The dark…something.

First things first. Let’s have a kiki:

Some of the language in that video is NSFW, but hey, it’s the Scissor Sisters. I need to get in a gay frame of mind, because “Project Runway” is starting, and I’m giving it a try this season. I got a little pissed when the girl with the Skrillex hair won, she and her series of flowy, drapey, dress-like outfits. They were very wearable, if you were a six-foot-tall skeleton with no tits whatsoever.

I’ll tell you, the first flowy-drapey thing that wins, I’m totally outta there. Although I can see the crowd includes an insane Japanese guy with an afro, so I have high hopes.

[Long pause.]

And with that, I must confess: I fell asleep on the couch in the second half hour of “Project Runway,” it’s now Friday morning, and I just learned that your generic crazed American madman in Aurora, Colo., killed 14 people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.

I thought we were done with that in this country. Guess not.

Now CNN is reporting the casualties include children as young as 6. Because that’s where you take a 6-year-old these days — to a midnight screening of a dark, violent comic-book movie. Which is not to say any parent shares the blame for this. Only, as they say on the internet, smh.

(Shaking my head, for you geezers.)

Watching CNN, the choppers are circling what looks like an apartment building. Presumably, that’s the killer’s house. It looks like the kind of place you see in every city in the land. If I were looking to hide in plain sight, I’d move into one of those — maybe a dozen units, every one the same, window air conditioners, neighbors only known as a collection of thumps and noises on the other side of a wall. Maybe that’s what he was after.

Not much bloggage now, but maybe one fitting piece — Alex Pareene on “The Newsroom,” Aaron Sorkin’s hugely disappointing HBO show. I’ve given it four chances, but I have to agree with Pareene:

Even his sparkling banter is one-note. His characters always say exactly, precisely what they mean, at all times. There’s no subtext, no irony, nothing ever left unspoken in his dialogue. His characters don’t even get to be sarcastic without someone asking them if they’re being sarcastic. Everyone alternates between speechifying, quipping and dumbly setting up other people’s quips. It’s exhausting.

I’m imagining how the crew from “The Newsroom” would cover this tragedy. Probably with much rushing around, and a dramatic moment where someone has to decide whether there’s a 15th victim, based on sketchy reports. Then the plucky intern would slam down the phone and say, “I just talked to the anesthesiologist! She’s out of surgery, and she’s alive!” That actually happened in the last episode, which dealt with the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. I actually guffawed. Because, as a journalist who’s tried to contact many doctors in the course of my work, I can tell you with absolute confidence that you don’t just ring up the anesthesiologist after trauma surgery. Unless, of course, the anesthesiologist is the caller’s college roommate’s father, and she just happens to have the number of his cell phone, and he answers it, and he decides talking to the media is a great idea. (And yes, that connection has been used a time or two so far, in only four episodes. What a well-connected group of journalists.)

The Today show just went to a commercial. I guess what that means is, it’s not that important a story.

Have a good weekend, all.

Oh, and for those who watched: Was “Project Runway” any good?

Posted at 7:29 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

108 responses to “The dark…something.”

  1. Basset said on July 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Reminds me of a producer we had in the late 80s who would sit in the morning meeting and respond to every overnight shooting story with a nasal whine, “Why don’t we just not HAAVE guns?”

    She eventually left for a bigger market… Miami.

    239 chars

  2. Dorothy said on July 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Sorry, no help from me. Last night we got to see the ep of Breaking Bad where Walt says “I’m not in any danger, Skyler. I AM THE DANGER!” or words to that effect. And here I thought that was a scene from the Season 5 premier.

    Happily our grass is going from brown to green after several showers this week. I am positively chomping at the bit to cut the grass this weekend. I know – I’m weird that way.

    409 chars

  3. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I guess what that means is, it’s not that important a story.

    Not so fast, my friend. Nancy “Gorgon” Grace may decide there are parents worthy of being hounded and shamed into suicide by self-immolation.

    His characters always say exactly, precisely what they mean, at all times.

    On the other hand, you can have Robert DeNiro use the f-word as every conceivable part of speech mixed with guttural noises and grunts, voila, everyone says the sub-literate script of Raging Bull is genius. Lord, I despised sitting through that movie.

    I’m with you, Dorothy. I love pushing a lawn mower. as McGuane would say, it’s “Tops in mindless”.

    656 chars

  4. coozledad said on July 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Paul Williams, Roger Daltry and John Travolta I can understand. The only appearance in that clip that baffled me was Carly Simon.
    Then I remembered that with a little effort and some cheerios glued to your nipples,virtually any man or woman can easily duplicate the more prepossessing parts of Carly.

    536 chars

  5. brian stouder said on July 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Prospero, could not agree more, regarding DeNiro and the jarringly mindless gangster pictures he makes; he’s like a latter-day (pardon me, Mitt) James Cagney, only with lots (and lots) of f-bombs. (or who was that 40’s and 50’s actor who always played gangsters? John something? He was quite handsome, and generally always died in the end)

    But let me just say – the state of New York’s tourism campaign (apparently) utilizes Robert DeNiro to do the voice-over (uncredited), and he turns my head every time! (Somebody oughta do an R-rated version of one of those)

    577 chars

  6. Deborah said on July 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I’m hoping that the Colorado shooter doesn’t turn out to be hispanic, black or muslim, the right wing will go apeshit if he is. What a horrible event.

    150 chars

  7. coozledad said on July 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Deborah: Nah. Just another white cosplay freak. Nothing to see here. The coverage of it will dry up pretty quickly.

    115 chars

  8. nancy said on July 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Latest word is, his name is James Holmes, and he’s from San Diego. Sounds fairly garden-variety white sad sack to me, but more will be revealed.

    His mother was awakened by a call about the shooting from a reporter, said something to the effect of, “yep, that’s him,” and said she had to find a way to get to Colorado. My bet is on years of untreated mental illness, the usual story.

    386 chars

  9. Dorothy said on July 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I push nothing (we have 3 acres), Pros, except my backside into the seat of our Massey Ferguson tractor. Here she is, fresh off the delivery truck in 2009:

    205 chars

  10. brian stouder said on July 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

    So, did the guy intentionally want to be near Littleton?

    And, regarding people going ape-shit about whatever “useful” details (ethnic background, etc) may emerge – just how many seconds into the beginning of today’s eminations from Rush Limbaugh and the other flying monkeys of the right-wing airwaves will the words “Fast and Furious” come to pass?

    Somehow, this is Obama’s fault, dammit!

    395 chars

  11. beb said on July 20, 2012 at 10:12 am

    My daughter is aching to see the Batman movie, me much less so because I suspect the movie would be more violent than I can handle (I’m squeamish that way). Who would have thought that going to a movie could be so much more dangerous?

    And what is a guy living in San Diego doing in Colorado shooting up people.

    Is “”kiki” some sort of word I’m supposed to know?

    Slashdot, the website for nerds, techies and all things computer related, as a item up:
    about some 500 year old bras found under the floor of an Austrian castle. So much for the story of Otto Titzslinger.

    706 chars

  12. Jen said on July 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “Project Runway” was alright – the last few seasons have been less than stunning – but I find that it’s worth watching every week just to read and fully enjoy the recaps by Tom & Lorenzo.

    Re: The insane Japanese guy with an afro: “God bless him. We kept waiting for him to sprout whiskers and cat ears. Or to launch into the sky with sparkles shooting out of his ass.”

    The whole recap is a gem:

    477 chars

  13. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Dorothy, You got a cup-holder with that? Cigar lighter? Holy crap, Batman, that’s not a mower, that’s the heavy equipment the contraindications for your meds warned you about.

    Brian, my dislike of Raging Bull was more for the movie and the “screenplay”. De Niro made one of my favorite movies, Midnight Run, although he lost me when he made the alleged comedies with the odious Billy Crystal and the equally odious but dumber Ben Stiller.

    I just read that the Denver nutcase dispersed tear gas in the theater before opening fire and was dressed in kevlar.

    562 chars

  14. brian stouder said on July 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I hope that whenever the NRA makes a statement about this (if they haven’t already), and tries to divorce it from their sacred gun rights, that the president responds immediately, and tells them to go to hell.

    Why does any citizen – much less a deranged one – need the right to buy an AK-47 assault weapon, let alone tear gas and all the rest?

    346 chars

  15. coozledad said on July 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Because in this country, guns are people, my friend.

    52 chars

  16. Bitter Scribe said on July 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

    No, brian, they’re going to say it was the fault of the theatergoers for not being armed.

    89 chars

  17. Dorothy said on July 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Cup holder yes; cigar lighter, hellz no. I use the seat belt regularly though. We had an awful lot of brush that had to be cleared the first year, so we had the brush hog (also referred to as a bush hog) on the back. We really don’t use it anymore so it’s disconnected. The bucket got an awful lot of use two summers ago when we built the walkway and patio in the back. The amount of rocks we have on this property is mind boggling. This might not look like a lot but the pile got bigger after I took this picture.

    567 chars

  18. beb said on July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    OK,Coozledad for the win. I see that the suspect lived in Colorado and not with his mother as I had suspected. Reports say he tossed some kind of canister that hissed but no one mentions tear gas, which I think people would have recognized. From the gas mask he wore and the (possible) bullet-proof vest, it looks like he was cosplaying Bane,which, sadly, tied in with some of the over-the-top comments some people were making about negative reviews about the movie. Comments that apparently included death threats. It looks to me that some people are taking this movie way too seriously. And are identifying with the villain than with the hero. What a sad world we live in.

    674 chars

  19. brian stouder said on July 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Dorothy, it looks like your nephew does an outstanding job of hauling and dumping rocks!

    Looks like you’re enroute to a very fine old-fashion stone fencerow

    159 chars

  20. alex said on July 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    At NN.C, every day’s a kiki!

    (I’d never heard of it before either, but it’s apparently about partying and sharing laughs, says the urban dictionary. Sounds about right to me.)

    259 chars

  21. Vince said on July 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Nance, did you notice that Sorkin’s preachy Newsroom has already inserted itself in today’s Colorado shooting? Poynter has a thread running showing tweets throughout the night. This morning, “Will McAvoy” (complete with headshot of well groomed Jeff Daniels) tweeted, “Today has served as a shining example of the best and the worst of the news media, all at once.”

    Gee, a ficitional journalistic puritan offers live commentary on as-it-happens coverage.

    567 chars

  22. brian stouder said on July 20, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Looks like the fictional news people lack Thing One that real news people have: judgement.

    90 chars

  23. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Next time RMoney endorses the Ryan budget, someone should ask him about this:

    172 chars

  24. JWfromNJ said on July 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Minor nitpick on The Newsroom…

    It was actually that she’s alive, she just talked to the anesthesiologist, they are PREPPING her for surgery.

    On your other point – pretty well connected when your college roomate is on the BP Spill management folks, and you sister works for Haliburton. Yes, too easy.

    309 chars

  25. Deborah said on July 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Paddy O, Do you live anywhere near Aurora?

    42 chars

  26. MarkH said on July 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Two bulleyes at #13, Prospero. My wife can’t figure out why I watch movies I like repeatedly and Midnight Run is one of them. Nicely done story and direction with terrific performances all around, especially the interplay between DeNiro and Charles Grodin, who wrote a book about the experience. And it’s way past time someone blew the whistle on Ben Stiller. This guy is funny?? He does his straight-faced blank stare into the camera and people around me are guffawing? STFU. He’s been in some decent films but it’s not like he carried anything.

    EDIT — Deborah, my son lives in Englewood, just southwest of Denver, and is a kitchen manager at an Italian restaurant there. He works nights, so is safe but the whole town has an enormous cloud over it now.

    760 chars

  27. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    The whole town will have a cloud for many, many years. Every time I go home to DeKalb, Illinois, my mother makes me go see the site of the Northern Illinois University shooting, Cole Hall. Over four years and she’s still processing. The dead will forever be her kids, as she thinks of all the university students. The ripples from these horrible shootings widen much further than we might think.

    Damn guns. Damn people who shoot them at people. Damn NRA.

    458 chars

  28. Sue said on July 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Julie, while we’re at it, damn ALEC and the bought-and-paid-for politicians (true believers or not) who allow the NRA and ALEC to dictate legislation or flat-out write the legislation themselves.

    195 chars

  29. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Ben Stiller? Zoolander. Say no more. Worse than the worst of Eddie Murphy’s pus-draining excrescences. Worse than Howard the Duck. Speaking of pus-draining excrescences, I’ve been getting spam from some tres expensive hair car purveyors with a product called Wen. Shouldn’t someone tell them what a wen is? AT the grocery store, ther is some sort of organic dairy product called kefir? Companies pay huge bucks to specialized consulting firms for names, right. As the subtle comic Gallagher says about Dr. An Wang and his labs, “Why doesn’t somebody tell him what that means in English?”

    RMoney held onto control of Bain while he pulled a Paterno to squeeze out max severance:

    As for Robert Deniro, he was brilliant in the Neil Gaiman movie Stardust as the closeted pirate Captain Shakespeare with an airborne pirate ship. (Michelle Pfeiffer is also great as an evil witch.)Any fan of Princess Bride that has never seen Stardust should do so immediately. DeNiro was, of course, the mythic hero Harry Tuttle in Brazil, one of my Top Five, for sure.

    Mark H: The peripheral characters in Midnight Run are also superb. Yaphet Kotto as the FBI agent, and the guy that plays Marvin, the rival bounty hunter, Dennis Farina (pluperfect mobster), Joe Pantoliano. Really as good as buddy movies get.

    1411 chars

  30. nancy said on July 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Kefir isn’t a brand. It’s a beverage.

    101 chars

  31. Danny said on July 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Why wouldn’t this be Obama’s fault? Every little thing seemed to be Bush’s fault. Ha!

    Edit: Julie, I was echoing Brian’s comment about Obama.

    146 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Yes, damn ALEC. And Danny? You too. Your comment is inappropriate beyond belief.

    80 chars

  33. Charlotte said on July 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I normally find flashmobs creepy — but this Ode to Joy made me weep (in the good way):
    Also — the little kids “conducting” ….

    158 chars

  34. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Kefir is SudAfrikan for the n word.

    35 chars

  35. nancy said on July 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    That’s spelled kaffir. Kefir is widely consumed through central Asia and served at many Berkeley breakfast tables. I’m sure they could change the name to StinkyMilk, but I bet it raises one eyebrow in a million on the shelves.

    Congratulations for being one in a million, Pros!

    280 chars

  36. Dexter said on July 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Is the drummer (in your posted video at 1:45) the late, great Andy Kauffman?

    122 chars

  37. Sherri said on July 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t want to talk about the shooting, so I’m going to talk about Sorkin.

    I know that “The Newsroom” isn’t an accurate portrayal of journalism, anymore than “Grey’s Anatomy” is an accurate portrayal of medicine. But, honestly, I don’t get the level of vitriol directed at Sorkin and “The Newsroom.” I seen several articles now explaining why “Political Animals,” the Sigourney Weaver as Hilary Clinton show on USA, is so much better, and I don’t see it. Neither show is particularly nuanced or accurate, but at least when Sorkin’s characters make speeches, the language sings. Maybe people are disappointed that Sorkin isn’t better than he is, but I’d rather listen to Sorkin speechifying than much of what else is on TV, including and especially reality TV.

    But what do I know? “Veep” got great reviews, and I quit watching after two episodes because I didn’t find it funny.

    884 chars

  38. paddyo' said on July 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Sorry, Deborah and gang, late to the blogcooler today. No, I live probably 6-8 miles from where it happened, and zero chance of attending a midnight screening of anything, let alone in Aurora (3rd-largest city in the state, after Denver and Colorado Springs, sprawling bedroomurbia, quite a few immigrants and a sizable “community of color”).

    Like everybody else, I learned of it when I awoke this morning — specifically, local NPR station on my clock radio. The U. of Colorado med school campus where the shooter apparently was a student at one time is a little closer, on the border between Denver and Aurora. A former military base (Fitzsimons Army Hospital) that was BRAC/base-reduced/closed in the 1990s and has transformed into a megagoogle medical campus, at least two hospitals, etc. A lot of the victims were taken there.

    Having covered Columbine and about every other post-Columbine gunfest until I left the biz 4-1/2 years ago, obviously Columbine sprang to mind the moment I heard about this. And then, as I was heading to work before 7 a.m., I thought I’d switch over to the local AM radio news-talk station (mostly right-wing talk, except for today) to see whether they were mining the old Columbine-flashback vein that Denver area news media always pick at, like a suppurating scab, because . . . well, because.

    KOA did not disappoint: “Coming up, we’ll talk with Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis.” Oh, Lord, the patron saint himself.
    And indeed, a couple of minutes later, there he was (still principal 13 years later), the guy we had all interviewed and hounded ad nauseam back in 1999 (and beyond), cheerfully talking comparisons between today and back then, like breakfast table chat over oatmeal and muffins.

    Yeah, I switched stations.

    I mourn the “market forces” that prompted me (wisely, as it turned out) to grab a buyout offer at the end of 2007 and exit the sad, sad journalistic shell that the newspaper business has become. But I do not for a second miss the crash-bang world of having to cover this dreadful stuff. It really does wear, and wear, and grind. And you know what? EVERY time one of these things happens, I still get this nanosecond gut-twinge of reportorial muscle memory that will never quite go away.

    But then I expel a deep, long breath of relief. I used to actually feel GUILTY that I wasn’t still reporting, leaping into the fray, etc. With bittersweet gladness, I no longer do.

    2446 chars

  39. Dexter said on July 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Sherri, I am feeling the same. ‘Veep’ was lame as hell and I almost always watch these series, but after a half hour, I was gone forever from that piece of crap.
    Sorkin does not allow for any dead air time at all, maybe following one of the actors around with a hand-held for thirty seconds to let a point sink in, this after in episode one he did allow for that with Jeff Daniels’ character pausing during that panel to lash out at the state of the USA, but after that everything is so rapid-fire it makes me nervous to watch, and no time to go grab a Coke because I would miss a turning point.
    Need info RIGHT NOW? Ring ring we have the answer! And like nance says, it seems all these people have a “rolodex” in their smart phones of key people in all fields of interest in the world.
    Still, right now, it’s one of the best shows on TV. I still love Breaking Bad, Wilfred, and Louie, also.
    Louie is #1. You know a show is number one with you when you count the hours and make sacrifices and changes to ensure you will see it during air time, and not merely dvr it. It’s Louis CK’s masterpiece.

    1112 chars

  40. Judybusy said on July 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    It was jolting for me to hear about the shooting first thing this morning, because my brother does live in Aurora, and they didn’t mention right away it was a midnight showing of Batman. Had I heard that, I wouldn’t have worried. I didn’t call my bro, it’s being 5 a.m. there, but texted. He texted back an hour later, saying it was in north Aurora, which given how huge it is, must be comfortably far away.

    On a more enjoyable note, I’m ripping through the memoir of Kay Fanning, who with her husband Larry, bought the Anchorage Daily News in ’66. She used to be married to Marshall Field. It’s a fascinating story of newspaper ownership and Alaska in the early oil days. I love how she tells how she and the freelance editor used to put the copy for the Sunday magazine together on the editor’s apartment floor. They also used to get a lot of news mailed to them, including the Sunday comics. Sometimes, they didn’t show on time, and there would be no comics, resulting in many called-in complaints. Then they run two weeks’ of comics the next Sunday. Great stuff! If you know folks in the biz at the time, I’m sure it’s even better; there are lots of anecdotes. I’ve been thinking, “I have got to tell the nnc folks about this, if they don’t know about it already!”

    1271 chars

  41. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Gun violence and geography. And sensible gun laws.

    163 chars

  42. Hattie said on July 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Right on. But please don’t call me a geezer. That hurts my feelings.

    68 chars

  43. DellaDash said on July 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Been off the grid since last night when the power went out in a thunderstorm. Guess it’s just our street. Still out mid-afternoon, and I’m chill’n and charge’n at The Frothy Monkey among the hipsters and slackers…sipping on an almost illegally-sized decaf soy cappuccino (I know, I know, caffeine fiends, don’t give my poor aging metabolism a bad time) with a pretty picture in the froth (not a monkey)…and watching Netflix episodes of Season 4 ‘Homicide: Life on the Streets’ to slake my David Simon jones, while waiting endlessly for the second season of ‘Treme’ to become available.

    I’ve been through all of ‘Generation Kill’, including commentary, and am surprised how compelling it was to be authentically horrified in detail, as well as entertained, by a war that I’ve previously only hated in the abstract.

    Now, after faithfully following ‘Homicide’ through seasons 1-3, I’m smitten with Yaphet Kotto (see Prospero @29); pop-eyed Andre Braugher; Melissa Leo with her leonine mane, sassy-chic in men’s suits and hard-bitten femininity; and their strange brew of a squad.

    No doubt I’ll be able to catch up with the latest unbearable mentally-disturbed outrage when CNN is once again flowing like heroin through the veins of my electronic cottage.

    1268 chars

  44. MarkH said on July 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Farina has a great line in Midnight Run that I’ve stolen and used on friends:

    “Relax, will ya, Sidney? Eat a sandwich, drink a glass of milk…do some f***in’ thing….”

    172 chars

  45. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Roger Ebert, brilliant comment on the Batman shooting.

    Dan Froomkin, astute analysis of the NRA inevitable response to the Aurora shootings.

    428 chars

  46. Danny said on July 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Midnight Run. A real fav of mine too. Love it when Grodin freaks out that the plane is too big to fly.

    News flash: Looks like the shooter not only has a local connection to me, but only a 1-degree separation. A young lifeguard friend of mine knew him from high school. Odd…

    Correction: Looks like several of my 20-something lifeguard friends knew him.

    362 chars

  47. Deborah said on July 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Danny, did your friend say anything about the shooter’s personality? or if he seemed in any way odd when he was in high school.

    Prospero, I’m confused about the ending to the Ebert piece. Is he saying that the woman who walked out minutes before being shot in the Toronto food court massacre was shot in the Aurora theater. Or am I getting this totally wrong?

    362 chars

  48. Bitter Scribe said on July 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Regarding the Colorado asshat, I keep telling myself it’s a good thing that the bastard gave himself up without trying to shoot the police.

    Yes. A good thing.

    161 chars

  49. Danny said on July 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Deborah, I do not know yet. She said she immediately recognized him and that she had some friends who were friends with him. I’ll probably get a fuller picture this weekend when I see a few of them at the pool.

    212 chars

  50. MarkH said on July 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Yes, Deborah, unfortunately, that is the case. Jessica Ghawi was employed as a local TV intern in Denver, and did survive the Toronto shooting only to die in another one last night.

    318 chars

  51. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Mahatma rap. Be the change.

    150 chars

  52. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    A very thoughtful take on the murders in Aurora. This piece hits something I’ve been thinking all day right on the head. Calling this mindless massacre a “tragedy” is a terrible mischaracterization. This isn’t an act of God, not force major. It’s sadly predictable American social dysfunction, guaranteed by obscenely huge tidal waves of cash from the NRA and the political cowardice and indifference to the commonweal it engenders in the most selfish class of American politician. People elected and compensated handsomely to govern let lobbyists write legislation and show the backbones of slugs when profit meets social welfare. Sociopaths with electronic soapboxes blame victims of bad social policy when they can, and hooded sweatshirts when the former is too unseemly. I’d imagine my opinion is not much different from that of the President and other responsible, aware public figures, but if one of them were to state so publicly, she would be excoriated as denigrating American exceptionalism. Regrettably, the regular occurrence of lone wolf massacres is exceptional to the USA. Is there anyone with the balls and the wherewithal and the influence to do anything about that? Nobody in sight. Were the President the challenger rather than the incumbent, this might be an opportunity for courageous action, like the President’s announced stand on same-sex marriage. As things stand in the US, attacking the gun lobby would probably result in effective political suicide. Meanwhile, Wayne LaPierre remains the king of domestic terrorists and exerts a stranglehold over the federal government by stuffing cash down the greedy gullets of members of the legislative branch, under cover of anonymity provided by Citizens United and the grammar-challenged 2nd Amendment reading by the totally FUBAR reactionary activist Supreme Court. Of course, even Scalito said that the sources of the big bucks are supposed to be identified. Yeah, like that was ever gonna happen once the levee broke.

    All of this reminds me of John Donne’s great poetic theological musing:

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

    But I’m sure that’s just the dog-eating, Kenyan, anti-colonial, socialist in me talking. We did spend some time today “firing” AT&T, and took pleasure in explaining to their representative it was because they refused to cease corporate contributions to ALEC, the NRA’s cliff’s notes legislation writing arm that brought the US Stand Your Ground Vigilante Out of Jail Free Cards. That felt good.

    3003 chars

  53. Prospero said on July 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Sons of RMoney catapult the propaganda.

    I had this ad quoted at me today, and it was difficult not to respond with a slap to the face.

    257 chars

  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    A mediation by a friend and colleague in Disciples’ ministry who lived until quite recently in Colorado; the last few paragraphs are the right questions, if not the last steps towards answers.

    289 chars

  55. brian stouder said on July 21, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Well, hell.

    I finally watched the “Let’s have a kiki” video, and I could not possibly agree more, with that train of thought tonight. (I especially liked the beginning, with a kiki-ized Dorothy)

    Aside from that I suppose, in this imperfect world, that occasionally events will unspool so that (for example) a perfectly airworthy airplanes get flown into the ocean. And then, we analyze what the hell happened, and devise fixes and procedural improvements and so on. An earnest, systematic effort is undertaken to try and prevent that from happening, again.

    And then, quite often anymore, lone men with firearms go and injure or slaughter a dozen people, or two dozen, or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 dozen, or more.

    And then what do we do?

    Absolutely nothing.

    The Second Amendment says:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Note that it does not guarantee the right to purchase unlimited amounts of ammunition, and reports are that our most recent shooter bought six thousand rounds of ammo, off of the internet!

    Note also that another thing which is “necessary to the security of a free state” is “the right of the people” to be free from having their “arms” (and legs and abdomens and heads) “infringed” by fusillades of flying lead, loosed by one of their troubled fellow citizens, when they go to the movies or stop for lunch or go to class.

    Even leaving aside the utterly ignored reference to “a well regulated militia”, I honestly do not see how “the right to bear arms” also includes the right to unlimited ammunition, via the internet. It is harder to buy a bottle of wine on the internet than to assemble an arsenal…how does this make sense?

    G’night, folks.

    1822 chars

  56. Danny said on July 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Jeff, after reading your friend’s meditation, the thought occurred to me that there are a few conditions in modern society that almost guarantee we will continue down this road. We seem to be at a nexus of greater and greater opportunity for what I would loosely term, “technical isolation,” which is brought about by easy access to energy and technology. Some random observations:

    1. Our easy access to energy squelches or quenches our sense of community and cooperation and allows for the lone-wolf to exist and thrive. In less developed societies with less abundance of access to energy, this isn’t as much of an option. More people must cooperate in order to survive and loners are either quickly included or more easily recognized for aberrant, non-cooperative behavior. Perhaps a microcosm of what a paradigm shift back to a more cooperative society would look like for ours can be had in a study of recent natural disasters where power was out and people had to cooperate to survive.

    2. Our easy access to technology makes us tend to more insular behavior. You go out in public and you will often see thee group of friends or family together yet not interacting with one another. Everyone individually glued to their screens or plugged into their ear buds. Tommy can you hear me, indeed?

    Then you couple all of this with what my Christian perspective sees as our basic sin nature and voila … keep your head on a swivel and keep short accounts with your Maker.

    Generally, I am not all that paranoid doom-and-gloom, but it does concern me when kids tell me they are going to play soccer and then when I ask, “What field are you going to,” they reply, “Oh, we are playing on Wii.”

    1704 chars

  57. Deborah said on July 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Danny you sound like a liberal. We’re in this together we need each other.

    74 chars

  58. Prospero said on July 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Bush Administration neocons wrote the Iraqi constitution after the illegal invasion and during the occupation. Take a look at Article 31:

    How ’bout that?

    244 chars

  59. Pam said on July 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I read this yesterday but didn’t have time to comment. Probably, no one will read this, being so late.

    In defense of Sorkin, the Newsroom show is meant to be the way it is. It’s for the campaign period. If Fox can call their drivel “news”, then Sorkin can use whatever vehicle he needs to get the other message across.

    Sorkin means for this to be Simple. Simple people are the ones who need to be swayed, like my friend Carol’s old parents. They vote Republican because they always have. Their memories and understanding of politics is from the ’50s. They think that She Who Must Not be Named is “spunky” and “cute”. They’ve never had any debt except their house. These are folks who need a 2×4 upside the head. The message needs to be simple, obvious, and clearly worded for them.

    It’s also for the one issue voters who need to understand that life is complex. The folks who vote with the Right because they’re opposed to abortion (like a Republican ever even tried to repeal that!), or because they are concerned over Gay marriage, or because of family values or other such BS issues that are meant to distract the voters from the real issues – the fact that they are getting robbed blind by Wall Street, for one.

    I loved the episode where McAvoy is interviewing 2 tea party members who innocently believe that their movement is pure, unsullied by corporations, lobbyists or special interests. He asks them if they’ve ever heard of the Koch Brothers (Koch, K- O- C- H, not the drink). They haven’t so they are unaware of his multi-million dollar corruption of their movement. They corrupt Everything!

    And when Jane Fonda, as Leona, asks that Will back off some of the people on the right, she says, “I do Business with these people!!” She says it more than once to get over the idea that “news” is sullied by businesses’ influence (and so that Carol’s parents and others hear it). I wondered if Jane remembered that line from her marriage to Ted Turner.

    There are so many examples of his simple messages. He isn’t trying to produce a hit show, he’s just trying to get the message across that big money ruins everything and people aren’t paying attention because they’re being distracted by bullshit “issues”.

    2253 chars

  60. alex said on July 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Or, as Jeff’s friend failed to consider, the guy might just be suffering from having a small dick.

    194 chars

  61. Danny said on July 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    No Deborah, “liberalism” nor any other man-made “-isms” will always ultimately fail to produce an answer. They don’t address the sin nature. Only Jesus does this. /sermon…

    175 chars

  62. brian stouder said on July 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Alex, that was interesting, indeed. What we seem to be presented with is a 20-something guy who HAD what most people would consider a “winning hand” (so to speak) – that is to say, lots of intelligence and a no-nonsense college degree, with a possible doctorate on the horizon…and he threw it all aside.

    Danny, I’d say that mental illness is no sin, and I bet you’d agree.

    So given the choice between essentially unlimited automatic weapons and ammunition availability – so long as you have the money to pay for it – on the one hand; or tight restrictions on automatic weapons and ammunition, on the other; I would choose the second thing.

    And by the way, how much does 6,000 rounds of ammo cost, including shipping? And, how much does an AR-15 (or whatever) assault rifle cost? Or the kevlar groin protector, or all the crap he apparently booby-trapped his apartment with?

    Where did his money come from?

    Aside from that, let me say to Pam that we don’t do HBO, so I’ll never see the Sorkin show, but I suspect I’d like it very much. Nancy has the same complaints about the apparently unlimited budgets (and uncanny perceptions) of the CSI-type police procedurals; it’s no surprise that journalists would find nothing to like in an all-knowing, master-of-the-universe mythical big-time newsroom show.

    1332 chars

  63. Deborah said on July 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Brian, My thoughts exactly regarding the cost of all that stuff. I read in one of the accounts that his mother said he couldn’t get a job so she sent him to graduate school. She sent him? And another account said he had scholarships.

    233 chars

  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Pam’s point is probably correct from Sorkin’s POV, but the problem is the the Simple Folk largely don’t and will not watch “Newsroom.” I think about this often from a pastoral, let alone a political perspective. The mass of the electorate — and per Madison & Hamilton et alia, that’s a feature, not a bug — is not the bright, not terribly thoughtful, and relatively unread. Thus it has been, thus it shall be.

    So much of our election campaign communications is playing a two-level game, with the cognoscenti and literati both in the media and we few heavy-duty media consumers as one audience, and the general electorate listening largely from the next room, or more aptly out from the porch. They overhear a few recurring lines & tropes, notice a particularly loud expostulation from inside the screen door, and may holler in to those closely watching “hey, what was that?” And our answers may or may sum up what caught their curiosity in the first place, and their attention drifts back to snapping green beans or watching the kids ride around in the driveway.

    Or to be ruder about it, I wait in line behind them at Walmart, unwillingly contemplating the choice and phrasing of their upper body and back of the neck tattooing, wondering what impulse drove that particular selection, if it even is still on their minds consciously that this is their message to those behind them, and what they think about it now if they do. Granted, the heavily and cheaply (or self-) tattooed demographic probably votes at a vanishingly small percentage. So then I consider the older, semi-retired lady shuffling through her vinyl wallet of coupons who keeps inadvertently nudging her cart into my heels; she bought a tabloid and a novel with a gauzy couple on the cover along with her cans and crinkly aseptic pouches. Her hairdo leaves me strongly suspecting that her McCain-Palin sticker out in the lot is probably in good condition, because she gets the Buick washed every week and it’s in the garage more daylight hours than not. She’s worried that three of her seven grandchildren don’t have jobs, or at least jobs with benefits, but she also is anxious about the A.G. Edwards’ retirement account balance shrinking faster than she’d hoped, even at 85. She’s going to vote, but if you asked her what channel her cable has MSNBC or CNN on she couldn’t tell you, because she sticks to Animal Planet and Lifetime and HGTV.

    Even with a shot of Sodium Pentothal in her veins, she’d say that Obama seems like a nice young man and husband and father, although she’d stutter a bit at trying to not use the word “colored” about him as her kids keep telling her is wrong. Romney has a lovely family, too, and he reminds her of the supervisor at the plant back when she was in accounting, who everyone made fun of behind his back when he got a promotion, and then started wearing shirts with cuffs. Who wears shirts with cufflinks? So he’s a little off to her, but her friends at the parlor where she gets her set and nails each week say he will help protect those unborn babies, which is important. But her oldest daughter, who works for State Something Board in the next county says that if Obama’s not re-elected, she’s probably out of a job, and so’s her husband.

    Is that who the Framers had in mind as they crafted a democratic republic in 1787? Almost certainly not, but their yeoman farmers had their own blinkers and self-imposed limitations. The biggest change may not be the nature of the voter, but the scope and depth of what your Congressional and national candidates control, or at least affect. None of the founders would have thought it even mattered what Harrison or Van Buren saw as best for elementary education, because they had nothing to do with it, let alone what level of injury to a limb meant that amputation was the necessary treatment by the local barber; their assumption about November elections was that the factions would cancel each other out in Congress enough that whichever Chief Executive was voted in, through whatever representations or misrepresentations (born in a log cabin, Old Tippecanoe, Old Kinderhook), they couldn’t sway the governmental processes too far too quickly in any direction. The yeoman farmer or his heir the blue-haired retired widow would vote more generally for a “party” and more locally for a fellow who had come past them in person and made sufficient sense & inspiration to be their representative for a season.

    Now we take that impressionistic national electoral process, and ask it, like asking a Magic 8 Ball, “what career path do you recommend?” questions that it simply isn’t designed to answer. “All signs point to yes.” We want to vote for a President who will resolve a national consensus on the beginning of human life in the reproductive process, the brain scan levels in keeping with effective death of the human organism, the spectrum of gender attraction as orientation or experimentation in varying personality types, and the ethical use of fetal and cadaver tissues — and that melange is just for starters. We also want to vote for someone who will clarify effective investment strategies for sovereign holdings, industrial policies by way of tax and tariff, and a fair broker for employment disputes between unions and management and investors.

    Oh, and they need to be incredibly pastoral with large groups and small families in moments of great emotional stress.

    That’s quite a bit of weight to put on one ballot, paper or punchcard. It’s no wonder they don’t hold up. But the nature of the electorate is NOT to be well informed, and that’s not new. How it plays out we can blame on various media outlets for manipulating it, or on voters for having the chutzpah to cast ballots without having read Harper’s or, but it may be that we’re really just asking government to do too much, and like a Buck knife opening a paint can, we can’t be too surprised when the point breaks off.

    With that, I’m off to Scout camp with my son’s troop. I get to teach Nature, Bird Study, Astronomy, and Environmental Science merit badges. Have a lovely week, y’all.

    6159 chars

  65. MarkH said on July 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Brian, Danny was not alluding to sin in that context.

    The weapon you refer to is known to be a Smith & Wesson variant of the AR-15 and goes for about $1500. The shotgun is easily $800 and the Glocks $500-600 a piece. It’s likely Holmes did not get that ammo all at once, but accumulated it over time from different sources (there are plenty). Also depends on which ammo, as he used a variety of weapons and prices vary, but a safe estimate for all that would be $3,000-3,500 minimum. A good question is how he got all that money given his known circumstances. Maybe he maxed out credit cards he had.

    My question is his family. They had to have had signals about this, given his mother’s initial reponse to the news media, “you have the right man.” He was not any kind of vagrant. Where was the safety net for someone from his background? I fully realize you can’t know everything that goes one with loved ones, BUT….

    928 chars

  66. alex said on July 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    No Deborah, “liberalism” nor any other man-made “-isms” will always ultimately fail to produce an answer. They don’t address the sin nature. Only Jesus does this. /sermon…

    Yeah, with man-made mysticism. Which is increasingly hard to peddle, but new innovations have managed to stanch somewhat the exodus from the pews.

    440 chars

  67. Sherri said on July 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Danny, if Jesus is the answer, what is the question?

    Given that all fall short of the glory of God, how do we limit the ability of those deeply troubled souls among us from accumulating a small armory and committing mass murder? Of are you among those Christians who just shrug your shoulders and say it’s a fallen world and these things happen? The US is a country that leads in guns and gun violence and Christianity; Christianity’s track record in reducing violence isn’t all that great.

    I am a Christian, Danny, and because I am a Christian, I believe we have an obligation to each other. We have an obligation to help each other, and to protect each other, and to work together to create an environment where we treat each other with respect and care. Liberalism and Christianity aren’t mutually exclusive.

    817 chars

  68. Prospero said on July 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Mankind was made in God’s image and likeness. How does mankind have a sin nature?

    81 chars

  69. brian stouder said on July 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Jeff, excellent post, and have fun out there on this beautiful and much more pleasant (cooler!) weekend.

    When you say

    Is that who the Framers had in mind as they crafted a democratic republic in 1787? Almost certainly not

    I would only remove the “almost”, and answer “certainly not!” The current day impulse to pursue voter suppression and contraction of the franchise is more true to what the Framers had. Americans who didn’t have the good sense to be born male didn’t get the vote until the 1920’s; and you don’t have to go back too far to find land ownership requirements in many places, or outright poll taxes.

    I admire very much the national government that grew from the hard work of ‘the Framers’; or maybe we should call them ‘the Farmers’ – since what they did was prepare the ground and plant the seeds* – rather than actually building a physical structure (like the Washington Monument). I think the old term “the Framers” is essentially misleading – which leads us back to Jeff’s lucid description of folks who don’t pay a great deal of attention to the details of government and society, except in the very narrow portion of it that directly affects them.

    A good example of how much (or how little) the Framers/Farmers trusted ‘public opinion’ (aka ‘the voters’, aka you and I) is to look at how the Senate used to be elected (by each state’s legislature), or how the we still elect presidents (See Bush V Gore, and/or electoral college; also see the Corrupt Bargain)

    We could extend this discussion to the concept of “Lame-stream media” and bias and so on (see Thomas Jefferson/Aurora, for just one example of the pre-pre-pre-precursors of Roger Ailes, et al), but suffice it to say, this is why I love reading history. It is very re-assuring, when you compare the challenges and assumptions that previous generations dealt with, and compare them to our own.

    And indeed, I would not bow to the Founding Fathers, or treat those guys like they were any smarter than our best leaders today.

    Afterall, succeeding generations (especially including the one that rose to power four score and seven years after them) dealt with lots of the mistakes they made, and challenged the “canNOT do” assumptions that many of them had (see Jefferson and slavery, for one) – and – miracle of miracles! – the nation survived and grew and became the mightier.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but one microcosm (which Jeff also alluded to) is the public school debate. Some folks reflexively say “they’re a failure” and they’re not fixable and let’s just give up and throw public money at for-profit entities, and they will magically fix everything!

    But, that’s simply and demonstrably wrong; or at least it is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and I don’t think we’re exceptionally special, hereabouts. By way of saying, local-level politics is all about “get it done” – pave the streets, run the schools, make clean water come out of the people’s faucets, police the streets, and so on.

    And at the national level, get off the theories and get it done, right? And if one party wants to be obstructionist and stands for “Nothing shall be done”, then – at last – call them on that at election time.

    This is what the 2012 election will turn on (one way or the other), I believe


    3333 chars

  70. coozledad said on July 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Just to give the shitpot a little stir:

    If Jesus has a stake in schizophrenia, and he certainly appears to, according to the ululations of the poor bastards I’ve encountered, then maybe it’s time for him to collect his cattle prod and irons and leave.

    Maybe this poor fuck lifted his Jesus from the Batman series, mistaking it for an apocalyptic religious character. God knows I never thought I’d see people in midlife schlepping their fat asses to feature films based on comic books, and discussing them the way people used to fret over exegetical inconsistencies in whatever Bible they were trying to flog each other with.

    If you want to invest hours and hours of effort in being a loser, why not get yourself some paints and brushes, or an electric guitar. You just might be that fucking monkey that types the Shakespeare.

    I forgot who said it, but whoever said we collectively lost our shit when we started valuing and hoarding the products of our miserable era of stupid consumerist crap (Look honey! it’s a Close & Play from the original “scarlet dreams” polystyrene series!) like they were worthy of Blake or Bach was onto something.

    1157 chars

  71. ROGirl said on July 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Cooz, I think Kinkade is an object lesson about trying to turn crap into a valued commodity. He probably knew it was all crap and he paid the price. All those people who paid a lot to buy that shit own mass produced dreck that must be worth very little at this point. He flew too close to the sun, his wax wings melted and he nose dived into the sea.

    350 chars

  72. Danny said on July 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Brian, I haven’t read everyone’s post yet (busy day), but I did catch your comment about mental illness not being a sin. And while I’d agree with that, I would also say that we live in a fallen world and we have a fallen genetic code and we suffer the consequences of the fall.

    EDIT: Oh and what Mark said was true about the context. See my comment below to Sherri. It was in reference about systems of ideology.

    418 chars

  73. Danny said on July 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Sherri, I do quite agree that liberalism and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. My point was that whatever ideology we look for to save us, it will ultimately fall short because of who we are collectively.

    You know something else I haven’t really commented upon is that I am in agreement with many of you that gun laws seem lax in this country. I’ve never owned one and have no expertise, but it does seem kind of crazy what it was possible for this guy to get hold of in a relatively short period of time.

    EDIT: Cooz, that “Just to give the shitpot a little stir” made me smile.

    595 chars

  74. alex said on July 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Speaking of a “fallen genetic code,” has anybody been reading the series Blogging the Human Genome? Fascinating stuff.

    They’ve been able to establish that the human race has been almost extinct before. And that humans will screw just about anything.

    674 chars

  75. Danny said on July 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Alex, the “small dick” theory: Does that mean that we were one BJ away from averting this disaster?

    99 chars

  76. brian stouder said on July 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    It sounds like a lot to swallow, but it has the ring of truth…

    64 chars

  77. alex said on July 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Nah, all that rage was probably on account of being had by this huckster. Maybe they’ll get to share a cell and he can make Mr. Enzyte his bitch.

    266 chars

  78. Deborah said on July 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    So I tried to make pepper jam today with leftovers. It turned out tasty but thin. The consistency of syrup not jam. I think I just didn’t cook it long enough after I put the sugar in. But I actually cooked it longer than the recipe called for. I couldn’t find a recipe for a small batch so I found one that sounded good and then adjusted for the amount I wanted to make. obviously I did something wrong. I think it will be good poured over roasted meat or chicken. Who knows if I will ever try to make it again. I have about 2 cups in the fridge to use up in the near future.

    576 chars

  79. alex said on July 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I think it would probably make a good drizzle for pork loin. Another thing you might consider, Deborah, is mixing it into some cream cheese as a spread. I’ve had it that way before and it’s superb.

    197 chars

  80. Little Bird said on July 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Deborah, get a whole chicken, rub that syrup on and roast it!! Throw a quartered lime in the cavity, and sprinkle some lime zest immediately after it comes out of the oven. Put some onion inside that bird too.

    211 chars

  81. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Danny, Whatever you do for the least of my children. And then there is Raygun’s outright murder of Archbishop Medeiros. Little Bird, you go girl.

    I’m Christian, as in Catholic. Sort of. I believe in Teilhard. And Matt Stafford. And Purnall Goldie.

    250 chars

  82. Joe K said on July 22, 2012 at 11:38 am,0,6839805.column
    Pilot Joe

    99 chars

  83. Danny said on July 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I had an interesting conversation with a young man at Best Buy yesterday. Having gone to a neighboring high school, he did not know the shooter, but he had gone to the midnight showing of Batman at the local theater and said they heard about the shooting as soon as they got out of the movie. Since the shooter is from our neighborhood, I remarked that it could just as well have happened here. He agreed. Quite sobering.

    Man I wish that 6-year old had not been there. She should have been fast asleep in bed and gone the next day to a matinee showing of some G-movie about ponies or mermaids or princesses.

    615 chars

  84. Danny said on July 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Joe, I read about that too, but I didn’t bother mentioning it because these sort of things get glossed over and rationalized by many here. Or you get accused of being inappropriate.

    I have also been seeing some stories that the shooter was involved with OWS, but as I would say in most situations like this: Political affiliations really have little to do with the actions of a lone, crazed gunman. Of course that didn’t stop many from tripping over themselves to assign blame to conservatives when that crazy kid shot the congresswoman. In the end, that narrative didn’t work out so well though, did it?

    610 chars

  85. brian stouder said on July 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

    She should have been fast asleep in bed and gone the next day to a matinee showing of some G-movie about ponies or mermaids or princesses.

    Danny – agreed.

    A week ago, our 8 year old wanted to go see “Brave”, which I think has most of those elements, plus the main young lady of the movie is a princess.

    And when she and mom and two aunts and three cousins (some of whom were going to see something else) got to the multiplex (for a Saturday matinee), she began to waver as to whether she was really up for it(!). Mom gently encouraged her, and she decided to give it a chance….and it ended up a great success.

    By way of saying, I’d just as soon drag her into a DeNiro move (think Good Fellas) as one of those overly-load and/or overly dark “action” movies like Batman or Transformers…which is to see Never Ever Ever, forever!

    849 chars

  86. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Joe, except for conservotrons whining about it, people would never have heard about that. And John Kass is a Mike Barnacle wannabe

    130 chars

  87. Joe K said on July 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Your right pro, the media would never admit it fucked up.
    Sorry I like kass want to see another one?
    Pilot Joe

    112 chars

  88. jcburns said on July 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Joe and Danny, I don’t think there’s any need to gloss it over—Brian Ross made a first-class mistake, and (in my opinion) the motives and biases behind it aren’t as much political as they are ratings and competition-driven. I think if the mis-association was instead that Holmes was the chairman of the Arapahoe County Democratic Party, I think Ross would have still stumbled all over himself rushing the false info onto the air.

    His REAL screwup (and the one many others are making) is having a staff that does their legwork via the internet…”this guy has no social media profile…it’s as if he’s invisible!” Yeesh, get up from your screens and go interview a few people. Or sit at your desk and do it, but don’t expect all Americans of a certain age to have easily summonable digital pasts.

    800 chars

  89. Danny said on July 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    jc, that is one of the more curious things about this case to date: The fact that he seems to have little or no summonable digital past. So odd for a guy who obviously was savvy enough to use the internet to stockpile weapons and presumably do research on bomb and grenade making. I wonder if he had a copy of the anarchists’ cookbook.

    337 chars

  90. Danny said on July 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Additionally, I heard some radio report regarding what his favorite video game was and it was not a violent multi-player, role-playing game like WoW (World of Warcraft) or a FPS (First-Person-Shooter) game. Indeed, it was Guitar Hero.

    235 chars

  91. brian stouder said on July 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Kass’s nut paragraph (so to speak) seems to be this:

    Stephanopoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant. Ross: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado tea party site as well, talking about him joining the tea party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado. Stephanopoulos: OK, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

    So we’re in the middle of new, fresh, confusing breaking news; unconfirmed reports, rumors, and a dead-live broadcast – and this is the worst thing Kass can find?

    I’ve watched a lot of coverage over the weekend, and I never heard this (incorrect) tidbit, at all. And, I never heard any Occupy Wall Street stuff about the shooter, either.

    But speaking of ABC News, I DO remember, many (many) years ago when the late Frank Reynolds was reporting on the shooting that severely injured the President of the United States, and then he got word that Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady had died. Frank stopped everything and they had an on-air, coast-to-coast moment of silence.

    And then, when his ear-piece told him that James Brady was still alive, he exclaimed something like “Dammit! We have to get this right!” or some such.

    By way of saying, I think Kass is running on empty, if this is the best smear he can come up with, about how unfair the ‘lame-stream media’ is. (I thought Nancy made a better point, in her original post, when she noted that NBC’s Today show was still doing commercials. That none-too-subtle decision by that news organization said a LOT more about how things are, then this Kass thing, in my opinion)

    1773 chars

  92. Sherri said on July 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I stopped watching TV news over 10 years ago (pre-9/11), especially breaking news, because some much of what is reported during breaking news stories is simply wrong. That’s been true well before staffers started using social media in place of legwork. “If it bleeds, it leads” has always been a problem, but the 24 hours news cycle of cable has made it much worse; they cover the story continuously, even though there’s nothing new to report.

    The last time I turned on my television to watch a breaking news story was during Katrina. I lasted about an hour before I couldn’t take it anymore.

    595 chars

  93. Linda said on July 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm


    Man I wish that 6-year old had not been there. She should have been fast asleep in bed and gone the next day to a matinee showing of some G-movie about ponies or mermaids or princesses.

    This. Get a babysitter, or delay gratification till you can get one. Your kids are real people with real needs–like sleep and age-appropriate content. Not appendages of you.

    400 chars

  94. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    No thanks, Joe. That guy is a hack. And when the RMoney campaign is spewing shit, like Vesuvius,

    It’s a little hard to get exercised over the excited utteraance of some TV nitwit I never heard of. I am dead positive more people heard the lame whining about this than heard the original.

    428 chars

  95. Joe K said on July 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    If it would have been Hanity or O’rielly or god forbid Rush saying the kid was a occupy wall street kid, you would be leading the pack to have them suspended. True?
    Pilot Joe

    183 chars

  96. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Nope, Joe. Spewing phony bile is the Fox business plan. I’d rather they all just exploded from excess cholesterol. This fool made a stupid mistake. Would it have surprised anybody if the shooter was a home-grown terriss like Eric Rudolph. Has anybody made an extended or outrageous deal over the fact that the Norway murderer was, indeed a rightwing nutcase with guns? Nope.

    376 chars

  97. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Seriously, Joe? You glom onto some talking hairdo error and try to make it equivalent to something like Faux News perpetuating the insane shit about Obama being the Manchurian candidate? Sherrif Joe? C’mon, man. And the Swiftboater’s were factual, and W wasn’t a draft-dodger? Puh-leeze. Rightwing whining about news outlets would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

    367 chars

  98. brian stouder said on July 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    And on another subject, it appears that Penn State has taken down the statue of Joe Paterno –

    raising the question – where should they put it?

    This lead sentence is only a syllable or two short of what Saturday Night Live’s newscast might have said:

    The Joe Paterno statue was removed Sunday morning from its pedestal outside Beaver Stadium, and it will be stored in an unnamed “secure location,” Penn State president Rodney Erickson announced. Erickson also said the Paterno name will remain on the university’s library.

    An “unnamed ‘secure location'”???! (is the goal to place it where it will go unmolested?)

    My brothers and I were pondering the possibilities for where it should be re-located, and the consensus was that the Joe-pa statue should be placed in the Penn State football team’s showers – right in the water.

    971 chars

  99. alex said on July 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Rightwing whining about news outlets would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

    Or so successful at making chumps out of people.

    Right now Indiana has a douchebag running for Dick Lugar’s Senate seat who’s on the record as saying Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional. If only the damned “liberal” media would pick this up and run with it, and hammer the fuck out of this numbskull. But no, he gets a pass. Republicans talking crazy just isn’t newsworthy anymore.

    492 chars

  100. Dave said on July 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Douchebag is being kind, Alex. I really despise that guy and I’m resigning myself to the fact that he’ll probably get elected, making anything we have now, including Stutzman, look wonderful by comparison. I can’t believe I just said that and. . .I don’t really mean wonderful.

    I remember the Frank Reynolds moment, it happened. Also, very much like what JC said and if I could compose my thoughts like Jeff (tmmo), oh, reading postings like his make me feel like I’m lucky I can spell correctly, by comparison. That’s said in the most positive way.

    556 chars

  101. Prospero said on July 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    My lord? How does the wing of right get such a skate from the media? Michelle Bachmann can go all Tailgunner and get away with it? The idea that bigtime papers are somehow liberal-leaning is a sad joke, perpetrated by rightwing nutcases. Sorry Joe. Two days ago, these whackjobs were claiming the Batman villain was a swipe at the presumed candidate they want to ditch. These mofos are looney.

    395 chars

  102. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    John Kass is a terrible, terrible hack quickly evolving into a homelier Bob Greene, if that is possible. He thinks he’s a badass because he smears Obama and his administration in the president’s hometown paper. . .as if this were some amazing act of bravery at a newspaper that has always been conservative. (The family of Marshall Field actually launched the Chicago Sun-Times as a bulwark to Col. McCormick’s rabidly xenophobic and isolationist Tribune.) He is about as arrogant and self-referential as you can get and, worse, is still allowed to have an editorial assistant (aka his “leg man”) at a time when scores of fine journalists have been sent packing from the Tribune Tower. I’m sure that sits so well with his colleagues.

    Frankly, I find it funny that he focuses on ABC. What George S. and Brian R. did there is hardly laudable, but Jesus H. Christ, this is standard operating procedure at Rupert’s House of Horseshit aka Fox News.

    946 chars

  103. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    BTW, a different kind of snake oil salesman –loathesome preacher Rick Warren– is blaming the teaching of evolution for the movie massacre. He tweeted something about how when we teach kids “they are animals,” we should expect them to act like it.

    Fuck you, Ricky boy. I believe in evolution and I haven’t killed anyone yet, though if I had the chance to hit you about the head and shoulders with a large sledgehammer, that status might change.

    448 chars

  104. Dexter said on July 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Linda, Ann Curry, sliding downhill fast with her NBC career, told Brian Williams when they were both at the scene in Aurora, that the young people needed a night out, that bringing the baby was the only way…Ann Curry was defending these fucking idiots who drag babies to midnight shows, especially violent films like the recent Batmans.

    The poor young woman, the Iraq War veteran whose friend, Alex M. Sullivan, was murdered by this goddam wacko, said she can eventually forgive the killer. My question is this: what kind of vulture journo asks a weakened shooting victim, wired and hooked up to a hospital bed just hours after a massacre, and who has just lost a friend, if she can forgive this motherfucker? I was cringing…CBS News did that piece this morning.

    777 chars

  105. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm


    I’m afraid I was one of those ghouls for about three years as the night police reporter at the Columbus Dispatch, though I don’t recall ever asking anyone how they “felt” after a tragedy. It’s rough work. I can’t count how many times I sat in an emergency room lobby waiting for relatives of victims to come out. . .how many times I climbed the stairs to knock on a door and ask for a photograph of a dead person. . .how many times I had to butter up coppers and eyewitnesses for a nugget of conversation. I was in far more dread of what would happen to my career if I failed in my missions than I was of being thought a shitheel or a parasite. I’m still mildly amazed someone didn’t kick my ass somewhere along the line.

    I learned a lot and most of it was not about journalism. A small-town, middle-class white boy, I was green enough to hide in short grass when I started covering cops and crime but the education I received in the way the real world works and the existence of the dark, stagnant pools of pus that lie in every city, town and hamlet were priceless. I can’t deny it made me a much better reporter, though my mom thought it grievously affected my humanity.

    I was lucky that I worked nights at an afternoon paper. I had the luxury of time. Time to talk quietly with witnesses or victims and at least calm them down. . .time to suss out information from officers and detectives before going off half-cocked. . .time to THINK when I wrote my stories so I might avoid causing even more grief.

    That’s all out the window as we saw only too well a few weeks ago when both CNN and Faux News got the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare completely wrong. And, of course, Twitter and Facebook and all the e-mail alerts are also part of the mix. Everyone wants to be first even at the expense of looking heartless or being wrong.

    1852 chars

  106. nancy said on July 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Actually, the 3-month-old I understand. At that age they’re basically a sack of flour, and is likely to sleep through even a Batman movie. The 6-year-old is another story.

    171 chars

  107. Jolene said on July 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I had the same reaction re the kids. The parents of the three-month-old also had a four-year-old with them, and, when interviewed, said they were both asleep. But I thought, too, that it was no place for a six-year-old.

    Also, I think it was Don Lemon on CNN who asked the woman in the hospital bed if she could forgive the shooter.

    334 chars

  108. brian stouder said on July 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I thought the question was dodgey – but the woman gave a thoughtful and compelling answer.

    I watched MSNBC’s coverage of the memorial/prayer service, and it was compelling. The thought was that 4 or 5,000 people would come to it, and more than 10,000 citizens came.

    And it ended with everyone singing Amazing Grace in the old style – where the woman at the podium would recite the words of the next verse, and then everyone sang it. I don’t think very many hymns come close to Amazing Grace, especially when you have 10,000 people really singing from their heart

    When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
    bright shining as the sun.
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
    then when we’ve first begun.

    723 chars