Incentivizing Thieves, Hollywood & Guns, and Biden’s Train-Wreck Town Hall (posted 10/25/21)

The Cautious Optimism Roving Correspondent for Affairs (and Stuff) – CORCA – is back with a new column.  Because he’s not like the useless Secretary of Transportation, who can just drop everything  and disappear for two months at a time with no consequences!

Three quick stories to talk about today — one involving thieves, one involving Alec Baldwin’s tragic accident, and one involving a much greater tragedy – our Cadaver in Chief’s townhall performance last week.

Last year, when peaceful rioters in many American cities transformed into peaceful looters, it was disgusting, but I could almost understand it.  The mass shoplifting and looting was happening amidst a gigantic crimewave, when emotions were high, in blue cities where the locals had elected morally vacuous idiots who accepted the criminality, and prevented cops from stopping it.

But the latest crimewave happening in blue cities – the best recent examples are in CA – is beyond comprehension.  I’m talking about the brazen shoplifters who walk into stores in broad daylight, in front of store security guards, employees and customers, and fill bags with items and walk out with them.

This is an ominous cultural red flag, the kind you usually find only in seriously dysfunctional societies.

For example, when the East German commies started building a wall to keep their own citizens IN…

When a major hurricane hits a socialist People’s Republic’s major city, and the damage is less than $800…  

When a bunch of whiny white people get outraged on behalf of American Indians, and get a football team to change its name, and over A FULL YEAR later, the best name that team can come up with is the “Washington Football Team…”

Those are all moments when a society needs to look in the mirror and confront the question of what has gone so horrifically wrong. 

This latest crimewave is one of those moments, because it exposes a moral degeneracy so perverse that it shocks the conscience. 

“Thou Shalt Not Steal” is one of those axiomatic, inarguable statements.

Like, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” or “Measure twice, cut once.”

Or, “Let’s go, Brandon!”

There’s something about the brazenness of the theft that is so alarming.  These aren’t crimes committed in the heat of passion, or in the middle of chaotic and traumatic events, or by people who are desperate, stealing food to feed their families.

Yes, these criminals are lazy, and they aren’t very intelligent, and they are morally stunted.  But mouth-breathing Biden supporters though they may be, they are reacting rationally to a malevolent political ideology that has incentivized them to do these things.

Leftist elites have taught them to hate businesses, and people who are more financially successful than they are.  Those elites have also hamstrung the cops, promising that no one who steals less than $950 worth of goods will be arrested or charged.    

The worst part is the self-imposed impotence of the society that stands by and watches, and lets this happen.  That response is sociopathically suicidal!

Can you think of any other society, anywhere in the world, at any time in human history that would behave this way? 

Stealing is one of the most fundamental human offenses, and while various societies have reacted with varying degrees of severity – some executed thieves, some exiled them, Muslims chop their hands off, virtually every society imprisons them for at least a while – no culture I’ve ever heard of refuses to try to stop — or even deter! – theft.

I’ve got a personal reason to especially hate a thief. Many years ago, when I realized what a financial mistake I’d made in getting a liberal arts PhD, I decided that I’d start a second job buying and fixing up old houses.

I could only afford places that were dilapidated enough that they scared off more sane rehabbers.  When I finally was able to buy my first rental, I spent my life savings on the house and some tools to fix it with — not to mention borrowing up to my eyeballs!

One month into the process, some lowlife creep broke into my pathetic little fixer-upper and stole the tools that at that time probably constituted half of my net worth.  I can still remember how mad I was when I discovered the theft. 

If you’ve ever seen the great first Denzel Washington Equalizer movie, when he went through the home improvement store killing bad guys with various hardware and gardening implements, you’ll have some idea of my state of mind.  Back then I couldn’t afford a fancy nail gun, but if I’d been able to catch that thief, I’d have made out just fine with only the old-school framing hammer that I’d bought!

Anyway, great job, California!  You had a chance to dump your egregious governor, the gender non-binary Ken Doll with the hair of a Mexican soap opera leading man, but you’ve doubled down on stupid.     Now your stores are closing left and right, your ports are paralyzed, and successful businesses and people are fleeing. 

Your loss will the red states’ gain, as it should be.

I’m not going to pile on Alec Baldwin in the wake of his accidental shooting of two people on a movie set, though he makes a tempting target.  He is apparently a very messed up person in many ways, but my religion teaches me that so are we all, and my own flaws keep me plenty busy.  Baldwin is going to have a lot of tough days ahead of him, not the least of which will involve dealing with the guilt that comes from a tragedy like this.  For that reason, we should pray for him.

I think it’s worth mentioning, though, that Hollywood writ large is drowning in hypocrisy when it comes to guns.  The worst aspect of that is the way they preen and lecture regular people about how bad guns are, when virtually all of them pay armed security to afford them the kind of protection that common folk can only come close to by keeping a gun for self-defense.   

But not far behind that is the cynical way they exploit guns in movies.  Almost every alluring image we have of guns and their use comes from tv and movies, many of which romanticize and fetishize guns constantly.

From war movies to thrillers to westerns to cop shows, Hollywood’s products are awash in gun porn, and with every new release it’s more of the same: Something John Wick This Way Comes.  (And there’s your required monthly Shakespeare allusion.) 

I’m not complaining.  I know that entertainment isn’t the same as real life, and that every movie isn’t for everyone.  I’m perfectly happy with the deal I’ve made with my wife: she can watch all of the costume dramas and rom coms she likes, and I’ll stick with the gritty crime shows and war movies and Denzel dropping a bad guy with a limb saw through the trachea.

Like most people raised in flyover country, I was taught that guns were a tool.  They’ve got their dangers, and they’ve got their uses – just like every other tool in the garage and shop. 

But Hollywood has profited enormously from making guns enticing.  They’ve lit them like a young Margot Robbie, choreographed their graceful use, and enhanced their impact through sound effects – not just the gunshots themselves, but the satisfying, machined clicks and clacks involved in slamming home magazines and freeing slides and cocking triggers, not to mention the sonorous rattling of spent casings raining on concrete floors during an adrenaline-dumping gunfight. 

The moral midgets in show business make movies shot-through with gunplay, and then Glock-shame regular Americans who want to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights to protect themselves in the real world.  (I was going to say “Glock-block,” but I am too highbrow for that kind of thing.) (Which is why they call me Martin Simpson: Man of Ice Cream, Man of Principle.)  If they had put their money where their mouths are, they wouldn’t have greenlit another violent western, and Alec Baldwin wouldn’t be going through the dark night of the soul that he now faces.

Finally, what can I say about Biden’s ultra-disturbing town hall?  I hate to speak ill of the dead, but… Yikes!

I know by now that nobody can stop Biden – or any elite Dems – from lying constantly. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Slick Willy’s gotta grope, elite Dems gotta lie.  (No, the trillions of extra spending are not “free.”  No, runaway inflation is not a good thing.  No, the supply chain disaster is not an act of God.  No, Trump didn’t cause 9/11, the great depression, or the common cold.)

But is there no Democrat handler, flunky or corner man who can stop him from that creepy whispering? They must have told him the effect it has on people: adults cringe, children cry, dogs whimper and try to get behind their owners’ legs.   But there he went again, whispering that the rich “don’t pay a cent.”

The GOP released a video compilation of his recent whisperings, and they couldn’t be any more unnerving if the last one of them was, “the call is coming from INSIDE the house!”

And what was with that seemingly 10-minute stretch where he squinted through a long question from Anderson Cooper while holding both arms out in front of him, bent at the elbow, and holding both hands clenched into fists? 

It reminded me a little of the eerie reflex function you see once in a while on the football field, when a player lies on the turf with both arms extended unnaturally, after a particularly hard hit. (Except that in this context, the only thing taking hard hits are our constitution, domestic policy, foreign policy, economy, and national dignity.)

Joe Biden literally looks crazy when he’s just standing there listening! 

Then he starts talking, and only makes things worse.  Before Anderson could jump in and bail him out when he couldn’t remember that one of the ports he has crippled is in Long Beach, Biden lost steam after remembering “LA,” and then looked at his feet and said, “Oh, what am I doing here?”

What indeed, Mr. President? What ARE you doing here?

Please go.

Or should I say, “Please go, Brandon!”

It’s been a long 13 years, and it’s only been 36 weeks.

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