Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sh!tstorm A'Comin'

This week, the Daily Show and The Colbert Report both addressed growing issues of intollerance and racism from the far right. The Colbert Report responded to the ludicrous D.O.M. ad against gay marriage in which bad actors pretend to be afraid of a literal storm of gayness, and the Daily Show tackled the ridiculous "tea parties" on Tax Day. Both clips are embedded below. There's no need for me to link to the DOM ad because it's shown in it's entirety within the Colbert clip.

At first both of these movements just seemed moronic and laughable. A literal storm of gayness on the horizon coming to take straight people's rights away? The absurdity is mind-boggling. Marriage rights to gays takes nothing away from straight people, except perhaps some righteous feeling of superiorty some straights feel over gays? I don't know what else could be at risk here. Below we have Colbert's take on the situation.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
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If that were not enough, we have people running around all week in a Fox-News fueled campaign against "taxes." In some bizarre homage to the Boston Tea Party, social conservatives jumped on the notion of tea-bagging the President, seemingly unaware of the sexual connotation behind such a sentiment. The fact that the Boston Tea Party has nothing to do with April 15th, and the issue of taxation without representation has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Stimulus or the Deficit, some people went ahead and had these rallies. Leading up to the 15th everyone I know dismissed them as non-sensical rallies about nothing. What were these people mad about? There was no focused answer. They just don't like taxes - even though for everyone who makes less than 200K a year (like me), their taxes decreased in the beginning of April (like mine did!). So what's the issue? What is causing these people to gather in public parks (the construction of which was paid for by taxes) and rant about how they shouldn't have to pay these high taxes? Here is The Daily Show talking to some people who attended one of these events in New Jersey to try and figure it out. The idea that they "don't know fuck about tyranny" is expressed in a most delightful way: John Oliver.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Tea Party Tyranny
Daily Show
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People here mostly seem... uninformed or misguided, maybe a little hateful or irrational. But if you take a wider look at things across the country, and you look at the sort of signs being made, it becomes very clear what's driving a lot the anger: racism. It was shocking and disappointing to see the racial slurs and depictions on these signs. It was clear that there was no real policy issue that suddenly made all these people mad. The main problem for a lot of them is that they don't know how to deal with having a black President. They can't reconcile it within themselves, so they try to say it's about taxes. But the underlying resentment, fear and hatred is expressed in the signs they are carrying around. It was a sobering moment for me to realize that although the vast majority of Americans are proud of our President, there is a fraction of the population who are in a very unhealthy desperate place. Janeane Garofolo talked to Keith Olberman about it, and while I don't agree with her 100% (i think she generalizes who is racist geographically in a way I'm not comfortable with) i do believe in her point that Fox News and Far Right Politicians have been fomenting this desperate angry confusion some people are feeling in a very dangerous way. They are trying to advance themselves by spreading toxic ideas to people who are too willing to look for an excuse to go crazy. It's really deplorable. They would rather see us fall apart as a country in the ugliest way possible than to admit they've lost credible influence. There's a shitstorm coming from "leaders" like Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Richard Burr whose ideas on "opposition party" tactics include taking away the reproductive choices they themselves considered, seceding from the nation over the stimulus, and endorsing a run on banks at a time of economic crisis. I can't even get started on the toxic insanity that Bachman spews out on a weekly basis. If these people feel they are playing to their base by throwing these ideas out there, they need to seriously consider the impact of such anti-government statements and what it does to the more volatile citizens of our country. You stir something up, you think you control it, but you don't. It gets out of control and people get hurt or killed. As elected officials, your constiutents and your country in general deserve much better from you. You are provoking craziness. You are inciting frightened people to do bad things. Stop the nonsense.

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