Friday, July 25, 2008

Like School in July


It would appear (as if we should be surprised) that there is a dearth of class in public discourse these days.

To wit:

Jesse Jackson. Contrary to popular belief, using “The N Word” does not make you a minority person utilizing in-group vernacular. It makes you classless. I remember in high school that some girls would jokingly refer to each other as “b*tch” or ”slut” when saying hi. I never understood it, and never got on board with that practice. Maybe because I had had the words used unpleasantly against me and therefore found them unpalatable, but perhaps also just because it seemed low-brow. Which of course sounds “elitist” and snobby to say, but it’s true: calling someone you like a bitch or a slut for fun is just so, as we used to say in Britain, “common.” As is calling someone a n***er. It’s just a word that shouldn’t be used. By anyone.

John McCain. The good senator from Arizona just made the following statement: Senator Obama “would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign…” That’s not only a monstrous charge to make against a fellow American (some would call an attempt to lose a war “treason”), but it simply shows a total lack of class. Not to mention his complaint that Obama shouldn't have made a speech outside the USA until he was President. So how to explain McCain's speech last month in Canada? Does that not count because it's, you know, Canada? Or because no one even remembers he was there? The McCain campaign makes me sad to watch. Well, it makes me happy because they are running it so poorly. But it is indeed sad to watch on a political junkie level. McCain's best response to Obama's speech would have been no response at all, like he's so not interested in Obama talking to Europeans. Griping about it just makes him look petulant and classless, especially when you recall that his campaign was the primary reason Obama had to go, what with the constant accusations that Obama hadn't visited Iraq, had no foreign experience, etc.

Elaine Donnelly. The woman who testified before Congress against repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Her remarks, which take the cake for no class in that they were delivered while sitting next to two decorated veterans who happen to be gay, one of whom was injured in Iraq (from the WaPo):
Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks. "We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression." Seems to me that someone has been putting a lot of thought and time into supposedly deviant sexual practices. One wonders why...

And, to finish this post off, here's an article about an elderly couple in--of course--Florida who insist that the common area in front of their condo is private and therefore spit on their neighbor every time he walks by. Now THAT is class, Greatest Generation-style!

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