Dis-temper

Know what makes me tired? How so many recent events have proven that we are a society trapped in a downward spiral of uncontrolled rudeness and stupidity. What am I talking about? Why, what everyone else is talking about, of course: Joe, Kanye, and Serena, oh my!

We start out with Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst during Obama’s address to Congress. It was disrespectful, yes. Then again, so were the Democrats who booed George W. Bush during his State of the Union address in, I believe, 2005. Wilson, however, is also being labeled racist. (Those booing Democrats, in case you’re wondering, were never labeled moronists.)

I’ve gone over this one before, but apparently I’m screaming into the wind yet again. Now even former presidents are getting in on the racism tagging. To Obama’s credit, he refuses to take this tired, stale bait. Perhaps because he realizes that this is simply another smokescreen to detract our attention away from an honest debate about important issues. Kind of on the same level as death panels and tea baggers (yes, please giggle if you must at that one).

That’s what Republicans are guilty of at this juncture: not being blatantly racist. No, their specialty is fearmongering as a smokescreen to deflect attention from real issues. How do you think they convinced half the country to re-elect Dubya even though he didn’t have enough qualifications to be elected school crossing guard? Fear. “If you don’t vote for George W. Bush, the gay terrorists will invade and turn all your children into gym teachers and nancy boys! And they’ll do a FABULOUS job of it!”

Same difference now. “Obama’s health plan will mean Great Aunt Myrtle will have to be put to sleep because she’s too old! Obama’s going to personally euthanize her! Then he’s going to turn her into Soylent Green and serve her to the unemployed!”

Okay, that last part was a bit over the top…but so are the death panels. What purpose does this kind of panic serve beyond the obvious of detracting from intelligent discourse? Yeah, like we’re capable of such a thing in this country.

Actually, though, I’m derailing myself. I’m not here to talk more about the universal health care issue or all the other political piffle that’s been irritating me. It’s too early in the day to get my blood pressure that high. No, because now we move from Joe Wilson to Kanye West. I don’t want to say much about him, because he’s really not worth a lot of commentary. I’m simply acknowledging that he was a big douchewanger…yet again. But then there’s Serena Williams threatening to cram a “fucking ball” down someone’s “fucking throat.”

All righty then. Women, we still don’t make the same pay for doing the same work as a guy, but we’re now able to throw tantrums in the sports world, like the big boys do! Just like Mary Tyler Moore, looks like we’ve made it after all!

Now, of course, all three of these hotheads have apologized. It took Serena a little longer, but she finally came around (after much pushing from her agent and others within her financial inner circle, I’m sure; we mustn’t tarnish ourselves too much or the money won’t keep rolling in). And now all will be forgiven (well, at least for Kanye and Serena; Joe’s going to keep getting dragged through the racist ringer a bit longer).

But why should we accept their apologies? Better yet, why should we tolerate this kind of behavior at all? Why shouldn’t Joe Wilson be censured? Hell, why weren’t the booing Jackasses..er, Democrats from 2005 censured? It’s the State of the Union, not a pep rally! Why shouldn’t Serena Williams be told she’s out the rest of the tennis season? Yeah, she was fined. $10,000. Wow. That’s pretty much the equivalent of fining one of us mere mortals a dime.

(Why am I not trying to punish Kanye? I think he’s punishment enough, both to himself and to anyone who listens to his music.)

Why am I bothering to rant about this, as if what I say here is going to make any difference? Will Serena read this and realize the error of her ways? Will Kanye tweet me his apology for being a wanker yet again on national television? Will Joe Wilson care that a Democrat outside his jurisdiction is commenting on him? Why should he? He’s raised more than a million dollars thanks to his outburst. And Kanye got me to talk about him (because Lord knows I sure wasn’t talking about his music). And Serena? Hell, she earned $350,000 just for getting to that match where she had her little meltdown. She’s a winner no matter what the score, if you ask me.

Which, of course, no one did. But I shared anyway, because that’s the kind of wolf I am. Now it’s back to work. I promise I won’t try to shove my mouse down anyone’s throat, although if you’d like to pay me $350,000, I’ll see what I can do. I do have that infamous red-haired temper working in my favor…