So Don Imus has been fired from his radio show, and all is well in the world. We all know about the maelstrom that developed around the aging shock jock, who has found out how loose lips sink ships, in this case his own. But even though his is a vessel I never would have christened, I find a certain conclusion inescapable here. I must defend Don Imus.
Lest I be misunderstood, I have no use for the man nor any for the rest of his ilk. I know him to be a poster boy for our cultural decay, a man who, along with innumerable fellow babblers, disgorges cultural effluent on a daily basis. He has been a willing participant in the defining of deviancy downwards and I normally would not lament his departure.
I also would criticize his comments. It’s most uncharitable to make sport of relatively anonymous college kids and mock their appearance. So, one may wonder, given my thorough condemnation of the man, in what way do I defend him?
It’s very simple: What really matters with respect to this issue has nothing to do with Imus. This is because this has everything to do with race, but not in the way many think. It isn’t what was said that has the sultans of slime (read: reverends without congregations, et al.) so upset, but the color of the man who said it.
Let’s place this in perspective. We now have a society in which virtually no comment, no matter how salacious, sardonic, crude, rude or lewd, is out of bounds. The only restriction is that politically incorrect people must confine themselves to politically correct comments; politically correct people can go further and utter some politically incorrect ones. And shock jocks and music pox, otherwise known as rappers, regularly exercise their tongues in ways that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. And these rappers, who, almost to a man, would be dead or in jail if quasi-literacy and incoherent, vulgar, hateful rambling weren’t handsomely rewarded by our beating-a-chicken-under-the-moonlight culture, drive around in limousines, even though no amount of money can take the gutter out of the guttersnipe. We see people who pass themselves off as artists creating uplifting works such as a crucifix immersed in a bowl of urine and then demanding tax dollars as funding. We have gratuitous violence served up with relativistic messages in movies and sexual imagery anywhere and everywhere; it so permeates our society that now we have fifth-graders having orgies in the classroom. Then, the Lord’s name is regularly taken in vain on film, although no one cares about that anymore because we now show obeisance to a new virtue, one of the vice-ridden’s design. Of course, the aforementioned is far from exhaustive, for how do you encapsulate a toxic culture operating 24/7 and beaming its poison to all corners of the Earth in a paragraph? Perhaps it can be done, but it’s beyond my capabilities.