Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Quick Note on Imus

I never liked Imus, so I never listened to his show.


Sure, what Imus said was vile and racist, but no more than usual, and no more shocking than the vocal feces that spews from the lips of Coulter or Limbaugh.


But that's what is so great about America.


Any damn fool can say any damn fool thing they want.

This is why I have a blog.


Actually, I think Coulter is to blame for the firestorm around Imus. Call it a delayed reaction. Like when a group of rowdy kids is getting out of hand, and one kid says something way over the top, but the adults are slow to react. You know those moments; when even the kids know they better shut the hell up. Then the next kid who says ANYTHING gets the wrath of God brought down on him.


But what's funny is how the other conservative pundits have attacked Imus.


I think the conservatives have taken to cannibalizing themselves to stay alive. The weaker rats have already jumped ship and now the languishing rats are resorting to desperate measures. Frankly, I think Rush Limbaugh would have been a more substantial choice, and I mean that on so many different levels. Imus is just a jerk who says things for shock value; Rush is a vile human being with enough real dirt to keep the 24-hour news networks busy for a week without repeating themselves.

But then, if they were interested in tackling issues of substance, they wouldn't be conservatives, right?

Sorry, Imus, looks like you got the short straw.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heather,

I've never met you but I like the way you write/think and suspect that we would be fast friends, however, I have to take issue with this post.

Why would any conservative pundit come to Imus' aid and why do you think Coulter (bitch) is responsible for this circus? Imus is not exactly in line with the ideology of the RNC, and when someone makes a public mistake that either end of the aisle can use to distance themselves from cries of "racism," you can bet that EVERYONE will try like hell to cast the first stone. It isn't just conservatives that eat their own; look to the cases of Condit and Trafficant (or Clinton and Obama for that matter) if you need evidence. If there's blood in the water, every opportunist in the ocean is coming to take a bite. Even if Imus was some great supporter of the republicans, look what happened to Trent Lott. That guy was party leadership and he was ushered out expeditiously because he slipped up in the worst way with the worst taboo. If you will allow me a slight digression, when Trent Lott slipped up he actually gave the nation a brief glimpse into his true mind. I think he evidenced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is in fact a genuine racist. With Imus, I'm not sure that was the case. He said something stupid and offensive, but it wasn't necessarily overtly racist or evidence of overt racism in his heart-of-hearts. He was talking trash the way an athlete talks trash to members of a rival team. Name calling. Sticks and stones. Anyway, why would Coulter et al be more influential in this debacle than Sharpton et al?

What Imus said was inappropriate, but it basically amounts to name calling and, in my opinion, should not be a big deal. Far worse things will be said in the upcoming presidential race. Please note that I am not defending or endorsing Don Imus, I just wonder why this should be worthy of every headline across the nation.

As well they should have, the Rutgers women responded in a very classy manner and presented themselves as intelligent, cultured people who were not bent on revenge or playing victim. These women were clearly offended, and rightfully so, but they were not hateful. They are obviously very capable young women of great expectations, so I was disappointed not to hear them say anything to the effect of "Al Sharpton: we will handle our own affairs, thank you."

It seems to me that Americans were, at one time, tough and stoic people who had grit and were not afraid to speak their minds. It is not my intention to infer that in the good-ole-days people could say what they wanted about another race/religion/ethnicity and not face the sort of spectacle Imus is in the middle of now, instead, I mean that the governance of our speech and actions was by a very different mechanism. People measured what they said by standards of decorum and decency, politeness and "niceness," if you will. People sought to have and be perceived to have "class." That doesn't happen any more. Our celebrities talk trash, do drugs, have children out of wedlock and sham marriages, make wildly lewd public exhibitions, so on and so forth ad nauseum. Movies, comedians, TV and radio personalities are in a constant struggle to provide the most shocking stimulus possible and must continually up the ante to remain competitive. Americans don't care about being classy anymore, just being entertained. If we had any class this wouldn't be an issue and we could go back to the coverage of Anna Nicole's paternity battle.

Anyway, my point with that whole sprawling amalgam was that we, as a whole, seem to be very poor at governing ourselves with regard to speech and actions because our morality, as a whole, has been ground down to a nub. Our culture is in serious jeopardy and I don't think that Coulter et al or Sharpton et al are going to lead anyone in the right direction. Imus screwed up, his employer didn't like what he said, he was fired. Why is that newsworthy and why is everyone jumping on this wagon?

Heather Annastasia said...

Anonymous,

It's not newsworthy, and I don't think what Imus said was a big deal. I hoped my post would convey the fact that I find the whole thing rather humorous.

I think the comment was racist and sexist, simply because the comment only applied to black women. I don't think that necessarily makes Imus racist; he says things for shock value.

Coulter's "faggot" remark was for attention also, but I think she was truly speaking for a lot of conservatives, and the applause that followed supports that idea. That was a truly hateful and disgusting comment; but no firestorm. My theory is that the general public's patience with these remarks was pushed to the breaking point by Coulter, and then Imus broke it; not because what he said was so bad, but because he said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

As for the newsworthiness of any of this; it's all distractions from issues of substance like the economy and the war, which is not the conservatives fault, it goes across the board.

But don't even get me started on Trent Lott! That son-of-a-bitch hasn't gone anywhere! He's using all his connections for lobbying; same game, other side of the wink and handshake!

Oh, and pick a name! ;)

Misplaced said...

It's been awhile since I've been here- I saw you on LOL. Another good post.

Misplaced said...

I'm sorry I thought you knew - misplaced- biscuit same person. I called myself biscuit early on as an inside joke with CA

Heather Annastasia said...

Are you serious?

When Biscuit said he left a comment on my blog, I thought he was 'Anonymous'!

haha!

Gus_J said...

Cool, now I know what biscuit looks like. Since everyone knows what each other looks like, here's me http://blackwhiteblues.com/me.jpg

What's Venice like?

BlackSun said...

If you're gonna throw racial insults, they should be funny and at least have a component of truth to them. Imus' line wasn't funny and most black women these days have straight hair. Just sayin'

But seriously, Bill Maher made a good point when he discussed South Park, rap, Sarah Silverman and plenty of other venues where racial humor pushes the edges and no one seems to care. Sharpton made an ass of himself on the Maher show by consistently refusing to address Bill's points, refusing to have a sense of humor, and never stepping out of his hypocritical posture of moral indignation. (he has straight hair now, too) Bah...

Where's Sharpton when black comics make continuous fun of white people? Chris Rock would't last a minute by that standard. But as a white guy, I think he's as funny as hell! Everyone needs to stop being so sensitive already.

The Imus thing was about power, pure and simple. Like Howard Stern, I suspect that Imus will soon be back, bigger than ever, in a venue that is not ad-supported.

Heather Annastasia said...

I missed Mahar.

I think the main reason why a lot of racist jokes are tolerated is because they're often poking fun at racism itself.

If you have a chracter dressed up as a redneck saying derogatory things about black people, you're really making fun of racist rednecks.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see the most recent Southpark? It was REALLY pushing the envelope, but they made a good point.

Heather Annastasia said...

Which one?

Gus_J said...

"Anyone see the most recent Southpark? It was REALLY pushing the envelope, but they made a good point."

Yeah, which one? That's what they do. I love those guys.

About Imus... That honkey's nuts.

penny said...

In the 1990's I was shocked by the riots in LA, becuase I didn't realize how little we had progressed with regard to racism. That's how niave I was.

Today,not only have we NOT progressed beyond racism, we don't even TRY to overcome racism. We don't even pretend.

www.shutyourdirtylittlemouth.blogspot.com

Gus_J said...

Penny, racism is a tool of the elite to keep the powerless, powerless. Socioeconomic factors are created to divide. Poor people who have poverty and powerlessness in common have to be kept separate somehow or else a coup is possible. Look at the years 1600-1800 in American history for this lesson. 1600-1700, approximately 30% of servants were white, they often joined forces with people of the same socioeconomic class and attempted an overthrow. As a result the white European bastard fucks started treating white servants well (almost as equals) and black servants terribly, usually making the white servants overseers of the black slaves. This happened 1700-1800 or so. The biggest fear for the "settlers" was that poor whites, slaves, and "Indians" would join forces and mess up the whole enterprise. This almost happened, unfortunately, they weren't able to organize. Communication was a big problem.

My point is, it's really not racism, it's classism. If it's viewed as racism, it's accomplishing their goal. Look at a persons affiliations, if they're part of the power structure, they're most often feeding this class warfare. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are good examples of wolves dressed like sheep. They attempt to divide the poor. A quick look into their history and you will find that they are racist, sexist, and usually come up short on logic.

Heather Annastasia said...

Good points, Gus!

I have racist family members, and I try to point out that they have more in common with the black people they live and work with than with the white people over on the nice side of town.

They just don't get it, though.

Anonymous said...

Guys,

I have a quick question for everyone: What do you think advances our society with regard to race relations? Is the answer to ignore our differences, establish taboos and NEVER encroach on them, and to diligently walk on eggshells with people of dissimilar backgrounds at all times? I don't think so. If you change your behavior and speech around people of another race isn't that a manifestation of racism? I have friends and family who, when speaking to a black man, hispanic, etc. etc. change the way they speak so much as to become unrecognizable to me. It makes me cringe. Its patronizing and even if it is involuntary it is still dishonest. To me, its hiding who you really are. The lines of communication need to be completely open and we need to be able to talk to eachother straight up. Bill Mahar, hack though he may be, hit the nail on the head with Sharpton. I understand that Sharpton is not a very good representative of the black population, but he illustrated in a very convincing fashion a major communication problem that is present everywhere. If you can not acknowledge a fair, common-sense question someone has posed to you point-blank because of some principle that you absolutely MUST adhere to, then you need to re-examine your principles. But, if we were all able to speak to eachother like adults and interact in a fluid, natural way Al Sharpton would be out of a job. Everyone should be as comfortable poking fun at another race as Sarah Silverman and Lisa Lampanelli. I think that as long as we can talk about race we'll be fine. Otherwise, this will be as good as it gets.

And Penny, I just can't resist...

"In the 1990's I was shocked by the riots in LA, becuase I didn't realize how little we had progressed with regard to racism. That's how niave I was.

Today,not only have we NOT progressed beyond racism, we don't even TRY to overcome racism. We don't even pretend."

Pretending is the problem. I hope at some point "Nappy headed-hoes" will be treated as exactly how big of problem it really is, which is not very big at all. Have we really not progressed beyond racism at all? The KKK is a shameful laughinstock, the secretary of state is a black woman, and the utterance of a ridiculous juvenile phrase is national news and grounds for firing a radio personality who has been on the air for over 20 years. It wasn't even 50 years ago that smiling at a white woman was grounds for dragging behind a pickup. I think we've come quite a long way.

Heather Annastasia said...

Anonymous #2,

You're right, ignoring racism only breeds more racism.

We have definitely come a long way in this country, but there are still gross racial disparities that must be addressed.

I really don't think Imus's joke was a big deal, but I think Coulter's faggot remark was a big deal. Coulter's remark was mean and was an open display of the hatred and intolerance for which her party stands; hatred and intolerance that manifests itself as public policy when people like her are elected to public office.

Racism, sexism, and all the other "isms" cannot be treated lightly because they have serious repercussions when acted upon.

A joke should be judged by the intentions behind it. When a joke is made with hatred (Coulter), it should be called out for what it is. When a joke is made without hatred (Silverman, Chapelle) that's a completely different issue.

I certinly don't think that any subject should be made taboo. When we hide things in a closet and try to pretend they're not there, they will manifest themselves in other ways and become very ugly.

I also think jokes keep us honest. In Shakespeare, the most honest character is always the Fool. He points out facts to the King which no other character can say because he phrases it as a joke. Comedians keep us honest. They point out things we don't want to admit about ourselves, and we laugh. Gagging comedians with taboos is the worst mistake any culture can make.

Anonymous said...

Heather,

FYI just one anonymous on this line of comments...

I may have to break down and pick a name to avoid further confusion.

Heather Annastasia said...

You could be "The One and Only Anonymous"

or

"Anonyman"

Wait, maybe you're not a guy.

Ooh! "Anonymiss!"