I do everything I can to avoid video and audio news.
The level of fatuous idiocy on display is really depressing; it reminds me of one of the most culpable and easily-fixable factors in our national strain of Stupid.
Here, with the nation in the throes of fighting fucking land wars in fucking Asia and the economy and society of the Land of the Free sliding back into their Gilded Age forms (to the frenetic cheering of a good 30% of the idiot public who seem to have learned nothing from the high school history classes...), ridiculous freaks like the movie-theatre shootings in Colorado become the focus of a vasty deep of feckless punditry, typically revolving around what these talking-heads have decided are the Critical Issues of the Day: vaginas and what people do with them, heavily-armed lunatics, and "entertainment".
The Colorado shootings catch two of three; boxcar!
And that made me reflect on these sorts of mass-killings and how they fit in the human scheme of "mass-killings" and, y'know what?
What it makes me think is that we really are a nation of trembling nellies living in an immense and placid domestic tranquility.
And that's a wonderful thing, and I wish we'd realize it and grow the fuck up.
Because for most of the past 10,000 or 20,000 years humanity was regularly wrung out by real, monstrous, inescapable, awful horrors.
Truly appalling wars - wars like the Thirty Years' War, that made central Germany an utter wasteland.
And the daily toll of the microscopic pathogens that injured and killed us that we had absolutely no understanding of or control over; dysentery, tetanus, childbed fever, smallpox, typhus, syphilis...
We died or were maimed in droves; thousands, tens, hundred of thousands, and had little if any expectation of anything better.
And here we are, screaming and shouting, making great matter because a single nutter managed to kill a dozen or so innocents.
So here we are, in the midst of one of the longest spells of unbroken peace in Europe and North America since the Long Peace of 1815-1914...and we seem to be all aquiver about these little killing sprees and yet utterly unwilling to actually, y'know, doing something about preventing them.
Because there's a very simple solution; make it insanely difficult for insanely murderous people to get their hands on insanely efficient killing hardware.
Restrict the sale of multiple-shot ordnance to zero. Return to the arms that the Founders wanted us to "keep and bear"; flintlock muskets and pistols.
Mind you, I don't think that this is desirable or even possible.
But it would solve the problem.
But we don't - at least probably a good 40 to 60 percent of us don't - want to do that.
But that would be expecting We the People to act like sensible adults, and as far as I can see we prefer to act like whiny titty-babies and always have, reacting to grim Fate with a combination of outrage and self-pity.
And our little cat is dying of cancer.