True it is that Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign will mean a lot of aggravation, at taxpayer expense no less (“MUGGER,” 6/16). But in a way I hope she runs, because it will provide some much-needed entertainment of the kind that has been in relatively short supply since her lying husband was given a free ticket out of jail by his scumbag friends in Congress. People like the Clintons bring out the best in some people – Peggy Noonan, to pick one example. Her June 8 opinion piece on Hillary in The Wall Street Journal should be made required reading.
Of course, if Hillary runs there’s always the danger that she’ll win. But if New Yorkers are stupid enough to elect her, then they deserve her.
The Clintons are birds of a feather. It’s no accident that they chose each other. The only difference between them is Bill’s sexual obsession problems, but that’s all. They are both self-absorbed, crooked and without scruples. Most of all, they share the same audacity and total disregard for the truth. It really is true that truth and falsehood have the same moral weight for them. As Noonan points out, the Clintons’ complete equanimity in lying, even when they couldn’t possibly expect to get away with it, only underscores their contempt for people. Witness Hillary’s statement a few days ago that she has always been a Yankees fan.
Why do so many people seem to take her seriously as a candidate? Who would want a liar who doesn’t give a fuck about New York, who is totally out for herself and would be a convicted felon rotting in jail if she didn’t have very powerful friends, as their representative in Congress?
Last Letter From Memphis
I enjoyed Andrey Slivka’s column about the AAN convention in Memphis (“Media Roundup, 6/2). I’ve often wondered how it’s possible that so many presumably toughened individuals morph into a collective wimp after cluster-fucking at the conventionno matter what the issue. As far as the dailies-in-our-midst debates, I truly believe it has less to do with our not being willing to kick out our friends, and more to do with the silent realization of many AAN publishers that they are not prepared to gore a cash cow that might one day liberate them to Sun City.
I write also to compliment you on your website. We’ve been framing like that since we went online, and it’s nice to see another paper doing what I think is a very smart way to present an online newspaper.
Salt Lake City Weekly, Salt Lake City
RE: “Top Drawer,” 6/16: When one wakes up and finds oneself without the ordinary set of visceral feelings and cognitive realities that one takes for granted and assumes always to exist, and in their place finds only feelings of negativity and crisis, this is far from being “a little blue.”
When one finds that one cannot read, sleep, eat, digest food properly, have sexual relations or, most importantly, work, this is hardly a minor occurrence. What it really is, in fact, is a devastating illness and a potentially life-destroying experience. Public figures such as Tipper Gore and Mike Wallace are serving the public interest by telling their stories and relating the experiences they have had with major depression. Their hope is that others less prominent and less financially secure than they are will recognize that they suffer from a debilitating sickness and seek help.
There is much confusion about the term “depression.” People say “I’m depressed” to express that they’re experiencing a feeling of sadness mixed with a viscerally felt pessimism. Usually they can escape this state by talking to a friend, doing
something they like or eating ice cream.
When, on the other hand, people who have suffered from “clinical depression” or “major depression” say, “I’m depressed,” we’re referring to something different and far more devastating: to a separation of the consciousness from the emotional and visceral body, and to the mind’s inability to connect directly with the visceral body; and to a state in which there exists between oneself and one’s visceral body an emotional void that’s best described as a black hole.
This is not an insignificant problem. Families become dysfunctional. People fail through no fault of their own. Opportunities are passed up because, as the singer Nick Drake sang, “This is the time of no reply.”
Finally, vodka or any other alcoholic drink will have no effect on depression. At best, it will do nothing. At worst, it will make the depressive crazy, violent and more inclined to self-destruction. This is not conjecture, but knowledge gained from the fieldwork my own depression forced me to undertake.
Napalm Over the Dust Bowl
Mr Strausbaugh: You may have noticed that, while advocating the abolition of the Second Amendment in response to your column (“The Mail,” 6/9), I ignored the business about the Swiss Militia. That’s because I couldn’t think of a decent answer to your point. This bothered me enough that I repeatedly caught myself mulling it over and trying to come up with some reasons why that example of universal gun ownership isn’t applicable to our situation. In the interest of advancing the discussion and assuming you actually care, I think I’ve got something.
First off, while every able-bodied Swiss man may possess at least one rifle, it is important to note that it’s a rifle that’s been issued to him by the government. This way, not only does the government know who has firearms, they also must know their corresponding identification. If your gun’s bullet marks match the ones on a bullet that killed somebody it’s going to be hard labor trying to explain how you had nothing to do with it. In a country where gun ownership is not an option but an obligation, disposing of your weapon after you’ve murdered somebody with it becomes almost as incriminating as holding on to it. Another practical consideration is that if you want to get in and out of a crime scene without being noticed, handguns are a lot more discreet. And let’s not forget that since the government issued the gun as a piece of military equipment, it stands to reason that the rules for search and seizure would favor the government.
Compare that to the U.S., where the government has only limited knowledge of who does or doesn’t have guns, and where there is a much higher rate of theft. Therefore, if you kill somebody and dispose of the weapon, it’s very likely that investigators will never know you had one, or if they find out you do, you can try weaseling out by claiming it was stolen and you didn’t report it.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is the difference in the expectation of getting caught between here and Switzerland. If you can’t deny that you have access to a weapon, or plausibly get rid of it, and the government has considerable freedom to investigate, then it becomes increasingly delusional to convince yourself that you’re going to get away with it. Also, in a society where murder is rampant, investigators become fatigued and overwhelmed. In a well-ordered society, where murder is extremely rare, however, each murder is going to get a lot of individual bright-eyed attention.
So, I think it does stand to reason that the chief culprit for our appallingly high murder rate is the fact that there are just too damn many guns, because the supply tends to be unaccountable and inexhaustible, as well as versatile.
The one potentially fatal flaw with strict gun control, as I see it, is in trying to implement it, which is going to require no small amount of confiscation and coercion. You may have noticed that gun owners tend to be a wee passionate about their rights, and that a small, but significant (not to mention crazed and belligerent) minority see gun control as a vital cog in the New World Order’s plan to turn us into their slaves (which won’t be so bad really, as it’ll give me a chance to bone up on my French). This means that if strict gun control becomes a reality, so does far-right terrorism, I betcha. I suggest terrorism because they’re too puny to stage a credible insurrection. In fact, if you really want something to worry about, consider that homegrown terrorists have a distinct advantage in keeping their motivation for blowing up us effete Yankee intellectual types
as opposed to their foreign brethren. Let’s say a bunch of Iranians acting on a lark succeed in vaporizing Manhattan. What would Washington’s response be (aside from some grotesquely cold-blooded real estate speculation)? Goodbye Teheran, natch. But now let’s say the next Timothy McVeigh tries it. What are we going to do? Bomb Oklahoma or whatever clodhopper state he’s from? I think not.