July 22nd, 2010


Shitting At Shadows

It seems like all I do around here anymore is complain about politics. Sorry about that, but there are reasons:

- No one will pay me to do it anywhere else
- It turns out that every humor writer I've ever known was right: there's no market for literary humor
- Culture stuff goes to paying clients
- I have no personal life beyond eating and occasionally sleeping
- Politics keeps getting stupider, and this helps lower my blood pressure.

So you're stuck with this kind of nonsense. I had a whole thing planned about how the opposition to a mosque being built near Ground Zero is ridiculous, but it was even more pedantic and boring than these posts usually are, so I decided to drop it. But doraphilia reminded me of this, so blame her.

While I spend a lot of time railing against the various deceits, distortions, cruelties, and outrages of our political system, for the most part, I understand them. I stand on one side of the political spectrum and my opponents stand on the other, but I generally get why they want what they want, or don't want what I want.

Sometimes, though, the right -- and it's not that people on the left never do this, but I think it's more common on the right because an inherent aspect of conservativism is an almost reactionary resistance to change -- expresses some fear or concern that totally bewilders me, because it's a fear of something that's obviously not happening, and isn't going to happen. A perfect example of this is some of the more extreme Tea Party hysteria: I keep hearing people talk about how their Constitutional rights have vanished and they want their country back after it's been steered down the Stalinist path by the Kenyan usurper Obama, and I think: what the fuck are these people even talking about? What constitutional rights have vanished? What statist evil has been forced on us? As far as I can see, with the exception of a largely toothless health care reform program, this country is almost exactly the same as it was a year before Obama was elected. And that includes a bunch of stuff that we elected Obama to take care of.

So this thing, in an article about conservative Christian protests against the building of new mosques, just made my head spin:

"In Islam, a mosque means 'We have conquered this country,'" one man told a local CNN affiliate. "And where are they? They're in the center of Tennessee. They're going to say, 'We have conquered Tennessee.'"

Okay, first of all, that's not what a mosque means. But more to the point, even if it was, just SAYING "We have conquered Tennessee" doesn't mean they have conquered Tennessee. Even if they were to say that, which they won't, it doesn't make it true. Does this guy actually believe that Muslims are going to build a mosque and then the next day he'll wake up and be subject to shari'a law, his wife in a burqa and bacon no longer part of his nutritional breakfast? That's obviously not going to happen! We live in a world with plentiful actual things to worry about; why devote mental energy to worrying about things that are non-existent or impossible?

It's the same thing with these dolts who worry about how "multiculturalism" and "political correctness" have made it so that you can't learn Shakespeare in college anymore. That's not even remotely true. If you want to bitch about multiculturalism and the death of the canon, go formulate a decent argument and come back when you're ready to make sense. Don't come to me with sheer nonsense that can be refuted in five seconds. You can look at the course catalogs of any university in America and see that the teaching of Shakespeare and Milton and all those other Dead White Males is alive and well, and it's never going to disappear from higher education, ever. So why worry? Don't you have any REAL problems?