Tuesday, October 03, 2006

To Hell in a Handbasket

As in "We are going to hell in a handbasket." [A big gold star to the person who knows where this saying comes from. I say it a lot these days, and I love the imagery.]

Weeks like this one make me think the United States is rotten at its moral core.

Sunday night, I watched 60 minutes, which had an expose on a surge in violence against the homeless, apparently because of the video series "Bumfights," which shows bums fighting each other and doing violent, painful, dangerous things to themselves while deeply intoxicated.

White, suburban teenage boys watch "Bumfights" (which can be downloaded from the Internet). Then, after having thoroughly laughed at and ridiculed the homeless in the videos, violently attack homeless they encounter or seek out on the streets.

Sixty Minutes interviewed the creator of "Bumfights," a 24 year old white guy who saw absolutely nothing wrong with the videos. He paid two homeless guys alcohol and pocket change to do the acts he captured on video. "Bumfights" has led to "The Bum Hunter," video footage of another 20-something white guy who goes around binding and gagging the homeless. The 24 year old director of Bumfights, when shown footage from "The Bum Hunter" thought that these were funny "skits." And, he insinuated that the homeless deserved it for being bums.

My moral outrage meter was on overdrive.

And, then, there are the school shootings. Three in a week. The latest one happened in Lancaster, PA, when a white middle aged guy stormed an Amish one room school house, released all the boys and teachers, then lined up the girls, bound them, and shot each of them in the head. Five girls have died so far, and the other seven girls fight to survive.

What in the hell is wrong in this country?

But, wait, there's more. It seems that another white, middle aged guy simply can't be a decent human being. Representative Mike Foley appears to like little boys, pages at the White House, to whom he instant messaged and emailed sexually explicit notes.

Remember in the 2004 elections, when Republicans declared that they won the election on moral values? Where are those moral values now?


Uplift Monkey said...

Good quote! And an old quote! I remember the Marx brothers used it once in early cinema, but I seem to recall that it dates back much further - until at least the French Revolution.

The sickos are definitely running wild this week (the murderers and molesters, not the bumfighters)... so what do you suggest we do about it?

You can never prevent 100% of the sickos from getting weapons or launching attacks... the most you can do is prepare each man, woman, and child to defend themselves and those around them, and try to take as many of the sickos off the streets as possible.

My answer would be manditory death sentences for all convicted sex offenders. They have committed an unspeakable crime and ruined innocent lives - they cannot be allowed to re-offend.

My answer would be manditory martial arts training from ages 12-20, and manditory firearms training by age 18 with optional Conceal and Carry permits at 25.

My answer would be a legal responsibility to act in the common defense at all times: you are required to stop and give aid at an accident - you are required to stop all violent acts you encounter - you are ultimately responsible for the safety of everyone around you at all times. A panel of civilians and police would judge each use of force, or failure to use force, and levee fines or criminal charges as appropriate.

However, your jab at the Republican _ideal_ of morality... well, I think that was unfair. All men in power are tempted to behave badly - Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. I remember a lot of Democrats behaving as badly if not worse over the years. One man's sickness/weakness/failure does not negate a philosophy.

However, it is good Foley resigned. And it is good that an investigation has started. There must be accountability from all elected officials.

Jenny S-G said...

I did not intend to jab the "ideal" of morality as articulated by the Republicans.

Rather, I wish for us to remember that in 2004 the Republicans declared that they were the party of morality and that their version of morality was affirmed by their presidential win.

Having recalled that, I want to caution ANY political party, social group, or organization from declaring moral supremecy. It only gets the organization in to trouble when members of their group fall from grace. Look at institution of Catholicism . . .

Anna M. said...

Weeks like this one make me think the United States is rotten at its moral core.

That's pretty much why, in answer to the question you asked earlier, that I think the U.S. needs to get out of Iraq now. We've created an absolute mess (on top of whatever atrocities already existed), but because I mistrust our initial motives (nor do I think they have truly changed), I don't really believe that any kind of a good will result. I don't think the people in charge of U.S. actions in Iraq have an adequate understanding, still, of the U.S. role in contributing to the mess in order to have any chance of bringing any kind of meaningful stability. That's my uninformed opinion.