Saturday, January 19, 2013


"Balderdash indeed!"
-Olde timey people,
agreeing with me
Also balderdash and film flam! Look, I don't want to get too deep into the whole assault weapon controversy, that's what Facebook is for, but I do want to talk about this article about a recent poll. Wait, what do you mean what article, what poll? You see the words in blue up there? That's a link. You on the...well? Are you seriously just going to wait until I give in and sum it up for you...Goddamnit, fine, here: It's a poll that says the NRA is more popular than the entertainment industry. Yeah, that's right, the N 'out of my cold dead hands' RA is more popular than the people who make movies and music and stuff. I call bullshit, bullshit most foul.

Ok, settle down, I'm not saying that people who love the gun lobby are a bunch of right-wing loonies who care more about their particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment than things like safety and children. I am not saying that. I may think it, but I would never say it. Out loud. Where they can hear me.
The Constitution doesn't say you can't have an ICBM, so clearly the
founding fathers meant for you to have one in your back yard.
Also, this happened.
My confusion stems from the fact that the NRA, an organization who should be acting as a voice of reason and promoting safe and responsible gun use, is instead devoting itself entirely to blaming video games, movies and music for gun violence. They act like a bunch of dicks all the time and we're supposed to believe this poll's assertion that they are somehow more likable than the entertainment industry. I mean, in what way has the entertainment industry ever hurt us? Well, other than bombarding us with violent images, portraying unrealistic expectations of what life is really like and promoting the crushingly high standards of beauty that have left generations of women and men with body issues and diminished senses of self-worth...

You got your two-year old a kitten?
Yeah, that's nice, but I don't give a shit.
Let's talk about Downton Abbey instead.
Anyway, I think the poll is a little misleading, or to put it into technical terms, bullshit. Asking people about their opinion of the 'entertainment industry' as a whole is crap, it's too broad a topic. Take television for example. TV has given us so much and asks nothing in return except that we buy whatever the hell the sponsors are selling. Think of the thousands of hours of distraction from our real lives it provides. And thanks to universally popular TV shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory we all have common points of reference to get us though conversations with our coworkers. No I don't care about your children and/or cats. Yes, I did find that thing Sheldon said last night to be hilarious. Conversation: accomplished.

And television is just one of the entertainment industry's many teats we all suckle on. People love movies, books and video games. People really love music, even country (which is objectively terrible). So what gives? Are the people polled a bunch of filthy liars? Sort of.
Above: Social commentary. It's subtle,
so I'll explain: We're the baby pigs.
It's funny 'cause...Congress!
I think part of it is that we love to feel superior. Rolling our eyes at the entertainment industry is a great way to set oneself apart from the drooling, TV-addicted idiots that everyone else but you is. The other part is Congress. Yeah, that's not a punchline, it's a comparison. Whenever people are asked about Congress, they screw up their faces in disgust like they've just been offered a shit-sandwich on rye (it's better on sourdough). Ask them about their own Representative? Oh, yeah, they're great.*

The NRA is a specific organization and people either support them or they don't. The entertainment industry is the thing that's turning our children into unfeeling zombies who can't tell the difference between Grand Theft Auto and running over hookers in real life.
If you run over a prostitute in GTA they sometimes leave behind stacks of money. In real
life they leave behind forensic evidence. If it's cash you're after, you should run over the pimps. 
"Help shape national opinion?
Sure, I've got five minutes."
I suppose if the pollsters asked how the respondents felt about the gun lobby they might have gotten a different answer. Like the vaguely defined entertainment industry, the phrase has a more negative connotation.

"Who? The gun lobby? Those assholes who find loopholes in the assault rifle ban and bribe those idiots in Congress whom I loathe? I hate the gun lobby, boo! Oh, the NRA? I think my grandpa was a member or something...maybe it was NAMBLA, I don't remember, anyway I gotta go, I think I'm missing Breaking Bad."

-Randomly chosen, anonymous people whose 
opinions are for some reason important to us 

Yeah, I'm aware that I'm pretty biased abut this, but no matter what your opinion of the NRA, you've got to admit this poll is at best suspect. Like, if instead of asking a series of questions the pollsters offered respondents either a year of premium cable for free or a year of free NRA membership complete with...I don't know, a tote bag or whatever, like seriously, which do you think would win?
"I could be watching Season 3 of Game of Thrones, but instead I got a
tote bag that says I Carry and a monthly newsletter about how President
Obama was secretly born in Kenya. Oh well, I made my choice."

-Some idiot

 *Ok, actually I think most of us would be hard pressed to name their Congress person, but you get the idea.

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing universal about the popularity of Big Bang Theory. Not so long as my unrelenting, searing hatred for it continues. I am not alone!

    Oh, and PS. John Dingell represents the (hilariously tiny, thanks partisan gerrymandering!) 12th congressional district of Michigan, where I live.