Because, as some astute readers have figured out, I come from a technical background that dates back to boyhood…like Rambo said about being a killing machine, “you can’t just shut it off.” So — in all walks of life — I demand specificity. Especially with regard to things that have an impact on other things.
This bacterial infection called political correctness, has been fought and fought and fought, within an inch of its life, but not fully driven from the host. So it’s done what bacteria do when you don’t take the full dose of antibiotic. It’s survived, adapated, come back with a vengeance, and now it means business. Twenty-first century political correctness is not dead. It’s stronger than before. It’s harder to fight than it was before, because it’s agile and refuses to be nailed down.
It ends careers by saying “I’m offended” and nothing else materially important.
That satisfies us. We shouldn’t find this satisfactory; we shouldn’t even find it tolerable. For God’s sake, if you’re going to remove things from our view that we wanna watch, and destroy lives on top of it, simply by saying something…have the decency to say something. “I’m offended,” what in the hell is that supposed to mean? That’s not even good enough to make me wait a couple seconds before brewing my morning coffee, let alone join your stupid boycott.
Most of the outrage is contrived and some of it is, well, outrageous. Blogger/journalist Tommy Christopher calls Saltsman a “turd” for distributing the CD. You’ll get no apology from me for believing that anyone who uses that word personifies it.
Relative to experiences with racism, I’ll go toe to toe with anyone who wishes to engage in the game of one-upmanship; I’ve got five decades of personal experience with the beast and this ain’t it. There isn’t even a hint of it here.
And the second most sensible thing said — very narrow contest there, by the way — came from yours truly as a reply to some of the righteously indignant protesters commenting at the bottom of that guy’s page. Now, I have not been wrestling with such a beast, I’m a white guy, six feet tall and straight, still in possession of all twenty-one digits, skilled tradesman, high school graduate, protestant. I have no minority status I can claim whatsoever.
But I do have a question to ask that is legitimate for all of us to ponder. Not only legitimate — there’s just no getting around it. We need to have this answered.
The controversy is over whether people should take the outrage seriously. Can we, then, define the outrage? Is that too much to ask?
1. The word “negro” offends me, and by extension, the song offends me, and by extension, anybody’s decision to distribute the song, defend the song, be in the same room as the song…well, you get the drift.
2. I am not offended personally but I imagine someone, somewhere, whether I’ve personally verified this or not, is offended, and I’m going to exhibit truckloads of theatrical outrage on behalf of them because I’m just that kind of a caring person.
3. Words like “negro” have, historically, been mines in fields, waiting to go off to devastating effect if someone gets too close to them. That translates to power for people like me. I see this as a proposal to de-sensitize society toward the term, which would defuse that mine, and neutralize this power. That’s MY power. That’s the source of my outrage.
4. Combination of #2 and #3. Other people have been powerful because of the claymore effect of words like these, and I sympathize with them personally or politically, so I don’t want to see them lose that power. That’s the outrage I am showing.
5. None of the above. I just hate Republicans.
Whoever’s logging on to blogs like this one, breathing their fire, et cetera, I’m going to want to see you pick one out of the above five before I take ONE WORD you say seriously. Before I even think about it.
But don’t worry. I’m only speaking for myself.
And anyone else with so much as a lick o’common sense.
After I hit “submit” I thought of a sixth one.
See, Rush Limbaugh, the very poster-child of right-wing talk radio, has been playing this song parody for awhile now. Therefore, if you can bully enough people into thinking there is something hideously offensive about this song, and weave their egos into that realization so they labor under the delusion they made up their own minds about that without you bullying them, you know what you can do?
You can make all of right-wing talk radio look like some venomous arachnid doing whatever arachnids do under great big rocks that shield out all the light. Eww, look at this scary right-wing talk radio show that’s been talking about “negroes” all these years, and we didn’t know what was going on until this guy handed out a Christmas CD to his Republican buddies. What in the world could be scarier? A vast network of Information Superhighway traveling racists, hiding in plain sight. Sort of a Ku Klux Klan living in the age of the innerwebs. They been walking among us, and we never even knew! Think of the revulsion you’d feel upon learning of a nest of baby scorpions living in the pillowcase your face hits every night. Imagine that kind of primal nausea, directed toward the injury of one political party, for the benefit of the other. In American politics, that is a Weapon of Mass Destruction…especially if large numbers of people can be tricked into feeling that kind of nausea.
You know, just some propaganda to get out there. To topple that frightening, intimidating, all-powerful Republican machine that ++snicker++ runs Washington.
The democrat party won every single thing it could possibly win, except for Saxby Chambliss’ seat. They nearly got a filibuster-proof Senate…and think about that for a minute or two, what in the world did they want to do in our interest, that they can do with sixty seats, that they thought they wouldn’t be able to do with fifty-nine?
Point is — given the way the elections turned out, it is beyond bizarre that they’re still scrounging around looking for one more branch, twig or matchstick of power they can toss on their big bonfire. It’s patently illogical. Or at least I hope it is. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me to think they’ve got some strategy they’re working on, that somehow depends on this kind of propaganda being pushed out, with the allocation of power being left where it was after those elections. It’s really the same thing as the filibuster situation. What are you planning to do, that you can do with your political opponents bulldozed under the bedrock with salt sprinkled on top of them…that you can’t do, even while you’re running all of Washington, with some viable un-stigmatized opposition able to speak out against you?
This country was founded on the principle that no one single man, or single cadre of powerful men, should be able to dictate everything, free of question or criticism.
So before you get too worked up about that CD because someone else wants you to — demand an answer to my multiple-choice question. Why not? It’s the least you should be demanding. The very least. Leave the question of whether it’s outrageous or offensive, to some other day. First define why we’re even considering it. There’s no reason not to.