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Angry Birds, Randy Men, and Dog Whistles

19 Nov

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I’m still exhausted from the election and have to get an eyeball operation (don’t ask—it’s too gross for words), and I’m looking forward to some much needed rest this Thanksgiving holiday.  Because my brain is so fried, I couldn’t think of a thread for a full humorous story to save my life.   But as I read the major headlines this week, I suddenly found myself wishing I were God so that I could chime in with some type of supernatural act of retribution regarding some of the news events that made me chuckle, caused me to be horrified, or made me really, really sad.

If I were a goddess, I’d tell turkeys to form a labor union, go on strike, and hide out in caves somewhere—never to return—until their consumers repent. I have become convinced this week that we Americans aren’t holding up our end of the bargain that would make it worth the turkey putting his head on the chopping block for us.  If I were a goddess, “The Petraeus Affair” would prompt me to initiate a recall of all the men who lived in America from ages two to ninety-two (that includes you too WW, just to be safe) to redo my initial design and implant in each and every one of them an automatic shut-off valve for their thingies when they start lookin’ to make a booty call on any other woman besides their wives.  If I were a goddess, the multitudinous racists acts that have flooded the news cycle since our President was reelected (i.e., “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”), would make me want to open up such a can of whup-ass that the world would have to come to an end so that I could start all over with a new batch of people.  (Aren’t you glad I’ll never be endowed with any supernatural powers—I’d be an absolute terror?)

Image from boysrockbr.blogspot.com

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT:  Turkeys Revolt in Reaction to Black Friday Creep!

This would be my first agenda item as a goddess:  solidarity with the turkeys!   Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Best Buy, and Sears are starting the “Black Friday Creep” at 8:00/9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day!  People already started lining up at Best Buy a week ahead of schedule (camping out in tents), and Kmart plans to open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day!    At this rate, why do the turkeys need to lose their heads for a dinner that will probably take place while standing in line in front of a retail store?  It is one thing for turkeys to sacrifice their lives for family bonding and communication (even if most of the time it is an illusion, at least people are trying), but if Black Friday gets to creep all over T-Day, then if I were a goddess, I’d snatch up all the turkeys and redistribute them to places like Africa, Haiti, and all the starving places beyond the realm of all the discount stores.  (I’d keep the turkeys in New York and New Jersey because somehow I think the victims of Hurricane Sandy could care less who is selling what this T-Day, and they’d give anything to sit around a bountiful table with their families and houses intact, while thanking God for their blessings and tripping all over each other to tell the world what they are thankful for:  survival.)

Summers Cartoon|Image from Orlando Sentinel

BREAKING NEWS:  Sound Judgment No Longer a Function of the Male Brain—Has Moved South

Let’s see nowWith the “Petraeus Affair” we’ve got two disgraced four-star horny generals, two possible femme fatales, one shirtless FBI idiot who doesn’t know when to cease and desist (start with keeping your clothes on, bucko), and a scorned and publicly humiliated wife who should attach an umbilical cord to the likes of Gloria Allred, because if I were counseling her as a goddess, there would be no forgiveness for little horny General-man, and he’d be gifting me bling until the day Jesus returned!

(Now do you see why I don’t deserve to have supernatural powers, and why I should remain a mere mortal all my life, even in storyland?  How can a world exist without forgiveness?)

If I were a goddess, I would be ripping right now because everybody is mostly blaming the femme fatale and not the man who was thinking with his one-eyed monster instead of his head (you know, General, you can always “just say no”).  In the meantime, America has lost strategic talent at a time when we most need it because brilliant men let their brains travel south to permanently take up residence below the belt, and sound judgment on multiple counts got flushed down the toilet.

A Mori Cartoon|Image from The Miami Herald

NEWS FLASH:  Black President Reelected—Racial Dog Whistles Still Selling Like Hot Cakes

If I were a goddess I wouldn’t be able to contain myself against the “haters” and I would fricassee each and every one of their asses.  Can I go on record here and state how absolutely fucking pissed I am as an African-American Christian that so-called “good Christian people—in the name of Jesus” (yeah, I’m talking about you Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Franklin Graham) are blaring racist dog whistles with words that the Stop Dog Whistle Racism blog helped me list as “welfare queen,” “uppity,” “lazy,” “illegal alien,” “doesn’t think like an American—secretly prays to Allah,” “Kenyan,” “Communist,” “Socialist,” “takers” (the list is endless), as if the words were rabid dogs and those dogs informed their political choices.

***

“Who can forget the Sarah Palin rally in 2008 when a woman clearly shouted, ‘Kill the n——!’ (speaking about Barack Obama) while the vice-presidential candidate blithely went on; not only did Ms. Palin go on with her speech, but she also wink-wink courted this kind of ‘passion’ in subsequent rallies.”By Marie Myung-Ok Lee “Kids Hate-tweet Obama, Echoing What They Hear at Home”|salon.com

***

Who can forget when I pointed out the debacle at the Sarah Palin rally to a white Christian friend and what her response was?  At first, adamant denial that something like this had ever happened (as if I were lying or exaggerating the event), and then a glib dismissal:  “Oh, well so what—she blew it!  There’s nothing she can do about it now.”  Actually, Sarah did do something about it almost immediately—she let the race-baiting dog whistle blow and blow and blow, and then she passed it on to other members in the Republican party, because she knew exactly what type of dogs she wanted to respond to its pitch.

Google Image

All too often, images, symbols and language are used intentionally and unintentionally in our political elections and policy debates. These trigger unconscious racial stereotypes. The viewer or reader isn’t even aware that he or she is responding to unfounded judgments based on stereotypes rather than facts.”stopdogwhistleracism.wordpress.com

DeRosier Cartoon|image from Time Union

I am discovering that no one is immune to the racist’s dog whistles of our culture.  We must be ever
vigilant or our ears will tune into their whistle’s pitch while we adamantly insist that we, ourselves, are not racist.  Sometime ago, an African-American woman who was a friend of a friend, whose home I was visiting began to blow a dog whistle which played the tune:  “the Holocaust is a myth which was made up by the Jews to manipulate others in their quest to take over the world.”  I was horrified, I knew better, I pushed back (gently and with a sense of humor so as not to offend the hostess), but at the end of the day, I laughed it off and let it slide because I didn’t want to create a scene.  Shortly after that scenario, I went to live in Israel and for three years, stood with the entire country to annually memorialize the Holocaust with a moment of silence, I toured Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (the Holocaust museum)—uncontrollably sobbing from beginning to end—and I encountered several survivors from afar who still had the concentration camp number tattooed on their forearms from the Holocaust that “never existed.”  No one will ever get away with blowing a racist dog whistle against the Jews in my presence again, because I was given the privilege of touching their horror—if ever so distantly and momentarily—and it sensitized me to the racist whistles they hear that call out the dogs of destruction against them as a people.   I want that same sensitivity for every people group who is unlike me but suffers from similar contempt and disdain (we all suffer).  And the next time someone—a person who boasts of being a believer in Jesus, no less—refers to a group of Muslims as “diaper heads (true story),” he better be prepared for the tongue-lashing of a lifetime, because I’m not putting up with that racist shit anymore from Christians.  We of all people should know better, because it is not “what Jesus would do.”

******

“I still smart a little at the slight.  When you’ve suffered a great deal in life each
additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”—Life of Pi by Yan Martel   

“I have strong doubts that the first Thanksgiving even remotely resembled the ‘history’ I was told in second grade. But considering that (when it comes to holidays) mainstream America’s traditions tend to be over-eating, shopping, or getting drunk, I suppose it’s a miracle that the concept of giving thanks even surfaces at all.”Ellen Orleans

“When Romney thinks he’s behind closed doors and he’s just telling other people like him how politics really work, the picture he paints is so ugly as to be bordering on dystopic.  It’s not just about class, but about worth, and legitimacy . . . Romney doesn’t voice these opinions in public.  He knows better.  But so did the voters.  That’s what you see in the overwhelming rejection Romney suffered among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and young voters.  They sensed that Romney fundamentally didn’t respect them and their role in the economy, and they were right.”—Ezra Klein, rom the 47% to “gifts”: Mitt Romney’s ugly vision of politics|The Washington Post

Don’t take any plug nickels and don’t respond to any dog whistles—except to render them ineffective!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
25 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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25 responses to “Angry Birds, Randy Men, and Dog Whistles

  1. becomingcliche

    November 19, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Your post has me so mad that I could just rip the head off a racist politician. What a world we live in! I am so glad Obama was re-elected because the alternative terrifies me. I keep telling myself that this is the 21st century and that we’ve made much progress with racial equality. We. Have. Not. Well stated.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks BC. I know exactly what you mean. We have made great strides on so many levels and I for one am so grateful. But we still have “a ways to go before we sleep” as the old Negro Spiritual says. Good people of all races and genders just need to keep joining hands, spreading the love, and confronting the hatred within our midst. Darkness completely disappears when light floods a room and so it shall be so on racial and gender equality in our country. Thanks for your great comment.

      P.S. I thought your review on Twilight was hysterical. I am not a Twilight fan but I just might see it when it comes out on DVD. You’ll have to educate me though on why I should cozy up to vampires and how they serve a higher purpose rather than “sucking out ones blood”!

       
  2. Valentine Logar

    November 19, 2012 at 7:10 am

    If you and I were Goddess’ we would render such judgement it is a good thing we are both without powers and at the end of the day compassionate and humane. I have been silent this past week, my silence is not indicative of my lack of interest but rather my inability to say anything without cursing out loud and with great abandon. I am flummoxed by the hate I see, I am saddened by how powerful the dog whistlers are becoming.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Val. I’m not so much surprised at the intensity of the dog whistlers as much as I am by those who have come under their spell who should know better. I read a lot of literature on the Holocaust and one question has always bugged the hell out of me: how could Hitler make the headway he did when the Germans, the French, the Austrians, the Polish, etc. had Jewish friends and neighbbors. Some of them had Jewish relatives. If they had stood strong against the hatred in its infancy, Hitler and his Final Solutions would have faded off the scene with barely a whimper. When I went to Germany many years ago, I stayed with a German family who owned a tavern. Their neighbors had been Jewish and taken away in the night. This town is famous in Holocaust literature and there was only one road in and one road out. In other words, everybody would see you being marched out by soldiers and your businesses raided and destroyed. I asked my hosts what they had done to save their friends and neighbors, and they could not answer me. Actually, they said they had no idea what was going on until it was too late. In other words, they lied. As Martin Luther King once said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We either stand up to our friends today or we will regret their actions tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by. ET

       
  3. imagesbytdashfield

    November 19, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Snicker…she said one eyed monster. Yes the news is still doing its thing but what has me most upset more than anything….the demise of the Twinkie! Have you seen what people are trying to sell boxes for on Ebay???? DANG!! And my brain is fried too. Hope you feel better soon.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      TD: When I was writing this piece, I started laughing because I told WW, TD will be the first of my readers to pick up on the one eyed monster line. You did not disappoint! 🙂

      My daughter sent me the news about the Twinkie demise, and begged me to write a blog piece on it, but I thought too many other bloggers would jump at the chance. You should write a piece on it with all sorts of Twinkie photos. Stage a Twinkie funeral! Ha! Take care.

       
  4. composerinthegarden

    November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “if I were a goddess” — ah, Eleanor, you have tapped into the secret fantasy of at least half (maybe more) of the women of the world! And of course, you have the good sense to follow with “it’s a good thing that I’m not.” My current take on “life as usual” is profound relief and renewal of hope at the election returns, but an “I knew this was coming” take on the right wing reaction. Anyone with an agenda to defend and protect simply will not acknowledge any other reality, including election results – that is how the psyche works to defend its indefensible position. And most of those folks out there are wearing “button suits” primed to receive the correct stimulation from the manipulators at the top because they are too afraid to allow themselves to imagine any other world. Step away from the fray – I simply try to let everything go, send prayers to the haters, and continue in my small way to bring peace to the world around me. A small step but ultimately profound – I simply refuse to play the game.

    And Thanksgiving? I don’t eat turkey, we have a small and quiet friends and family gathering that involves a healthy meal, friendly conversation, and no shopping whatsoever:-) Peace.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Lynn. Yep, you are absolutely right: “Step away from the fray and simply let go of everything.” You are who I want to be like when I grow up. That’s why I visit your blog site when I need a major dose of peace. I’m working on it. In March comes retirement from the rat race and a more “composer in the garden” existence as a full time writer, I hope. Meditation returns, reading returns, music exploration returns. Take care, my friend.

       
      • composerinthegarden

        November 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Oh, you are so generous! So, to tell the truth Eleanor, you are who I wish to channel for sheer energy and zest of life! I guess we are even 🙂 Retirement sounds wonderful, a chance to live your life following your true dreams. A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you 🙂

         
  5. eurobrat

    November 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The takers comments have had me so ticked off this week, I’ve been in a constant state of seeing red. I was at an election night potluck with about ten friends who were also Obama voters, and we were all of us hard-working taxpayers. Not that there is any shame in needing the safety net once in a while, but we didn’t even fit that stereotype. I think I read a quote somewhere this week which said that if the voters don’t like you, you have a political problem–but you have an even bigger problem if the voters think you don’t like *them*. The contempt the Republicans have been showing for this country’s regular working people just boggles my mind. And then they’re surprised they lose!

     
    • etomczyk

      November 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Well said, Eurobrat! I think that feeling of being held in contempt, disdained, and disregarded is the most consistent thread threw all the demographics that voted for President Obama–from women to Hispanics to African-Americans to students and the poor in general. I think the Republicans forgot that the 47% can vote. Big mistake–HUGE!

       
  6. Tina

    November 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hey, Eleanor. I thought I told you about my ADHD. I got hung up on the “when turkeys revolt” frame. Come on sista! I shall truly be taking up the goddess theme in a coming soon post but it shall regard the issue of girls who grow up without someone to tell them what to expect. Starting with puberty, reaching into menopause. I’ve used the word “shall” twice in my response! Need to think about that. Righteous is not my intent.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Tina: I actually think a “goddess post regarding girls growing up without someone telling them what to expect” is a great idea. I wish I had thought of it. You have all kinds of possibilities with that. Thanks for stopping by and reading even if I overwhelmed your circuits. 🙂

       
      • Tina

        November 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

        Hi Eleanor, I’m starting a post along the lines of “choosing happiness” and wanted to ask if I could link your House of Love post?

         
      • etomczyk

        November 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        Tina: Link away. . . 🙂

         
  7. momshieb

    November 20, 2012 at 6:44 am

    I share your rage, my friend, and if I could, I would appoint you goddess in a heartbeat!
    My husband and I recently found ourselves in a situation where a friend was referring to someone her son met as a “dot”. We were totally confused until we realized that the person who was being talked about so sarcastically was Indian. We were so surprised we just sat there in silence. We’ve been planning how to respond “next time”. We differ in our approach: Paul wants to use disarming humor, I want to be more direct. As in, “Don’t use that kind of disgusting name calling in front of me, you bigot.” Guess who has more friends?

     
    • etomczyk

      November 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Momshieb. Now that is a new way to diminish and disdain a people group. I’ve never heard of that one! Good grief. I go back and forth with how to handle the type of situation you cited. Humor seems to work well the first time, but if they don’t get the point, then an “in your face” approach has to be the next step. Bigotry works well in numbers. If the bigoted remark can land softly among friends without so much as a “by your leave,” then the bigot becomes emboldened in their train of thought and will eventually broaden his or her audience until it’s difficult to find someone who disagrees with them in their circle. The only problem with that (well there are many problems) is that its only a matter of time before the bigot becomes a disdained stereotype in their own right to another bigot.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing such a great comment. Cheers!

       
      • momshieb

        November 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

        Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and to everyone with an open mind! Cheers back at you!

         
  8. aFrankAngle

    November 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Some short notes for you on this one.

    I hate the stores caving in to greed and opening Thanksgiving!

    Given the election results, the racists can now return to hating Mormons too. (I regretfully say)

    Although you didn’t go to far, but take a breath and repeat after me …. Sarah Palin is a nincompop … after all, people in political therapy need a bit of a reminder.

    You forgot one thing … If you were goddess, Bling for everyone!

    Bottom line – too many bipedal turkeys today.

    Nonetheless, very well done!

    BTW – I posted Finland, and you’ll love the music at the beginning and in the comments.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Frank, WW told me that I was going to get my knuckles smacked by you for bringing up the nincompoop, but I just couldn’t resist. She’s the prime example of saying she’s a Christian out of one side of her mouth with a mandate to save our country’s Christian values while she breaks Jesus greatest value (love) with one of her wink-wink’s at hatred. But I will go into “rehab” and not churn her up for many, many months.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a very happy Thanksgiving! Say hello to Mrs. A for me.

       
  9. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

    November 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Eleanor, you always find causes to rant about. I wish you WERE a goddess; then the world would have to sit up and notice. You made some very good points and I haven’t found one that I disagree with. That one road in and out of town really hit me….imagine having no power at all, not even to run away!

    I’m trying not to let my blood boil, so I’ll end by wishing you and your family and friends, and ALL the bloggers who follow you, a Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for.

     
    • etomczyk

      November 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Ronnie. You’re so right–I do have so many causes to rant about. It is one of the reasons I started to blog. I had turned 60 and felt that my voice had not been heard, or was being misinterpreted, or even worse I had “compromised” my voice. I decided that I didn’t want to go out that way.

      The story in Germany is even wilder than I noted. The conversation started with the German host because he was trying to show how magnanimous the German people were (this was during the late 60s) and show how uncouth the U.S. was regarding race relations. He said to me: “We Germans love the Negro–you will find a welcome home here.” Seriously? I couldn’t let that one pass me by. How could the Germans love me but not their Jewish neighbors and friends. He didn’t know that I knew about his town’s role in the extermination of the Jews. Somewhere between then and now, I’ve become watered down and I want to get back to that forthright, extremely honest human being that I was in my youth. Thus the causes. Happy T-Day to you and yours!

       
  10. Elyse

    November 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Even I am beyond dealing with the news. The mute button in my brain is on and holding tight for a while! Good luck with this surgery — the wait for it is always the worst part to me!

     
    • etomczyk

      November 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks Elyse. I hate that I have to go through this but the alternative is unexceptable.

       

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