It’s been a week and a half since Judgment Day, and I have really been on a media diet. No TV, no news articles, no political video watching on Youtube, no facebook—nothing. Usually, I’d be all over that shit. I took over a week off. I needed time to think.
Yesterday and today were sort of my first forays back into the morass that is American politics, and I’ve found it much the way I left it: a disaster.
Without getting into any tangents, let me be clear:
The reason Donald Trump is our next president is because white people in this country could no longer tolerate black people, religious minorities, and women standing up for themselves.
In Black Lives Matter, in the Trayvon Martin shooting, in the Planned Parenthood smear, in the dozens of rape cases where women are denied their humanity, and in the Khan family, white America was shown that black people, women, and Muslims are not afraid to stand and declare themselves equal to the white, male majority. Especially with black voices, social media allowed them to amplify themselves and become a force in the American political realm. Black people, loudly and effectively, aired their grievances for everyone to hear, and no one could escape their voice.
Donald Trump was the response.
Donald Trump is white, male America telling the rest of America to sit down, shut up, and stop complaining about any injustice they feel like they’ve endured. Donald Trump is white, male America fed-up with the idea of “white privilege.” Donald Trump is white, male America telling black people not to be so lazy. Donald Trump is white, male America pointing to violence in black communities as evidence that blacks are inferior to whites. Donald Trump is white, male America telling American Muslims to go fuck themselves because this is a Christian nation. Donald Trump is a middle finger to every single woman who was ever assaulted and demanded justice in return.
Donald Trump did not win because of his policies. He doesn’t have any. He didn’t win because of his big ideas. He never actually explained how any of them would actually work.
He won because he represents white America’s dying grasp on political power. He is the echoing, phlegm-soaked cough coming right before the death white America’s political autonomy. And it just gave the biggest “fuck you” to women and minorities in this country since the fight for Civil Rights.
Trumpism is a “correction” on the progress of minorities, especially blacks. Trumpism is the id of white America finally putting black people in their place.
Trumpism is white hate melded with societal power. It is a living force. Our only solace can be that it will one day die.
And until then, there will be no reconciliation. There will be no come together moments. We cannot accept the bigotry that Trump proudly represents. On every issue concerning the rights of minorities and women, it must be opposed. On every single one.
So, after a long nightmare of having Time Warner cable service, I had finally had enough of channels disappearing, garbled audio, and staticky picture on channels as simple as ABC. I swear to you, and I am not exaggerating, I called Time Warner’s customer service line more often than I called anyone else. It was ALWAYS at the top of my recent calls. They are simply the worst. I don’t know why I toughed it out for so long because I barely watch television, but I did.
But that’s all over now. I canceled the service. Good riddance. I hate them with the power of about a third of the sun.
So, I was left with two choices:
- Have no cable television whatsoever and save money.
- Get DirecTV.
I was leaning heavily towards having no cable. I’d done it before for around two years. The only drag is not being able to watch live sports on ESPN or SNY or YES or MSG. Was it really worth it to pay for cable just so I can watch something as silly and meaningless as sports?
Well, when you add DirecTV’s Sunday ticket, for free, hell yeah it’s worth it. For signing up for two years, I got a year of Sunday ticket free. Awesome.
So I go online and set up an installation. I only realized afterwards that this might be a problem. My landlord has been renovating both the interior and exterior of the building for about the last three months. It’s endless. Every morning I wake up to the sound of hammers and saws cutting through something. Only now, though, has the exterior of the house finally come close to completion. And now, with DirecTV, I had to ask my landlord if it would be okay for me to bolt a giant dish to his house.
It didn’t go well.
He wanted nothing to do with it being on the house. He didn’t mind it being somewhere else, but on the house he just spent months renovating? I completely understood his position, and figured, “Screw it. I don’t need cable.” I called DirecTV to cancel. They told me not to worry about it and let the technician come and see what he could do. My landlord said to call him and ask before they did anything.
So the technician comes over and suggests putting it on the roof of the garage, which had not been renovated. All he and his partner would have to do is run a wire along existing phone wires. Perfect. But still, my landlord was resistant. He was against putting even a single new line into the house. I’m on the phone with him trying to explain how simple it would be, but he’s not having it. He’s Russian (a Russian Jew, and there are many Russian Jews in the area), and he speaks English much like many other Russian men speak English: he yells it. So, I’m standing there on the phone trying to reason with a man who’s yelling at me, and the technician and his partner are just waiting with their hands on their hips. Eventually, my landlord is tired of yelling English at me, and he asks to talk to the technician.
I hand over the phone, the technician says exactly what I said, and after a minute, we have clearance to put one single hole into the house. Awesome.
I get back on the phone with my landlord and he says to me, “Is he a black guy?”
I was NOT expecting that question, but I answered truthfully, “Um… yeah. Yes he is.”
“See, black guys they don’t care about the work. He’s going to make a mess. I don’t need him putting four holes in my house. You need to watch him and make sure he doesn’t mess anything up.”
I started to laugh at how fantastically racist all that was, but I was a little worried about my own part in this process. I don’t need the blame if this guy makes a mistake. I say, “How am I supposed to make sure he doesn’t make a mistake? Once he makes the mistake, he makes it. I can’t unmake it.”
“Just watch him. Make sure he doesn’t drill like four holes in the house.”
“Um, okay. I’ll do what I can.” Which was literally nothing.
So, I hang up and walk up to the technician. What do I say? Well, I tell him exactly what my landlord said, about the whole black guys doing bad work, and explained that this was probably why he was giving us such a hard time. The look on the guy’s face was perfect. It was a great blend of “WTF” and “Oh, now it makes sense, I’ve gotten this dozens of times before.” I start laughing and just shrug my shoulders, and he shakes his head. We start walking back into the house, and he asks me, “Well what the hell is he? Pakistani or something?”
“Nah, man. He’s a Russian Jew.”
“Oh a Jew? They’re the worst. That explains it. I don’t know why they’re so mad at us. Black people didn’t do nothing to them. They need to be mad at the Muslims. They’re the ones trying to kill them.”
Wonderful. I just stand there laughing, enjoying the beautiful racism these gentlemen are throwing around. It’s really interesting to watch it be exposed like that. It’s not often you get to see it that honest, that removed from political correctness. It’s like seeing a deer in the wild. You know they’re in the woods, but you don’t see them all that often. When you do, you just kind of have to slow down and take in the moment.
So, the technician motions to his partner and he asks if he heard what I said. The partner is dark-skinned, definitely some kind of Indian/Arabic lineage (I didn’t ask him to specify). I told him what my landlord said and the guy, with a face which would have been expressionless were it not for an ever-so-slight angry sneer, just shook his head and said, “He’s lucky he’s not here right now.”
Then he tells me a story about how earlier in the day, he was installing something for some white lady. He was outside of her window running some wires, and he overhears part of the woman’s conversation with another man in the house. He heard the woman say something to the effect of, “down the towers.” He only caught part of it. The man she was speaking to said, “The towers? What towers are you talking about?” The lady answered that question by simply pointing at the Indian/Arabic guy working to make sure she can watch Cupcake Wars. Oh, those Towers. Right.
I ask the guy, “Really? That’s insane. It was that obvious?”
“Yeah. But, what can I do? If I confront the lady or say anything back, she could complain and I could lose my job. I couldn’t really do anything.”
“Wow. That is just awful.”
With that, the three of us fell into an awkward silence. Not much else could have been said. The technician told me where he was going to run the wires, and I asked him how he was going to do it. He started to explain, and now I have DirecTV. It’s awesome.
The Daily Caller is a conservative site where racist, hateful scum go to get their news. Coincidence?
Want to go to a website where the article takes a joke where everyone is smiling and having a good time on a late night comedy show and distorts it into someone “scolding” someone else?
Then, after that, in the comments, the First Lady of the United States is called an “ape woman,” Moochelle, “a tranny with a ball sack,” and a “snuff lipped Sasquatch.” Michelle Obama is compared to Chewbacca. She’s called a “mullie.” People make jokes about “not wanting to know what she puts in her mouth.” She’s called a “commie bitch.”
And that’s just in the first three pages of comments. There are 12 of them. I didn’t read them all.
Want to go to a website like that? Click that link up there right above Tucker Carlson’s stupid bow-tie and mosey on over to the Daily Caller, where racism and hate are alive, well, and patting themselves on the back repeatedly. It’s not like these comments are being shouted down. It’s not like they’re being removed by the website. It’s been over a day in some cases, and those comments sit there proudly, some of them with more than 20 other people “liking” the comment in support of the racism or hate.
And weirdly, many of the Chewbacca comments are repeats. It seems to be like a real thing conservatives say openly about her. Like it’s a meme or something. I had no idea it even existed. They have photo mock-ups and everything.
These people have jobs? These people are employed? It’s just so unimaginable that this kind of thing exists in places where people openly accept it. There’s barely any criticism of the blatant racism and hate at all of this on the site. There’s two or three people criticizing it in the comments, but I’m one of them. And there are hundreds of comments and scores of commenters. The rest of it goes unchecked and encouraged by others.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that you would find language like that at a website which is proudly conservative and backs the Republican Party on almost every issue. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the commenters are all in support of the GOP and conservatives. I’m sure there’s no correlation between the racism and the conservative movement, and I’m doubly sure all that racism has nothing to do with why so many conservatives are incensed by the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is their president. I’m sure it’s all one big coincidence.
And while I’m here, where’s Twitchy now? Where’s Twitchy to document all of this “leftist hate?” Someone make sure to contact Michelle Malkin and let her know how terrible these leftists are.
Watch as the president, for the second time in his term in office, is interrupted in the middle of giving a speech like no other president has ever been interrupted before.
First it was Joe Wilson (R-SC) who screamed, “YOU LIE!” at Obama during Obama’s State of the Union address. That had never happened in the recorded history of this country. And, it wasn’t like those “Code Pink” idiots who interrupt Republican politicians during speeches. Let me repeat: Code Pink are a bunch of assholes for the way they go about getting their message into the media. Those are extreme activists. They’re a part of a vast, unsupported minority.
But, when Obama was interrupted during his SotU, that was a sitting member of the United States House of Representatives screaming at the president. It wasn’t some fringe group. It was an officially elected member of the Republican establishment. Sure, he apologized afterwards, but then he went and raised money off of what he did. He raised money off of his disrespect for the president. That’s how sorry he really was.
And now, a few years later, we have another first. Another time the president is interrupted in the middle of a speech. This time, it wasn’t a member of Congress, but it also wasn’t a member of Code Pink or the Tea Party or PETA. It was a “professional reporter” for the hyper-conservative blog “The Daily Caller.” His name is Neil Munro, and he is a professional member of the conservative media. He gets paid to report things that conservatives want to be told. He was given a pass to have the ability to cover the president’s speech, and he used that privilege to disrespect the president by interrupting him mid-speech, just like Joe Wilson did.
(While I was writing this, Munro and the Daily Caller published a reaction to this mess. My updated reaction is on the bottom.)
Whether or not Wilson or Munro are factually correct in their assertions is irrelevant. They may be, but as a politician and a media member respectively, they have to know that the way to disagree is not to be disrespectful. But they seemingly don’t think this president is deserving of the same kind of respect the last 43 presidents have received (I wonder what’s different about this one…?) This is pure disrespect, and it’s not coming from extremist groups who hold up signs at rallies of less than a hundred people. It’s not coming from idiots on Twitter who aren’t educated or civilized enough to form a coherent thought.* It’s coming directly from the conservative establishment. It’s coming directly from the people who are professional representatives of conservatism.
And conservatives have the gall to claim that it is the president who is dividing the country? It’s the elected representatives and the paid professionals of the “right” who are setting the example for inappropriate and disrespectful behavior.
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Mark Levin do nothing but trash the president all day on their radio shows. And you know what? That’s fine. That’s fair game. But, it also sets the stage for these kinds of outbursts which have heretofore not been seen in American politics. One side of the argument is dragging the American media and politics further into the gutter, and it’s people like Joe Wilson and Neil Munro.
They’re a disgrace to America.
Update: Munro and the Daily Caller have published their reaction, and needless to say, it’s laughable. From Munro: ““I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States.”
Watch that video again. There is no way you think Obama is finished, especially given the way Obama speaks. He constantly pauses for effect (and likely to gather his thoughts). And even if he did think Obama was finished, Munro interrupted consistently afterwards. It wasn’t a one time, “Oops, thought you were done. Sorry,” kind of interaction. It was a repeated interruption, so much so that Obama had to remind Munro once that it wasn’t time for questions, and then AGAIN that it wasn’t time for an argument in the middle of the president’s speech. To say he had no intention of interrupting the president is laughable, to say the least.
Then there’s Tucker Carlson’s point about Sam Donaldson and Ronald Reagan. Watch the difference here.
Reagan was CLEARLY done. How do we know? Because he said he was going to let someone else (AG Meese) take the podium. That’s what people do when they’ve finished with their remarks. Compare that to Obama, who had simply paused for a moment. For Carlson to even attempt to create an equivalency here is preposterous. Rather than own their mistake and apologize, they’ll double down on it. Why? Because the conservative media has created such a toxic atmosphere for this president that they know they’ll be able to make more money out of insulting him than being respectful. And insulting him to his face? Even better. Pretty soon, just like Joe Wilson, they’ll be selling t-shirts and raising cash. Just pathetic.
I’ve always thought “Flushing” was a stupid name for a city. We associate the word mostly with toilets.
I was reminded of it last night as I watched Johan Santana throw the first no hitter in New York Mets history. In watching and reading the coverage from several media outlets across the nation, I saw many of them refer to the events happening in Flushing, and every time they said it, I remembered myself as an eight year old kid. When my dad told me the Mets played in Flushing, I was perplexed. “There’s a town called ‘Flushing.’ And the Mets play there? Gross.” I kind of felt like the rest of baseball has always silently snickered about how the Mets play in Flushing, referring to Shea Stadium as a toilet.
So why the hell is that town called Flushing?
Turns out that the area was originally named Vlissingen by the Dutch when they settled in what is now New York City. Vlissingen is also the name of an existing town in the Netherlands which has been around since 1315. All the way back in the 1600’s, the English started referring to that Dutch town as something more Anglo: “Flussingue.” That eventually became “Flushing.” So, after the British took over the New Netherlands colony, the New World Vlissingen simply became Flushing around the end of the 17th century.
All this happened a few hundred years before flushable toilets in homes became popular. The phrase “flush the toilet” was nearly non-existent in English writing until the 20th century. Here’s the Google Ngram picture for the phrase.
So, you know, the name of Flushing, Queens where my New York Mets play has NOTHING to do with toilets. Not even close. I feel way better about the name now. My inner, snickering eight year old has been somewhat pacified.
*Most of the information about the historical aspects of Flushing and Dutch/English occupation was culled from Wikipedia, so I generalized it to make sure it didn’t really make a difference for the point I was trying to make. If I made any important mistake, feel free to point it out in the comments.
Absolutely love the change in octaves, change in pace, change in delivery. Just awesome.
Via Skrillex on Facebook.
Update: The video was removed by its uploader, and that’s a god damn shame. But, on the internet, nothing ever disappears. I’ll leave the original link just because. Here’s a new one.
Here’s the video Google released for its new project:
And here’s a longer write-up from pocket-link.com.
Now, obviously I’m aware that whatever the end product is going to be, it’s not going to be this fluid, this fast, or this easy to navigate. At least, the first few iterations of it won’t be. But, it’s this kind of forward thinking technology is one of the only things I can really get excited about. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted Terminator vision. Or Predator vision.* This is step one to that process. It’s the next step in transhumanism, and all of the potential negative side effects imagined and unimagined at this moment cannot put a damper on how incredible it is for me to even think I will see this in my lifetime, let alone in just a few years (Ha!).
The future of humanity is directly tied to our technological progress. If we’re once again plunged into the dark ages, it will be because we could not control it. I we find ourselves walking on other planets in other solar systems, it’s because we have mastered it.
*Now that I think about that, how great would a Predator vs. Terminator series be? In principle, I mean, of course. If anyone ever wrote that it would be terrible. I haven’t heard much speculation in this area (though I’m SURE a simple google search would return thousands of discussions on it), and I think it’s because Schwarzenegger was in both films. It would be a weird universe to step into because we’ve already seen Arnold vs. Predator. But in the abstract, I’d love to see it, and I’m taking the Predator.
And of course, as a wet blanket, here’s what it’s probably REALLY going to look like.
“Entering the third week of wall-to-wall Trayvon Martin coverage, the narrative has emerged that there is a left vs. right dynamic to the way this story has been covered. Indeed, I have traced the way some online conservatives (particularly The Daily Caller) have turned against Trayvon Martin, in my view as an expression of their hatred of President Obama. But is this really a left versus right thing? I looked at the Trayvon Martin coverage by conservative media like Fox News, The Blaze, The Bigs, and Hot Air, and found a complicated picture.”
The picture may look complicated to the writer of this article (Tommy Christopher), but if you really want to know what’s going on in this case, look into the comment sections of those five sites he lists.
It’s the most vile, racist, and disgusting stuff you’re ever going to see, and the right wing sites who host those comments turn a blind eye to it. I think Christopher does a good job in explaining how those sites (and FNC) have covered the issue, but the failure of these right wing organizations to call out their commenters for their insane racism is an important part of this equation. Those sites know they can’t call for a stop to the racism because they know that many of their readers and supporters are unabashed bigots.
“The idea of an individual mandate to control health care costs, however, is not new. It goes back to 1989 and a man named Mark Pauly. An expert on health care policy, Pauly was part of a group of academics brought to the White House by President George H.W. Bush.
The group’s task was to fix health care; its solution was to let the marketplace solve it and create an individual mandate. Pauly tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that, at the time, many Republicans, including the president, loved the idea.”
The article goes on to say how when it was first introduced, Democrats in Congress declared the idea DOA. So what has changed now? Only the person who put the idea forward. In this case, in an effort to prove that he was open to all kinds of solutions to the problem of health care, Obama reached out and incorporated this originally Republican idea. For Republicans, agreeing with Obama about anything is anathema to their base, so immediately they had to be against it in the same way that Democrats opposed the idea in the 90′s—it didn’t come from their team, so it had to be bad.
This is one of many problems in American politics. Politicians are more interested in playing team games than helping the American people. Governing should be very simple: either it’s a good idea or it’s not, and you vote that way. But that’s not how it works (I’m not sure it ever has), and the current behavior and hyper-partisanship of our politicians, all of them, is contributing to the divide in this country’s citizenry.
When the citizens are so divided, the majority in each area have been electing more and more heavily partisan politicians. This is true much more of Republicans than of Democrats. There are no versions of “Tea Party” candidates on the left. The Tea Party has guaranteed that in districts and states with Republican majorities, the people there are voting for more and more conservative candidates. They no longer vote for moderates, and it’s represented very well by the low opinion of and enthusiasm for a moderate like Romney (who’s trying his best to say he’s not a moderate). And when those highly conservative Republicans get into power, “compromise” becomes a dirty word. Nothing gets done. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Mike Pence all went on the record in 2010 to declare that there would be “no compromise” with the President, and they’ve stuck to their word.
The result? Gridlock and partisan demagoguery that sees senators voluntarily leaving their jobs because the environment has become so hostile (see: Olympia Snowe and Evan Bayh). The loser? As always, the American poor.