Archive for September, 2009

In Which Complexity Is Hard For Some People

September 12th, 2009 5 comments

I’ve spoken about this before and I guess in some ways it’s a theme: there are certain kinds of liberals that make me hate being a liberal.  Specifically, the kind that, when you make a statement like that, screech that making a statement like that automagically gets your privileges for the Alan Alda Room at the DNC revoked.  It’s the type of liberal that now whines about how Obama let down his base by not having a gay pastor perform the invocation at his inauguration and cannot believe that he hasn’t rammed through a constitutional amendment legalizing gay marriage…conveniently forgetting that during the Logos debate he said he did not support gay marriage.  These are the same liberals who complain about Obama not following through on his “anti-war” stance…conveniently forgetting that he said he was “anti-stupid” war.  These are the people who, rather than looking at the reality of Obama as a pragmatist politician more than willing to compromise, reshaped him into a the god-like figure wingnuts mock him as.  If you listened, and you didn’t have to listen terribly closely, it seemed obvious that while he’s a brilliant speaker and truly inspiring, when the hand hit the Bible a collective gasp of “WTF” would rise from a certain segment of the party.

It’s a sad fact that fascists exist at both ends of the political spectrum.  “YOU VILL BELIEF AZ I DO OR YOU VILL SUVVER!”  The only difference is that Republicans manage to put up a unified front where as Democrats just fracture and slit each other’s throats.  Democrats don’t like other Democrats to disagree with them.

A group of people swarmed an event with the sole purpose of disrupting it and silencing the speaker.  They shouted at the top of their lungs.  They physically threatened others.  They acted like animals.  I could do nothing but shake my head at how far Americans had sunk in their quest to silence views they didn’t agree with.

No, I’m not talking about the recent townhalls. I’m talking about the time David Duke came to Boston for a debate.

It’s a pretty simple trick to accuse someone who’s stands up for free speech of defending racism.  But free speech is free speech.  When you start sorting “free speech” into “acceptable free speech” and “unacceptable free speech” it ceases being free.  There is a HUGE difference between advocating for David Duke to be heard and supporting David Duke’s position.  Willfully confusing those two concepts, in my opinion, is dishonest bordering on lying.  Even more so when you hold yourself up as the last good liberal.

My oldest daughter came home one day from first grade.  “Daddy,” she said with a look of knowingness, “is…………fuck……….a bad word.”

I said the only thing I could say. “No.  It’s not a bad word.  There are no bad words.”

She seemed relieved.

“BUT – it’s not a word that you should use.  Not at your age.  It’s inappropriate.”

I truly believe that there are no bad words.  I’m not even sure there isn’t a thought that shouldn’t  have the right to be expressed.  Does that mean that I’m a racist?  Sexist? Weightist? Does that mean I defend racism?  Of course it doesn’t.  And such charges are a blunt instrument unworthy of intelligent people.

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In Which There Are Folks That You Should And Should Not Associate With

September 12th, 2009 5 comments

Dear Jesus’ General,

Thanks for your unending concern about the quality of people that one should associate with.  You are 100% correct – you should never be friends with someone deemed to be racist.  Ever.  Racists are just horrible, horrible people.  Period.  They have no redeeming qualities because…well…they’re racist.  They only way to stop them from being racist (if such a thing is possible) is marginalize them to the point where their only other friends are racists and they all move to Montana in a big compound where they plot the overthrow of the government and watch al Qaeda training films like porn.

People who have racist friends are either racist themselves, don’t care if they have racist friends or don’t fully understand the extent to which they’re complicit.  God bless you for setting these poor, deluded people straight.  Loyalty in friends is one thing but sitting idly by listening to someone trash a people 24/7 and doing nothing about it…well a line needs to be drawn and you drew it.

Not many people would.  Many people would make excuses and defend them for doing something nice like charity work or helping other people or for lending a sympathetic ear to a personal problem.  All of those things, though, mean nothing, though.  How can a bad person be a good friend?  Answer: they can’t.  It’s literally not possible.

You, however, through the full moral weight of your authority and almost slavish devotion to consistency, rightly and properly stand up and point out bad people are indefensible.  And with the consideration that is your trademark, rather than outright ask, “aren’t you ashamed to associate with racists?” you leave open the question for people to ask themselves.  Even though Socrates banged more young boys than Jesus healed lepers, his methods are still a good way to lead people to what you know to be the proper conclusion.

On a more personal note, I’d like to thank you for re-iterating the fact that with great power comes the great responsibility of lesser being not to bother that great power.  I humbly apologize for inadvertently bothering you.  You have so much on your plate and are not a racist, which means, of course, that you’re a good person.  As I don’t actually remember bothering (although, as you pointed out, i must have known) I can say that I was literally thoughtless.  To interfere with plans that you previously made with an invitation to a second event…I just have no words for my rudeness.  I am bush league.  (HA! “bush” league! I didn’t even mean to make that joke!)

Although my weak praise means absolutely nothing to a great man like you, I hope that I did not ruin your party with my divisiveness.  I only meant to stop by and wish a happy rezz day to Andi and not to bring up the horrible, gnawing, burning, wretched memory of my impudence that no doubt ruined your entire evening.  You were right to chastise me publicly and I feel deeply, deeply ashamed and small.

Please accept my humble apology although I sincerely understand that I can never be too humble or too apologetic before Jesus’ General.



Update – From The General Himself: “A man who spends much of his free time trying to convince women to pee on him, takes me to task for hating racists…

Let me clarify – I did not take you to task for hating racists. I took you to task for being a fascist in telling others who they should and should not consider friends. I also took you to task for throwing a hissy fit at someone’s party.

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