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Have you seen this NASA Video? It made me think of recent tragic events.

Hey folks, Harry here...  After the recent tragedy in Arizona, the following media reaction, the back & forth... I have been a bit down regarding mankind in general.  I don't know.  Civility has always had me as a fan.  My thoughts in the aftermath seemed a little dark for me.   I hated that.   So I decided to watch STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, Robert Wise's Director's cut.    I'm stuck in bed, healing up from a recent back injury - and as I've been stretching and working this problem out.   I just, I needed something hopeful about mankind.   Generally, that takes me to Roddenberry.  And the most Roddenberry of the Trek films was Robert Wise's.   Watching that movie, the decisions that Kirk makes, the observations of Spock and the concerns of McCoy...  they're perfect.   It isn't an action film, it's an unknown situation and they don't rush to judgement, they don't fire phasers, mainly because they're fucked up with the Warp Engines, so they discharge a photon torpedo to hit that asteroid in that Warp induced Wormhole...  but the point is, they never act brashly.  That idiot wannabe demoted Captain wanted to, but thank Roddenberry that Kirk did take over.  

Right now, more than ever we as a people have a problem, we're not necessarily built to process instant half-truths and opinions at the rate they're being sent at us.   This problem was building before we had the internet, but with it...  it amplified.   Instead of thinking with empathy... relating to the tragedy, we want to blame, get angry, go nuts.   How could this happen?  Fuck this 22 year old kid.  Blame Palin.  Blame Obama.   Blame Don't Ask Don't Tell.   

How about shutting up about it all.   How about thinking about this being your 22 year old kid that is now called "a monster".   How about, logging off line...  turning off the news and just reading a good book.   Why is tragedy so important to us?   How about thinking about the future, your own, that of your kids, grandkids - and where, ultimately you see us as a people.   

That's one of the things I loved about Roddenberry's future.  It changed after Gene left us, but for a whole generation of geeks, we learned the lessons.   That before you beam down, you analyze the situation, you let the experts on your side do their investigation, you let them file reports and months from now we'll get a clear picture.

Then, the question is, once we find out every thing there is to know about this...  will any of that make you feel better?  That little girl born on 9/11 is still dead.  And none of this will bring her back.  We as a people have got to calm down.

We're getting too charged up about every difference between  one another.  Is that really how we want to be written about in the future.   That we're a rash people that held, yet squandered their promise.  I know...  we have a voice, we must use it.   BUT THINK.

I'm tired of living in times where we HATE those with opposing views from our own.   I've always tried to show tolerance here on AICN.   Hell, it's why I have Massawyrm write here...  It is why I let Meghan McCain come to BNAT12.   Because...  we have to stop being assholes to one another.

In film, I've always said there is no right or wrong opinion on film.   There's only the truth we each individually experience when we watch.   That's why, even when I hate a film - I'm willing to have positive (opposing thoughts) published, and vice versa.   It's why, I allow Talkback to get a little crazy.  For me, this little site of mine is a microcosm of the world.  It's why I give voice to someone in Taipei who saw SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO.   Or like tomorrow when I publish a ton of reader reviews on GREEN HORNET, both positive & negative.   

All of us need to be tolerant.   For all the faiths that teach us to live a peaceful path, we sure don't practice it.   Well, at least not when our hands touch a keyboard, or we talk on the radio & tv.  We judge, instantly, immovably and with terrible furor.   We inflate the situation, give fame & attention to a tragedy, that would best be served with silence.   

Imagine being a relative of someone that died in this situation, imagine being the Astronaut holding the hand of his wife.   NASA holds a lot of our geek ideals.   They think, long term.   1000 years from now.   Somebody has to.  The fact is, we're diving through our resources, we're getting angrier as a society - and I know that in my lifetime...   this won't change.   But tonight, as my wife crawled into bed and we were chatting and she was enjoying her early birthday present, I found this NASA video.  We turned off ROBOT CHICKEN and watched it together.

Listening to the voice on this video made me feel so positive, it felt like another voice that was trying to express what I was feeling.   We're a silly society, we focus all of our energies on the worst fleeting moments.  Before Television & Radio & the Internet, if something like this happened.   Unless you lived in the area it happened, you'd never be bothered with it.   Now, it feels personal.

Growing up as a kid - I was told to Act Locally, Think Globally.  It was a Hippie thing, but it is how I live my remarkably happy life.   I work to make my local community as cool as possible.  Right now, I'm in the process of empowering others to do the same in their areas.  Why?  Because I hear about it from y'all.   Does it necessarily profit me?   Well, I've never profited from an event I throw.  I tend to do it so I can enjoy a film with a community of film lovers that over the past 15 years of AICN events...  well, they've learned respect.

I've got friends of deep religious beliefs, friends that are conservative, friends that are liberal and friends that don't care about any of that.   One of my oldest friends from Elementary school is a local pastor, and I love him as much as I do a couple of friends that strip for a living.   They're all good souls.

Tonight, I read a story about the shooter's parents.  The mother has been bedridden with grief and they are paralyzed with the horror of this.  And instead of hating them, I felt compassion.   What if my kid became a publicly decried monster.  If anything, that's the key thought we should all be having.  What would be going through your head if someone you loved suddenly became the poster boy for all sides to scream about.  

I suppose the reason I think like this is my Father knew Charles Whitman.   That guy that got on that tower in Texas and shot all those people.  (For you FULL METAL JACKET fans)   Charles Whitman was my father's Assistant Scout Master.  My Grandfather was Whitman's friend.   The day before Whitman got on the tower, he went to my Grandfather and tried to buy his M1 Carbine.   Gramps wouldn't sell it to him, and Whitman bought one at a local gun shop.   The day that Whitman opened fire, at the exact time that it happened, my father was doing PTA posters for his  mother in San Antonio, and his girlfriend was crossing Guadelupe as 3 people were shot on all sides of her.   One man was shot through the lung, she saw the bubbles in his blood and drug him into a TUX shop and ripped plastic off a Tux and put it on the wound.   She got a commendation for saving his life.   But the point was...   My dad walked her across that street, at that exact time, every day.   PTA might have saved his life.   But even though I've grown up with this story my entire life, Dad also told that Whitman was a great guy.  An awesome teacher as an Assistant Scout Master.   Whitman had an undiagnosed tumor in his head.   He went to doctors telling them he had visions of going up on the UT Tower and doing something terrible.   They gave him a prescription for pain pills.   But the autopsy on Whitman revealed a tumor.  What if that's this kid's problem.  


What would you do?  What if it was your child shot?   Your wife?  Husband?   Father?  What if they did the shooting?


Would you be running to the nearest talk show to add to the BIG CARNIVAL of it all?  BTW, at times like this, that's a good movie to watch.   Especially for the media.   Is the coverage making this a bigger problem?  Are our actions giving comfort or throwing gasoline upon the fire.   Are we profiting from tragedy?

We have so far to go as a people.  We can be so much better than what we are being.   I know, I'm bully pulpit-ing on a site that should probably not even discuss the situation.   But well, this is where my mind went when I saw the following video.

Be an Astronaut at times like these.   A figure of strength, intelligence and acting for the good of mankind.  Think NASA thoughts...



Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:31 a.m. CST

    post 0


    You seen this NASA video? It made me think...

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST


    by Tai_Pan

    No thanks.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Sagan is...

    by WeylandYutani

    one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. A shame he passed in middle age... I would have liked to have met him.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:43 a.m. CST

    pretty cool harry

    by JaredP

    thanx a lot bro

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Well said, Harry....

    by alpeter3

    Well said, indeed!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by Tai_Pan

    Piss off.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Some miss the point...

    by ArcherNX01

    ...even here in a simple talkback.

  • Deep bro.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Acts of Kindness

    by WriteFromLeft

    They happen every day. We don't hear about them because, for the most part, they don't make good stories. But you see them in real life. Little moments. It might be something as simple as someone being polite at a stop sign intersection. You know, the person who waves to you, letting you know you can go first. Or a stranger who picks up something you dropped and hands it back to you. It balances out the horror. Big time. All those little moments throughout the day. Remember them. People are capable of tremendous kindness.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:55 a.m. CST

    A religion too pretentious

    by Tai_Pan

    to call itself a religion. Spare me the disgusting self-aggrandizing prophecies: "Humans are wonderful!" "We will overcome all the awful things we perpetrate!" "We will evolve into supreme beings!" All while bashing other religions, no less. <p> That's a fantasy. It works great on Star Trek...

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Very cool man and... I love NASA

    by Buddha Master

    and I love the moon. And the sun. And the Universe we are floating around in. Harry its like the movie Religulous. We are better then this. But we will never reach our potential until people stop believing these ridiculous concepts they devout themselves too are anything more then fairy tales. And speaking of Star Trek. I think they actually nailed it in First Contact. A real visitor making contact with us, ones as positive as the Vulcans, that would change the world. And instead of believing in nothing more then god and money, we can come together as humans for the benefit of the human race. We as humans need to grow the fuck up and stop with this god nonsense. We look like barbaric fools and we are nothing more then mental slaves to these gods that amount to nothing more then fairy tails. Science bless NASA and Astronomers. The truth is out there.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Jesus, get some perspective

    by Billy_D_Williams

    Thousands and thousands of animals are dying all over the globe with no explanation and what's the biggest news story? Fucking arizona shooting. Hundreds die every day in the middle east, many die on the gang infested streets of the various hoods...and one guy shoots a few people in suburban arizona and it's somehow a big fucking deal. Oh, I forgot, they were all well to do, decent citizens...not the brown animals in the middle east or the ghettos of america. who cares about them? But back to the animals...never in modern history has this many animals died so quickly and mysteriously, and we're focused on a few dead people in arizona?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:58 a.m. CST

    We will blow are selfs up well before all that happens

    by TheNipplesofGodReturns

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:01 a.m. CST

    The more you know

    by boogy110

    ta da da ta

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:02 a.m. CST

    It's the awe & sentiment stuff...

    by justmyluck

    ...that keeps the classified military missions going and NASA shoveling god-knows-what up there for the Pentagon. Read the YouTube comments, and you'll see the video isn't actually made by NASA, but a fan frustrated by their "terrible PR".

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:02 a.m. CST


    by SebastianHaff

    When I became a father I honestly thought the brightness my daughter had brought to my life would fend off my increasing cynicism. It didn't. If anything, I have less and less hope for humanity every day, and it fucking pisses me off that my beautiful daughter is going to come of age in an even nastier world than I did. I've been reading a lot of Carl Sagan lately, and a little Hawking, and stuff like that has really helped. If we're going to make it as a species, we absolutely need to start listening to guys like that and videos like this. <br><p> And stop shouting so much. It's really goddamn childish. <br><p> Thanks for posting this, Harry. It actually made my night.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:03 a.m. CST

    good work, dude

    by frank cotton

    don't stay up all night

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:05 a.m. CST

    thanks for the video..

    by Rindain

    It seems that ever since Star Trek: TNG went off the air things in the world have been getting worse. We need a great new Trek series.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:05 a.m. CST

    For an answer look here.

    by emeraldman

    A very good post Harry, I urge everyone to listen to this speech by Robert Kennedy. It pretty much somes up what is still going on today... Enough said.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Harry, God knows you and I disagree a lot. . .

    by DanielPlainviewOnVacationInBoston

    but perhaps for the first time, I fully agree with you. I'm a very conservative guy, and I was appalled by what happened in Tucson. A nine year old girl is dead. Some maniac let the evil in him win out over whatever good may have been there. And the very next hour? I see people on my side being blamed -- I see people on my side blaming everything under the sun, too -- but what did it matter? Those people are still dead. What the hell ever happened to being optimistic? I'm not an "angry arguer" -- when I debate someone, I do just that. Debate. Talk about disagreements. But the world we live in today? It disgusts me most of the time. Film is my escape from that. Great post, Mr. Knowles. We might not ever agree again, but this one time was enough to make me realize that no matter what side of the isle, there are still some people who don't want to live their life constantly hearing of the horrors of this world and be pissed off all of the time.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:09 a.m. CST

    blah blah blah

    by boogy110

    Believe me, I want nothing more for the human race to be peaceful and to live in utopia; but violence and hating those with opposing opinions...well, it's been in our DNA since the beginning of mankind and even before that. Just look at the fucking talk backs here on this sight. Fuck you this, you suck dick that.. all because someone didn't like a movie you loved or vice versa. For those of you gamers out there, listen to all the shit kids talk on Call of Duty. I shit you not every day I hear kids and yes mostly white spit out nigger or spic or fag" and not in a friendly "i'm down with the homies" kinda way. It's absolutely fucking sickening..

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I think your mention of empathy for the parents of the criminal...

    by ufoclub1977

    is a great thing to be aware of. Often the news/media accounts are not really presented in any "real" way that let's us know the true shape of things: they are as constructed and limited as movies in many ways. But factoring in the parents is a way to bring in dimension to normally flat mass perception of events like this. And bringing it back to the idealism of NASA is an inspired way to open up the somewhat delusional escapism that fuels this site to a glimpse of reality.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Thanks for sharing, Harry...

    by CoolFrood

    The situation is awful is many ways, and it does no good to simplify the issue down to another brick in the political wall.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Joker says: Nobody panics when things go "according to plan."

    by CoolFrood

    The following lines from the Joker in Dark Knight come to mind: "You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go 'according to plan.' Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that, like, a gangbanger will get shot...or a truckload of soldiers will be blowing up...nobody panics. Because it's all part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die...well, then, everyone loses their minds. Introduce a little anarchy...upset the established order...and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair." [I do not mean to be disrespectful to the families involved in this, or any, tragedy in any way. Rather, I am complementing the Dark Knight script for giving such depth to this particular instantiation of the Joker. All movie villains should be so well written.]

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:41 a.m. CST


    by Billy_D_Williams

    why do you keep following me around? still sore about the asswhipping you were handed in the other thread? fucking crybaby, go do some push ups or something.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:46 a.m. CST

    I love it!

    by chrismata

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Mass animal deaths

    by DunderMifflinIntern

    Actually the weird animal deaths aren't that weird at all. Those things happen, we just pay attention more now and connect dots which ought not be connected. The non-mysterious deaths resulting from overfishing of bluefin tuna or slashing and burning of the rainforest is a different story. Other true mysteries like the colony collapse syndrome affecting honeybees are taken seriously by those who matter(scientists, not politicians or TV hosts or bloggers) and we get answers eventually. They've actually made a major breakthrough with the bee problem in the past year(a particular fungus AND a particular virus seem to work together to kill the bees).

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Totally agree, Harry

    by redshirt

    But batshit insane will always exist and sow chaos, no matter how peaceful the world. But that's no reason not to try.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Love how its framed in Star Trek

    by magnetoelectric

    Harry touches on something that even Star Trek in all its incarnation has a hard time coming to grips with. Fact is: we dont know if were 'better than this' but we do know that were smarter than this. If we could only figure out how to square that circle. From a scientific perspective violence really isn't in our DNA. Fight or flight is a chemical biological response. If anything, violence in humans is an evolutionary holdover.Its simply 'fallout' of male temperament shaped from competition with each other over the domination of females. ‘Basic' human behavior is not determined by emergent properties of the cultures. So when anyone hits me with "violence is in our DNA" I hit em with "Nature vs Nurture" Whatever socio-biological shortcoming humans have, we know we're capable of intellectually overcoming them. Thats Star Trek

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST


    by Bobby

    I recently saw the coolest Simpsons parody ever. It's totally live action and Marge is crazy hot, but i seriously almost crapped my pants when i saw Flanders. Its like they pulled him straight out of the cartoon and made him real... it was posted here <a href="">Simpsons Porno</a>

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:05 a.m. CST

    The Geek shall inherit the Earth.

    by Sir Penta jaye

    - ...and all the other worlds yet to come. To do so though, we must embrace responsibility. During humanities childhood we invented the imaginary friend/boogieman 'God' to deal with the fear, uncertainty and loneliness which are the inerrant negative aspects of the human condition. The individuals who set themselves up as the PR for this judgemental phantom, put in place a whole bunch of rules that, barring some of the more bizarre ones, ended up being a framework for the development of communities and eventually civilisations. We can thank them for this, as communities need the focus of a shared set of values to which the individuals within them must abide. We now live in a time where we more and more are putting aside those childhood illusions and replacing them with knowledge and reason. We must however remember those shared values that allowed our civilisation to form in the first place and take on the responsibility for managing them. Only then can we move forward and grasp the promise held within Nasa's vision.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST

    awesome video

    by r_kelly


  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:26 a.m. CST


    by antemuckos

    Love how in the talkback for this article, you get two people attacking each other verbally, hoping violence on each other. Really no need to say anything else about "our world". That about sums up everything Harry said

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:29 a.m. CST

    great stuff, harry! nt

    by biberkopf5

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Trek's Future

    by Shubniggorath

    The Star Trek Earth society only came about after some massive human die-offs... WW3 and Col. Green's War. Humanity had to induce its own Toba Event to pull back from the brink and choose to evolve. Sadly, that die-off may happen relatively soon on an evolutionary scale primarily due to overpopulation. If it happens, I hope the human race that emerges matches the qualities described by the narrator. This video isn't about Humanism, it's about evolution. Also I'm hearing the title of the above post in Geddy Lee's voice from Rush's classic "2112." Inherit the Earth we shall!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by old_man_and_the_sea

    Good words. Good Video. Thank you.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:40 a.m. CST

    An idealist's dream for this age....

    by KnightEternal

    ....but unfortunatly, as much as it would be a joy to see in my lifetime, a Human Utopia is quite a few generations away if at all...there is just too much hatred and prejudice and while the Internet has pulled people together, I feel it has pushed people apart as well. Bottom line is, that as horrible as it is to say, if the human race does want to reach its full potential. then, to phrase a quote, a *crisis* point does have to be reached where humanity bands together to beat what obstacle threatens its survival....but if we are able to overcome anything thrown our way as a species, I really do believe the sky is not the limit...only our imaginations...great video Harry...

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:47 a.m. CST


    by KnightEternal

    tut tut mate, tut tut...

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:01 a.m. CST

    No one wants to be told they have no place in the future.

    by V'Shael

    Trek, Sagan, and other visionaries of humanities future, generally tend to be secular, humanist, science based visions. Where the numinous that touches the human soul and gives us wonder, is not tied to any strict formal religious order and is a deeply personal matter. I can see why this would not be appealing to those of a religious mind-set, ( a high percentage of Americans today ) because it essentially says to them "You have no place here. You will be discarded, and left behind. A relic of a darker time in humanities history. One of the childish things we will put away, when we finally grow up." That's a bitter pill to swallow.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:28 a.m. CST

    We cause suffering all over the world...

    by gabbygall

    ..when I say we, I mean `The Allies`, the USA, The British and all the other fucking nations that suck upto the USA.. Hundreds die everyday due to US foreign policy or even direct action. But a pretty middle class 9 year old girl gets shot on American Soil by another American and its frontpage news, overshadowing all those other, equally tragic deaths. Humans will never stop hating each other until we are all dead. Seriously, I weep for my kids and my future grandchildren - the next 100 years is going to be the bloodiest in human history. Am I scared? Fucking right I am.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Hey Harry...

    by JethroBodine

    I'm right there with ya on this one. It doesn't happen often, so don't get too used to it. ;-)

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Glad this video is getting the attention it deserves

    by Brostradamus

    Saw this earlier in the day on one of my "go-to" sites for cool stuff on the web and loved it. It's so simple, but well made. Plus, how can you beat Carl Sagan's voice?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Carl Sagan

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    Here's a video that someone made taking his voice from an audiobook and using the music from 'Lost'. It's similar to the NASA video in that it makes you think.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:51 a.m. CST

    I was afraid it was another Transformers viral video.

    by ReportAbuse

    I half expected Decepticon to pop into frame and start blasting at the camera. Maybe that would've been preferable to your maudlin musings, which always seem just a bit off kilter and yet predictably redundant to the issue at hand. "I'm bully pulpit-ing on a site that should probably not even discuss the situation." Well no, discuss whatever you like, it's your site, but be prepared for the endless back and forth that will result if you want to get into a serious discussion about things that matter. As that is nearly impossible here for several reasons (not the least of which being the wonky code and the way the boards are set up) it often feels futile (to me) to bother beginning anything. "After the recent tragedy in Arizona, the following media reaction, the back & forth... I have been a bit down regarding mankind in general." Why this tragedy in particular? Why not the church bombing in Cairo over New Years that killed 20 people? Or the thirteen decapitated bodies found in Acapulco recently? Or the 3000 murders last year in Juarez, just across the river from El Paso? Is it because the media you obsessively watch only focuses on certain events that IT chooses, based on what its research tells it will most appeal to its demographic base? Personally, I've been "a bit down regarding mankind in general" for about twenty years so welcome to the club. "Charles Whitman was my father's Assistant Scout Master. My Grandfather was Whitman's friend." Cripes. Is there ANYTHING in the world you're not somehow connected to personally? "My 30x-great-grand-uncle's cousin's best friend sold the wine used at the Last Supper!! I still have a broken shard from the bottle they drank out of!! This is why The Passion of the Christ really hit home for me!!" "All of us need to be tolerant." No we don't, we need to speak clearly and unambiguously, now more than ever. That doesn't mean being violent for the sake of violence, on that we can agree. But I am always wary of those that preach "tolerance or else" as they are usually the most passive-aggressively intolerant people when you scratch the surface. "For all the faiths that teach us to live a peaceful path, we sure don't practice it." I'm not so sure that a lot of faiths really teach peace as much as they like to advertise. I think it's more like, keep yourself in line but get ready to kick ass if we tell you to. "Right now, more than ever we as a people have a problem, we're not necessarily built to process instant half-truths and opinions at the rate they're being sent at us." Agreed, but we need to really pick up the pace of our comprehension since it's not going to slow down any time soon. Our bullshit filters need to get really sophisticated and fast. Our Google-fu must become impeccable. "We as a people have got to calm down." I hate to point fingers at a time like this (oh who am I kidding, no I don't) but I think we all know which side INSTANTANEOUSLY jumped on the blame bandwagon, even the very day of the shooting. When the opposing side stepped in to defend itself against these accusations, it was told to shut up, how DARE it exploit this sensitive tragedy for political ends -- sit back down and take the abuse quietly! When the accused side tried to point out the hypocrisy of the accusing side the outrage was palpable -- how DARE you point out our hypocrisy at such a time as this! "But the autopsy on Whitman revealed a tumor. What if that's this kid's problem." Ironic indeed, given that he put a hole in someone else's head ... amazingly and luckily for her, she may recover. But what would it change? "We have so far to go as a people. We can be so much better than what we are being." Sadly, I may be a pessimist but I fear we are heading more in the direction of "Battle: Los Angeles" or "The Road" than Star Trek. We should be thankful we're not heading in the direction of Transformers because man those movies suck.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Clarification ...

    by ReportAbuse

    When I asked rhetorically "what would it change?" in the next to last paragraph I meant what would the killer's having been found to have a brain tumor change about the situation --- not what would the victim's recovery change. Obviously the latter would be a very positive development for her and her family!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:24 a.m. CST

    This is as good as mankind is ever going to get

    by smackfu

    We have a fundamental instinct to, in the presence of unity, split into 2 equally portioned groups and conflict with each other over an arbitrary attribute. If you were to take 20 people, put them in a house, give 10 red sweaters, and 10 blue sweaters, and give each 'team' a name, then come back in 2 weeks, both sides will have indulged the delusion that there is a difference between the 2 groups, and hostility will have begun to manifest. They will believe that their team is best, the other team sucks, and the simple act of someone new coming in and adorning 'their' color sweater will determine whether or not they like that person. It's probably not our fault though. I mean, the fundamental fabric of our universe is built on the principle of two opposing forces. Like the golden ratio, it probably just manifests itself in every aspect of our reality.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:42 a.m. CST

    We're on the right track.

    by David Cloverfield

    Morals and ethics evolve just like our sciences. Yes, we still accept some terrible shit happening in the world, but we at least feel sort bad about it. Imagine if three centuries ago you told someone about an earthquake at Tahiti. I don't think they would fall over each other to help out some faraway land, and while maybe it's still not enough, a shitload of middle class people donated perfectly good money to help. Now we KNOW slavery is wrong. We let women out of the kitchen (even if we still need a generation or two to find the right balance in gender roles.) And we managed not to destroy ourselves with nuclear bombs, although we had the capability. We are absolutely on the right track. Yes, there will be setbacks. But more people lead better lives than ever before. And the parts of the world where people still suffer and starve... I emphasize as much as I can. But I'm pretty sure it will get better for them too. I live in a post communist, ugly little second world country. But thanks to the Internet, I don’t feel the distinction between my countrymen and anybody else. If a car hits a Iraqi, an American, a Chinese or whatever guy in front of my house it pains me equally as if they hit a Hungarian. I know most people feel like it. And that’s something pretty unprecedented in human history. (Yes, multitudes are still “Us Vs. Them”. But give them time.) We really start to think of “us” globally. This is the true power of the Internet. I can’t imagine the world the kids will make, who now grow up half-online.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:56 a.m. CST

    probably the most coherant thing Harrys Written...

    by ilander66

    nice piece Harry I wholehartedly agree. When we all take a step back and consider things a bit more we can see things a bit differently.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:59 a.m. CST


    by pw

    are you the talkbacker formally known as emerald boy?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Bill Hicks got it right.........Roddenberry Style

    by ilander66

    The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. - Bill Hicks

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:44 a.m. CST


    by stvnhthr

    You are banking your hope on humans as a species evolving into a kinder more compassionate unified race because of our potential? Seriously? As our technology advances you actually believe it will pull us together? So with all of recorded history saying this is merely wishful thinking what makes you think we have the solutions to our moral problems? One man walked this earth and said he was the Truth, the Light, and the only Way. His name was not Gene Roddenberry. You can mock Jesus but he has never been wrong about people, their failings, their motives, or the solution.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:45 a.m. CST

    To barryknowles

    by emeraldman

    Sorry, no.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 6:10 a.m. CST

    a suggestion from your Austrian friend :)

    by brightgeist

    Harry, i think you might be interested to check out the Venus Project ( if you don't already know it. they have a concept for an alternative economic system (the Resource Based Economy) which isn't only pretty much the exact same world that Gene Roddenberry envisioned, but also fully embraces the values of tolerance and sheer Sagan-ness that you talk about. the Venus Project is currently supported by the global Zeitgeist Movement ( who also have a very active chapter in Austin. in fact, they'll be screening the new movie ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD at the one and only Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, this coming Sunday the 16th, at 11:30! ( also, i had sent 230 DVDs of the previous film ZEITGEIST: ADDENDUM to Moises for the BNAT Goodie Bag, with special BNAT label and all (, Moises should have those if he didn't throw them away, so maybe you can put them to some use. anyway, check the stuff out, you might like it :)

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Ferret ate 7 of the babies fingers before those

    by UltraTron

    retarded parents heard the baby cry. Time for more NASA action.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Harry, It's Part Of The Human DNA

    by Graphix67

    It's not as if tragedy and pain and suffering suddenly appeared after the Industrial Age. It's been a part of the human story since the first primate picked up a stone and used it on it's fellow competition for food or a mate. The only thing that as changed is the mode of information so that the world knows when a senseless act of violence occurs somewhere in the world. All the day-dreaming about "unified humans and our place in the great awesome universe" is just that. Day-dreaming. Nothing else. The good AND bad is simply a part of who we are as a species. And we would carry that seed with us no matter we will eventually end up in the universe.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Please, oh please, ace of wands...

    by John Maddening

    ...enlighten us as to the dark history and evil aims of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:57 a.m. CST


    by maxin n relaxin

    which doesnt take anything away from it. Its still amazing. He made it because he feels that NASA doesnt know how to market itself.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Harry re: The Yogurt Shop Murders

    by Hershal

    Harry, I applaud the sentiment. Perhaps it's easier for you to be detached from this in some way because it happened in Arizona and you were not familiar with any of the victims. But are you not the same person who tweeted Christmas morning something along the lines of "It Must Be Christmas! The leader of the Yougut Shop Murders was killed by police last night!"? Well, Maurice Pierce had parents too. They were convinced of his innocence. I know this because I used to work with his father. His father was torn and tortured by the whole tragic affair. Maurice Pierce never stood trial for his alleged crimes. Was his guilty? Perhaps and probably, but we'll never really know will we? I thought at the time that it was pretty classless of you to applaud the man's death on Christmas morning when I knew that he had family who were having a truly terrible day. But you live here in Austin. You've been exposed to that crime for the last 20 years. It's a black mark on the city's history and I can understand why you would have a personal interest in seeing justice. Not trying to be a dick or anything. Just wanting to point out that words and rhetoric are powerful tools. And someone who puts themselves out there like yourself, should always be mindful of that.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Harry....

    by Mistahtibbs

    You didn't go there like so many did. Watching from America's Hat I was horrified at this evil act. Then I felt sick as so many, with not one shred of evidence, played the blame game to try to vilify those they disliked...scratch that, HATED, politcally. You spoke well. It is to your credit. Again. Thanks. MT

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    We're emotional creatures, therein lies the rub

    by skycrapper

    We need emotion we crave it in fact. Politics, Religion, all of it feeds on emotion. Rational thinking goes against our nature. I can appreciate the sentiment though.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Whether you're a humanist or a Christian...

    by Lobanhaki2

    The redemption of the human race must be your goal. For a humanist looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint, we are a species with the extraordinary, unique ability to choose whether we survive or not, to look ahead, plan ahead, and move ahead, and not merely leave ourselves at the mercy of nature. From a Christian standpoint, we are responsible for how we manage what we are given by God, whether that's the Earth we live on, or the bodies we live in. There is no excuse to be wasteful, no excuse to be hateful, no excuse to degrade and ruin the lives of others if we can help it at all. There, too, we have a choice. For those who dump on humanists, know that I once was one, and I know that they do not mean harm. They want what's best for humanity, they want people to aspire to the better angels of their nature. They may or may not believe in your God, but they believe in doing good, and to dismiss and disparage that is sinful. For those who dump on the religious, I don't think that does much good. As a religious person's behavior reflects on their religion, a humanist's behavior reflects on their philosophy. Again, here, we all have the choice of which side of ourselves the pathways we lay with our words and deeds come to. If we want people only to know the worst in us, we can show the worst to others, and they will know us in that fashion. Trading arrogance for arrogance is no different than taking an eye for the eye, and in no less a fashion, it leaves the whole world blind. We can choose to make peace between each other. We can choose to forgive and forget. We can choose to leave behind the bad habits and bad ideas of the past, and move forward into the future. Evil and horror will always be our companions in this often broken world. How long we dwell in its company is up to us.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:54 a.m. CST


    by MrD

    I disagree with Harry about a lot of things, and to be honest, his unabashed love for almost anything that comes out has made his reviews irrelevant for me as a critical guide (though they are still fun to read). Still, when a person I tend not to see eye to eye with says much of what I've been thinking, I'm guessing there has to be something there. I understand the need/desire to lash out over a tragedy, to turn the criminal into a villain and then into a monster, to sanctify the victims, and in a desperately vain attempt to regain some semblance of control over a world that is far bigger and more complex than we can comprehend, search out the root causes of the tragedy so we never have it happen again. This isn't the fault of guns or talk show politics or the parents. Its one person with a severe medical problem that was, for whatever reason, undiagnosed until it was too late. The shooter appears to be a psychotic schizophrenic, and there's just no way crazy people from doing crazy things, and sometimes that means hurting others. It is tough to accept that there really was no way to stop this, and no way to stop it from happening again. The only sane, compassionate response is to go back to our lives, remember how lucky we are to have our friends and loved ones, and, if possible, offer our support to those affected by the event, and that includes the family of the shooter.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    The quote I most appreciated about it...

    by bubcus

    "They want to know, where did they fail? I told them they didn't fail. They taught him everything about right and wrong. We all know you can teach someone everything and have no control how it works out," - Loughner's neighbour Wayne Smith told the KPHO TV station Monday evening in regards to the shooter's parents.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    If I weren't so manly

    by BosphorusBill

    I'd get in a cab, get in a plane, fly to Austin, get a cab to your house Harry and give you a big kiss. But as my surging ruggedness and masculine vigour won't allow that, I'll just say; nicely said Harry, it's good that you are out there saying such things to so many people.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:01 a.m. CST

    woah, mention of the yogurt shop murders...

    by ufoclub1977

    Two of my friends worked there with those girls, one was their assistant manager. We were headed up Mopac to go to The Arbor to see a late show of Star trek 6 (it had just opened) and thought about dropping by on Anderson Road there to get free yogurt that night, but we were out of time to get to the movie, and I believe the place was closing, and we finally realized it was my friends day off. Of course she and her boyfriend (who had also worked there briefly with the girls) were called in for questioning, and she was devastated about the whole thing. I didn't really know the high school girls, but I always saw them when we'd go in for our free yogurt. They would say hi. I have alway wondered if we had dropped by, whether it would have somehow put off the chain of events.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Crap, that's Toronto during the G20 summit police craziness ...

    by rwaddell

    Toronto's city hall has been used as a futuristic building in ST:TNG episode, but here it's used to show how mankind cannot solve it's own problems.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    did anyone see...

    by maxwell's hammer

    ...Jon Stewart's opening on Monday's episode of "The Daily Show"? He put it about as perfectly as it can possibly be put. Colbert didn't get quite as somber, but definitely found a way to hit the nail on the head while still getting a laugh. I know they're self-proclaimed liberals, but they speak the truth far more effectively than anyone else in the media.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Re: my earlier post

    by Hershal

    Felt I needed to add that I am not at all blind to the fact that Mr. Pierce was killed in an altercation with the police officer in which he stabbed and critically injured him, making for a truly terrible day for the cop's family as well. For that crime, justice was most definitely served. My point was that it is not something that should have been celebrated.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Wonderfully Said

    by Raedar

    Totally agree. Thanks for posting this Harry. :)

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    XXX Simpsons parody porn...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Dang Harry. You went from a meaningless, stupid post to something quite poignant.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    BTW, Harry...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    I knew a guy who was actually inside of the tower when the shooting took place! He was a freshman student...and he was studying at the time. He was...shocked. He is now a librarian at the school that I attended as an undergrad. That was wayyyyy before my time...but it was an interesting conversation!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Well said Creepythinmofo

    by Stalkeye

    Thanks to all the hateful rethoric that spewed from the mouths of neo cons, tea baggers, FUX news and especially that Cunt Sarah Palin who painted crosshairs on those she disagreed with, a few innocent civilians (The 9 Year old girl often comes to mind.) are fucking DEAD. This attitude with the self righteous Neo Con(artists) have more than taken it's toll as those fucks have further fan the flames of hatred within this country. Too much division can (and will)ultimatley lead to the downfall of America and we all know that many countries especially China, is waiting with baited breath for this shit to go down. The only "good" thing that will come from this tragedy, is that the focus is aimed at the rabble rousing repubs. Fuck 'em all!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Is it a trait of humanity...

    by spidercoz

    or just of American culture that we act like scum, don't see ourselves AS scum, know we CAN be better than scum, and yet refuse to? As Londo once said, "Arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you."

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The Alexa Narvaez viral gives me hope too.

    by mjgtexas

    And a nice indie rock cover to boot.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    "creepythinmanforever" and "stalkeye"

    by Partyslammer

    Perfect case in point why we're all fucked as a society. <p> Guys like this, regardless of political, religious or whatever affiliation just can't stop, even for a second. There's no on or off switch, no sense of respect or decency or simple common sense to know when the place is or isn't to flog their views. <p> I'm genuinely sad and a bit scared of the kind of world my young son will be left to struggle through as they get older.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Blaming Palin is as irresponible as...

    by lprothro

    ..Palin herself. I'll admit that the the recent violently hateful rhetoric from conservative talking heads was the first thing that sprang to mind after hearing about these horrendous events, but after learning more about the actual perpetrator-- it's clear that this guy had no real, coherent political ideology. He was in fact, a textbook case paranoid schizophrenic. This guy was bound to do something like this regardless of political affiliation. Let's not sink to Fox news/am talk radio levels and turn this thing into a political football.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Harry...Kirk acted brashly

    by jstoldr

    not the demoted wannabe Captain. He was the one who stopped Kirk from using the phasers. It was on Sunday on SyFy...I wouldn't have remembered otherwise.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry.

    by DrMeyer

    I've not always agreed with you on everything, but on this we're totally simpatico. Thanks for finding this, thanks for letting me and others see it. It's beautiful and inspiring. For those who don't agree, sorry, but we'll outgrow what we are now. May take a bit, and you can call me naive and pretentious if you want, but without hope, what else is there? Joe Straczynski once said the faith and reason are like the shoes on your feet. You can get a lot farther with both than just one. So get both shoes on, you doubters. Walk with me and Harry.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry, for posting this.

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    I was also saddened to hear about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other innocent people in the crowd that day. But I don't necessarily think that silence is the only answer in this situation (and deep down, neither do you; hence this talkback). This senseless act of violence raises troubling questions about the tone of political discourse in this country today. Earlier this year, Giffords warned of the dangers of heated political rhetoric after Democratic congressional representatives received 42 threats of violence in 2010, escalating dramatically with the passage of the health care bill. While both sides of the political divide have shared blame in this climate of intolerance (for anyone who would lay the blame solely on Republicans, I would argue that people like Michael Moore, a Democrat, have been as equally to blame for “stirring the pot” as Republican pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity), I have seen the worst examples of hatred and vitriol coming from the Tea Party faction of the Republican party. I do not know if the gunman in this incident was, in any way, connected to the Tea Party; but his actions, I believe, are a direct result of the climate that has been charged, in large part, due to that group. I also believe that the National Republican Party and conservative news outlets have a responsibility to denounce the level of violence and vitriol stemming from that fringe group, rather than sensationalizing it, as I have seen happen many times in the past year. While I believe that the Tea Party, and by some extention, the Republican Party at large, have contributed most significantly to this current climate of intolerence, it is a problem that both sides have helped to create, and it is now a problem that we as Americans all share and must unite to end. It is time we actually talk about the issues rather than shout. It is time we listened rather than waiting to interrupt. And it is time we valued others' opinions as much as we value our own. Only then can we make this country safe for true democracy, which at its core represents the free and open exchange of ideas. I send my condolences to the families of all of the victims, and I pray for peace.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Yeah, other than getting Decker and Kirk mixed up

    by YackBacker

    This was an enjoyable little aside, Harry. Good on you for writing these thoughts.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Mission to Mars did sci-fi humanism better

    by Samuel Fulmer

    than anything I ever saw on Star Trek.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Anyone who blames Palin for this...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm beyond intellectual hope. There is no way to increase their IQs, so we might as well as count those fanatical radicals as a loss to humanity. Instead of looking at this tragedy for what it is -- the tragic actions of a mentally disturbed young zealot -- they prefer to play the "blame game." Harry is right. We need to look at life from an astronaut's perspective. We need to see Earth (and the people on it) as Carl Sagan's "pale blue dot." During the long 2008 election season, there was quite a bit of divisive rhetoric -- especially directed at those of us who didn't support Barack Obama's nomination. Several times here at AICN, I was told to just "die." It was extremely odd -- because I didn't "hate" Obama. I just didn't think that he was the right man for the job. I preferred Hillary, McCain, Romney or even Dennis Kucinich over what I saw to be a political novice with aspiring fuzzy rhetoric with little-to-nothing concrete to back it up. Yet, I was told That I needed to "just die." I was called a "racist" (funny, because I am an African American). I was called a "bigot." I was called a "homophobe." I was called a religious zealot (even though I don't even go to church...although I think that I probably should). When people found out that I am black, they called me an "Uncle Tom" (which is personally more offensive than being called the N word). All of this hate, vilification and anger came simply because I didn't hold the same political opinions of some of the more vocal members of our little community here at AICN. Shortly after that, I picked up a copy of Carl Sagan's PALE BLUE DOT: A VISION OF THE HUMAN FUTURE IN SPACE. Good stuff. The book is based upon a photograph taken by Voyager 1 space probe in 1990. It shows a tiny, pale blue dot -- which is Earth -- from nearly 4 Billion miles away (about 40.5 AUs). Sagan argued that life must be put into perspective when you realize just how alone we are in our region of the universe. Sagan argued that the Voyager 1 and 2 probes are the most distant objects in history -- and they weren't even close to the distance of Pluto yet (in 1990). Even after 35 years, Voyager 1 and 2 are still inside of our relatively small solar system. Dr. Sagan stated that outside of wormholes and theoretical physics, no intelligent alien race will ever be able to visit our planet (given the distance...and the fact that the velocity needed for interstellar travel is too great). In other words: We are all there is. I think that we should treat people better. I don't agree with President Obama...and sometimes I get angry at him for what I think is calculated political deception or telling one group one thing and telling another the exact opposite. However, I wish nothing but the best for him. I will still oppose particular policies if he attempts to push them...but I don't want anything but the best for him and his family. I hope that he reciprocates the same well wishes with those with whom he disagrees. This mentally disturbed young man was not motivated by politics. He was not motivated by rhetoric from the left or the right. He was mentally disturbed. This 22 year old man had confronted this Congresswoman at least a year BEFORE the 2008 election. At the time, Sarah Palin was nothing more than a Governor of a small population state and Barack Obama was a first year senator and a possible presidential candidate. The "blame" rhetoric is just political nonsense. I remember how America came together for a few months following 9/11. Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol Building singing GOD BLESS AMERICA. Poor people were sending money to the families of victims in New York. TV personalities were cautious about the feelings of Americans (a notable exception being Bill Maher -- who still doesn't think that he did anything "offensive"). It seems that times of trouble bring people together. I have been visiting this website since I was a kid waiting for THE PHANTOM MENACE. Harry, this is one of the most poignant and meaningful posts that I have seen here on AICN. Good job!

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    There are crazy people that are

    by Samuel Fulmer

    left wing, there are some that are right wing, and there are also ones that are apolitical. It's too bad that the news media who wants to label everything in either good/bad, left/right can't see this. It's bad enough the pundits do this crap, but the "unbiased" news people are just as bad if not worse because they are presenting every thing under the guise of impartiality. I wasn't around in the 70's, but when Squeaky Frome tried to shoot Gerald Ford, did the newscasters blame it on war protestors or the the environmental movement. The sad fact is that the news media is filled with hacks that do zero research (other than plagirism) and throw everything in an easily definable box instead of actually searching for the truth.

  • let us each find a way to better those around us

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Empathy test's

    by UGG

    should be administered as early as possible. Age 5 or something. If you don't pass, you don't live, or at least not to be allowed to mingle with society. In fact that's a great premise for a P K Dick'ian short..

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    We're all just people....

    by Jobacca

    Republican people. Democratic people. The people who got shot. The people who did the shooting....all just people. Some people are sick. Some people need help. Its not up to gods and governments...its up to us. We have to help each other into the future. Its the only way we'll ever make it.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Great NASA vid. Too bad Obama killed NASA's budget, Harry.

    by Snake Foreskin

    It's great to live locally, think globally. That's exactly what Obama is failing to do with NASA. he decapitated Mission Control. Now thousands are without jobs, and the organization that has helped move us forward for the last 5 decades is now left out in the cold.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST

    That is NOT TRUE snake foreskin

    by Buddha Master

    He re directed their priorities. He wants them to concentrate on the big prize. Mars. He wants them to send up the next gen space telescope to replace Hubble. NASA is still set to join the other space super powers setting up shop on the moon to begin the mining operation of Helium in 2020. Can you believe how cool that will be? There will be people living on the Moon in 9 years. The new space telescope that can identify life on other planets is only 1 year away. And a moon of Mars will be the spring board for Mars itself. There is some sweet Space exploration coming VERY soon.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Sagan was a great man. Unfortunately...

    by MediaGold

    too many people have either never heard about him or scoff his views. The late Sagan's and likeminded peoples' fan base is dwarfed by those of mouthbreathing morons like Beck and Limbaugh and their base reproduces at a far greater rate. I'd love the future to be like Star Trek, but the way things are going now I'm afraid it's going to be more like the one shown in Idiocracy.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:03 p.m. CST

    except you dont do that, Harry

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    the problem is that this site is nothing like you propose. The admins routinely bash conservative talkbackers, routinely take pot-shots at the Sarah Palins of the world, and routinely take the low road of insult, slander, and slur. For all your chest pounding today, none of it bears and resemblance on reality. This site is nothing like the site you just described.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    We still want to drive to another world in our ford, thats will not do

    by the Green Gargantua

    We need to start thinking dimensionally.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Yogurt Shop Murders


    Admittedly, that was in bad taste, but the Yogurt Shop Murders took place a half mile from where I live, and two of the girls that were killed used to babysit my sister and I knew them. One of the victim's mother was a dear friend of my father. To underline the situation, when the alleged ringleader was killed, he'd just slashed a cop's throat who was trying to give him a ticket. To me, the whole thing felt like Karma catching up. Justice finding its way. BUT - I didn't write more than a couple of tweets. AND there's no media circus around that. This was a moment where the victims were beloved friends. And, the #1 suspect for the first year of the case, when they were pursuing the SATANISTS angle on the case, happened to be a dear friend too. WEIRD, but true. He was absolutely innocent, had collaborated alibis and everything.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Kirk acting brashly? No


    Kirk made that fop, 1st Officer because he knew the retrofit of the Enterprise better than him, he told him that's why he was remaining on board to be his 1st Officer. That his 1st Officer countermanded his phaser order was exactly what a 1st Officer with that knowledge should have done. Kirk wasn't brash, Phasers are what the book tell you to use in that situation. And when that was pointed out, he commended his 1st officer on saving the ship.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Hateful Crazed Rhetoric!!

    by ReportAbuse

    Chris Matthews fantasizing on air about seeing Rush Limbaugh shot in the head Sandra Bernhard: Sarah Palin should be GANG RAPED if she comes to New York The Craig Kilborn Show superimposing the words "Snipers Wanted" over the face of President George W. Bush Nobel "Peace Prize" winner Betty Williams publicly stating her desire to murder President George W. Bush Pelosi and company slander teens and toddlers calling them nazis British film makers Gabriel Range and Simon Finch making a 2006 movie fantasizing about assassinating President George W. Bush Alec Baldwin urging the murder of Henry Hyde, his family, and ALL Congressional Republicans and their families on national television David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, two America-hating left-wing terrorists, were arrested by the FBI after conspiring to firebomb Republicans at the 2008 GOP Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NPR commentator and ABC News reporter Nina Totenberg wishes death by AIDS on Senator Jesse Helms and/or his grandchildren here. Julianne Malveaux publicly wishes death on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas here. Obama supporter bites off finger of Tea Party supporter Then-candidate Barack Hussein Obama promised to bring a gun to a knife fight Later, BHO told Democrats to "punch back twice as hard" There are literally hundreds of videos currently viewable on YouTube of Bush being burned in effigy Congressman Paul Kanjorski On Florida Governor Rick Scott: "Put him against the wall and shoot him."

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Hateful Crazed Rhetoric Redux ...

    by ReportAbuse

    "Nobel Peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W. Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren. Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush. 'I have a very hard time with this word non-violence, because I don’t believe that I am non-violent,' said Ms Williams, 64. 'Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.' Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered." During the Clinton impeachment proceedings, Alec Baldwin said of the late Henry Hyde, "I am thinking to myself in other countries they are laughing at us twenty four hours a day and I'm thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death ... Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I'm not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families."

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Harry, Kirk acted brashly by pushing them to go to warp

    by YackBacker

    When Scotty basically said "Captain, yer fookin' nuts!"

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    my dad was in Austin in 1966 too, Harry

    by awardgiver

    It was about to be his first semester of college at University of Texas, and he was one of a handful of blacks at the college. His first exposure to white people was that incident, as well as a cross burned in front of his dormitory, and a guy on lsd running around in the snow naked on campus. He knew the seocond half of the decade was going to be VERY interesting indeed, but perhaps even all the years to come were going to get a little tense. Great post. Dad isn't with us anymore, but I wish people would just chill the fuck out. He had all types of friends as well, and never judged anyone. Even his white conservative friends. Its why the funeral was so packed with people.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in...

    by Thanos0145

    hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."-Dr. MLK, Jr.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:24 p.m. CST

    NASA would never produce anything this preachy

    by Quadrillionaire

    The silent images of interstellar beauty they produce from their telescopes don't need no cloying soundtrack or voice over to communicate a sobering message of the state of affairs in our world. They let the images speak for themselves.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Fucking A Harry, we are all on the same crew.

    by Dark Doom

    And we need to give a shit about each other, its fucking important to be civill and respectful. Sure curse be an asshole, but shooting people? Hate speech? WTF? Its a fucked up world my daughters growing up in, and I'll leave it better than I found it. Christ did we all forget enlightened self interest? Frakk

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:26 p.m. CST


    by xalener

    It kinda works like the Joker's rant in the dark knight. In an area where people are getting shot and killed all the time, it stops being rattling after the 70,000th time. When that shit happens in the middle of the suburbs there's a problem.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Reminds me of a Doctor Who quote...

    by J Edwards

    ...about mankind's potential: “You spend all your time thinking about dying, like you’re going to get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible: that maybe you survive.” Maybe brutality is hard-wired into us, but so is idealism and the urge to better ourselves. I think in the long term (maybe very long term) it'll be okay.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    It isn't cool when kids die......

    by Dark Doom

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    If all your friends agree with you you're doing it wrong.

    by boogel

    I almost didn't click on this because I'm a little tired of being preached at. But this was well thought out and a good read. I take back all bad things I've said about you...well most of them anyway :)

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST


    by Stalkeye

    I had a feeling that your pompous ass would show up on this thread to "call us out" for putting some of the blame on that lunachic Palin who did fan the flames along with her fellow Neo Con Cronies or as I would also call them; DeceptiConservatives. Sure this asshole Loughner was mentally stable,(Duh, no shit Sherlock.) but all it takes is some fool to make threatning remarks or gestures about someone of a different affiliation, for psychos such as he to tilt him firther over the edge as if he had an epithany or "cause". And it's also bullshit rhetoric and biased propaganda (such as yours during the past years at AICN.) that can influence some asshole to kill innocent individuals or politicians like Obama. On the surface, you'll say "Oh, that guy was fucking nuts" for shooting Barrack. But when no one is around, a big Kool-Aid smile would appear on your face. You know it to be true Hypocrite. Oh, and for the record as you may well know, I did call you a "Tom" and it was well deserved. Peace.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by bdhthx1138

    On both subjects. On people just acting the way the shooter did...of course...but also simple things on blogs. Basically when someone diagrees with a opinion...and then get really angry about the other opinion....I just find that really really bizarre. If Its an opinion... live with it. Now if its a FACT...thats something different to get upset about...but so many people cant tell the difference anymore. Or dont want to. Everything is wide open to full frontal harsh word play. And its Crazy. Not to mention the huge overplay of anything tragic...stick a microphone in someone mouth after their child dies? Thats OK. (why???) Replay the event over and over and over and over again... all in the name of NEWS. Please. I kept thinking years ago when I myself got out of working for a new organization that perhaps it had reached its peak. Boy I was wrong. On the other note of ST:TMP. I've always felt I was in the minority on this one. But I really enjoy this movie...even more so now that Wise had the chance to fix the movie. Its really, and funny...a real Star Trek. Yes, it may go on a little long on the special effects in the latter moments. But at least you can tell whats going on...(i'm looking at you 'overue of shakey cam directors so I cant tell what in the hell is going on' ) I look at it as an origin story of sorts actually...or reimagining of what happened in the series. Actually I like the way all of the original 6 were different (yes even 5 to a degree) and not just shoot'em ups. Basically...I HOPE Roddenberrys future will come. And at this rate it may be 2230... or beyond.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST


    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Ironically, there are politicians using incendiary language (directed at other politicians, conservatives and talk show folks) for using incendiary language. Pot calling kettle?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST


    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Ironically, there are politicians using incendiary language -- directed at other politicians, conservatives and talk show folks -- for using incendiary language. Pot calling kettle?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Re: Harry Yogurt Shop Murders

    by Hershal

    Thanks for your considered response Harry. You may not have seen it but I did acknowledge in a follow up post that Pierce was killed after attacking the cop during what should have been a routine traffic stop. Obviously, I had no idea that you had any connection with any of the victims. It illustrates my point though that you would respond so given the personal connection. I think it's tragic that at this time no one can be put forth as responsible for the crime. The other two previously convicted had their charges dropped recently. Unfortunately, a lot of the rhetoric being spewed right now in regards to the Arizona shooting is in the service of furthering political agendas and casting the opposition in a negative light while the victims suffer or are buried while the Westboro Baptist Church tastelessly pickets their funerals. It's an effed world sometimes. That's why I like to escape into film from time to time.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Not a kid

    by IceMonkey

    Why does everyone keep referring to him as a "kid"? He's 22 years old. He's an adult. And while you should feel empathy for his parent and family, there is no denying that this guy was a monster. He aimed at and murdered a 9 year old little girl. He's a monster.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    reportabuse's comments

    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    Obviously, reportabuse is a staunch conservative. It hardly even needs to be pointed out. No moderate would collect damning evidence against liberals so zealously. But it does prove my point: that there is fault on both sides. I still believe that the majority of the worst offenders come from the Tea Party movement, but there's enough blame to go around. But rather than "playing the blame game," as conservatives like to call it, could we maybe just take this tragedy as a cue to be decent to each other for once?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by Stalkeye

    Regardless if it's the Dems or the Repubs, Anyone within the Spotlight that would wish ill will on an innocent person which in turn would have others killed or maimed in the process, is wrong.However, in the case of the Libs those comments were very extreme and for them (i.e Bernhard or Baldwin) to go that route must be due to some knee jerk response.I mean we know that Helms is a fucking racist among other things and dont get me started on Dubya, the biggest douchebag President of The USA. The fucker sent thousands to die for some fallacy of a war. Oh, and there was no regulation in regards to how Wall street operates. The economy crashed on his watch so yeah I can understand to some extent, advocatiing violence upon him. The Liberals dont go about screwing the working class over as oppossed to the uber greedy conservatives whose true god is the all mighty dollar.Not to mention the amount of hypocrisy that is flowing in their veins. Thanks for playing.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    So, if a liberal makes a death threat, there must be a really good reason, and that somehow excuses (or at least justifies) it in your eyes? What kind of logic is that? By that thinking, Loughner could have been justified if his shooting was a reaction to the health care bill. Really? Look, I'm a liberal moderate, but it sounds like you are making excuses for your side while taking the other to task.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST


    by smackfu

    It must have taken every fiber of energy and restraint in your entire body to keep yourself from saying something crazy, stupid or ignorant in that post. I imagine you sliding out of your chair in exhaustion after clicking 'submit', hands shaking, barely able to read the replies through the nystagmus. You'll sleep for days, no doubt. My question is, now that you have gotten a taste of what it's like to have, and express, sane thoughts, do you think you'll try sticking with it for a while, or is the physical and emotional toll too much?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Let's not forget..

    by Stalkeye

    ...that most of the hateful rhetoric comes from the Right. You know this to be true.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:13 p.m. CST

    As for who wins the hate off...

    by _Maltheus_

    ...I give it to the left. They didn't waste a moment painting this guy as a right wing, tea partier, anti-semite inspired by the political rantings of Beck and Palin. Then we find out that he's a liberal/apolitical Jew with a personal grudge against Giffords and the rhetoric still hasn't changed. While I'll NEVER defend the Becks, Palins and Bushes of the world, I am so tired of hearing how much the left hates them. I run in both liberal and conservative circles. In the conservative circles, you will occasionally hear anti-Obama remarks (that totally miss the point IMO), but most of the discussion focuses on the banks, or the state of the country as a whole. Their problem is with Washington, more than it is any particular person. In liberal circles, it's Palin this or Palin that, every two seconds. It used to be Bush, now they obsess on Palin 24/7 (with a little Beck thrown in). Hell, there was even a movie about the assassination of Bush while he was in office. The idea that it's primarily the right wing behind the hateful rhetoric today, is absurd (especially as the claim is usually accompanied with a hate filled of screed). Even those Obama as Hitler posters were brought to us by Democrats (LaRouchPac), and to this day, the blame still falls on the right. I'm not saying there isn't plenty of hatred on the right, but it's FAR less personalized. Tuscon was about some schizo with a deranged personal obsession. It sucks for all those dead people, but it hardly represents some kind of overall break down of civilization. And it has nothing to do with the political debate outside from how people are trying to twist it to their own purposes.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    I've already said that I think that the worst of the recent rhetoric has come from the Tea Party. But the Tea Party does not represent all Republicans, just as Alec Baldwin and Michael Moore do not represent all Democrats. There are extremists on both sides. My point is that using this tragedy as a forum for attacking the other side is trivializing not only the victims' deaths, but also what has become a very real intolerance for divergent points of view on both sides.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    Do you really believe that the right's attacks and opinions are any less personal than the left's? You can't watch Fox news for more than a few minutes without hearing some snide remark about Obama. And Rush Limbaugh has certainly never had any problem with naming names. Nobody is winning the "hate-off" at this point, but both sides are losing.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    This is why you're the boss Harry

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    Because geekism is a philosofy to you.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Also put in ST:TMP in on Monday - COINCIDENCES!

    by Hagrid1

    And actually, Harry, although I think your enthusiasm tends to mar your credibility from time to time (but hey - that's your style as a writer, so kudos for sticking to your voice), you're the reason I've seen ST:TMP in a whole new light. Years ago, when they released the Director's Cut with new effects and footage, you rightly claimed that ST:TMP had officially become a sci-fi classic (even if it's not a loved STAR TREK film, it's still a wonderful Sci-Fi film). I rewatched the film from your perspective, and I'll now argue its' merits from here on out. Just wanted to say thanks for that.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Tragedy sells..that's why it's shoved down our throats

    by alienindisguise

    Every day it's a shooting, a kidnapping, a riot or whatever. The good is seldom covered just the same as why celebrities are in every magazine and we aren't. All corporations care about is money and it's the filthy underbelly of society that makes them money. Every media outlet, be it a mag or tv station will always be all about the tragedy and will always be the ones who harp on it and beat it like a dead horse.

  • here, because it's become crystal clear that this guy was off his rocker and obsessed with this politician a full year before the right started filling up their constituents heads with paranoid 'end of america as you know it' fantasies. I do however completely agree with the accusations of false equivalency. Obama making 'bring a gun to a knife fight' analogies is not even remotely equivalent to telling your voters that they should consider '2nd amendment' solutions when the ballot box doesn't get results, or that it's time to 'water the tree of liberty' or making an entire years worth of direct declarations that democratic politicians are trying to turn the country into a socialist, totalitarian state. 'Bringing a gun to a knifefight' and vice versa, is a commonly used expression relating to how prepared you are in any given situation. People use it every day, and it is never a promotion of violence. So to say that's promoting violence against the right is absolutely ridiculous, and requires a pretty fantastic leap to get to that conclusion. Whereas 'it's time to water the tree of liberty' has one very single, clear meaning. Shedding blood in the name of preserving liberty. It always has, and it always will. And likewise, a '2nd amendment' solution to a problem you can't solve clearly means involving guns. Unless you've spent your entire adult life thinking it literally means wielding the arms of bears as weapons. In which case it's still suggesting violence, although a far more awkward and inefficient form.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Harry - met Robert Wise at a SOUND OF MUSIC screening.

    by Hagrid1

    Harry - did you ever meet Robert Wise? If so - what are your thoughts? I went to film school at the North Carolina School of the Arts (lucky enough to have attended with David Gordon Green and Danny McBride and Jody Hill and Paul Schneider and blah-de-blah-whatever). They had just finished constructing the school's studio village, and guest artists came to celebrate. I remember getting Elmer Bernstein to sign a CD of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and at a dressier function, we all laughed when John Ritter danced it up with a curvy film student. But Robert Wise is the guest i remember best. I met him at a Q&A screening of an original print for THE SOUND OF MUSIC - a movie he'd not rewatched in many years. Watching this film projected on a big screen made me mourn for all those who've only witnessed it on a t.v. screen. It's an emotional, stirring, and rousing film - and I was lucky enough to tell him that afterwards when I got his autograph on a DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL poster. Told him of my love for ANDROMEDA STRAIN and ST:TMP - and he'd have been thrilled to know how you're championing ST:TMP. He's one of those directors that I wish more people recognized... you know?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    @the dolphins are in the jacuzzi

    by _Maltheus_

    Hmmm. I was thinking more in terms of things politically active people have said to me and what I'm seeing in user comments sections on the internet. I guess if your gonna bring Fox News and Limbaugh into it, I can't argue against that. They do win the hate-off for network news.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST

    The only person responsible

    by MattmanReturns

    is the asshole that did it. (and I am by no means right wing). This guy was fucking crazy... his concepts about government made absolutely no sense and he constantly contradicted himself. He doesn't sound like a conservative at all... just a conspiracy nut (not sure what he thought shooting Giffords would accomplish). We're always looking for people to blame... how about we blame the guy that fucking pulled the trigger repeatedly? In this case, I'm all for the death penalty. "Alright. We waste him. No offense." -Hicks

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Bottom line, the fear machine works, we know this

    by smackfu

    When the talking heads start warning people about Y2k, Yellowstone, meteors, terror alerts, mini-ice-ages, or whatever else is on the fear menu, sales of bottled water, batteries and Spaghetti-Os go through the roof. Because though most of us realize it's bullshit, there are a LOT of paranoid people out there who take it to heart, let it wrap around their brainstem and really, truly believe it. So knowing this, what do you think is inevitably going to happen when you start throwing out scary, delusional scenarios that involve them losing their freedoms and becoming a communist nation, and the villain responsible for all this is a tangible, reachable political party? Again, most of us see through the bullshit, but the paranoid people who indulge this stuff do not. And this is the very reason why the left was so quick to assume this was right-wing terrorism. Because really, it's almost inevitable at this point. We've been just waiting for the first unstable right-winger to take the threats against his freedom to heart, and start pursuing '2nd amendment' solutions.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I'm 1/2 way through 'Rendezvous with Rama' and had similar thoughts

    by Knuckleface

    First page of 'Rendezvous with Rama' (1963) recounts the events of September 11th, 2077 when a massive meteorite destroyed Europe. I was reading this as the Arizona shooting dude was doing his thing. Not quite through the book yet, but it has me feeling bad for humankind's squandered potential.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Global warming is happening... but...

    by MattmanReturns

    It's not nearly as disastrous as we're being led to believe. If it were, then a few extra bottles of water aren't going to save us.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    As with everything, reality is always somewhere in between two extremes

    by MattmanReturns

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:53 p.m. CST

    What Driving in Traffic Teaches Us About All of This

    by Mike

    So I was reading this great book called "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)" by Tom Vanderbilt. What struck me most as an explanation of how I'm relating to people while I'm on the road is that it is a highly *impersonal* interaction that has actions that the people involved all take very personally. Think about it, you get cut off, you flip the bird, you honk. You are willing to do this more freely because you can't really see the face of the person who did it, and they can't really see you. Its impersonal interaction. I get really pissed at the guy because he almost killed me! The way the internet and the media works today is very similar. Only our most sensational and base interactions are making it through. It is very impersonal, and since we aren't in face to face discussion, we find it much easier to say dispicable things. Our lives aren't directly at stake the way they are in traffic, but the interaction can strike more closely to our core beliefs and personality since we can articulate much more. We take the interaction very personally, even though it is a very impersonal forum. Like in traffic, we often don't get the feedback for our small and innocuous negative action that we would in a more personal interaction. Instead, it all piles up until we can't take it anymore, and we go into a road rage incident in the traffic example. In the internet and media example, we often have no outlet, no context, no feedback mechanisms. When things get to be too much for us in this kind of interaction, we can't even predict the kinds of actions can result. We either start to ignore the firehose of info, or we take some kind of action. The only hope is that we learn how to treat interactions that have no context and human feedback: as nothing. We learned to communicate as part of an interaction with contexts. What we are doing now can't be considered communication. It is more like howling at the moon, only the moon is smart enough to ignore us.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Have you seen this video? It made me think of my ex

    by i_am_a_girl_in_AICN_so_deal_with_it :P

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Nidal Hasan and the media

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Does anyone remember when the non-pundit media was making this guy out to be a lone nut at the start (didn't want to blame politics or religion, when it turned out to be the case), yet in this case the non-pundit media blames politics when it looks like by many accounts the guy was apolitical.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Chrissssm, right on!

    by bobbofatz

    Reportabuse also well said. People reading your posts as well as Harrys, could feel the sanity in the paragraphs. Creepys, Stalks and others posts seem like angry, often repeated diatribes. I can picture them foaming at the mouth punching keys as they wish ill on people they have never met.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    I think Harry is responsible for AZ killings

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Good a reason as any for crazy person

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    We look at your angry, hate-filled posts -- and then we read your claim that conservatives are the most guilty of "hate speech" -- and suddenly people realize that you have no idea what you are talking about. BTW, I don't get angry when angry little racists call me an "Uncle Tom." That is actually a water off a duck's back when I consider the source. The mentally disturbed 22 yr old community college dropout who performed this evil had been planning it long before he ever knew who Sarah Palin was. He confronted Congresswoman Gabi Gifford in 2006 and 2007 -- long before Sarah Palin or Barack Obama was a major blip on anyone's radar. Ironically, he was reportedly apolitical and had no affiliation with any political party or movement (although his friends from school say that he was quite liberal). Yes, incendiary comments can be motivation for the mentally ill. It happened in 1982 when a young schizophrenic man tried to kill President Reagan in order to impress Jodi Foster. The guy got the idea from A MOVIE (Taxi Driver). The mentally challenged can get their notions from music, movies or political rhetoric. I suppose that it is the same for people who simply believe and repeat propaganda too. Some sincere (and sincerely wrong) people truly believe that 9/11 was an "inside job," that the war in Iraq was motivated by oil, George Bush hates black people, that Obama was born in Kenya and that the moon landing was filmed on a Hollywood set. Such people don't let the facts get in the way of their delusions. Bottom line? It isn't helpful to plead for sanity in our rhetoric when those same people talk about "bringing a gun to a knife fight" or choose to mock, ridicule and vilify anyone who disagrees with them. After all, as Carl Sagan said, we must all find a way to live together on this pale, blue dot. It is the only pale blue dot that we have.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    David Frum blamed it on pot.

    by mjgtexas

    So he snapped because he was hungry.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST

    I remember the goth witchhunt in the 1992 murder investigation

    by ufoclub1977

    of the yogurt shop murders. A friend of mine named Tom was taken in and questioned, just because he was an underground type, goth style, and hung out at certain clubs and was well known in those circles.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    creepythinmanforever ...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...and yet, all Sarah Palin did was have a map with Congressional seats that were up for a vote identified with a target. There was no call for violence. There was no call for harming anyone. There was no one asking to bring a gun to a knife fight. I suppose that if a mentally deranged young man goes and shoots up a Target store, someone will claim that the store asked for it...because of the sign. Go figure.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST


    by awardgiver

    brilliant. thank you. the 'reportabuse' wacko seemed to miss the point of Harry's post.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST


    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    You seem to stereotype all Democrats as resembling those who are the most far-left of the party. A Democrat in states like Colorado, Texas, Arizona or Pennsylvania are NOT like the Democrats in San Francisco, Boston or Honolulu. Not all Democrats look like Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi. Many Democrats in Arizona -- including Congresswoman Giffords -- embrace a very conservative view on the 2nd Amendment. If you have ever attended a Democratic Party rally in Colorado, you will see plenty of guns. Some liberals might not like them...but it doesn't change the fact that they are there. BTW, this mentally deranged young man was NOT influenced by Sarah Palin or her little map. However, to call out Governor Palin with incendiary rhetoric and then defend the rhetoric of others is quite hypocritical. Oh don't seem to notice things like that since you're as guilty of such incendiary "fuck you" rhetoric as any hatemonger. Maybe we shouldn't tolerate those who are so intolerant of anyone their little minds can't tolerate? Pot calling kettle?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by sweeneydave

    Normally I just enjoy coming over to your place so you can show me all your cool geek stuff. But when you say something that's really important to you, I listen. Articles like this that encourage people to be better people are welcome and you don't need to apologize for them. Nobody HAS to read it. But I, for one, appreciate it.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    thanks for sounding on this ...

    by madCanada

    Thanks for that Harry, I saw this clip elsewhere and it was a much-needed antidote to the AZ tragedy and acrimonious horror that has followed. Made me feel slightly better. Like Sagan, I do believe that (Deist?) Humanism is the answer. Leave the old millennium behind, please!!! One world. Forward together. All that STAR TREK stuff.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:36 p.m. CST

    BTW, creepy...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    "Secessionist?" You have to do better than that if you want people to actually believe your deceptive propaganda. I couldn't care less about Sarah Palin. I wouldn't vote for her as President. However, I certainly don't embrace the spin that she is a "wacko." She just seems to be a nice conservative lady who disagrees with much of the liberal policies that have been introduced over the past two years. If you continue to paint her as a "wacko," a "fanatic," "incendiary of violence" or a "secessionist" -- then I suspect that you will find that liberals will continue to lose elections. It doesn't help your cause when you paint anyone with whom you disagree with such a broad "extremist" brush. After a while, people will begin to compare the picture that you are painting with the real thing -- and see how they don't resemble one another very much.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Too bad we're killing American manned spaceflight

    by Badger23

    Oh and mankind will never change.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:43 p.m. CST

    creepythinmanforever ...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    If you can't carry on an intelligent comment without resorting to such nonsense... ...then... ...there is not point in trying to reason or carry on a legitimate conversation with you. You think that you are right and everyone else is there is nothing that anyone can do for you. you also keep a journal for lucid dreaming? Eek.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST

    This will return you to the bliss zone ...

    by madCanada

    Harry (& all AICNers) have you seen this page? Awesome *moving* JPGs from great movies. Keep clicking "forward" at bottom to see more ... & more ... & more ... You're welcome.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 6:01 p.m. CST

    creepythinmanforever ...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Are you really trying to argue that Sarah Palin is a secessionist? :-\ There is no basis for such propaganda. I think that you and the blogger at the Daily Kos are the only ones who believe that nonsense. Still, is all of this Sarah Palin hate really necessary? Geez. I don't like much of Barack Obama's political views, but I don't hate the guy. I wouldn't vote for him...I would hold him accountable for his promises and broken promises...I would even speak out against some of the things that I disagree with. However, I don't HATE him. It is the ALL OR NOTHING attitude that drives some people insane. They love Kobe Bryant and the Lakers so much that they hate everyone who doesn't love Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. I wonder: Do you spit on all of the food that you don't like when visiting a buffet or salad bar? Then why rhetorically spit on people that you disagree with? That is the entire point of Harry's post...and the campaign against "incendiary rhetoric."

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    dolphins are in the jacuzzi and chrissssssssm

    by Stalkeye

    For the record, I don't condone violence against those from a different party affiliation but as I can to some extent understand the anger aimed at indiviuals like Bush and the like. My post in no way is a contradiction, but a lot of the anger toward the right is justified as they have fucked up this country big time. And also for the record, Bam has received more death threats than any president in the history of the US.When you hear shit from the right like "let's take our Country back.." it's quite obvious what they are saying and all it takes is some idiot that will make an attempt to assassinate Obama because he was "inspired" by the Republican rhetoric machine. There are far more angry hateful repubs than dems. Chrisssssssjizzzz: Truth be told. I really don't give two shits if you or others dont know what i'm talking about.If they fail to comprehend what I have tried to convey, that's their problem.Your previous posts and arguements with fellow talkbackers are filled with hate. ergo, compared to the shit you have said I'm a peacenik. But congrats for winning the award as one of the most hated TBer on AICN. Water on a Duck?More like shit stuck on a Bear's ass. Night.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 7:04 p.m. CST

    The dice have already been cast...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    I'm old enough (46) to remember when you could have level headed politcal discussions in this country that didn't immediately degenerate into a good approximation of what a cage of shit flinging monkeys looks like- much like what this talkback has turned into. It seems we are about 2 steps removed from the days when the communists and brownshirts duked it out in the streets of Berlin. The assassanation attempt in Tucson, though seemingly without political motive, is just the opening of what I fear is on the horizon. I don't think you shove the genie back into the bottle. We, as a country, are on a feedback loop that grows louder and stronger and nastier by the minute and with each generation since the 1960's it has gotten more and more pronounced. I truthfully and honestly don't see how the United States remains united 100 years from now. Whatever you want to call it- Seccession, rebellion, revolution- I am firmly convinced we are on the path to one.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 7:12 p.m. CST

    The right screwed up the country?

    by _Maltheus_

    How is Obama any different than Bush? They pretty much vote the same way on every issue (although instead of the health care bill we got medicare D that's already $20 trillion in the hole). And if you don't like Bush, you don't like liberals. He outspent every president prior to him combined. You cannot, under any circumstances, be considered a small government conservative if you do that. Don't forget, the tea party started under his watch as a backlash against the big government neocons. Obama is basically Bush on steroids. Outspending him in every area and expanding the war on terror to include the assassination of American citizens. I'll never understand how a person can hate one of them and not the other. Liberals think Obama gonna undue the damage that Bush caused by doubling down on the same bet and that's just insane. Besides, if anyone is to blame for this country's current mess, it's the Federal Reserve. That's something the left and the right need to come together on. Everything else is just their attempt to divide and conquer us.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Carl Sagan had a way with words.

    by MaliceHighload

    There's a poetry with him that's unique.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:15 p.m. CST

    creepythinmanforever needs a visit from the Secret Service

    by ReportAbuse

    "George W. Bush is a War Criminal and War Criminals deserve to die." But the Zero Messiah is continuing the war isn't he.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Your best post in eons, Harry

    by la_sith

    I've seen the Sagan video before and it's great. And so is ST: TMP. I own the Blu-ray. Just wish Paramount hadn't done The Director's Edition master all wrong, forcing us to wait years (if ever) to see it presented in HD. Anyway, thanks again.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:31 p.m. CST

    thanks Harry

    by aabiohazard1972

    that was from the heart wasn't it? thank you I don't hear very many from the heart speeches anymore thanks man. hope you feel better soon

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST

    so nobly advanced

    by dreamer2928

    It is unfortunate for all that is happening and amongst it I question, Why? Why did the tragedy happen, what was his motivation what did he hope to accomplish if anything? Why are the large amount of animals dieing, what is in the environment be it man made or natural occurring to cause these things? Why is the economy in such a bad place, is it corporate greed or a misunderstanding of our government? Of all these things I ask above all else, Why have we not evolved socially? Technology which has evolved rapidly provides us with information and access for all of us to be educated in our decisions and to communicate our thoughts in a profound and responsible way, yet we do neither. I believe it is time for an overhaul of Society and Government, and for a time of peace and understanding to be strived for. The past experiments of our four fathers should be improved upon or we will all continue on this road of distruction disconnected and alienated as a whole ruled over by those that hear not our cries. "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." - Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Political hate words to ban

    by DunderMifflinIntern

    Waiting for ex(as of this week) Rep Kanjorski to apologize for calling for the execution of the next governor of Florida. He's been making the rounds calling for civility. For the record, I really could care less and think we should all stop being such pussies. Paranoid schizophrenics are going to go off from time to time, if it wasn't because of the whole grammar thing it would be when his favorite TV show got canceled or God knows what. Dems can keep calling for people to be executed, they just need to stop being such hypocrites about it.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST


    by doom master


  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST


    by doom master

    NOT when your site is called "AINT IT COOL NEWS" you know? Just a thought...DUDE

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    WTf does this have anything to do with what happened in TUCSON???

    by doom master

    Maybe you should call up the victims' families and tell them this stuff and see if they get it.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST


    by ReportAbuse

    "another difference between the left and the right is that the left encourages civil discourse" THREAD WINNER.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Bravo, Harry...

    by PatQuid


  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Met Sagan,

    by CaptainWalker

    I did, and he was. One of the great thinkers of the 20th Century. Don't mourn that such men died. Rather give thanks that such men have ever lived.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Perky t-shirts handed out at Tucson "memorial"

    by ReportAbuse

    I just watched this thing and it sounded more like a campaign rally than a memorial with all the whooping and whistling and shouting ... and some group was passing out blue & white "Together We Thrive!" t-shirts to attendees. What, no giant foam hands and air horns? A truly vomitous display.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 9:55 p.m. CST

    It's "corroborated," Headgeek.

    by webbigail

    It's "corroborated," Headgeek, not "collaborated."

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:22 p.m. CST

    pwned ... lol

    by ReportAbuse

    Owned by His Rotundness.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:35 a.m. CST

    emeraldman, don't be sorry

    by pw

    the guy is fucking insane, dude :)

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Right and Wrong exist, Harry

    by criticalbliss

    Until you understand that and know there are indeed evil people walking amongst us, then there truly is no hope for a recovery of decency and truth in this world. Instead, you will defend murderers and feel "sorry" for them and you will continue to feed swine who will forever hunger and just turn on you in the end.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Yet all through the Bush years..nobody was whining..

    by quantize

    about TYRANNY this is the bottom line. Either side can use all the fuckwitted 'violent' metaphors they like. But to suggest the entire country and it's democracy is under threat, day in and out on Fox News, is fucking retarded. The whining will not stop until they have the Whitehouse back, and are people REALLY so fucking stupid to forget what a woeful job they did last time?

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 6:03 a.m. CST

    You want some truth?

    by Charles_Corkey_Thatcher

    Read Leo Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You". It was written over 100 years ago and there is more truth in that book than anything you will find from any of today's political commentators. We are finding new ways to fight each other when our main goal should be becoming united. We need to focus on what we have in common rather than what divides us. That is the only way we can move forward. Neither side is going to win and have it all their own way. It didn't happen with W and it didn't happen with Obama. Real change starts with people understanding that we need each other to survive and hatrid and anger get us no where. I want humanity to make it. I want us here for another 1,000 years. Yet we have the ability to end all of that within our lifetime. We need to turn back from this way of thinking and embrace our fellow man before we allow hatrid to be our downfall. This is reality and it is about time both sides wake up and realize it.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    Read Leo Tolstoy's "The Kingdom of God is Within You".

    by son_of_ebert

    and every now and then a nugget of gold gets dropped.. good call charles_corkey_thatcher great book

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I feel your pain, cchhrriissmm

    by Monroville

    It's funny how the moment one finds out a black person is conservative, they automatically looked shocked or think "sell out"... despite the fact that: <p> (1) Abe Lincoln and the abolitionists were conservatives (fighting for the rights of what were considered to be non-humans, against a group who was fighting for the choice/freedom to own slaves) <p> (2) Conservatives even today focus primarily on self-sufficiency and independence (even if the politicians don't go more beyond lip service). <p> (3) Socialism (at least how it has been designed) isn't really about helping the poor become rich (much less rich enough to take care of themselves), so much as make everyone helpless enough to forever need government assistance... or in essence, enslave us through kindness. Nothing is designed to make things easier or simpler for us to do on our own, or to allow us proactive participation to take ownership of what we do... instead the entire system is about justifying redistribution and creating class envy. <p> So... why would a black person be considered a sell-out if they vote against the party that has in essence been rebuilding slavery (albiet a different, more comfortable version) all over again? <p> Also, has anyone else here even read UNCLE TOM'S CABIN? Check it out: <p> <p> Let me give you a clue on his character: he never sells out anyone.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    All this right vs left...

    by morGoth

    ... (or left vs right) bitter dialogue may not have been the seed for this hideous crime but it sure created the fertile soil for it to sprout and grow. Nice post on. On another note, why'd y'all remove the "G" from my handle? It should be morGoth, dammit! Mumble, grumble...(see: other petty shit!).

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Guns don't kill people!!!


    People with guns with 30 round magnums do! Kill 6 people and seriously injure 14 more.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST

    30 round magazines that is


    Before all the gun nuts jump on Choppah's a$$.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST

    If the murderer hadn't been the only one with a gun...

    by Ironhelix

    ...perhaps he wouldn't have killed even a single person. Our weakness and empty "civility" are what allows criminals to run rampant in our society. Pathetic.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    current words from Space

    by Dr.007

    I thought the words of Rep. Giffords' brother-in-law were thoughtful and appropriate as he delivered them from the international space station. They echoed the theme Harry was delivering here. "We have a unique vantage point here aboard the International Space Station. As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not. These days we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words. We are better than this. We must do better"

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by Dr.007

    I've worked ER trauma through the rise in availability of automatic weapons and seen the incredible rapid damage that can be done by these too readily available weapons. Another armed person would have done little to change the carnage that occurred in that short period of time. Arizona has some of the most permissive gun "control" laws in the country yet look what happened. Perhaps its the attitude that it is permissible to settle differences with baseless invective rapidly escalating to firearms that is truly pathetic.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    by WX1

    <p>Harry mentioned one thing that shouldn’t go unnoticed -- the topic of faith (“For all the faiths that teach us to live a peaceful path, we sure don't practice it.”). Jesus dying for our sins was for no mere shock value. It wasn’t done to be made fun of by the rest of us. God sent His only son and had him subjected to the worst evils known to all of us (humiliation, false accusation, physical and mental suffering. Painful death). Father Corapi is right . . . there was no greater evil committed on this planet than that of deicide. God sent his only son, sent the Eternal Word in the form of man.</p> <p>I’m no Bible thumper. I ain’t a perfect Catholic. I don’t go around handing out pamphlets with a “here, from the lord.” But, I go to church regularly. And things make sense when I listen there. Yeah, I ain’t perfect the rest of the week. But, you gain an understanding by attending Sunday services that enlightens you like no other. And that love and understanding builds. Lenin and Lennon can only give you so much. It’s church and the Eternal Word that is not fleeting.</p> <p>If you’re not doing it, it’s time to go back to church. Regularly. Yeah. The church has p!$%ed me off more than a few times, and the greatest priests around will tell you that they get tired and bored or prayer, too. But, it’s the journey to understanding, to absorb that faith. The constant understanding of the truth that is the Eternal word. You’ll get all the truth and the understanding -- when you need to understand when the Arizona shootings and the Columbines and the 09/11/2001s happen -- that you’ll ever need there. At church You will see death cannot defeat.</p> <p>And, uh, for those of you who want to play the pedophile priest card with me? There are a heckuva lot of very good and men of the cloth who do what they are charged to do in the church that the news conveniently neglects to report on. And this faith knew of betrayal from within forever . . . Judas anybody?</p>

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    "only one with a gun"...

    by morGoth

    Yeah, or perhaps more people would've been killed. I can't think of a more worse case scenario than more than one person blazing away at each other with all those other potential "collateral damage" humans running around. Gun freaks are some of the most self-importizing and dangerous people in this country. Honestly, they worship the damned things!

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    That is...

    by morGoth

    "...more than one person blazing away at another.."

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    irnohelix, you know you're totally right


    If we armed all of our college students then perhaps the Virginia Tech mass murder would have been stopped. Why not arm high school students in case another Columbine occurs. Hell, why stop there, let's arm children in elementary schools. More guns! More guns is the answer to all our problems! And larger magazines to hold more bullets!

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    why does Sagan's voice sound pitched up??

    by FleshMachine

    i know his voice well...and that sounds someone doing an impression of him. like it's pitched up a bit.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    lots of baraka in that

    by FleshMachine

    great film

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST

    dr_pepperspray, nice quote


    Some of us have indeed evolved and progressed indeed. Unfortunately, the conservatives want to hold us back from evolving. Probably, because they don't believe in evolution.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    The people who are disputing my claim...

    by Ironhelix

    ...have failed to address the actual point. Criminals will hurt people. Are we to stand around and let them, all the while waiting for the police to come and save us? You morons can take your chances with that, but I for one choose to take my family's safety into my own hands. I challenge you to stop me. Pathetic weaklings who think that society will protect them make me almost as sick as the psychopathic criminals they nurture.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry

    by visceralgristle

    Wow, you didn't mention Carl Sagan once in that whole thing, even though the whole reason for this video's existence, and the reason why it works in the first place, is his voice and his writing. I'm guessing you're not familiar with the man's work? By the way folks, this comes from his audiobook for Pale Blue Dot. I didn't live to finish it, sadly, but he did about 40 percent of the narration.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Good post Harry

    by SithMenace

    I think the biggest criminal here (besides the shooter) is the media. Ever since 9/11/2001 they've been looking for their next ratings bonanza, and it's sickening. Every potential story of human suffering is now covered endlessly, from Katrina to the Asian tsunami, for nothing more than a huge profit margin. <p>The other problem is the misplaced sense of value we and the media place on life. September 9th, 2010 a woman shot up the factory she was fired from in Philly, 2 people killed, 1 injured. It made the news, but was little more than a blip and not even the top story. Why? Because none of the victims were a judge or a congresswoman. Obama didn't personally thank the police that arrested her on primetime tv, nor did they get a 5 minute standing ovation. When I see him and all of the other career politicians on capitol hill applauding like lunatics for the heroes of the rampage, it seriously just feels like Washington taking care of their own, or taking care of those who took care of their own.<p> I feel bad for the people shot in AZ, I really do, and I hope the congresswoman is able to pull through, but I can't watch the coverage, because the profit turning media circus they've turned this into is nauseating.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Harry, paragraphs don't work anymore?

    by SithMenace

    I did this < p > but it didn't work.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Well intentioned people also hurt people...

    by morGoth

    ...and that is the point. Just because someone carrys a gun around doesn't automatically mean they know how to use it safely (see: collateral damage)...or even effectively. Criminals will hurt people...yeah, so can well intentioned people. Obviously the people who disarmed the psycho (including the older lady) didn't wait for the police to show up either.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Church is not the answer

    by SithMenace

    Some of the worst atrocities in human history were in the name of god.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    ironhelix, I'm having a hard time deciding what's worse:


    1. A criminal with a handgun 2. A mentally insane person with a handgun or 3. An idiot with a handgun (most teabaggers)

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Church IS an answer . . .

    by WX1

    <p>. . . as is prayer and living a clean life. I think what you're getting at here, sithmenace . . .</P> <p><blockquote> Jan 13, 2011 3:16:33 CST Church is not the answer by sithmenace Some of the worst atrocities in human history were in the name of god. </blockquote></P> <P>. . . are the polemics and the FALSE works made in the name of the Lord (i.e., "atrocities" done by Hitler, et al.). God is known all over the world, to say the least. He's a target. And He's going to be used to hide behind by those who have the yearning to do evil.</p> <p>And this is why you must find God for yourself. Then you can get to the point where you realize that you're not a Catholic for yourself; you're a Catholic for others. Good works vs. Evil works. Most just write church off. Too boring. Too tired from the previous Saturday night outing (by the way, there are late Sunday masses and pre-late evening masses on Saturdays as well). How can you make an informed opinion about church by only listening and reading the rhetoric of far leftists and God-haters? Go BACK to church. Make an informed opinion.</p>

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Catholic or . . .

    by WX1

    . . . whatever your benevolent religion of choice is. :)

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    well said harry

    by antonphd

    i hope you watched the memorial last night. it was beautiful and hopeful. for a night... people forgot to hate each other. it was a great night.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    I lived the first 16 years of my life as a Christian, and got out when I realized there were a lot of things that didn't make sense. I've seen both sides, and I've made an informed decision. That's something that most lifelong religious people can never say. Science and nature have answered the questions that religion never could for me, and a green forest on a Sunday afternoon does more for my well being than a trip to a church ever could. And the assumption that people that don't go to church don't live clean lives is idiotic (which I don't think that's what you said, but I know it's what the church teaches). That's one of the Church's many ways of making you feel superior to everyone else, which leads to intolerance. Some of the worst people I've ever known were very religious and went to church every Sunday, and I've known fantastic, upstanding people that have never been religious. There's good and bad in everything, but the church, especially Catholicism, wants you to believe that anyone with a different religion, or no religion, is wrong and is going to die. Christians hate Muslims, Muslims hate everyone, and everyone hates the Jews. It's a never ending cycle of intolerance and hatred, because no religion would be able to exist without an enemy, be it Satan or the church down the street. I've been on both sides, and I've made an informed decision based on what I've learned. Can you say the same?

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 5:41 p.m. CST


    by antonphd

    just don't murder anyone, ok, generaljsjackson. that's all i ask. talk nuts, but don't kill people. cool?

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 7:07 p.m. CST

    I question God and the Church, like I said . . .

    by WX1

    . . . and I don't have discard either of them in an ultimately final sense in order to get an objective view of things. I have to question how genuinely those who have left the Church have allowed The Word into their lives (and a genuine allowance of such into my own life does NOT make me feel superior to others). The # of pitfalls I have avoided through allowing prayer to interject . . . simply uncountable. The Eternal Word, The Holy Spirit. It's a way to guide your life. I pray for those who lost their way. Surely even ex-Christians can see the value of that.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Oops cut off.

    by WX1

    [Dunno what happened]. Look, I understand plurality and I appreciate it. Close friends and acquaintances o'mine come from all walks of life. I know Buddhists, Muslims, and, yes, atheists. You know? The Saganists, the Hawkings ('specially with that last work of his) . . . they offer explanations for others; they, just don't do it for me, is part of my point heres. And I understand this week is a time for healing for the country. Amen to that.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Humans are evil

    by MegaBeth

    I made the mistake of choosing a profession that involves a lot of interaction with humans. I have to say humans are vile. They will shit on each other, kill each other, defile one another, lie about each other, cheat on each other, and not give it a second thought. Even the "good" people aren't really good. They just don't do anything vile enough to be noteworthy. But they still lie, cheat, steal and run you off the road if they are five minutes late for their spin class. The day the human race is eliminated will be a good day for the universe.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 7:27 p.m. CST


    by MegaBeth

    is the next to go postal..

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:38 p.m. CST

    what if

    by frank cotton

    evil has to exist. what if death is required? how much order is there in the universe, and how much order does the universe require to function. and not necessarily to function well, but to function at all? electrons can spin in an orderly fashion around a nucleus, and yet whole galaxies collide. which has the greater effect? does one serve a purpose, and not the other, or do both serve? do both serve the same purpose, or different purposes? any math wizards out there? can anyone tell me, if everyone who ever died had instead lived, and continued to reproduce, how many generations it would have taken to reach 100 billion? if you allotted one square yard, per person, of the earth's livable surface area, what is the absolute maximum number of human beings that could fit on it? frank failed algebra, and has a short attention span, else he would provide the approximate figures for you

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    "The New Age Assassin"

    by barry convex

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Nice one, Harry.

    by TheOriginalBubblehead

    Harry... I hope you read this. This is THE original "Bubblehead", one of twenty-five or so "Forumers", as Luckdragon and I termed them (and wrote songs of the same name), who were with you at the beginning of it all, along with Matrim Cauthon, Travis Bickle, and, of course, Papa Smurf himself, D. Vader. I've visited AICN just about daily for, what, almost fifteen years, now? Through all the ups and downs, all the changes, watching as the original lineup of RoboGeek 1 and 2 and Moriarty changed up and evolved, from before "Independence Day" (I do believe it was that film, as well as "Mars Attacks!" and the "Star Wars" Special Editions, that initally led me to your fledgling site) to "The Faculty", "Armaggedon", "Godzilla", and more. None of this is by way of showing off -- I'm just giving you my bona fides, and relating just how invested I've been in AICN. A number of years ago, you inspired me to become something of a film critic, in my own right -- I wrote for the now-defunct Fantasy Moguls, and a few other places, and although I am no longer "active" and have moved on to other endeavours in life, I want you to know that you were my inspiration and my muse in those efforts. And I have to say as well, how erratic and confounding I've found the site to be, frequently, these last several years, and how far I think it's strayed from its roots, as your prestige and influence and reputation have grown and as you have become something of a brand name in your own right. I haven't always enjoyed coming to AICN. But I have continued to, all this time. I don't "contribute" to the TalkBacks, as they are now known, very much, and rarely under anything like my initial "handle". (I remember you popping into a chat room at the old site, maybe in December 1997 or '98, to share the "new" format, burnt-orange wallpaper and all, back before they were even CALLED "TalkBacks". I pop in and shout "hi" to D. every few years and we promise to trade E-mails, which we never do. But generally I despise the TalkBacks, it's a heckuva lot more juvenile and inane (for the most part; there are notable exceptions) than what I remember from the old days, and I gave it a pass. But tonight, reading your profoundly moving post, I just had to let you know: You not only touched me (in a non-prison movie sort of way) this evening, you made me reflect, and went a long way toward restoring my faith and high opinion of you, as a man, as a public figure, and as a person of quality. You and I could not possibly be more different, Red. I'm so conservative I may actually be to the right of Atilla the Hun. I'm a Southern Baptist, one of those "religion and gun" zealots. I'm an Aggie. But tonight, we're sympatico, my friend. You spoke beautiful words here, and I am so very thankful I happened to click upon them. They spoke to me... You spoke to me. I could not agree more wholeheartedly. Thank you for sharing your sentiments with us. You're a good man, Charlie Brown, and I appreciate you. Talk to you in another fifteen years, maybe. You take care of that back, be well, and God bless you and your family. (I can't believe it took 15 years for me to find out that you and I both have relations in Seymour. Small world.) Your friend, Rick Cromack. Allen, Texas "Bubblehead"

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:01 a.m. CST

    "I'm not afraid of Al Quieda.."

    by Stalkeye

    "I'm afraid of Al Cracka"! -Chris Rock

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 4:24 a.m. CST

    now i look pretty stupid

    by brightgeist

    uhm, yeah... now that the media are creating this connection between the shooter and his interest in controversial movies and documentaries like ZEITGEIST, i look pretty stupid for posting the info about the new ZEITGEIST movie here, which i did solely in the context of the NASA video... sometimes the universe just hates me i guess :D

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 6:03 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    This coming from the guy who advocates for Serbian Film? Get out.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:11 a.m. CST

    To quote Reagan "There you go again."

    by HalJordan2814

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    re:the church

    by ihatefanboys

    listen, i grew up very catholic, was an altar boy, did all the traditional catholic stuff. then as george carlin put it "i reached the age of reason" Im aware that many of u believe the BS of god, even if youre not a card carrying christian, its a fact that more than 70% of americans believe in god. than number should scare alot of people. we sit here and put down islam and other religions on how primitive and barbaric they are yet the average christian forgets that christians slaughtered men women, and children in the name of god. millions of them. sounds familiar dont it ?? as long as religion is dominant on this planet there will never be world peace or any peace for that matter. As for the media, they feed off stuff like what happened with the shootings. they will milk it dry as long as the wusses of the world that watch the news every day have an interest in ? i dont really care, it didnt happen to anyone i know, and it happened so far away it might as well be in another country. i dont get all weepy because a kid died, and i really dont know how true it is that she was born on 9/11.....if i was making up a story, which the media does more often than u would think, i woulda brainstormed that myself....great fake hook to get the brainwashed amongst us that actually believe the official story of 9/11 to get reconnected. sure theyre gonna make him out to be a conspiracy theorist and radical to make the stupids think that people that question the government are wholesale loonies and will shoot little girls and random govt people. people need to start worrying about themselves and their lives, not anyone elses. when CNN runs a story about little children freezing in afghanistan i say "good, fuck em" ...not because im a patriot, its because it simply doesnt affect me. honestly everyone in the world should feel the same way. people cant stop minding other peoples business and i think thats what the main problem in the world is. the NASA video is right, it wont be us that go to another star, itll be a more intelligent group of humans than us, thats assuming that the current generation in their 20s can ever grow up and stop moaning about how hard life is, makes me wanna smack the lazy bastards.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 11:39 a.m. CST

    The truth about 9/11 is much more complicated than u think


    To say that the neo-cons in the government orchestrated the attack on the Twin Towers in NY is naive. The truth is that there were more nefarious powers at work behind the scene and I don't mean the Illuminati or another erroneous secret society. I'm talking about witchcraft and black magick. How else could such an enormous event be covered up with no dissenting voices or witnesses? It was the power of the dark forces as wielded by Darth Cheney, the Dark Lord that were unleashed upon the world that day as he had prior laid forth in the Project for the New American Century.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:31 p.m. CST

    the media pits us against each other

    by Chain

    it exaggerates and sensationalizes. it wants to scare you. it wants to make you mad at your neighbor. the corporations control them,the govt and you. these huge mega corporations have been using their influence over govt to steal from you and send it overseas. they've been allowed to lie to us and use so many loopholes to avoid paying taxes themselves for the most part. wealth concentration is their plan. It's class warfare alright. and they're winning. They're coming for social security next. Bush tried to give them the nestegg but was shot down. It might have bought them enough time to delay the market crash until he was out of office had he succeeded. but don't peek behind the curtain. continue to fight each other. hate each other. and patronize our sponsors. and enjoy the puppet show

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Well said, Harry

    by freerangecelt

    As some have pointed out, perhaps focusing on a few deaths caused by a deranged young man might be a bit much considering the state of our world today, but sometimes the world, as it did for 6 people last weekend, suddenly shrinks down to a few last heartbeats, a last breath, and then what lies beyond. If anything, the shooting and the deaths might just make us pause for a moment and make us think about the way this world of us is going. Yes, to many (and I am heartbroken at the cynicism of younger people today) it is like driving past a car wreck on the freeway, but we do have to hang on to the hope that things, and we as a race, can and will be better. No one wants to turn on the news and find out someone they loved and cared for would be capable of murder. Mental illness is a disease that affects everyone in the disturbed person's life. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own actions. Things will get better, kids, please don't give up on yourselves, and the world, just yet.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Life is beautiful

    by Redhead_Redemption

    But it's complicated, we barely make it. We don't need to understand there are miracles.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Megabeth: Humans are evil

    by MoreNoise

    Did you expect utopia, angel wings? I have studied a LOT of history. What I've seen is progress. Progress, not perfection. Sagan never said that those things would happen overnight, or without a lot of sacrifice. You don't have a crystal ball, or know enough to say that humans won't become more then they are now. All you can really say is that you personally have or haven't given up.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:14 p.m. CST


    by DoctorWho?

    Thanks. I read Megabeth's comment the other day and almost responded in kind too. But I said fuck it...I simply get exasperated at responding to the avalanche of negativism here. I don't mean Megabeth either, she's cool (is she a she?)...but a notable number of people here are downright mean assholes going as far as to insult the shit out of Harry and his wife pretty savagely. Anyway, props to your post!

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    More than a little hypocritical...

    by Detached

    ... considering some of the incredibly cheap & low shots Harry & others (*cough* Hercules *cough*) have taken against conservatives, Christians, and others on this site over the years. I'm sure Harry means what he says - while ever-so-conveniently overlooking the fact that it his compatriots on the Left (Krugman, NY Times, liberal bloggers) who immediately started pointing the finger-pointing while admitting they didn't have a shred of evidence to support their hysteria. Of course, they've done this for decades, all the way back to Oswald, and ever since- while ignoring all the "Bush = Hitler!" "Kill Bush!" sentiments (and much, much more) from their own side. As if that's okay. Got it. And what's worse, those same people on the Left (not everyone, just The Usual Suspects) will act exactly the same way the next time. I'm sorry, but it's who they are. Then conservatives will respond, and then people like Harry will lament about How Sad It All Is. I actually agree with Harry's basic point- but then, I'm not the one running off my mouth- or my keyboard- before the first atom of evidence is in, talking about "creating a climate of hate." I hope the people who *should* take heed to Harry's message - those on the Left (including on this site)- do.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 8:42 p.m. CST

    who said I was "right-wing" -?

    by Detached

    I'm just noting observations I've made of this site and liberals over the years. Even liberals have said the same thing this week. But since you so freely use the word "hate" for something so ridiculously minor as "cough," I guess we can safely assume you are a liberal.

  • Jan. 16, 2011, 1:08 a.m. CST

    We need to look to the heavens again

    by darthvedder81

    If you're a believer like I am that statement has obvious spiritual connotation but even if you aren't I think we can all agree our country (and planet) go do with a little less moping and shoe-gazing and a little more wondering. It's an odd paradox that as we've gotten more advanced technogically we've also gotten more embittered and less amazed by our own world. Humanity may be flawed but it can be redeemed...

  • Jan. 16, 2011, 7:20 a.m. CST


    by Detached

    Typical. Make assumptions, presume guilt without evidence, post juvenile hate with no intellectual content whatever.

  • I think this one is also good.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Hypocritcal left wingers

    by rocky

    So the left is blaming the right and showing the same traits they accuse the right of. Not long ago the most vile stuff was coming from the mouths on the left while attacking Bush and anyone in his govt.

  • Jan. 23, 2011, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Sorry I have no interest in collectivism Harry.

    by brobdingnag

    Any compromise between your desire to steal from me and my desire that you don't benefits only you. Just the opposite is needed. It is long past time for collectivists and individualists to go their separate ways. Preferably by agreement but by conflict if necessary.