SF Bay Guardian's Blog Coverage of the Tech Tragedy: Utter Bullshit
The San Francisco Bay Guardian has covered the Virginia Tech shooting with minimal thought and maximum bullshit in a move that is making me re-think my whole situation as a knee-jerk liberal.
This post by Tim Redmond blames the massacre on the availability of handguns in the USA, particularly Virginia. It goes on to say that George Bush is partially responsible -- quite a deductive leap. I'm from Virginia, and I'm no Bush fan. And it's true that Virginia has no real gun laws of note. They're really more like implied rules of thumb. Many of my good friends in Richmond own enough weaponry to stave off a zombie uprising. I'm morally opposed to that and will be until the first zombie bite makes the news.
Another hard-hitting post relates the killing to Virginia gun laws (again), then pirouettes like a hippo on roller skates to reveal the real shocker: Virginia's pretty ass-backward when it come to gay rights, too! Next, Redmond might reveal that Virginia openly condoned slavery less than 200 years ago.
If you read between the lines here, you'd think that Virginia itself ordered Cho Seung Hui to shoot those kids. Thompson's points are essentially: Bush sucks and Virginia has its priorities backwards when it comes to guns and civil rights. While this is all true, it's hardly news. The Weekly freaking Reader shows more insight.
If a Bizarro George Bush had outlawed the sale of all handguns when he was first elected, there would still be enough in homes, barns and attics all over the country to cause some serious problems. This country is full of people who think that they have a God-given right to own weaponry. Like it or not, most Americans associate available weaponry with freedom. I think those people are wrong, but I am outnumbered in my home state ... and my opponents are armed.
And even if there were no guns, the killer could have built a fertilizer bomb, driven his car over folks on the way to class or used an ax. Affordable, available guns are a big problem in America, but they're far from the only factor in this week's shooting. Timothy McVeigh didn't use guns, and neither did Lizzie Borden. The Unabomber hand-made his bomb parts. Something about our culture breeds people sick enough to kill at random, and when Americans are that desperate and driven, we'll figure something out. Always have and always will. I daresay that's the real problem here.
Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil have already blamed video games for this massacre, and some assmouthed blogger is using the situation to bash Richard Dawkins.. Just because I agree politically with the SFBG doesnt mean they get a free pass: using our nations' latest tragedy to score cheap political points less than 24 hours later is just wrong.
It's gross enough watching TV pundits ask shellshocked students "why do you think this happened?" or "who do you blame," desperately fanning any spark of emotion into something good for the camera. And don't even get me started on that maggot-filled gasbag Nancy Grace.
Adequacy.org summarizes the rapid politicizing of tragedy pretty well:
Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.
Blogging is hard -- even if you're not good at it. If it's easy, it's not worth doing. It can be a grind, just grunting posts out to stay relevant and keep your audience. Every blogger knows how important it is to jump on a story and be a part of the conversation -- but in this case, the Guardian's serving up some pretty thin gruel. There's no news here on either side, no insight - just the same old song.
For now, this situation isn't about politics. It's about compassion, understanding, support and regret. Any media that is not expressly news-related that comments on this situation should show gravity, depth, and copious emotional intelligence ... or enough sense to shut the fuck up. We're close enough to a major election and the spin will come soon enough, followed by the lawsuits. Right now, we're all shocked and stunned and hurt. The only thing we can do as media and human beings is to tell the stories and let the tears flow.