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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Pithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.

Friday, April 25, 2003
Monday, April 28, 2003

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has set its tawdry sights on a new and promising target for future handgun sales: women.

Josh Sugarman, in his thoughtfully written study The New Equality, has clearly defined one of the malicious agendas of the NRA: "If family ownership of self-defense handguns increases dramatically, the climate of opinion for drastic restriction of handguns will not come about."

There you have it: get the ladies happily firing on a target range (probably at photos of their husbands) and you make another public relations coup for one of the most powerful and perverted lobbies in Washington and the state capitols.

Is the NRA really more committed to preventing or stopping rape (as it so piously claims), or more focused on its aggressive platform to disperse more and more handguns (and volatile weapons) in the land?

We are, as usual, cynical.

This courting of women is an attempt to "humanize" the NRA, to make it seem less an ignorant, redneck paradise of louts devoted to Uzi's and other automatic weapons.

The NRA even audaciously argues that opposition to women owning handguns is an attempt to deny them their equality of freedom.

This reprehensible outfit even cloaks the argument in terms women understand: the language of abortion rights advocates on pro-choice [just the language, not the position].

In other words, women must choose to pack heat to fend off that worst fear: rape.

The good old NRA insists women need their protective weapons to shield themselves against gun-wielding, lady-snatching, marijuana-sucking, baton-carrying, God-unfearing, sex-dwelling, evil-doing, piston-driving, lechery-loving, rage-carrying, sin-embracing, low-living assorted terrorists and other virulent male detritus.

This "new-found firearms feminism" makes emotional purchase in arguments along this line (from Women & Guns magazine): "[I]f you are strong enough to carry a man's groceries and a man's baby, you are strong enough to carry a man's gun."

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), a front group for the NRA, has also conjured alluring ads aimed at encouraging gun toting women to "let them [presumably rapists] have it [full chamber]."

Smith & Wesson has a Ladysmith program featuring "four revolvers that manage to be elegant without sacrificing any of their practicality."

And in a Gun World Review of little .45's, the author, Tim Ferguson, observes his wife fancies color coordinating her gun to her outfit.

All of this, as Sugarman rightly notes, is part of a campaign of "subtle sexism of exploiting women's fears of rape ...."

As for us, we already know, from past experience, that women are deadly enough, without carrying.



Diane Ravitch, The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. Knopf $24.

email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Thursday, April 24, 2003

We've discovered a new cultural villain and, as well, a hero to combat it.

The miscreant is the micofilm/micofiche industry in league with sinister librarians acting -- as librarians often do -- ignorantly and insensitively by adopting the Orwellian slogan "To destroy is to preserve."

Object of destruction: old newspapers and books.

The savior: Nicholson Baker, author of Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (Random House. ISBN: 0375504443), an attack on curators compulsively driven to "save space" and prevent these primary sources from disintegrating with age.

Baker persuasively questions both the truth and validity of these assumptions.

He cites the painful case of one Verner Clapp [his very Dickinsenian name a call to arms] a former deputy director at the Library of Congress, who observed that the problem of libraries was to prevent the past from "clogging the channels of the present."

His solution: microfilm.

Based on Clapp's stubborn stupidity clothed in modernity, many librarians subscribed to the Brittle Books Program, in which "thousands of titles were 'disbinded' -- an exquisite library euphemism for 'ripped apart' -- to allow them to be photocopied."

The culprits among these institutions include the British Library, the Library of Congress, New York Public, and the sterile San Francisco Library, the latter dumping most of its printed newspaper records into the rubbish.

(Granted, many popular authors today are writing such drivel that their ultimate destruction may be foreordained. Among our candidates for oblivion -- were we to dare ravage any book -- would be most of the novels by, among others: Mary Higgins Clark, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert Parker, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, and -- the worst of the lot -- Danielle Steel, or any fiction that Oprah Winfrey endorses.)

We embrace brittle paper, the tactility and appearance of which we rightly revere, along with a book's binding and its essential comradeship.

"I love the fragility too, it's like the discoloured stone of a cathedral; it cries out that it is old, but bore witness."

Baker even argues that paper actually lasts longer than commonly thought, that microfiche is inadequate as a substitute, and the hunger for space unnecessary.

Why can't we simply preserve the originals and find a solution to "disbinding" that allows for a backup microfiche -- for those who revel in that sort of deviation?


Review of Baker's new novel, A Box of Matches in The New York Review of Books, May 1, 2003.


We remain fascinated with the words people use to look for topics in search engines. Consider these both bizarre and mundane:

games, song lyrics, music, wallpaper, clipart, greeting cards, pictures, baby names, yellow pages, quotes, sublime directory, used cars, airline tickets, white pages, people search, irs, pages, spanking, backgrounds, cracks, chat rooms, jennifer lopez, andrea thompson, free fonts.

aol, consumer reports, driving directions, e-cards, ellis island, pokemon, job search, holiday inn, currency converter, mortgage calculator, gardening, nasa, cartoons, ticketmaster, icons, literotica.com, famous quotes, movie reviews, Jennifer Lopez, madonna, white shadow, travelocity, Discount Travel, brooke burke.

Andrea Thompson, reverse lookup, sears, exchange rates, motorcycles, cinco de mayo, shoes, birthday cards, free movies, drivers, cards, mortgages, shareware, free music, wallpapers, models, china, pages, Harry Potter, death penalty, people finder, movie trailers, emulators, auto parts, science fair project.

Tattoo Designs, elephantlist, Southwest Airlines, japan, verizon, Dog breeds, nascar, credit cards, anna kournikova, espn, radio stations, guns, howard stern, tax forms, snakes, skateboarding, fibromyalgia, porno, pornno, gun control, Holocaust, thumbnails, sound effects, mad cow disease, flash, nokia, cnn.

simpsons, amtrak, child abuse, digital camera, fish, translator, kids, global warming, australia, names, bmw, dog breeds, free backgrounds, soccer, work at home, world war 2, shakespeare, Themes, Real Estate listings, free porno.

Weather Forecast, lord of the rings, quicktime, birds, spain, lupus, car audio, photos, midi, history, smoking, dodge, boylinks, harley davidson, serial numbers, toyota, money, legal, sports, naturist, graphics, humor.

We remain puzzled by the caprice of upper and lower case usages and variant spellings in the above. People are, indeed, quite strange.

The rant appears on Mondays and Thursdays.

email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com

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