"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 2 June 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
A Modest Disposal


[best things this week:
being dog-pinned in bed-twice; dolores st bbq friendly backyard]

Power begins at the end of a

gun, as Chairman Mao once

pointed out; is it any wonder

that tomorrow's leaders are

drawn to small arms like

children to candy? Reports last

week of multiple homicides in

the Pacific Northwest seem to

have triggered a wave of copycat

shootings among impressionable

youth. Kip Kinkel of Springfield,

Oregon, taking up the gauntlet

thrown down by two Arkansas

counterparts, first killed his

parents, and then, after a good

night's sleep, went into school

and started taking out the lunch

crowd execution-style.


In a stunning riposte,

15-year-old Miles Fox of

Cinebar, Washington, after

firing a warning shot near his

girlfriend, committed suicide

with his nine. Friends

insensitive to the Zeitgeist

were baffled: "It wasn't like

she was dumping him," Lewis

County sheriff's Sergeant Brad

Borden told the Associated

Press. "He had two girlfriends

and just didn't know what to

do." (Had young Fox been old

enough to read Penthouse, the

tragedy might have been



Finally, any millennial doubts

about the republic's future were

surely laid to rest with the

heartening tale of 11-year-old

Corey Gaston of Brooklyn, who

stabbed his mother's abusive

boyfriend, an act deemed

justifiable homicide by the

NYPD. If Whitney Houston was

right, the future looks pretty

damn scary.


[comparing rock blisters with paige at the 'one night stand' show;
watching sf rock luminaries carry keyboards through the crowd at said show,
proving my point about their usage; aldo no-one ]

All of which serves to remind us

that, as H. Rap Brown once said,

violence is as American as apple

pie. Despite the encroachments

of support-group bathos on our

once-virile national spirit, the

triptych of God, Guns, and Guts

still maintains its place at the

center of cultural iconography.

Kicking ass, not living well,

remains the best revenge. And

who learns that lesson better

than our youth?


Forget South Park suicides. All

the self-respecting delinquent

needs to know about life, he

learns in the schoolyard. It's

there that he learns his first

and hardest lessons about his

nonstatus. He can either take it

and like it, learn an unctuous

mix of servility and sarcasm, or

come back in the morning with

both barrels ablaze. Later on,

as such socially acceptable

sublimations as lap dances or

cigar bars become available, the

primordial urge to "shoot first

and let God sort them out"

becomes a special lifestyle

choice limited to gang members

and mercenaries. But in those

troubled years after pubescence,

no boy of spirit can be expected

not to feel the urge to let off

a little steam every now and



There's nothing more infuriating

than powerlessness, and nobody

is more powerless than kids.

John Ramsey, a man so evil that

he entered his daughter in a

beauty contest, is galavanting

around some Aspen ski lodge as

you read this; while on the

other end of the social

spectrum, infants are regularly

boiled, threatened with death by

ball-point pen, and used as human

shields. The old NRA argument

for putting guns in the hands of

the defenseless carries a little

more weight when you think what

might have happened had Sean

Hartman or JonBenet packed a



the super bad third eye blind set on jay leno; three keggers before curfew]

The middle class has realtors

and restraining orders to keep

them from harm, and the rich

have everything short of force

fields. That leaves the lower

orders, and children are the

lowest order of all. They don't

vote, they don't get workfare,

and no one will even sell them a

bottle of PowerMaster to ease

their troubled lives. The

well-adjusted among us get along

all right, but that's even more

reason for an unhappy youngster

to off the in-crowd but good

when the chance comes. Given

this country's infatuation with

defenestrated terrorists, scary

police chases, and prurient

morality tales about AIDS and

the wages of sin, it's not very

sporting to feign amazement when

the kid nobody likes fights



Of course, in the America of

both Godzilla and The Horse

Whisperer, hardship is supposed

to lead to determination.

Recently, wheelchair athlete Ted

Ernst was revealed to have led a

secret life of crime. "We can't

make any sense of it," said a

local Sheriff. Why not? It makes

more sense than racing

wheelchairs. But that's not the

party line: Thus, every 6-foot-9

NBA lottery pick, when asked

about the secret to his success,

repeats a mantra drilled into

him like so many Latin

declensions by his

schoolmasters: "Never give up.

You can be anything you want to

be." A more demonstrably untrue

statement probably couldn't be

devised, and yet a vast

inspirational literature machine

grinds out propaganda to the

contrary. Snap your spine in a

riding accident? Perhaps you'd

like to get into directing.

Father inject you with AIDS so

he wouldn't have to pay child

support? Tell us your plans for

the future. It would all be

cruel if it weren't funny, or

vice versa. A gun is a simpler

answer all around.

courtesy of Hans Moleman