Monday, June 13, 2016
Stop the Insanity
Remember how I said on Saturday that I seemed to be developing a cold? Well, now I know. It's not terrible, but it kept me on the couch all day yesterday, watching movies -- notably "Her," a very bizarre but visually beautiful film starring Joaquin Phoenix, about a man who falls in love with his Operating System -- and reading the horrible news from Orlando.
I don't know how to say this without feeling like I am fruitlessly repeating the same old mantra, but until the United States reforms its gun laws to make it impossible for lunatics to get their hands on assault rifles, these kinds of things will continue to happen. That's pretty much the bottom line, don't you think? There will always be radicalized, misguided, desperate people trying to do scary things, but if they are legally prevented access to high-powered weapons the damage will be minimized.
I just don't know what it will take for America to learn that lesson.
The fact that this happened in Orlando, so close to my home turf, is especially weird. In the 1980s and early '90s I used to go dancing at the flamboyant El Goya and (later) Tracks in Tampa, and at the cavernous Visage and tightly packed Big Bang in Orlando. I feared a lot of things as a young gay man -- getting beaten up, AIDS, discrimination that no law would prevent. I feared violence from some of the less-enlightened citizenry. But I never, ever could have imagined anything on this scale -- not in sleepy Central Florida.
We took down our squirrel feeder. It seemed to be attracting more pigeons than squirrels and they were all roosting on our upstairs neighbors' balcony -- which I'm sure the neighbors didn't like. (They never said anything to us but they installed pigeon spikes on the railing.) We now put the squirrel food in a saucer at the back of the garden. They can make all the mess they want back there.
(Photos: A hoverfly on our hanging basket near the back door.)