fatman Find the clues!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Guns Don't Kill People, Seung-Hui Cho Kills People

After the Columbine shootings, after obese, left-wing guys make films about Columbine shootings, you'd think that there'd be perhaps some tighter restrictions on purchasing weaponry. Nope. Not a blip on the radar. America still fervently grips onto its Second Amendment, the Right to Bear Arms, which was an amendment to the United States Constitution made as a direct result of the Shays' Rebellion in Massachusetts some 221 years ago. It basically gives a man who has had to go through a psychiatric assessment due to his three (3) separate counts of stalking the rights to purchase a .22 caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol and a 9 mm Glock 19 as long as he has enough cash and a valid driver's license. There are probably pizza deals that come with free weaponry. Not every guy who has gone through a court-ordered outpatient treatment at a mental health facility has gone absolutely ballistic and mowed down 32 of his fellow students but in the case of Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho he took time away from his busy schedule to do just this.

Would taking away gun rights from the hoi polloi reduce the amount of these incidents taking place? Australia thought so, along with various other countries around the world. We had our own idiot who decided to open fire in a cafe full of people at a tourist spot which was a former prison colony (but then again what isn't a former prison colony in Australia?) and soon after the Government decided that guns should only be used for shooting people living in the Middle East. Or Germans.

The other side of the flip is the ludicrous notion of giving more people guns. Former U.S. Senator and actor Fred Thompson (you might have seen him on Law & Order or one of its many siblings) thinks that if we had MORE people carrying concealed firearms they could have replied to Seung-Hui Cho's killing spree with hot lead. Now, I'm all for people re-enacting scenes from The Wild Bunch, and perhaps one of Cho's classmates could have retaliated by blowing the killer's head off. But I don't know. Does anyone else see the potential flaws in this way of thinking (i.e. stray bullets?)

There were other victims out there that day. My deepest condolences go to the grieving families and loved ones of the victims but these are not the people I was thinking about. I'm thinking about the serial killers of the world here. I can imagine scores of homicidal maniacs, watching the shootings unfold on TV, being absolutely appalled by what was happening before them. These are dedicated guys who spent their teenage years gratifying themselves over animal corpses while other kids spent time kicking the football or going to movies, the guys who keep half-a-dozen cheerleader parts in the freezer, eating livers of their victims, slowly working their way up the F.B.I.'s Most Wanted List, proud in the knowledge that each murder was thematically linked to the last one, sending cops clues, riddles written in blood, etc. when this pissant show pony decides to steal their limelight, ruin their masterwork in one single day. How are they going to fulfil their life's purposes now?

Truly we live in the era of instant celebrities.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Address Unknown

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night, There was no one expected -- and no one in sight

Then they saw something standing on top of an urn, Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

'Well...I'm homeless again.'

These are the bone-chilling words that my friends have been hearing of late. They will be halfway through watching a TV show, probably a sitcom set in a New York cafe that generates a lot more viewers than it should because of the celebrity guest stars that are contractually forced to appear on them, when they will hear a thumping of fists on their front door. Who could this be? It's a little early for that Portuguese prostitute I ordered, they'll be thinking, and they will open the door to find me urinating on their letter box. And then I inform them that I do not have a place to live. There will be a long, stretched-out pause. 'So...can I come in?'

All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall, Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.

It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said, So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

'I'm expecting...company very soon.'

'Uh-huh. Portuguese prostitute. Got it.'

'My spare bed in infested with fleas.'

'That's cool.'

'My dog is rabid and will tear out your throat on sight.'

'I'll live.'

'I have a shotgun and I will use it on you if you eat my cornflakes.'

'I promise not to eat the cornflakes.'

'I have never liked you.'

'We're still friends though right? Anything cool on the TV?'

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate All the syrup and toast and a part of a plate.

It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone, And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.

Generally I approach most of life's problems with a certain degree of optimism. I'm one of those people who think things will work out for the better and that one need not be in an Asian massage parlour to have a happy ending. Living with Kittie had been surprisingly pleasant. I think even she was amazed that it didn't end in bloodshed and a hostage situation. Imagine our shock when we get a phone call from the Real Estate Agent telling us that we were being kicked out for for not paying five months worth of rent. We informed them that we had only been living there for two and we'd paid on time.

'Well, there's the five months owed by the previous tenant.'


'His name is still on the lease.'

'Not our fault.'

'It's your problem.'

Dodgy Real Estate Agents. No wonder I didn't have to pay bond.

It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues, And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.

At times it would tear out whole chapters from books, Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.

Since my return from Estonia last year I have crashed on many a floor. Some stays have only been for a few nights, others a few weeks. I've left a trail of empty pizza boxes, sticky pornos, dead goldfish floating in their tanks, blown light bulbs, ransacked cupboards, emptied beers, missing cds, broken urns of dead relatives, cremated remains of said relatives put in zip lock bags with a hastily scribbled apology note and traumatised neighbours missing lingerie. I'm pure joy to have around.

Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor, Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.

Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene, But alas, be discovered inside a tureen.

Yeah, its a bitch waking up inside a tureen. Worse yet when you wake up in a moving vehicle. We all have stages in our lives, unavoidable situations, that leave us homeless for a spell and we have to put our dignity aside and ask the ultimate favour of staying on the couches of our friends. The alternative being to join a commune that spend their days drinking soup made from turnips and worship rocks.

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath, During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.

In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep, In spite of the fact of its being asleep.

It would carry off objects of which it grew fond, And protect them by dropping them into the pond.

It came seventeen years ago -- and to this day It has shown no intention of going away.

(All the italics from 'The Doubtful Guest' by Edward Gorey)