Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Boortz and the Boogie Man

You may remember that some of the pre-release reviews of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" in 1989 castigated Lee for having made a film that was surely going to provoke riots in the streets of major urban centers. Of course there were no "Do the Right Thing" riots, and to my knowledge, no mass purgings from Arts and Entertainment pages of the critics who were so quick to sound the false alarm, alas.

For a more recent, sleazier version of racist chicken little social/cultural commentary check out rightwing hack, Neal Boortz's dire predictions (thanks red rabbit) of race riots should Tookie Williams be executed. Accordingly, Boortz disdainfully predicted that the governator's fear of violent unrest would prompt a stay of Williams's execution.

The next morning, finding himself wrong on both counts, Boortz did the honorable rightwing thing these days--blame the weather. With no Category 4 hurricane to point to, Boortz decided it was just too damn cold in LA for the Negroes to get worked up. Someone tell me this isn't the 1880s.

This is of interest only because it gives you some idea of how willing the right is to use the specter of black urban unrest to explain/justify anything and everything--and their sense that democrats are still vulnerable to the soft-on-crime charge.

The punitive anti-crime/anti-terrorist police-state policies the Right has been pushing can't get enough of boogie men, domestic and international, for whom extreme measures are presumed to be the only possible measures.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Federally Funded Fairy Tales

I missed this in February, but just guess where $167 million of your taxes are going... c'mon, guess again. Alright, your money and mine is going to abstinence-only programs in high schools around the country. Here's a little snippet:
Deep inside every man is a knight in shining armor, ready to rescue a maiden and slay a dragon. When a man feels trusted, he is free to be the strong, protecting man he longs to be.

Imagine a knight traveling through the countryside. He hears a princess in distress and rushes gallantly to slay the dragon. The princess calls out, “I think this noose will work better!” and throws him a rope. As she tells him how to use the noose, the knight obliges her and kills the dragon. Everyone is happy, except the knight, who doesn’t feel like a hero. He is depressed and feels unsure of himself. He would have preferred to use his own sword.

The knight goes on another trip. The princess reminds him to take the noose. The knight hears another maiden in distress. He remembers how he used to feel before he met the princess; with a surge of confidence, he slays the dragon with his sword. All the townspeople rejoice, and the knight is a hero. He never returned to the princess. Instead, he lived happily ever after in the village, and eventually married the maiden—but only after making sure she knew nothing about nooses.

Moral of the story: Occasional assistance may be all right, but too much will lessen a man’s confidence or even turn him away from his princess.
Oh, and, if your subscription to Seventeen has expired, not to worry. The U.S. government has come up with a list of 5 things you need to know about your knight or your princess:
5 Major Needs of Women:
Affection, Conversation, Honesty and Openness, Financial Support, Family Commitment

5 Major Needs of Men:
Sexual Fulfillment, Recreational Companionship, Physical Attractiveness, Admiration, Domestic Support
I think they skipped the chapter on Brokeback Enchanted Forest, where Lance and Galahad have fun with swordplay, with nary a thought of princesses or dragons.