Friday, April 13, 2007

Sometimes I Hate Us

Sometimes I simply reach the point I can only describe as "I have no more words for you", you know, that same point most everyone has reached with at least someone or other in their lives who persistently behaves in unproductive ways. Periodically I get to that point with the entire human race and more specifically with my countrymen so the only thing I can do when it hits is tune most of it out and focus on something basic and soul renewing like my compost pile until I can find a grain of hopefulness in the mess. The alternative would be to become as looney as the people and things I find so appalling.

Five minutes into my self-imposed timeout the Imus cirque du insane came along to shove me deeper into my hidey hole. No, Imus was not a big deal in my world but yes, the entire incident disturbs me at more levels than I can hope to express.

My first reaction was "well, he's always been a crazy asshat, why is everyone acting surprised?" Kind of like being shocked to find out Bill O'Reilly hates puppies, not very. I must have missed the memo that Don Imus was now considered a "credible" news media persona.

Now my better half always bore him more animosity than I did, he felt the I-Man's signature hat was a legitimate target for shooting practice. I was more neutral because I never could figure out more than half of what the man was saying, I don't speak squirrel-ese. I only knew he existed because of frequent insomniac channel surfing at 4 am.

Color me not surprised he finally went and said something completely disgusting. Did he mean it the way it came out? I have no idea, I can't read squirrel minds either and the man is most definitely a squirrel.

Did he deserve a suspension? Definitely in my book. Did he deserve to be taken off MSNBC? Mixed feelings about that since I question why he was on a supposedly "legitimate" news channel in the first place but ok, take him off and have done with it. While we're on a roll could we now please remove about a half dozen other even more insidiously hateful media personalities who do more damage to our national sanity on a daily basis than smoking a daily ounce of crack cocaine.

Nope, guess that wasn't good enough for us. We won't be satisfied until we've completely destroyed one foolish, crazy old man and burned him at the stake. At the same time we have some unhelpful members of his fan club sending hate mail to the young ladies of the Rutger's basketball team. Get a clue people...they didn't bring about his downfall, he and the rest of the media circus did that without any help from them. Call me crazy but I just can't get into whipping someone who has already been beaten and I sure can't get into flaming the targets of his original butt-ugly comments. Seems like we're missing the point here which was if I'm not mistaken, that we are sorely lacking in any degree of civility both in our media and in our private lives.

C. Vivian Stringer gets it, she seems to be one of the few who does. As terrible as this incident is she sees an opportunity here, an opportunity to clean up our acts not an opportunity to get some kind of perverse pleasure in destroying the lives of all the people involved here. The unabashed hatred that has been coming from all sides in this matter ought to be enough to make us all take a step back and look at some things....starting with ourselves.

I'm not in any way attempting to defend Imus or his comments but at the same time I have to look at the bigger picture and feel we are once again looking at style over substance. I believe intent matters and in this case there are many, many more dangerous and damaging people in our media than a foolish old man like him.

Where is all this public outrage when Bill O'Reilly essentially blames the victims of the New York fire that killed eight children? How about when Lou Dobbs advocates taking away the US born children of immigrants and placing them in foster care so we can deport their parents? Damaging as the foolish words of Imus were I don't think they quite reach the level of inhumanity that these two do on a daily basis. By the way, anyone notice that Tom DeLay is now a regular commentator on Fox news? How is that for the "lowering media standards" bin?

Then we get Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker and possible presidential candidate saying speaking another language is “the language of living in a ghetto.” Don't even get me started on Robert Byrd, Trent Lott, et al...and these are elected representatives, not shock jocks. We the people elect these walking hairballs of hate and stupidity, what the hell are we thinking???

You know what, when we start giving these people their walking papers the minute they show their true colors then I'll take the outrage seriously. Right now from where I'm sitting it looks like we're just picking off the the weakest members of the herd.

Face it, we live in a society that watches the ever-lurid Nancy Grace for entertainment, one of our most popular television series' is about the Mafia, and it's ok for television talk sh0w hosts to call a female presidential candidate a "bitch". How do you suppose it would go over if I got on national TV and called Rudy Giuliani a "gutless prick"? Wait a sec, slutpuppy might be more fun.

Quite a while back I finally stopped watching the Tonight Show. Even Mr. Mainstream, Jay Leno figures it's alright to pick some targets and let fly and I personally got sick and tired of having another self-important asshat decide who was fit to live and who wasn't. The more mainstream folks don't make the outrageous comments some of the others make but they take the cowardly way out, they label and disparage groups of people we've decided it's acceptable to make fun of. Same phenomena, different's who we've become. Only shiny, pretty people with lots of money should be allowed to suck air.

Anderson Cooper asked the most relevant question in this mess. He asked what it says about us as a people if we've been watching people like Imus for years and people like him always seem to have the highest ratings? Well Anderson, here's your answer: we're a nation of asshats.


Featheriver said...

Welcome back Coyote. Missed you the past couple of weeks.

Thought provoking post too.

TomCat said...

Great post Mama. I don't think Imus was fired for hate speech. The round table condemnation of his hate speech serves to give the MSM a cloak of integrity. Imus' crime was costing them advertising revenue. If the MSM cared about hate speech, Beck, Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Lielly, etc, would all be gone.

RJ Adams said...

Spoken like a true Brit, Mama, and also like a true American. My own post on the subject said basically the same - though from a slightly different perspective.

Flimsy Sanity said...

I love reading your posts because they just sound like someone who thinks things through and then just lets loose. You are right, they are a bunch of skunks. Not only the newscasters but the politicians expounding to the empty seats (and the C-Span camera) in Congress - they all want to be rockstars and no one practices their craft but instead go for sensationalism. Missed you.

pekka said...

This was not only the highlight of the night but the best damn thing I have read in a long while!

Sincerely yours,

Anonymous said...

Well written and thoughtful post that hits home in so many ways. I've felt this way for awhile but as disgusted I get at these media jerks, I get even more disgusted by the thirsty asshats who watch this crap and listen to this crap and take it into their hearts and savor it and some put it into action.

I also loved this post because you used my all time favorite word, ASSHAT, more than ones. I just pulled this word out of temporary storage recently and started using it again because the visibility of "asshat-edness" appears to be reaching new levels in America. We've grown into a nation of "gotcha" asshats only we aren't getting anything of value.

Holden said...

I'm a bigger fan than you, apparently, so I'm more pissed off about this whole thing. He said a stupid, hurtful thing to a bunch of college women who didn't deserve it, but fercryinoutloud...firing him?!? I heard some talking head describe it as "the death penalty for shoplifting," and, while it's a poor analogy, I suppose, 'cause it's neither as minimal as shoplifting nor as harsh as the death penalty, you get the idea.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Thoughtful post.

I've written four posts on Imus (which is certainly three too many!!) and have evolved in my position to one very similar to Holden's.

But, NYM, you've added an interesting perspective...... perhaps Imus was the scapegoat for our entire national angst over characters like O'Reilly, Limbaugh and also the coarse Rap and Hip-Hop music thay dominate our "popular" culture.

I remain concerned that it was all too easy to make a scapegoat of the "old white guy" whose career was already fading while largely ignoring the racist, mysoginistic rants that flow unchallenged through our culture.

.....the Wizard......

Vox Populi said...

Okay, I love you. I'm a Brit too. I'd be absolutely CHARMED if you listed me on your blog. However, you don't have to. In fact, I'd likely be amazed and bedazzled by whatever you have over in the deep thoughts from the bottom of the well blog ... (hint hint, unless it's very private and if so, excuse my .... forwardness)
I am enamored by your list and thought you might get a laugh out of my boyfriend 'INSISTING' that I blog, open a blog, blog, open a blog, blog it, blog it. And both our surprise when my blog TOOK OFF. Wow. Anyway ... you and big fat slob are total 'finds' ... just when I think I've run out of space on my blog roll I find gems in the desert and elsewhere. I agree that the blogs are where the totally most amazing people are 'outing their souls'. Thanks for your time. Keep blogging your butt off and go ahead and do horrendous things to that face on your tv screen. Like you ... I'm not too sure about memes or even what one is but I intend to damn well find out ... I think they were kinda gunning for imus too. Like with gonzalez I don't mind if they leave those corpses floating in the water. Whoever is NEXT could be SO MUCH WORSE. Can you imagine WORSE than gonzo?? sheeeit.
Anyhoo ... GOOD SHOW MAMA !!!!!

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