as the Supreme Court decreed) limits.  People are not free to disseminate misinformation (as Mike Malloy pointed out on his radio show for December 17, 2012) such as yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater where there is no blaze.

Fox News, however, has used a case in Florida to establish their right to broadcast falsehoods as news.  Is there a difference between yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater where there is no blaze and pretending that fibs are news?

Does Fox’s right to tell fibs in newscasts override the United Supreme Court’s “Fire!” ruling about misinformation?  If so, does that mean it is OK to slip some fabricated facts into the gun control debate?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, dontcha know that opens up a new can of worms and now the lawyers will insinuate themselves into the fookin’ debate and the issue will get sidetracked (and completely bogged down) with defining words such as trying to establish what the meaning of “is” is?  Isn’t it best to just ignore certain things?

In the mid Sixties, in Stroudsburg Pa., on Christmas day a fellow stressed out, killed his family, set the house on fire, and walked off into the sunset.  He was put on the FBI’s ten most wanted list but after a decade of remaining there, he was quietly and surreptitiously removed from that version of the Criminal Hall of Fame.  It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to find his name on the Internets.  Did he use a gun?  Who knows?

The movie “Rare Export” provided a scientific explanation for several of the Christmas myths (such as flying reindeer) but it was ignored by the pop culture radar and was relegated to the “cult movie” category and is given the silent treatment by political pundits.  For connoisseurs of esoteric entertainment, it is a treasure to be cherished.

Speaking of Norway, Simo Häyhäy used a rifle to kill 542 men and became a national hero.  He was a sniper helping fend off an attack from Russia.

United States Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock used a rifle to take out a Viet Cong general from more than a mile away.  He had one confirmed kill from 2,500 (no typo) yards out.  For a time he held the record for a sniper kill record from the longest distance.  Do gun critics want to establish 2,500 yards as the radius for gun free zones around schools?

Hathcock used one bullet carefully aimed to achieve precision with each of his shots rating rather than sending a “Hail Mary” style fusillade of ammunition towards his target. Critics of the large capacity magazines might want to emphasize Hathcock’s enviable skill and efficiency and disparage the use of a rapid burst of bullets with results that illustrate the law of averages.  Stressing quality rather than quantity when it comes to displays of marksmanship might get gun enthusiasts to listen to the opposing point of view.  Unfortunately that line of argumentation doesn’t apply in the Lanza case.

Some people have wondered why this particular mass shooting has provoked such a universal interest and emotional response.  Has any pundit pointed out the fact that usually such incidents involve a massive number of shots fired and the law of averages.  The shooter in the Connecticut school killed 26 people and was reported to have fired a hundred rounds.  The numbers make him sound more like some one using the execution style rather than randomness and perhaps that subconsciously disturbs the public more than the other killers who use the law of averages to do their dirty work. He was a one man firing squad and not a man unleashing a fusillade of random shots.

The contrast of the One Percenters vs. everyone else is especially sad this year when TV ads challenge the fat cats to buy luxury cars for those on their Christmas gift list while some of the unemployed have to face the possibility that their unemployment checks will be terminated on New Year’s day.

Pop culture scholars tend to credit some pre-war (WWII for those of you who want to know which particular war is being referenced) magazine ads for a popular brand of soda pop for being the source of the Santa image as being the incarnation of the Christmas spirit.

Let’s imagine that a privately owned item was secretly done on assignment several decades ago.  How valuable would a (hypothetical) Norman Rockwell painting be if it depicted an exhausted but happy Santa late on December 26 relaxing by cleaning some of the items in his gun collection?  ([Gun control advocates can never understand why one gun is never enough.]  The thought of being killed by an intruder whilst cleaning your weapon can only be assuaged by always having another loaded gun available when cleaning pistols or rifles.)

Yahoo highlighted the story about the one woman who took an item her father had brought back from WWII to a police gun buy back program and was advised to keep it.  It was a Sturmgewehr worth approximately $40,000 to discerning gun collectors.–abc-news-topstories.html

If American pop culture could include Lenny Bruce’s humor and Stan Freberg’s sarcastic criticism regarding the capitalistic aspect of Christmas, then surely it must be ready, willing, and eager to add something new to the gun control debate.

Speaking of Stan Freberg, in Berkeley CA Carol Denney led some local carolers in a singing protest against the continuing efforts by advocates of a sit-lie law in “bear country.”  Recently the citizens of Berkeley voted against a sit-lie ordinance, but the friends of the homeless expect a renewed attack on the poor sometime in the future.

Blame it on the Kellys?  Speaking of Australia, there is a sidewalk plaque in (if memory serves) the Kings Cross Section of Sydney (NSW), that offers up the idea that space is a mark of wealth.  Some wealthy playboys might own several houses but a poor (but honest?) working man might have to crowd his entire family into a one room apartment close to his work place.  (Have you read Upton Sinclair’s “Jungle”?)

The concept of a poor but honest working man trying very hard to cram a happy holiday into a tight living space might be useful at a time when news stories about exceedingly small apartments are getting good play.  (Didn’t Dave Ross [or was it Charles Osgood?] feature that very topic on one of his recent radio reports?)  Examples of conspicuous consumption can not be shoehorned into a micro apartment.  Suppose that a fellow with a tiny apartment wins a giant screen TV.  It would be incompatible with his life style and cause an existential crisis.

Have you noticed how none (that we could find) of the high priced journalists have explained how the shooter’s mother could afford such a fine big home nor have they mentioned her place of employment.  We can’t imagine that the managing editors we have dealt with in the past would let such a gaping hole in the narrative slide, but this is the era of Murdock style news.  Did she inherit some of movie star Mario Lanza’s money?

What if (hypothetically speaking) a fellow were temporarily operating out of a hostel in Paris or Perth and there was no room in the suitcase for any additional material possessions?  What if such a person had a truly enjoyable Christmas without getting or giving anything physical?  What kind of craziness is it to think that good conversations with new friends, delicious food, and a trip to Cottesloe Beach makes for a wonderful holiday?

Wouldn’t that tend to validate the Apache philosophy that if you can’t take it with you on your pony when you move on, then you don’t need it and thereby invalidate the American compulsion to buy, buy, buy right up to the time when Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve begins?

What if some emotionally unstable person where to think that God gave him the assignment to assassinate Santa Claus and his helpers?  Shouldn’t Santa arm the Elves and require them to have firearms training just in case?

The Republican philosophy about the true meaning of Christmas may best be epitomized in a quote that is often attributed to Collis P. Huntington:  “Whatever is Not Nailed Down is Mine and Whatever I Can Pry Loose is Not Nailed Down.”

The World’s Laziest Journalist disk jockey agrees that poverty sucks and is assessing the possibility of composing a song that becomes a perennial holiday standard because that, he assures us, means a large royalties check every January.  Do we need to provide readers with a long list of examples?

Now the disk jockey will play the song “Santa’s in a wheelchair” by the Kids from Widney (not a typo) High, John Prine’s “Christmas in Prison” (there are several songs titled “Christmas in Jail”) and Stan Freberg’s “Green Christmas.”  We have to go see if the world has ended and we just didn’t notice.  Have a “no chains can hold me” type week.

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