Saturday, April 21, 2007

Various & Sundry

(Or--From the Ridiculous in One Way to the Ridiculous in Another)

First, I received a spam message this morning entitled "Big drops of rain fell among them making individual sounds when they struck." Hands down, this one wins the prize for Most Likely To Become a Haiku. Or something. Whatever they're advertising (I didn't check), it's a refreshing change from "Affordable Mortgage!" or "Meet HOT Christian Singles Here!" and all the creatively-spelled entreaties to enhance one's sexual performance with One Little Pill.

Come to think of it, "Big drops of rain fell among them making individual sounds when they struck" has the same sort of ring to it as "Her Golden Hair Hung Down In Ringlets." Maybe there's a tune in there someplace.

Next in this morning's Inanity Report, from this article in today's NYT:

A spokesman for the rifle association declined to comment Friday on the legislation, but Mr. Dingell said the measure could prevent future tragedies.

“It resolves some serious problems in terms of preventing the wrong people from getting firearms,” he said.

The article discusses how state and federal law about gun sales don't match up in letter, although they do in intent, and so some would-be ineligible gun buyers (like Cho) slip through the system and are allowed to purchase firearms. Because of course all guns in the country are registered and change hands legally. I don't even need to rehearse all the arguments here, but the point is--they've found a culprit to expend legislative energy on, and now can ignore the real problems:

1. The anti-gun control stance is outdated and dangerous, and attempts to keep gun out of unfit hands (which hands are fit?) are largely ineffective.

2. By pathologizing Cho as mentally imbalanced, we ignore the complaints he (and others) make about society. I'm not saying he was justified--far from it. For a more extended treatment of this than I can give at the moment, read this article (same one I pointed to yesterday via Rob's blog).

Now--time to go read before I head up to the CUNY grad student music conference (GSIM) and the Irish studies conference (ACIS). Too much stuff to do....

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