Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, God! Book III

Some would say that God is clearly punishing Georgia with floods of Biblical proportion. The question, I guess, is why? When presuming to know the mind of God, it’s important to get your facts straight, otherwise you might, for example, jump to the conclusion that God hates fags.

We now know this to be false. God doesn’t hate gay people. He hates people who hate gay people. Actually, God might be a total fag hag, although the evidence on this is not yet in. We’ll have to see what kind of weather He dishes up for Maine this winter.

Personally, I don’t think Georgia is being punished. That would be cruel. I think what’s happening is that Georgia is experiencing what President Obama would call a “teachable moment,” and no, I’m not talking about its 2004 referendum to bring back the Confederate flag.

That Georgia’s two Republican senators are opposing health care reform is not a stunning revelation to anyone, even to those north of the Mason-Dixon. However, a few people on both sides were perhaps mildly surprised when Senator Saxby Chambliss warned Obama that he should address the joint session of Congress “with humility,” even though, according to Chambliss, “that’s not his inclination.”

Uppity negro-esque comments aside, or, on second thought, perhaps not aside, Georgians seem to like Chambliss, and his chances of reelection are good. He’s a tough campaigner! What other candidate with a deferment from serving in Vietnam would dare to compare his rival, a wounded Vietnam vet - a triple amputee, no less – to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in a campaign ad? That takes balls, my friends, and Saxby Chambliss has them in no short supply.

You know what else takes balls? Joining the other Republican Senator from Georgia to vociferously oppose Obama’s stimulus plan, then arranging for a healthy portion of the funds to go to your own constituents.

To say nothing of the two senators’ recent pleas to our president to declare Georgia a federal disaster area, thus enabling the state to access federal funds and resources for rescue and clean-up.

Of course I would never, ever, deny my brothers and sisters in the great state of Georgia any help that they needed. We are, after all, one nation, and we fought hard to keep it that way. At least, my side did.

What I would suggest to Georgia, is that when they watch the news, and they see the victims of the floods of their state being sheltered & comforted with my tax dollars, that they stop and consider that we are all in this together, and that doesn’t mean that we’re socialists. And if they were fortunate enough to have purchased the flood insurance available to them that is subsidized with my tax dollars, then maybe they should also consider that what we do for property, we should do for people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just one more little story for 9/11

Several days after 9/11, my then-husband and I ordered dinner from our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. When the delivery guy pulled into our driveway, I saw that it was the same guy as always, the one who loved our little mutt, Comet, so much that he could barely tear himself away from her after his business had been concluded. So I opened the front door to let her run to him, as usual, and he knelt down to pet her and rub her ears, as usual. A moment later, he looked up, and I saw tears running down his face. I was confused, and he turned back and gestured to a sign that my husband had hand-lettered and stuck in the ground in our front yard.

The sign said "Justice, not war."

"Thank you for that," he said. "Thank you." He wiped his tears with the back of his hand and walked toward me, handing me our order. "It has been so hard. We get calls all day long. Threatening calls. And my cousin...someone threw a rock through his window."

"That's terrible," I said. "That's shocking," I said, though I did not really think it was shocking.

"We are Lebanese," he continued. "We are Christians. We are not Muslims."

"It shouldn't matter," I countered, softy. He looked at me, and I shrugged.

"You are good people," he said finally.

"So are you."

After I paid him and he drove away, it occurred to me, I mean I think it really hit me hard for the first time that a tremendous price was about to be paid for what had just happened, and it was going to be paid by all the wrong people.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Take your stinking paws off me

Does anyone remember the old short story, “The Monkey’s Paw,” in which the holder of a magical talisman is granted three wishes, but because of a curse from a dead Indian fakir, the wishes are granted in the worst possible way?*

For example, in the story, the couple who held the monkey’s paw wished for two hundred pounds, and they received it – but as compensation for the death of their son who was horribly mangled at work in an industrial accident immediately after the wish was made.

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but since November 4, 2008, I have been living the curse of the monkey’s paw.

First of all, I wished for a fairly elected president, the first fairly elected president in eight years, if you ask me. And we got one. Oh, we got one, all right. The only problem is that, during the W years, people who spoke of Bush’s illegitimacy were told that they were “Sore Loserman,” and to get over it and move on. Yes, we were told by the media that it didn’t matter who really got the most votes or what either side did and whether it was legal, because the Supreme Court had crowned Prince Bush and why the fuck are you nitpicky Democrats still harping on this anyways? But now, now, NOW those same Republicans are entertaining/agreeing with/refusing to denounce loonies who have taken the most enraged and unhinged ramblings ever made against W as some kind of motherfucking dare. It’s as if they took the craziest theories the left had to offer, and multiplied them by an order of magnitude and spewed out this fucking batshit crazy bitch:

This crazy-ass bitch is interviewed on television news shows, people. And every couple of months, she reaches into her big quilted bag of insanity and pulls out another fucking document that some ignorant hillbilly who didn’t bother to look up what fucking country Mombasa was in, in 1961 created at his local combination Kinkos/Pizza Hut/Militia Supply Superstore and starts waving it around like it’s some kind of lost version of the Constitution in which our forefathers finally had the foresight to include “Oh, and by the way, no negroes allowed.”

Which brings me to my next wish, which was for the citizens of this country to finally break the monopoly that old white dudes have had on the highest office in the land.

That one was granted as well, but it wasn’t long before the cruel twist of its granting was revealed: The man who broke the monopoly, a half white, half African man who grew up in a white family in America and married into an African-American family, is destined to spend his time in office answering to repeated charges that he is a racist. (Racist against white people, that is, just in case the diversity of his background might lead you to become confused about which part of his family he hates.)

And not only is the man who broke the color barrier accused, time and time again, of racial prejudice, but so is his wife. And his church. And his friends. And his appointees.

Readers, let us ponder for a moment. Let us ponder all the doughy old patriarchal windbags we have elected in the last century, and all the incredible good-ole-boy white power shit that has gone down in the Oval Office and its environs. I mean, wow. Remember Reagan’s support of apartheid? And all that coded “states’ rights” crap? Remember W courting Bob Jones University? And when his dad called his half-Latino grandchildren “the little brown ones”? Or, for that matter, when his mother said that Katrina victims living in the Astrodome were lucky to have the upgrade from their regular living conditions, and that it was “scary” that they might all stay in Texas? On the other side of the aisle, Truman never met a racial epithet he didn’t like. And Nixon…well…I mean, come on. He was Nixon. He didn’t invent white male Christian paranoia, but he pretty much perfected it. And yet, where were the cries of racism then? Where was the endless media examination? Considering the shit that these guys pulled, you’d think there’d be a little more serious public dialogue on the question of their racial attitudes. Or, in fact, any. But no.

When you think about it, it’s quite a feat that the first black president would be the one whose administration ends up being perceived by many as one peopled almost entirely by racists. It’s such an incredible feat of balls-out stupefying chutzpah that it could only be the work of the curse.

My third wish, if you haven’t figured it out already, was for health care reform. And, true to the nature of my little simian talisman, our president’s efforts to save the lives of Americans have been significantly stymied by charges that – natch – he is trying to kill Americans. Another goal of the reform is to decrease a rapidly expanding deficit, fueled by the cost of health care and health insurance. Of course, the effort to squash health care reform also charges – say it with me – that reform will only expand the deficit. And in the end, it matters not that our president is trying to save government-run health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, because those who shout him down are convinced that he is trying to destroy government-run health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, while also simultaneously never realizing that Medicare and Medicaid are government-run.

Whew! Readers, I don’t think I can take another 3 and a half years of this.

But the good news is that I am now out of wishes and the monkey’s paw can no longer wield its awful power. I only hope that the next person who gets a hold of it is not a Democrat. Otherwise Rush Limbaugh will indeed be found murdered – but Al Franken will be arrested for the crime.

*Yes, it was also made into a “Simpsons” episode, okay? In case you haven’t noticed yet, everything has been made into a “Simpsons” episode.