Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly Dose of Dangle

Last week’s cartoon was inspired by a line I read in the New York Times, probably by the useless Matt Bai, who said something to the effect that there are dangerous elements on both ends of the political spectrum. I immediately thought of my neighborhood because my town represents the extreme end of the political spectrum. It’s arguably the most liberal county in the United States. When I look around at the “far left” I’m certain that there couldn’t be a group of more soft and harmless people anywhere. Contrast that with the people who show up at tea party rallies with guns strapped to their legs and t-shirts with jokes like, “liberal hunting permit,” and “water the tree of liberty.” I’d say there’s no equivalence between the two groups, and, hence, the cartoon. Anyway, that sparked a lot of discussion about guns here and on my Facebook page that’s been fun to read but hasn’t changed my mind. It’s that same old, guns don’t kill people, people do, argument the NRA must publish on the back of the membership cards. You could kill your spouse or brother-in-law with an ice pick but a gun is so much easier and more convenient. I also posted a porny sketch of a guy getting off on a gun as a sex fetish. Potential corporate clients are going to love that. “Let’s not hire that sick Dangle character,” they’ll say.

I remember when, as an adolescent, I used to go to a rifle range, the ROTC range and the University of Michigan. My friend Mike Krebs and I were competitive in every sport, whiffle ball, bowling, tennis, billiards, you name it, so we decided to compete at shooting guns at targets. Of all the sports we played shooting guns was the most boring. It’s probably more fun when you’re firing a Glock or an Uzi that blasts the target into little bits, but we were shooting 22s, which just make little holes. The instructors and people there reminded me of the church youth groups I used to crash for the girls and pizza. I didn’t like the atmosphere. The people were very upright and religious about their guns.

Speaking of Michigan, my friend Geoffie is still juggling his thirty projects and hounding me to go to work for him. Now he’s going to make records (he has bands lined up) and movies (he’s got twelve ideas that are fully formed, he just needs me to write them) in addition to the nightclub he’s opening in Ann Arbor. He told me that of the top fifty ideas for economic development in Michigan the thirty-five best ones are his. A couple weeks ago he was trying to get me to go to Detroit for the auto show so that he could announce the launch of his media company (and take all the attention away from the new car models). This is a guy who spent a few nights recently sleeping in his car. I didn’t go but he attended the show without me. First he went to a hip hop store and got all pimped out. Everybody was coming up to him and introducing themselves because he looked so cool. He says he’s coming to California next week and that I should open up a few days to sit around and brainstorm with him.

Hae, our friend Irene, and I took Oscar to see a vault print of Walt Disney’s Fantasia at the Paramount Theater Friday night. Oakland has become hip quite recently, so downtown was bustling, but we still found a parking place. I didn’t see any guys with guns at all in the theater. Fantasia is pretty amazing and it runs the whole gamut from dinosaurs, to satan, to Walt Disney’s peculiar ideas about sexuality. We also watched The American, kind of a lame hit man drama but with George Clooney’s chiseled mug. Also watched the Scorsese documentary on Bob Dylan, No Way Home. It was way more fun than Nazis a Warning from History. We also took Oscar to see the Harlem Globetrotters. There were some fantastic stunts and a few yucks. Good for the kids.

My zodiac sign changed from Taurus to Aries. What is that going to do to my personality?


Blogger ULAND said...

The "dangerous" ideas on the Left aren't on display out on the street. More often than not, they're in print , or taught to guileless kids in Sociology 101. They include but are not limited to; the necessity for some kind of World governmental body, the "need" for some kind of population control, the need to control economies and limit forms of production and consumption by a technocratic elite, etc..
Read that EDGE JOURNAL for a kind of up tot he minute portrait of these people..These are the kinds of things that every PRogressive believes, to a certain extent, but would feel embarrassed to wave a sign for in the street. The view of the Right as unhinged has more to do with the Right just not feeling that kind of self-imposed social pressure to say radical things out loud.Mostly because they actually believe it, whle the Left doesn't really want to give up their lofts and their Prius's, or whatever..
And please, don't imagine that it's just anti-inellectualism or something. It's to do with fundamentally different world views that both have plenty going for them in terms of rational argument.
I'd get much more out of your stuff if you took on the political-philosophies at root in all of these contemporary media-ized expressions. I mean, why not compare The Frankfurt School with Russell Kirk, or something like that?
I know, I know, it'd be hard to make that funny. It's much easier to point and laugh ( and feel some self-righteous feedback juice) at the idiots who're ruining everything that live on the other side of the fence..

Also, you need to take into account how an armed population will resist take-over. We have a government that employs Blackwater and other mercenary armies and tortures people. I think it's crazy to think that the psychos in charge wouldn't pounce on any opportunity for greater control.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy New World Order, Uland!

What kind of automatic weapon would you recommend for the coming apocalypse? Can we hole up over at your place? My wife forbids Fox News at mine.

9:17 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

Oh bullshit. You're writing another top notch culture war cartoon with your cheap mockery, I can see, but I'm being totally reasonable. Only someone totally ignorant of world affairs and basic history would assume that forms of tyranny couldn't take hold in the United States.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Dangle said...

You're perfectly reasonable, Uland, except the part about progressives hiding their secret desires for world government, population control (condoms?), and that stuff about production and consumption by technocratic elites. That sounds like black helicopter stuff to me. Do you think Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim too? Do you want to return to the gold standard?

It's funny that you gave me such a hard time for saying that the tea party as a fledgling operation was like the Nazis as a fledgling operation--both mocked, not taken seriously, and prone to thuggish behavior--but you think that we're it's perfectly reasonable to say that we're facing imminent takeover by liberals for which we need to be armed.

The Democrats are really going to become tyrannical dictators. Yeah, that sounds reasonable. Is that possible when they don't even have anything resembling a spine? On the right the people pine for authoritarian figures to become the strong leader everyone can salute. That exists in history too.

5:51 PM  
Blogger ULAND said...

Lloyd- I'm not talking about the Democratic party, or Barbara fucking Boxer. I'm talking about the people who set deeper agendas and work in terms of political philosophy. I'm talking about The Frankfurt School, Saul Alinsky, Peter Singer, etc., etc., .It's the people who're studied in universities throughout the U.S and Europe. The Democratic party are a group of useful idiots, just like the Republican party.
I don't think any kind of "liberal" takeover is imminent. I never said any such thing. It sounds like you listen to what John Stewart has to say about what Glenn Beck said today and imagine that's what "the right" is up to. It's not a good way to figure out what's going on, Lloyd, it's just a kind of self-fulfilling hate fest, where one side proves the others point by proving their point (?).
The reality is that both parties are complicit in the breakdown of our country. Any "take-over" is going to start in really boring ways, like private prisons, private police forces, etc., the State will become the issuer of credit and the broker of resources..

5:18 PM  

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