Sunday, January 20, 2002

INTERPRETING NEWS
Since I started The Suburban Limbo, I've exchanged many, many emails with conservative friends who accuse me of all manner of liberalism. Within most of their emails is the subtext of anything not conservative is stupid and wrong . Although replying has pretty much prevented me from holding steady employment, I've enjoy these exchanges. If nothing else, they force me to constantly question what I'm reading and look for a subtext beyond my normal bias of government officials and corporate executives are usually lying weasels (Gimme an E! Gimme an N! Gimme a R - O - N!)

Three media occurances this week really made me sit back and wonder What the fuck drugs are these people on? The accused are both liberal and conservative. The first was Tolerance in Village Wears Thin, from the Saturday New York Times. In it, we learned that residents of the West Village feel their neighborhood is being overrun by crackheads and transvestite hookers. An influx of rowdy, black, gay young men - especially on weekends - has caused some to dub the area Times Square South . These residents have had enough and are demanding City officials do something about the increase in criminal activity.

Simple enough, right? Well here's where it gets weird. The city officials from that area - three of whom are gay - appear worried that a crackdown might be seen as racist or anti-gay. Instead of action, they have been lulled into a fog of ass-kissing and blathering. State Senator Thomas Duane said: Only recently has the transgender community become empowered and visible...and I welcome them as partners. Maybe they will help us find some alternatives to incarceration.

Oh, right Tom. That pre-op hooker giving a hummer on your stoop is just brimming with ideas for alternative prison schemes.

Melissa Sklarz, the chairwoman of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Committee of Community Board 2, tried to turn it into an economic issue. She said: I admit, the behavior lately seems out of bounds. But let's talk about the real problems of the Village: million-dollar condos, not wild young black kids.

That's the sound of a person who declined to buy her 3-bedroom apartment for the insider price 15 years ago and has been kicking herself ever since.

Well-intentioned though they might be, these idiots are ignoring reality. I used to walk through this area ten years ago on the way to the Christopher Street Path Station. It felt like a dangerous shit hole back then. I do hate to type whinning liberals, but people, get real. If you don't clean your streets, somebody else will. And it probably won't be someone with a lot of sympathy for the alternative lifestyles of the West Village.

Next, comes something I heard of the Rush Limbaugh Show. Rush wasn't on, it was his substitute. A female caller related how she and her husband were seached at an Oregon airport. She had a valid complaint questioing why the gate attendant wanted to put a metal detector wand down her husband's pants. But them she launched into a tirade about the guard being Middle Eastern and how dare he search us, all of which was capped off by her husband's fumming comment to the security guard I'm a Caucasian American taxpayer and I pay your salary.

Okay, we don't even need to review the racist stupidty of such a comment. What shocked me was how the conservative talk show host just let it slide right by, afraid to touch that little poop of controversy with a ten foot pole. Had the caller muttered in an afterthought, I kinda liked Clinton, you can bet the host would have ripped her a new asshole in the next breath. But when it's Oh, gee, you're a racist? Well, that the demographic, so let's not offend anyone by calling you out on it.

Hypocrisy knows no political boundaries.


Finally, there was this story on 60 Minutes tonight - Female Pilot Sues Over Muslim Garb. You can read it there. In short, an American woman Air Force pilot is suing the US govenrment because of a rule which states she has to wear traditional Saudi clothing when off-base in Saudi Arabia. For her, it's both a woman's issue and a Christian issue. That means both Jesse Helms and various women's rights groups are lining up in her support (although they're holding separate fundraisers, I'm sure). Reporter Lesly Stahl was particularly unctuous, trying to talk the pilot into wearing the Arab garb on-camera, then demonstrating it herself and noting, Boy, this outfit is really bothering you, huh?

Hey folks, despite what Disney might say, America doesn't own the world. Other countries have rules, customs and traditions. If we want the privilage of running military operations from there, there might be a few rules soldiers have to abid by. The pilot claimed her suit was not about being an ugly American, but yes, that's exactly what it's about. Most of the Arab world are terrified of women and if they saw one marching down the street in her uniform, locals would probably pop a blood vessel on their way to stoning her.

And it's not our job to solve that problem. The world doesn't need (or want) to be Americanized. The real question is should Americans be stationed in Saudi Arabia when that country is so conflicted about Western Culture? I say. No, fuck 'em if they don't like us. No more Military Aid Packages or Happy Meals for you. The US should relocate now, but I'm afraid that'll take years and years.

Bonus Issue: Don't human rights groups have something better to do than complain about the lack of solid walls surrounding al-Qaida detainees in Cuba? Aren't there some worthy people being oppressed that they can deal with? Just wondering...

No comments: