Friday, January 14, 2011

The Implausible Deniability of the Clueless Nation

What's the point of this, may I ask, other than to rouse the rabble into righteous indignation?
TUCSON — Law enforcement officials said Friday they have multiple photos of Jared L. Loughner posing with a Glock 9mm pistol next to his naked buttocks and dressed in a bright red g-string. It is the same model of weapon as the one the police say Mr. Loughner used last Saturday to kill six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and to wound 14 others, including an Arizona congresswoman. The photos were turned over to the police by Walgreens, where Mr. Loughner had taken them to be developed. In some of the photos he is holding the gun near his crotch, and in others, presumably shot in a mirror, he is holding the gun next to his buttocks, the police said. It was not yet clear when the photos were taken or whether Mr. Loughner had ordered prints.
Goddammit, what does the Times pay these people for? I want to know whether he ordered prints!!! And what did he pay? Is it cheaper to get juvenalia developed in Walgreens, or should I be taking my ancient reproductive methods to the CVS? What's the point of specious public speculation on the mindset of a would-be assassin if they can't even tell us whether he got them on sale?

But hey, now we've got some sensational material to seed the public imagination, and keep the cuckoo clocks spinning another 24 hours, chirping out bad guesses as to what made him do it?

Listen, we don't need to know what motivated this poor sap, or what his sexual kinks were. All we need to know is we can chalk up another spectacular fail for the nation's pitiful mental health system, and for the usual suspects around Loughner who remember in hindsight that he was "scary", and "creepy", but never quite scary or creepy enough to do anything about at the time. How many more times do we have to be told by neighbors that the suspect was a quiet guy, who kept to himself, but seemed nice enough; or by old girlfriends that they would never have believed he had it in him, or that he freaked them out but not enough to worry about;  or by teachers that he was a loner who drew funny pictures?  When is "Whooocouldanode?" finally going to replace "In God We Trust" on our currency, or the universal sign for "clueless schmuck"  replace the stars and stripes on our flag?  Because our dismantling of the safety net for the mentally ill certainly had nothing to do with this, did it?  And we're all too good as Christians to have sat on our haunches watching American Idol while we let this happen.  Shit just happens, doesn't it?  But it happens over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.