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Posts Tagged ‘liberal’

Dear Lord

In Recent Headlines on April 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

There is a new group on Facebook that at the time of this writing has 454,520 members. The title of the group is:

DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN

I saw this group as a handful of my friends had joined it. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, because the founder of the group insists:

… it’s a F[***]ING JOKE, people! for the last time, i seriously doubt any of the people who responded to me would have said a damn thing about the same joke being used on W (well, except maybe to agree with it and laughing).

I’m not quite certain where I want to begin with my criticism. I’ll start with something simple like spelling and typing in all CAPS. I would think if Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett were favorite actors, the group founder would know how to spell their names correctly.

People who don’t like President Obama also tend to take their prayer pretty seriously. I find nothing f***ing funny about invoking the Lord’s name to pray for someone’s death. I’m pretty sure God isn’t laughing, either. As to the favorite celebrities? Kinda hypocritical here, as well.

Patrick Swayze’s breakout role was as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. His character had sex with an underage virginal teenager and he helped his friend get an illegal abortion, while dancing to the fabulous music of the early 60s. In Point Break, he wore the mask of Ronald Reagan while he robbed banks. In To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, he portrayed a cross-dressing drag queen that riles a homophobic small town sheriff. Favorite actor, huh? I assumed a teenager who didn’t abstain, a friend who got an abortion, a mockery of conservative hero Reagan and blatant cross dressing would be offensive to such folks.

Farrah Fawcett was a bit more believable as a favorite choice. She also portrayed a woman who killed her abusive husband in The Burning Bed. In Small Sacrifices, she portrayed Diane Downs, a cruel, abusive, and neglectful parent who had been in trouble with the law before. Further investigation on the 28-year-old woman uncovered a troubled home life, surrogate pregnancies, a messy divorce, and an affair with a married man. Favorite actress, huh?

Michael Jackson, really? Michael Jackson who died from massive illegal drug prescriptions? Michael Jackson who carved his God-given body up with plastic surgery? Michael Jackson who had countless accusations of child molestation and Michael Jackson who dangled his baby from a balcony? Favorite singer, huh?

I suppose I should celebrate the open-minded nature of having such celebrity idols. Who knew that the conservative faction in our country finds such portrayals of immorality so entertaining?

I suppose what bothers me is not so much the choices, because honestly, I’m a fan of all of them. I “had the time of my life” with Dirty Dancing, I wanted to be one of Charlie’s Angels, and as teen, no dance was complete without several Michael Jackson songs. This is more a criticism of the conflicting messages. It’s in extremely poor taste to claim favorites only because they died last year, along with a snarky remark about a favorite president. It makes me cry more than it makes me laugh. To borrow from the founder,

… it’s not a f***ing joke, I would not have laughed about the same joke being made about W, I would have written something similar to this.

Like it or not, problems do not end with the death of someone. I’m more about figuring out ways to live effectively in each moment. Perhaps if the f***ing joke makers spent a little more time making change instead of jokes, they wouldn’t have to feel so ineffective as to pray for death.

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An open letter response to my last open letter

In Recent Headlines on March 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

Good morning, everyone.

I am going to start with an honest apology. I offended some of my friends who participate in the Tea Party movement with my open letter. While my intent was humor, the reality was it was offensive to some. Since the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I feel compelled to apologize.

I would like to rewind to the impetus behind my post. Perhaps this is viewed as closing the barn door after the horse ran away, but I still feel the need to expound.

It’s no secret that I lean left politically. That conjures all sorts of assumptions, some of which are true, but not all. I love the planet, I love my fellow-man, and I believe we should care for both with equal fervor. My life’s walk has shaped my belief system.

However, with last week’s landmark health care bill, it was not easy to slice through the sensationalism and into the true heart of the matter. I imagine it’s quite the same for a conservative. As a liberal, when I want to try to hear the other side, it’s really difficult for me to get past the insulting rhetoric. I don’t appreciate being told I’m an insane socialist, money waster, borderline communist because I have a different set of priorities than they do. Different is not right or wrong. It’s different. Again, we all prioritize things in our lives based on personal experiences.

One thing about my personality is that I live frugally and well within my means. Needless to say, the cost of the bill didn’t sit well with me. I know how to budget for my household, it upsets me that there isn’t a higher level of concern by our leadership. But truly, both sides escalated the deficit. Additionally, there were very few calls to control the costs. No incentives for doctors, pharmaceutical companies, or insurance companies to keep costs under control. Not to mention some tort reform. Another issue that bothered me was the lack if language about personal responsibility. It bothers me that people as a whole do not take better care of their bodies. When I read news stories about a 600 lb. woman whose goal is to reach 1000 lbs., to think that my taxes will pay for her horrific abuse to her body is insulting. I really wanted more information.  (actually I linked to both Huffington Post and FOX news for that story… YAY somewhere we agree!)

When I posted my tongue in cheek essay about what our taxes ought to pay for, I hoped to steer it towards dialogue that “since we have to pay for health care, where can we trim our budget?” I am sincerely grateful for the thoughtful input.

Now to the part I absolutely refuse, will not, cannot apologize for. There are people in this movement who are frightening and dangerous and I wrote about them. They destroy the credibility of the cause. When bricks are thrown, people are spit on, calls for assassination made, inflammatory words like n** and f** are used, all reasonable discourse is destroyed. I cannot believe any member of the movement who isn’t “like that” wasn’t equally horrified by what people were doing in their name.  I cannot believe the official news version is “that never happened, we never saw it.”

The best analogy I offer is as a sports fan. I am a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan. I say that with trepidation because there is a section of the stadium, the Dawg Pound, famous for its crazy fans. A few years ago, this section of fans threw projectile items at the referees, based on calls they didn’t agree with. I wasn’t in that section of the stadium, I wasn’t even at the game, so I never saw it happen. But I wrote a letter to the editor apologizing on behalf of the buffoon fans who made our city and the loyal fans look horrible on a national stage. Because I aligned myself with my home team, I felt it appropriate to apologize on their behalf.

Apologies and outrage are glaringly absent. It’s heartbreaking. When such fringe members are not called out on their disgusting antics, silence is considered endorsement. I cannot believe more tea party patriots are not concerned about their reputation as a grassroots movement. Extremism, wherever it comes from is terribly dangerous. I fear for the lives of those who disagree.  Truly.  This isn’t alarmist language. It only takes one crazy angry person with one bullet and good aim to kill someone.

My refusal to apologize for writing about the fringe members of the movement is a call for honesty, an open invitation for the mainstream members to speak up. Here is an opportunity. Denounce the extremists, speak about your real goals.

No humor, no satire, no tongue in cheek messages. Straight up.

The floor is open.

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