I love it when conservatives talk about reality. They're soooooooo tough minded. Real he-men -- of the solitary, nasty, brutish and short variety. I left "poor" out of Hobbes' quote because most conservatives aren't poor. Yes, there are plenty of poor, conservative whites in the South who cling to the Republican Party as the great white hope that will restore racial supremacy as the rule of the day. But for the most part, conservatives are successful men who like to think of themselves as self-made men, rugged individualists who don't hesitate to call a spade a spade and are realists enough to sometimes it's necessary to bury all fellow-feeling when there's profit involved. As for Barak Obama, I agree with everything he said. In our horror over the Virginia Tech killings, let's not lose sight of the quiet violence that corrodes the fabric of our society day in and day out. The cheap "humor" of Imus, a comment that even if he is not himself a racist, certainly winks dismissively at the pervasive racism of our country and personally caused pain to innocent people he very publically denigrated. The quiet violence of corporate greed that spits on the communities of people who have given their time and energy to build businesses only to be told: "So long, suckers." The quiet violence of city governments that tax citizens to build football stadiums for millionaire teams and leaves the mentally ill to shift for themselves on the streets, that ignores the plight of the homeless. The quiet violence of a society that sees the other as usable, as object, as enemy. That's the reality that Obama was talking about. The reality that conservatives can't seem to be able to get through their thick heads is that everything is inextricably interconnected. Or to put it into my favorite quips: "Show me a man who changed his own diaper and I'll show you a self-made man." (Michael Eric Dyson) "It takes a village to raise a child." (Hilary Clinton) "I am you and you are me and we are all together." (Beatles) : ) -- now THAT'S reality. Guns deny reality, they are the disastrous fantasy of disastrous rugged individualism. ----- Original Message ----- From: Lawrence Helm To: Lit-Ideas Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 9:11 AM Subject: [lit-ideas] Mark Steyn on Gun Control This was sent to me by a blogger interested in our arguments about Gun and Nutcase control. It is from a blog called "Power Line": http://powerlineblog.com/archives/017407.php . Steyn's entire Sun-Times Column is at http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/351710,CST-EDT-STEYN22.article . Gun Control people trying to make hay over Cho's massacre are in a ludicrous position. There were alreadly laws in place that would have prevented Cho from legally getting a gun, and the place were Cho perfored his massacere, Virginia Tech College was a "gun free" zone. You could almost laugh at this if so many people didn't have to die to expose this nonsense for what it is. What Mike and Simon both did in the wake of Cho was something like Obama did: 'I've had some mail in recent days from people who claimed I'd insulted the dead of Virginia Tech. Obviously, I regret I didn't show the exquisite taste and sensitivity of Sen. Obama and compare getting shot in the head to an Imus one-liner. Does he mean it? I doubt whether even he knows. When something savage and unexpected happens, it's easiest to retreat to our tropes and bugbears or, in the senator's case, a speech on the previous week's "big news."' Lawrence April 22, 2007 The claims of reality Mark Steyn devotes his weekly Sun-Times column to the political and cultural infantilization of American society manifested in events related to the Virginia Tech massacre. He urges us to get "realistic about reality." He doens't miss the unreal contribution of Barack Obama last week. He notes that at Yale, the students cannot even pretend to be realistic about reality: [A]t Yale, the dean of student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg, reacted to the Virginia Tech murders by taking decisive action: She banned all stage weapons from plays performed on campus. After protests from the drama department, she modified her decisive action to "permit the use of obviously fake weapons" such as plastic swords. Unfortunately, Steyn's not done with the Ivy League: A few years back, a couple of alienated loser teens from a small Vermont town decided they were going to kill somebody, steal his ATM cards, and go to Australia. So they went to a remote house in the woods a couple of towns away, knocked on the door, and said their car had broken down. The guy thought their story smelled funny so he picked up his Glock and told 'em to get lost. So they concocted a better story, and pretended to be students doing an environmental survey. Unfortunately, the next old coot in the woods was sick of environmentalists and chased 'em away. Eventually they figured they could spend months knocking on doors in rural Vermont and New Hampshire and seeing nothing for their pains but cranky guys in plaid leveling both barrels through the screen door. So even these idiots worked it out: Where's the nearest place around here where you're most likely to encounter gullible defenseless types who have foresworn all means of resistance? Answer: Dartmouth College. So they drove over the Connecticut River, rang the doorbell, and brutally murdered a couple of well-meaning liberal professors. Two depraved misfits of crushing stupidity (to judge from their diaries) had nevertheless identified precisely the easiest murder victims in the twin-state area. To promote vulnerability as a moral virtue is not merely foolish. Like the new Yale props department policy, it signals to everyone that you're not in the real world. Yale, however, isn't even in the play real world. That has to be some kind of a new low in the avoidance of reality. And the aphorism of the Roman poet Horace applies to "reality" as well as "nature": "Though you drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will still find her way back." Footnote: See also Jack Kelly's column on NBC's irresonsibility in contributing to "the next public mass killing in America."