Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Parade Of Idiots

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on June 14, 2007
Parade Of Idiots

Is it too late to jump on the Imus-shouldn’t-have-been-fired bandwagon? Screw it, I’m doing it anyway, and here’s why: Imus is a perfect example of the importing of the abstract, brought to us by the Parade of Idiots. I think we can all agree that Imus’s comments were seriously misguided, silly, and highly moronic, but then again what shock jock isn’t a walking billboard for the benefits of sterilization?

I am drudging up the ghost of Imus to illustrate a point. While he said stupid things, he had the right to say them: period. His words did not directly (and the key is always directly) inspire violence against the women of Rutgers University, nor do I think Imus seriously harbors hatred for African Americans. Like your grandfather, he is ignorant, old-school, and an embarrassment around the dinner table when he uses the word “negro,” or “colored.” People like Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton are well-meaning, important, and devoted members of the African American community, but when they take on abstract concepts like importing tolerance into an old coot’s head, theirs is a losing battle.

See also: Isaiah Washington.

We all know the Grey’s Anatomy star used the derogatory slur “faggot” on multiple occasions. Does that make him a world-class dumbass? Yes. Can rehab help import tolerance past his thick skull? No. We can educate, preach, and scream until we’re blue in the face, but hateful people will forever be hateful, regardless of how many Public Service Announcements we make them record.

This is not to say that we should ever stop preemptive education programs. Kids need to know that racism, sexism, classicism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. are all bad things that weaken a person’s, and a country’s, character. What we need to stop doing is acting like we will one day live in a world full of loving, happy, agreeing people if we just censor and threaten enough. The only time every citizen claims to hold the same opinion is under the rule of a tyrannical dictator. Even then, they probably disagree, but they’re too afraid of losing their heads if they express an opinion. Of course, Imus expressed his opinion, as did Isaiah, and they found themselves on the figurative chopping block.

Overzealous censorship started with the best of intentions. Most Americans love freedom very much. In fact, they love it the way a retarded man-child loves his pet rabbit SO much that his hugs end up crushing the poor creature against his ape-like chest. Freedom is America’s pet rabbit. We love it so much, and have it held so close to our faces that we can’t step back and examine the larger picture – that freedom of speech means freedom of ALL speech, and not just the speech certain beloved interest groups pre-approve.

Speaking of the quest for Freedom…Yes, I am going to link this to the war.

The real, REAL reason I am writing this blog is because the Parade of Idiots have gone global with their importing of the abstract. Good news everyone: America, at this very moment, is importing freedom and democracy to Iraq. Now, I always thought freedom and democracy began with the people, and needed to be established from the inside, out, but what the heck does a dumb blogger know, right?

In our sound bite culture, we love easily digestible rhetoric. People get nervous when military experts start talking about “Long Wars” (as in decades long,) sectarian violence, and the need for government-appointed War Czars. What they love to hear is things like “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” (changed from Operation Iraqi Liberation because of the unsavory O.I.L acronym,) “Mission Accomplished,” “Terrorists,” and “Axis of Evil.” This abstract, potent rhetoric is the equivalent of a children’s picture book, like let’s say…My Pet Goat.

Sound bite rhetoric cuts out the messy, superfluous details of an adult novel and cuts to the abstract quick. It’s not important that what freedom means to you isn’t what freedom necessarily means to me, or more importantly, to the Iraqi people. It’s not important that freedom is not tangible, measurable, or observable. It’s simply enough that the commonplace — freedom is good — is timeless.

Be wary of the Parade of Idiots. They’ll offer you the world upon a platter, but everything is nothing if it can’t be quantitatively defined, observed, and measured. Tolerance and freedom cannot be imported. They are lifelong processes that begin with the individual – the country – and then branch outward. Anyone who claims they can import these qualities is a liar.

Not everyone is a tolerant, enlightened person, and most people will live their whole lives with a few black kernels of hatred hiding somewhere in their brain. Instead of devoting your life to trying to censor, bully, and threaten these largely harmless if not dunderheaded fools, why not appreciate how truly lucky you are to be a loving, open-minded human being? Spread your message through positive messages and affirmations.

When it comes to freedom, we cannot be so presumptuous as to assume the Iraqis want our brand of freedom. Certainly, Saddam was a bad man who did many terrible things (just ask the Kurds and the poor women who saw the inside of his Rape Rooms.) However, he was considered a friend and ally to the west for many years, but before I coast along a major digression, I will say only that he is gone now, and we must now provide aid and support to the Iraqi people as they try to rebuild their country. Instilling puppet officials and handing down memos of action from Washington to the Iraqi government is not the way to freedom and democracy. It is the classic model of a colonial power dictating mandates to one of its colonies. King George of England did the same thing and just look at what happened. People don’t like to be told what’s best for them. They don’t like hearing things like: we’re here for your protection. We bring you freedom! Bombs and sanctions bring suffering and spawn hatred, but never in the history of the universe have they ever brought freedom.

Remember kids: you can’t import tolerance and freedom. We can only educate our children and hope our guidance and nurturing inspire in them love and open-mindedness. To threaten, censor, and bully is to become our dark selves– is to crush our bunny Freedom against our mighty chest. To bomb, starve, and terrify a people and claim we are bringing them Freedom is laughable and criminal, and the individuals behind this archetype of international policy are war criminals.

One Response

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  1. Dan said, on June 15, 2007 at 7:54 am

    RE: Imus

    I call bullshit. Sorry :). I love a lot of what you write, but I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on this one.

    Did Imus have the right to say what he said? Absolutely. And I’ll defend to the death his right to shout his ignorant and inherently hate-filled bullshit from streetcorners, to publish it in flyers, to write to his local newspaper, to read it at poetry open mics and get booed off stage.

    When he was fired, CBS wasn’t saying they didn’t think he had the right to say the things he said. They were saying that if he was going to say these things, they sure as shit weren’t going to give him the airtime for it. Put yourself in the shoes of the CEO of CBS: You’re not going to pay someone your own money so that they can say racist things on your network. Firing Imus wasn’t stifling free speech, it was a statement by a company: “Imus can believe what he wants, but we don’t stand behind him and we won’t support him.” If Imus wants to spew racist comments, let him do it at 3AM on public access TV.

    This is not to say that I think CBS is a super-moral company: their hands were essentially tied. Sharpton and Jackson brought attention to the issue, putting heat on CBS by calling them out, telling the world that the company was indirectly supporting racism by not pulling Imus off the air. I happen to agree with them. Next, CBS advertisers threatened to pull their advertising support if Imus wasn’t removed. CBS had little choice. As much shit as we (both) give the fucked up corporate capitalist system, this is one time when the system accomplished something worthwhile.

    In conclusion:
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” -Voltaire
    “I won’t however, pay you to say it on my fucking network.” -CBS

    -dan delany

    PS: I miss you both like crazy. I have Jamie-and-Allison-sized holes in my heart. Come back to Denver? Or, perhaps, make it to Youth Nats in San Jose this July?

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