let’s save a little time this week (like every week! ha!) by not worrying about writing a “real update” and doing Ogre’s old favorite of just getting really outraged about the news. is this outrage real? justified? who knows?
today’s challenge will be for you to tell me how many guns in this photo are commonly sold by US gun shops thanks to the 1994 assault weapons ban having expired; i anxiously await Calderon’s entry!
let’s be honest: if you say this news story cross your computer screen (or, i guess, maybe your newspaper? i don’t know if you internet dudes read the newspapers anymore), you could PROBABLY have guessed that it would draw my ire. i tend to be predictable like this: if someone promotes banning guns, my cold, dead fingers clench around the nearest firearm i can find, and i begin to cry tears … tears of PURE RAGE. anyhow, this was a good story for making me freak out:
“Mexican President Felipe Calderon addressed two of America’s most contentious political issues during a speech to the U.S. Congress Thursday, asking for a return of the assault weapons ban and blasting Arizona’s controversial new immigration law as a “terrible” endorsement of racial profiling.”
now frankly, i don’t know why Calderon thinks there’s a lot to be gained from lecturing Americans on any of their “most contentious political issues”; we ALREADY don’t agree, and it’s going to encourage us to do so when a foreign president lectures us? but i already disagree with the guy, so maybe i am just not giving him a chance.
“He also urged Congress to re-impose the assault weapons ban, asserting that violence in Mexico spiked after the ban was lifted in 2004. Mexican authorities in recent years have seized 45,000 weapons that could be traced to the United States, he said, and there are now roughly 7,000 gun shops along the U.S. border with Mexico where assault weapons can be easily acquired.”
now given that the assault weapons ban did not ban guns so much as COSMETIC FEATURES, i think we all know that there’s some clear lying going on here. further, you’re already talking about multinational, billion-dollar drug gangs here: they were really unable to fight until they could FINALLY buy an AR-15 with a BAYONET LUG in this US? please. see, here’s the thing, Calderon: when you tell a clear fiction, i can just assume you’ll lie about anything else to make your point.
and let’s not even go into how the .50-caliber machine guns and fully-automatic rifles are NOT being purchased in American gun shops. it’s just not happening. and the weapons that can be traced to the US are a small percentage of the weapons seized… and so on, and so on.
“Saying he respects the U.S. Constitution and understands “the purpose of the Second Amendment,” he added, “believe me — many of these guns are not going to honest American hands.””
so he understands that “honest Americans” want to buy the guns legally… but we shouldn’t have them because someone who’s not an honest American might get them? well, we COULD prosecute those guys and leave the Americans alone… no, no, we should just punish people who follow the law. that makes more sense.
“”Today these weapons are aimed by the criminals … at Mexican civilians and authorities,” he said. “With all due respect, if you do not regulate the sale of these weapons in the right way,” American authorities and civilians may be soon face a similar challenge.”
not only is this a cheap attempt to scare Americans into banning certain guns (“if you don’t ban them, THEY WILL FORCE AMERICANS TO ATTACK CIVILIANS!!!”), but there’s still a lack of logic here. was it the ability to buy guns that caused Mexico to end up in the condition it’s in? because i’m pretty sure they have fairly strict gun laws down there.
summation: if Calderon could at LEAST work into his lectures that he acknowledges a) the ability of Mexican drug cartels to get more (and more powerful) guns from OTHER locations than the US and b) the assault weapons ban didn’t really address the kind of guns causing trouble in Mexico, i would at LEAST consider him a real politician i just disagree with. but he remains simply a lying douche. and no one wants to be a lying douche.
another reason i dislike M.I.A.: she’s always making these annoying faces
so, okay, this is the way pop stars are: they want to be SERIOUS and DEEP and have these INTERESTING PERSONAS, and it’s all generally fake. we know this, we should act as if we know this, but we don’t. a lot of this i attribute to Americans being stupid, but some of this i also attribute to musicians who simply are so fucking stupid and/or conceited that they HAVE to cling to their images of themselves (this also applies to, say, Rick Ross). this is basically why Lynn Hirschberg wrote the above-linked article about M.I.A…. an article that then prompted her to throw the author’s phone number on Twitter and write a diss song about her, because these are clearly the kinds of responses adults have when they’re upset with what someone wrote about them.
now, granted, i am sure both sides have a point (Hirschberg is probably right about all the negative character traits that M.I.A. supposedly has, and M.I.A. probably has a legitimate point in that Hirschberg didn’t write an article that HAPPENED to be negative, but rather, that she always MEANT to be negative), but honestly i don’t care, because i just don’t like M.I.A. at this point. if she showed up in Hell to perform “Paper Planes,” i would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons. or something like that. let us briefly discuss the 13 most distressing things about M.I.A. from this article!
secret bonus 13 most distressing things about M.I.A. from this article listicle!
01. “Three days later, her son, Ikhyd (pronounced I-kid) Edgar Arular BronfÂman, was born.”
if this name doesn’t turn out to have some secret origin in some legitimate source (i mean, i have no idea, i just doubt it does), then this is just another in a long line of stupid-as-fuck names celebrities have given their children. and that makes M.I.A. less “original” and “outsider” and more “fucking Hollywood scumbag.”
02. “You gotta embrace the pain, embrace the struggle,” she proclaimed weeks before Ikhyd was born. “And my giving birth is nothing when I think about all the people in Sri Lanka that have to give birth in a concentration camp.” As it happened, Maya, who is 34, gave birth in a private room in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.”
i know she’s quick to point out that the father’s family “insisted” she do that, but does that really seem like a valid statement from someone who is SUCH an outsider REBEL? sounds more like posturing. and really, i don’t care if she gave birth at Cedars-Sinai or bought a house in Brentwood, it doesn’t matter. what matters is doing so while seeming to be so opposed to the very concept.
03. “Her only jewelry was a simple diamond engagement ring.”
i am seriously of the opinion that anyone who talks about feeling the pain of people in third world countries so much should NEVER be caught dead wearing a goddamn diamond ring. NEVER. you can’t tell your fabulously rich fiancÃ© to buy you a ruby instead?
04. “And then, within a month, I found out my house was being bugged, my phones were being tapped and my e-mails were being hacked into.”
to be honest, i always assume when rock stars who are SO political say this kind of thing that it’s a blatant lie that can never be supported meant to make them feel important. of COURSE her house is bugged, her opinions and voice matter so much! you know what i’d do if i was a singer and my house had been bugged and i found out about it? i’d bring one of the bugs to the interview and show the reporter. you know, as proof.
05. “”The biggest Sinhalese community is in Santa Monica, people who are sworn enemies of the Tamils, which is me.” She paused. “I live around the corner from Beverly Hills-“
stop right there. you live in BEVERLY HILLS. you are not about to get into street warfare with the Sinhalese community in Santa Monica. stop this nonsense! “Beverly Hills” is an ancient Native American phrase meaning “you don’t have any real problems to bitch about if you live here.”
06. “”I wasn’t trying to be like Bono,” Maya told me. “He’s not from Africa â€” I’m from there.””
now, on the one hand, i see her point: unlike Bono, she hails from the land that she’s constantly trying to draw awareness to (although i doubt Bono’s attentions are limited to Africa, but i digress). however, on the other hand, she left when she was 8… so doesn’t all this “i’m from there” talk smack of overcompensating? and if you’re trying to get a lot of people who aren’t from that place to care about it… why attack the concept of being vocal about places you’re not from? should i really give a fuck about Sri Lanka? i’m not from Sri Lanka, right?
07. “I’m tired of pop stars who say, ‘Give peace a chance.’ I’d rather say, ‘Give war a chance.'”
war was given a chance and it didn’t work out so well for the Tamil Tigers. so shouldn’t M.I.A.’s position be “i got what i wanted, and i’m satisfied even if it didn’t go well?”
08. “”I kind of want to be an outsider,” she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry. “I don’t want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I’m a terrorist.””
i’m not even going to mention the French fry thing, as it’s a point of contention right now. i’m just going to say that declaring your desire to be an outsider is the LEAST rebellious thing you can do. it’s what every angry 13-year-old says to their diary!
09. “When Richard Russell, the head of XL Recordings, Maya’s British label, visited the house, he told her it reminded him of how the Rolling Stones recorded the classic album “Exile on Main St.” in a villa in the South of France in the ’70s.”
i’m mainly distressed by the comparison to the Rolling Stones; granted, i’m sure that Russell’s not saying M.I.A. = the Rolling Stones, but it’s a little too close for comfort.
as far as i can tell, the only thing M.I.A.’s wardrobe is really missing is a dose of the coolest shirt of all time!
10. “”All of what I’m wearing is American,” Maya said. “If I was a terrorist, I wouldn’t be wearing American clothing.””
this quote is just an example of M.I.A. basically saying “OMG everyone considers me a terrorist!” now, i have never heard anyone call her a terrorist; i’ve heard her called “naive” or accused of adopting terrorist trappings to posture or, at the very worst, called a “terrorist sympathizer”… which is still not the same thing as a terrorist. and yet she is so desperate to be identified as someone called a terrorist that it comes up CONSTANTLY.
11. “”She worked for the queen for 25 years,” Maya said, as the car finally emerged from traffic. “And now, they’ve taken my mom’s U.S. visa away. A 65-year-old woman is counted as a terrorist, and America supports that.””
all i could think was “is she implying that her mother working for the British queen is a reason why her mother should have a United States visa?”
12. “”I am so tired of stylists,” Maya said. “They are ruining individual style. If Patti Smith was starting now or Debbie Harry, the stylists would try to dress them, to change them. Their style would be lost.””
at first glance, this seems like just a critique of stylists. but what it says to me is that M.I.A. thinks she’s the only artist (or one of a very select group of artists, maybe) who can RESIST stylists. and i happen to think that, at the very least, Patti Smith could have resisted being “styled.” but maybe that’s just me?
13. “”But, at the same time, I like questions. I can’t get a visa right now because of things I’ve said. And that’s wrong. If certain words are banned, then that has to be written up on every box of crayons or paints or on every pen. There needs to be a warning on everything I use to write with that says, ‘Do not write these words, or we will put you in jail.'”
M.I.A, YOU WERE NOT PLACED IN JAIL FOR ANYTHING YOU HAVE SAID. I GET IT. YOU ARE A REBEL OUTSIDER. ENOUGH ALREADY.
this article can basically be summed up with this quote: “What Maya wants is nearly impossible to achieve: she wants to balance outrageous political statements with a luxe lifestyle; to be supersuccessful yet remain controversial; for style to merge with substance.” exactly. this shit doesn’t work. and everyone knows that “Paper Planes” is only REALLY good when it features Bun B and Rich Boy!
ah, there we go. that feels better. it certainly compensates for arguing angrily with a one-armed man today.