Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vitriol Vérité

Hey, you're fat.

Yeah, you.

Reading this blog right now.

You are really incredibly fat...and kinda stupid.

And to top it off, you stink.

***

This last year...

Sharron Angle flirted with gun imagery. "If this congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies."

In speaking out against the President's plan to reduce global warming, Michele Bachmann said she wanted her state "armed and dangerous" on this issue. She then went on to say, "We the people are going to have to fight back hard if we are not going to lose our country." Bachmann also quoted Thomas Jefferson, "Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing."

Last year, Sarah Palin posted the following graphic on her website...


The shotgun-like crosshairs represent the "20 House Democrats who voted for the health care bill from districts the Republicans carried in 2008." It turns out Palin is also fond of gun imagery...and Twitter. Her now famous tweet "don't retreat, instead-RELOAD" sparked controversy throughout the land. And when eighteen of the twenty Democrats inevitably lost their reelections, Palin patted herself on the back, tweeting about the success of her "bullseye icon."

These politicos have every right to say and tweet these things, as I have the right to go on and on about your cottage cheese ass and inexcusable funk. We are fully protected by our country's First Amendment, which allows us freedom of speech. Sarah, and Michele, and Sharron, and Rush, and Glenn Beck, and Bill Maher, and the ladies on The View and even yours truly from my own little platform can say whatever rude or incendiary thing that comes to mind. And our American right to do so should be protected at ALL costs. Our freedom is much more important than any possible hurt feelings, misunderstandings or violent outbursts that they may cause.

Am I right?!?

***

I imagine if I were three I would be perfectly justified being so me-centric.

But the fact of the matter is I am not three. And even though I'm an actor and have an ego the size of Delaware, it's unfathomable to me that there are those who exploit the concept of "freedom" for their own personal gain.

Most of us have heard that Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman from Arizona, was shot in the head last Saturday at point blank range in a Safeway parking lot in Tuscon. We now know the name of the 22 year old man-boy who emptied a semi automatic pistol into a crowd is Jared Loughner. We also know there were six fatalities including a U. S. district judge and a nine year old girl; Congresswoman Giffords remarkably survived the shooting and was one of the twelve wounded. And lastly, we know of the two remaining seated Democrats listed on Palin's crosshairs map, one of them was Gabrielle Giffords.

More than likely, Palin's chart did not incite Jared Loughner to shoot Giffords in the head.

More than likely, Bachmann's and Angle's pithy uses of armed and dangerous and Second Amendment remedies weren't responsible for Saturday's massacre.

More than likely, Pat Robertson saying God made it snow heavily in the Northeast "to punish Americans who were planning to drive to do something gay" has nothing to do with anything AT ALL. Really, Pat, you can't blame bad weather on the gays. Fruit infused vodka, yes. Blizzards, no.

In Sarah Palin's first speech since the shootings, she denied political rhetoric had anything to do with the growing antagonism in our country. As a matter of fact, she claimed we are more civilized than we used to be, citing that we used to settle differences with dueling pistols. And she's right. There are no more dueling pistols, we replaced them with semi automatic ones. There was no sense of remorse in her speech. She is far from humbled by the tragic events. Her need was to defend her words, her tweets and crosshairs map, something she scrubbed from her website the day after the Tucson tragedy. Why is self reflection perceived as a weakness?

And I can't help but wonder if the compounded sensationalism and finger pointing that clog our airwaves and are a mainstay in our political arenas don't contribute to our collective fear and anger. There is too much noise with too few solutions. Shock jocks jockey to stand on the tallest mountain and try to orate more loudly and more fervently than the next guy. And many times what is being promoted as fact is really personal opinion disguised as fact. And people are buying this!

I am incensed.

I blame mass media and party politics. I blame high ratings and low integrity. I blame newsrooms with political agendas. I blame mouth pieces who blithely toss out words like "revolution" and "reload" as if they're ordering a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. I blame comics who step over the line. I blame people who use crosshairs as bullseyes and then claim they are surveyor's symbols. I blame those who insist Obamacare takes away our freedom, and finding solutions for global warming is means to incite revolution. I blame our short attention spans, and our perverse need for the next newsy story. I blame the people who read the blurbs in grocery store checkout lines and recite them as gospel. I blame what our lives are becoming, splintered between the insipid, "I'm getting that new app that froths my cappuccino milk," to the conflagratory, "I'm going to kill that motherfucker for looking at me like that."

I blame, I blame, I blame.

And if I can spark anger easily over the contentious ways of our country, how do we think Jared Loughner, a troubled man who cannot filter as efficiently as the rest of us, heard the noise?

Let's say the following is true... (I want to be clear, there is no proof this ever happened, I'm just using it as an example.) Let's say Jared Loughner, stumbled across the following Pima County Republican website...


***

Two minutes before midnight on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, Ryan Seacrest asked slutty pop diva Ke$ha if she had any resolutions. Without hesitation she said her resolution was "not being a douchebag." At first I thought, "What a skank!" But then after ruminating I decided it was a damn fine resolution. As a matter of fact, I think all Americans should adopt it as their own. To start with, we could all be more considerate and let the other fellow get a word in edgewise. We could all listen with discerning ears. We can stop hating for sensationalism sake. In short, we can all stop being douchebags.

When my children are douchebags and say inappropriate things about others I make them apologize to the offended party. It's important to know when you are rude and make the needed amends. My eight year old and four year old are learning all about this. It's called manners.

By the way, I don't know what I was saying before. Your ass looks really hot in those jeans.

3 comments:

Paige said...

Right on.

veryanniemary said...

That is life though, right? Crassly stupid people have power and the vulnerable (in this case on both ends of the gun), suffer the consequences...

Jody Perez said...

Well said!