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.
If you don’t believe exactly what Janeane Garofalo wants you to believe, then you’re a racist.
Is there any difference?
It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle one is on, but the threat now looms constant. If you don’t (fill in blank) then you are a (fill in blank).
There is nothing like a good verbal battle consisting of political insults, but it helps to wage that battle with opponents who are well armed with actual facts and figures rather than juvenile emotion. This constant battle of epitaphs of “you are a racist if” or “you are a RINO if” are becoming as stale as Rush Limbaugh’s left-over cigar smoke. As much as I like a good cigar, stale smoke makes me turn the color of Kermit the Frog.
To constantly condemn someone who disagrees with a person who is of a different race, gender, religion, or orientation as bigoted and biased defines down that bias. To constantly support someone who is of a different race, gender, religion, or orientation is equally biased. When someone like Janeane Garofalo does nothing but condemn anyone who happens to disagree with Barack Obama as racist is juvenile.
Do you know whites who voted for Obama simply because of his race? I do. Is that not as racist as the three people (all Glenn Beck devotees) I know who voted against Obama because of his race? What do you do with the fact that one of the people who voted for Obama would never ever vote for anyone Hispanic, and would have problems voting for someone who was Gay? How to you throw racism into the mix when at least two of the three people I know who voted against Obama because of his race, would hold their nose to vote for a Hispanic Republican, and would willingly vote for an African American Republican. They would have no problems voting for a woman or someone who was Gay?
How does Janeane Garofalo explain this other than the fact that each and every one of us has the Constitutional right to freedom of speech, assembly, etc. etc.? Do people like Garofalo or your misc. Ron Paul Bot understand that we have a right not to support “the” cause?
Perhaps the problem is not about racism at all. What if the problem we are seeing with these individuals is more a maturity issue? If we were living in our pre-cable, pre-24 hour news cycle, pre-internet days no one would ever even know such individuals existed let alone had a political opinion. Shrill, illogical voices of irrational vitriol were consigned to the letters to the editor pages of local small town weeklies. They were considered the “town crank” and their letters were put in a certain file.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a good political head-butt. But, the epitaphs are getting old and stale. They are also becoming more and more childish, spoiled and petulant. “True Believers” both liberal and conservative seem to have forgotten that opinions other than their own have merit. There are some “True Believers” liberal and conservative who have reached the point of boorishness. They are stale and hackneyed.