Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Nasty

So that guy with the beard from that show with the ratings was interviewed by GQ (two articles, here and here), and he said some things about homosexuals that were neither shocking nor unique.

A&E, the network that hired this talking neanderthal, have now suspended him. I don't know what exactly that entails, and I don't really care. Since the news broke (the news that he had been suspended, not the news that he's a simple-minded homophobe), legions of fans of both Duck Dynasty and outspoken bigotry have been rallying around their myopic martyr. This legion apparently includes Louisiana Uncle Tom Governor Bobby Jindal.

I suppose they're angry that he's suspended from the show, perhaps for the sake of some kind of principle of theirs. Or maybe they just don't know what they're going to do with their spare time, considering the fact that lynching is illegal and NASCAR doesn't start up again until February. I know that's a crass and unoriginal comment for me to make, but fuck it, it's not like you fat frying hillbillies give a shit about that, right? Free speech!

And that's the most laughable part of all this backlash. The cries of "free speech!" are superfluous, as A&E (unless I missed some BIG news) are not the government, and the Duck dick has not in any way had his speech suppressed.

Let's pretend this were a matter of free speech, shouldn't Martin Bashir have his job handed back to him? But that's the funny thing about hypocrisy, it's only okay when the hypocrites are doing it.

The moaning and groaning around the suspension has less to do with duck hunting, free speech, or even the Bible than it does with an abject refusal to accept change and diversity. The people defending this man's words (not merely his right to say them) are afraid of the normalcy of homosexuality. They are on the wrong side of history, as they always tend to be. Any highly publicized incidence of this intellectual struggle of theirs will result, on their part, in an abundance of bitching and moaning.

The rest of us get to sit and watch as America's lowest common denominators proudly assert themselves as the voracious consumers of insipid garbage that they are. These people don't need Duck Dynasty, they need stimulation. A&E, and all other peddlers of such piss porridge will be more than happy to provide for their viewership the next big brainless distraction. All of the backlash, of course, will ring rather hollow as soon as these folks have moved on, which they will do with haste.

Monday, December 2, 2013

"It Doesn't Take a Village" And Other Moral Failings of the Wrong

Recently, I've noticed a common response on the internet to any question pertaining to the role of the government (sometimes the public school system, other times SNAP benefits) in regards to the wellbeing of children.

"It does NOT take a village, it takes a family."

This, of course, is a reaction to the proverbial idea that "it takes a village to raise a child."

I used to think this was a pretty common proverb, so much so as to the point of being cliche or platitudinous. As much as I groan in the midst of unoriginal thought and expression, some cliches and platitudes achieve that very status for a good reason.

Being the unrepentant leftist commie that I am, I usually stereotype the more conservative members of our society as speaking in cliches and platitudes. There is comfort in the moral sanctimony of repeating things that are good because other people before you said them with the same confidence, and those people were not harmed for saying such things. There is order, a veneer of meaning, and a facade of wholesomeness.

I did some light digging, figuring that's all that would be required, to get to the root of the right wing reaction against what I thought was an otherwise reasonable and common sense proverb. Here's what I've found thus far, having only barely struck the surface of the dirt wherein such thoughtlessness is sustained:

A.) It's considered an African proverb. So it's probably from Kenya. You know what that means!

B.) Hillary Rodham Clinton published a book in 1996 called It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The book, apparently, expands upon the idea of the proverb itself. As it's written by (well, credited to) a Democrat and then-First Lady, it's obviously Marxist propaganda.

C.) Communism. A village? Chipping in together as one community? How can it be anything but?

It pains me to say that today's batch of vitriol, as there was plenty enough to go around when the book was originally published, is most likely a result of option C. That's "C" for "Communism." See (different meaning, same sound), I'm teaching you how to read. Doesn't that just scream "gulag!"?

My vision of an idyllic Leave it To Beaver America is one where communities band together and help each other out, and they are especially inclined to help the weakest and most impressionable among them. Maybe you volunteer as a tee-ball coach, or a crossing guard, or perhaps you babysit, or carpool, or bring the orange slices to the soccer game, or donate toys to Toys For Tots, or are content with paying your property taxes.

But no, a struggling single mother needs help feeding her son and daughter, and it's obviously one-hundred-percent her fault. She shouldn't see a dime of a assistance. Kid can't pay for his lunch at school? Obviously they should just throw it away. Why should I have to pay a little more to help the world around me flourish? I have mine, and everyone else can slag off, right?

Wrong. We're in this together. Like it or not, here you are and so is everyone else. If you want to live in solitude, find a shack in the woods. Or an island. I know I'd prefer an island.

Even if you are going to take the utterly selfish perspective on this issue, at least consider how much better your life will be if the children around you grow into healthy, educated adults. You can't blame them for becoming desperate if you don't support them simply because, in your eyes, their parents weren't perfect. I am completely in favor of not having children, but that's what people do, because that's what people have always done. We've also always adapted. And adopted. Why let a little vowel confusion get in the way of a plug for a perfectly acceptable means of raising a child?

If nothing else, simply stating the opposite of the proverb as an argument against it is stupid and lazy. It's the "I know you are, BUT WHAT AM I?" bullshit that too many fully grown adults seem to think is a reasonable, cogent response to something they disagree with. I'd say these adults are the exception that proves the rule.