So some people organized a Facebook meme to turn people’s profile pictures purple for a day to protest the recent spate of bullying-induced gay suicides. Here’s the reaction of a school board member in Arkansas (naturally):
“Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”To repeat, this guy sits on his local school board. Wow.
(h/t Balloon Juice)
Republicans, who once decried the rise of identity politics, now practice it so relentlessly, so ruthlessly, and above all so successfully that they’ve created a beleaguered minority where only a cosseted majority stood before. It is a kind of super minority, its material well-being encroached upon by the swelling ranks of the shiftless poor and its spiritual well-being encroached upon by shadowy “elites” whose figurehead is in the White House. And the odd hallmark of the new identity politics is that it requires a denial of identity: because of who you are, you can’t even say who you are. You can’t say you’re a Republican; you have to say what my friend says, which is that he’s “more Libertarian these days.” You can’t say that or say that you’re wealthy or, God forbid, rich; you have to say that you “do all right,” and “make good money,” but that’s only because you work hard. And you can’t ever say that you’re white, because, as my friend insists, “skin color is irrelevant. C’mon, you know me. You know I’m no racist.”
Now, my friend is right: I know who he is, and I know what he’s not. But I also know that an identity politics that requires a denial of identity also requires a response to the denial of identity — and the response is rage. Because of who they are, you can’t say who you are, and it is by this dynamic that yesterday’s Silent Majority becomes today’s Tea Party, gaudy and loud in its discontent, and that my friend becomes part of a privileged majority that perceives itself as an underprivileged minority — one of the Sore Winners.
This is what you hear again and again from the Sore Winners, whether you hear it from the professional Sore Winners or the Sore Winners who happen to be your friends: the conviction that no amount of financial success, political domination, religious hegemony or cultural is sufficient to take away the sting of being looked down upon.
It is one of the biggest dividing lines between liberals and conservatives: sensitivity. Liberals are supposed to be the sensitive ones, but even the liberals who worked themselves into a froth over George W. Bush never really cared very much about what he thought of them. But conservatives care what President Obama thinks. They care to the point of imagining what he thinks…
Worrying about what someone who doesn’t think about you thinks about you: this is the essence of Sore Winnerdom, and it is no accident that it also the essence of the Republican animus. The Republican party was small and hidebound — the party of country-club corporatists, and the range-war West — until, with the Reagan Revolution, it began grafting unto itself the legions of the disaffected: the Christianists, the Southerners, the blue-collar workers displaced by the collapse of America’s industrial base and estranged from the unions that failed them. The Tea Party, in this sense, is not a new development so much as it is part of an ongoing migration of the perpetually petulant, a political phenomenon grounded in a demographic one: the creation of a class of baby-boom retirees who have been deprived of meaningful work but given personal computers as Christmas presents. The skin on the Republican Party’s “Big Tent” is by definition thin, and under it gathers a volatile throng of people with nothing in common but the fear that outside its environs someone is laughing at them — or simply having a better time.
I’ve missed the Bad Music feature that Gherald and I started a year ago. To prompt some more fun, I give you:
P.S. Yes, this technically doesn’t qualify as “Bad Music” as we originally conceived of it because it is intentionally bad. On the other hand, suck it. :)
I have met such an interesting assortment of characters – both in terms of readers and people who eventually became contributors – and am deeply humbled (yes, for a fleeting moment in my life) by a lot of folks thinking that this teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy corner of the internet is somehow worthy of any fraction of your time and attention.
Most importantly, a huge shoutout to my two co-authors Gherald and Rupert.
In terms of length of service and breadth of posting, Gherald has earned the double-plus-good Platinum Star of Achievement and has helped to keep the provocative posts flowing during some periods when my ADD wanders me off to long bouts of video game meditation.
And the Silver Star of Achievement certainly goes, last but certainly not least, to our most recent contributor – a dashing young buck that I knew back in college and now know as Rupert Psmith – for his extremely thoughtful posts and – especially – for his help in jousting with the prolific and opinionated Gherald.
Thanks everyone! I hope I can keep it up for a great while longer. Mwah!
And then I sat next to a couple of harried-looking professional ladies on the train this evening who were reading People magazine and grumbling some unintelligible words about Lady Gaga and chastity.
Look people, it’s not that hard. “Average Americans” aren’t too “busy” to pay attention to politics, current events and international affairs – they are just too insular, lazy and apathetic to realize that most of them have willfully abdicated one of the core responsibilities inherent to being a citizen of a democracy or republic: engaging as an informed participant in said democracy or republic.
So, please, stop with the “they’re too busy” bullshit. They just gave up and get pissed when people suggest otherwise.
In a Tuesday afternoon appearance on WDEL, O’Donnell, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, answered a variety of questions from listeners as well as the host. The audio and video of interview segment was broadcast live on WDEL 1150AM and streamed on WDEL.com, the station’s website.Why do I laugh so hard? The program she was on is a conservative radio talk show!!! Hahahahahaha!
At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O’Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O’Donnell campaign.
O’Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released.
WDEL routinely posts audio and video podcasts of interview segments on WDEL.com. O’Donnell’s appearance on WDEL in September had also been recorded and posted on the web.
O’Donnell’s campaign manager, Matt Moran, called WDEL and demanded that the video be immediately turned over to the campaign and destroyed. Moran threatened to “crush WDEL” with a lawsuit if the station didn’t comply… After seeing the video the attorney for the O’Donnell campaign contacted WDEL’s counsel again to apologize for charges made by their campaign manager. The attorney agreed that there was no legal issue with the video and expressed regret for the incident.
Why was the O’Donnell campaign so freaked out, you ask? Wonkette has the scoop:
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