Summertime is over and the kids are back at school which means it’s time for America’s fastest growing extreme sports spectacle: school shootings. Of course, mass shootings never really go out of season because when it comes to mass murder, there are no rules, only records waiting to be broken. When you set out to break records, set records, and set records straight in a mass killing, few targets look more appealing than a classroom full of innocent unarmed children entrusted to the care of a school-marm. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
They used to call the phenomena of mass shootings “going postal” after a postal worker gunned-down his supervisor and co-workers in a, then unheard of, act of violence. Today, that term only applies to disgruntled workers who kill their co-workers. The death toll from these workplace events rarely rise high enough to attract much media attention outside of the local area.
To draw national headlines these days, you need to make real mayhem. You need at least a two, and preferably three figure death toll to make national headlines for more than one day. If you’re going to kill that many people, you can’t expect to make it all personal. There are bound to be strangers involved. When it comes down to numbers, it only makes sense to go with the target-dense school, over the personal vendetta against the boss and the hand-full of coworkers you are likely to find at your old place of employment.
Now that school is back in session, I expect we’ll see a very competitive season here in the US. It appears that current efforts towards gun control legislation have had very little effect on the availability of firearms, but have instead helped sell more assault rifles, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines as collectors hurry to “buy ‘em before they ban ‘em.” The US has a thriving firearms industry and they offer aspiring murderers a range of highly accurate, rapid-fire, high-capacity weapons built for quick reloading.
American mass killers, at least the civilian ones, overwhelmingly choose these very accurate, one-bullet-at-a-time type, firearms for their seemingly indiscriminate killing sprees. Elsewhere in the world, when it comes to indiscriminate killing, the people who compete seriously in that field, generally use bombs as their weapon of choice. It remains to be seen if civilian American mass murderers can compete, globally with their high-tech, one-bullet-at-a-time strategy.
From a strategic perspective, a high-accuracy, one-bullet-at-a-time rifle offers little advantage, over a bomb or a shrapnel grenade when the goal is indiscriminate carnage in a given area. However, from the killers perspective, using a highly accurate rifle insures that the killer looks directly at his victim at the moment he fires the lethal shot. With an accurate rifle, the killer can savor every death, and at the same time, improve his marksmanship.
The High-tech American approach to indiscriminate slaughter focuses on the shooter’s experience. Shooters like the way their guns feel, and look, and they like the feeling they get when they shoot them. Shooting guns feels good, and the only thing that feels better than shooting guns, is shooting people with guns. In the US, mass murder is all about creating the perfect experience for the shooter. After all, he’s the one paying for all of the weapons and ammunition. Elsewhere in the world, a mass killer will build a bomb for about $100. Here in the US, mass killers spend $5,000 for an assault weapon, $2,000 on sidearms and at least a thousand dollars on ammunition, for that kind of money, I imagine that they expect something out of their shooting experience.
If American civilian mass murderers hope to set records here in the US and become competitive globally, they need to think carefully about this strategy. I understand the appeal of the one-bullet-at-a-time strategy for American civilians. Civilian mass murderers don’t get paid for gunning-down a classroom full of elementary school students. They do it because they love killing. They kill for the pleasure of killing, so we should expect that they will do it in the way that they find most satisfying.
However, the other thing that holds American civilian mass murderers back from competing globally is that American civilian mass murderers overwhelmingly work alone. That’s a real shame. One of the most heart-warming things to come out of the Columbine School shooting, that terrible tragedy that started the whole school-shooting phenomena, was that at the center of it, it was a story of boys working together.
Right now, I know that there are a lot Americans out there thinking seriously about going on a rampage. If these people could get together, just imagine what they could accomplish by working together. Unfortunately, the culture that so effectively, and assuredly produces mass murders, also effectively alienates them to the point that they no longer trust each other. American culture encourages people to replace the people in their lives with things. For many mass murderers, their guns were probably also their best friends.
In most other countries of the world, mass murderers are usually wed to an ideology or political movement, but here in the US, we kill for the pure joy of killing. It’s that honest enthusiasm for indiscriminate blood-lust that sets us apart as a nation and as a people, and that’s what makes it such an exciting time to be alive here in the USA.
People sometimes criticize me for my over-the-top opinions and no-holds-barred writing style. They think I should moderate my views and be more sensitive to people’s feelings. Fuck that! In reality, these people just wish I would shut the fuck up and leave them alone with their illusions, but they want to say it in a way that sounds like constructive criticism.
If Carl Hiaasen offered a few words of advice about my writing, I’d be all ears, but when I get writing advice here in SoHum, it usually comes from people who can barely read. I don’t listen to them any more than I would take target shooting advice from an unarmed blind man. If you can’t see the target, and you’ve never handled a gun, you won’t be much help, so relax. I know what I’m doing, and I shoot straight.
You’re lucky to have me, frankly. Thirty years of silence, secrecy and sycophantic schemers has given this community a very distorted image of itself. The injustice of marijuana prohibition turned community values on their head. What began as a new green awakening, degenerated into the same old greed and dishonesty. We celebrate marijuana, but our addiction to the War on Drugs shapes us, and it shows.
Greed is uglier than alcoholism. It’s even uglier than meth addiction, and that heartless, senseless, relentless thirst for more takes a toll. Like alcohol and meth, greed hardens people while it kills them from the inside. I see what that disease does to people. I see what that disease has done to this community.
While cannabis may have healing qualities that make the user more sensitive to subtle emotional cues, the War on Drugs produces hard, rotten people. Every community has a few, quite a few, I’m sorry to say, just like every community has it’s share of alcoholics, tweakers and greed-heads. Unfortunately, the opportunities created here by the War on Drugs tend to attract them, so we have more than our fair share. We also have more than our fair share of money, which, like gravity, inexorably draws greedy scum towards it.
The War on Drugs made bad people rich while it drove honest people out of town, just like it does in any drug ghetto, and just like in any drug ghetto, we have enormous social problems as a result. We try to put a nice face on it. We try to look like a normal, prosperous, small town, but the truth shows. It angers the rich ugly, hard, rotten people around here, that they can’t just sweep the poor, ugly, hard, rotten people out of sight, but that’s who we are, and that’s what the War on Drugs has done to us. So long as the War on Drugs continues, we shall remain, as a community, unnaturally rich, unnaturally poor, and rotten to the core.
Greedy bankers and real-estate blood-suckers measure the marijuana industry in dollars, because that’s all greedy people see, but the more money the marijuana industry brings to Humboldt County, the more poverty it produces. The black market marijuana industry produces poverty all over this country, but here in SoHum, it produces some of the most expensive poverty money can buy.
Greedy people, like drug addicts, become so focused on their addiction that they often fail to notice how poor they really are. The people who drive those spotlessly clean late-model trucks, often live in total squalor, expensive squalor, but squalor nonetheless. Lots of children grow up in dysfunctional homes, without books, living on junk food, and we have some of the highest suicide and drug addiction rates in the state. For all the money that the War on Drugs brings in, we sure don’t seem to live very well as a result.
It takes more than money to make a community function. It takes culture, and hard, rotten people produce a hard, rotten culture. It’s a hard, rotten culture that blames the poor for their poverty, and rewards drug dealers for their greed, and this hard, rotten culture belies our deepest poverty: our penurious shortage of intelligence, imagination and moral courage. I know you don’t want to hear it, folks, but that’s the truth. You won’t get that from many people around here, but you can count on me.
Here’s a novel idea for my neighbors in Humboldt County this Spring: It is OK to just leave the dirt on the ground. You don’t need to dig it up. You don’t need to plant anything in it. Something will grow there. You don’t have to worry about what it is. Just leave the fucking dirt alone for a change.
You don’t have to water it. You don’t have to fence it. You don’t have to feed it a special blend of organic nutrients. Just leave it alone. Too much gardening has a dulling effect on the mind. That’s why farmers are so fucking boring. Do something different this year. Cultivate an interesting personality. Cultivate an unusual hobby, like whelk racing, amateur rhinoplasty or squirrel-suit diving,
or better yet, cultivate an original idea for a change. When was the last time you had one of those? Well here’s one for you: The dirt on the ground is just fine as it is. Leave it alone.
Don’t get me wrong. I like gardens, if they’re small. I mean real small.
I have a three foot by four foot cactus garden that I love dearly. I might give it as much as 50 gallons of water in an entire year. It takes up about a half-hour of my time, maybe once a month, but that’s plenty. It never seems like a burden. I get all the benefits of nurturing living plants, and I get to enjoy some exotic greenery around my home. What more can you ask of a garden? Really, there’s more to life than gardening.
Besides, there’s no shortage of greenery around my home. Like most of us here in Humboldt County, I’m surrounded by green. I’m 50ft deep in green. Green I got, and all of it producing food. I get pelted with acorns every Fall, I’ve got more huckleberry bushes than I’ve got time to pick, not to mention madrone berries, manzanita berries and wild raspberries to name a few. Everywhere I look, it’s all green, and it’s all producing food. Why would I want to cut that down, dig it up and replace it with Lima beans, Brussels sprouts, and hours and hours of backbreaking work in the hot sun?
Contrary to popular belief. Gardens are not attractive. I’ve never seen a garden that looked better than anyplace that has been left alone for twenty years. I find vegetable gardens especially ugly. They look like desolate wastelands all winter, and then all Summer they look like a rag-tag army of plants, all lined up in straight rows, and as the season wears on, they start taking casualties, as they get eaten, either by the people who planted them, or by nature’s guerrilla army of insects, rodents, lagomorphs and ungulates in their relentless battle to reclaim the stolen territory. By the end of the season, everything is dead, and the field is full of corpses. Every vegetable garden is just another battle in a long ugly war, and gardeners are not the “good guys” in this war.
That’s why I don’t have a vegetable garden, and that’s why I don’t want to hear about your vegetable garden. I don’t want to know what you do to get rid of Japanese beetles. I don’t want to know what you do to stop gophers.
I want Japanese beetles. I want gophers, and deer, and rabbits. If I see an animal in my yard. I want to watch it, maybe take a picture of it, maybe even shoot it and cook it for dinner. The last thing I want to do is chase it away. These animals are my neighbors, and I don’t want to have conflicts with my neighbors over broccoli.
If you were smart, you’d plant just enough of a vegetable garden to attract deer, and then, the first time you see a deer in your garden, shoot it, dress it and eat it. You’d get more food out of one deer than you’ll get out of your whole garden. Really, if you subtract all of the calories you burn working in your garden, from the total calories in the food that you eat from your vegetable garden, you’ll be lucky to break even, but if you throw a few seeds on the ground and sit on the front porch with a rifle in your lap all summer, you’ll put some real food on the table with a fraction of the effort.
I realize that here in Humboldt County, gardening has become a cornerstone of our rural lifestyle, and that it won’t be easy to give it up. Around here, if people simply gave up gardening, their lives would revolve entirely around reckless driving, violent crime and drug abuse. People really need to find something better to do with their time.
That requires imagination, and thought, so dust off your imagination, and tune up your thought process and find something better to do this year. I know that it seems like gardening is the most wholesome thing you do with your time, but in reality, gardening destroys the environment and enslaves humanity. When you work in the garden, you do the devil’s work.
Think about it. Over 100 species of plant and animal go extinct every day. Rhinos, orangutans, manatees, wolves, kit foxes and coho salmon all teeter on the brink of extinction. Who is pushing them over the edge? Farmers and gardeners, that’s who. And what are they replacing all of those wild animals with? Lima beans, or some equally repulsive vegetable like Brussels sprouts.
Who wouldn’t rather eat a big fat rhino steak, which would still be plentiful if farmers hadn’t run them off all of the arable land, rather than a bowl of Lima beans, for dinner. No one in their right mind would ever eat a Lima bean if farmers hadn’t already destroyed most of the world’s natural habitat, and replaced it with their gross and disgusting vegetables.
As if digging up Mother Earth weren’t bad enough, gardeners then fill these open wounds with the most foul-smelling stuff they can find. They actually buy the filthy crap they sweep out of commercial chicken coops, and then bury it in the ground. They bring in truckloads of cow manure, boatloads of rotting fish guts and they pay people to go spelunking for 5,000 year old bat shit. Then they expect us to eat the Lima beans they grow in this filth. The next time you bite into a Lima bean, remember that that pasty, nauseating green goo is made of chicken poop, cow pies, and fossilized bat-shit. Mmmm, mmm, no wonder they taste so good. You might as well eat out of the toilet.
As if Lima beans aren’t bad enough, now they’ve got these new, upscale, yuppie Lima beans. They call them Fava beans. Fava beans taste every bit as disgusting as Lima beans, but they’re even bigger and grosser than regular Limas. As a kid, I was forced to eat Lima beans, against my will. I learned to eat them by swallowing them individually, like pills, with a glass of water. I could not stand to chew them. I still can’t. Fava beans are too big to swallow like pills. You will choke to death on them if you try. Fava beans give you no choice but to chew them, which is sick and cruel.
Do you remember the scene in Silence of the Lamb where Anthony Hopkins says: “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” Personally, I like liver. I’ve never eaten a human liver before, but I’d give it a try. I don’t mind a glass of wine on occasion, but the fact that he intentionally ate fava beans, in any context, totally grossed me out. Those beans have forever prejudiced me against psychopathic cannibals.
All kidding aside, this issue is serious. 38% of the Earth’s land mass has already been stripped of rhinos and orangutans, and planted in Lima beans. Most of the land that’s left is barren desert, tundra, salt flats, inaccessible mountain peaks, or steep, unstable forest-land situated over major seismic faults. All of the wild animals in the world now have to live in these inhospitable places, because greedy Lima bean farmers have taken over all of the good real-estate.
It’s time to take a stand, and to stand up for wild animals. You might want to be one yourself someday.
Say NO to Lima beans, and leave the fucking dirt alone for a change this year.
Even ultra-violent video games like Grand Theft Auto do not satisfy the visceral human need for violence as well as that all American family pastime, Bowling. The physical exertion of heaving a heavy object at a bunch of pear shaped white things in bow ties, and the crack of thunder when you hit them just right makes bowling the ideal diversion for the rabble. Bowling’s popularity continues to decline in favor of video games, but the rise in serial killings like Columbine or Virginia Tech indicate to me that video games lack sufficient physicality to subdue the masses.
We’re Goin’ Bowling
We’re goin’ bowling, that’s what we’re gonna do
Put on your polyester shirt and your bowling shoe
You get us a lane, and I’ll go get some beer
Call up all our friends and tell them that we’re here
Go and pick a ball and aim it at the pins
Give it a good heave, try not to hit your shins
If it makes it down the alley without going in the gutter
Then all of us will cheer, if not, then you’ll just mutter
Sub-audible curses at the warpage of the floor
Then go and take a seat and pour yourself one more
Can you think of a better way that we can have some fun
Without a suped-up racing car, some whiskey and a gun?