Alex_the_Tired here. Let’s see if the guest blogging thing is working.
Ted’s run into a little kerfuffle. I say “little kerfuffle” because I’m not the one being accused of being a racist sumbitch. What follows is me being just about as angry as I’m able to be on the printed page. I explain all that at the very end. So strap yourselves in.
Many of us have weighed in, and, earlier today, I was perusing the DK site, and I came across this turd. I reference it now because it, almost perfectly, ties in to something I was trying to express about three days ago.
Let me start with the title: “A short rant about the g*dd*mn cartoon, revisited”
That’s how it was typed at DK. “g*dd*mn”
One of the things I hated about the Harry Potter novels was how adults acted like scared little children quaking in their piss-soaked pants. What was the name for Voldemort? He had two: “You-Know-Who” and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
Let me see if I have it right. You can freeze people in their tracks with a giant toothpick and some fake Latin, and you’re scared to actually NAME someone?
Seriously. I want you to think about that for a minute. I mean, literally, take 60 full seconds to contemplate how idiotically, superstitiously cowardly someone has to be, how fundamentally childish in nature a person must be to be afraid of actually using a name. Isn’t it simply a giant cop-out?
“Oh, but wait,” I hear someone’s adenoidal whine. “Maybe they don’t want to use the L-rd’s N-me in v-in.”
Cut. The. Crap. I have zero, nada, no patience for someone who (falsely) asserts to be an adult and clings to some delusional, partial set of religious fantasies. Unless you’re advocating slavery, selling your daughters as chattel, avoiding clothes made of two fibers, etc., knock off this fetish-sickness about how G-d is sacred. It’s embarrassing. It betrays a cowardly infantile mindset. You want to be a craven little tremblebucket? Fine. Stay out of the deep water then. The adults are talking; know your place. Don’t demand that I play by your lobotomized set of rules, don’t demand a seat at the table, and don’t insist that you be taken seriously.
Now, let’s move on to the body.
Pretty much the entire post consists of a faulty premise slathered heavily with the misdirection of “my pain.” Mixed in with it is the tried (and tired) and true gimmick of dehumanizing the other side:
“People lack the ability to understand. People can’t place themselves in others shoes. They just don’t know how… They lack the genes, or whatever it is that allows people to feel the pain of another. They don’t care. Caring means feeling, feeling means understanding, understanding means standing in someones shoes. It takes imagination.”
Who, exactly, zhenren, the fuck do you think you are? How DARE you assume that I lack empathy. How DARE you de-humanize me in such an arbitrary fashion.
“What is the deepest pain you’ve ever felt? Maybe some physical pain, some break up with a mate, the death of a loved one. Multiply it by a hundred, no, a thousand… torture, endless work, dying under a whip, a noose, the slave ships, the horrors, the domination, endless years of it. Fuck me, do I have to explain this? Fuck…”
Well, “Fuck…” me, zhenren, were you a slave? Then where, exactly, do you get off vomiting all this? You presume, you arrogant nothing, to equate a “break up with a mate” to being whipped and being chained in the hold of a slave ship? Good God Almighty. You are absolutely sickening in your trivialization of slavery. Just. Sickening.
“Dehumanizing a figure with the stature of Obama offends people.”
Stop talking for the whole human race. Obama has NO stature in my estimation. How can I say that? Simple: he’s blown up children. Dropped drone bombs on them that has turned them into bits of bloody hamburger. That’s indefensible. Period. Full stop. Either defend — and agree — with the murder of children or have the basic human decency to shut you flapping mouth.
“Can white people imagine what it means to millions of African Americans to have waited for eons for the moment, the goddamn miracle in white society that enslaved them, when a black person becomes the President? Can any non-black person conceive of this? Remember Jesse Jackson’s tears when Obama became the President?”
Eons? Look it up in the dictionary. One of the standards of oratory (and if you bothered to read the speeches of MLK or Malcolm X — those are two black dudes — you’d have known this) is that you do not exaggerate facts. Lincoln (who wasn’t black — at least as far as we know) started off with “Four score and seven years ago,” not “billions and billions.” As soon as you stray from fact, you open a gap in your credibility.
“It’s all about the people. Mutual aid. I’ve cried tonight.”
I’m sorry, zhenren, but if you cried, you need help. You need psychological counseling and perhaps a few prescriptions. I really, really mean that.
“I have learned that I wasn’t alone, that the depictions have caused far more hurt and gut wrenching pain than I had understood.”
Zhenren. You haven’t lived much of a life if a cartoon — and your flawed, childish, knee-jerk reaction to it — causes you wrenching pain. And that would be okay. But you’re encouraging others to come down to your hysterical level. The world has passed the point of having the luxury of falling out. (It’s a term used to describe an occurrence in some black church services; look it up.) We need people who don’t swoon. We need people who are tougher and more mature than you, Zhenren. People who are able to face the unsweetened reality and not flinch: the world is in terrible shape. We are heading toward the sixth major extinction event. The coastlines are going to disappear. Diseases that used to be treatable with antibiotics have developed resistance. Why? In no small part because, goodness me, some people are so emotionally delicate that they simply can’t cope with a cold and nagged their doctors for antibiotics, even though those pills wouldn’t work on viruses. And that’s the world you’re summoning. A world in which everyone overreacts, all the time. No one takes the long view, and everything goes straight to hell.
We have a partially black president who (off the top of my head):
Has gone after Edward Snowden for telling all of us how every goddamned thing we do online is being recorded.
Has let Chelsea Manning rot in prison for showing all of us how “our” troops laughed and joked about killing people who weren’t a threat.
Has left dozens and dozens of people — some of whom EVERYONE agrees are no threat — rot at Gitmo.
Shall I continue?
Obama isn’t Half-Black Jesus. Nor is he the anti-Christ. He’s a career politician, a constitutional lawyer who wiped his ass with the Bill of Rights because it allowed him to curry favor with the corporate power-elite. And if you, zhenren, are too damned stupid to realize that, well, as Peter, Paul and Mary put it: don’t criticize what you can’t understand.
And, of course, right toward the end of zhenren’s diawy, comes the whole “Oh, I’m a good, good person” bullshit: “Please understand I wrote the comment not to impugn or cast stones, but to express the deep anguish this issue has inflicted on many Daily Kos members, particularly members of the African American community.”
I am so very, very, very, very sick of people who wrap themselves in the cloak of “oh, I didn’t mean to smear this person with one of the worst possible slurs.” If you’re going to stick the knife in, z, have the decency to shove it in up to the hilt without making some coy, false apology. Look your victim in the eye before you take the cheap shot.
And, finally, zhenren’s “diary” ends with a photo of one of those idiotic, Benetton fashion model-quality children from The Hunger Games. The girl in question is holding up three fingers, in some sort of idiotic boy scout salute.
Zhenren. Really. You need to grow up. I don’t know if you’re a boy or a girl. If you’re a boy, try to force your testicles to drop. If you’re a girl, is it possible to achieve menarche as an act of will?
A girl with a bow and arrow in a movie? That’s not reality. To append it to a sewious gwown-up attempt at a diawy is just so wrong, in so many ways. It’s almost as bad as putting in a picture of unicorns crapping rainbows over Grimace (google it).
As I said, I’d explain my anger at the very end. Here it is:
Being called a racist is really about as bad as it gets. It’s like being called a pedophile. Once it’s hurled, it’s almost impossible to take it back. And in the infantile world of DK where everyone’s so busy crying tears of hot rage and sharing emotional catharsis 24/7, it’s pretty pointless trying to take it back, because most of the participants are already on to the next outrage.
I find it highly unsettling that this is, apparently, the current state of discourse in our political society. A bunch of people gathering for the electronic version of a circle jerk, egging each other on to line up to stone Ted Rall for drawing something like the 300th cartoon he’s done in a similar fashion. (Others have addressed this.) But none of these people (probably because they’re too busy doing Hunger Games cosplay) actually do the real work of evaluating Ted’s work as a whole.
I particularly find it disgusting because (when you aren’t iPhoning from slave-produced toys or drinking lattes at $5 a pop) the people making the complaints act like they’re the victim-class. Bull. Fucking. Shit.
Today on a TV screen, I saw a woman who works at McDonald’s who was on strike for a living wage. She looked like the tiredest person I’ve ever seen. Where the hell were you, zhenren? Lining up for a photo-op with Katniss Everdeen? Or were you too busy weeping bitter tears of hot anger (or whatever the hell nonsense you write to make yourself feel important) to actually help out the people who are getting reamed alive by the system Mr. Obama’s masters keep maintaining (and which he’s delighted to help out with)? Perhaps you were at WholeFoods buying organic bell peppers from New Zealand?
We don’t have the luxury of any more time for your stupidity zhenren. You need to start growing up. Right now. You and all your friends at DailyKos.