Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bashing the demonizers

Detail of "Eyes to the Front or The Inevitable Outcome of Class Struggle" by Jerry Truong

    Sometimes, when I answer an email, the recipient seems amazed to hear from me. 
    They seem to expect silence. Or some kind of staff reply. 
    No, no staff. And not responding, even to rude people, seems itself rude.
    So I read lots of email, and try to muster some kind of reply. 
    And in reading so much email, patterns emerge. 
    Today, I'd like to draw attention to two common words.
    "Bash" and "demonize."
    They are used only in one circumstance, as far as I can tell: when conservatives are fairly criticized about something which, being conservatives, they just can't face directly.

    So rather than address the nature of the criticism, they categorize the criticism itself as unfair, crude.  
    If I point out, for instance, as I did in April, that Indiana has just passed a truly medieval law requiring aborted fetuses to be buried in coffins or cremated (because they're  babies, you see?) then ... well, let William Duffy explain it. 
    "You've got the balls to bash Indiana as a racist place with your civil rights garbage statement," he wrote.
     "Bash." Like with a sledge hammer. (I won't even start on "civil rights garbage." I'd bet that those three words have never been strung together, but of course I'd lose). 
     Or when I pointed out that John McCain had replaced his record of heroism with one of craven cowardice by endorsing Trump after Trump insults all POWs in general and him in particular, A.L. Jones of Park Ridge wrote:
    "For sure your use of Memorial Day to bash McCain and the continuation of your personal dislike against Trump were really in bad taste." 
    "Bash" implies a certain whack-a-mole crudeness. One is not touching a point with the finger of satire and truth, but blindly clubbing away. (Though I have to savor Jones' "personal dislike," as if there is no other reason to hate Trump than petty grievance. Trump isn't a madman who would destroy the country; I'm just holding a grudge).
    Moving on to the second word, If I point out that Donald Trump, the likely presidential candidate of the Republican party, has said a variety of bigoted, idiotic, and anti-American things, and that all Republicans are implicit in these positions if they support Trump, no matter how grudgingly, then I am "demonizing" them. 
     "My problem with you is that you deminize folks like me who disagree" wrote a reader calling himself "Mysterious Johnson," who was writing to inform me that he was returning after boycotting me for my various sins, and was perhaps surprised when I was less than warm in my welcome (and no, I did not point out his spelling error. When someone is utterly mistaken, as Johnson is—he feels his sincere religious convictions should allow him to revoke the civil rights of gay people, aided by the law—there is no need to snipe about spelling). 
    Or, to drive home just how popular "demonize" is, savor this, from the endless wheedle for money that comes from Ron Paul.
    "But our national media would rather demonize our Second Amendment rights than the misguided “gun-free zone” policies that only embolden bloodthirsty thugs and madmen!"
     What does that even mean? "Demonize our Second Amendment"?
     At this point, I don't think I could in good conscience use either "bash" or "demonize." And anyone who does is halfway to being dismissed. The words are just so moist with the tears of self-pity, the bully pouting because he has been put on the red chair in the corner, completely forgetting what he did that got him there. 
    So I try not to use "bash" and "demonize." And if you use them, you might want to pause and reflect whether you are in the wrong and don't know it. A lot of people are in the wrong and don't know it, but feel if they can just grab the right label to slap on their dilemma, they will magically be in the right. They won't.


  1. Yes, Indiana, where the KKK ran the state in the 1920s.
    Indiana, where they tried to pass a law making the value of pi, just 3. Not even the simple, 3.14, but just 3!
    Yeah, that'll work for important calculations!
    That's why we all laugh at Indiana.

    1. To be fair and not bash or deminize Indiana lawmakers, they thought they were fixing the price for pie at $3.

    2. To be fair and not bash or deminize Indiana lawmakers, they thought they were fixing the price for pie at $3.

  2. My view of Indiana officialdom was irreparably tainted by my Korean wife's experience a few years ago when she was stopped on Route 41 driving our blonde granddaughter downstate. The State Police pulled her over and grilled her and her companions for several minutes before they decided that yes, the little blonde girl, who called the little Asian woman, "Grandma," was indeed her granddaughter. I think they also gave her a ticket for going as fast as the rest of the traffic on 41.

  3. What I don't like about your political writing is you label someone a bigot or hater or whatever and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and hates all people of color and there's no in between. I've gone back and forth with you over the years and it's gotten really nasty, both of us have fire hate back and forth. And for what? It's not like either of us are going to change our positions. Used to be a real big fan but I decided to do what you and your ilk do, boycott the person you disagree with and censor them. I used to buy a Suntimes EVERY day and read I was a 360-365 day reader and haven't bought a paper in 3.5 years and it's not because of the internet changing the news landscape. Your editorial was just too far to the left unless it was a Middle East issue then it was hard right, hypocrisy. Kinda sad that's what this country is coming to-Balkanized hatred of each other.

    A woman at a rally was pelted with eggs threatened with rape spat on. That's the leftist tolerance I guess.

    Terrible sad stuff, of course unreported. Maybe the U.S. problems don't have a political solution. Maybe our differences are too great and we're headed for a break up of our country like the Russian professor said.

    Only G-d can save us now. Sometimes he shows sometimes he's absent.

    1. It isn't the disagreement, though I can see why you'd cast it that way. It's the bigotry. The fact that you aren't going to change your position isn't something I can see you should be complaining about. And if you expect me to change my position so that -- what -- you can use the laws of my country to impose your religious views on non-believers? You bring up one case of one woman abused at a rally that is advocating the abuse of millions. That's myopia, and if you feel ill-used by my saying it, then boo-fuckin' hoo. "Of course unreported." The right has the media's balls in its hand, and whines about how voiceless they are. Typically bully stuff. If you've given up, then why are you still here, bitching about the bad deal that white Christians get in this country. It's nauseating. How can we miss you if you don't go away?

    2. Neil, I find your patience and courtesy to be remarkable.if I weren't a sweet, doddering old lady, i would bash the hell out of bigots. I have two grandchildren who are gay and I won't tolerate injustice and prejudice aimed at them. I don't think Trump is smart enough to be a demon and destroy the world, but Steve Bannon is, and i'd love a chance to bash him. And I demonize them both. Thank you for being rational and polite.

    3. Thanks, but don't give me too much credit. I have to be reflexively nice to the foulest bigot, because if I crack wise, one-on-one, they immediately run blubbering to my boss, who takes such things seriously.

  4. It turns out it was an actress getting a makeup test.

    That's the rightist accuracy I guess.

  5. I'm pro -choice but not sure I'd equate an abor. decision to room paint, etc.

  6. interesting interpretaion, though I don't agree with Kennedy, but some are too hateful to Christians, as long as they don't start saying -no cakes for blacks-though I would have made the darn cake

  7. But when the justices heard arguments in December, Kennedy was plainly bothered by comments by a commission member that the justice said disparaged religion. The commissioner seemed "neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs," Kennedy said in December.

  8. People fall for those overpriced restaurants for snobbery reasons, that the snotty restaurants bank on. No food can be worth that much unless you ate tons of beluga caviar.


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