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Respect for the Living

June 6, 2007

When Jerry Falwell died, I sat down a couple of days later and started to post about my brush with the Rev and exactly how I felt about him while he was alive. Went like this:

Liberty University recruited me when I was in high school. The coach looked at me as if he were thinking, well, we DO need a few coloreds if we’re going to play football. He asked me what church I belonged to. None, but I just felt like telling him I’m Jewish. The face; blank. Then he was exasperated with even the honest answer. I had no intention of going to Liberty and I suppose at some point he realized that.

Falwell makes me feel hood. F*** that b**** a** n****a. AIDS robbed our family. Robbed us. The man who taught me to use a typewriter, interested me in writing, introduced me to Prince and rap music before “Rapper’s Delight,” babysat me while I watched Godzilla movies, in the end, I ended up changing his diapers and watching him waste. Punishment? For having a brother that loved me? F*** Y** Jerry. Eat a big one.

And it went on like that. Now, I never got to finish, too busy as usual. However, when I did have a moment to get back to it, I decided I shouldn’t post it. Just suppose, however unlikely, a member of Rev’s family saw it. How would they feel? How would I have felt if I saw something that read, “the fag deserved it” or something equally as clever, days after I buried my brother? Moreover, did I want to be seen like that? Did I want to go out like a sucka? My need to vent or prove a point was less important than allowing Falwell’s family a bit of breathing room. This was not about respect for the dead, it was about respect for the living.

Now, some rotten little wingnut weasel decided he would chose the opportunity to exploit a tragedy (the passing of Steve Gilliard) with a weak attempt to make some kind of “point” or piss taking at the left. It’s been a part of the playbook of the right wing blogosphere since Imus (see also Malkin v Akon, Virginia Tech). It was hardly shocking that Smantix chose to go out like a sucka, as he imagined himself a Moriarity to my Holmes when I was still posting at PITW. Oh, had he half the brains and wit of Sarcastro. He could have at least made his crap amusing. (I don’t want to link to his ugliness, I’m sure you google-wise people can find what I’m talking about).

Ah, but the fall out of all this . . .

You can find it all here and there and over there if you don’t already know.

I’ve become familiar with Gilbert’s style and positions, I knew almost immediately what she was on about, that she wanted us to alert us to the foolishness rather than endorse it. I say “almost” because for a split second I thought, WTF? I didn’t even bother following the link she posted because I knew it would lead to some corny attempt at snark by some very uninteresting author with ultra-right proclivities. I didn’t have the time.

Here’s the thing; If someone who is familiar with her style and positions blinked for a minute, is it completely unreasonable that someone with no earthly idea about her would think, with the post title, that she might have been going along with the foolishness?

Yes, kids, you generally have to do a little investigating to find out what’s what, especially when you’re about to call someone out as a racist. Despite what Abramson thinks, I do exercise caution before I mention his dreaded “R” word in reference to someone.

Then there was the rending of garments that has ensued, as accusations of racism and insensitivity begat accusations of misogyny and ignorance. All too much I’m afraid, as until today, it all seemed to be sound and fury over nothing of consequence. Party A might have exercised a little more care given the situation, and Party B could have just asked first, shot later. Nothing of consequence until now.

Brittney has resigned her post at NiT, with the recent brouhaha as the final flickering candle on a dried out cake. She says that the Smantix Incident has naught to do with it, however, most can’t help think it had everything to do with it, especially since all the comments she quoted in the goodbye post directly referenced it.

Seems high speed broadband and 4 GHZ processors have effectively removed the human ability to say, hold on a minnit, lemme think about this. Are we so eager to gin up the hyperbole (and thereby ratcheting up our hit counts and Nielsen ratings in some cases) that not only can we not think before we speak, we cannot now think before we post?

It ain’t that hard.

P.S. The internecine left wing on left wing fighting is getting out of hand blog kids. I’m starting to think you all care less about the issues that have cropped up around this than scoring some points. I can see the virtual high fives you’re giving each other after each snappy retort.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. brad permalink
    June 6, 2007 11:46 pm

    I hope this doesn’t come across as willfully blind to my own role in one of those threads, but I actually very much agree and think that’s well said.

  2. June 7, 2007 6:17 am

    Nicely said.

  3. Tracy S. permalink
    June 7, 2007 8:40 am

    Bravo!

  4. June 12, 2007 2:37 pm

    I’m a little late in coming over here but this was probably the most rational post I’ve read about the whole affair.
    Very well done and I feel like I need to say thanks because I’ve seen more ugliness this week over this one issue.

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