Archive - Dec 4, 2015


Lies, Damned Lies, And Ballistics

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Memo to lying cops, superlying politicians, and post-San Bernardino analysis: YOU ARE AWFUL.

Another fun week to be a current events dude. It was actually a relief to hate-watch the new Batman Vs. Superman trailer today. Watching the incredibly awful idea to have Lex Luthor be the meta, self-aware, comedy relief in a sort of cheap knockoff, missing-the-point-version of Downey Jr.'s Stark was the most fun my brain's had all week. Seriously, fuck that movie, and fuck what seems to be the implication that Lex Luthor makes Doomsday out of General Zod's corpse. I mean, comic Doomsday's origin was smarter than that, and comic Doomsday's origin was deeply fucking stupid. Where was I? Oh, right. SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

I haven't talked much about the Chicago police shooting, or the fact that Rahm Emanuel needs to lose his fucking job because he's awful, but the big lesson we need to take from this once again is that cops lie.

Bad cops lie to keep their jobs. Really bad cops lie to keep themselves out of jail. Mediocre cops lie to protect their bad cop friends. Time after time, a shooting like this happens, the video comes out, the video contradicts the officer's justification for using deadly force. Cops lie for the same reasons everyone else lies, to cover their asses. Thinking that cops might be lying is common sense. Insisting that we believe cops even after evidence that they're lying is revealed is ideological blindness.

The phrase "all politicians lie" is already getting a workout right now, and expect to see more of it as the 2016 campaign goes on, and the already unprecedented level of mendacity on display reaches new heights as the polls continue to reward it.

But "lie" isn't a word with a single meaning. Lots of politicians, for example, promise things that they know they won't be able to deliver on. Or know they don't actually want to deliver on. Lots of politicians also lie about what they believe, saying things they don't agree with to win the votes of people who do believe it. These are absolutely lies. But they're not lies like "thousands of New Jersey Muslims cheering", or "the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats" or statistics that wildly misstate the percentage of whites killed by blacks.

These lies are an order of magnitude more harmful than the lies we generally condone with the pat phrase "all politicians lie". These are the kind of lies that, in recent memory, destoryed careers, or set them back by a decade at the very least. All politicians are liars, but some are much bigger liars than others.

I don't have much to say about the San Bernardino shootings. If it's terrorism, and it might be terrorism, it's weird terrorism, because right now it looks like an extremist and his wife decided to kill a bunch of his former co-workers.

If there's anything we can take from this, it's that there's not actually that big a difference right now between an angry Muslim with an arsenal in his basement, an angry Christian with rifles and a hate-on for planned Parenthood, a white supremacist shooting up a church, or just a crazy person. We're told by certain types that we're not taking it seriously if we don't label it "radical Islamic terrorism, but this is a nation full of angry crazy people with ready access to high-powered weaponry. You don't have to plan and execute an attack on America. You just have to suggest and wait and someone will get the idea and follow through.