Friday, June 20, 2014

Thomas Jefferson - Reloaded

Thomas Jefferson's 'tree of liberty' remark was long-ago co-opted by conservatives as justification for stuffing every conceivable nook and cranny of our nation with as many guns as humanly possible.

(I mean, you just never know, do you?)

But Eric Zorn, in a typically-thoughtful column in last Friday's Chicago Tribune, responded to this misappropriation by putting a new wrinkle in Jefferson's quote to better-reflect the sad ideal prized by firearm advocates in even-sadder twenty-first century America.

Instead of finishing with “...the blood of patriots and tyrants”, Zorn put it thusly:

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of innocent school children.

Which just about says it all, doesn't it?

Good going, Mr. Zorn.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let Us Now Praise the Onion

Before there was a Jon Stewart or a Stephen Colbert, the task of presenting and parodying the news fell to a small publication founded by some college kids in Madison, Wisconsin in 1988.

The Onion took off fairly quickly, expanding its distribution to Midwest college towns and the great city of Chicago within a matter of years.

The rest, as they say, is history.

In its twenty-five years of existence, the Onion has routinely poked fun at the hapless, embarrassed the deserving and given those whose outlooks are perhaps infected with a touch of jaundice good, hearty belly laughs.

But in the wake of the tragic Isla Vista shootings, no media outlet better crystallized the event and the raging debate surrounding it than the headline in the May 27th issue:

'No Way To Prevent This' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens