Random Shots

You see it every day-in any given newspaper, on any given television news broadcast:

   "In what appears to have been a random act of senseless violence..."

What crap.

There ain't no such thing as "random" acts of violence. Violence, no matter how misunderstood by those of us who revel in observing its primordial wonder from the safety of our suburban sidelines, is always a premeditated act. You show me a "random" stabbing, shooting, beating or nose-tweaking that was perpetrated without any rhyme or reason by the person committing it, and I'll show you somebody who really can plea "innocent by reason of insanity." Why?

Because anyone who doesn't know why they went to work with a flame-thrower that day really is completely fuckin' nuts.

"Random" my ass. Someone, somewhere, thought somebody else had it comin'.

And don't tell me you haven't thought of the sweet taste of "detached expedience" at some dark point in your life (like last Tuesday), too. Sure, no one can rationalize the dead preschoolers on Channel 12 or the nuns held hostage on Page 1A okay, for argument's sake, let's just leave it at the preschoolers for now but don't try to tell me you haven't looked at the carnage on the tube at least once in your life and said to yourself, "Man, those assholes couldn't even make change when their electronic cash registers were down during the day after Thanksgiving sale… I'm amazed it took this long for somebody to take the morons out."

See? It really isn't a too big of an emotional stretch, is it? And one doesn't have to illustrate the subject using the blood bath du jour, either. Non-random acts of violence are all around us in even the most benign of surroundings, and they rarely fit that idiotic "senseless" moniker into which the media wonks would have us buy. Examples?

Do you really think that the whining kid in Aisle Six didn't have that ass-smack coming when he wanted his twenty-seventh free Oreo? Are you so self-righteous that you believe Nell didn't have to bludgeon her abusive husband in the crotch after he impregnated his third babysitter? And is there anyone out there who could stand up (with a straight face) and say that they think they could ever hope to vote the bastards out? Please…

No matter our limited, (ir)rational exterior view of this so-called "random" violence, somebody's internal two-minute warning had gone off long before you or I ever heard about it on the news. They had their, um, "reasons," and I'm not so sure some of us wouldn't find ourselves agreeing with their sick rational for at least a fleeting moment.

C'mon. You're going to tell me you didn't laugh your ass off at Sam Kinison's infamous one-liner: "No, I don't condone any sort of violent behavior towards women  —  I UNDERSTAND IT!!"

But seriously, folks…

Seriously, folks, when did we become such a bunch of PC pussies when it comes to our natural instincts to kick serious ass? I think it was in Across The Pacific where Humphrey Bogart told Sydney Greensreet, "The only two things a woman understands are a slap in the face or a slug from a forty-five," but I'm sure Ted "My Maiden Name is Fonda" Turner had that part colorized into film vault oblivion so we could never hear it again. I can hardly wait for the Teletubbies' version of A Clockwork Orange to come out on DVD.

And what about the people's lives you're ruining by denying that violence can be a good thing, hmmm? I mean, where are all those jack-booted, coal-scuttle-helmeted boys in black-sorry-dark blue with the FBI's HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) going to get their kicks when there's nobody left to rescue? I'm not kidding! You wouldn't want them to show up at your local church and set fire to it (with you in it) because they got cranky waiting for some "real" action, would you? Of course not!

Let's keep the home fires burning - meaning that bloated cathode ray tube in your living room - and demand a little societal cleansing every now and then. There's nothing quite like that look of elated surprise on a hostage's face when she hears that muted < whump/splat > that occurs when the SWAT team's lead shooter puts a 168-grain Hollow-Point Boat-Tail careening into the perp's noggin at a thousand feet-per-second faster than the speed of sound; so the rifle's report didn't arrive at her ear until after the goblin was redecorating the wall behind his head.

What's the problem, people? Did I miss a meeting in the forty-some-thousand years of "modern" man's pre-revisionist history? Who told us that bad things are so far outside the norm that we should now reel in horror at the very thought of the cow that made my hamburger (and that vegetarian's Gucci shoes) getting its head air-hammered into a Discovery Channel moment?

Clint Eastwood said it best in Unforgiven: "We all got it comin', kid."

Yes we do. But that also means other people, places and things have it comin', as well.

Our job is to simply make sure that we're standing far enough to one side that we can still laugh at the "I said a Bud Light" jokes which invariably follow within hours of some poor schmuck's latest stab at Amateur Sweeps Week.


"Don't mince words, Bones. What do you really think?"
William Shatner in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn