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Archive for September 2014

Your mother is a Dirty Whore.

You heard me.

A Dirty, Stanky Whore.

What?! You’re offended?
Why are you being so oversensitive? It’s a statement of respect and honor!
Dirty Whore refers to the noble traditions of those women who give love freely to all.
It’s a compliment. An homage!

You still don’t want me to call her that name?
But you don’t understand.
I have the best intentions. I consider the name Dirty Whore to be the highest honor I can convey.

In fact, 90% of the Dirty Whores I polled said they don’t mind that name at all. So why are you resisting the honor?

I get that you and your mom don’t like that name and have asked me to stop.
I get that you somehow think you know more about what should honor your mom and family than I do.

This mystifies me.

I have determined that calling your mom a Dirty Whore should not bother you for all of the reasons I have already repeatedly enumerated.
Why would the fact that, according to you, Dirty Whore is hurtful to your family, at all dissuade me from using that name?
*I* am telling YOU how you should feel about your family being called Dirty Whores.
How YOU feel about being the child of a Dirty Whore is irrelevant. I am telling you how you should feel about it.
Please stop being so sensitive.

In fact, you know what? You are now infringing on MY rights, on MY traditions!
YOU are being the jerk here! Bestowing the honor of DIrty Whoredom Is something I want to pass to my children as a point of family pride. My father was a proponent of Dirty Whores. His father was a proponent of Dirty Whores. We call ourselves Dirty Whores with pride! Every Saturday our family got together, ate some barbecue, put on our Dirty Whore t-shirts, and did our Dirty Whore dance (the one where we imitate what we imagine your mom does while being a whore). Respect! Your mom should therefore be delighted to be numbered among the Dirty Whores so honored.

Hail To The Dirty Whores!

Moral of this farcical tale? Change the name of your team, Daniel Snyder.

Be a man. Be a mensch. Because, right now, you are a Jew Behaving Badly. You are making us look bad. And you are a disgrace. It is truly distressing to witness Jews and African-Americans rally behind the current team name. Two groups of people who have NO BUSINESS telling another minority group how to feel about a slur upon their culture, how they are oversensitive, how they need to get over it. But you know what’s worse than that? Everyone else who isn’t taking a stand. Acquiescing. As our own Elie Weisel said, ” The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference.” Standing by and allowing this name to continue, when we all know some of us would be first in the outrage line if some group of athletes were called the Washington K*kes or the Washington N***ers, is wrong. You can pretty it up, diminish it, gloss it over however you like in order to not feel like an asshole hypocrite. But the truth–and you know it–is that this team’s name is a moral transgression, Because if you substitute any other ethnic group for the Native Americans, what you have is an obvious outrage.

It is time for those of us in the majority to stop telling minorities what they are allowed to be upset about. To stop, as in the example above, deciding what various symbols and words mean to us and declaring all who disagree oversensitive or uneducated in the finer points of said symbols.

We recently had a play date at a house that had a life-sized lawn jockey in the entrance foyer. You read that correctly: a lawn jockey. In 2014. In America. In a seemingly-regular person’s home. I could not get my kids out of there fast enough. My 5th grader was like, “what in the woooorrrrllldddd?!?!” I replied, “never mind.” She continued, “No really. Why is there a cartoonish black person statue in that house?” I have no freakin idea. Clueless? Willfully ignorant? I have no idea. But a location my kids will never enter again? Believe it. I’m not saying the people are racist, but I am absolutely saying that their statue is. As I researched lawn jockeys I found all manner of attempts to elevate the item from racist artifact (found nowadays  in The Museum Of Racist Memorabilia) to noble symbol of African-American bravery. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. If black people tell you that lawn jockeys are offensive, you don’t get to overrule them based on some apocryphal piece of wishful thinking. You say My Bad and you remove it.

What if I’d walked into a non-Jew’s house that was full of swastikas? Not to worry! These are Sanskrit symbols of plenty and auspiciousness!! Yes yes, Nazis blah blah. But the meaning *I* prefer is the Sanskrit one. I’m sorry if you interpret my swastikas negatively. Jews are so sensitive! I mean no harm with my swastika collection. I am even 1/12 Jewish, so how can you say this is not appropriate?! I am telling YOU what the swastika should mean to you, even though I have no experiences related to its negative associations. Geez! It’s just a few wall hangings. A couple of swastikas and everyone gets all politically correct…

You see my point. Non-Jews do not get to tell me to settle down about swastikas. Whites do not get to tell Blacks to settle down about lawn jockeys. None of us gets to tell Native Americans to settle down about ethnic slurs on t-shirts and flags and in a national athletic league. It’s basic decency. It’s basic Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated. You don’t want the symbol for the genocide of your people to be common and accepted? You don’t want crass racial caricatures of your people kept as home decor? You don’t want a hurtful slur printed on products and chanted by people who cannot even begin to understand your historical experience? Then don’t do it to others. Don’t stand idly by watching it happen. Don’t financially support that enterprise. And, most importantly, don’t think you can support a team named with a slur and think you won’t be judged. It’s wrong it’s wrong it’s wrong. You can pretend it’s not. You can probably even pretty capably convince yourself it’s not. You can even reach the height of douchebaggery and OWN the team and make word-like noises that sound like justifications telling people it’s not. But it is still wrong. It’s still wrong.

Hail To The Right Thing: Change the name.

This is my country,
The land that begat me.
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who here toil
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh,
And bone of my bone.
–Scotland, Sir Alexander Gray

Today is the day. The referendum on Scottish independence. Many of you have asked me how I would vote on this issue, and my answer is……..snare drum roll, please!….

It doesn’t matter.

I was born Scottish by the grace of God. But we moved to the USA and I am now American. I have less than zero business telling anyone in Scotland how they should be voting on an issue of such tremendous import.

But I will say this.

To those who say that a free Scotland would struggle economically: you are probably right. But it has always struggled economically as part of the UK. That struggle is precisely why my family moved to the US when British Steel went tits up. Things were bad and not looking to get better; thank you, Mrs. Thatcher.

To those who say that the disentangling of these nations would be immeasurably complicated: you are probably right. What about the currency?! What about the EU?! What about the oil and gas?! The mind boggles at the details. But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

To those who say that this entire independence movement is based on emotion: OF COURSE IT IS. For the love of all that is good and holy, OF COURSE the independence movement is emotional. Has any independence movement ever been anything but? But why does that make it any less credible?

The answer is that there is no easy answer.
My sense is that NO will win.
My sense is that Scotland will persevere regardless.

Scotland, as nations go, is a tough old broad. People love to quote that Alexander Gray poem, but never in it’s entirety. They should:

Here in the Uplands
The soil is ungrateful;
The fields, red with sorrel,
Are stony and bare.
A few trees, wind-twisted –
Or are they but bushes? –
Stand stubbornly guarding
A home here and there.

Scooped out like a saucer,
The land lies before me;
The waters, once scattered,
Flow orderly now
Through fields where the ghosts
Of the marsh and the moorland
Still ride the old marches,
Despising the plough.

The marsh and the moorland
Are not to be banished;
The bracken and heather,
The glory of broom,
Usurp all the balks
And the fields’ broken fringes,
And claim from the sower
Their portion of room.

This is my country,
The land that begat me.
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who here toil
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh,
And bone of my bone.

Hard is the day’s task –
Scotland, stern Mother –
Wherewith at all times
Thy sons have been faced:
Labour by day,
And scant rest in the gloaming,
With Want an attendant,
Not lightly outpaced.

Yet do thy children
Honour and love thee.
Harsh is thy schooling,
Yet great is the gain:
True hearts and strong limbs,
The beauty of faces,
Kissed by the wind
And caressed by the rain.

It describes a place that has historically been hard to live in and hard on the people who love her anyway. It captures the essence of Scottish-hood: a love of country borne of struggle. A terrain at once mesmerizingly beautiful and mercilessly unforgiving. A history at once profoundly inspiring and relentlessly heartbreaking. A culture and a people who always have been and always will be unique and powerful and inimitable.

With or without their sovereignty.

 

 

*msybe yes, maybe no