A Choice of Emotions

Saturday afternoon, I received an email from my good friend Chris Brown of Alchohologist.com. The subject of the email was “Guest Post,” and the body merely said, “this.” Chris has written several guest posts for me in the past. We don’t always see eye to eye on everything, he generally writes clearly on a subject with a good helping of humor thrown in to help the medicine go down. This time, when I opened the attached .odt file, this is what I received:

America is sick, and she isn’t going to get better. I’m going to be partisan and say it’s the Conservative Right’s fault. Their culture got some kind of horrible cancer from the Reagan administration and they’ve never admitted it to themselves, let alone taken any steps to remedy their problem.

Now their problem is our problem, all of our problem. It’s a problem that can only be solved by level headed conversation. But being level headed is as antithetical to their culture as valuing brute force over communication is intrinsic to it. The conversation will never take place. Not with these people.

Where did it start? Who killed our country? At the risk of sounding shrill and leftist, I’m going to blame the Bush administration. Specifically their No Child Left Behind act. This legislature, when carried to its logical extension, can result in nothing less than the complete dismantling of the American educational system. Its passing was the five finger death punch to the spleen of our culture.

I would never suggest that 9/11 wasn’t a tragedy, it was. That’s inarguable. But in the long run, it was a slap in the face, not a death blow. Osama bin Laden could never do a tenth of the damage of Texas’ Number One Son.

Are the liberals blameless? Of course not. Spineless, yes. Does that put them at fault? Yes. Because they’ve allowed themselves to be bullied by a strong arm party of, admittedly, scary, crazy, irrational fucks.

When you’re a little kid and someone’s bullying you, and you’re too scared to do anything about it, that’s fine. You’re a little kid. Nobody blames you. But when you’re an adult, it’s time to start standing up for yourself. More than that, it’s time to start standing up for those little kids getting bullied who are too scared to stand up themselves. And if you haven’t got the guts for that, fine. Everyone doesn’t have to stand up. That’s why we have the concept of heroism in our culture. It’s not for everyone. It’s kind of an exceptional trait.

But be an accountant. Be a plumber. Be a god damned receptionist. Don’t be a fucking congressman. Don’t run for Senate. Maybe, if you can’t gird your loins and wade into battle when some crusty old lily-ass rich bastards come for our civil liberties and our consumer rights and our fucking childrens’ educations, maybe don’t apply for a job where the fate of the god damned country is in your hands.

I’m just saying.

When you start shooting congresswomen because they supported a bill you didn’t, civil discourse is at an end. Which means democracy is over. Which means America, as we know it, is dead. You didn’t kill it, Mr Gunman. You’re just a symptom. You’re just a festering lesion on the cancerous asshole of a dying nation. A nation too far gone for chemo.

Now I’m going to go drink myself retarded and hope I wake up in a better America.

I wasn’t going to post it. I strongly disagree with a great deal of the sentiment behind it. No, not about no child left behind, I agree that pretty much everything Bush did in office raped this country and set us on a slow steady path of ruination. What I don’t agree with, is blaming anyone but one psychotic gunman for this tragedy. There is no link between this and any political agenda. We just assume there is, because we want it to be there. We want to lash out, because we are afraid. Sarah Palin’s gunsights map didn’t get this representative killed. No, she shouldn’t “have known better.”

You want to blame her so that someone is to blame. Yes, feel free to think you should be allowed to censor Sarah Pallin. That’s your right. In the spirit of equality, I’m going to blame you for every murder in the country, because you make jokes about people being killed all the time.

Actually, we’ll add every violent crime to the list.

Censorship is the real cancer in this country. Any time we try and censor free speech, we get a little bit closer to being exactly what we’re all afraid of. That’s why I couldn’t justify not posting Chris’ rant. I disagree with him. I think its a crime to even consider politicizing personal tragedies like what has taken place in Arizona. However, shutting down one voice, one single voice from any background or belief, makes me as bad, or worse, than the rest of them.

One thought on “A Choice of Emotions

  1. I couldn’t agree with YOU more. My view on this is – “The freedom to offend may well be the greatest freedom of them all. Once that is taken away, we’ve lost everything.”
    Now, I’m not saying that it is GOOD to offend or that we should outright try to offend others. What I AM saying is that censorship is the one thing that WILL bring this country to its knees for the final time. The ability to speak our minds, whether others like what we have to say or not, is something we must protect. Inevitably we WILL offend someone with SOMETHING we have to say. It could be simplistic – as in criticizing someone’s taste in music. It could offend them. I know this example isn’t the best, but hopefully you get the point. All this politicizing is not good and will only further exasperate an already tense and horrifying situation. Now is the time to pull together. Peel away the labels, the prestige, the titles and what have you, but another human being – a woman – and six others (is that the right number?) who were shot. PEOPLE. And that should be foremost in our minds.

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