Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bullets and Burgers

You are all back on my radar now, so if I don't comment from now on, it's because I cannot think of anything to say - not that that normally stops me.

Last night, I was going to put up something about that 9 year-old girl who shot her 'instructor' in the head with an Uzi machine-pistol, but it all got a bit too contentious anyway, what with various other comments about how I relate to my fellow bloggers - real or contrived personalities, shaped according to the time of night or the quantity of alcohol consumed.

That is the great thing about posting stuff up like this - it's a bit like how everyone's personality used to change as soon as they got behind the wheel of a car. On foot, they would not dream of barging in front of an old lady who is trying to enter the doorway of a shop, but once they were clad in metal with a couple of hundred horse-power under the bonnet, it suddenly seemed to turn into a dog eat dog world.

My persona is not too far off the one I portray here, but I still occasionally fall into the trap of thinking that there is no use or room for inhibitions in the blogoshpere. The reason I am so consistently polite to the Hattatts is because they are always so unfailingly polite to everyone else. Simple as that. Even when they have been told to 'fuck off', they respond with a polite apology before complying with the request.

The other aspect of blogging which is relentlessly exploited by some who think they are isolated in the rarified atmosphere of this make-believe world (guilty, before accused) is the sure fact that if you express any extreme or untrammelled opinion about any world event, your comment hit-rate goes through the roof. Example: Recommend the nuking of Islamic extremist murderers - that should do the trick.

Thus, someone whose comment rate rarely rises above 10 or 15, will suddenly accrue about 50 in the space of an hour or so. The quality of these comments is not always what you would call 'top-grade', though, and often amount to just a couple of words, one being 'fuck' and the other being 'you'.

I am always astounded by the little piece of advice at the top of the Hattatt's comment box, and it says something like, "If the comments left here amount to more than 200 in number, there may be an additional box created in order to accommodate them." All this for posts involving art, interiors and a life-style which can only be maintained by living behind what used to be called 'The Iron Curtain'.

I have - in the past - harboured unworthy suspicions about the Hattatt's hit-rate, hearing somewhere that it is possible to buy great sheaves of hits for modest amounts of money, but I cannot imagine Mr Gray going to the expense of that, so all those reactions to rivers of dog-shit must be genuine.

The only contentious thing that I will (deliberately) say in this post is that there can be no reason for anyone to be given a military assault weapon to play with, let alone a nine year-old girl - even if it is in an Arizona theme park called 'Bullets and Burgers'.

I saw the video, and the 'instructor' casually leans over the little girl to switch the machine-pistol to automatic mode, then stays leaning over her as the thing writhes out of her hands and swings in the direction of his unprotected head.

This maybe a harsh thing to say, but I feel for the girl far more than I do the foolish instructor. At least he doesn't have to live with this ghastly childhood tragedy. If it had been the girl to shoot herself, then the balance of my sympathy might have been reversed.

Come on NRA - do your worst.

34 comments:

  1. Knowing Mr. Gray I'm sure that he wouldn't pay for comments, a decent scotch egg yes but certainly not comments....I think. But you do have a point about personality change when one is masked behind the wheel, keyboard or the badge of manager, just seems to allow either the disconnection of reality or full personality transplant for some people using these 'bubbles' to become their very own Mr. Hyde. Fortunately my dark side has a habit of running amock no matter where I am at times.

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    1. And it's not even what you would call 'trolling'. We are all guilty of it to one extent or another, I think, apart from a few saints.

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  2. I think that I'm pretty much ' me ' on my blog and in my comments { although, I rarely go around mimicking Betty Marsden or Barbara Windsor !! } I tend not to talk too much about my private life though. I only started a blog by fluke and, because I like fashion and my home, thought I'd do the dreaded lifestyle type blog which you mock so much !! Still, I think that there's room for all of us ….. as they say, it would be a very boring world if we were all the same. I used to get over 100 comments without including replys but, many of my readers have stopped blogging now and, I don't do as much as I used to. I didn't know that you could ' buy ' comments.
    … and, I watched that video of the little girl shooting the instructor …… who ever thought of a theme park called ' Bullets and Burgers ' ? ….. only in America.
    XXXX

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    1. Yes, you are 'you' on your blog - or at least the part you want us to see.

      Liberace did the best one: "Welcome to my beautiful home..."

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    2. Oh, and I think you can buy eBay feedback, but I haven't tried buying blogger comments... yet.

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  3. Jacqueline beat me. Only in America. I'm glad I didn't see the video.

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    1. It's not just America, actually. There are many other countries that conduct similar activities. For instance, a friend of mine went on a stag-party (I forget where, but maybe Czech) and paid a few dollars to fire a heavy machine-gun, PLUS throw a live hand grenade.

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    2. But the burger bar attached may be a peculiarly American thing!

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    3. Mmmmmm, burgers!
      Yeah I think I read somewhere were South Africa has more guns per person, but I think their law are better ("better" being my feeling on the matter)

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    4. I spit/laughed/snorted!!

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  4. It's a pity she didn't go to range down the road. At Bullets and Barbie Dolls they just kill the dolls (but no burgers).

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  5. This story just sickens me. What parent in their right mind lets a 9 year old shoot an Uzi?!? Under ANY circumstances. As you said, the poor girl will have to live with this for the rest of her life.
    But hey, we love our guns here in the good old USA.....yeehaw!

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  6. I am totally in agreement with your last paragraph, though I might have put it differently……serves him right, and the idiots that thought up the theme for the " Bullets and Burgers" should be shot too! As for the parents of that poor little girl…..words fail me! Only in America could this happen. The "right to bear arms" has a lot to answer for!

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    1. No, sorry, I cannot accept that.

      This is a tragedy, and even though the range was stupid, it is still a horrible loss of life.

      There are sporting guns, and there are military guns, and the two should never meet.

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  7. I refuse to be drawn into this argument Tom. I just think America's gun laws are appalling - and all in the name of so called freedom.
    As to the number of comments one gets - although my comments box is never very full, I find it goes up a lot when I ask for an opinion on anything.

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    1. State to State it differs, but it is too late to control illegal guns anyway.

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  8. On the gun thing in America, we re-enacted it in the office two days ago when the news first broke on our phones. We made lots of machine gun fire noises, threw Ribena around and then rolled on the floor. I wont say that we were hysterical. The rest of this post there is too much for me to comment on; I could write an essay on it.

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    1. We were laughing hysterically.

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    2. Like Tom, I feel bad for the girl.
      And I would be laughing hysterically too at your re-enactment.

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    3. You keep promising to write an essay or correct me in the way of blogging, Rachel, but just don't think you have it in you to do it when sober.

      Right now I am a bit drunk, having seen off my US Military mate for the the last time, but I am not so sure about you. Oh well.

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    4. I think I did it in my comments to you the other night. Not sure though as they are but a distant memory now.

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  9. I once saw a film about the Hattatts, it starred Nanette Newman
    The stepford wives

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    1. Ps you can " buy" followers?

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    2. Like you need to, John!

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    3. 'Tall Poppy Syndrome'. You know what I mean?

      Someone puts their head above the parapet and it either gets shot off, or swiped off.

      I don't feel very generous toward you right now, John.

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  10. Bullets and Burgers. Good god. What kind of insane country was I born in? We're circling the drain, folks.

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  11. Darling Tom,

    Perhaps we are just incredibly naive, but we do believe that the world today needs much more kindness.

    If there is a course of action to be taken about anything then it seems to us that the tendency is to ridicule it, sneer at it, be rude about it or just be downright unpleasant. Apologising, empathising or just being pleasant seems to be in much shorter supply. This genuinely makes us sad.

    No blog can be truly authentic as it cannot contain every detail of one's existence. Inevitably, it is a selection and in the main one tries to put a good face on things. Whatever we write about is true and we have included and shared in the past some of our darker moments. We take it in turns to write the posts, one of us answers the comments whilst the other catches up on the blog posts of our commentators. We trust that after 35 years of marriage, the joins do not show too much!

    We have never heard about paying for comments and, indeed, we are quite overwhelmed by the numbers we do receive. Many of our commentators have become real friends, some of whom have travelled to see us in Budapest. We do exist.

    If all this sounds very 'Stepford Wives, then so be it. We would just say that its creator, Bryan Forbes and Nanette Newman were rarely parted in their long and happy married life. So, perhaps it is closer to the truth than one thinks!

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    1. Fair play to you Hattatt's for your words truly needed to be said and without wishing to seem patronising I commend you for your honesty.

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    2. I can't see the joins - probably because you both refer to me as 'Darling'. Keep it up please!

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    3. Ok Hattatts i concede it was a cheap shot
      Nicely answered back though!

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