Monday, January 13, 2014

Gun nut memo is out

Here it surfaces in Texas. When I was in Florida over Christmas, I heard rightwing radio nitwit Neal Boortz say the same thing about southwest Florida. He said, over and over, that he could go out and shoot pythons but not "northeastern liberals," who are "more dangerous." Boortz is about my age but he was snorking and chortling like a 9-year-old telling his first dirty joke. It's like there's a central registry where rightwingers go to get things to say. Possibly the Texas jerk heard Boortz (who was subbing for Sean Hannity on his show), but it happens often enough to leave a boiler room that provides stupid political commentary as a more likely explanation. Apparently, nobody walked out, showing that there were no decent people in the audience. Just recently, for the several hundredth time, a rightwing racist was caught sending an email blast to -- well, everybody, it was a blast -- of crude racial intent, which he (once he was found out) described as "humor." Not many decent people would find it so, but there are a few defending it as not merely satirical but realistic. The point is not that there are individual gun nuts in Texas or individual racists in the GOP. The point is that they think they are the norm -- you don't send crude racist emails to everybody if you think not everybody is a crude racist like you -- but that they keep demonstrating that they are, indeed, the norm of the 21st century rightwing. Crude rightwing racism is what I grew up surrounded by. I know it when I see it. I had thought, some years ago, that we had got beyond that, or, at least, people who hadn't changed had learned to keep their attitudes hidden except among trusted likeminded acquaintances. It was, as recently as the 1990s, a social faux-pas to warm up an audience at a public meeting with a few coon jokes, in a way that had been common up to the '70s. Not any more. Making contact with today's rightwing is like picking up one of Irvin S. Cobb's annual joke books from the '20s. Uggh.


  1. Well, Carleton's attempt at humor is definitely racist, but it did make me laugh. Guess that makes me racist too! I guess I should stop condemning racism...

  2. I didn't find it funny, but the funniest story I know is one of Cobb's racist stories. The humor of that one is in the universal reaction of the little boy, the racism in the assumption that all black people are chicken thieves. (It's in 'Many Laughs for Many Days')

    The most popular comedian in Hawaii is Frank DeLima, who riffs on the extremely complicated local attitudes to ethnicity. It's the difference between laughing with and laughing at. His act usually includes a sermon on ethnic harmony. (He's a former Catholic seminarian.)