“and i don’t need no jokes for this shit…”

yeah, not really an update that’s going to be packed with jokes, i admit. it happens sometimes when you’re hammering this stuff out. so bear with me; i know with all the gun stuff, it’s been a little lean on the humor around here.

so anyways, recently my mother and i were talking about that whole Boston Marathon bombing (so you can see how long it took me to get this update polished off, ha) and her contention was that this wasn’t about religion or politics or the flashy stuff like that, but more simply, about the fact that these Tsarnaev kids couldn’t relate to Americans, American society whatever. this might be partially because of all her employment as a teacher –somehow i figure watching kids succeed or fail at socializing plays a big role in all that– but either way, i think i agree. i made the point over the last couple of weeks in between the gun rants, but if you want my opinion, it’s all part of the same problem: in the aftermath of events like Newtown’s shooting or Boston’s bombing, we immediately starting hearing “BAN CERTAIN GUNS” or “BAN ALL GUNS” or “BAN BLACK POWDER” instead of addressing the underlying problems with the drug war or proper mental health care or, hell, just assimilating the people who feel disenfranchised into society. the latter guys can ALWAYS crash an SUV into a crowd of people even if they can’t get a gun or a bomb, because they have a fundamental problem that no one gives a shit about.

and this is what reminded me of the movie Falling Down.

Falling Down
“the adventures of an ordinary man at war with the everyday world”; frankly, i think this tagline describes an entirely different movie

ah… Falling Down. it’s not a great movie; it might be a fun movie, but not a great one. but this was 1992 (right before our AWB came into effect, oddly enough), and we had a different set of things to be furiously outraged by. immigrant shopkeepers overcharging us! the menace of gang members! pushy panhandlers! disappointing fast food restaurants! it’s one of those films that tries really hard to mean well –they take great pains for the hero, Michael Douglas’ Foster, who shoots it out with minority gang members, to distinguish himself from a Nazi shop owner, and clearly by the end, he realizes his spree is NOT heroic and all– but which probably can only be kind of a fun mess.

anyway, the part of this film that i personally best recall is unrelated to a lot of this: to steal Wikipedia’s description of this, “Foster passes a bank where a black man is protesting being rejected for a loan application. The man exchanges a glance with Foster and says “don’t forget me” as he is escorted away by police.” and that’s about it; Vondie Curtis-Hall is protesting outside a bank in a much more socially-appropriate fashion because the bank’s deemed him “not economically viable,” passersby (and the average viewer who’s wanting to watch Michael Douglas blow up things that make him unhappy) could not care less, and he’s ultimately taken away by the police, during which point he asks Douglas not to forget him.

Not Economically Viable Man
obviously his statement worked, because 21 years later, i STILL have this bit stuck in my head

now, okay, this is a throwaway bit in a film (and thus the kind of thing i LOVE to obsess over) and Curtis-Hall’s character has specific beefs and motivations and all that. i get it. but on some level it comes across to me in a different way: Curtis-Hall’s part of society, he’s worked for years, he’s seeking a loan. this is not the actions of a criminal or malcontent (as far as we know), yet for some reason he finds himself impersonally rejected as “not economically viable.” and what do you do with the resultant anger, something which is not unique to this particular circumstance? you could stand outside the bank and protest, you could blow up a construction site, whatever. but what you REALLY want is for people to just give a shit. to NOTICE you when you’re outside the bank protesting, whether or not they agree with your situation. you know what happens when they don’t? more disaffection with society. tell me where this leads.

and this is what reminded me of the show OZ.

“a series chronicling the daily activities of an unusual prison facility and its criminal inhabitants”

ah… OZ. maybe not a great show, maybe more of a soap opera for men, provided you like a lot of murder and ass-rape in your soap opera. still, it had a lot of moments beyond merely being an edgy, envelope-pushing drama for HBO to run with back in the day before they really hit it big with that impeccable the Wire/the Sopranos/Deadwood triumvirate (which may still be the best ever trio of actively-running shows on a single network). those of you that DO fondly recall it (presuming that list is not restricted to just me) may specifically recall the little opening/between act/closing monologues from Augustus Hill (played by Harold Perrineau Jr.). he had some good ones –i specifically enjoy the one about Jesus spending time in jail, which is a supremely great close-out to an episode– but all this does make me think of the one from the season two episode, “Great Men.”

Augustus Hill
“Yo, imagine being remembered for a thousand years. The things you did when you was alive reaching across time and touching the lives of people not yet born. That’s a dream. That’s why people write books, start religions, find cures, run for President. But me? I don’t wanna be a great man. I don’t care if I’m remembered for the next thousand years. All I ask is, if we pass on the street, notice me.”

yeah, i can’t remember the number of times i have felt personally slighted by something someone has done, with it not being 100% the act itself, but also the fact that it implies someone could just not be bothered to give the slightest fuck about my existence. and frankly, i feel well-integrated in society, so i can only imagine how much further THAT goes when you’re talking about someone who’s not.

but whatever. maybe we’ll be more upbeat next time around these parts. 2013 is kind of a downer of a year, to be honest.

but on the other hand…


so, the rundown: Maryland’s passing this new assault weapon ban, so your hero is trying desperate to score a couple of things on that list before time runs out that, otherwise, he’ll be missing out on FOREVER (or until i leave this state, but as Coolio once said, “as much as i hate this motherfucker… i love this motherfucker). anyway, i decided to throw mega-dollars at this domestically-produced FN FAL, which is a DSA SA58, to be specific, and it’s very, very nice; a FAL/SA58/whatever model is just a gun i have spurned before because of price. but not anymore! now to find some additional rifles…

anyway, the process is supposed to take 3 days to run, with a 7-day waiting period being mandatory, but due to all the furious gun-buying going on between the election, the post-Newtown threats of federal bans, and my state stuff, i was told it would take 5 WEEKS… and it took 9 weeks and 2 days total. fuck this state. but, anyway, it’s here! it’s like bringing a newborn baby home! success!

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