Thursday, May 11, 2017

Strange Fruit (and Assorted Nuts) - David Cole

Often, when people who know me primarily through my writing meet me in person, what stands out to them the most is that I rarely cuss in person. It can be a little disconcerting, because in my writing, I cuss a lot. But one-on-one, I’ll usually substitute “friggin’” and “spit” for their coarser alternatives. Sometimes I cuss when I write because I purposely want to be dismissive and disrespectful toward a particular person (as in, this person isn’t worth the respect of a dignified response). For example, when some Nazi type emails me on Facebook calling me “one of the good Jews,” or asking why I “shill for the ADL” by refusing to deny the Holocaust, I always respond with a short, sharp “fuck off.” I like doing that because it inevitably elicits a reply that resembles the pathetic whimpering of a sad puppy: “You didn’t have to be rude…I was only trying to start a dialogue!”
So when I got into it on Twitter a few weeks ago with former Vermont governor and DNC chair Howard Dean, I could have stopped at just calling him a moron. But no, I had to say fucking moron, because I was purposely trying to be impolite and contemptuous (“Respect the office if not the man” stops applying once the man leaves the office). Anyway, it worked, because the guv retweeted me, and a small patch of holy hell broke out between his supporters and (in rather smaller numbers) mine.
So why would I call a screeching, incompetent former governor a “fucking moron”? Because he deserved it, that’s why (I mean, why else?). On April 20, the intellectually challenged ex-governor shared a one-sentence declaration of “fact” with the world, with the intention of giving aid to the protesters who were, at the time, trying to get Ann Coulter banned from speaking at UC Berkeley. “Mr. Microphone’s” tweet read “Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment.” I’ll let it go that the final two words should have been capitalized. No need to be a grammar Nazi to a man who’s acting like an actual book-burning Nazi on Hitler’s birthday. Of course hate speech is protected speech. And the world didn’t need me to say it. Sometimes leftists say things that are so stupid, even other leftists feel compelled to chime in. Dean’s blatant falsehood was demolished by the left-leaning “fact checking” site Politifact, and competent scholars on all ends of the political spectrum joined in. Dean was called a “constitutional illiterate,” “uninformed,” and just plain wrong in dozens of op-eds from dozens of people more well-informed than the former governor (a classification that even most 10-year-olds fall into).
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