Every Tuesday, Gene publishes weekly updates to his chats.
- Gene's latest chat
On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.
Greetings, update readers.
Today’s update is in fact an update, unlike what it usually is, which is not an update so much as an addendum. But today, truth in labeling: Today we update you, objectively, without spin, on what has transpired over the last week in the war between the tooth-gnashing, atavistic, prognathous-jawed gun maniacs and the reasonable, fully-evolved saintly folk such as me and Jim Carrey who only want what is best for the children of America. (Much more on Carrey later in this post.)
As many of you may recall, I phosphorused-up a poem last week about the most evil man in the world, Wayne LaPierre (by the way, I habitually first type “Duane” because he seems MUCH more like a Duane.) Here is the poem, which I began as a four-line rhyming email to a friend the night before, and then continued on chat day:
I shall write some verse for my tomorrow's chat
About the Antichrist, a fetid presence in the air --
I speak of Lucifer, Old Scratch, the Stygian bat,
That dastard, truth's assassin: Wayne LaPierre.
Twenty children dead, and also adults six
Slain by yet another madman a-hole with a gun
Too easily obtain'd; Wayne'd solve it with a fix--
More arms for a-holes! That's the ticket, son.
In Wayne's World, no problem lacks a cure:
Violence begets violence, so he'll say
Arm yourself some more, to feel secure
Against the guy whom we armed yesterday.
Others in the public eye are filth and slime
(O'Reilly milks our hate and offers bitter brew on tap)
But Wayne's misdeeds will more withstand the test of time --
Standing as he does before us, unashamed and full of crap.
A toast then, to our friend Wayne LaPierre
For whom gun deaths have been a lucky totem.
Methinks St. Peter will espy him, standing there
And smile, and aim a 30-30 at his scrotum.
The very first thing that happened after the chat is that I got pilloried by that always-quick-on-the-draw NewsBusters.org, specifically my good friend Tim “Stupidhead” Graham. Typically, Tim found nothing remotely funny or tongue-in-cheek about my poem, but, also, typical of Tim, he summarized it more or less accurately, if churlishly and prudishly: “A Poet at the WashPost Imagines St. Peter Shooting NRA's Wayne LaPierre In the Er, Zipper.”
I didn’t have any real problem with this interpretation, and certainly appreciated the “poet” part, though Tim's post goes a half-step too far: You will notice I didn’t actually have St. Peter pull the trigger, leaving open the possibility that he perhaps was only funnin’ with ol’ Wayne, before dispatching him to the certain hellfire that awaits him. (Wayne’s moral crimes are of such consequence that he might actually be launched right over the Christian hell into Jahannam, the Muslim hell, described thus in Wikipedia:
"The breadth of each of Hell's walls are equivalent to a distance covered by a walking journey of 40 years. According to Prophet Muhammad, Maalik is an angel, very severe and harsh, and he will listen to condemned persons' requests for remission of their punishments after 1000 years but then deny those requests as well.
The food of Jahannam described in Hadith and the Quran includes a bitter thorn plant, Dhari, which does not nourish sinners, along with a tree named Zaqqum. Zaqqum is described in the Quran as a tree that springs out of the bottom of hellfire; the shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the "heads of devils" and eating it is similar to eating molten brass that will boil their insides "like scalding water". Sinners drink boiling water that will cut their bowels when they consume it. If they call for relief, they shall be given water described to be like molten brass, which will scald their faces. Hell is also filled with venomous donkeys and if they were to bite a person, the person would suffer for 40 years. The residents of Jahannam wear garments of fire that will scorch them. Along with the physical pain, certain sinners in hell will be mentally tortured by the guardian of hell, who will remind them of their misdeeds on earth."
But I digress. My point is that my poem didn’t actually end with a scrotal castration by bullet; or, more to the point, it ended before such an event, leaving the reader to decide whether St. Peter was just joshing, pulling a fast one on Wayne, before sending him to by gnawed on by the venomous donkeys.
Also, I never said when this heavenly confrontation would happen or how many years more of evildoing Wayne would be allowed on Earth before being taken by the Lord, or, indeed, what was the instrument of Wayne's demise. He may well have lived to 120 and died surrounded by persons still willing to love him. That was all unstated.
Anyway, as I said, that was a minor matter to me, and, as always, I found myself reasonably treated by NewsBusters. What happened next, though, was spectacular. NewsBusters is apparently on the news feed of many extremely enthusiastic gun enthusiasts who are better at gun enthusiasm than reading. Or perhaps they like their news super-condensed. This headline first appeared “Post’s Gene Weingarten Would Like to See Wayne LaPierre Shot in the Crotch by St. Peter,” which was then shortened to “Post’s Gene Weingarten Would Like to See Wayne LaPierre Shot in the Crotch.” And finally what was going around was: “Weingarten Threatens Wayne LaPierre,” which is what several people alleged in fulminating tweets and emails. (Please note, gun enthusiasts: I do not “threaten” Wayne, or any of you. First, I am a peaceable man. But more to the point: You have guns. I have words. The sword is definitely mightier than the pen. Okay? God has seen to it that "sword" and "words" are anagrams of each other, implying an equivalency, but He got that wrong. In a fight to the finish, I choose the sword.)
I confess, though, that I kind of like the idea that St. Peter is a weapon I can deploy at will. Can you imagine that power? Like, I’d produce St. Peter, and he’d put his arm around me, and glower at the guy who just swooped in and took the parking spot I’d been waiting for and says, “So, you’d be Willard C. Plushbotham of Woonsocket, R.I,” and then St. Peter starts thumbing through a ledger…
I got into interesting Twitter back-and-forths with several persons who felt I had “threatened” Mr. LaPierre. One guy tweeted “Keep writing your hate laced soliloquies about killing people who believe in the 2nd Amendment.”
And then the guy went off on a parallel rant on how Obama is “unconstitutionally lobbying” for his unconstitutional Obamacare. When I pointed out that whatever else Obamacare might or might not be, whatever its strengths or flaws, one thing that it is NOT is unconstitutional, inasmuch as it has been declared constitutional by the final arbiter of constitutionality – when I pointed out all that, he pointed out that I am an idiot because slavery was once considered constitutional, too. It's unconstitutional, he says, because he declares it so.
But my favorite back and forth was with a woman whose Twitter bio reads: “Single mom to 4 great kids. A gun-packing, God lovin, Steeler fan Constitution Believin Conservative.”
This lady was polite, and friendly, and we had a nice respectful back and forth. I like her. She has LOTS of guns, which she uses for sport, but also for the defense of her kids’ lives, should it ever come to that. She also has assault weapons, but they are not for self-defense: They are for fun: target shootin’ and huntin’,. (She did not say, but I'm willing to stipulate that she hunts rhinos.) That led to this exchange, which I am editing for clarity:
Me: Let’s say it could be proven to your satisfaction that a complete ban on assault weapons and big ammunition clips would save many lives a year, by thwarting or slowing spree killers. Many lives, every year. Would you give up those fun-only guns, for the public good?
She: But it won’t! People kill people, guns don’t! Look at Chicago, which bans guns and has more murders than anywhere! We need to deal with mental illness.
Me: I understand you feel that way. You may be right. But hypothetically, let’s say that it could be scientifically proven TO YOUR SATISFACTION – this is YOU, looking at the evidence, and thinking, hm, okay, I’m not happy about that, but it’s pretty convincing – that banning these things would save many lives? Would you go without your fun guns for the good of society?
She: Look at Chicago! It doesn’t work! We need to treat the causes . . .
Me: But just hypothetically!
She: Chicago! Mental illness!
Me: I’ll take that as a “no,” then.
This, to me, is the center of this debate. I don’t hate gun owners, and I understand why some reasonable people might want the protection of a gun. I don’t equate support for the Second Amendment with lunacy or selfishness. But it is the utter intransigence of so many NRA types – and Mr. Evilface himself – that I think deserves our scorn. Refusing to budge an inch in the face of what this country is facing is, to me, unpatriotic. Yep, I said it. Me, a man so liberal he should be tried for treason and executed, I am calling THEM unpatriotic.
But that’s just me, and the contretemps over my little silly poem was little and silly. The contretemps over this video by Jim Carrey was big, and great. Here’s the video.
This splendid little thing got Fox News in an uproar. Greg Gutfeld called Carrey "the most pathetic tool on the face of the earth," adding, "I hope his career is dead."
“Since I released my “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.
I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.”
So. I guess there’s nothing I want to add to that, except one final poem of apology to Wayne LaPierre:
I’m sorry if you thought I wished you dead, in my yester-week barrage --
I don’t at all. I like you where you are and doing what you do --
Fighting for your dream of a gun in every pot and a chicken in every garage.
Till human voices wake us, and send men in white coats for you.