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Hullabaloo


Monday, June 23, 2014

 
A classic thong for the ammosexual

by digby

It's on sale.  Hurry before they run out!



For those who don't know, that slogan is the one used by gun nuts. It means "come and take it", which makes Atrios' new moniker for these people --- Ammosexuals --- all the more apt. Rick Perlstein found this bizarre little item and refers to it in his piece at Salon today about how these gun nuts really are nuttier than they've ever been. (Yes, we've actually found something new under the wingnut sun.)  It's a fascinating article in which he rightly emphasizes how this escalated when the Democrats, in their quixotic quest to regain the white Southern male vote, completely punted on the issue.  Until then they had at least kept the rightwing nuts in a stand off and had preserved the practical notion that guns were dangerous.  It's a good read, highly recommended.

But I want to talk about that thong and what it says. Rick explains the genesis of the slogan in this previous article:
Back in 2010, when the nascent Tea Party began rallying in public places, a legend was frequently seen on T-shirts and signs: “Molon Labe.” That means, “Come and get them,” or, literally, “Come and take”—a reference to the words of defiance supposedly spoken by King Leonidas when the Persian Army demanded Spartans surrender at Thermopylae. In the contemporary context it refers to the paranoid fantasy of gun nuts that liberals are out to disarm them. The words curl within them an implication of violent defiance—for instance as articulated on this lovely item. Shamefully, Senator Ted Cruz sent out a dog whistle to these folks at the Republican convention, in his keynote speech’s story of the Battle for the CIty of Gonzales: “When General Santa Ana demanded that they give up their guns and the cannon that guarded the city, they responded with the immortal cry, ‘Come and take it!”

True enough.  But somehow I don't think these yahoos have been reading much Herodotus lately.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they got it from this cartoon:

But recall how Newsweek covered the phenomenon back in 2007:
...the cultural significance and popular appeal of "300" reach beyond the thrill of watching pixilated decapitations. The Persians in "300" are the forces of evil: dark-skinned, depraved and determined to terrorize the West. The noble, light-skinned Spartans possess a fierce love of liberty, not to mention fierce six-pack abs. "Freedom is not free," says the wife of Spartan King Leonidas. The movie was adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller ("Sin City"). Miller's post-9/11 conservatism (he is reportedly working on a new graphic novel pitting Batman against Al Qaeda, titled "Holy Terror, Batman!") suffuses his comic-book fantasies. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that "300" resonates for some real warriors. At a theater near Camp Pendleton outside San Diego, cheers erupted at a showing of "300," the Los Angeles Times reported. The Marines ("The Few, the Proud") identify with the outnumbered Spartans.
And the marines weren't the only ones.  So too did members of the government --- the same government which these gun proliferation activists are ostensibly arming themselves to fight:
The analogy between the war on terror and the death struggle of ancient Greece with Persia has not been lost on some high administration officials either, especially Vice President Dick Cheney. (A White House spokesman declined to comment about the film.) In the months after 9/11, a classics scholar named Victor Davis Hanson wrote a series of powerful pieces for the National Review Online, later collected and published as a book, "An Autumn of War." Moved by Hanson's evocative essays, Cheney invited Hanson to dine with him and talk about the wars the Greeks waged against the Asian hordes, in defense of justice and reason, two and a half millennia ago.
And here is how the right wing defenders of the Second Amendment against the Big Bad Government saw the lesson at the time:
The mind set reflected in the reviews of "300" suggest that the reviewers, with their apparent discomfort with the open expression of defiant aggression expressed in the movie, are too sophisticated to partake, even vicariously, in the Spartan heroics. It is unclear whether the pacifist left would ever fight, even to save themselves, let alone to save the civilization that they cannot imagine is under siege. If the sophisticates of Athens had refused to pick up the sword, they would have been dead or enslaved. Our modern day sophisticated Athenians of the MSM who refuse to wield their weapons, their pens and computers, in the service of Western Civilization, have already shown their willingness to live as slaves. After all, what did the Danish cartoon saga tell us except that the members of the elites in Academia, Hollywood, and the MSM are willing to offer up their free speech rights in obeisance to the barbarians at the gates.
"300" resonates because Americans have not yet shown themselves so willing to live as slaves as their "betters" in the effete elites.
I bring this up only to note that the macho, gun wielding warrior theme that pervades among the allegedly libertarian right these days was obviously repurposed from the hyper-hawkish "interventionist"  GWOT stance they were taking just a few years ago.

So it isn't all about Big Government tyranny --- after all, they enthusiastically used exactly the same arguments to support the War on Terror  --- thesame arguments the Big Government uses as an excuse to curb American citizens' freedom. It's just about a bunch of guys who like Gladiator movies wanting to run around in costume and pretend to be warriors.

And, by the way, the right will always respond to a patriotic Republican call to kill foreigners on behalf of the red, white and blue. Don't doubt it. Robert Taft is long dead and he isn't coming back.

.

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