Tuesday, November 23, 2004

"I give you permission to be racist"

That was today's theme on Rush Limbaugh. He didn't SAY that of course. He talked about how those cough *wetbacks* cough in the olden days assimilated. America was the melting pot. It's not that good white Americans who came here from Northern Europe don't like them; they just wanted them to be more like they were. And if they can't do that then they should be locked out.

I've listened to Rush and Hannity and they use a bunch of tricks and one of them is to sound REASONABLE. They rail against extremes. They make their appeals sound good and they provide plausible sounding arguments for people who don't want to say what is REALLY lurking in their mind. And you might even be able to hold BOTH arguments in your head. The plausible one and the dark one. We talk publicly about the REASONABLE one but it covers for the dark one we rarely share. Maybe you have a continuum of feelings about issues. Most people do.

Rush is the current biggest purveyor of politically correct arguments.

I didn't major in rhetoric in college (I'm not even sure what that word means). I barely passed English. I envied the people with complex sentence structure who knew when to use a semicolon and when to use a dash. I know that there are people who are smarter than I am, who are more articulate. People who say what I wish I could say. They are powerful writers. Eloquent speakers. They have advanced degrees and they can explain their thoughts better than I can. But to find them takes work. They aren't out there every day giving me words and phrases to use to help me understand my world. Rush, Hannity and others of their ilk provide reasonable arguments to explain dark feelings. Like Wormword whispering in your ear, they don't challenge the listener to be better than they are. They give you reasons to be worse than your best self.

From the listeners point of view it is like this:
The priest is giving me permission to be selfish (it's good for the economy!), hate others (they are evil doers!), believe lies (Dick Cheney only wants the best for America, why would he lie?). This is SO GREAT! No guilt! Not only don't I have to feel guilt, often my lesser impulses are transformed from being selfish or hateful to good acts! Don't worry America, buy more stuff! That's helping!
As long as you have an internal narrative that is approving your selfish or hateful acts you have nothing to worry about.

I give you permission to examine your internal narrative. To look for your best self. To challenge easy answers that are selfish or dark. Here's to finding the powerful writers the eloquent speakers, and the deep thinkers exposing truth, compassion, love and justice. And a hope, that like a ray of sun, their ideas can cut through the dark arguments and show them for the hateful, fearful, selfish thoughts that they are.

© Evan Dorkin 2004, www.houseoffun.com. Milk & Cheese TM Evan Dorkin.


Sarah Grimke said...

It's true, isn't it?

Give up your rights... You don't need them anyway.

Don't seek out others' opinions, trust us. We won't steer you wrong.

When your children grow sick for the waste our coporate sponsors have spilled in the local resevoir, don't try to file class action suits against them. We've stripped that privilege, too.

When the dollar doesn't buy you anything because it's devalued so much due to the deficit, don't come crying to us. Go to your local religious charities for help, because there's no one else we fund, and to get help you'll have to convert.

Suffer now, and you will be rewarded richly in heaven. After all, isn't that the biggest tool religion is used for? By oppressors to abuse power against others and make them endure it indefinitely with vague promises of a better afterlife that *they* will never have to deliver?

Oh, and by the way, it's Wormtongue, but that's only because I'm a total geek. ;-)

Hang in there. Progressives will find their voices, and when they do, they'll go down in the history books as the ones who stood against tyranny and oppression in dark times.

We've read about these heroes and heroines in high school and college and wondered how *we* would be in the face of such abuse.

We're there. It's time. You're doing your part. We'll hit our stride. It just takes a while to get the momentum we need in our effort to do what needs to be done.

Happy Thanksgiving!

10:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home