Iron Filings - 76
February 1, 2023
Iron Filings – 76
Every now and then my inner curmudgeon needs to come out and mudge for a time so you'll just have to bear with me. Yes, to see a young professional athlete fall to the ground with a heart attack was terrible and concerning. Damar Hamlin is home now and seems to be on the mend and that is certainly good news. However, I couldn't believe that the incident made the national news feeds for eleven days in a row, complete with crowds gathering outside the hospital and laying out flowers. There were hymns to his courage and bravery along with donations of millions of dollars to what had been his small foundation for helping children. You'd think that the Second Coming of Christ had somehow been interrupted. Worse, it seemed as though millions of people had just discovered that football is a violent sport and that a player being carted off the filed in an ambulance had never happened before. When the same video clips were repeated day after day, followed by the same meaningless comments, all I could think to say to my wife was, "Must be a slow news day."
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I feel better now sports fans, and it's okay to be mad at me.
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Shortly after the Illinois legislature voted to ban assault weapons, my local paper had a picture on its front page of a gun shop owner lamenting the loss of fifty percent of his business – and holding a .50 caliber machine gun. It's a long, ugly gun with a little tripod on the end of the barrel to help hold it steady while you obliterate hordes of criminals/government agents/muggles come to take your/ravage your …? Seriously, it's hard to imagine the demented line of reasoning that would somehow justify the right of an average citizen to own such a thing. Of course the Republiguns are now going to challenge the new law in the courts.
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An Idaho Republigun legislator recently said he understands women's health and reproductive issues because he's spent most of his working life raising dairy cows.
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Right. I don't know how to respond to that, either.
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Things That Scare Me:
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis teaming up to run in 2024
Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene teaming up to run in 2024
Kevin McCarthy leading the way to expunge the two Trump impeachments
The sun actually coming out for a day
Vladimir Putin winning the Nobel Peace Prize
The making of more Marvel movies
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At my age it's easy to be critical of people not quite like us: they're not doing this right or that right; their music, their entertainments, their culture, their values are all messed up; they're naïve about politics and the economy; they have no sense of direction, and so on. I don't actually feel that way, but I was wondering if there wasn't something of that going on in the mind of that 72-year-old Asian man who killed or wounded those twenty people in California recently. Did he see those people celebrating the Lunar New Year at a party place as having abandoned too much of their Chinese heritage? It's supposed to be a joyful time within the Chinese culture, but did he somehow see that joy as misplaced, wrong, disgusting? Were traditional values and ancient tenets being shamefully cast aside? What's even more puzzling is that it's not as though he was looking at some younger generation who were, to his thinking, all messed up. Most of the celebrants were in their fifties and sixties and older: his own generation. Why is it that for some of us a cluck of the tongue and a shake of the head is enough of an expression of displeasure over behaviors that annoy us, while for others – thankfully, only a few – a murderous assault is the only answer?
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That's a fine theory, if I do say so myself, but it really only illustrates the fact that we have no idea why these people do these things.
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Gayle and I love a good movie, and, over the years, I've recommended a good many flicks to CI readers. Our tastes are broad, our tolerance for gradual plot or character development reasonable. Quiet dramas are okay; westerns and mysteries just fine, the occasional action/adventure quite acceptable. I think there have been only two movies that were so bad we couldn't even finish them ("Paris, Texas" was one; the other has been blissfully forgotten). So we felt pretty cool – I like trendsetters – when we not only got our Netflix disc of "Everything Everywhere All At Once," but then found out the next day that it had been nominated for eleven Academy Awards. It's well-done, well-acted, lots of stunning stunts, but as we watched we kept asking ourselves (and eventually each other), "When is this going to make sense?" It never did. Gayle's summation was, "I feel like I've been taken." Mine was, "Maybe no one should have teenage daughters." Good luck with those Oscars.
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G.K. Wuori ©2023
Photoillustration by the author