Tag Archives: Cthulu

I Want My M16

Today, we’re going to be talking about guns.

Well, I am going to be talking about guns. I can’t speak to Evan’s convictions on the subject, other than that he favors the needler in Halo. I further understand that the word “Reporters” in our blog’s title may make my post seem like it is using journalism as a facade for promoting personal social and political views à la Fox News.

Your source for interchangeable blonde news anchors since 1996.

Despite this, the simple truth of the matter is that here at CWR, we do hold fairly strong views and don’t shy away from laying them out, be it calling out lousy comic book “artists” to demanding greater coverage of violence by the media. Granted, we have Fame/Shame Day here at CWR to more directly bash what we believe to be wrong with society and laud what we think is being done right, but the purpose of this post really isn’t either of those things. This is simply my own take on a current debate, submitted for your consideration.

Let’s get right to it.

I like guns.

And no, not in the obsessive way where I can tell you how many rounds a Beretta Px4 can hold, or why it’s important that the bullets from one hunting rifle travel marginally faster than those of another. I’ve never hunted anything bigger than a cockroach (which isn’t to say those weren’t some big roaches). I’ve never posted a photo of me and my gun on Facebook.

I don’t even own a gun.

So why do I like them? Why, in the face of all the recent atrocities committed with guns, would I voice any support for the alleged right to own a killing device?

I could spout all the old rhetoric and slogans of the gun-nuts.

If we take away guns, only bad guys will have them!”
Guns won this country’s independence!
“My right to  own a gun protects your right to complain about them!”

In addition to just being used-to-death, the simple truth of the matter is that all of those supposedly “tried-and-true” arguments have some holes in them.  There are countries out there with gun control laws more stringent than the US whose gun-related crimes are nevertheless low. Guns did help win this nation’s freedom, but so did the cannon and the battleship, neither of which could be found hanging above the average colonist’s mantle. And if we’re looking to face the facts, the same guns that supposedly protect my freedom could likewise take it away. Let the facts be faced, the gun owners of this nation are not some courageous bastion standing between me and an intrusive, all-powerful government.

So why support guns?

Because I like having a fighting chance.

Too often these debates get painted as black and white. Both sides point at each other and howl that a victory for their opponents would be on par with the rise of Cthulu.

I, for one, welcome our elder-god overlord…

Take it from any Black/Hispanic/Native American/Jewish/Etc. person living in the 1950s- access to firearms is not a guarantee of freedom, justice, and equality. And take it from someone who actually lived in a brutal dictatorship- a society without guns in no ways guarantees safety and security for you or those you care for. A gun is just a gun. It is not a magical freedom stick forged in angel tears and presented to you by the almighty. It is not an infernal, malicious, conscious beast that turns otherwise good people into psychopaths.

You’re thinking of board games

It is just a machine.

Cars kill people. Cars save people. Speaking for myself, I’d prefer to live in a world with cars. Dogs kill people. Dogs save people. I’d rather in a world with dogs. Hammers make good chairs. Hammers make lousy chairs, and I don’t care that it’s been years since I last used a hammer. For good or ill, I’d like to know that if I wanted to, I could walk into the garage and use one.

Same goes for guns.

They aren’t always safe. They aren’t always good. They don’t always protect me, but I nevertheless like to know that I can try to use them to do that.

It’s just something to consider.

This isn’t meant to offer all or even some of the answers- it’s just an alternate take on the situation I think wouldn’t kill us to discuss.

Think about it.

Sweden Recognizes Kopimism as a Religion: What on Earth does ‘Religion’ Mean?

Sweden’s pretty liberal when it comes to copyright laws, as a government and as a culture – it’s the home of the thepiratebay.org and there’s a healthy anti-anti-piracy-movement movement in Sweden that’s been active since 2001. Further proof of piracy as culture in Sweden is the fact that the Swedish government just officially recognized the Church of Kopimism.

Kopimism’s central dogma centers around the idea that information is a holy thing, and copying information a sacrament. CTRL+C and CTRL+V are considered holy symbols. The English page of the church’s website says:

We challenge all copyright believers – most of which have a great deal of influence in politics, and who derive their power by limiting people’s lives and freedom.

Isak Gerson’s personal website (translated by Google) says that a Kopimist a “person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes copyrights in all forms and encourages piracy of all types of media including music, movies, TV shows, and software.”

So Gerson (who, weirdly, is also a member of the Christian Student Movement in Sweden) took this philosophy and pasted some “ritual” labels on everything and got a religion (after petitioning to the government 3 times, to his credit). The result is both a straight-faced mockery of the difficulty governments face w/r/t defining ‘religion’ (on the Kopimist website, the first line of one of the definitions of Kopimism is the defense “A religion is a belief system with rituals.”) and a strange manifestation of a strongly held belief.

Religions rooted in the internet are not a new thing. With all those people registering as “Jedi” in the 2001 census, Pastafarianism, and the prevalence of Cthulu worship, the appearance of a semi-ironic religious movement started by otherwise apathetic 20 year old males is becoming a pattern.

Maybe it’s just another irony-soaked fad, like speaking with ridiculous grammar or posting hilarious misquotes – or maybe the semi-ironic religions created will garner more earnestness and lose some irony and become, weirdly, a real way that people define their philosophies. The definition of the word “religion”, in the context of recent events and the influence of internet culture, is changing, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens to it.