The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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Democratic Representative Gabrielle Gifford of Arizona, continued
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
At some point, I have to stop following links; ending up staring in horror at therightfangirl earnestly strategizing about how to defend themselves from the liberals that will totally blame them for this or blankly watching unironic use of this tragedy to earnestly shout about gun control and political capital being amassed because yeah, this tragedy shouldn't be about the people who were actually victims for any longer than absolutely necessary. By that I mean, not at all.

I do get the fact this is probably a politically-motivated crime by someone who may or may not be mentally ill (the youtubes are--IDEK, something). Surprisingly, I'm politically and socially aware enough to realize that yeah, Palin's truly inspired use of gun rhetoric is pretty questionable and the entire rhetoric of violence currently permeating political thought is something that should have been curtailed or hell, at least acknowledged as more than extreme right wing rhetoric when the extreme right has controlled conservative thought for so long I'm not sure they even remember they used to be so much more. It's human nature to want to make sense of what goes pear-shaped and human nature to want it to be prevented. It's human nature to blame and to defend and to be really douchey in the name of politics because politics is the decider of a lot of how we live our lives. It's kind of how we even get to live our lives.

OTOH, there's a very thick and easily-visible line between political consciousness and outright douchery; it's not hard. If within five hours of the attempted assassination of a sitting United States Representative to Congress, your biggest worry is making sure those liberals don't blame you, you're a douche. If within five hours of the death of a nine year old child you're already exploding self-righteously about the evils of guns, do I need to repeat this? It's not like the spectrum of political behavior is moderate or assassin; there's a wide and surprisingly unpopulated in between that can be navigated that balances preventing future tragedies and tracing relationships between rhetoric and reality without fodderizing a woman being shot for her politics and a child dying.

Extremism is dangerous, but it's not just militias and assassinations. Moderate does not mean "Does not shoot people for opposing beliefs" or even "Does not pull a Henry II about meddlesome Democrats." That's not a standard of behavior; that's a fairly clear sign the baseline needs to change. This list does not need to be expanded.

*****

At Huffington it is reported that Representative Gifford has not yet woken up nor spoke to anyone.

In more uplifting news, Daniel Hernandez's role in Representative Gifford's survival is documented here. I'm pretty sure most college interns don't sign up with this in mind, and his actions in the wake of the shooting are everything you hope to see in someone who might one day serve the public.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/70261.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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If nothing else, people who use radical rhetoric to forward their agenda should at least acknowledge it. Palin is one example; Engle with her 2nd amendment remedies is another. I know that Bill O'Reilly targeted an abortion doctor, calling him a murderer who was later killed. The radical left is just as bad.

I get that people do have opinions that are completely opposite at times and that's good. It makes people think. But using language that promotes violence is just not right and they should be called on it.

The more I watch, teh more bewildered I am by the right becoming a bastion of violent rhetoric.

not to burst your bubble

(Anonymous)
I don't mean to burst your bubble, but I haven't seen the "extreme left" use the words that the Terrorist Right has used. I use the term Terrorist, because that is exactly what it is. Anytime you incite violence for a political gain, then by the very definition its terrorism.
This was a very tragic thing to have happened, but it was known to be coming. It should come as no shock when you have people saying that "Democrats are the Devil's Children." (Glenn Beck) Some people are going to take these things too far, and being an entertainer like Beck Hannity and O'Reilley are in the public eye day in and day out, they should have seen that there voices do incite others to action.
Let's not forget that we are in a war, too, a war about keeping the truth the truth, and not to give it spin. When Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp, was in front of Congress back in the 90's, he was asked about his Fox News channel keeping with the truth, he said "We are not a News Organization, we are in the Entertainment Business." Meaning to say that his brand of News can be twisted. We see the end results.

Re: not to burst your bubble

Olberman used to do a segment on people he thought were better dead. I believe the word dead was actually used. That's close enough for me. While I'd wager the left doesn't have the same level of revved up hysteria atm, words matter and I'm not a fan of that segment.

If within five hours of the attempted assassination of a sitting United States Representative to Congress, your biggest worry is making sure those liberals don't blame you, you're a douche. If within five hours of the death of a nine year old child you're already exploding self-righteously about the evils of guns, do I need to repeat this?

YES. YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. I was going to explain why I love this so hard, but I'd just be repeating everything you've said. Basically: this. Exactly this.

Thank you, Jenn, for every. single. word of this. You said everything I've been thinking since yesterday afternoon.

What I find incomprehensible about this entire situation is the double speak. Someone like Bill O'Reilly, who makes a damn good living out of words and who uses words to push his agenda, backs away from accepting responsibility for Tiller's death even though he himself on national television put out the cry for someone to "silence" this guy. Gifford's opponent in the last congressional race used inflammatory rhetoric, citing using an M-16 to deal with her. Same with Palin's gunsights (which are now surveryor's sites? Please. Her PAC has already scrubbed that from her website, although she can't deny the Tweet that encourages people to reload). Words matter. There's a reason why we put our Constitution down in words. Why the Bill of Rights is in words. Words have power. You can't have it both ways. You just can't. OWN UP, DAMMNIT

I think that at every Sarah Palin rally people should attend and wear armbands for those killed in Arizona. This inflammatory language has consequences. Just like the Constitution does. Words matter.

You know I think it's time for all of our repersentatives to grow up and take responsiblity for their actions and I do mean all of them no matter what party. I'm sure no matter who said what NO ONE wanted the events of yesterday to happen.

A nut with a screw loose does not embody what any of the parties believe in and unfortuantely there's way too many violent nut cases with their own agenda and saying it's in the name of blah blah blah.

I hope in the wake of this tragedy that they will get out of the high school muck raking and character bashing behavior and do a better job than they have been.

It's natural to have standards of taste and emotion, and make judgmental comments based on them, but these are subjective things, not a "thick and easily-visible line".

Placing events in context - political or otherwise - is a natural human reaction, and what this post is doing as well. Shocking events beyond normal comprehension make people flail for meaning. Appropriate depends on the context - lengthy musings on livejournal is different than public statements by the powerful, or using it to make policy, fundraise, etc.

therightfangirl strategies may be offensive in content, or if it fits a pattern of her having cold responses to human suffering. But musing on how to respond to political fallout from the shooting political figure is shot is not inherently wrong, especially the fallout is swift and strong.

Denouncing knee jerk reactions is also a predictable knee jerk reaction, one I find more problematic as labeling people douches for "using" a shocking event also uses the event, in this case to adopt a superior pose and perhaps dismiss ideas without addressing them.

Again it's natural and cathartic but decorum is subjective and just as politically loaded. Calling for silence and restraint can prevent assessment between valid and invalid ideas - I'd argue it's this decorum which helped The Patriot Act arise from 9/11.

For example, I think discussing gun violence after a horrific act of gun violence is very different from inventing blame when the gunman's motivations are unknown. That the guy was able to kill and injure a lot of people with a gun is not in dispute, even if the meaning is open. I question calling people douches for expressing heartfelt beliefs about guns after someone is shot.

Also, while I freely employ "douchebag" in my profane lexicon, it's interesting it's used her to define unacceptable and morally unclean. Why do things directly related to the vagina - and women - carry more negative weight? Why not just use asshole?

Edited at 2011-01-10 01:06 am (UTC)

I question using people as inanimate objects to further a political agenda within hours of a tragedy. It's an act of dehumanization.

Also, while I freely employ "douchebag" in my profane lexicon, it's interesting it's used her to define unacceptable and morally unclean. Why do things directly related to the vagina - and women - carry more negative weight? Why not just use asshole?

...of course if you use it, it's okay. Color me shocked.


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