EppsNet Archive: Death

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he’s dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said. Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning. — Stevie Smith, “Not Waving But Drowning” Read more →

How Many White Supremacists Are There in the US?

I see and hear “white supremacists” and “white nationalists” being tossed around every day but I never see any reporting on how many Americans actually identify as white supremacists or white nationalists. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be important to know that in order to have an informed opinion on the topic? I’ve always assumed it’s because the actual number is too small to be taken seriously so it’s just omitted. “White nationalism” is the political term of choice because it sounds a lot scarier than “an extremely small, poorly organized group of confused losers.” Do you actually try to read anything outside of material pandering to your narrow mindset? I’ll make it easy for you. Here you go: https://sites.duke.edu/tcths/files/2013/06/Kurzman_Schanzer_Law_Enforcement_Assessment_of_the_Violent_Extremist_Threat_final.pdf Could you just give me the number? I could, but I’d rather you do the work of reading it yourself. It’s only 12 pages long, with lots of graphs, so… Read more →

What is the Goal of Background Checks?

  What is the goal of background checks? To prevent murders? The Odessa shooter, to cite one example, couldn’t pass a background check, but he got his hands on a gun anyway. If you’re trying to get a gun for the purpose of murdering one or more persons, why would you care about passing a background check? Has anyone ever said “I was planning to go on a murderous rampage but I didn’t want to do it with an illegally obtained firearm. Because I might get in trouble with the law.” So for Odessa, charges would include seven deaths, 19 wounded, plus illegal possession of a firearm?! Is that a deterrent?   Read more →

Vaping-Related Deaths Are BS. You Heard it Here First.

Trump administration readies ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid outbreak of vaping-related deaths CNBC Condolences to the victims but do six deaths in a country of 320 million people really represent an “outbreak”? Also, “vaping-related deaths” is bullshit as the article itself says in the first paragraph: The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease . . . “Mysterious lung disease.” In the headline, vaping is flat-out killing people; in the article it’s a mystery disease. I’ve read specifically about three of the deaths. One was here in Southern California, in Los Angeles County. The deceased was described as an older adult male, at least 55 years old, with chronic health conditions. A woman who died in Kansas was older than 50 and had a history of health problems.  In Minnesota, the state’s “first… Read more →

Life Goes On

Trump went golfing as Hurricane Dorian threatens US CNN So what? I was jerking off while my dad died of a heart attack. No, I made that up. The point is, life goes on. Did you stop fucking your secretary just because your sister was in the hospital? Of course not. There was nothing you could do for her, just like there’s nothing Trump can do about the hurricane. Give me a fucking break . . . Read more →

Praying for Protection

Texas state lawmaker calls for ‘praying for protection’ instead of gun reform in wake of mass shooting CNN Let me ask you: what is “gun reform”? Why would it be better than prayer for preventing mass shootings? Pray for protection and if you get shot, take comfort in knowing it was God’s will. Can I get an amen? Read more →

Jim Leavelle, 1920-2019

You don’t know his name, but you know who he is. He’s one of three people in the foreground of one of the most famous photos in American history. Leavelle is the man in the light-colored suit escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Notice the difference in the position of Oswald relative to Leavelle in the photo below, before the gunshot. Leavelle, who was handcuffed to Oswald, said when he saw Ruby with the gun, he tried to jerk Oswald behind him, but Ruby was so close by that time that all he was able to do was turn Oswald sideways. Leavelle died this week at the age of 99. RIP Jim Leavelle Read more →

Fact Check: Trump Said One Thing While His Critics Said Another!

From an Associated Press “fact check”: Trump distorted science in seeking to assign blame on video games for the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, rather than on his own words that critics say contributed to a combustible racial climate spawning violence. Trump said one thing while his critics said another? That’s a fact check?! First of all, “I blame video games” is a ridiculous simplification of what he actually said but okay, let’s talk about video games . . . I’m not aware of a “scientific link” between video games and mass shootings. Nor am I aware of a “scientific link” between Trump talking about immigration and mass shootings, but notice that doesn’t stop the AP from throwing it out there. (“Critics say” does not establish a scientific link.) How is the video game research done? Do researchers look at the percentage of video game players who commit mass… Read more →

Mass Shootings, Thwarted and Unthwarted

Arresting some knucklehead on a weapons charge and saying you “thwarted a mass shooting” is a speculative fantasy. Meanwhile, since El Paso there have been 25 actual unthwarted mass shootings (per Mass Shooting Tracker), which don’t make the news because they don’t fit the preferred narrative. For example, four of the shootings occurred in Chicago, where in each case the shooters fired into a crowd of people. By my count, about half the victims were women. I can’t find any reporting on this in Mother Jones, which is pretty shocking given their obvious interest in mass shootings. They’d rather report on imaginary mass shootings by white males than on the actual mass shootings of Chicago residents . Read more →

What is a “Mass Shooting” and Who Commits Them?

The Mass Shooting Tracker defines a mass shooting as “an incident where four or more people are shot in a single shooting spree.” The FBI definition of “mass murder” is three or more people murdered in one event. The FBI doesn’t have a definition for “mass shooting.” You have to actually die for the FBI to take notice of you. As of this writing, of 75 mass shootings in 2019, where the race of the perpetrator is known, 22 were white, 39 were black, 8 were Latino, 3 were Asian, 2 were American Indian and 1 was Arab. Many of the 2019 mass shootings are currently unsolved, thus the race of the shooters is not known, but they often took place in black areas and claimed black victims. Mass shootings of black citizens is not generally considered newsworthy, possibly because media have written inner cities off as unsalvageable, so what happens… Read more →

8Chan

According to the New York Times, at least three mass shootings this year — the one in El Paso last Saturday, the mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the synagogue shooting in Poway, Calif. — have been announced in advance on 8chan. The 8chan site has struggled to stay online as hosting providers no longer want to provide services. If mass shootings are being announced in advance, wouldn’t it make sense to maintain the site online and pay attention to it? Read more →

Polarizing Ideas

Analyzing the actions and/or writings of mass murderers in hopes of being able to blame one’s political opponents is not an admirable impulse. The El Paso shooter wrote that his views predate President Trump, but I notice that didn’t stop motivated people from blaming Trump and his “polarizing ideas.” If we have to play this game, I think I could make an equally good case for “polarizing ideas” on the left. e.g., “When I’m president, I will decriminalize border crossings. People will be coming in from everywhere and when they get here, you’re going to be paying for their healthcare and education, all the way through college. Oh you’re trying to save up a down payment for a house? That’s too bad. Maybe they’ll take your job too. By the way, if you don’t think this is a good idea, you are a deplorable person. You’re a racist. You’re a white… Read more →

Bathtime With Sylvia Plath

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. Sylvia Plath And those few things can be cured by sticking your head in an oven . . . Read more →

Non-Toxic Masculinity: Women and Children First

According to Titanic Belfast (“She was alright when she left here”), 72 percent of the women aboard Titanic survived vs. 19 percent of the men. (In 1912, people were arbitrarily divided into only two genders!) “Women and children first” — who came up with that idea? Men! Had they wanted to get in a lifeboat, they could have just pitched the women into the sea. But no . . . You go ahead, honey. I’ll just stay here on the boat and drown. Read more →

Non-Toxic Masculinity

Amanda Eller, rescued from the jungles of Maui I’m hearing a lot about “toxic masculinity” recently . . . in fact I rarely hear anyone talk about masculinity without the word “toxic” in front of it. But I’ve noticed that when people get themselves into life-threatening situations — lost in the jungle, trapped in a cave, etc. — the volunteers who show up to attempt a rescue are always men. I remember one guy died in the Thailand cave rescue. A volunteer — he didn’t even have to be there. So I’d like to recognize non-toxic masculinity — bravery, strength, compassion — that gets things done in the world that women can’t or won’t do. Read more →

Epitaph

He loved, was not loved, and his life ended in disaster. Let’s leave it at that. Read more →

W.S. Merwin, 1927-2019

I think there’s a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time. W.S. Merwin RIP W.S. Merwin Also . . . “Yesterday” by W.S. Merwin How Can You Ever Be Sure? Read more →

Signing Your Life Away

I had surgery last week to remove a basal cell carcinoma. It’s a common outpatient procedure but the consent form I was given to sign when I checked in listed out all the worst-case scenarios: I might be disfigured, I might bleed to death, etc. After signing it, I took the form back up to the nurse and said “This information is so alarming that I changed my mind about doing the surgery. See you later.” “Ha ha,” she chuckled. “You’re signing your life away.” “Yes . . . maybe you’re not supposed to say that.” Read more →

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash

  To honor Johnny Cash on his birthday (Feb 26, 1932), I played this video for my students this morning. Fortunately, God didn’t cut any of them down before the end of class, but sooner or later . . . Read more →

Skyrocketing Pedestrians

New technology shows promise reducing skyrocketing pedestrian fatalities — CNBC I thought from the headline and the photo that the article was about fatalities involving skyrocketing pedestrians . . . Read more →

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