Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Auburn University Campus Closed

After the "biblical" rampage threat at the University, my day has changed a bit. For me at the city library here, there is an influx of very seriously minded students. Nice to see them. All kinds of folks, only separated from the rest of the crowd by their youthful non-use of Facebook. They have more serious assignments on their minds. Yesterday was tax day and we had a bunch of too serious folks with an air of desperation, so I welcome the change.

We had bomb threats when I was a kid and they would shut down a school for an hour, do some kind of cursory search, and let us all back in. I remember once that I was in the middle of a test and actually asked a fellow student waiting outside about a question on the test I was pondering. Bomb threats seemed like a timeout in a football game which could be used for strategic purposes to ice the kicker if one put a mind to it. In every sporting event, they do put their minds to how to cheat and win. (Remember that wars are won by basically cheating.) Americans, we love to cheat. In basketball they foul people on purpose to try to get the ball back in the last desperate seconds of a game. Every rule is used in sports as a way to win the game by bad sportsmanship. We Americans don't think of this as cheating. If you want to know why people do things like scrawl biblical rampage threats on the wall of a bathroom, keep in mind, it is all a game to people. If they get away with it, cause a lot of trouble, then "score!" Ethics (sportsmanship) is for losers.

Today, instead of bombs, it is guns. Guns are so much more easily obtainable though. When I was in college, it would have taken a lot of research to build a bomb and I would probably have been blown up in the process. However guns... why... I could go to Walmart now. I believe they had an assault rifle for sale there the last time I went, quite some time ago but definitely after that awful school tragedy. It was advertised on a sign that could be seen from across the store. We live in amazing times.

What Walmart is doing amounts to the same thing as our willingness to cheat in sports and pretty much everywhere else. The second amendment, whatever it was for, is basically a loophole. The part about "well regulated militias" is just interpreted in whatever way we want to win our side of the debate. Walmart is capitalizing on the fear that exists because of the increase in guns already out there. It is a game for Walmart, playing on the fear, and the "score!" is in profits. Walmart creates a circular mini arms race among citizens and profits. You had better keep up with your opponent! He has lots of guns. You might need two, or more to match him. And don't forget that someday the government will take away your guns. You need to call a timeout or foul someone. Get your gun now before the government changes the rules. Of course it is not just Walmart that is capitalizing but Walmart cheats in so many ways it is hard not to point them out as the universal example. If there is cheating involved, Walmart is doing it.

People ask why we have so much more violence in this country. Part of it is the proliferation of guns but another part is the gamesmanship of cheating that our country holds as important aspect of life. Cheating is in our bones.

Go team....


  1. "Remember that wars are won by basically cheating." IF you can keep your cheating a secret. Because actually, I think that wars are won when the most people on the planet don't want your opponents to win.

    In any war where one side has gone too far, neighboring countries have formed alliance to take out the scary guy. Or, the scary guy has to threaten everyone so hard that they change their minds and support him just because they are more scared of the alternative. If you can't give ppl a clear reason to support you, cheating will only convince them that you can't be trusted and they will rally against you.

    1. It is so good to hear from you. Cheating in war also includes propaganda, which may affect the way people perceive who is in the right and who is in the wrong, who to support and not support. One would hope that over time truth would even things out, yet the winners write the history.