« nigeria falls, new york | Main | the clowns ate my brain »

everybody say yea!

everybody say yeah!*

A caller to a talk radio show today was upset about all the dissension in America. She was worried about people fighting and political parties fighting and mass media taking sides and drawing swords. I think she was close to tears.

Personally, I like this dissension. I like that we state our views loudly and clearly and we aren't afraid to do so. We happen to live in a nation where we can and do speak out against what we percieve to be unjust government practices. We can call our senators idiots and our congressmen whores. We can meet face to face, in public, and have an loud, strong argument about our president and no one is going to call the thought police when one of us says that our president is the anti-christ. You will not get thrown in a dark, filthy prison cell. I will not be tortured as if I were a traitor to a dictatorial country. [1]

My point is, I find all this debate and taking of sides healthy. It's healthy that Babs can stand up in front of a crowd of people who have nothing better to do with five hundred dollars than to listen to her shrill rants. And it's healthy for me to be able to call her an insane shrew. Really, it is. Go ahead and try it. Doesn't it feel good? Do you think Ashcroft is evil? Shout it out loud, then. Do you think we can trust Saddam to tell us the truth about his WoMD? Say it, then! Say it!

I'm not saying people won't pelt you with stones or laugh behind your back, but the point is, all this yelling back and forth and protesting and people going on political talk shows and saying whatever the hell they want is a good thing. It's all part of freedom. [2]

I am exercising my freedom by shouting war now! I am exercising my freedom by sharing views of both the left and the right. I can do that. So can you. Nobody has to follow strict party lines. Nobody can tell you that because you are a registered Democrat it is your duty to vote Democrat all the way across. [3]

How often do you exercise one of your most vital rights as an American? Do you vote in elections that aren't presidential? Do you vote in local races? School board races? Library budget votes?

Do you realize how lucky we are to be able to vote for the candidate we like best and not have to face blazing guns and raging fists at the polls? Do you? You have the ability to use just one little finger to make your choice known. You have the choice to not vote for the person on your party line if you think he is corrupt or just not fit for the job. You have the right to drag your finger all the way down to the bottom row where the person on the Independent or Working Families or Green or Right to Life or Socialist party's name is printed and push that lever down.

Are your local judges elected or appointed? If they are elected do you know anything about them at all or do you just push the lever that has your party's symbol next to it? Is that person tough on drunk drivers? Lenient with white criminals but hard on black criminals? Are they pro-choice? Make an effort to know about the people who are running for elected positions in your area. You don't know where they may end up some day. Robert Torricelli had to start somewhere. You don't want to be hanging your head ten years from now because you voted for a crappy, disinterested judge just because he was a Republican and now that judge is going to be appointed to a much higher court. Do you know anything about your school officials? Your library board?

This is America. We have the right to know. We have the right to information. We have the right to choose and the right to make our choices known.

Debate your neighbor over the Middle East. Challenge your waitress to back up her words regarding the Supreme Court. Write a letter to the editor. Call a talk show. Speak up. Challenge. Learn. Use your privileges, use your freedom. Some of you have no idea how lucky you are to have it.

[1]These statements do not hold true for people -ahem, elected officials- who march over to the land of our enemy and say these things on enemy soil. That's a no-no, just on ethical grounds.

[2] That freedom does not include destroying other people's property in the process of protesting.

[3] Well, they can tell you that, but you don't have to listen.

*I sat down to write about the evils of PMS and this is what came out. I thank you and apologizes to you if you read through to the end.

Comments

No apologies necessary when you are 100% correct.

Just remember that it's that freedom that also allows racist a--holes to hold hate rallys (on 9/11) mind you, to assert their own agendas.

Unfortunately, gotta take the bad with the good. I think it's great that we live in a nation where we can openly state, argue, or protest our views. Just have to remember that the a--holes have the same rights.

(And personally, the fact that you could form that many contiguous, coherent thoughts in the midst of PMS is pretty damn impressive.)

2 babs disses in 2 days? oye vey! The mecha streisands will kick your bootie beotch, no kvetching around. No mercy, no hairspray, no celine dion.

ok, but how do you debate with the 38% of the idiots voters who wanted Torricelli to run again? I can't understand their thinking, unless they're the kinda morons voters who are so afraid of change they always vote for the incumbent. I get extremely frustrated and start to sputter inanities at them. Some debater I am...

A couple of years ago, I had already met and decided to vote for one congressional primary candidate and was out on the street working on my car, when an entourage approached up the street. When the front person started talking to me, I said don't bother, I'm voting for ___ because of the crooked dealings in your guy's past.
Lo and behold, a moment later came the man himself (now our congressman) with hand extended, saying "Hi, I'm ___." I showed my grease covered hands and said, "You don't want to shake with me." He said, "My hands have been been dirtier than that." Naturally, I replied, "Yes, I know they have." He didn't seem to get the joke.
It's nice to have the freedom to make it though.

You have the ability to use just one little finger to make your choice known. *

*This offer not valid in Florida

No one in europe understands that words are living things to Americans and that just because europeans can't "see" the Constitution walking down the street that people don't believe in that documents life and scope.

As one arapaho told me on the Viejas reservation
in San Diego...(ok, it's also a casino)

"The Red man LIVED "all men are equal" and the white man, with his memory problems--had to write it down. We are just glad that the English did write it down. We could have wound up speaking 1870's Kentuckian."

(You'd have to know what a great sense of human lies on the Viejas indian reservation to know that humor has always been a great tradition there.)

No one who sees america for Big Macs and fast cars understands how much biracial people of all kinds are now the fastest group of minorities, and that even for the democrats all bets are off in trying to figure out how Black Vietnamese americans will vote.

Sadly however, because no one can court or target chinese hispanices--such votes at election time must now live by allusion on the census forms in the words meaning..."other".

Everyone in america is an "other" and totally confused about what to do about it.

Europeans say we are a "hegemon" and most americans think that a "Hegemon power" is a person who is A--part hispanic/part chinese Buddhist who gets all A's on his tests.

(No one on the streets of the heartland thinks anyone in europe puts filters on their cigarettes.)

Christians used to not be "others" and then the evangelical movement in the Midwest (which swept the heartland in the mid-80's) began to preech broadly that the Almighty might just get sick of humanity and finally let the Jews perish from the earth. (Killing off humanity by a Divine-labor-strike of some kind and a chilly walk-out.)

Knowing that Christianity would be next (after another jewish slam) and that no part of the "new" testament could be fulfilled without the "old" testament--panick set in.

"Wait a minute, if the Almightly gives up on his "chosen" people than than means that "we" as the children of the chosen would be cut lose too...Oh my lord, what have we done!"

Christians now make up Israel's strongest support base in the US for that religious reason as well as the fact that Christians have benefited from exchange with Israel on a personal level by evangelicals trips to Israel.

Christians have SEEN Israel and KNOW that Israelis are far from people in love with tanks and power as much as they are people still searching to find the right words to come to grips with what "other" means when you are an oral people with too much confused history and not enough time to deal with that confusion.

In europe's worldview those Christians are a part of a "jewish lobby." Even some on the left who are jewish still call anyone of them as a "rightwinger" hanging the civil war over their heads like a noose. Pity those same democrats don't understand that the Abolitionists were PREDOMINANTLY Christians who didn't have names like Abu or Muhammad.

No one in America has HALF A SHOT at understanding why one part of america's christians built the underground railroad while the other half used religion to enslave human beings, so how can we expect others to?

But one thing we have going for us--is being Jaded. Downright, outright--jaded. No Islamic radical can call 3,000 dead in New York a desperate cry for help in a nation where little ole Quaker ladies were put in jail for helping slaves 2 counties away. Jaded is a Quaker doing time--not a bomber saying a search is invasive when you are packin' TNT. Duh, ya think?

No democrat can tell 2 generations of american's to "rage at the establishment" and then get upset when a new hybrid americans emerges split tickets equalling among democratic and republican candidates in every national election.

(Look at how the Midwest put in both democrats and republicans in some all democratic or republican counties in the Midwest. An accident? Hardly.)

For nearly 30 years democrats have COMPLETELY missed the point that in their endless quest to "rage at the establishment" they also BECAME THE ESTABLISHMENT. So now, in 2002 the establishment is fair game and can be picked apart along the same SAME EXACT moral lines that the 60's generation picked apart the generation before it.

Example: Why did some democrats (and Republicans) who spent their youth smoking pot SUDDENLY develop an aversion for "cigarette" smoking when they got in power under Bill Clinton?

Answer: The establishment is ALWAYS wacky and wrong when it's been in power too long.

That's an American concept, but of course no one can prove it is because no one can SEE that it is.

I hate america's invisible rules; but I know them. I KNOW europe's not so invisible rules; and I reject them. I'm proud of what I am; and ashamed that for most of my life I couldn't appreciate what I had until I came close to death.

Death as a teacher? Nope. Grabbing life again--as a teacher.

Eh...alrighty then.

Respect those who are strong enough to speak their own minds, and to face the consequences of such actions with dignity (or more shouting, which is even better). Luther King, we salute you.

However, disembowel those cowardly bitches who shout from the cover of institutions, such as the slime that attempt to put their opinions beyond reproach by associating themselves with 'truth', 'justice', 'godliness', 'family values', 'freedom' and, my personal favourite, by declaring themselves 'of the people' or the 'voice of the nation'.

HEY. Mass-murdering dictators can be family men, the free can still be lost, vengeance is not godliness, and, hey, no more than a century ago, truth and justice were unquestionably the province of the racial and class ruling minority. I sat on a plane out of Newark a week after 9/11, where stewardesses were cheerfully offering complaining customers seats in first class if they felt unconfortable sitting next to fellow passengers who may or may not resemble those of middle eastern descent. Is this the 'voice of the nation'?

YO. DON'T SPEAK FOR ME. I was born in Britain, but I chose to speak for myself. I'm not 'one of the people' because I'm allowed to be free. I appreciate that. But, damn, I hate those bastards who try and squash discussion by attempting to protect the 'sanctity' of their opinions in this mob fashion. And, Bush, this means you too. If you wanna blow up the world, that's your view, and you're welcome to it, man. Just don't speak for me too.

A person is smart. People are stupid and lazy, and carry pitchforks and burning crosses. Opinions don't come in the mail. You create them. YOURSELF...

Were you addressing me or George Bush?

Nah, just finished reading an article about radio censorship, where this southern religious station boosted its signal to take over the frequency of a station in a neighbouring state, simply because it objected to its non-religious content.

All in the name of God, huh?

I tend to throw my toys out of my pram at the first sight of a narrow-minded mob decision.

So, mainly a rant directed at no-one in particular, and certainly not in your direction.

I don't think it was my bike, mind. My care workers very rarely let me out this late, and I'm not a great fan of Marley, man.

You're an interesting fellow, Mr. Cow.

Thanks. Quite a few years off middle age too. What's a wife-beater (not in the obvious sense. I'm assuming you didn't mean he was piggybacking a tiny, heavy-drinking, violent redneck on his back, unless you live opposite a circus or something)?

Jeez, I just read that earlier rant back and it did REALLY sound like I was having a go at you personally.

Real sorry there. Next time, must remember to let off vitriol safe distance away from bystanders.

Keep up the posts. Um, sorry again.

I was just in the mood to write and just went with it. It was off slightly topic but it was fun.

I'm sorry that crimson cow had a cow over it. Cow's comment "If you Bush want to blow up the world..." was interesting. Anytime anyone in america has a difference of opinion with anyone who's over the Atlantic; we get insulted.

"Murderers can be family men," was good too.

I'm especially happy since, in this century--MOST OF THE MASS MURDERERS WERE EUROPEAN family men. By europe's own example of the last 70 years--Bush looks good by simply showing up.

And as for "you don't speak for me" in Ms. or MR. cow's statements... Of course, Mr/Ms. Cow I don't speak for you, but remember.

As of 1776 no one in europe speaks for America either. Ain't life a bit--?

Now if there's one thing I hate it's arguments that resort to nationality.

I've already qualified the rant by saying that I'm not directing it at anyone in particular, and that, of course, includes a writer who's brave enough to speak their mind in the way you obviously did. I don't object (as I said) to opinions. I object to collectivism, and people attempting to promote their personal views by laying claim to some majority wisdom. Again, this is not a criticism of the original writer. It was a rant derived from a chain of thought orginating from consideration of the topic at hand and, as in many comment logs, unrelated to the other posts beforehand. Okay? I just thought, hey, folks are expressing opinions on an interesting topic, let's phrase my view.

If it's the style of delivery that bothers you, then, sure, I'll buy a better grammar checker.

God knows why I mentioned being British. I think it was a leftover part of a sentence that said that I didn't feel myself to be a British citizen, and didn't see the point of patriotism in its many destructive forms. However, I'm glad you found it useful as a totally irrelevant stick to beat me over the head with, while totally missing the point of my argument...

Again, as i said, if its a style problem...

Stupidity, intolerance, and violence are human traits that exist everywhere, in every country in the world. The world does not exist in black and white, and a person's nationality, race, sex or age are just details, and mostly meaningless ones at that, used to undermine another's position unjustly.

I actually liked your comments. And, hey, if you wanna have a go at my opinion, tell me i'm too isolationist, or selfish, agressive, or just plain prone to thinking without speaking or considering others. But, do me a favour, spare me the 'you're one of them and I'm with us' diatribe. Being British does nothing to affect my opinions, so if you want a flag-waving war, go watch international sport or something.

Oh, and it's John, so the sex of the creature is determined at least...