The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bad humor from worse people

I've always been intrigued by the dissemination of right-wing screeds through the Internet. And it's been a while since I've taken a look at one. The worst of these are the "comedic" rants, which for some reason are often attributed to George Carlin. I'm not sure why he takes the fall for lame reactionary humor, but he does. Must be his civil libertarian stance, although sticking it to the man isn't exactly a Republican value.

It's lengthy, so I'll just point out a few passages from this "funny" jeremiad against the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

#1. A mandatory evacuation means just that..Get the hell out. Don't blame the Government after they tell you to go. If they hadn't said anything, I can see the argument. They said get out... if you didn't, it's your fault, not theirs. (We don't want to hear it, even if you don't have a car, you can get out.)

I like the immediate suggestion that laziness was behind anyone staying. Busses, trains, planes-- not in service. And most people can't outrun a hurricane on foot.

#3. If someone comes in to help you, don't shoot at them and then complain no one is helping you. I'm not getting shot to help save some dumb ass who didn't leave when told to do so.

An instant classic in GOP talking points-- right up there with stories of rape and murder at the Superdome. They've all been debunked since, but they're a nice, reliable way to fuel racial animosity.

#6. Regardless of what the Poverty Pimps Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton want you to believe, The US Government didn't create the Hurricane as a way to eradicate the black people of New Orleans; (Neither did Russia as a way to destroy America). The US Government didn't cause global warming that caused the hurricane (We've been coming out of an ice age for over a million years).

Welcome to Straw Man Depot-- we can help! Note the added race baiting there (and misspelled name). I heard exactly one claim that the hurricane was produced by a weather-control device, and that person blamed the Japanese mob. All other weather conspirators cited an angry God. And the last ice age was ending 8,000 years ago, not a million. But at least we're not dealing with a creationist.

#7. The government isn't responsible for giving you anything. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Wal-Mart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living. President Kennedy said it best..."Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Nice fake-out with the citation of a Democrat, there. I don't think Kennedy was speaking of people who've lost everything but their butt lint in a natural disaster-- he meant those who've made it thanks to the opportunity America offers should give back. Say, by helping out the newly-destitute. How about government being "responsible for giving" us roads, postal service, basic education, law enforcement and national defense?

And finally, somebody needs to look up spoon as a verb. I can say in all honesty that I've never been the victim of a homeless person "spooning" me. Just some lovely, hard-working women.

There are plenty of other fallacies-- straw men, non sequitirs, Monday morning quarterbacking-- and unfunny remarks in the piece, but I've had my fill.