Screw Healthcare; Buy a Gun!

If more people owned guns the great citizens of the United States could do away with the need for healthcare altogether. After all when a horse becomes lame it is usually shot to death. Certainly the cost of a bullet is much cheaper than a statin drug, an aspirin, chemotherapy or any of the drugs prescribed for depression. Heck a bullet cost less than a stalk of broccoli. Just think of the billions of dollars that could be saved if we simply shoot people who are ill or depressed.

Perhaps the Supreme Court should enact a law that to be a citizen of the United States one must own a gun. (After all they pick Presidents don’t they?)  There could be classes in schools where we could teach our progeny to shoot first and ask questions later. If there were any unfortunate accidents in this process we could simply say that we were “decreasing the surplus population” just like the famous character of Ebenezer Scrooge did in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Now there was a man ahead of his time!

Imagine what a better place this country would be. The waiting lines everywhere would become so much shorter. No more listening to drug ads ad infinitum on your favorite television shows. Instead we could listen to the testimony of a husband who cured his wife’s depression with a single shot from his brand new .357 magnum:

“She started complaining again that she felt like the walls were closing all in around her. I just went to my gun case and whipped out my shiny pistol and gave it to her right between the eyes! The silence was golden! I think grandpa is next, his Alzheimer disease is rubbing me the wrong way! God Bless America!”

So listen up and stay ahead of the curve. If you have any spare funds invest them immediately in arms manufacturers. Take to the streets and extoll the virtues of guns and live ammo. The world could be such a better place without all the sickos walking around! The new slogan is “Bullets not Broccoli!”

Malala. #gunviolence #gunsafety #gunsense

“If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” —- Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist

“You can make people buy broccoli!” —- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Flight 101 (Burning Man 9)

Eddie Sargavy stood in the terminal at the Montreal Trudeau international airport staring at the departure screen. He sipped his coffee and shook his head. He hadn’t missed his flight this time. His flight had been cancelled. He looked at his watch then wondered why since the time seemed to be posted everywhere like an inescapable fate. It was 1:01 pm. Ironically that was his flight number. There was a bad storm moving up the easy coast and all the flights to JFK had been cancelled.

He walked outside the terminal and lit a cigarette. Just as well he thought to himself. Something in his mind remembered that flight 101 was not a flight to be on. He remembered other flight 101’s crashing somewhere. He finished his coffee and spit into his cup. “101st Airborne” he said aloud. The woman standing next to him heard and moved away. He thought about history. The 101st, the Screaming Eagles, that was the “Band of Brothers”. Among their many heroic exploits one was being an integral piece of Operation Overlord in World War II. In Vietnam they were famous for outstanding bravery in the battle of Hamburger Hill. He choked up a bit and wiped his eyes. Eddie was not a man who stood still. He went back into the terminal. He would rent a car and drive to New York.

Eddie flew down the highway in his full size, brand new Dodge Charger. He had passed through customs quickly as he had nothing to declare. Heck he’d been through the border so many times he felt like he should know all the customs agents on a first name basis. It felt good to be on the move again. Never mind that he was tired, he was on his way home.

He thought about his presentation that morning. He had ended up winging the whole thing. The more he had talked the better he felt. Eddie was a pro. It didn’t matter that his heart wasn’t in it. He was glad it was over with and the client, Truefoam, seemed satisfied. He had the radio blasting loudly. The satellite radio was perfect for these extended drives. No station flipping necessary. The October scenery in the Adirondack mountains was beautiful. He only wished it was summertime and the daylight would last longer. A glance at the gas gauge and the rumbling of his stomach told him it was time to refuel and grab a bite. Just outside of Albany he took an exit that offered gas and a bag of cheeseburgers within spitting distance of each other.

Eddie turned down his radio as he pulled off the ramp. He had been blasting a song by Tito Puente. He loved the Latin salsa and was thankful the satellite radio had a station dedicated to that sound. It was dark out now but the air was still friendly. He pulled up to the pump, ready for a stretch. Yawning as he locked the doors he went inside to relieve himself. It felt good to be out of the car if only for a minute.

Returning to the car with six cheeseburgers and a large coffee he noticed a car of teenagers had pulled up a short distance away. The music blasted out of the vehicle. He could hear the vibrations as he stooped inside the Charger to put the burgers and the coffee inside. What was the recent story in Florida? Oh yes, he thought, some lunatic had sprayed bullets into a car when he thought the music was too loud. It reminded him of a time years ago when he was with his precious wife Gloria, a beautiful girl from Cuba. They were taking a road trip in his Pontiac Bonneville which had come with a brand new 8 track player. They had pulled into a full service station outside of Baton Rouge. Birdland blasted from their car. He leaned over and kissed Gloria. Just then a rather nondescript man walked by. “Turn that Spic shit down!” he said loudly. Eddie complied, he felt sheepish. He was nineteen years old and had been married for a month. He wondered where that burst of hatred had come from.

He finished pumping his gas and pulled away. The music from the teenagers’ car still resonated in his ears. He liked a different kind of music but he’d be damned if he’d ever shoot somebody over such a ridiculous thing. “The world is a fucked up place” he said aloud. He hit the gas so hard his tires screeched. The advantages of a rental he thought. He thought about Gloria who had died of cancer years earlier. He knew she could never be replaced so he had never given it a second thought. He was married to his job ever since.

As he hit the entrance ramp to 87 south, Tito came on the radio. It was “Jam En El Bario”. Eddie hit the gas hard and wondered aloud, “aren’t we all our brother’s keeper?”. A light rain had begun to fall.

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

A World Full of Bullies; Captalism and Religion

It’s pretty obvious that we have created a nation of bullies. Perhaps we could stretch that and go so far as to say a world full of bullies. Is this the apex of evolution? The true survival of the fittest? In one incident after another humans have seen the collapse of empathy for one’s fellow human being. This does not bode well for the capitalist system. In order for the human race to get beyond this pivotal point it may be necessary to decline to fight and not “stand one’s ground”.

As history has bore out time and again, a certain type of behavior will continuously foster similar behavior. It becomes a perpetual cycle of greed and hatred. Sadly each begets the other. Religion, if actually practiced, seeks to reduce or even eliminate these feelings. Sadly it often has the opposite effect and becomes justification for usurping others property or even their very lives in the name of one’s chosen entity. Further exacerbating the idea of religious concept is the notion of capitalism. Ownership of wealth and property enabling oneself to perceive a certain sense of entitlement.

Add to this the ready availability of deadly weapons and you create a perfect storm of violence the world over. Every day people are dying because of greed and hatred in the name of religion or capitalism. The more we hear about it, the more we fear it, the more we feel we need to be armed against it. Thus the cycle continues ad infinitum. This cannot possibly be the apex of evolution as humankind is so apt to crown themselves. This behavior will lead to nothing but eventual extinction.

When you think this out it is not difficult to see the logic behind this argument. Every day comes a new barrage of information, an onslaught of the mass media directing us to what they think we should be thinking about. We need to take a step back and consider for ourselves with our own reasoning. Be careful that you are not destroying something because you are scared of it or because you just don’t understand it. Be careful that you aren’t pushing someone around because they aren’t acting in your interest or in the interest of the corporation that is padding your pockets full of cash. The sanctity of life depends on empathy. Every major religion recognizes this. Practice it every day.

“The word ‘belief’ is a difficult thing for me. I don’t believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it – I don’t need to believe it.” — Dr. Carl Gustav Jung

“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” — Dr. Carl Gustav Jung

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The word ‘belief’ is a difficult thing for me. I don’t believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it – I don’t need to believe it.