The continuation of Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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Name: Ed Waldo
Location: of The West,

I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Niggers of Nebraska

Today's text comes to us from the Beatrice (bee-AAA*-trus, *a as in 'cat') Nebraska Daily Sun:

State News from AP

Student paper's use of epithet sets off uproar
Saturday, April 14, 2007 8:50 PM CDT

OMAHA, Neb. - Omaha school district administrators have suspended the principal of a high school whose student newspaper carried a four-page section discussing use of a volatile racial epithet.

The front page of the Benson Gazette's 12-page edition Tuesday included a letter warning readers about the some of the words inside.

"We use language that may make people uncomfortable, but we feel that the use of language is justified in our mission to inform our readers of issues important to them," said editor-in-chief Sarah Swift.

The section began on Page 9, under the heading: "The N-Word."

The full word "nigger" was used throughout the pages as students talked about why they used the word, some derivatives including "nigga" and the unwritten rules about who can use the words and when--if ever.

There. It's been said.

Of course, the story's from the Nebraska AP office near the state capitol building in Lincoln, but pretend for a moment that you're a Beatrician, picking up your Saturday copy of the DAILY SUN. (Full disclosure, my aunt's children all went to Benson High, and I spent many a summer night on the grounds, since it was only about four blocks from my aunt's house. Then, Benson was a pretty lily-white kind of high school: The Benson Bunnies; school colors, green and white.)

We have descended into madness. The point of our analysis should not be IF we have -- for clearly, the rhetorical gyro has spun off its guideposts -- but, rather, WHY we have gone mad.

I have been listening (involuntarily, for my 99-year-old father-in-law watches CNN a LOT, with the volume jacked up to 11 or so -- I am ofttimes doomed to Wolf Blitzer, whether I like it or not) to Wolf Blitzer, carrying on a debate about whether Don Imus saying "nappy headed ho's" is different from rappers saying it.

And the fellow from the Society of Black Journalists, and the young woman from what sounds like the Moral Righteous High Dudgeon Indignation Society agree that it isn't.

But they won't say it's because Imus is a "White Man."

Any more than we can say the word that's been lurking at the edges of the whole dialog, the word that seems to have finally oozed around the edges of the media blackout in Beatrice, Nebraska. You know, the "N-Word." (To which we shall not, herein, add the "I-Word" as in "imbeciles.")

Yesterday, Thom Hartmann -- an author and radio host whose ideas I usually respect -- was carrying on a long discussion of recently introduced "hate crimes" legislation, and the repeated unselfconscious phrase that kept hitting me was that the laws were for "members of a protected class."

"Class." Protected? (Wasn't this supposed to be a "classless" society, to the point that the Constitution even states: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State. - Article I, Section 9.)

Somehow, people's past asininities towards other people (and believe me, the majority ALWAYS oppresses the minority, across all lines of race, creed, religion, geography or melanin. Maybe the bonobo apes can get over it, but homo sapiens evidently can't) have created the need for a sort of "endangered species" approach to questions of "minority."

Which brings us, again, to WHY we have descended into madness. We see the odd echo of that echo in the Beatrice newspaper's use of the taboo word, morally aiding and abetting the AP office in Lincoln's brave decision to actually put out the WORD that's the cause of a high school principal's suspension -- BECAUSE SHE/HE allowed the school newspaper to DISCUSS a controversy.

Let's face it. There are any number of things that virtually everyone in the media know about discussing the "nappy headed hos" remark. First, that no longer may the actual phrase be used, but, rather, the shorthand "racial slur" must be used, having morphed from "racially insensitive remarks," et al.

Beware of the "characterization" of the phrase, rather than the actual event. That was what morphed a vile invasion of Bill Clinton's sex life into "PERJURY" and "THE RULE OF LAW." (phrases, I might note, that, like the Wolf Blitzer panel blandly agreed, apply only to some classes and not to others, e.g. Black persons and Republicans can say "Nigger" and "Rule of Law" respectively, but no one else, evidently, can). The lame joke (which ignited a media shit storm EXACTLY as over-the-top as the quick destruction of John Kerry's presidential campaign for an ambiguous joke did only a couple months back ... hmmm) has been elevated to the same level as Michael Richards' screeching of "NIGGERS!" at a comedy club in Los Angeles, recorded by a cel phone.

How did we get so far from the concept of equality, which is so simple that any five year old can comprehend it, but which no law professor or teevee pundit can:

No cuts in line.

That's it. Equality means "no cuts in line."

Not because you're in a wheelchair. Not because your great-great-great grandfather's village was on the wrong end of an African war, and was cheerfully sold to White Traders by Arab merchandisers. Not because your daddy endowed the gymnasium or your uncle Vito will break the doorman's legs.

It means "no cuts in line."

And whether you actually have a conscience or not, it's a pretty sane philosophy. It produces meritocracy, and great rises are possible, that raise EVERYone's lot in life.

Don't believe me? Just be homeless in America for awhile. You may be homeless, pal, but homeless here is wealthy anywhere else. There's so much great stuff being thrown away that food, tobacco, clothing, etc. never need be a problem -- as long as you're careful.

This is fundamentally different from being homeless in, say, Darfur. Or in Kosovo. Or in Dubai.

OK: we originally agreed to "no cuts in line" but we had all these exceptions. It didn't apply to women. It only applied to men above a certain age with property. It only applied to "White" men above a certain age (as long as by "White" it wasn't meant "Irish.") Etcetera.

We all know the long story.

Anyway, we've now spent a long week playing the social guilts game, and I have a feeling that the whole reason for the madness about "nigger" is that it's become taboo.

And taboo inevitably inflames the rebellious portion of human nature.

Let's put it this way: once upon a time, I was walking along the Santa Fe River, and I saw two boys in the arroyo (for the Santa Fe River is "seasonal" and the river was dry that day) throwing rocks at a bunch of beer bottles they'd found.

And it suddenly hit me that there would NEVER be a time when idiots wouldn't just throw away bottles (which is how, I presumed, two 'ethnically diverse' ten-year-olds obtained so many beer bottles) and there would never be a time that ten-year-old boys wouldn't break those bottles with rocks in the arroyo.

Yeah, the broken glass could hurt someone. Yeah, it was littering. And yeah, I suddenly felt anger at these two young miscreants.

But then, I remembered that there had been a time that I too had broken bottles in the arroyo.

And I realized that I would just have to not only pick up my own trash, but a little of my brother's as well, if this thing was going to work out.

And so, too, people will always say "nigger," even more so if you make it taboo. But the original point was 'no cuts in line,' NOT 'nobody can ever break bottles in the arroyo' and one wonders how the gyroscope spun so far off its axis. We embraced the stick to the exclusion of the carrot. That's part of it.

The paranoid might feel that it's the classic tactic of the upper classes to keep the more populous lower classes at bay: divide and conquer. Separate through hatred. Foment rage of one group at another.

Well, fuck it. Equality also means calling a spade a spade. Blacks, whites, women, men: the same acts should bring the same consequences, or else this whole notion of 'equality' is a joke, and what we're really talking about is changing the rules so that the right people get the cuts in line.

And that's what the unspoken anger in America is about.

I have been listening to Jackie Guerrrrrrrrrrrrrra, the obnoxious host of "Workin It" -- an AirAmerica show evidently touting the Union line -- and she and her co-host are making fun of Newt Gingrich's Spanish apology in a way that sounds uncomfortably racist, and I despise the nasty little prick. (Gingrich, I mean. I merely find Guerrrrrra to be fingernails on a blackboard).

And I think, no, what she's saying and doing it every bit as obnoxious as the self-righteous folks on Wolf Blitzer explaining why taboos only apply to non-members of "protected classes." And I wonder how Thom Hartmann can reconcile the term "protected classes" with "equality"?

I will offer my humble theory as to WHY we've descended into madness: we became so trapped in minting a "language of equality" that we forgot about trying to implement equality. As Wittgenstein pointed out, you can't get the right answers until you ask the right questions. (Of course, he maintained that you can't ask the right questions, either, thus preparing the way for Camus, but that's a different story).

We have stopped asking the right questions and are now mired in a swamp of all the wrong questions.

WHY are we still screaming about Don Imus' relatively innocuous comment in the wee hours of the morning?

(I'll tell you why: 24/7 news and the blogosphere).

Because we INSIST on only seeing humans as what we want them to be, and never as they actually are. People will say "nigger," no matter what you do or say. And people will make fun of the characteristics of others, with the intent to hurt, whether it's racist or sexist or not. If Imus had made fun of those basketball players for being tall, would that have been any less mean-spirited? No, but without a language for it, it would have passed unnoticed.

We are posturing, debating, or, as in the case of Brian Shaw, DESPERATELY hiding our collective head in the sands of ignorance.

Which is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Of course the principal did the principled thing, and "taught" the students what it means to look a controversy square in the eye, and debate it in a meaningful (and sometimes wrongheaded) manner. That is SUPPOSED to be what this is all about.

Swift, the top editor, disagreed.

"Why would we have newspapers at all? It may make people uncomfortable, but you can't talk about things that people are always OK with. We can't just ignore the bad things and hope they go away."

She said the section was inspired by a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech at the school.

The Rev. Darryl Eure of Freestone Baptist Church in Omaha "made a call to action," Swift said. "He said 'We can't use this word.' "

Benson's racial makeup for the 2006-07 school year: about 46 percent black, 41 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic and less than 2 percent each Asian-American and American Indian. [ibid.]

Instead, the principal is in trouble for not going along to get along -- you know, like every talking head in America today.

How dare they not censor that newspaper?


Friday, April 13, 2007

The Son of the Return of the Radio Blog

I can not be expected to read minds. But, radio dickweed Brian Shaw wrote me the following yesterday:

Can I bank the farm on a piece from you? I ask only so that I might beg off making any more scheduling phone calls.
Then, El Dickweed let me spend a couple hours putting together today's piece. I emailed him the .mp3 file on Apr 12, 2007 at 2:34 PM. In the wee hours of the morning, he emailed me this on April 13 at 4:49 AM:

The file inspires this technical report from my computer, “Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.” If your (sic) up and able, perhaps you can send another version.
I sent precisely the same file I'd sent the first time, which inspired this at 5:05 AM:

It worked. Thanks.
And then, a few minutes later, this:

Problem – I'm not playing it. I don't have time to get into it until after the show, but I hate hearing the Imus quote over again. Even though I have the same impulse as you to remind the volk that there's similarly offensive, even dangerous chatter popping out of the chattering class all over the place.
And he led off the 6AM hour with a long, clueless talk about the Imus thing, and why he didn't want to talk about it, even though he tried to play the Limbaugh "magic" quote (which he was not technically ept enough to play). And then he led off the 8AM hour with another long rant about how he didn't want to talk about what he was talking about, which was why he was spending so long talking about it, because he didn't want to talk about it.

Don't ask me—I never took any abnormal psych classes in college.

BUT ... you only get to piss on me once, dude. Anyway, here's the mashup on the story that CANNOT be talked about.

But how come I was expected to know that he had a bug up his ass about a legitimate news story? I can not be expected to read minds.

Funny, I'm censored and kicked off the air over Don Imus' being kicked off the air. That's a REAL Friday the Thirteenth kind of experience: Psycho.

Today's Radio Mash
Right click and "save as"

1.4 megs, 2:57, FM quality stereo .mp3. Originally titled—with unintended irony—"Tolerance." As usual, there are no easy answers, and you will have to think for yourself. (This was too difficult for Brian Shaw, Dickless Wonder of "progressive" radio.) So be warned: Every sound bite here has played on the public airwaves in the past month, if not the last week!

The late Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut had a hilarious term for people who behaved like Mr. Shaw did today. That term was, I recall quite clearly, "asshole."

Thus endeth the Return of the Radio Blog.


[PS: The statement: "I don't have time to get into it until after the show"? Never heard another word. Perhaps because my reply to the censorship post was "Seig heil."]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hi Ho

Every writer in the world will be writing about the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, and rightly so.

And, most of them will be more accomplished, better informed, and more interesting than I, so I can only tell the part of the Vonnegut story that no one else has. It isn't much, but when I assay the literary and critical firepower arrayed in its full majesty to praise AND bury the Renowned Hoosier, I had better just tuck tail and run. So here's my penny into the Wishing (him) Well.

Kilgore Trout, as some might remember, was Vonnegut's science fiction author character, whose work languished in the pages of "beaver magazines" because no one else would publish it—a literary fate I comprehend all too well.

But most people don't know that Trout (played by Albert Finney in the mediocre movie Breakfast of Champions) was actually based on a neighbor of Vonnegut's on Cape Cod, when he was supporting himself by selling Saabs and writing the stories he'd collect in Canary In A Cathouse. (My friend Mac has a very interesting story about that book.)

Anyway, Vonnegut's neighbor was a famous science fiction author whose writing, all agreed, was stellar (pun probably intended), but whose outlets were, by the nature of the genre, severly circumscribed. I'm euphemizing: he was in the "ghetto" -- as he wrote, privately.

Vonnegut was personally acutely aware of this syndrome. He wrote:

"I have been a sore-headed occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' … and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a tall white fixture in a comfort station," he wrote in an essay printed in the New York Times Book Review in 1965. (from the LA TIMES piece by Elaine Woo)

And so, he eventually admitted that he had based Kilgore Trout on Theodore Sturgeon, his Cape Cod neighbor. I was aware of this, via his widow, whom I know as a close personal friend. And, I realized a few years ago—as Paul Williams was putting together the Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon—that the connection had better be made soon, and officially, or would be forever lost.

I made sure that the word got back to Mr. Williams (through back channels) when Vonnegut announced that Timequake would be his last novel in 1997. Evidently the advice was heeded, or else Williams had the same thought: The introduction toThe Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume VII, A Saucer of Lonliness, in 2000, was by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. And it formalized the Sturgeon/Trout connection.

Maybe I had something to do with it. Maybe not. But it was there, and that was all that counted.

And that's really all I've got.

My main memories of Vonnegut are that he was one of the influential writers on me when I was deciding to "become a writer," circa 1975, and that I read Cats Cradle cover to cover in a motel one night in Gothenburg, Nebraska, while my first wife and I waited for the mechanic—that we'd managed to magically coast into off of I-80—to replace the clutch on our 1964 Ford Econoline Van with the persistent valve lifter clatter.

When I got back to college the following week, I put "Bokononist" in the blank for "religion" at TCU, but it was officially listed as "Unknown."

And that's all I've really got. Except ...

There are a few, of whom, when they pass, it might be said that the world is perceptably dimmer. A light has left it. It was like that when Sturgeon died. It is like that now that Vonnegut has died.

And, in what is sure to be the most used, most mangled cliché, I will dutifully repeat that phrase that Vonnegut claims is the traditional statement of Tralfamadorans when someone dies.

And so it goes.


The Real Race Issue

A third day of screaming, pooh-poohing, crying, crocodile tears and generalized madness.

Greetings. You have reached New York's Media. All lines are busy. Please try your call again later.

So, meantime, I had a chance to check out a high school senior that some friends of mine in Georgia are very high on. He is graduating, and is up for all sorts of honors, and got himself a military acadamy appointment. Well, since there was really nothing to do— except stuff one's ears with cotton—I checked out the web pages they were touting.

A "Christian" school. A Methodist school. Founded in 1963. They wear school uniforms. They eat, breathe, sleep and crap Jesus. They sign Jesus pledges to play sports. They win state championships. They are renting the ESPN Sports Zone for after the senior prom, because it's "Owned by Disney," and chartering buses, because Georgia state law makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to drive from 12AM to 6AM.

Unlimited pitchers of "soda." Arcade games. Karaoke.

(In other words, they're taking the prom kids to Chuck E. Cheese.)

And for a mere $1900, you can go on the "Mission" to the Amazon in Brazil this summer. He's signed up. He raised $52 in the "mission" bake sale, according to the school blog. A very "resort" ish school, I might add. Right now, it has 603 alumni. When his class graduates, it will rise to over 700.

And there are only four black faces in all the photos I saw. A black girls' basketball center, a black female clarinetist, and a black running back. There is one black teacher, a woman.

And I remember that schools in the South are more segregated now than they were at the time of "Brown v. Board of Education" in 1954.

And I think of how important it is that everyone is screaming about Don Imus' "nappy headed 'ho's" and that we all keep quiet -- as I politely will have to, to spare the delicate sensibilities of my Southern Friends -- about why their "special boy" has spent his entire school career in a segregated Christian school in the South, and how the agenda of "school choice" is being pushed to further institutionalize this crypto-racism.

Absolutely. Let's all scream about Don Imus and Michael Richards.

Hell, I doubt that, choked in a pile of steaming Jesus, they even notice that the school was founded a mere 8 years after Brown v. Board of Education.

Or ever question WHY.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Turn My Face From The East

Irregular readers of this little blog might not know that a big part of what this is all about is MEDIA. I've been in and around it at all levels ever since I walked that hand-written letter over to TCU'S DAILY SKIFF office and shoved the envelope under the door, after hours.

I cover it because no one else seems to, and because the media are even MORE hypnotized by the media than those hypnotized by the media are -- which is to say, everybody else. Now, let's dip into the fever dream and I'll tell you the source of the infection.

Imus again. All bloody day long, from the 5 AM CNN radio news to the 10 PM Daily Show and again on the Colbert Report. Literally dawn to dusk, after starting with Bill Press out of Washington, D.C. at 4 AM PDT.

On Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller. On ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the rest.

The feeding frenzy became truly astonishing in its entirety, and I still couldn't figure out WHY this was news.

The Women's Basketball Team of Rutgers gave a midday press conference, attended by all media, and some even broke into coverage, like this was a bombing at an Iraqi market. Or the downing of a US helicopter in Afghanistan. Or an attack on a Nuclear carrier in the Persian Gulf.

One half expected Faux Nooz and CNN to mint logos and license theme music: IMUS - THE APOLOGY,


Either I've been sneakily dosed with LSD by the CIA or by Owsley himself, or else something DAMNED, well, WEIRD is going on.

And then it hits me.

New York.

Do you remember 9/11? Do you recall that the 'round the clock self-absorbed pity-party centered on New York City to the exclusion of all else? That the bombing of the Pentagon -- by running an AIRPLANE into it, too -- vanished in the obsessional self-absorption of the Big Apple Media?

That's right: For many years, New York has been the (self) center of US media, and it concentrates news and commentary back in on itself in a manner that is ... well, you be the judge.

Don Imus has been a radio mainstay of New York City for years -- long before national syndication, and certainly before MSNBC (that most watched of cable channels at that peak viewership moment here in the West of 4 AM) commanded the Television Ratings of a lonely nation.

And at last I understand: The conversation is by New Yorkers to New Yorkers about New Yorkers discussing New York culture, and I've felt all day like I used to feel as a kid in Laramie, Wyoming when TV actors would break into Yiddish.


Not only don't I know, but couldn't possibly be expected TO know. How would a cub scout in Laramie know the Yiddish slang of the Vaudeville stage? How can I, a Westerner, be expected to care about those arrogant (albeit innocently) New Yorkers?

But it is not so innocent, after all:

THAT is the mentality that sent undercover NYPD officers to infiltrate groups in MY state, and, doubtless in MY town, prior to the 2004 GOP convention in New York City -- as reported by the New York TIMES on March 25th.

[NOTE: You, who have read the story already might not have seen this correction appended to the pay-for-play archived article:

Correction: March 26, 2007, Monday A picture caption yesterday with the continuation of a front-page article about broad spying by the New York City police on people expected to protest in the city during the 2004 Republican National Convention referred incorrectly in some copies to the disposition of the property of one protester, Joshua Kinberg, who devised a bicycle equipped with cellphone, laptop and tubes that could spray the ground with messages in chalk. The spraying apparatus -- not the bicycle -- was held for more than a year before being returned; Mr. Kinberg says the authorities have still not returned his bicycle.]
And it's also why, not coincidentally, the reaction TO that story has been almost non-existent in the "national" media.

And that's when we've crossed the line from a weird aberration -- that all national news is filtered through the lens of 8th and Lexington, say, in Manhattan, instead of St. Louis, Fort Worth, Omaha, Kansas City, Boulder, Santa Fe, Hollywood, Cheyenne, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Memphis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburg, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Newport, Newport News, Manchester, Pierre, Boise, Seattle ... you get the idea.

WE have our reality, too, and this idea that we're all satellites of New York City USED to be queer but tolerable. Now, it's damned dangerous.

How DARE they send their Gestapo to my town?

This is our "national" media having a tiff over their Manhattan bubble.

Ask yourself this: If those planes had flown into the Sears Tower in Chicago and killed 10,000 people, would it have been such a big deal? Or, if the Oklahoma City bombing had happened in Manhattan, don't you think it would have been MUCH bigger than it was? We'd have had a thousand Day Care Workers and FBI agents in Madison Square Garden. They'd have memorialized it during half time of the Super Bowl.

There is a dangerous concentration of the media in this country when what is, in essence, a Manhattan controversy involving a well-known Manhattan radio personality reverberates all over Turtle Island, itself, and is broadcast 'round the world -- in a strange sort of media colonialization. I haven't checked, but I wouldn't doubt that the Chinese English Language News Service, and the Australian newspapers are carrying the story.

The danger is the lack of proportionality. The idea that Don Imus' language is the MOST important story in the land is absurd and offensive -- language so horrificially offensive, I might note, that virtually every nose-wrinkling New York (City) talking head was able to repeat the "controversial" remarks verbatim with no fears of bleeping or FCC smackdown.

It's as if we were those boys, men, husbands and boyfriends who had been taken to the women's underwear section of the store, while our wife/girlfriend/mom/aunt tried on whatevers and we non-New Yorkers have to stand uncomfortably, NOT shopping in a part of the store that we have no personal stake in.

The traditional response is, note, to look at one's watch, look sheepishly and say, "I'm waiting for my wife." I don't know what the media equivalent would be.

Er ... we're waiting for New York to finish it's seizure. Fulmination, spastic fit, foaming at the mouth, howling at the moon, whatever.

Maybe when they get over whatever it is that New York City is wrestling with, they'll be good enough to go back to telling us what's happening in the rest of the world.

You know, like the other big story that broke today: The other guy in the paternity suit turns out to be the father of dead Anna Nicole Smith's new kid. And they can send more New York City Police Department undercover officers far and wide to see if there are any threats to New York City. Maybe they'll even send some here.

On second thought, I think I'll just go back to the "CIA dosed me with LSD" theory. It seems a more likely explanation. Occam's Razor and all that.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Imus In The Boring

Well, sooner or later, it had to happen: the imbeciles who dither for a living noticed that Don Imus has a gutter mouth.

Frankly, I'm sick to death of it. Not merely because it's completely disproportionate, but because we've managed to take the "Free Speech" movement of the 'Sixties and turn it into a bizarre joke that makes our children sneer and giggle at us.

P.C. and Tokenism are dead, kids. Face facts. The meaning leeched out long ago, and now they're just accessories in the Politics of Personal Destruction Toolkit. (tm)

When the most vicious, anti-human group of "Republicans" ever seen this side of a lynching in Alabama manage to hypnotize a moron-suffused national media with tokens like Condi Rice, Alberto Gonzales and, yes, Colin Powell, one can only shake one's head in disgust.

Don't we "get" that they have ZERO interest in the human rights, equality and meritocracy that their token minstrel show is allegedly broadcasting as a metamessage?

Come on. Are you stupid?

So, too, when a PC firestorm erupts, like a drunken Mel Gibson maundering on about Jews, or Michael Richards calling his black hecklers 'niggers,' (and no, not the "N-word." Jesus. Are we three years old, here?) one has to ask: what the hell was the point of Lenny Bruce dying for your sins? What was the purpose of "expanding" the language? So that we could listen to fart jokes on TV?

Bravo. (Insert the sound of a sarcastic single clapping in a very large and empty gymnasium or auditorium.)

And doesn't it ever occur to anyone that this brouhaha over nothing neatly whitewashes far uglier crimes of privilege and prejudice?

Yes, Imus is an offensive asshole. All you have to do is listen to the pompous prick sometime. But The Usual Suspects are out in force because he called the losing team in the women's NCAA basketball championships "nappy headed 'hos."

And not ONE of the assholes even manages to figure out what's ACTUALLY offensive about the comment. I'll tell you: It is utterly beyond the pale to make fun of the vanquished, to denigrate, belittle or otherwise stomp on someone who's made it to the championship level, only to lose to a slightly better team. Fine, it wasn't their night. That's one of the tough lessons that we all learn in life.

But sportsmanship is important too. In fact, it's one of the building blocks of civil society. But in THIS "civil society" we are, instead, obsessed with Don Imus' theft of derogatory language from Black culture, and how "racist," it is. NOW has jumped into the fray, as well, upset that a Man has denigrated Women.

OK. Do ANY of you assholes ever listen to the 24/7 hate radio that wafts across our airwaves? The Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys, the Michael Savages?

On ANY given day, Michael Savage dishes out more hate-filled derogation than Imus, Richards and Gibson could manage in a year. Put together.

So WHAT the hell are we defending?

The only issue here that OUGHT to be under discussion is the increasing coarseness of a society whose basic rules of fairness are under unrelenting attack, not what classification has derogated which classification using which slang argot.

[Parenthetical: How incredibly unimaginative are non-Blacks in America that we collectively steal their every subcultural fad, music and/or slang term? And why do they never make any money off the deal? Why is "Black Street Culture" the vehicle that buys Rolls Royces but rarely for Black street persons? Hmmm.]

So, Don Imus tried to talk Black, and managed to sound like an insensitive imbecile? Wake up and smell the coffee. Meantime, the minstrel show of the Maladministration continues. And the scandals disappear from the front pages, and the children die vain and pointless deaths in the streets of Baghdad, and Fallujah, and a hundred other places in a country that most of us couldn't have pointed out on a globe in 1989.

I have to think, at times, that the "gotcha" press is being manipulated with this crap as another smokescreen for yet another crime. Certainly there is no proportionality to it. We can't even get the press corps to print FACTS, but suddenly America is RIVETED on the BURNING question of whether Don Imus should be FIRED!?

Of course they won't fire him. Even if they did, he'd be back after a short hiatus, like Marv Albert after his little sex-and-hooker scandal a couple years ago.

Why? Because significant numbers of the selfsame self-appointed prudish pricks LOVE the asshole and can't live without hearing him sling the auditory equivalent of feces at the high and the mighty every morning.

And today, as he cried crocodile tears ("I'm a good person," he said. He just did a baaaaaaaaad thing. Sniffle. Sniffle.) MsNBC announced that there would be a 'two week' hiatus for the early morning simulcast of his reptilian creepfest ... BUT they had to delay the "suspension" for a week because of a planned charitable fundraiser already scheduled.

So, the Bad Boy must do his Good Thing, and THEN we slap him on the wrist.


And we play this moronic race card dancing down the same road that made Clarence Thomas the cascading disaster that he is. Hell, even the Catholic Church has gotten into the act, screaming ANTI-Catholic! And the Mormon Church (the Scientology of the 19th Century) screams "Anti-Mormon!" and O'Really (sic) screams about the "War On Christmas!" and fundies scream about discrimination against Christians, and the only losers in this vast circle jerk are the gays who are still the objects of murderous hatred, and the First Amendment, still enshrined in the American mind as:

"I believe in the First Amendment, BUT ..."

Well, fuck you, children. Fuck you all. The PRICE that we pay for freedom of thought and expression is that we have to endure fart jokes on TV. That we have to endure idiot skinheads yelling "nigger!" (and that we think it's OK for blacks to yell "nigger!" with just as much hate, but it's OK because ... ). No. As that Hate Poster Child of the Mindless Right, the ACLU, still remembers, it is UNPOPULAR speech that must be protected.

And, if Don Imus is unpopular speech, kiddies, he'd have been cancelled long ago. We WANT Imus, just as we want Rush, and Savage and Medved and all the other haters, and the PeeCee Prudes, as well.

But PLEASE don't pretend that you're protecting anybody's rights by banning words and thoughts and speech. (Trust me, sending it underground in the Seventies engendered the KKK version of the GOP that we suffer under today). You cannot live in a society that savages anyone and anything with a feral glee that no prior society advanced beyond troglodyte would endure or accept and THEN turn around and say that Don Imus has gone "beyond the pale." That Mel Gibson is "beyond despicable" or that Michael Richards is a raving Klansman.

Either commit yourself to civil society and civil discourse (with the understanding that we will have to endure the rude, the crude and the hateful, rather than endure the monsters that censorship spawns) or else shut up. And get the hell off my airwaves.

If there was one thing that I've learned about censorship in the last thirty years, it's this: Censorship is ALWAYS done in the name of somebody else. It is NEVER done based on what the Censor thinks. "What if CHILDREN should hear this?"

Etcetera. You cannot maintain a society that believes in freedom of speech and constantly crucify anyone who says a naughty word. You cannot behave like the non-green monkeys in the experiment and then pretend that you're "standing up" for decency.

Imus is an idiot and I tuned his nasty form of vicious character assassination out a long time ago.

And so I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone with a clue would be shocked, SHOCKED to hear that Don Imus says really hateful, hurtful vicious things. And why there would be such a HUGE reservoir of virgin ears out there in Media Land playing "monkey-see, monkey-do" all day, trying to top one another in their condemnation of WHAT was said, without ever getting the CORE of what was said.

Had he denigrated those basketball players without referring to their gender or their race, that would be OKAY??!??

God what a damned and useless generation of vipers we are.

But at least nobody can call us "nappy headed 'hos."