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Janeane Garofalo and the Art of Civil Political Discourse

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The other day “actress” Janeane Garofalo imparted more of her sage knowledge on one of those pseudo political cum comedy shows.  You know the kind, the comedy shows that pretend to do real news, and hoodwink the under 25 crowd who doesn’t know the difference. They are nothing but snide, sarcastic snark without the facts.

Then again, to people like Garofalo, facts don’t matter.  For several months now she has been on a anti-anti-Obama binge, condemning anyone who does not worship the Great Leader the way she does as racist. That’s fine, she’s welcome to her opinion.  My annoyance with people like Garofalo is their abject failure to comprehend that not everyone agrees with them, all the time.  It’s rather juvenile, actually.  Pathetic.

Garofalo considers anyone who takes part in the Tea Parties or any other sort of protest to be racist. Good for her. One of the more annoying aspects of such rants is that Republicans such as myself who don’t quite agree with the methods or what is going on are forced to defend their right to make fools of themselves. If you look at it that way, then Garofalo has a right to make a fool of herself, even if it is reaching the point of abject boorishness.

People like Garofalo need not be political to be single-mindedly partisan.  They have a tendency to spring forth like weeds in a well tended flower bed.  You can’t completely destroy them without ruining the flowers and you can’t let them spread.  They remind me of one of the desk-top Zen Gardens I once sold when I was in retail.

It was a great idea perfect if you did not have small children or cats.   The ones I sold were rectangular, being something like 6” X 10”, rosewood, with a half inch rim.  The kits included a little bag of white sand,  a little bamboo rake, and a handful of stones, always  in an odd number.  I kept one on my check-out counter as a point of purchase sale.  My customers would play in the sand and arrange the stones. 

The best designs were quite simple, with no more than five stones.  My favorite arrangement had three stones, two placed closely together and the other some distance from it.  Five stones was cluttered.  If the designer went beyond five stones, the whole process just did not work.

People like Janeane Garofalo are like a Zen Garden.  As long as they can snuggle up to the larger stone, and have only one other stone or rock in the little garden, things look good.  Two additional stones detract from the primary stone.  Add a couple more and you don’t notice the main stone at all, there’s just too much competition.

You encounter such individuals throughout life.  One of the most perfect examples I know was a home-room teacher I had in high school.  She was Mrs. Ra-Ra School Spirit, sponsor of the cheerleaders or spirit club, always hyping whatever athletic event was current. 

Remember back to the days when you were an incoming high school freshman?  Every week I had to buy my little booster ribbon.  I joined the club that made all the spirit posters.  It was exciting going to all those pep-rallies – for maybe three months.  By the time basketball season came around, I found the club annoying and quit.  Never again did I wear a school spirit ribbon. 

I grew out of it.

For some reason I was stuck in Mrs. Ra-Ra School Spirit’s home room (do they still have those) for the next three years.  Every Friday she would assail those of us who couldn’t be bothered with school spirit.  What kind of people were we?  Did we want the team to lose?  If you did not support “the team” why you were….treasonous.

The worst examples of this mind-set are encountered in the small town religious-social life anyone who has ever survived a small town has endured.  If you don’t do such and such for the Lord, you’re going to hell. I seem to remember once being told by some over-zealous friend’s mother that I would be going to hell if I didn’t ditch my Beatles’ collection. 

About SJ Reidhead

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Clavos writes:

    “Racism is such a good catch-all concept. It explains and excuses so much.

    What a crock.”

    Yes. American History is indeed a “crock” when it comes to racism. American Society is STILL TO THIS DAY influenced far too much by racism, IMHO. Why, it’s 2009 and we still have folks like Keith Bardwell in positions of power and influence.

    But since this IS indeed America, you have freedom of speech. You never lost that right.

    What you’re ASKING for in this thread, isn’t “freedom of speech.”

    You’re asking for freedom from criticism of said speech.

    You want amnesty from the judgement of said speech.

    You want immunity from the consequences of said speech.

    You want sanctions against other individuals for expressing free speech condemning the free speech that you find agreement with.

    Sorry, my friend. It just doesn’t work like that. And if somebody wants to juggle watermelons, swing around monkey dolls or sport blackface, they and those around them giving silent, tacit approval should expect to be labeled as unindicted co-conspirators of racism.

    –Cobra

  • Clavos

    Garofalo is so not worthy of two minutes of serious thought.

    a good thing, because there wasn’t any in this post.

    Nor is there in any of Garofalo’s moronic publicly disseminated rants.

  • Clavos

    should expect to be labeled as unindicted co-conspirators of racism.

    OK.

    I’m a racist.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cobra -

    What you’re ASKING for in this thread, isn’t “freedom of speech.” You’re asking for freedom from criticism of said speech. You want amnesty from the judgment of said speech. You want immunity from the consequences of said speech. You want sanctions against other individuals for expressing free speech condemning the free speech that you find agreement with.”

    VERY well said! I’ve never heard it said better…and I hope you don’t mind if I use it in the future whenever someone complains about the criticism they receive for exercising their freedom of speech in truly offensive ways.

  • Doug Hunter

    Racist, schmacist. Just more verbal diarrhea from the party that has nothing but race baiting… period.

    They can call entire groups racist, hateful, associate you with nazism and genocide, make broad generalizations about how whites have acted and the horrible things they’ve done and think nothing of it yet put one basketball or watermelon in the same image as a black even in cartoonish fashion they act like it’s like the fucking apocalpyse.

    It’s bizarro world out there and the inmates are running the asylum. Cartoonish goofiness is hate speech while real hate speech is lauded as social work, Orwell would be proud.

  • zingzing

    doug: “They can call entire groups racist, hateful, associate you with nazism and genocide, make broad generalizations about how whites have acted and the horrible things they’ve done and think nothing of it…”

    well, that is what republicans say about dems as well. that’s just the way it is, isn’t it?