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Saturday, August 3, 2013

THE GIRL HOLDING THE BILLBOARD



I just now saw a video put on facebook by a place called Addicting Info. This was a video made by a guy in front of an abortion clinic someplace, American city, video camera on two women standing in a parking zone holding up signs for people to see driving by on the four-lane. They were anti-abortionist parrots. The man with the camera spent the time accusing the women of making people feel worse than they already do, a valid point, and they argued back, he argued some more, they argued. They pointed out that he was getting on their nerves and he said they were getting on his nerves. He talked shit that ran all over me; accusing, starting sentences, "You...," telling them they're despicable. Before it was over, he was the one despicable. He brought to mind a few people I know, one, who talks self-righteous, in-your-face generalizations that have nothing to do with particulars, just an idea in his head that is righteous because it's in his head. I wanted to get in this guy's face, who was bullying the two women, with a Chris Rock type command: Shut the fuck up! I turned it off before it was over just to stop his mouth.



When it comes to whose side I was on, I went into it on his side, politically. I came out of it still on his side politically, but on the side of the women when it comes to personal issues, like decency. I don't like what the women were doing. They were locked down in a mindset I liberated myself from upon leaving childhood. It is ridiculous to me to stand holding signs up for people passing in cars, missionaries to a given point of view, living billboards. That I view it ridiculous does not deny them the right to do what they gotta do. I believe they would serve their cause better by volunteering twenty hours a week at an orphanage, if we have such places anymore. Don't berate people you don't understand, is what the guy with the camera was saying. Help the people who are the living consequences of other people's mistakes. They say the fetus is holy. If the fetus is holy, then why isn't the kid holy after it's born? These are the only arguments I had with the women, which amounts to no more than mentation. Had I been walking down the sidewalk I would not have said anything to them. If I had been inside the clinic with a wife getting an abortion, like the man with the video camera, I'd have stayed inside. He struck me as a provoking personality, and made me pity his wife, considering this is the tone of voice he uses to berate her. "You're despicable!" It was too easy for him to talk to women in his superior tone of voice. He was getting too much of a kick out of it. A bully, picking on people who can't fight back, making a video to brag on it.

 

He wasn't a teabagger. He was a liberal flaunting it. I dislike it immensely when I hear what liberals say and read what liberals have written coming from a scolding tone of voice, sounding like an old-timey preacher's wife. Some liberals have a smug old-maid side that makes me feel shame by association. Self-righteousness is ugly in every manifestation. It especially gags me the way some liberals wax so smug about racists and people who believe differently from them where gay marriage is concerned. I charge republicans with parrotry freely, and have the same to say of liberals. Liberals tend to political correctness speak, which gets on my nerves to the same degree as a republican with justifications for defunding the post office and education. I used to think liberals were more or less free thinkers. A few are. I'm not turning my back on my own identity as a liberal in the post-Reagan sense of the word. Quite a lot recently I've witnessed in people I know or in reading articles that liberals seem to have become more smug than ever before. Like if you're not with the political correctness agenda, you're a square and you're really nowhere. Line borrowed from 50s pop song, Big Name Button. Beatnik jive talk then.



To say I identify with the liberal side of the American political coin does not mean I totally identify with it. I think it's pathetic that in this time a liberal is somebody who wants democracy. Conservative means corporate police state. It's the self-righteousness on both sides that make them both "despicable." I'm recalling a moment years ago after a church meeting, saying to the preacher's wife, "I'll see you next week." She said, in her stereotype of smug, "We don't have a guarantee of that." I thought: Ho Hum. And said, "Let's act like we do and be surprised if we don't." Which, of course, didn't settle anything--just a young guy being a smart-mouth. It's the same way I feel about the accusations and blame from liberal to conservative and conservative to liberal. The way things are aligned at the moment, the conservatives are the smug ones looking down their noses at the liberals for conforming to the list of correctnesses. By now the liberals are looking down their noses in return at the conservatives, making comedy of their ridiculous claims and transparent nonsense. Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and several others are making their careers as comedians. The republicans have become comedy unto slapstick.



I'm all for the mental back and forth between right-leaning-toward-middle and far right, How it plays out is usually through an individual's own consciousness, and we're all unique. It's really pointless of me to say a smug liberal stains my respect. I can't say I'm ashamed of being an American because Ted Nugent is shameless. He has nothing to do with me. I've never listened to his guitar. I've heard it, but never wanted to hear it again. I lean more toward artful guitar in rock, like Mick Jones of the Clash, one of many examples, and Lenny Kaye of Patti Smith Group. I'm not saying they're the greatest there ever was, only that they satisfy my ear when Nugent does not. I will make it a point to examine the nature of my identity with liberal. I'm not somebody who would walk around on the beach carrying a sign, Beware Skin Cancer. I am heartened to see that Limbaugh and Hannity are losing their sponsors. Today I spoke in a friendly way with the top dog of the county's republican party. He's a Reaganista parrot. In my years of writing the column in the Alleghany News, every time I wrote something that slighted a republican, he and another republican fired off letters to the editor declaring I don't know what I'm talking about. *I confess* If I cut all the people out of my life who are politically right wing, I wouldn't like what was left. I have no problem with somebody's politics as long as it's possible to know each other as people. The politics is nothing but illusory mentation. Who we are as individuals is what is important, not who agrees and who does not agree with my way of thinking on this artificial issue and that.

 
 
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