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Its raining today in Sandwich where I live. Snowing some other places. I don’t know if its raining in Newtown Connecticut but it should be. It would befit the mood in a town that has had its gun culture turn on it in a horrific way. If that sounds harsh it is meant to. Newtown is emblematic of our country. A few people in most towns own guns that are designed to be effective killing machines. Designed to kill not rabid dogs or pheasants – designed to kill people. These guns must be taken out of the hands of anyone other than our military and police. No private citizen should have weapons of war. These weapons facilitate mass murder. Ownership of them must be controlled.
In Newtown attempts to control such weapons were blocked. A New York Times article, ran with this headline: “In Town at Ease With Its Firearms, Tightening Gun Rules Was Resisted.” The sound of rapid gunfire was heard in town causing concern. The mother of the mass murderer (shooter is far too delicate a term for this individual) collected high powered guns and took her kids to a shooting range. She was part of the town’s gun culture. The easy access to automatic, high powered guns facilitated this mass murder. Nothing that has that effect should be legal.
Those who advocate guns because they are protective miss the fact that guns in our towns and homes too often fall into the hands of the insane or malevolent. That is what happened in Newtown. Rather than give every school Principal a Bushmaster, we must work to get such weapons out of our homes and off the streets.
I have read arguments against control of automatic, high powered guns saying the second amendment is in place to ensure that the citizens of this country must be armed in case the government becomes tyrannical . As if an armed citizenry could over throw a government with the armaments at this one’s disposal. Not possible. Not the way to control tyranny anyway. A silly, frivolous argument.
In Newtown the police and town leadership has tried to institute regulations over guns. They have been blocked by gun advocates. The sound of gun fire – rapid gunfire is heard regularly in Newtown. People shoot propane tanks and cans of explosives to have the fun of blowing stuff up. This is not healthy behavior and must be outlawed and the weapons of war taken off the street. Any existing or new regulations must be enforced and enforced for real. Any weapon that has no use except to efficiently kill people by the dozens – these weapons must be taken out of the hands of citizens. Immediately.
First of all Shepard Fairey’s exhibit at the ICA Boston is stunning visually, impressive politically and I want to see it again. Fairey is an artist of the streets who made it to the legit museum and gallery world. He graphically shows us how confused we are. Guns and roses, life and death, love and hate etc.
His arrest on the way to his own opening over an old graffiti rap was stupid and put Boston in a bad light. The local cops apparently didn’t know that their acions would be picked up around the world and that they would seem odd to most people who care about art. Sure private property needs to be protected but Fairey’s deal is that he can appropriate private property, use it to communicate his own, highly worthwhile message and he seems to expect to usually get away with it (“art is what you can get away with” saith the Warhol).
Well, I get it. His street work is clever and intriguing so I guess if he doesn’t tag my house I’m ok with his methods ;>) Or to put it another way, urban public spaces are usually enhanced by graffiti of this caliber. I guess. Its a matter of taste and will always be controversial.
Yeah but wait a minute — something strange happened on my way to the museum — Because I asked I was told that no photography of Shepard Fairey’s work would be permitted. In other words I couldn’t appropriate his stuff for, say my blog or even just to show my friends. Yet the brochure handed out at he museum said — “Know the words” — and the first word is “Appropriate!” Yep, that’s what Shepard does, but he doesn’t want any appropriations of his stuff. Is that fair or or does it even make sense?
So I only took one sneaky photo (see below). Also took some legit ones of the building and surroundings – shots of the architecture are ok according to the young man in black who sold us our tickets. (He was in black so he must be hip..)
It would be ironic to be arrested or kicked out for taking photos of Shepard Fairey’s work (which mostly have appropriated photos and other stuff in them) — know what I mean? What do you think?
(BTW — I pulled the ‘Obey’ tag from a random place on the internet. It is available world wide for your appropriation and delight!)
Did we lose our innocence on 9/11/2001? What did we learn? Did we learn anything?
I was dazed by the event not reacting until much later. Did the bastards who did it even know what the impact would be? Did they care about anything but their anger, their own needs? Did they understand the death and horror they inflicted on strangers?
What should we care about now? Anger? Defiance? Revenge? Or should it have driven us to our core? Should we have learned what to care about? Yes but did we?
Should it have taught us that we are one with the terrorists? Reminded us that our nation has used terrorist methods against our enemies?
Why are we enemies with Muslim extremists? Must we hate them? Should we? Or is love the answer, all we need?
Our leaders tell us we were attacked because of jealousy and hate, because our enemies hate us for our freedom and are jealous of our life style. Is that it?
Are we too quick to defend “our interests abroad (oil)?” Too ignorant of the needs and lives of brothers and sisters around the world? Yes? But if so does it justify what was done?
Baha’ullah wrote that there must be a spiritual solution to the economic problem or words to that effect. But that leaves it up to us. What does it mean anyway? What are we to do, live for the benefit of others? Maybe that’s the key.
Baha’i’s, many of them wait for ‘the calamity’ foretold by Baha’ullah to teach mankind a final lesson and drive us all to God. But we have had calamity after calamity and yet we seem not to learn. And will some may have turned to God, others just turn away. Calamity seems not to be our salvation (for which I am grateful.)
So the West spends billions on space exploration and particle accelerators — we want to know where we came from. And the West spends millions on aid to the needy — we want to feel as if we are helping.
Don’t we have our priorities backwards? Our interests come first, second our science and exploration, a distraction from work to feed and heal the poor — which seems to be our last priority — and build a safe, healthy world for everyone not just for Americans or ourselves.
Sorry this is a ramble. I will try it again if I ever have a moment of clarity. But right now I think the lesson is that we in the West are too selfish and cut off from the world. And that people are capable of anything — the holocaust and WWII should have taught us that.
The Twin Tower destroyers and their leaders were and are unspeakable bastards but we have been behaving like spoiled children.
Do you think we have learned anything from 9/11? If so please tell us what you think it is.
(Nature, like politics can be very complex and confusing. Photo above taken in Westford conservation land)
Last night we watched the republican debate on CNN. It was worse than useless, Depressing and a waste of time.
The front runners McCain and Romney had at each other, partly because the questions set them up. The two others sounded a bit better but had trouble getting a word in edge wise.
CNN should be asshamed of itself for asking the wrong questions. McCain and Romney should be ashamed for falling into the trap set by CNN.
We will probably watch again tonight as the Democrats go at each other. But we don’t expect anything better.
Is it stupidity or is depravity our enemy?
No, I think our deep seated enemy is our own stupidity. Our lack of ability to think clearly in the face of a world that is so much more complex than ever before because now we are forced to live together.
Today belief systems and ways of life that hold martyrdom as one of the highest achievements no longer effect just the followers — they effect us all. Just as belief systems that completely outlaw sex tend toward human extinction, beliefs that include a love of martyrdom lead to death and depravity. Those who follow them may not necessarily be stupid but they tend to behave in a less than intelligent manner. A hallmark of intelligence in a species is the ability to adopt to changes for the purpose of survival. As a species we are not doing that very well these days.
Intentional death and suffering in the form or war or terror — in today’s world — are always the result of poor choices and brutal thinking. When we do it and when Islamic extremists do it.
Our shock and awe in Iraq was a terrorist tactic in retaliation for terror that was brought about by people other than the Iraqis. The terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 did so (as far as we know) in the name of God. That’s not just gosh awful and murderous, its absurd and stupid behavior. But so is our behavior in Iraq.
At the start of the war we used ‘shock and awe’ to stun the Iraqi nation and bring it to its knees. Can anyone tell me that this was not terror?
Governance and daily life is more complicated now than ever in history. We must evolve — become a more thoughtful, kind and intelligent species or we will cease to exist.
And to those who might tell me about the coming of God in some shape or form — The World Order of Baha’ullah and the rapture included — save your ink. It will not work. In fact that line of thought will lead as it always has to more martyrs and more death in the name of God.
As Christ is reported to have said: “The Kingdom Of God is within you.” If it exists or has a chance of existing it must be found within the human heart, which modern brain science is finding is a function of the brain.
Look now into your heart. If you do not live a thoughtful life, if you do not measure your impact on earth everyday, you are contributing to the stupidity of the human race. It is stupidity that will get us at last, and soon unless we wise up.