Mili Note: Personally, I kind of like the naked girl in a cargo net, but I’m a heathen.
What do you think contributes more to society? A cutting-edge modern art gallery in one of the most famous and cosmopolitan cities in the world, or a drive-through liquor store that sells cheap guns with no waiting period in Wyoming?
I’m gonna go with the guns & liquor place.
SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL, two businesses. The Shooting Gallery art gallery in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, and the BiRite drug store in the Casper, Wyoming neighborhood known as “Felony Flats.”
BiRite doesn’t even have a website, but you can go on Google Street View HERE, and see it and the neighborhood.
HERE is the same treatment for The Shooting Gallery. And you will see that a “bad neighborhood” like Felony Flats in Casper is a much nicer looking (and safer) place than an “edgy” neighborhood in San Francisco (The Shooting Gallery says it picked that name because junkies shoot up in the doorway, and you can get shot on that block. Charming….) And scroll to the left of the Shooting Gallery….that’s the park we used to call “Sucker Punch Park”, named for what often happens to any white person who dares walk there. By the way….this place is a few blocks from Hyde Street Studio where my band Bomb recorded our first album, To Elvis in Hell. I know this neighborhood well.
I’ve never been to the Shooting Gallery, it started after I moved out of that town. But I’ve been to a dozen places exactly like it….taxpayer-funded gen-x edgy hipster anti-American-values storefronts that local liberal rags love to drool all over and consider “important.” The art these places show always sucks, barely qualifies as art, and the only people who ooh and ahh over it are suffering from “the emperor’s new clothes” syndrome.
Remember the “King of the Hill” episode where an important New York artist comes to Texas and gets shunned for defaming beef in his exhibit? He threatens the sheriff “YOU’LL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER SHOWING OF IMPORTANT ART FROM NEW YORK IN THIS STATE AGAIN!” and the sheriff drawls “We’ll get by…..” Well, I’m that sheriff in this story.
The Drugstore part of the Wyoming Drugstore went outta business this year, after many decades of providing for the community. But the other parts of the place are still in business: a greeting card shop that feels delightfully like something from the 1940s, a liquor department, and a sporting goods section that sells 9mm semi-auto pistols for $140 bucks with no waiting period.
Yup, these are what are commonly called “Saturday Night Specials“, which was originally a racist term and I don’t like to use it (as in “guns that black people buy to shoot folks on a Saturday night, just for kicks.”) But the drugstore sells Hi-Point brand guns, which are OK if that’s all you can afford.) (Unlike Jimenez Arms – or what I call an Especial de la noche de sábado – an even cheaper Mexican gun that might blow up in your hand. They have before with some people.)
While I wouldn’t trust my life to a $140 pistol (my cheapest semi-auto cost $450, and my cheapest revolver cost $370), these guns do have a legitimate purpose – providing self-defense to people who can’t afford a better gun. And this Wyoming liquor store selling them contributes that service to society. Unlike edgy liberal art galleries, which provide nothing of value…..