Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Jared Kid (Part One)...

It's been a week since Jared Lee Loughner went completely off his nut and shot twenty people, killing six. When I first heard about that, I initially thought it was some good-for-nothing lay-about who spent more time reading articles from the Whirled Nut Daily website in his mother's basement than he did looking for a job to pay for room and board. Then I heard about that cross-hairs map Sarah Palin tried to erase from everyone's memory, and even though there was, and is, no evidence that Loughner was motivated by her or that map, I jumped on the Palin-bashing bandwagon like nearly every other left-leaning blogger.

As for that "blood libel" remark Palin made in her pathetic defense later on, my best guess is that she was speaking in code to the Bible-believing Republican base, and not anyone else. George W. Bush did that throughout his presidency -- and it took those of us who were paying the most attention to him, but at the same time were unfamiliar with the lay of the Bible-believing fundie fantasy land, about six years to figure that out. So far, I haven't seen any other left-leaning person who correctly pointed out that "blood libel" is a demonstrably false claim that non-Christian people use the blood of Christian children and babies in their own religious rituals make the same guess -- and, of course, my guess could be flat-out wrong. But the vast bulk of the people who do believe the "blood libel" claim are hard-right Christians -- the same group that most strongly supports the likes of Sarah Palin. For all I know that was her way of telling her base, "They want your blood" -- "they" being everyone who criticized Palin for that crosshairs map and called for the likes of her to tone down the vicious-minded rhetoric. (Don't hold your breath on that one.)

But I was just wasting my time on Palin -- basically, she's an easy target, and I was just venting at her expense. The real challenge for me is Loughner. I sensed that he was buggier than batcrap about the same time everyone else did. But when I first saw his mug shot, my heart damn near skipped a beat: looking at that picture, I instantly saw a younger, slightly chunkier version of me.

And since then, I've learned that he and I have quite a few things in common. I find this humbling and disturbing, and it's been eating away at me for most of this past week.

Sooner or later, I have to explain why...

1 comment:

This is a First Amendment zone, but I do use word verification now. If you don't like that, well, this is also a Fifth Amendment zone. Take your pick...