Spoiler alert: This random collection of words contains phrases and thoughts which might not be considered appropriate reading for children, and will likely offend those who are easily offended. I was a little too tired to be offended while writing it, but if you’ve had lots of caffeine and you try really hard, you could find all sorts of ways to be offended. Or don’t. I don’t give a shit either way.
You Can’t Say That Pt. V
Politics, Religion, Racism –
(or, Stuff We Should NEVER Discuss)
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to fill your brains with the annoying sound of bees buzzing for a few minutes. I realize these are a few minutes that, once gone, you’ll never get back, and I’m half-inclined to apologize in advance. But the problem is, I seldom apologize for having an opinion. Despite my reluctance to discuss the above mentioned topics, you and I both know that it was bound to happen. Anything called You Can’t Say That would eventually include such things. And, I will be sure to swear as much as possible in my endeavor to make this essay a little more palatable, because you already know how much more sense things make when you sprinkle liberal portions of offensive terminology throughout the text.
This may actually be the strangest YCST I’ve written because my opinions on politics, religion, and racism are pretty FAR OUT. Let’s dive in right away, okay?
Politics: I don’t know shit about politics. Not a fucking thing. During every class in high school and college even remotely related to anything political, my eyes glazed over and – dare I say it? – a bit of drool slipped down from the corner of my mouth.
I’m not talking about history. I’ve always been marginally interested in how this country was founded, how other countries were founded, who got assassinated and a (brief) explanation of what went down when it happened.
There’s another topic to jam in somewhere here, because according to my dear old mom, the history books are being rewritten (and have always been rewritten) to show a favorable light on whichever country happens to be doing the re-writing. I have a textbook from the 1940’s which seem to contain a lot more bald-faced information than what is being fed to today’s youth. I find this both disturbing and alarming. There is an old saying, Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, (extra credit and a Snickers bar for you if you can tell me who said it) and this is the very cause of my alarm.
If the history books are as heavily edited nowadays, as my mom says they are, then we are all in a shit load of trouble. How can you learn from mistakes made if you don’t even know the mistakes happened in the first place?
Anyway: politics. Where was I? Oh, right, I was telling you that I don’t know shit about politics. This is true. The only thing I’ve seen that seems to be true in politics is that all politicians are liars…and if they aren’t, they soon will be.
Look. If you think for one moment that any of the current people trampling over each other in the next presidential bid give three flying fucks in a bag about the fact that you’re having trouble making your car payment because your job isn’t paying you what you’re actually worth, that your son has been sent home 4 times in the last 2 weeks because he’s not allowed to wear heels to class, that your toothache won’t ever go away because you can’t afford to go to the dentist, and you can’t report the fact that your house got broken into because the insurance company will jack your premiums up so high that you’ll have to sell body parts (yours or someone you hack up in your basement because that seems to be the “in” thing these days) or that you cover every wall in your apartment with aluminum foil because the extra-terrestrials from the planet Zorbidan are attempting at this very moment to infiltrate your mind, guess again…they don’t care if your daddy is an alcoholic who has wrecked more cars than Robby Gordon and your ex-boyfriend posted every nudie photo you stupidly allowed him to take of you. They don’t care if your husband belittles you or if your wife throws you under the bus every time you have any kind of success — honey, if you think any of the current politicians care about any of these issues in the life of little bitty ‘ole you, you’re wrong.
They don’t care. They (yes, the infamous “they” because I mostly feel that “they” are so similar that “they” can’t be anything more specific than “they”) want the masses to believe whatever shit flows from their vocal chords because they want to win. I have heard one particular candidate declare no less than a dozen conflicting statements about every hot-button topic crawling under our easily offended country’s skin. This candidate first supports one side, then the other, depending on which way the wind is blowing.
All of that being said, understand: I don’t think every politician is a bad person. Some seem to have their head screwed on in a halfway decent manner, and it’s a shame that there are so many bad apples in the barrel.
Also, I’m not telling you to avoid voting. GO VOTE! Go and choose the people you feel are the best fit for the jobs at hand. (There’s a “handjob” joke in there somewhere but I’m too distracted to bother.) The one thing about politics that really pisses me off is when someone announces they’re not gonna vote because why bother, and then six months later they’re sitting around, bitching about the terrible job so-and-so is doing. Go fucking vote already, and you’ll be more than entitled to bitch about it later.
When I was five years old, I saw Ronald Reagan on t.v. I was enchanted with him! I really, really liked that guy. Remember, I was five. I liked his voice, I liked his eyes, and I had no idea whether or not he played with demons or did due diligence.
When I was seventeen, I was rooting for Bill Clinton. I really, really liked that guy too! I liked his voice, I liked his eyes, and I liked his charming sincerity. Again, remember I was seventeen. I was too young to vote, but not too young to anger my staunchly Republican foster mother. I didn’t care. I did not know if he was a good guy or a mad hatter. I was glad he won. Years later he gets caught messing around with whats-er-face and you know what? I still liked the guy.
Now? I don’t like anyone. No one in the political world has my attention. I’m too busy negotiating with the powers that be in my own life, and last I checked, I don’t have a play date with anyone in the political world. That being said, when it’s time to vote, I will pore over as many facts as I can find and make my decision as best I can, even though I am definitely a political numbskull.
I guess I didn’t really give you a clear idea of how I feel about politics. I don’t think it was my intention to tell you how I feel. After all, I’m just sitting over here running my mouth…kinda like a politician. The clearest answer I can give is: I don’t pretend to understand any of it, and I don’t really like any of it, and I wish it were a lot simpler. There, how’s that?
Religion is an even more volatile topic than politics, don’t you think? It is especially the case in the last several years because the entire world is now even more righteously offended by more subjects, topics, memes, ideas, photos, plots and subplots than ever before. If someone sneezes and you automatically say, “God bless you!” the odds that person telling you to fuck off are now astronomically more likely to happen than not. Why? Because, even though this sentiment has been around for at least 2,000 years it is now an unpopular thing to place the word “God” into any sentiment.
In all actuality, most people would probably just say thank you and move on after a sneeze. But remember, times are a’changing, and if you get told to fuck off it might be best to fuck right on off and leave that sneezy person to their own devices.
It’s the same with Christmas, now. The debate over “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” is a debate I refuse to take part in. I will say “Merry Christmas” any time I want (and have, in fact, said it in March, July, and as recently as early October of this year. But then, I’m odd like that.)
Tell me again, why are we so worried about offending someone if we say Merry Christmas? Why is it that wishing someone to have an especially joyous day is a bad thing?
Ohh…right, because you don’t know if that person is an atheist or if they are of a faith that does not recognize Jesus Christ and therefore if you say Merry Christmas you could offend their delicate sensibilities and then the whole world will explode because something came out of your mouth that someone else didn’t like and that is the Most Wrong Thing of All Wrong Things in the History of Mankind. …right?
I find it hugely interesting that there are entire groups of people ready to break into violence because they scream how WE ARE ALLOWED TO SAY WHATEVER WE WANT TO SAY BECAUSE THIS IS AMERICA AND I HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER I WANT TO SAY and yet, where are these same folks when a little old lady walks past a couple and says Merry Christmas and the couple tells her to take her sentiments and shove them up her ass? Hmm?
Oh shit, I think I just mixed politics and religion…oh well. I’m not the first person to do this. I didn’t actually mean to do that, but it can’t be helped. Everything offends everyone.
Would you like to know what offends me? I am offended at the thought that there are people in this world who would like for me and everyone I know to be dead because we don’t believe the same things they believe. It absolutely astounds and shocks me. How can you wish to eradicate people you’ve never met, never will meet, and all because they don’t share your religion? What the hell? How is that even sane? You don’t believe what I believe and therefore you must die.
I’m not the world’s most logical person. But my own inner logic tells me that it makes no sense to wish death and destruction on people based solely on what they think and/or believe.
I’ll not go into my own beliefs in this essay. This is not a personal story, this is an installment of You Can’t Say That, and that means I say whatever the fuck I want to say. And guess what? I do say Merry Christmas and God bless you, or bless you, and I say these things because I like saying them. I say them because during the holiday seasons, I know there are a kabillion people in the world who think about suicide, or homicide, people who feel alone, people who have kids and have no way to play Santa for them, people who sit at home and stare at the four walls and try not to hear the carols being sung just outside because they don’t feel there’s any reason to live, much less celebrate.
I know there are people who slink into the homeless shelters during the holiday season and try to be as invisible as possible because they can’t figure out how they got into such a seriously dysfunctional situation to begin with. They take their plate of turkey and dressing and cranberry sauce and go sit anonymously and eat – not to celebrate, but to fill their bellies because their paycheck was short again this week and it was either pay child support or buy groceries, and guess what wound up being more important?
The holidays aren’t supposed to suck. But they do, for many people, and consider this when you feel offended that someone says Merry Christmas or God bless you, or any other well-wishing phrase that may include a religious undertone. It may be the one positive phrase you hear the entire day, since we’re all so very busy being offended at everything.
Religion does not have to be and should not be the be-all, end-all for how one person treats another. It is perfectly acceptable to respect someone while not believing what they believe.
With all this said, I’ve arrived at the final topic in this essay, and it’s a doozy, mainly because I have no idea what I’m about to say. I have no idea what to say.
I just googled “define racism” and this popped up:
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
- prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
I’m trying diligently to understand how this works, and I’m failing. Last I checked, every set of eyes reading this essay is firmly attached inside the sockets of a human being. Every single human being is unique and different (even identical twins have their own independent thoughts and the ability to make choices based on those thoughts) and so you’re telling me that people hate entire races of other people based on a characteristic of that race of people?
What the fuck? I’m trying to grasp it here, I really am. But it’s one of the stupidest things we as human beings have ever invented, ever.
You can be highly offended at my thought processes here if you like, but I’m not a very complicated person, and these essays are aptly named. Simply put, ridiculously simply put, the idea of racism equates to hating every person who wears cowboy hats.
Go ahead and call the folks to bring my strait jacket now if you like. But think about it. How stupid would it be to hate every single person on this planet who gets up in the morning and dons a cowboy hat? I would feel like a complete moron for even admitting this, and in fact, sitting here now and imagining the things I would have to think and feel if I hated people who wore cowboy hats, I’m already feeling a bit more stupid than I’ve felt in quite a long time.
Go ahead, be outraged at the simplicity of this comparison. Go ahead, because you’re right. It is extremely stupid to hate or even dislike someone because they wear a cowboy hat. That’s some dumb shit right there, ain’t it?
So take that idea and apply it to a specific group of people. I don’t care which demographic you choose, pick one randomly…unless of course you actually are a racist, and in that case you’ve already got a particular demographic on your radar.
How is it that you can actually hate or look down on that race of people? I’m curious – does it make you feel superior as the google definition suggests? Do you really feel that this particular group of people is inferior to another group of people?
Oh dear, I can hear it now, maybe I’ll catch hell for this, but I’ve caught hell from much less serious conversation…
Racism is stupid. It’s really, really stupid.
The interesting thought process I’m having now is that I’ve observed very young children playing together and it is a fact that until they are taught who to hate, they don’t hate.
It’s a shame we don’t hold on to that a little longer. Maybe we would age a little more slowly. Hate will age you. It will kill you, one way or another.
We are living in a time where you can be killed by pianos falling out of apartment buildings, buses careening through the streets, random sharks, lightning strikes, death by chocolate, death by sex and working yourself to death.
Don’t let hate be the death of you. How embarrassing would that be…
My blathering in this piece has officially ended. And, would you look, the world didn’t explode. No animals were harmed in the writing of this essay.
And now, every person in the world who wears cowboy hats probably hates me.