There comes a point in our lives when those around us completely misuse the very detailed and intricate process of creating a thought, and then subsequently use the proper diaphragmatic control and muscle coordination to translate said thought into words which carelessly escape the pie hole just below their nose. In a majority of those events, it’s best to just stand aside and let the given Darwin Award nominees utilize their verbal indiscretion to self-immolate. In a small percentage of those times, it doesn’t really hurt a whole lot to provide aid to catalyze the flame. For now, let’s just say I’m the one with the lighter fluid.
This last week has been no exception for those in the public eye and their continued inability to engage the firewall between their brains and their mouths. Let’s start with Kanye “Imma let you finish” West. Four years ago this month after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, West went on a live NBC broadcast with Mike Myers and spontaneously announced off script that then President George W. Bush didn’t care about black people. Okay, sure. Whatever. If Kanye wants to believe that, he’s well within his right to do so. It was pretty short sighted for him to use the noble cause for which he was there in the first place to air such an opinion. The stunt ultimately revealed him to be nothing but an attention whore.
Last week, West once again disengaged his firewall to the point where he charged the stage at an MTV award event in the middle of an acceptance speech being delivered by Taylor Swift. He took the microphone from her and announced to the entire audience that a video by Beyonce Knowles which had been nominated for the same award was the best video of all time. Crasher Squirrel meets MTV. Four years ago, the man showed absolutely no respect for Mike Myers, NBC, or the American viewing public. In 2009, he’s shown the same lack of respect for Taylor Swift, Beyonce Knowles, and MTV. All things being equal, the whole event looked like it was a set-up. Perish the thought that such an outburst would ever happen on a network like MTV.
But wait. It gets just a little bit better.
In response to the MTV incident, the President referred to West as a “jackass”. The irony of it all is that the one President who would have been fully justified in calling West any name, chose to maintain the dignity of the office by not responding to the Katrina outburst four years ago. In the meantime, the President who had absolutely nothing to do with the MTV incident offered his own commentary.
Aside from the fact that we now have a President who publically comments on the happenings in pop culture, we have the makings for Beer Summit II at the White House in the near future. Skip Gates will be played by Kanye West, James Crowley will be played by Taylor Swift, and Barack Obama will reprise his cameo once again as the guy who made the stupid remarks. Even if the summit doesn’t happen, you can count on a lampoon of the incident to hit the tube soon. It will happen somewhere like Saturday Night Live, or even the next MTV awards show. I’d be surprised if the original players didn’t reprise the roles they’ve made famous.
Speaking of stupid remarks, let’s talk about the Joe Wilson affair. I don’t really need to summarize what happened there, do I? Needless to say, the Congressman from South Carolina showed us all that he has a mild case of Tourette’s Syndrome when he called the Bamster on a lie. He apologized to the White House immediately, and they accepted it just as quickly. In the meantime, the House rebuked Wilson a week later because he refused to apologize again on the House floor.
Over the years, there have been some pretty filthy, despicable things done on the floors of the House and Senate. Reputations and careers have been ruined, wars have been waged, lies have been told, and incredibly bad laws have been written and passed. Yet when a member of one of those chambers bluntly calls a liar for his craft, censure and rebuke is on order. Go figure.
The real problem with what happened with Joe Wilson along with the months old healthcare debate is the ugly face which has been displayed by those who favor Obama’s policies toward those who don’t. In the minds of the proponents, it would seem that the only reason the opponents don’t want to climb on board the socialism wagon is because we’re all racist. In the debate to rebuke Wilson this week, one of the arguments for doing so was to avoid having “folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again, riding through the countryside intimidating people.” Jimmy Carter has now opened up his own cavernous pie hole and echoed the same sentiments. Ridiculous is an understatement.
The stupid thing about all of this race talk is that those making the accusations have to expand the definition of the word in order to pigeon hole the opposition into the category. Nowadays, words like “socialist” or “radical” are supposedly code words which reveal our presumed racial machinations. Bluntly put, they’re seeing things that just aren’t there. Frankly they can call me a racist all they want (they already have), and they will still not change my opposition to the agenda at hand. You can’t really play the white guilt card against someone who doesn’t have it.
One of the funny things Carter asserts in his statement is that there is “a belief among many white people around the nation that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country”. Sadly, that may be true. The fortunate thing is that the mindset has changed considerably in the last few administrations. One thing that should be noted though, is that Carter didn’t appear to practice his preaching back in 1977, as evidenced by a picture of one his cabinet meetings found on the White House Museum website. Yeah, yeah, I know. Times were different. Big deal. Carter could have blazed a trail with that one, but for whatever reason, he didn’t. Given the makeup of his cabinet, it appears the soap box Carter is climbing on is made of balsa wood.
Thankfully, Jimmy Carter has been out of office for nearly 30 years. With each passing year, the memories of those four years slowly push their way out of my head. Even still, every time he ever opens his mouth to show us that he has no firewall, he always reminds me of one specific phrase.
I can only guess what absurdity will escape the next politician or celebrity next. Given the size of the gene pool and its obvious inadequacy, I’ve got to think I won’t need more than a thimble full of accelerant for the flame.