The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 12/20/12

Last Show of 2012; The Sandy Hook Massacre; How to Cover These Tragedies as Journalists; The Loss of a Child; Worse than September 11; Breaking the Gun Culture; Media Censorship versus Restricted Access; Video Game Violence; The Association of Masculinity and Guns; Teachers with Guns; Megan McArdle and Charlotte Allen are Part of the Problem; Jefferson and Our Founding Flaws; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius!

There’s more political talk in this week’s After Party — Friday at Noon eastern time. If you’re not a member, subscribe already. Only $6/month, cancel any time.

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  • muselet

    “We need these arms to defend ourselves against the government.” Uh-huh, that’ll turn out just dandy, you and your popgun against a column of tanks with air support overhead. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Red Dawn should be considered the cultural equivalent of a Schedule I drug.

    The Founding Fathers weren’t infallible? HERETIC!

    The “price of liberty” argument, such as it is, has long struck me as nonsense. Now, it enrages me.

    I’m okay in theory with restricting legal access to certain forms of artistic expression to adults, or at least people capable of discriminating between a movie/TV show/videogame/whatever and real life. As long as that restriction isn’t arbitrary or irrational (hi, MPAA!), I’m not philosophically opposed. I dare the average pro-gun person—to be perhaps overly polite—to say anything similar.

    There is a bitter irony in the fact that the people who insist everyone should be armed are often the very same people who decry gang culture, in which everyone who is someone is armed. The normalization of guns in society must be reversed. I have no idea how to do that, but it has to happen.

    “Galactically stupid” barely begins to describe the scribblings of Charlotte Allen (oy) and Megan McArdle (as John Cole put it, “I’m now longing for the days when she talked about $1000 blenders.”

    There are many reasons I don’t spend money at Walmart. The products the corporation refuses to sell while still selling firearms is about number 17 on my list.

    Earlier this week, ABC had a segment on the Sandy Hook massacre and one of the first responders (a paramedic, I think) said something to the effect of, “After a while, I started hoping to find a lot of serious casualties.”

    Gallows humor helps after certain horrors, but only for individual tragedies (you do not want to know some of the things ED docs call patients); after something happens like last Friday, though, no.

    To me, guns are like airplanes or boats or motorcycles or Lamborghinis: interesting as machines. I have no interest in owning or operating any of them, but I recognize the craftsmanship. (Thirty years or so ago, a friend bought—for what reason, I know not—a .357 Magnum, and one day, he handed it to me. The experience didn’t frighten me, although I did make absolutely sure the thing wasn’t loaded before I took it, but I have no desire to hold another handgun.)

    Ted Nugent on Sandy Hook. I can’t imagine anything more inappropriate.

    More appropriate, perhaps, is this, from a Playboy interview with Stephen Colbert (via):

    PLAYBOY: Does the grief dissipate?

    COLBERT: No. It’s not as keen. Well, it’s not as present, how about that? It’s just as keen but not as present. But it will always accept the invitation. Grief will always accept the invitation to appear. It’s got plenty of time for you.

    PLAYBOY: “I’ll be here.”

    COLBERT: That’s right. “I’ll be here when you need me.” The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked that phrase He was visited by grief, because that’s really what it is. Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.

    PLAYBOY: It’s a loud wolf. It huffs and it puffs.

    COLBERT: [Laughs] It does, doesn’t it? It can rattle the hinges.

    –alopecia

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Alo, I just have to say………I would be very sad if I could no longer read you and Brink. You always manage to make me smile or grimace or think. Thank you.

      That Colbert interview, specifically re grief, is spot on.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        I know! They’re like bonus bloggers here at Bob’s.

        • muselet

          Hey, I’m just some random cranky guy with a computer. Bob and Ashby (and Brink on Sundays) do the heavy lifting.

          I’ll still accept the compliment, though. :^)

          –alopecia

          • mrbrink

            Oh, you’re one of my favorite random cranky people on the planet. Witty, charming, logical, patient, unselfish…brilliant, alopecia.

            If you were ever stranded in the desert, I’d show up with a jug of water and some Bubble Genius soap. Hey!

            I never miss your post-show musings.

      • muselet

        Thank you for the kind words, Nicole.

        –alopecia

        • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

          You’re welcome. :)

    • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

      Thanks for pointing me toward that Colbert interview. He constantly amazes me. And so do you. :)

      • muselet

        Comedians have license to say things the rest of us would never dare say, at least not in public. Even so, there are only a handful who take full advantage of that, and Stephen Colbert is one of the best.

        As I told IrishGrrrl above, I’m just some random cranky guy with a computer. But I’ll accept your compliment, too. :^)

        –alopecia

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    One of your best shows ever.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    Regarding your emotional status over the weekend….I can totally relate. Every time I looked at my son and daughter’s smiling faces I had to fight back tears. I think I would literally lay down and die if I lost them in such a fashion because it didn’t have to happen. I too feel that we as a country are responsible because while it is part of our DNA, that doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility for doing a better job of protecting our children from our own worst nature. It’s not like we didn’t KNOW this kind of thing was going to happen….haven’t we had incident after incident, each worse than the last? And WE have allowed the NRA and our pathetic and greedy politicians, who kowtow to them, to close down even the conversation about gun control. It all just makes me ill.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Chez mentioned something very interesting about playing Hitman and constructing his own personal morality in the game. I do the same thing in video games. Like in GTA I go out of my way not to shoot innocent people. I’ve never once went on a killing spree or maniac driving spree mowing down civilians. Sure I kill other criminals to achieve an objective, but I sort of put my own spin on the main character I’m playing. They’re a professional, like Omar or Slim Charles from The Wire they have their own personal code of honor. I don’t even like to kill police officers unless I have to, i.e. they’ve got me boxed in and I’ve gotta fight my way out of a place. I almost always try to run away because I attempt to put a bit of realism into the game, which is somewhat absurd considering the body count from even one mission would exceed any shooting massacre in the US.

    One of the aspects of GTA is you can visit a prostitute. I never murder them after they’ve performed a service to retrieve the money. I consider that gravelly immoral, and over the line. In Fallout I never loot a place that someone owns that isn’t an enemy even if it doesn’t give me a karma loss. I consider that their personal property. The only compromise I’m willing to make in that case is if they have something I really need I put an item back that is of at least equal or greater value. Also I don’t let raiders finish off a caravan so I can loot it. I try my hardest to rescue them if I can without getting myself killed.

    I’m not really talking about the violence aspect and its effect on our society in this post but I know of many gamers that do the same thing Chez and I do. I think it’s a way to take ownership of the game, to make it your own and impose some sense of morality on it.