Friday, November 12, 2004

Actually, Fuck Almost Everyone


3-D Map of Election Results, By County
Originally uploaded by Jeff Simmermon.

As mentioned previously, the story "Fuck the South" has been flying around the internet. Three people forwarded it to me in the past two days. It wouldn't be so funny to so many people if it didn't tap a certain artery of truth...and everything that resonates with people resonates because it hits home.

It's meant to be a funny, rabid, foaming rant, sort of a Bill Hicks-ish piece. And it works...but only once. Reread the thing and you'll notice a lot of glaring holes in it, and maybe come to think that it's not so cool after all. Then again, nobody's ever mistaken Howard Stern for Dan Rather...Jon Stewart' enjoyed a real boost in fame after pointing this out on Crossfire.

But read Fuck The South again, after you've quit laughing (if you even did in the first place) and it's really not cool at all. My friend Lora summed it up really well in her comment on the post below. Here's an excerpt:

That person obviously didn't pay attention to the presidential election results by state, either, or s/he'd have written "Fuck the south, the Midwest, and a lot of the far west as well."

Are pieces like that supposed to convince conservatives of the error of their ways? Because it seems to me that as long as reactionaries on both sides are allowed to spew venom like that, we're never going to get anywhere. What ever happened to courtesy? What ever happened to respecting other people's opinions and trying to convince them through discussion that there are other ways to do things?


Neal Pollack's thoroughly refuted the essay on his site as well...and after the laughs wear off, I'm with Lora and him. But it's an uneasy alliance.

The original essay in question (god am I tired of typing "fuck the south") resorts to the same sweeping generalizations that extreme right uses--to great success.

And that sucks. Not that the essay sucks--it's brilliant. It's proliferated like mad on the internet, spawning debate and meta-debate in the space of like, two days. But it also plays into the right's hand, stereotyping all us liberals as condescending classist snobs.

The inherent problem with intelligent respectful discussion is that when you concede validity to people that will not concede validity back, they walk through the door you hold open for them, then invite all their redneck friends in to drink your liquor and barf on the carpet.

So it's lose-lose for intelligence, rape, plunder and party for the right regardless of what we do. If we let them have their say, they trample us. If we shit down their necks, we're no better than they are. We're forced to become a nation of "us against them." Look at my essay. I'm doing it right now because I can't help it. That's why I resent the right--for being such pricks that it forces me to be a prick, too.

We can try and rise above it, but let's be real here: Jesus, Gandhi and Buddha could rise above everything--three dudes in thousands of years that were strong enough to handle this fuckery. Me, I'm just a guy and I'm pissed off.


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