Archive for August, 2010

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons…

August 31, 2010

Only thing I can say to this is, God bless America:

Antoine Dodson’s angry, head-shaking TV interview about an attempted rape against his younger sister in her bed has turned into a chart-topping iTunes song and YouTube hit and made the 24-year-old Alabama college student an Internet sensation.

Dodson plans to use the money from the “Bed Intruder Song” selling for $1.29 a download and T-shirt sales to move his family out of the Lincoln Park housing project where they say the attack happened. But in an era when a viral video clip can rocket anyone to stardom, some suggest that Dodson and his family are being used and that his online rant plays to racial stereotypes.

Wow, I for one never would have expected that. It’s only right that Antoine Dodson get the money from the song made out of his TV rant, of course, but  I don’t know if I’d agree about the “playing to racial stereotypes” thing. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves. If that was a family member of mine that had gotten raped I’d be spewing all kinds of vitriol — if, of course, said rapist managed to not die of his sucking chest and head wounds. I do hope Mr. Dodson buys himself a good-quality firearm to protect his family with, though — and stays the hell out of Chicago. (Like I told my wife one night, “I’m sure parts of Chicago are really nice. Of course, I’m sure parts of Tehran are really nice too…”)

Now that I think about it, though, isn’t it ironic that people are concerned about racial stereotypes here but (as far as I can tell) never said much of anything about another, much more direct play on a racial stereotype?

UPDATE! Thanks to Dave at Silver Creek 78250 for posting this:

It strikes me as relatively tame, at least as far as playing to any racial stereotypes. Pretty cool. I got a huge kick out of it. 😉

If I had written that book…

August 31, 2010

Blog (and Facebook) friend Mike W. made the observation that the movie based on John Grisham’s The Runaway Jury was changed; that is, they changed the company being sued from a tobacco company to a gun manufacturer. I know well that the idea for suing the latter came from the suits against the former, and from what I remember the book was full of anti-tobacco propaganda; however, I still wonder why (if indeed he did) Grisham allowed the filmmakers to make that change. If it’d been my book there wouldn’t have been enough money in the world to get me to let them do that.What an ugly change, especially after A Time to Kill. No doubt they’d have made much of the “easy availability” of full-auto M-16s…

Your bitter irony for the weekend…

August 29, 2010

…and I do mean bitter…the Rev. Al Sharpton ranting, “This is our day! This is OUR day! And we’re NOT gonna let them take that away from us!” when, if Martin Luther King Jr. were still alive, he would have wanted it to be everyone’s day, no matter his or her race, color or creed. Would that someone would have asked Sharpton the question Bill Whittle was asking five years ago:

“Have you not met and talked and laughed with people who were funny, decent, upright, honest and honorable of every shade so that the very idea of racial politics should just seem like a desperate and divisive and just plain evil tactic to hold power?”

Wow, five years on…

August 29, 2010

…and New Orleans still gets all the attention, when points to the east were devastated to much the same extent as that city was by Hurricane Katrina. Several towns along the Mississippi coast — Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, and Biloxi — were all heavily damaged. I seem to remember that Waveland, Pass Christian, and Long Beach were almost wiped off the map. But no one’s talking about the citizens of those towns and how they’re recovering. I wonder why that is. I realize more people were affected in Louisiana, but those three counties along the Mississippi coast are home to almost 400,000 people — and of course Katrina’s devastation didn’t stop at those counties’ northern boundaries. Don’t the stories of the Mississippians’ recovery deserve to be told to the nation too?

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Isn’t this a fire hazard?

August 28, 2010

The big straw man Al Sharpton sets up here, that is:

“They have a right to rally. But what they don’t have the right do is distort what Dr. King’s dream was about,” the Rev. Al Sharpton declared Friday. He called the tea party assembly an anti-government action and has organized a counter rally also near the site of King’s historic speech.

So the tea partiers are anarchists now? I don’t mean to say there’s anything particularly wrong with anarchism, but I don’t understand why Al Sharpton can’t at least tell the undistorted truth about what the tea party is about — SMALLER government, NOT no government at all — other than, of course, the fact that Sharpton is an inveterate demagogue.

Speaking of inveterate demagoguery, how about this?

“As an experienced politician, I know that things do not happen by accident. If they happen, somebody planned it. And I say that someone planned to hijack the site and the message of Martin Luther King Jr. in an effort to use it against the very principles of inclusion that we talk about in America,” said the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, who marched with King and was by his side during the speech forty-seven years ago.

“Fast forward now to August 28, 2010, and one has to admit that those who oppose our nation’s vaunted ‘universal value of inclusion’ have seized the hallowed ground of the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of that watershed moment in time to promote their universal values of exclusion,” (Fauntroy) says. “Their purpose is to turn the clock back to a time when, in America, black people and women, and native Americans and non-white immigrants had no rights to jobs and freedom that white men were ‘bound to respect.’

I don’t see how Glenn Beck’s and Sarah Palin’s smaller-government message promotes any value of exclusion. That’s quite a message Fauntroy’s promoting to American blacks, i.e., “Only a big, powerful, overreaching government can protect you.” Talk about inclusion on his part — that’s insulting to damn near everyone, no matter his or her race.

It’s insulting to blacks because it implies they can’t look out for themselves and their own best interests — it implies that they need government to do it for them.

It’s insulting to whites, Hispanics and everyone else because it carries the implication that we are as blinded by racial hatred as we were 45 years ago.

And it’s insulting to all those — black, white or whatever other color — who gave their freedoms or their lives to see to it that blacks were treated better in this country, because it implies their sacrifices were all for nothing, when an honest look at American society in 2010 clearly shows that not to be the case.

I don’t mean to say that things are quite where they should be, but I don’t think there’s any question we have come a very long way in terms of race relations in this country. We still have a way to go, but I think Dr. King would be proud, even as he saw and observed the need for more. And I honestly don’t think he would see a Leviathan federal government as the only thing ultimately standing between American blacks and firehoses, lynchings, etc. I think he might well have agreed with Thomas Jefferson that “a government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.” And I really think he would have liked what Beck and Palin were promoting because the idea of smaller government is ultimately all about personal responsibility and accountability. I mean, I’d really like to think MLK would have seen those properties as integral to the freedom he sought for blacks, because it could never be fully possessed any other way.

And, again, you will note there is not a word about King’s niece speaking at Glenn Beck’s event. You’d think any journalist truly worthy of the craft would have asked the good Reverend Fauntroy about that. I’m sure he has an opinion about it that he’d be more than willing to voice.

I say tuh-may-toe, you say tuh-mah-toe…

August 27, 2010

…or, Principled?

McCain need not muscle anyone out of the way to play the role for which he is uniquely fitted. He simply needs to set his own course and form his own ad hoc alliances, as he has always done, with a Tom Coburn on the right or a Russ Feingold on the left.
One of the conspicuous failings in the last few years has been the absence of a second party making principled decisions on when to support and when to oppose the president. McCain has the best opportunity – and the best credentials – to restore this.

One wonders, for example, what principles led John McCain (and Russ Feingold) to come up with that abomination to the Constitution known as campaign finance “reform.” You know, the “reform” McCain defended by saying, “I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government.” It’s all fine and good to be principled, but what if those principles are antithetical to those which the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend — and that millions of American soldiers have given so much to defend?

Quote of the day, banning lead ammo edition…

August 27, 2010

…from none other than Mr. David Codrea:

Let the environmentalcases run things, and before you know it they’ll be banning dihydrogen monoxide.

Yes, indeed. I don’t know why there seems to be such surprise coming from certain quarters, though, considering whom we elected. He came from Chicago, for crying out loud. Why would anyone NOT expect him and his people to get their agenda enacted by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats accountable to no one?

Of all the songs they could have played…

August 26, 2010

Sabra, Esther (my youngest stepdaughter) and I were at Armadillos for lunch earlier, with the jukebox playing. They had this cd on the jukebox, and someone played a cut from it. Of all the songs they could have played, guess which one they played? (Hint: The only damn CDB song everyone else plays.) I was more than a little nonplussed by that. I didn’t get the chance to, but I should have played “In America” or “The Legend of Wooley Swamp.” Next time I am there, I think I’ll do that…

If she only had a brain…

August 26, 2010

…or, Kathleen Parker shows her ignorance once again, as she harps on divisions that have been in the American body politic going back to colonial times. One wonders if in her next column she’ll bitch about the fact that the sun rises in the east. If Parker had half a brain and knew how to use it she’d have mentioned the fact that Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece will be speaking at the Glenn Beck rally and eschewing a competing rally by professional race-baiter Al Sharpton because she claims Sharpton is just stirring up hate and resentment. She also could have pointed out that no one race has an exclusive claim on MLK’s legacy. I guess slamming Sarah Palin was a higher priority. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected better from her, but still I do. Damn me and my standards.

I still do like this song…

August 26, 2010

…even if it’s from the album that’s regarded in some quarters as the band’s sellout album.

I’ve probably said this before, but Metallica’s self-titled black album was my introduction to that band; I really like it, but after I got the band’s earlier releases I discovered I liked Metallica as a thrash metal band a lot more than I like them as a hard rock band. (I got Load as a gift one year but I could count on one hand the times I’ve listened to it. Didn’t even bother with Reload; nothing I heard off that album appealed to me.) Anyway, I heard “The Unforgiven” making the dinner run earlier; that’s always been one of my favorite songs off that album, even if it was a ballad. I really should dig that cd out again…