Angry, post-Newtown rant (or: No, asshole face, the Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to endanger all of us)

If you are someone who would ever consider designing this item, manufacturing this item, selling this item, or hanging this item on your Christmas tree, I have some bad news for you: You're a douche canoe.

If you are someone who would ever consider designing this item, manufacturing this item, selling this item, or hanging this item on your Christmas tree, I have some bad news for you: We’ve all decided that you’re a spectacular asshole.

We took the kids to the mall this past weekend for our annual family photo with Santa, and while standing in line I saw hanging on an adjacent ornament-vendor’s rack the patently offensive item shown above. (And I’m more than just a little ashamed to say that I didn’t, in that moment, have the presence of mind to gather them all up and hand them to the vendor while suggesting that he maybe throw them away.)

“But Jon, that’s obviously for hunting enthusiasts. Lighten up.”

Lighten up? Really? You want me to lighten up? Because here’s the thing: Fuck you. I’m all out of “Lighten up.”

And, yes, you’re right: That ornament obviously was created for hunting enthusiasts … but I’m certain — or, at least, I’d like to believe — that there are a number of hunting enthusiasts who would look at that ornament and say “Wow. Only a spectacular asshole would buy that.”

I’m also sure, however, that there are a number of hunting enthusiasts who would look at that ornament and say “Dadgum, I gotta get me one o’ them thar kick-ass orny-ments!” I would further venture to guess that the hunting enthusiasts who fall into this latter category are members of the gun-nut faction that rants and raves about an individual’s right to have unfettered access to every kind of firearm known to mankind.

“Yes, but Jon, the Second Amendment says—”

Fuck you and your Second Amendment, asshole. For starters, the Second Amendment was written in a day and age when the only guns available were single-shot muskets that took at least 15 seconds to reload.

Also, P.S.? The Second Amendment, which all you fucking gun nuts quote as being “The right to bear arms shall not be infringed”? That’s only part of the sentence, douchebags. Here’s what the Second Amendment ACTUALLY says:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

News flash: A “well regulated militia” doesn’t mean “every flaming asshole with insecure feelings about his penis” or “every rich divorcee who thinks it would be fun to buy a military-grade assault rifle and join the local target club” … and it most certainly doesn’t mean people like this douche canoe:

I like to call this 'The Luckiest Cameraman in the World.'

All of that changed, however, when in 2008 the conservative majority of the Supreme Court decided that, despite two centuries’ worth of legal rulings to the contrary, the Second Amendment actually does bestow upon individual citizens the right of unfettered gun ownership. The majority opinion in the 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. Here’s a 2007 picture of Scalia:

Supreme Court Justice/Gun Nut Anton Scalia

He’s the guy on the left … on the cover of ‘The New Gun Week’ magazine. The picture accompanied a feature that The Huffington Post described as follows:

[An] article celebrating the ambassadorship bestowed on Scalia by the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA), an international organization comprised primarily of gunmakers and pro-gun organizations (including the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation) from around the world.
[Emphasis mine.]

So, in other words, the man who in 2008 was largely responsible for striking down 220-plus-years’ worth of legal precedent in which court after court ruled that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean everybody gets to have an Uzi … was honored in 2007 as an ambassador of the gun industry.

Am I the only one who thinks this is batshit crazy?

And it is against this backdrop that nightmares like Aurora and Newtown are taking place.

All of which is to say: I’m so upset about what happened last Friday that I don’t know what to do with myself. Ranting about the fucked-up gun culture in this country seems like as good a place to start as any. Asking you to add your name to this petition seems like another. (Yes, you have to go through the inconvenience of creating an account on the White House’s website. Suck it up, motherfuckers. If you have time to create a Facebook account and a Twitter account and a Flickr account and a Pinterest account and an Instagram account so that you can clutter up the Internet with pictures of your fucking cat, you have time for this. Hell, I know you have time for it by virtue of the fact that you’re sitting here reading my dumb fucking blog.)

This is my third holiday season at my current workplace, and today was the third time I’ve been on hand for an annual holiday performance by a kindergarten class from a private school owned and operated by my employer. It was pretty similar to the performances I’d seen the previous two times … with the one major difference being that it was the first one during which my eyes kept filling with tears as I watched the 20-or-so beautiful, innocent, happy little kids sing their hearts out and tried to push from my mind the horrific thoughts of last Friday that keep flooding my brain every time I see a little kid … especially my own.

We have a responsibility to each other as a society to do something about our out-of-control gun culture. When you live in a country where those beautiful, innocent, happy little kids are getting gunned down by some monster toting a military-grade assault rifle, you can rest assured that YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. And all you gun nuts who say otherwise should get a clue … because using the argument that you must have your own private arsenal just in case you need to overthrow the government is a crock of shit.

You see, the thing is: The rest of us common-sense-having types aren’t nearly as afraid of the government as we are of you dumb motherfuckers with your assault weapons and concealed handguns.

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Posted in Life, Politics | 13 Responses

I’m back … and I’m ready to handle it up!

While recently looking at my blog’s incoming-traffic data, I discovered that someone had arrived here through a translation link … which, when clicked on, led me to the page you see above.

Ever since then, I’ve been wearing a mariachi costume, downing tequila shots and spontaneously shouting “¡Arriba!” at all hours of the day and night. So, you know, same as always. The big difference, however, is that I now am insisting that everyone refer to me as Papà Arañazos. Por favor.

Gracias.

In other news: I got sick of blogging. Not only maintaining my own, but reading everyone else’s. I mean, all of these blogs (mine included) started feeling to me like a once-great television series that had gone on for too long. The first four seasons of “Breaking Bad”? Phenomenal. Season 5? Well, it’s still entertaining … and I certainly don’t blame the writers and producers and actors for continuing with the show. If given the chance, I most definitely would do the same. But Season 4 was a perfect story comprised of perfectly executed conflicts that led to a perfect and wholly satisfying climax. Whereas these so-called Mommy blogs and Daddy blogs? (Again: Mine included.) They just go on and on and on and on … generally without the benefit of attention-grabbing storylines and totally-worth-the-wait climaxes.

All of which eventually caused me to contract such an acute case of “Who gives a shit?”-itis that I took an indefinite blogging hiatus and decided to instead try my hand at fiction writing. And after several months of trying to create something out of nothing, I discovered a couple of things:

  1. Making up a compelling and coherent story is difficult.
  2. Discontinuing my blog didn’t result in me having more time to work on my fiction writing; it resulted in me not doing any writing.

So when last week I realized that I missed blogging, I figured I’d dip my toe back in the pool … if for no other reason than to at least do some sort of writing.

Also, I must confess that the following comment recently left on my blog made me realize just how important my writing is to some people:

What I don’t realize is in reality how you are not really much more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You are so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably in terms of this matter, produced me personally imagine it from so many various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated until it is one thing to do with Woman Gaga! Your personal stuffs nice.

All the time handle it up!

Handle it up indeed, my friend. You’re damn right I will. All the time.

(NOTE: For some reason, the plugin that guards my blog aflagged the above comment as “Spam” … which, clearly, was a mistake. I mean, just because the author included a link to a completely unrelated online store doesn’t mean he or she isn’t sincere — and, might I add, overwhelmingly correct — about me being “so intelligent” and having nice “personal stuffs.” And say what you will, but there is definitely no arguing the fact that it truly is a mystery how in reality I am not really much more smartly appreciated than I might be right now. Yer damn skippy I’m not. Even Woman Gaga would agree.)

In conclusion: I have no idea what the future holds for me, my blog, or my writing in general. I might try to be funny. I might just focus on documenting life so that my kids can one day read about their childhoods. I might even get all nutty and offer up some social and political commentary that will piss off and alienate a whole bunch of you. Whatever the case, I’ve realized that any kind of writing is better for me than no writing.

We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime: Handle it up, motherfuckers.

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Posted in Inspiration, Life, Writing | Comments closed

Jayna: 7 years

Jayna, 7th birthday retrospective

Dear Jayna,

You turned 7 five months ago and I am only just now writing about it. Sorry. Daddy had a severe case of blogger burnout.… [read the rest]

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Posted in Jayna, Jayna's Birthday Letters | 6 Responses

Zan: 9 years

Zan, 9th birthday retrospective

Dear Zan,

Not for nothing, but, um … didn’t we just do this?

I vaguely recall thinking, at some earlier point in my life, that a year was a looooong time. The annual recurrence of your birthday, however (and, sadly, of mine as well) now serves as a reminder that these “year” things are whizzing by with steadily increasing speed. Basically, I’ll be dead soon, is what I’m saying. Happy Birthday, son!… [read the rest]

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Posted in Zan, Zan's Birthday Letters | 16 Responses

We interrupt this embarrassingly prolonged silence to bring you an actual blog post

“Hello? … Yeah, this is him. … I have a what? … A blog? Oh, shit, that’s right.”

Ahem.

Hey, you guys! How’s it going? Me? No, I didn’t die; I’ve just been trying desperately to make the minimum monthly payments on my Mt. Everest-sized pile of debt … and since my mad website-building skillz currently pay more than my mad blogging skillz, I’ve been focusing as of late on the former endeavor … which explains why I currently am in Boston attending An Event Apart, a conference for people who build websites.

The best part about attending the conference? My employer is paying for it. The second best part about attending the conference? I got to hit last night’s Red Sox game with my Dad.

Fenway Paaahhhhk.

The best part about hitting last night’s Red Sox game with my Dad? He paid for it.

Actually, the best part about hitting the Red Sox game with my Dad … was hitting a Red Sox game with my Dad … something that neither of us had any interest in doing when I was a kid. (This is what my social-worker wife would call a “corrective experience.”)

Now, as with any plan involving my Dad, there was a high probability of confusion and chaos … which is why, when he called me from a stranger’s phone 40 minutes prior to game time and left me a voicemail saying that he’d forgotten his own phone at home, I was convinced that the likelihood of him and I finding each other in the mayhem outside of Fenway Park prior to, say, the 7th inning was anorexically slim.

(And for those of you asking: “Why didn’t you just answer your phone when it rang, dumb ass?” Well, firstly: I don’t appreciate being called a dumb ass. Secondly: I rarely answer my phone when I do recognize the caller’s phone number … but when I don’t recognize the caller’s phone number? The caller stands a better chance of contacting me via carrier pigeon.)

And so it was that I hunkered down at my favorite pregame watering hole, ordered up a delicious Fenway Pale Ale …

Fenway Pale Ale @ Boston Beer Works

… and prepared to watch the first six-or-so innings on the flat screen hanging over the bar.

You guys: Life really is full of surprises:

Daddy Scratches' Daddy. #RedSox

It is with tremendous glee that I tell you the photo above was taken during the bottom of the second inning … and it is with even greater glee that I tell you we arrived at our seats in the bottom of the first inning, just seconds before Big Papi hit a two-run, game-tying blast into the right-field seats.

Add to all of that some spectacular weather and seats that were located a mere eight rows away from the field …

Spoiled by the sweet seats we scored to the Red Sox game

… and what you have is a Hallmark-worthy evening of father-and-son bonding.

Thanks for the corrective experience, Pop!

And, hey, speaking of father-and-son bonding: My boy turned 9 last week … and I soon will post my highly anticipated* annual birthday letter. Stay tuned.

*My Mom really looks forward to it. That counts.

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Posted in Life, Red Sox | 9 Responses