Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Odd Event of the Week: The Goonies on Mass. Street / Local Controversy of the Week: Guth Takes a Holiday

The City Fathers don't always do the right thing (anybody remember porch couches!) but occasionally they bow to the will of the people. And the people want to see the fucking Goonies projected on a giant inflatable screen on a closed-down block of Mass. Street.  So make sure to head down on Thursday evening for beer and food at 7:00 and the movie at 9:00.  Chip is very good at the Truffle Shuffle and is happy to show you.

Did any of you old-bastard readers see The Goonies when it opened at The Granada in 1985?   (yes, children, the Granada showed actual movies in the days of old).


The most interesting local controversy over the past week has been the continuing shouting match over KU journalism professor David W. Guth's provocative Twitter comment after last week's Navy Yard mass shooting:

The tweet in question:

"The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you."

Guth soon found himself on a paid vacation from the university (not because of what he said, the Chancellor assured the community, but because of the disruption it might cause in the world of KU's student scholars).  The move inspired the expected applause from some, outrage from others, and a wealth of opinions from the ever-opinionated LJ-World talkbackers:  was this indeed the best move? or was KU bowing to the will of conservatives calling for Guth's head (and almost certainly failing to see the irony in their own death threats, which were far more clear than the ones implied in the tweet)?

Let's take a look at some trenchant comments from the most recent LJ-World piece on the issue:

In a classic (and ever-popular) talkback strategy, Merrill attacks anyone from Topeka who weighs in : "This matter is a KU situation that does not need any rhetoric from Topeka,Kansas. Topeka,Ks has been home to ALEC Right Wing spin for too many years. Let's flush it down the toilet."

kuhoopsfan invokes a Godfather comparison:  "I read that the provost is trying to determine how long Mr Guth should stay away ... reminds me of the Godfather when Vito Corleone says Michael had to leave the country after all those false charges and he now had to figure out how to bring Michael back."

question4u attempts to employ cleverness (never a good idea on the LJ-World talkbacks) to expose potential ironies of the reaction through the use of other Kansas examples:   "When Republican State Representative Virgil Peck advocated, on the floor of the Kansas House, the use of automatic weapons and helicopters to murder immigrants State Sen. Greg Smith, R-Overland said that Peck's speech was inexcusable because it "urges people to use guns to perpetrate violence on other people and their children.'" Wait, no he didn't.  Smith must have said that when Republican Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal sent an email about Obama, including the first part of a biblical quote that ends "may his children be orphans and his wife a widow." Wait, no, Smith didn't say it then either. What's the pattern here?"

But it's Optimist who probably gets closest to the real truth here:  "Mr. Guth is an idiot, those threatening him are idiots, and the rest of us are caught in the middle, captivated by their idiocy."

Chip:  "Guth's Twitter account has now been entirely deleted.  Is anyone else at least slightly suspicious that either KU or the NRA may have quietly 'disappeared' him?

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