Sandy Hook Happy Meal

When I told [a family member] that 26 kids from Sandy Hook elementary school were going to sing at the Super Bowl, he was surprised and disgusted. I asked rhetorically why the survivors from the Aurora movie theater hadn’t been invited. He answered, “Because they’re not cute, and it would be harder to exploit a large group of them.”

He really gets it. Why don’t all Americans get it?

I’m tired of Sandy Hook grief porn. I don’t want to wait around for the Sandy Hook lego set and the Sandy Hook Happy Meal.  I have always been in favor of gun regulations and I’ve signed a million petitions urging legislators to stand up to the NRA. I didn’t allow my kids to have toy guns and and I have no regrets about it.

I wish that people could think about gun crime in America without needing to invoke a specific incident that then eclipses the real every dayness of homicide and suicide death by guns. You could fill the Super Dome with the people killed by guns in Chicago alone.

There were an average of 85 gun deaths each day in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including two accidents, 53 suicides and 30 homicides.

If Americans needed a good cry before the Super Bowl, they should have been forced to look at some paralyzed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe the lights went out during the game because god is disgusted, too.

While I’m at it, I’d like to thank our media for showing us only that one photoshopped picture of Adam Lanza with the huge chin and the bugged-out eyes, instead of the one above that depicts a regular human boy with bad skin and a sad little smile.


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25 Responses to Sandy Hook Happy Meal

  1. gretchen says:

    totally agree and have said much the same. plus this is just prolonging the horror and grief for the children and their families.

  2. Bessie the Cow says:

    Guns don’t kill . . . oh wait, that’s all guns do. . . is kill. People are just the puppets behind the weapons. We are a society that has a need to keep its people in fear, depressed, and divided, because then people will not resist the powers that be as the sodomize the rest of the world including its own people and environment.
    Planned obsolescence; a soylent green of another color. We’re a culture of death and disease, but we must make a change to a culture of peace and understanding. And guns won’t take us there.

  3. pam ela says:

    that’s one smart son you’ve got there.

  4. Kristin says:

    Only days after the shooting the surviving children drove along streets lined with 22 crosses waving banners, one cross for each one dead (I may have gotten the symbols wrong). To see this flashing reminder of the dead, whomp, whomp, whomp, as they drove along, must have caused great trauma. We need our rituals, but we need quiet too. Part of respect for the grieving is to leave them in peace.

  5. deb* says:

    Never a truer word was spoken.

  6. Debbie says:

    Totally agree. I am also getting tired of Facebook posting crap … “like” if you love Jesus, Hate Guns, posted pictures of children with no hair due to chemotherapy, … SICK OF IT ALL. I am a super compassionate person but I really don’t want to see any photos of children with weird diseases, or animals with one eye and three legs or soldiers with burned faces. I really don’t.

    Thank you.

  7. jlynn says:

    When I first heard of this I thought it was a satirical take on grief-porn from “The Onion”.

    No such luck. What a disheartening, nauseating spectacle.

    Having wrung every drop of shock value from Janet Jackson’s nipple, I suppose they had to up their game.

    Next year: Sanduski rape victims, Congolese child soldiers, and Holocaust survivors join Katy Perry and Ted Nugent in a stirring starspangled tribute to “Freedoms”, featuring a medley of jingoistic post-9/11 country music anthems, NCAA college football fight-songs, and popular fast food jingles.

  8. Andra says:

    What a sick fucking world we live in.

    What happened to us?

  9. Jane says:

    I would like to discuss a tasteless, but interesting, idea.

    I am interested in analyzing a scenario that is not yet common but has the potential to become so due to changes in human society, culture, and technological capabilities:

    Is it possible to convert most cases of suicide into suicide-multiple homicides?

    Don’t be so shocked… Few could have foreseen the barbarity of the Irish “famine”, WW1, Stalinism, the Ukrainian “famine”, Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the Holocaust, WW2 etc. History shows us that otherwise normal human beings are perfectly capable of rationalizing behavior and actions which now shock us.

    Getting back to the subject under discussion–the starting point for the idea mentioned above is based on the simple fact that a person who is willing to die has nothing to lose. There is, therefore, nothing to stop a person from killing scores more before he kills himself. So let us, then, analyze the feasibility of normalizing suicide-homicides in our era.

    While psychiatrists (a.k.a. quacks with prescription pads) might tell you that people who commit suicide are “mentally ill”, objective facts suggest otherwise. Socio-economic factors such as unemployment, poverty, homelessness, discrimination and biological ones such as untreated pain and terminal diseases are strongly associated with a vastly increased risk of suicide. Did you notice two common themes in all of those conditions?

    The first one is hopelessness. People who are hopeful about the future do not contemplate or commit suicide. You have to first stop believing in the possibility of a better future to be able to even think about suicide.

    The other common theme is that apathy, neglect and abuse by others is strongly linked to suicide. Whether it is unemployment, poverty, untreated or poorly treated pain or abuse and exploitation by the surrounding social system–the attitudes and actions of others are, by far, the most important factors that drive people to suicide.

    Now let us put two and two together and ask the inevitable question:

    Would it not be fitting if a person tortured, mutilated and killed the kids and grand-kids of those who were responsible for creating the conditions leading to his suicide? What can law and society do to a person without hope who is willing to kill himself?

    Why not destroy the comfort and hope of those who drove the person to suicide in the first place?

    This is not a trivial question, because doing so ensures that those who hurt the person in question can never harm anybody else again. Moreover targeting the so-called “innocent” kids and grand-kids of those who hurt the concerned person is significantly easier and far more effective than taking out the active perpetrators. Since most people nowadays have only one or two rather late in life, their gruesome death almost guarantees a catastrophic and irreversible disruption of the targeted person’s life. Even a half-successful attempt would maim and cripple them beyond repair.

    Think about it… Could a middle management-type be the same again if somebody left his kids severed heads outside his office? Could a professor be able to keep on abusing graduate students if his kids or grand-kids were burnt alive? Could a physician afford to be a prick if his kids were beaten to death by the somebody before he killed himself. I could go on… but you get my point.

    Some of you might wonder–why is it more likely to occur now rather than in previous and probably more barbaric eras?

    The answer lies in a host of social and technological changes which have occurred in the last 40-odd years. Even 5 decades ago, strong family and community bonds universally prevented people from acting on their more sadistic impulses–at least against their own kith, kin and community. Religious bullshit and social conformity also probably hindered people from doing such things.

    Today we live in an atomized society with no loyalties, sense of belonging or anything else that might hinder such behavior. Moreover in the last decade and a half, we also live in an information and communication rich world which has the very important effect of removing false hope. It is hard for people to believe in traditional institutions of stability be they stable marriage, friendships, community or livelihoods. Consequently it is also hard to believe in the idea of a better future, even if most people do so only at a subconscious level–at least for now. We live in a world where it is obvious that everybody is out to get everybody else in a zero sum, winner-take-all, game. Few believe that promises or contracts are meant to be honored at any level. More importantly this has become common knowledge and experience. These factors, especially their scale and combination, unprecedented in human history.

    The speed of information and idea travel are the final piece of this puzzle. In previous era, the powers-to-be could stop or distort news and messages. That is no longer the case and we have reached the stage where the actions of one person, under certain conditions, could start a whole cascade of effects which would be essentially uncontrollable. Did I mention that it is basically impossible to identify the successful spark until it is too late…

    In conclusion, why not commit suicide-multiple homicides, instead of just suicide?

    Does my prediction that suicide-multiple homicides will become common in the near future have any merit? Do you think that the current social setup will unwittingly end up normalizing such behavior?

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    Jlynn – You forgot Chernoble residents but otherwise an excellent program for next year.

    Jane – Well. I don’t know if this is Swiftian satire or something else. Are you actually advocating the scenario you describe or just musing about it? I used to think that if I had incurable cancer, I might like to take out George Bush or someone else responsible for trying to fuck up the entire world, but then people would cry out for more guns, so what good would that do?

    I would rather see a decrease in suicides among young people, who feel hopeless about life all too easily. I wouldn’t mind an increase in suicide among some of the elderly US senators on the far right.

  11. diana says:

    jane-to answer briefly, no. other people are not responsible for suicides, and it’s a pretty big step to characterize those who may be simply going about their own days and lives as evil-doers who are trying to deliberately break someone else. if that makes any sense.

  12. JK says:

    ANDRA – “Tsunami Possible” 0520 Cairns time. Epicenter was Solomons Islands.


  13. Ali says:

    Jane, you assume these “logical” leaps with such fluidity it’s baffling.

    The choice to use the Newton choir was also baffling.

    I feel so confused I don’t even know what to say anymore.

  14. JK says:



    You realize while we’ve done “Internets Stuff” only – I still can love you.

    Sis? I never asked Andra’s phone number.

  15. JK says:

    Andra, Sister Wolf?

    These sorts of alerts are “flashed” to me. I “sorta know” my friends’ locations – but I rarely have a clue where any might be at a particular moment. I “know” where they visit – I does the bestest I can.

    Here’s what flashed my screen:

    “Cairns” is especially flashed. I hope I’ve not worried.

  16. Sister Wolf says:

    Diana and Ali – I THINK that Jane is being a provocateur and not actually trying to make sense.

    JK – I don’t have her phone number either – you can probably find her on facebook. She will appreciate your concern, I am sure. xo

  17. JK says:

    [Sad to say] I can’t do social media my Dearest Sister Wolf, “limited” as they say – but “they” cannot limit my friends. (And I daren’t even try to limit my friends even if any visit darest visit that ol’ coot Duff.)

    I’ve scattered stuff throughout the latitudes and longitudes M’Lady, hoping to catch Andra’s attention – thankfully needlessly as it turns out – but do please, in the future, limit my exposures to nice girls.

    I worries too much over nice girls, Nice Sister Wolf. & loves ’em as it turns out.

  18. Jilllian says:

    Your comment about Lanza’s picture being Photoshopped intrigues me. Why do you think this? I thought he appeared to be serverly underweight or anorexic judging by the protruding bones in his face.

  19. Lulu says:

    I don’t really understand your point, Sister.
    People should be allowed to grieve – honor the dead, even – in their own particular way. I would never criticize the way you have honored your son on this publicly accessible forum. Your grief has been presented in such a raw fashion, and has made me cry and prickle and rage…and I don’t know you personally, or your son, or your family.

    My best friend lives in the US, and she was entirely affected by the Sandy Hook shooting without personally knowing anyone involved. First, it confused me as to why she was so obsessed for weeks with this particular incident, but then I tried to brush my own reactions to it aside and listen to her, and then it became clear that the seed of her mourning was because her own daughter is 6 years old, and the issue of true random [not the hipster usage of the term] was in play: that sense of fear and relief and devastation of possibility, and guilt that it wasn’t her child, but that another version of her [as one of the Sandy Hook mothers],was going through this loss, and it was too horrible to contemplate…
    and this attempt at empathy – even though it has its flaws – is what I think the whole concept of a shared humanity is about.

    We can’t grieve for everyone, but we tend to grieve for those we can feasible imagine could be us in another time or place.

    I do appreciate the sense of tackiness that you are railing against – I always “hide” the facebook posts of saccarin “if you have lost someone to this [insert disease here, usually cancer” please share on your wall” in the same way I roll my eyes at multicolored ribbons other than red [because AIDS has affected my circle of friends] or despair at the hypocrisy of charities that are really big business, or secretly sneer at posters about two sets of footprints – but can we really afford to be so cynical at public outpourings of grief that differ from our own elegant displays? And what qualifies us as judges of what constitutes authentic suffering or reactions to public or personal trauma?
    At what expense do we turn our hearts to stone?
    Are we compelled to do this in order to immunise ourselves against the sheer volume of grief in the world?
    So many rhetorical questions that you too can roll your eyes at.

  20. Sister Wolf says:

    Lulu – First of all, I am offended by the use of my son by commentors who want to make a point about something. I have said so before quite clearly.

    But moving on, my feelings about the Sandy Hook shootings is that a horrible event has triggered an orgy of faux sentimentality and manufactured responses shaped by the media. Even the poor parents have been sucked into making their children celebrities of a sort. The parents are in shock and don’t even know what the fuck is going on.

    If the nation and/or world has turned its numbed hearts to Sandy Hook in order to revel in its own ability to feel something, I don’t have to buy into it and I don’t.

    The world will get tired of this topic just as it got tired of Haiti, and forgive me if this sounds too cynical.

    The target of my disgust in this post was the Super Bowl thing. That was pure Show Biz.

    Believe me, I’m not rolling my eyes at your questions, I too have questions about humanity. Too many to list.

  21. Lulu says:

    please accept my apologies for offending you, sister wolf
    the last thing i want to do is cause you further hurt

  22. Sister Wolf says:

    Lulu – Of course, I accept, xo

  23. Cricket9 says:

    Dear SW, I couldn’t agree more. I live in a place where I meet many American expats, most of them nice, normal people (with a high % of conspiracy theorists, but that’s another story). I’m baffled how they cry their eyes out for victims of the shooting, proclaiming in the next sentence ” we have the constitutional right to bear arms, and NOBODY EVER will take it away from us, we’ll sooner separate from the union than allow the government…” and so on and so forth. I don’t get it. At all.

  24. moo-lissa says:

    Sister, Your writing is so fantastic. I really love reading your blog so much. I think you should post on Tumblr as well so that your ideas can be circulated with the push of a “Reblog” button. Thank you for feeling my rage and expressing it. I’ve really given up at the ripe old age of 43.

    Also, is that Sea of Shoes Jane above?

  25. A good question... says:

    Instead of targeting personal gun owners, why not go after military spending instead? Whether or not guns are legal criminals will get them, and it’s important for law abiding citizens to be able to have them too. I own a lovely Springfield EMP 9mm that I’ve never had to fire outside of a firing range but does provide peace of mind as I am a single female who lives alone… also, I find guns sexy the way I would find a classic car or a motorcycle sexy. I fully support legal gun ownership. And I fully support cutting military spending – start with the government first not private citizens. I cringed when things like mass homicides happen because it inspires the gun debate with bias. Sure blah blah more gun control, sure blah blah legal civilian gun owner could have minimized fatalities. The problem isn’t guns it’s mental health care, but everyone flocks around the gun issue and nothing gets done to address the real problem.

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