When Entertainments Become Not

Mobtown Shank, out of my beautiful hometown, explores the “black soul” of today’s conservative, via Limbaugh. Quoting from the Limbaugh show:

LIMBAUGH: Within the confines of our Constitution, and the political arena of ideas, they must be stopped. I don’t care why they see this country the way they see it. I don’t care why a murderer does it. I don’t care why a rapist does it. I don’t care why this Muslim guy offed his wife’s head. The NOW gang is out there saying ‘oh, that’s not domestic violence, that’s just, uh, that’s just…’ what do they call it? ‘Culturally honor killing. Or this woman was going to divorce him, that’s against the law. That’s his diversity.’ I don’t care, I don’t care why anymore. If I figure it out, I’ll be glad to tell you because it’s interesting to know, but it doesn’t matter in terms of defeating them.

And then, of course, we get the usual pondering of the WTF nature. Like: seriously, murder and being a democrat is the same thing? Like: seriously, Democrats must be defeated like some beatle destroying good American crops?

Here’s the thing: Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, et al are offering an entertainment. They use humor to agitate and offend. It does not matter what they say, or think, or do, and their minds cannot be changed. No matter what, no matter how fragrant the olive branch, they will not admit error, they will not become conciliatory, they will not stop lying and deceiving. And plus they will not go away. So the question becomes: do we engage or ignore?  

And here’s the thing: in the right wing, in rhetoric, violence does become cloaked. Think Prop 8. There was all sorts of talk about how this isn’t about hate but actually is about preserving the blessed and holy institution of marriage. And but when donors to 8 are de-cloaked, panic. Do you think a donor to a pro-life cause gives a shit if you know his name? Fuck it, no, ‘course not. But 8, bet your ass, these folks know it isn’t very nice to strip these basic rights. But, see, this gets cloaked.

Back to conservative rhetoric doing actual violence, and how prop 8 is involved. After Prop 8 passed, Consider:

  • On December 13, in Richmond(SF Bay Area), that a lesbian was gang-raped by four man who used homophobic epithets as they assaulted her
  • On January 11, 2009, 11 gay bars in Seattlereceived letters addressed to the “Owner/Manager” that warned, “Your establishment has been targeted. I have in my possession approximately 67 grams of ricin with which I will indiscriminately target at least five of your clients.” A 12th letter was sent to the The Stranger, warning that the paper should be “prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals.”
  • Anti-gay hate crimes are on the rise, a six percent increase in the last year alone

Notes Avy Skolnik, a coordinator with the New York-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs:

Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks. People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice.

And so: behind the rhetoric, violence. This is something to know and see and acknowledge, sure, but what does this mean we should do? Do we censor? Do we agitate? Do we fight delusion with reason? Do we try to educate? Or do we accept the fucked-ness of it all and have another bong hit?

 

Let’s at least try to see things as they are. We’ll start there.

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