I feel battered around the edges by the American political conversation.
But mostly I find it perplexing and depressing when I do wander in there and see things like this staring me in the face:
I wonder who exactly he wants us to give his death-rattle bucks to? Why exactly he wants his mourners to donate to that person? What exactly do they stand for? Or is he just offering somebody else’s dollars to a vacuum. A vacuum that will exist only because of the desired and defined absence of the element O.
So he’d have you donate to Palin? Yes, I guess so. McCain, if he stood again, aged whatever? Of course. That preacher from Florida who wanted to burn the books? Why not? David Duke? As long as he is running against Obama.
Indeed, in the comments on the page where that image came from, some erudite soul called EROWMER has opined:
As far as the next President goes, I don’t care if they’re a squirrel (actual rodent). They would be a vast improvement over this America-hater.
As long as the squirrel is a natural born American, right? I’m not sure if I agree but I’m not one of that middle mass of American voters — the 80 odd percent who bleated for war in Iraq in 2003. Or the the 30%, give or take, who actually thought George W. was doing a heckava job right up to the bitter end. They have guns too.
I simply don’t understand.
Of course almost everyone on the American right at the moment is getting frothily worked up over the supposed turn of Jon Stewart. The left has turned on Obama they howl…
Nope, he has a, hopefully, considered opinion or two and is using his position to voice these, unlike the late Mr. Unsworth above, or his friend, the equally vacuous Mr. EROWMER. People do that — well some people do — and they then they hopefully use those opinions to kinda cast a larger informed position which may or may not, thus, inform their vote. Unless of course a squirrel will do. A lot of people with left leanings seem to be unhappy with Obama. I guess they’ve thought it over. They know why and they have considered alternatives which are not just the absence of Obama. If you don’t like it, offer up a considered opinion. Don’t just rant about Hitler even if your self-serving, money-making, campmother uses that as his core dialogue.
Why do the wackos think that angry over something, even if you are not quite sure what, is a considered political position?
I simply don’t understand.
Replacing Obama with a squirrel simply may not be enough.
But before I get too cocky, I think do understand Paul Henry back in New Zealand. I think I do understand him as a person: he’s an arrogant bigoted little twat and has been for many years. But I almost don’t understand how even a twat like him can thinks that he can say such things and get away with it. And get away with it he did. But I understand because of where he said it (on his show where he’s been allowed to say what he wants as long as the advertisers don’t cop-out), and who he said it to: our own little, vacuum, the current Prime Minister.
You can still get in a cab in much of Asia and they ask, as they almost always do, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘New Zealand.’ ‘Ahhh! Helen Clark! (thumbs up)’. ‘No, it’s another person now..John Key’
An uneasy silence or a bemused ‘Who?’ follows.
Onya, John. We’re now led by a vacuum too. A vacuum who didn’t have the prime ministerial courage to question the odious Mr. Henry when he couldn’t find it in himself to react. Henry knew he wouldn’t. And he knew TVNZ wouldn’t really care.
I suspect the South East Asian cabbies would have expected Helen to. And, given her track record, she would not have let them down.
I do understand that bit.
I don’t understand the confusion over Television New Zealand’s response.
Henry’s a ratings winner, and, yes, given much of the public response to the criticism, he is voicing what many, many in New Zealand think (think perhaps being too strong a word, but it’s early in the morning here so it will do).
I’ve been staggered in recent years by the casual racism that has become the norm 1, and is almost as accepted as it is in Australia.
And it’s not the rednecks. I don’t mix with many rednecks. It’s the inner city educated, the self appointed intelligentsia or the elite who scare me most. The liberal leaning folks who make comments about Asian drivers (and the word ‘Asian’. Where do we get off making blanket, and quite ignorant, gather-alls like that — which are now part of the acceptable national language without question — almost everyone, left, right, centrist, educated, and semi educated, talks about ‘Asians’ as a unitary thing), sly asides about shops owned by Indians being dirty (made to me, sitting at a hip Ponsonby cafe by a couple of DJ types who were happily ‘bro’-ing each other and everyone else).
Or the number of people who have, over the past few years, casually said to me that ‘Queen Street does not look like New Zealand anymore’. Really? Well fuck off — it is New Zealand. I was told these are not ‘our people’. Seriously.
I don’t understand you.
And I don’t understand how such casual racism has become such a part of the accepted verbal landscape for people I thought knew better.
Nobody notices any more (not fair — many, many do, but I almost have to stop and take a quick second take when I hear someone question).
I don’t understand that.
I don’t like it.
- Or maybe I just have a gilded memory of the past. Nostalgia, after all, means an idealised memory of the past. ↩