Thursday, October 09, 2003

Don't Hate the Playa, Hate the Game (via Eschaton)

Urban Outfitters has decided to add "peddlar of racist board games" to its already considerable crime of "peddlar of overpriced pseudo-vintage gear for suburbanites." It's hard not to laugh at the absurdity of such a move on the part of both the manufacturer and the distributor.

Could it get any worse? Take a gander at the Ghettopoly Web site. Oh yes Ghettopoly is only the beginning. On deck we have Hoodopoly, Thugopoly, HipHopoly, and Redneckopoly. I could not make this up if I tried. Gee I can't wait for Wetbackopoly in which players have to cross the border without getting shot. But I shouldn't plant ideas in such weak yet fertile minds.

You know the

Be mean and curse a lot.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Strange Victories

When you are faced with this headline in a newspaper that isn’t The Onion, you have no choice but to shrug philosophically and move on. And by you I mean me. The fact of Schwartzenegger’s victory is just too full of horrible truths about politics, Americans, and public perception. And if I think about it for too long, the dark side of American Democracy seems very, very dark.
So what bothers me about the recall vote and the ascent of Arnold Schwarzenegger is that if anyone were to devise a route out of democracy and into a tribal, vengeful savagery, this melding of the world of entertainment, which satiates our most primal wishes, and the world of politics, which is supposed to moderate and rationalize our worst wishes and sublimate our ideals, looks like a pretty good route. Movies are the great persuaders. Their power is much greater than the power of reason, and that is what bothers me. The passion of politics must be tempered by reason. How much difference is there between electing a savage action hero and electing a Mussolini? I don't think Arnold is a fascist. But it is the worship of strength and charisma themselves that I find alarming in a democratic system. I think once the electorate acts from its own troubled id, we are vulnerable to the election of untold numbers of scoundrels, one of whom or a series of whom, could spell the end of democracy.

So hasta la vista, baby. Alabama looks pretty good right now.

Strange victories make for thoughts like these. They also make for disillusionment, scape-goating, tuning out, and caving in. This is the stuff of nihilism and Green Party conversion. This is exactly how we can’t afford to think. So read it and weep, then have a couple of drinks and sober up fast.

For one thing there is a bright side.

It hasn’t been the best year for Ward Connerly and yesterday California refused to retreat deeper in to denial about race. So I haven’t lost faith in the state altogether.

And let’s not forget that we have bigger fish to fry.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Looks like the homophobes want to revise the Ten Commandments. (via Tom Tomorrow)

Anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps has announced intentions to erect a monument to Matthew Shepard the gay college student brutally murdered five years ago near Laramie.

But, the monument will be no memorial. Phelps says the monument would be 5 to 6 feet tall and made of marble or granite. It would bear a bronze plaque bearing the image of Shepard and have an inscription reading "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."

The monument would be erected in downtown Casper, Shepard's home town.

Phelps has sent details of the monument to the city of Casper city council and there may be nothing the city can do to prevent it.

Phelps said he intends to put up the monument in City Park, already the location of a controversial statue of the Ten Commandments.

Can't Matthew Shephard's family sue? Whenever I think I can't get more disgusted the Phelps of the world prove me wrong.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The not-so-subtle signs that you might be a racist

--You must take notes everytime you see a "normal" black family or, for that matter, a black family at all.

--You have ever said any of the following statements.

"I am not a racist."
"Some of my best friends are (insert minority here)."
"You know just by talking to you I would never guess you were (insert minority here)."
"You're from New Mexico? You speak English so well."
"I just don't think interracial marriage is fair to the child."
"Colin Powell is just so well-spoken."

--You give famous minorities props for being "a credit to their race."

--The Puerto Rican Day Parade makes you feel like there are too many Puerto Ricans in the U.S.

--You've used the word "ethnic" as a euphemism.

--You are reading this list right now and getting indignant because you don't see anything wrong with any of the aforementioned points.