Monday, June 12, 2006

feigning ignorance, GOP style

Posted by Pamela Troy in General Discussion
Sat Jun 10th 2006, 03:50 PM
“You lefty crazy people run around, calling us ‘extra chromosome’ and ‘Hitlers’ and ‘Nazis’ and everything, and nobody says anything. She calls somebody a ‘harpy’ and you'd think that, you know, the whole world was on fire.”
Mary Matalin on IMUS IN THE MORNING 6/9/06

Many years ago in North Carolina a shy friend of mine who was a devout Catholic mentioned to me that he’d been invited by a university classmate to attend a Protestant, Born Again Christian church service. He was a foreign student, new to the American south, and when I told him that he would likely be targeted for conversion during the service he waved off my warning. “I told them I didn’t want any of that,” he said, “I explained that I’m happy with my religion and that I hate being the center of attention in strange situations, and my friend assured me they wouldn’t try to pressure me or anything.”

When I saw him again after that Sunday, he was visibly upset. The service had climaxed with a “call to the altar” for the “unsaved,” and he’d ended up being the only person in the church who didn’t step forward to convert. The preacher then announced that the service wouldn’t end until everybody had made that walk to the altar. My poor friend had spent two hours sitting miserably on a bench while all these lunatics – including the woman who’d invited him and assured him he wouldn’t be targeted – babbled in tongues and prayed at him.

That was bad enough, but what truly bothered him was her reaction afterwards when he confronted her. “You said you wouldn’t pressure me!” he said to her the next day.

She’d stared at him blankly, her eyes wide and innocent. “Pressure you?” she asked, her voice light with delicately feigned astonishment “We didn’t pressure you. How in the world did we pressure you?”

Today, many of us are depressingly familiar with that same empty stare. It’s become positively endemic.

“Racism?” your co-worker asked back in the 1990s, after the publication of THE BELL CURVE, “What do you mean racism? All the authors say is that black people as a group are significantly and unchangeably less intelligent that white people as a group. How is that racism?”

“Oh come on,” your friend said shortly after the 2000 election. “Disenfranchisement? Isn’t that a little strong? I mean, no legal voter was deliberately purged from the voter rolls, so how can you call it disenfranchisement?”

“Torture?” your neighbor asked four years later, his face blank, his eyes puzzled, “Since when is sleep deprivation and near drowning torture? Come on, nobody has ever claimed that’s torture!”

It does no good to cite the dictionary definition of “racism,” or “disenfranchisement,” or to quote the relevant passages from Solzhenitsyn’s chapter on torture in THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO. That empty stare is impenetrable. They’ll shrug, drop the subject and, when it comes up again, doggedly repeat their blank-faced denials.

The latest empty stare is related to Ann Coulter’s stunningly offensive comments about the 9/11 widows in her recent book in which she’s described them as “harpies,” suggested their husbands might have been trying to divorce them, and accused them of “enjoying” their husbands deaths.

Not surprisingly, many in the liberal blogosphere predicted in the wake of this that, at last, Coulter had gone too far. Surely nobody except the most rabid Freepers or ditto-heads could defend that kind of disgusting malice! “I think the tide is turning against her finally,” said John Amato on Crooks and Liars, “Might Ann Coulter have reached a tipping point?” Asked Chris Durang on the Huffington post.

It wasn’t an entirely unwarranted assumption. After all, the normally oblivious Matt Lauer had been, as Coulter complained “testy” with her on the Today show, and Tucker Carlson overtook testy and was firmly in the realm of the genuinely appalled when he interviewed her on The Situation. To Carlson’s credit, the idea of mocking the grief of a widow, saying that she enjoyed her husband’s death and he probably didn’t love her anyway apparently seems…well, just not right, somehow. ” It doesn't mean they were enjoying it. Their husband's gone, and their kids are there and geez, it's depressing,” he observed.

And, of course, there were the inevitable wishful calls to “Just Ignore Her and She’ll Go Away.” I recall hearing the same thing from liberals about Falwell back in the ‘70s and Rush Limbaugh back in the ‘80s.

Anyone who assumes that this is about nothing more than publicity for her book, or that the mainstream right has now hit its own moral nadir and will now drive her away with righteous outrage, or that if all of us liberals just pay no attention, everyone else will get embarrassed and stop listening to and reading Ann Coulter, is failing to grasp an important point. It’s not just about publicity. It’s not just about making liberals angry. And as far as mainstream conservatism is concerned, it’s certainly not in any way shape or form about Coulter’s affront to basic humanity.

It’s about multiplying those empty stares. It’s about taking American discourse into an even lower level, one in which both common sense, common decency and even the basic verities of how language works are deliberately discarded, allowing the likes of Mary Matalin and Lou Dobbs, and Sean Hannity and, a few weeks down the road, Tucker Carlson (trust me, he’ll get over it), to defend the indefensible.

Over the past twenty years it has become sadly obvious that many people are not used to connecting belief with logic or morality with human consequences. When they hear a statement they don’t examine it to see whether or not it is actually true, just, and humane. They measure, instead, how often they have encountered it on TV, in print, or on the radio.

I’m not just referring here to the frothing, semi-literate masses that get their news from right-wing talk radio or Free Republic. No, I mean college educated, articulate, professional people who were apparently taught how to form complicated, even graceful sentences, who are knowledgeable about their own field of expertise, but who, for some reason, never learned the basics of critical thinking.

Ann Coulter might be a little too manic for them, but once her message has been ingested, metabolized, and regurgitated for them in more measured tones by other more acceptable pundits, they’ll decide it’s all right after all to grossly impugn the motives and the marriages of grieving 9/11 victim survivors who oppose the Bush administration. Sure, it sounded a bit harsh when Ann first said it, but once they’ve gotten used to hearing it they’ll nod in agreement with similar statements and defend them with all the sweet stupidity of SPINAL TAP’s Nigel Tufnell repeating “This one’s eleven.”

It’s already begun. On MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, Republican Strategist Mary Matalin has gone on record endorsing what she imagines to be Coulter’s “larger point” and has pretended that it’s all about Coulter’s use of the word “harpies” to describe the four 9/11 widows rather than her obscene speculation about whether or not their marriages were happy. Rest assured, many other supposedly “reasonable” mainstream conservatives are eagerly taking that cue. We can now look forward to debates offline and on in which we’ll find ourselves reduced to diagramming the structure of Coulter’s question "And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies?” and parsing the word “divorce” while the empty stares feign incomprehension.

There’s nothing wrong with hoping that, at last, nausea has begun to set in among the Republican leadership, and Coulter will shortly be declared a pariah and deprived of the bully pulpit she’s enjoyed for far too long. But the fact is, we are rapidly reaching the point where deliberate obtuseness is the only defense that can be mustered for the policies and practices of the current administration. In the months ahead they are going to need as many of those empty stares on their side as they can gather.

And that means they may need Coulter too much to give her up just yet.

9 Comments:

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my personal experiences, most self-proclaimed Republicans think that Demoncrate = Liberal = lefty = communists. They also think Republican = patriots = Christians = family values. Their view of the world is in black and white, good guys vs bad guys. They shut their mind, and only hear things that they believe, completely ignorant and proud of it. Some of them believe that the 2nd Coming is happening very soon and do not hesitate to declare that people who are not one of them will be lefted behind.

It is pointless telling them to look at themselves in the mirror for they have no logical thinking. I think the word "moron" describes them perfectly. I do not think calling them "moron" is an insult, because it is just a matter of fact statement. The only thing that worries me is that in the current time there are a lot of "morons", and that fact speaks loudly for the future of the country.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Hello all,
Only slightly off topic, but straight to the source of the problem...

Racism is a very important part of the history of Christianity. The Genesis of these stories occurred in ancient Africa, Asia, and Judea and then moved to surrounding countries after the Roman Empire ethnically cleansed Judea of the "Tribe of Judah." In the subsequent century, Rome assumed control of Christianity and it then became based on European characters with European names and faces.

It is undeniable that the European names and faces of the New Testament and Christianity cannot possibly be the truth. They were interpolated into the so-called Gospels by Roman leadership. It is important to remember that ancient Judeans were dark-skinned, as were the Gnostic Coptics (Egyptians) and the Ethiopians. None of these people would have had names like Mark, Peter, Paul, Phillip, Jesus, etc. Consequently, it is undeniable that these names (and faces) are later creations imposed by Romans who ruthlessly eliminated all competing stories and philosophies to establish the Christian Orthodoxy now referred to as the New Testament.

The very fact that the New Testament and Christianity have been cleansed of African and Middle Eastern names and faces is evidence of purposeful racism. The fact that it continues to this day is undeniable. Simply look at how Christian nations have treated native peoples in every land they conquered and then imposed the Christian myth, which asserts the divinity of a white-skinned messiah, who is based on obvious lies.

The Merovingian kings in France simply endeavored to steal Rome's thunder by co-opting the Christian Myth to their own purposes by saying that Mary married a French king. This ploy was an obvious deception used to gain the loyalty of the citizens of the emerging French nation. Why would people who were so opposed to wealth and power (money-changers in the temple, etc.) marry into royalty? It's obvious that these French aristocrats saw through Rome's deceptions and used them, just as Rome had. It is unlikely they were much focused on racism though, since their subjects were all Europeans. Rome on the other hand had been oppressing and fighting Asians and Africans for centuries.

There is a foolproof way to verify the truth and expose centuries-old religious deceptions. It also proves why we can no longer let the Vatican tell us what to think about ancient history or much else. It is the common thread connecting why the ancient Hebrews, Yahad/Essene, Jews, Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, Dead Sea Scrolls, DaVinci Code, and others have been targets of Rome’s ire and evil machinations. The Vatican and its secret society cohorts don’t want you to understand that the ancient Hebrew symbology in all of these texts purposely encodes and exposes the truth about them. Furthermore, the structure of ancient wisdom symbology verifiably encodes the rules to decode messages built with it. This is what they most fear you will discover.

If the Bible represented the literal truth or even accurate history, there would be no need for faith in the assertions of deceptive and duplicitous clergy and their ilk. It is undeniable the New Testament is awash with ancient Hebrew symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Old Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, Quran, DaVinci Code, and other related sources. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It is beyond amazing that the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are the literal truth. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity. This is part of the secret knowledge held by the ancient Gnostics, Templars, Cathars, and others, which is presented with dramatic effect in the DaVinci Code. None of these narratives or stories were ever intended as the literal truth. This fact is the key to unraveling many ages-old mysteries and exposing the truth about the Vatican's long-term deceptions.

Moreover, the following Washington Post article (The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to New Testament texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful. When you combine proof that the New Testament Gospels are not wholly literal with proof that these texts were heavily reworked in the early years of Christianity, you are left with only one possible conclusion. The Vatican has long lied to everyone about the central tenets and history of Christianity. This revelation also proves they are not the Creator’s representatives but Her long-time opponents. The recent hoopla over the Gospel of Judas and DaVinci Code demonstrates they are still desperately trying to deceive the world and obfuscate their true nature and activities.

It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. As further proof of these assertions, seek to understand the symbolic significance of my name (Seven Star Hand) and you will have proof beyond disproof that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand the truth?

Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...
Here is Wisdom!!

Revelations from the Apocalypse

Peace...

 
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