I was going to do a post on the above but it's just too damn depressing. These shootings are happening so often now they might as well keep the flags permanently at half-mast.
Looking for something else to blog about I decided to travel 213 miles southwest of Nashville to Memphis, where a famous building is once again in the news:
Sneer all you want at the shallowness on display, but if a story like this was the only thing to make the news, the only thing deemed worthy of our attention, then the world in fact would be a much better place. No matter who loses this "fight", it seems farfetched that either Priscilla Presley or Riley Keough will show up at Graceland the next day toting an assault rifle. Their agents wouldn't allow it. And unlike issues involving the widespread availability of firearms or insufficient resources for the mentally ill, local politicians can with all honesty say it's not their problem to solve (in fact, it's up to a court in California, where both participants live.) None of this is to say that the feuding grandmother and granddaughter aren't genuinely distressed by all this, but compared to news elsewhere, I for one find it damn near uplifting.
Congrats to whichever lawyers are getting all those sweet, sweet litigation fees.ReplyDelete
Debra, you're talking about in regards to Graceland, right? Though the debate going on between Shady and Andrew about to what extent a school should go to make sure its pupils aren't massacred makes me wonder if some lawsuits won't be filed in Nashville as well.Delete
Not that any lawsuits will be filed against the shop that sold the disturbed young women her arsenal. That would be litigation beyond the pale.Delete
I'm happy to see you back in action, good buddy, although I wish the circumstances were more pleasant. It's hard for me to believe that school massacres can still happen in this country. I assumed by now everyone would be on high alert and school buildings would be routinely secured. Forgive me if I am missing crucial info about the Nashville assault. I didn't even have the heart to read about it. All I know is that the pain, suffering and carnage continues across America on a weekly basis. I'm sure our elected leaders are rolling up their sleeves and working around the clock on a solution to the problem.
(Har de har har!)
Nor have I ready anything about the battle over Graceland. I think the Union Army should fix bayonets and charge down the hill in a wheel formation. I am also awaiting the latest word on Anna Nicole Smith's heartbreaking final hours.
That Chris Rock headline is a slap in the face, just saying.
"And you can take that to the bank," as Baretta used to tell us, and "That's the name of that tune."
Shady, did the hit man take it to the bank?Delete
I've often thought about doing a post on Anna Nicole Smith. I remember watching her show and being surprised at how likable she was. But all the mind-boggling litigation she was involved in (which went on long after her death) makes the Presley feud look like something brought before Judge Wapner on The People's Court.
This from Wikipedia:
"Even though Smith was not in Marshall's will, she claimed that in return for marriage, Marshall verbally promised her half of his estate, which primarily consisted of a 16% interest in Koch Industries, then worth $1.6 billion. Smith's stepson E. Pierce Marshall disputed the claim. Smith temporarily joined forces with J. Howard's other son, J. Howard Marshall III, who was disowned after attempting to take control of Koch Industries."
I don't know Anna Nicole's politics, assuming she even voted, but can you imagine if things had gone her way litigation-wise and she ended up cojoined with the deep-pocketed Republican-subsidizing Koch brothers? It would have served them right. Take away the Christian window dressing and the GOP is basically one big strip club.
Hello Kirk, Usually when I see these magazines in the check-out line, it gives me a weird feeling because I am not remotely familiar with even one name on the cover. At least I know who Elvis is! I thought that inheritance was a pretty direct issue, but I guess where there is money there will be squabbling.ReplyDelete
The fragmentation of pop culture, Jim. I obviously cover celebrities quite a bit on this blog, but it's usually celebrities who have been around for 20 years or more because trying to figure out who's "famous" nowadays is just too difficult. That's why I like the Graceland squabble. Riley Keough (Elvis's granddaughter) is fairly new but Priscilla Presley has been around for half a century. And she still looks like she did a half-century ago though she seems to have lost some control over her facial muscles.Delete
I hadn't thought of it that way. If only this were the top news story of the year.ReplyDelete
Mitchell, the day of the Nashville massacre I happened to see the People cover somewhere, and it suddenly seemed so innocuous (which I'm sure wasn't the editor's intent.)Delete
You have to seek light amusement instead of crying.ReplyDelete
Shady, it is not about securing schools. Does the US society really want to see schools become 'locked up'?
Nobody wanted to wait in long lines and be scanned, patted down or even strip searched at airports in the wake of the 9-11 terror attacks, but the added delay, inconvenience and violation of personal space is a new normal we have learned to live with.
That said, I am sure no one in America or any other country wants to see schools turned into armed fortresses, but I believe there are low cost or no cost ways to make them more secure without the changes becoming conspicuous. Just as sky marshals are inconspicuously placed aboard airplanes to protect passengers and crew from security threats, I believe retired or off-duty law enforcement personnel could be placed in and around schools. They would be equally inconspicuous, not standing in the lobby dressed in body armor. They would serve on a voluntary basis, costing the community nothing. Other ways to improve security at schools could arise in every community in the form of think tanks, groups of volunteers with backgrounds in architecture, design and security. They could join forces and come up with strategies for non intrusive alterations to schools that could be implemented while preserving aesthetics and a sense of freedom conducive to learning. Additional education and training of school staff could make a difference. I am merely suggesting that we cannot afford to let our guard down. "Stay woke."
Andrew, believe it or not, a significant portion of the American population would rather our schools--and every other public place--be locked-up than do anything about the availability of weapons originally designed for the military.Delete
The way it's going, someone's going to buy an H-bomb from an ammunition shop located in-between a payday loans and a pizza shop, blow up an entire city, and the politicians, after first telling us all to pray, will state the need for more fallout shelters. I mean, that's all you can do.
Shady, do you have any models in mind when it comes to keeping our schools safe. Fort Knox? Area 51? North Korea?Delete
I understand what you and Andrew are saying, Kirk, and I totally agree that hammering out common sense gun control legislation and getting it passed and implemented is an urgent priority. I'm sure you both agree that we also need to address the root of the problem, raise awareness, improve education and programs dealing with mental illness, homelessness and drug abuse, tackle the alarming ongoing problems of bullying, hate crimes, systemic racism, the white supremacy movement, youth becoming conditioned to violence through graphic content readily available on the internet and in video games, and an entire generation growing up cynical, feeling lost and hopeless, with an increasing sense of isolation, anger and resentment toward society. Solving all of those problems first is indeed preferable to locking down schools and placing armed guards in public places. However, you seem to be suggesting that the cosmetic features of a campus or town square that help preserve the illusion of a free society are more important than the lives of students, teachers and citizens. Maybe it's just me, but if I were a student, I'd rather see a few changes made to the school rather than get shot. Yes, it surely would be nice if we had the luxury of time to wait for long term solutions to be drawn up, agreed upon and put in place, but as we have seen time and time again, gun control legislation inevitably gets bogged down in political debate and little or nothing comes of it, and our social programs tend to me sluggish and ineffective. I am suggesting that time is of the essence, that we need to take some sort of direct action right now to secure schools and save lives. You are picturing Alcatraz and barb wire fences. I am envisioning an aesthetically pleasing setting with subtle, carefully concealed safeguards and officers and deputized citizen watchdogs working undercover. Heck, Kirk, even if beefed up security and structural modifications to a school building and campus were noticeable, I believe they would have a positive psychological impact rather than a negative one. Think about it. I were a kid in school today, I would actually welcome the sight of security personnel or equipment at my school because it would indicate that at least somebody is doing something to protect me. As it stands now, the only things we and our children can count on in the wake of a mass shooting are another round of prayers, candlelight vigils, teddy bear shrines, calls for increased religious fervor among the American people to make them behave better and somehow blaming the epidemic on the policies of Dark Brandon in Washington.Delete
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I believe the presence of added security at school would instantly turn a soft target into a hard target, or at least a harder target, thereby serving as a deterrent. It's the same principle as placing a sign in front of your house announcing that it is protected by ADT Security and the same principle as the sight of a law enforcement patrol cruiser conspicuously placed along a busy highway to make people slow down and obey the speed limit. Sometimes those patrol cars are occupied by dummies, but the net effect is the same. It works. Knowing that steps have actually been taken to secure the school would give me, the student, peace of mind. and allow me to turn my attention back where it belongs, to the process of learning, without needing to look over my shoulder all day long for a potential shooter. So, essentially, I am saying let's stop the bleeding now with direct action, then fan outward from the target (the school) and into the community to work on funding and improving social programs and passing gun legislation at the national level. Thoughts, prayers and teddy bears might honor the dead, but they do nothing to protect the living. There is a crisis in America, an urgent need for immediate action at ground zero. It would be great if this were still a Leave It To Beaver kind of America, one in which people felt safe and didn't bother to lock their doors and windows. It might have been that kind of America back when you and I were young, but it isn't anymore, and I can't see it ever being that way again. Thank you both, Andrew and Kirk, for joining this important debate and sharing your thoughts and opinions. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend, both of you.Delete
"However, you seem to be suggesting that the cosmetic features of a campus or town square that help preserve the illusion of a free society are more important than the lives of students, teachers and citizens."Delete
"Thank you both, Andrew and Kirk, for joining this important debate and sharing your thoughts and opinions."
I'm sitting here trying to decide whether the gratitude in the second quote mitigates the assumption in the first quote. It may take a while.
Andrew, by the way, lives in Australia, so in his case if not mine it's an example of somebody on the outside looking in. But I wouldn't blame him if he wants to turn his head.ReplyDelete