You’re you. You’re funny! Sometimes, you come across things that are not funny, and your response is:
I got nothing…
Every week, I spend hours daisy-chaining around the blogosphere. I read weeks of one blog, then swing like Tarzan through the trees to another blog in the blogroll. This way, I’m learning whom to read and to whom I never have to give another moment’s thought. Some of it is a blur. The blogosphere is a lot like clique-y, gossipy high school without the buggy cafeteria. Over the past month, I’ve noticed an undercurrent particularly among the men in the Left blogosphere, because I have no desire to cause myself an aneurism by reading the Right, and it’s making me nauseous.
If one studies Jewish history (which I did for years in college and out), one finds twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five years ago, the political Right had two interests in Israel:
1. Munitions testing. Somebody’s gotta try stuff out;
2. For Jesus to come back to Earth, there have to be Jews in every nation. It’s prophesy and that’s – like – a rule. Part two of that is that Muslims are a lot less likely to let Christians mess around in Jerusalem. The Dead Sea Scrolls debacle springs instantly to mind as an example of what Christians get to screw around doing until Jews put a stop to it. Anyway, if you’re crazy enough to want Jesus to visit and survey the damage like a metaphysical claims adjuster, you need Jews in Jerusalem.
Rumor has it this may not be the case anymore.
One thing I puzzle over in blogs on the Left – the Left in which I include Poor Impulse Control, by the way – is an assertion that concern for Israel as a state is primarily the realm of the neocons. This, I must tell you, is bullshit. The thing is: Jews value education. The thing gentiles find frustrating about Jews is their study of history, which demonstrates there’s no country on earth that can be trusted not to have an economic downturn before breakfast and resultant Jewish genocide after lunch. Thus, Jews – even Jews that have nothing against the Palestinians, their organizations or other Arab nations whose stated aim is to drive the Jews into the sea and truly wish everyone would see that living peacefully might be preferable to constant war – watch the news with one eye and keep one fixed on the Holy Land. In the words of my late former father-in-law: “We may not agree with what the Israelis do but we’re not the ones with the gun to our heads.” If you think that gun is not real, you don’t have a firm grasp on the Mideast situation.
The People’s Republic of Seabrook is a fast-paced bastion of Left humor, based in Texas, and honestly, I don’t know how that guy keeps his wrists closed. His work has made me laugh on many occasions. Last week, he published a link to something on Wonkette – I have no interest in her, she could be a genius for all I know – which I’d seen somewhere else anyhow. It was the Kitten Jihad meme. Jihad humor is not…humorous. People are dying. The first time I saw this tasteless thing I was nonplussed. The second time, bored. The third, annoyed. The fourth time I saw it Kitten Jihad was People’s Republic of Seabrook’s entry to that week’s Carnival of the Cats, by which time it was more than not breathtakingly original: it was outright offensive, which was not really his fault. I guess. I wrote into his comments that I thought he was a better writer than that – for one thing, because it wasn’t his. And instead of considering the possibility that a year of good work can be undone in one anti-Jewish post, he insulted me. That’s his right. I’m sorry to give up reading what was otherwise a consistently decent blog but historically swimmers don’t have to hear the theme music to feel the shark bite.
The People’s Republic was not the first place I’d noticed the wink-wink it’s okay because it’s anti-Jewish humor, or worse, it’s just those dirty Jews again patter. As I said earlier, in my travels, I found both quite a bit, as if we all came to an unspoken understanding at a meeting I missed, and I just wasn’t invested enough in the other writers to discuss it with them. i should have spoken up, that’s true, or written down where I saw what, which would have helped make my point a heap now. Well, it’s free speech and chaos out in the blogosphere, and good for us. People can say whatever they want. Writers should realize that readers may not necessarily disagree with their opinions because there’s something wrong with the readership. Sometimes the writer’s got a screw loose, and readers see it first.
My favorite weenie-boy argument – most often employed against women – is that the weenie writer’s offensive humor is in fact funny and the person who disagrees has no sense of humor. The translation from weenie to actual English should read: I, the “humorist,” fail to recognize that humor is in the recipient and not in the transmitter, i.e. like beauty, the Funny is in the eye of the beholder. If your audience says you’re not funny, you’re either talking zippers to the Amish or you’re not hilarious. Be honest. Is that a horse and buggy? Maybe – but maybe not.
Late last week, I was flipping through TBogg’s blogroll. I stumbled on a truly vicious anti-Jewish blog entry on Badtux the Snarky Penguin to which Skippy’s G. D. Frogsdong responded. Let’s overlook the obnoxious business of calling yourself snarky. Yep, stupid nicknames can be found almost…anywhere…Now, I love TBogg as I love – say – Tim Curry, and I respect G. D. Frogsdong as I respect anyone speaking slowly and making careful points in the face of weenie squealing lunacy. I have learned not to expect weenie squealing lunacy from the Men of the Left (and where’s my 2006 calendar, fellas?) so I was really surprised to read on Badtux the vicious wink-wink anti-Jewish entry and G. D.’s super-cautious dissenting response. Then Tami, the One True tried gently telling Pengy he didn’t know what he was talking about, but that didn’t make a dent either.
I admit: in the comments, I was frustrated and started with the end of the story. I should have started with the beginning. Since I don’t argue politics anymore, I’m out of practice. Enough about me, what do you think of my dress?
Our flightless waterfowl said a whole lot, reminding me of my sister Daria. As a child, Daria would skin her knee and burst into tears. Then she would cry a lot. Then she forgot why she was crying and was just crying. This cycle was best broken through judicious application of mass-produced pastries. And milk. I don’t know Badtux, but once he started howling in his original post, no force on earth was going to prevent him from airing the true ugliness of his hatred. In particular, his whole “bigots and racists like you are always quick to bring out the ‘race card’ believing that everybody is trying to destroy your race” would’ve been a real knee-slapper if he weren’t 100% serious – and talking about me! Well, his idea of an imaginary me. Maybe he needs a cookie. When he said “people of [my] ilk” I just about spit Pellegrino through my nose. See, when you hate groups of people you know nothing about that’s prejudice. He has no idea who my people are or if I dropped from space and am composed of gelatinous goo, but he sure does hate people just like me! Now, refresh my memory: doesn’t the Left embrace ideas of racial and religious equality and tolerance? Or is it okay to whip up a cocktail hour pogrom if we’re – wink-wink – talking about the Jews?
In his case, it’s just talk. After this post, I’ll never devote another moment’s thought to him, but bloggers like him should realize that if they show their true colors someone’s going to call them on it, not just me. During my zipping around the blogosphere, I should have made notes or said something when I came upon other examples of anti-Jewish rhetoric or anti-anything rhetoric, and from now on I will. Letting that go was my mistake. I won’t make that mistake again.