*as Performed for the Inmates of Faux Nooz Under the Direction of the Hart de Williams, ex-HUSTLER Pornographer
I did Alan Colmes an extreme disservice yesterday. I was wrong, and, since misery loves company, you may want to stop reading here. The lens of the confessional might inadvertently point backwards, so, fair warning.
A long time ago, in fact, I can still remember it precisely and exactly, I met a famous writer. This normally would have been a coincidence, except that it was my intention to meet a famous writer, and I had attended a science fiction convention to meet that writer, except that the writer I met wasn’t the writer I was looking for.
I can tell you exactly what he told me, and exactly when. “Get inside your characters’ skins. Look at the world through their eyes. There is an old [? American Indian tribe] saying that ‘you never truly know a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccassins.'”
I didn’t walk a mile in Colmes’ moccassins, I realized yesterday, as I rather self-centeredly drowned in a sea of hatemail, and bemoaned what I thought was small defense by the left. Indeed, I petulantly and self-importantly stated: ”
And my comrades “on the left” will probably offer me the same support and solidarity that Alan Colmes did. Alas, he IS, in too many ways, a typical modern liberal. Me, on the other hand? I say that now’s the time to shout these bastards down. They’ve had 21 years without being challenged. Right Rush?
I still believe that last part. But it struck me: How had I offered Alan Colmes any support? And, to be fair, most good debaters would instantly distance themselves from my purposely inflammatory rhetoric. (Worked, you might note.) We are, after all, talking about NOT going down the let’s all shoot somebody! road. No matter how glorious shooting the “enemy” may seem going in — ask the troops — it isn’t so glorious coming back out.
Thank goodness I hadn’t called anybody “little Eichmanns,” like that awful Ward Churchill fellow did — whom I also haven’t given much support to, despite my highfalutin’ words on the subject yesterday, quoting my “Unreasonable Men” book column 14 years ago:
“No room is left for moderation. And, in a nation in which public policy is, increasingly, determined by talk-radio debate, the lack of courtesy, the absence of reason and reasonableness, and the monkey-throwing-feces brand of humor is a dangerous indicator of the future. Although we should fight to the death for these gentlemen’s right to speak so hideously, we should also be able to reasonably disagree–reasonably and intelligibly.”
We have moved into governance by swift=boating. And, as each of us is, in turn, swift-boated in that old Scientology technique of “dead agenting,” we fail to band together.
What Benjamin Franklin said either 231 years ago, of just in the movie of the musical, “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.
[Speaking of which, the first political cartoon was another Franklin creation “Join or Die” with the 13 colonies being 13 pieces of a snake. Speaking of which, the great political cartoonist Doug Marlette, who also drew the daily cartoon strip “Kudzu,” passed away. He had the bad luck to die on the same day as Lady Bird Johnson, but he deserves special mention for his many years of nonpartisan wit. Franklin would no doubt have been proud of him.]
Not hanging together is exactly what I did by not backing up Alan Colmes. On “Hannity & Colmes” yesterday, Colmes simply put the (mis)quote in context. By adding that context, any reasonable person could see in a heartbeat that I was not advocating, in the words of one blog’s headline yesterday: “Liberal Trash Writer Threatens Assassination and Civil War.”
That was enough. Look: Colmes has to sit among the alpha-bits in the maelstrom of Faux Nooz’s crazy soup every goddamned day. Without backup. Without cover. And he gets ALL the rightie hate mail, and a lot of leftie hate mail, too.
Who the hell was I to think that my little annoyance with that toxic brew that they spew through their smokestacks each and every day, 24/7 on the radio, and on TeeVee, and in print was any kind of discomfort compared to what Colmes endures on a constant basis?
But he stands there, Horatius at the bridge, so that at least ONE ‘liberal’ voice gets our talking points out there. Alas, we’re not unified enough to HAVE talking points, so he does the best he can.
When I went into the Democratic party as a meeting-attending member in 1996, it was because I felt that we had to “Fight the Right” in the words of a mailing I received at the time. When I officially resigned my precinct committeeman’s (elective) position the day after the 2004 election, it was to return to writing (I had given up many kinds of writing while I was a partisan, as a matter of professional integrity).
But I had to explain it a lot, and the short answer I gave was that it was to return to fighting Republicans. For the time I was in the party, all we did was fight Democrats! Never did the PARTY address the GOP. If I’d have wanted to fight Democrats, I’d have been a Republican precinct committeeman.
At least there, I would have been praised for it.
Now, we stupidly turn up our liberal noses at Larry Flynt and HUSTLER*, because, even though we agree with what they’re doing to the “moral” hypocrites who stole a year of OUR government’s time to prosecute a blowjob, we can’t offer Flynt any support. Which is precisely the rightie tactic for shutting him up and shutting him down: divide and conquer. Since the people have the votes, those who would control them have to continually “divide and conquer” with tactics designed to keep us from backing one another.
[*The Senator from Louisiana with the hooker problem and the hyperventilating “FAMILY VALUES!” platform, in the news today.]
People who don’t give a DAMN about pollution OR global warming criticize Al Gore for his electric bill, and rock musicians at Live Earth for anything MORE than arriving at the concert on roller skates, their equipment strapped to their backs. (And, even then, they’d note that the musicians were breathing hard, therefore MAKING MORE CARBON DIOXIDE!! etc.)
During the Clinton impeachment, Republicans who held women in CONTEMPT, tried to convince feminists that Clinton had ‘abused’ Lewinsky, and they should want him impeached for reasons THEY UTTERLY DESPISED. That one didn’t fly any higher than a lead balloon.
Or, they accused me, last summer, of being a pornographer, as I was writing about a multistate petition-gathering scam (nothing remotely sexy about it). Our local-yokel right-wing mouthpiece provocated thusly:
Oh, on a slightly different note. Is there no comment about [Hart Williams’] involvement in pornography? I mean isn’t that the exploitation of women? Especially women who drop out of high school? Oh I understand that women of legal age have the right to engage in such exploits. Hey it happens and there is a market for it.
However, call me uninformed, I have always had this picture of the stereotypical porn director/producer as being a pretty self-centered male who really has no personal concern for the women (girls?) he hires.
So, when everybody sniffs (like TIME) about Flynt, as though he were a leper, it has a resonance for me: because I’m not giving Flynt any cover, either. (Not, perhaps, that he wants it. He’s used to going it alone.)
If we want to stop this small group of out of control mutant three-year-olds (the 3-year-old motto shared by the current ‘leadership’ and the Limbaugher Cheesers of the Right: “Mine! Mine! Mine!”), THEN WE HAVE GOT TO BACK ONE ANOTHER UP.
We’ve got to see beyond our three year old selves, and consider who is on our ‘side.’ If you’re ‘agin George Bush, you are NOT a member of Al Qaeda — although many members of the latter are clearly in that camp, BUT I believe their leadership is wildly enthusiastic about Dubya, based on their stated goals and his demonstrated results.
So accept my sincere apologies, Mr. Colmes. I understand what you are doing, as we’ve discussed privately. You backed me up a lot more than I’ve backed you. That’s going to change. And to you, who find all of us distasteful: me, Larry Flynt, and Alan Colmes, well, consider whether you find Sean Hannity’s form of character assassination LESS distasteful. And remember that we’re all in this together. Sink or swim. Now, let’s dismantle this culture of personal destruction, of linguistic petulance (P.C.) and run the country that we ALL have, seemingly, run into the ground with our intramural squabbling.
Ask not for whom the right wing smear merchant is coming, chilluns. He is coming for THEE. Now, I HAVE been backed up beautifully, and to Voice of Reason, whoever you are, you get the last word (from the aforementioned “Civil War” post):
Voice of Reason:
You are really confused, dude. Mr. Williams was expressing his concern about people like Rush and Ted Nugent fomenting hatred that would inevitably result in civil war, not threatening civil war himself. Learn to read, and maybe a good place to start would be reading some of Ann Coulter’s hateful writing and public appearances where she many times has said liberals should be killed. Why don’t you compare her to the Muslim extremists? Is it because she is a Republican so it doesn’t matter what she says? Instead of ratcheting up the hate here why don’t you use this as an opportunity to tell everyone to cool off and start getting along, not just the Democrats.
NOTE: Special thanks to Ginny, and to Pamela and Becky M. who have been all over the internets (sic), backing me up. I am most grateful. I am being deluged with 2000+ emails a day, so there is no point in my giving out my email address. People can contact me via comments sections. To those who have it: The ‘unlisted’ address works fine.
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