Friday, January 21, 2011

They call me Mr. President

There's a difference between comedic impersonations and bigoted mockery; between comedy and things that make racists, bullies, mean spirited, angry people laugh. One could invoke the German Schadenfreude; yet the laughter when a clown slips on a banana peel isn't quite the same and isn't as universal as the sound that comes from the man in the white sheet laughing at the humiliation of another man.

Ive seen enough bullies in my day. I've seen some of them confronted and heard the common refrains of "I'm the victim here" and the almost inevitable " didn't you know I was joking?" So I wasn't surprised to hear Glenn Beck whine to Meredith Viera that his detractors didn't have a sense of humor adequate to know that when he advocates beating a public official with a shovel or tells us of the need to shoot Democratic leaders in the head, it's those dumb liberals who are humorless.

For the most part, the law has never found incitement amusing: shouting fire when there isn't one - for laughs. Even those orating innocently about a strike have been punished in America because someone used the occasion to toss a bomb. You don't make bomb jokes in the airport and you don't joke about killing democrats to an audience you know to include deranged and armed enemies of Democrats - even if for no other reason than avoiding making yourself look bad. But looking bad is just what many of these frustrated losers want to do.

But times seem to be changing and that old time evil is bubbling up again, or at least some groups now have enough power to make the clowns take off the blackface and to think twice about anti-Semitic rants and maybe be a bit more circumspect before going after Homosexuals Females and all the other pet victims of the Right.

Mexicans? Chinese? Well they are still targets of opportunity for those willing to descend that far. Some comedians don't realize they're being offensive to people who don't deserve it, some of them don't care as long as they get an audience and others couldn't get a job unless it was entertaining bigots. So if Margaret Cho makes jokes about her Korean family, we don't cringe - unless we are her relatives. When Michael Richards goes on an N-word binge we question his sense of decency -- to say the least.

Watching Dennis Leary's charity benefit the other day, I was appalled at his crude attempt to make fun of the world's most widely spoken language. No, not the real difficulties of speaking, it but with facial contortions and weird sounds that didn't seem funny or sound anything like Chinese to one familiar with the language. Bad taste I think, and enough to alienate a lot of people to the objectives of his charity.

And then there's Limbaugh.

What is an American president called when he visits China? They call him Mr. President. He's only called a Marxist tyrant by detritus like Limbaugh and the lumps of fecal matter that follow in his wake. We employ a host of people to promote American interests, to show the world our best face and we have this inflated rubber gasbag mooning them.

What is Chinese President Hu Jintao called when he's a guest here? The "Chicom Dictator " says Rush. "Ching chong, ching chong, chong" mocks the flatulent Palm Beach Bastard Billionaire, who makes a living lowering the estimation of my country in the eyes of the world. Condescending, contemptuous and contemptible: "Ching chong, ching chong, chong"

No, Presidents from Nixon onward have been treated well in China, it's only in the sewers of the American Right that President Obama is called a Marxist tyrant by detritus like Limbaugh and the lumps of fecal matter that follow in his wake. We employ a host of people to promote American interests, to show the world our best face to induce them to trust our intentions and yet we have this inflated rubber gasbag mooning them while his adolescent friends laugh and mock.

Of course he knows what he's doing, and of course he doesn't care if he puts a white sheet on Uncle Sam and confirms the belief of billions that we are a nation of snarling pirates who don't deserve respect or trust or cooperation. He'll keep doing it as long as we let him, support him, laugh at him, watch him and patronize his unworthy, unscrupulous and unAmerican sponsors.

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