Wha’ Happened This Week? So You’re Never LATE TO THE PARTY.
1. Guys, I’m gonna make this short & sweet, except not at all sweet: the National Rifle Association was everywhere this week, like crazy everywhere, alienating their own members and the rest of us in pretty equal parts. The speechlessness that fell like new snow over this conservative punditry says it all. ‘Cuz when the NRA dropped an ad midweek trying to paint Obama as an elitist for protecting his own kids with guns but requiring our kids to attend school in gun-free zones… they seem to be assuming that our kids are also at grave national security risk. They also seem to be insane people.Other things we learned this week as Obama & Biden announced intentions to pry these guns out of the cold & somewhat alive hands of the NRA leaders (not EVEN! Just the hands of criminals & the mentally ill, y’all! Of which this guy may be one, bt dubs): first, the NRA may or may not have made a target practice video game app approved for 4-year-olds (guns… “you know, for kids!”). Second, the chairman of Gun Appreciation Day apparently saw no irony in sharing the weekend with Martin Luther King’s memory.
And third, that whole Second Amendment that started this whole thing? Miiiighta been in there only to protect early Americans from their slaves.
I mean, our president & the veep made it clear they’re not touching the Second Amendment but preach it, founding father T-Jeff:
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.
2. And the progress of the human mind must go hand in hand with the progress of the human body… to a point. Ah, Lance. Everyone sorta faked shock this week when the decade of skepticism over his impressive Tour de France performances was proven to be, indeed, founded, and the performances, indeed, enhanced.
But as Jonathan Mahler over at Bloomberg tells us, there’s “a universal truth about drug use, one that applies equally to elite athletes and homeless junkies: there’s no point in vilifying the user without also asking why he became one.” Which points to the larger societal whys: namely, there’s the “War on Performance Enhancing Drugs” that’s hypocritical considering how much pharma we Americans use to enhance performances in, ehem, other arenas (the bedroom, the classroom, the military…), and there’s American’s favorite pasttime — COMPETITION! Glorifying winners & shaming losers! Why’s doping so common in sports?
Because we value winning above all else, and pay winners accordingly. Because we expect to see transcendent athletic performances with casual frequency. Because of the unrealistic physical demands of endurance sports […] If the public were satisfied with the Tour de France riders going 25 kilometers an hour (15 miles per hour), there wouldn’t be a doping problem.
3. Oh, man. There’s a developing shitshow in Algeria where an ARGO-like hostage crisis went really bad this week, while back on American soil the flu is ravaging our nation and Jodie Foster spoke for the gays, kinda…
(I just had to… that’s my favorite in quite some time.) But here’s what I’m going to leave you with this week: happiness. Or rather, one of those great Atlantic articles, called, in this case, “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy.” Bottom line, giving not taking’s where it’s at, you guys. More on this topic anon… the wheels are turning over here in Smarty at the Party land. Mmmmmm yeeeeessss.
Quote of the week from Monsieur Newark, Cory Booker (from this week’s Rachel Maddow Show):
I’m constantly buoyed by the screaming testimony of American history that when we come together as a nation there is nothing that we can’t do. As the African proverb says, even when spiderwebs unite they can tie up a lion.