December 14, 2012 - 7:51 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

Another day, another mass shooting. Let’s get the checklist, hmm?

Hysterical media spewing anything in order to be first rather than right? Check.

Anti-gun groups drumming their worn-out blame-the-tool beat? Check.

Rabid chest-thumping NOT ON MY WATCH from the pro-gun side? Check.

Blog posts with token sympathy for the victims prefacing “HEY WE CAN MAKE THE PRO-GUN SIDE LOOK BETTER”? Check.

Interviews with weeping relatives where the media figure pretends as hard as they can to give a fuck? Well, it’s still early but I’m going to go out on a limb and check this one off too.

Congratulations, humanity. We’ve made mass-murder more formulaic than an episode of “Seinfeld.” If anybody needs me, I’ll just be over here assembling these cold-forged girders with cores of pure selenium.*

*And if you get the reference, you’re welcome to lend a hand. Just think of something cooler at the appropriate time than the last go round.

50 Responses to “Ho-hum.”

  1. jetfxr69 Says:

    They just don’t build them like they used to!

    Wait, No! They never built them like this…

  2. Sparrowkin Says:

    Thank you for posting this. All I can see is the little girl with enormous brown eyes who was determined to hatch a dragon egg in her closet and the little girl who squinted at me curiously and said “did you know your bottom teeth are all crooked?”–these respective kids have got to be fourth graders now in a different state. I just keep thinking of them today, and all the other kindergarten age kids I’ve taught in museum programs and substituted with in schools. Sorry for ranting, it’s just I appreciate this post because of them and because you’re right.

  3. Oatworm Says:

    So, this time, we should NOT use it to build a neo-Gothic apartment complex in Manhattan to summon a Mesopotamian deity whose natural form is a cross between The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Lady Gaga?

  4. Stingray Says:

    Sumerian. Big difference.

  5. Sparrowkin Says:

    Maybe we just need to remind Ray that the next time a demon chick from another dimension asks if he’s a God he needs to say “YES”

  6. Mikael Says:

    Big tragedy and all you can think of is being dandruff free. j/k.

    I think a better movie reference would’ve been Brawndo: the thirst mutilator.

  7. Mule Breath Says:

    With the requisite dose of thumpers telling us this would never have happened except that we took yahweh out of ore madrassas (see Eric Hovind, Brian Fischer, etc.)

  8. Old NFO Says:

    Yeah, all the checks in the block, including teh Won… sigh

  9. The Jack Says:

    But… but… my twinkie?

    The youtube Tam linked to today shows how formulaic it all is. It’s like madlibs.

    As for mass murder being formulaic may I recommend Bloodlands by Timothy D. Snyder.

  10. Joe in PNG Says:

    Or my personal favorite- media glorifying this little loser by loudly discussing every utterance, social media post, hobbies, or whatever else they can trawl up to keep him in the news.

  11. Chris in TX Says:

    Cold-riveted girders, Stingray.

    I’d hate to see you try and summon Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Volguus Zildrohar, Gozer the Traveler and Lord of the Sebouilli using cold-forged girders. You’d wind up with the ghost of Ted Kennedy or some other eldritch horror.

  12. Bob Graham Says:

    Stop with your post-modern coolness. Aren’t you just SO above and beyond it all? I’m not a big fan of the media, but they’re trying to sort this thing out for a nation that cares. Take your insecure little blog with your insecure little followers who have to show their superiority to the plebes by displaying the kind of chatter you indulge yourselves with, and shove it. Do any of you have a 6-year-old in kindergarten? Do any of you teach for a living?

  13. Stingray Says:

    they’re trying to sort this thing out for a nation that cares.

    No, they’re trying to sell it for sponsors who pay more when ratings are higher, to viewers who weren’t involved but either wear their heart on their sleeve and go into a blue-faced tizzy when evil happens*, as it does, or are simply rubbernecking. They’re trying to create panic and fear because it sells.

    As a bonus, the frenzy of attention encourages more of the little pricks that pull these kinds of stunts to get their 15 minutes of fame. This story should be big news in the community where it happened, where the people are actually involved, as opposed to making bullshit claims that the entire nation cares so deeply we need this kind of circus to grieve people we never knew, in a town most of the nation couldn’t find on a map.

    It shouldn’t be the grotesque orgy of all the things I described every time this happens, and yet here we are. Yes, I am above and beyond it; I wasn’t involved, I didn’t lose anybody, and the sheer volume of other people not involved who also didn’t lose anybody collectively losing their shit in the ways I described disgusts me as much as my callousness apparently does you. I refuse to help create the next monster by dancing along with the rest. We have made mass murder more formulaic than the most banal sitcom, and rather than be disgusted by that fact, the guy who points it out is the one who needs to shove it? Fuck you, and the high-horse you rode in on. And incidentally, you get the entertainment you pay for here, so feel free to give us a miss in the future. I’m not trying to maximize clickstream profit by commenting on what the murderer tweeted last week or had for breakfast this morning, so you’re cordially invited to piss up a rope without hurting my bottom line even a whit.

    Oh, and in your race to let us all know how awful we are you missed the part where Sparrowkin mentioned that she does work with kids. Nice job, skippy.

    *Selectively. Evil seems to go on at a pretty regular pace every day across the world but funny how some of it is just “over there” stuff.

  14. Riley Says:

    I’ll chime in here. I’ve got an 11, 8 and 5 yr olds. Plus twins on the way. I’m with Stingray. Did I hug them extra tight tonight? Hell yes! Was I glad to see them today even more when I got them from school than normal? Double hell yes!! Am I going to even try to understand or conjure up the feelings that the people who live where this happened are going through right now? Absolutely not. Yet everyone else on the net is. Bravo Stingray…this was just the post I expected to find here, and thank you for it. Do I think for 1 min that you or Labrat are anything but sad for the folks where this happened?? Nope I do get the sense that your tired of all the fake bull shit that we are constantly bombarded with from every outlet connected to a new source…maybe.

  15. Sparrowkin Says:

    Stingray…Because I have worked with kids (and hope to again) I wanted to say something. I figured I’d wait to see what kind of carnage you’d lay out–in general, not because of whatever my comment had that got rode over. In a completely non-stalker way…your blog is AWESOME.

    And Riley, Congratulations. Also, A friend of mine posted this and I think it’s a very good idea…

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” (Fred Rogers.) Sorry for the sap. Best to all your kids.

  16. LabRat Says:

    In my ideal world, the news broadcast after an event like this would go like this:

    “Some miserable little loser shot and killed/injured (x people) in (x) today because hurting the harmless was the only way he could feel okay about his life right before he ended it. Any and all other details will be at (x location)’s local news for the grieving. That is all.”

  17. Matt G Says:

    When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes.


    LabRat, that’s EXACTLY how it should go.

  18. Tatyana Says:

    LabRat: precisely.
    I am sick of net threads composed, it seems , entirely of foaming at the mouth biomass – no spark of brain activity, just hypnotically-induced wail “prohibition of guns!”
    Yesterday someone linked to one where a commenter screamed “anyone who is NOT in hysterics over this tragedy is a fascistic bastard!”

  19. Tam Says:

    Bob Graham,

    Are you actually a reader of this blog who was put off by this particular post, or did you just type “Where can I be a giant douche today?” in your Google search box and start clicking links?

  20. Kristophr Says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Tam.

    Whenever there is a tragedy, the blood dancers come out, and google up new places to spew.

    Both on the right and on the left. I don’t want either gun control or mandatory Jesus.

    Everyone wants to hump their own agenda, instead of doing something simple, like arming a few teachers or hiring a god-damned guard.

  21. Kristophr Says:

    Labrat: Yup. And if the losers lives, anonymous trial and execution, and flush his ashes down the coronor’s office toilet.

    No 15 minutes of fame for assholes.

  22. Sparrowkin Says:

    –Kristophr, having subbed in elementary schools through New England I feel kind of obligated to point out that their security is often the best of all three levels–k-5, middle school and high school, regardless of neighborhood and income level. (The high school I was at several times a week in RI was a psycho’s wet dream).

    Having said that, there are also several specific teachers I’ve met who I would never want to see armed (picture the weapons left with the craft supplies, the math project or in the bathroom) and many of them teach elementary.

    If this had happened in a High School or Middle school I would have been much less surprised. At an Elementary school, at worst, I was initially willing to hope the unaccounted for kids had evacuated to the wrong area or their teacher had reacted by removing them entirely from school grounds. I wish I had been right.

    There are often guards, damned or otherwise. –I know I’m an obstreperous soul and I hope I’m not saying this in an aggressive way but if there are practical solutions–and there must be–I am not sure those aren’t already in play or possibly the ones that would make the most sense…

  23. Kristophr Says:

    Sparrowkin: But the nutters always find the totally disarmed places to do their work. Not all of these schools have even a token defense.

    If a responsible adult cannot be found on staff, then a guard needs to be hired (, and maybe some teachers need to be replaced with responsible adults? ).

    Like it or not, the nutters have fixated on schools. They need to be taught that all they will get from attacking one is an anonymous grave.

  24. Sparrowkin Says:

    On that we totally agree. I was kind of surprised though that even in BAckass poor-ass places elementary schools had locked doors, buzzers and good policies. Still room for improvement, always.

  25. perlhaqr Says:

    Door shaped pieces of rolled homogeneus armor 1/2″ thick (almost enough to stop .50 BMG) in job lots even at DoD prices work out to about $650 apiece. Make the doors lockable and bulletproof, beef the door frames way up, and even if they won’t arm one or two of the teachers, at least they’ll have somewhere *actually* safe to hide.

    (Sorry. Engineer. I deal with stressful problems by trying to fix them.)

  26. Kristophr Says:

    Engineering solutions help, but wont completely fix the problem.

    And on other bad solutions, that asshole Mike Huckabee is now yowling that this massacre happened because God was removed from the classroom. I guess he thinks Jesus will send deranged assassins to schools that aren’t Christian enough. Or that a lack of Jesus causes adult onset Schizophrenia.

    The sooner the Republican Party boots these zealot losers, the better.

  27. Tatyana Says:

    *perlhaqr, there are number of objections to your proposition
    -DoD price for a product is not the final cost; add to it building contractor’s labor (union, naturally…) plus all the administrative charges piled up by bureaucracy in education depts, committees and boards. Note also, the budgets in education is much, much lower than in DoD
    -technical: oK, you’ll reinforced the door assembly – but then 3-3/4″ standard partition next to it is practically transparent for bullets. Would you also suggest armored-core secure partitions all around the school? imagine how much that would cost?

    (sorry. Interior Architect and engineer, with experience in Juvenile Detention boarding schools facility construction)

  28. Kristophr Says:

    Tatyana: I’d compare the cost to hiring a single cop to protect each school ( Doesn’t have to be POST certed … a veteran with a good discharge will do ).

    Then choose.

  29. Tatyana Says:

    Kristophr: that could work better – but I suspect, a single cop can’t be everywhere, in all points of entry at the same time and also: a psycho, who spent months on planning a thing like that, would most likely consider him his first target; a cop with bullet in his head is useless.

    I think the solution should be somewhere along the lines of air marshals: not every plane has one assigned, not every flight has and passengers do not know who might be the one on their flight: and that’s a better deterrent than having one uniformed designated target.

  30. Stingray Says:

    Tatyana: That’s actually the first suggestion I’ve seen after any school shooting that could actually be useful instead of just making me facepalm 20% harder. That’s the kind of good thinking that would actually do something useful.

    So now that we know that won’t happen…

  31. Tatyana Says:

    Not necessarily, Stingray. Same could be said about air marshals program, too – but somehow it was implemented, against all bureaucracy and 3rd party’ interests.

  32. Kristophr Says:

    Tatyana: One thing that makes the Air Marshal program work is that the average asshole does not know who the air marshal is.

    Which goes back to my other suggestion … armed teachers.

    Maybe federal funding should require at least one CCW armed teacher in the school, and preferably two?

  33. Tatyana Says:

    Kristophr – that’s what I meant.
    Of course, various enlightened creatures already found this solution a)not feasible b)humiliating for teachers* c)frightening for children

    * One choicy response I got from discussion someplace else (transl. from Russian): “before making suggestions like that have you given a thought to a moral aspect of conflating position of Teacher, i.e. a person whose avocation is to “sow seeds of Reason, Kindness and Immortal Values”(c) with arms as a tool of murder?!”

  34. Kristophr Says:

    Fuzzy thinking rules.

    How does this mentally retarded Russian think the police will handle an active killer? Maybe they will ask him politely to put his weapon down?

    Since guns are only for murder, therefor police should not have guns because this conflicts with their duties to maintain peace?

    And carrying the means to defend oneself is humiliating? What planet do such folks live on? Planet Disney?

  35. JFM Says:

    This incident got me thinking about schools themselves and my daughter’s school in specific. They are death traps. The elementary school I went to had a door to the outside in every classroom. During fire drills we were outside in seconds. So now the active shooter drill in schools is to lock the door and hope for the best?

    Also, has anyone explained why the MO of these guys is so alike?

  36. Squid Says:

    Can we just mandate that all History teachers be armed? I mean, they should know better than most what happens to unarmed people in the path of an armed lunatic. Historically speaking, that is.

  37. Squid Says:

    Also, we need to work stale hot dog buns into the solution. Is there anything they can’t do?

  38. Tatyana Says:

    Kristophr, you have more patience than me. My reaction to this idiotic remark was an *eyeroll*. Well, printable part of it, anyway.

  39. Jess Says:

    I’m guessing the media revenues are up 20% thanks to a well timed murder at Christmas. Bonuses abound and real news is ignored.

    Meanwhile, several career politicians are relieved to find they’re not in the headlines, while Lee Ann Rimes still struggles with the bad publicity of stealing a husband and an abnormal obsession with her weight.

  40. perlhaqr Says:

    Tatyana: Sure, of course. I know it’s not a complete solution, but people were saying the doors don’t lock at all right now, and cinderblock or brick would at least slow bullets down, more so than the hollow core door to the classroom.

    I was also being vaguely facetious about using actual RHA, mostly as a substitute for simply saying there should be some actual protection.

    And yes, I’ve been flogging the Israeli solution too. Armed teachers stopped the PLO from shooting up any more of their schools.

  41. Sparrowkin Says:

    Yes, but…The irony is, that all the teachers have met or worked with that I would not hesitate to arm (I suspect they are much like the women our country lost at this shooting) would never accept it and all the people who shouldn’t –A) have been certified in whatever subject they’re mangling, B) be teaching at all– would be only too happy to carry guns.

    I strongly suspect Israel selects, trains and pays their teachers at a different grade.

  42. Sparrowkin Says:


    I apologize. I’m not sure that I disagree with what I posted here. Reading it back, I would have to say truthfully that it’s all stuff I have thought. So I have to own it, but it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. I apologize for putting it up. Even if nobody has a problem with it–and I’m equally sorry if you do. I probably sound thoroughly char-broiled moronic right now, but when I’ve posted something I feel I shouldn’t have, I say so.

    Peace out.
    Jeremiah was a Bull Frog.

  43. Kristophr Says:

    I don’t see anything you posted that is awful or stupid, Sparrowkin.

    We’ve just been hashing this out for decades, and fighting folks who do not think, blaming tools for the acts of the tool’s owner. Sorry if you got singed a bit by us.

  44. LabRat Says:

    Count me among the confused… it’s a tough issue, and easy to eat your foot, but you seem fine.

  45. Sparrowkin Says:

    LR–chalk it up to three straight days of 4th century theologians, (Who I don’t like any more now than when I read’em 15 years ago) a rotten memorial service at my Theological school, finding a friend had known one of the victims and feeling like I had turned into The Grinch. On Downers. In General. It just seemed too bitter.–Thank you!

  46. Tatyana Says:

    Is public self-humiliation required in lieu of humility in Theological schools?
    Sparrowkin, we are not presenting a Total Solution here -it’s just a spontaneous brainstorming session. No need for self-flagellation.

    To your proposition of paying the armed teachers better: it would still cost less, I suspect, than building all walls in all schools out of cinder blocks and installing high-security doors with armored core. However, I don’t think teachers salaries is the root of the problem – they are not that low as teacher unions try to present. A quote from an article re: recent scandal in NJ:
    Teacher salaries were frozen at 2011 levels. The New Jersey Department of Education website shows the median salary for 180 Hopatcong teachers in the 2010-2011 school year is $77,500.
    Don’t forget to read 400 comments, to see what the paying public thinks about it…

  47. Matt G Says:

    Funny thing, Tatyana– Cinder blocks fall very quickly to gunfire.

  48. Tam Says:

    Ironically, just a locked door tends to send a random spree killer on his way.

    They only go through them if they are a murderer intent on a certain victim, rather than J. Random Loonietoon who has lost their shit and is just out to stack bodies like cordwood before suck-starting their own gun at the sound of sirens.

    No armor required, statistically speaking.

  49. Tatyana Says:

    Matt, I referred to perlhaqr’s proposal.

  50. Sparrowkin Says:


    when I say something that I do not approve of later, or when I make a statement that is not clear (as the points of syntax I clarified with you in a comment discussion earlier) I say so. That’s just how I roll. I think I probably should have made the statement more brief, or waited until visions of Saint Augustine of Hipo mooning Athanasius of Alexander while Iranaeus of Lyon and Gregory of Nyassa did jello shots receded.
    But, I did not like that I had said that–even if I cannot explain why. So I followed my code.
    that is all.