APR
08
2007
Start The Selective Outrage Machine

I know I’ve ragged on Pope Benedict before for being a Nazi, but I do feel compelled to quote his Easter speech yesterday morning:

How many wounds, how much suffering there is in the world! Natural calamities and human tragedies that cause innumerable victims and enormous material destruction are not lacking.

I am thinking of the scourge of hunger, of incurable diseases, of terrorism and kidnapping of people, of the thousand faces of violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion, of contempt for life, of the violation of human rights and the exploitation of persons.

Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test?

With so much death and destruction going on in the world, you simply can’t get upset about every horrible thing that happens to innocent people—it’s too emotionally exhausting. So people pare down their concerns by giving a shit about a limited amount of people.

Ah, but how to choose? Should you restrict your sympathies to those of the same race, creed, religion? The nation of Quebec or Red Sox Nation? There’s so much to choose from!

Of course, you could privilege all human life equally, without regard to where they’re from or their personal beliefs. But that would make you some kind of monster, declaring that the lives of enemy civilians are worth no less than your country’s soldiers. You’d have to be a real commie pinko secular humanist baby-eating lesbian Wiccan or something! Who could say such things?

Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. —Eugene V. Debs

I know I have my biases; everybody chooses something. I picked armed vs. unarmed—people with guns can shoot each other to death for all I care.

OK, so why am I going on about this? Watch the following clip from the O’Reilly Factor (via Crooks and Liars):


O’Reilly was ready to punch Geraldo Rivera because of all the fatal drunk driving accidents in this country, one of them was committed by an illegal immigrant. I know how he feels—whenever I see people between 15 and 35 responsible for an automobile accident, I’m the first to demand the minimum age for drivers licenses be set at 55—stay alive!

Benedict Anderson, who I seem to write about a lot on this blog, explained how O’Reilly came to this in his 1983 book, Imagined Communities; the idea of ‘countries’—the whole national project that has been going on since 1648—is based on a fabricated concept of nationhood. The nation, said Anderson, is “imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them,” Anderson goes on to say that what creates a nation is a national literature, which in this day and age can be said to include TV, films and radio.

So, O’Reilly, if we can tar all illegal immigrants with the actions of one drunken restaurant worker, why stop there? I’ve never seen a demographic profile more dangerous than straight white guys.

What About the Seven Cities of Gold? Phoenix, Tuscon, Las Vegas…

Since today seems to be logical consistency day, let me loosely relate a conversation I had with a conservative-minded family member last week:

Cuz: Possession is nine-tenths of the law!
D. J.: Exactly—that’s why I don’t understand why Americans are so upset about immigration.
Cuz: Because they’re trying to take over the country!
D. J.: Exactly my point. If we took the West from the Indians by force, what’s the problem with somebody else trying to take it from us? I think it’s a question of respect.
Cuz: Respect?
D. J.: Sure. They don’t respect the Mexicans because they’re trying to sneak across the border. If they’d come with guns and disease-bearing blankets—Americans would have to respect that.

Jesus Was A Black Man

I don’t really go for Jesus; I’m not really sure he even existed. But I will say that if he was real, Jesus was definitely black. Now, if you do a little research into this theory, you’ll likely end up at some site that will try to convince you that Africans are the real Jews and Jews are actually Europeans. It’s kind of the mirror-image of the theology of the Christian Identity religion. I don’t endorse any of these movements or their theories (I speak a little Aramaic and I know what the Cohen modal haplotype is, so I’m not the best audience).

Facts notwithstanding, I have decided to fully endorse the idea that Jesus was black. Why? I only need one reason:

Because it drives white people crazy.




 

 
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