Monday, March 05, 2007

How Can Anyone Take Anne Coulter Seriously?

Last week Anne Coulter dragged her tired old bones onto another stage and released more shock-talk to keep her flickering zeitgeist alive. In her speech she referred to John Edwards as a "faggot." Nothing like thoughtful rhetoric to drive intelligent debate on the issues. Personally, I don't give a crap about anything Anne Coulter says. She's such a predictable, two-dimensional cartoon, like a caricature of herself. Why bother buying one of her books when you already know exactly what she's going to say on any topic? And frankly I'm not much more impressed with Edwards' attempt to use it as a springboard for a campaign contribution drive. But that's politics.

What struck me was how some news sources censored her comment as "fa**ot," or other variations. The F-word (or maybe the other F-word). The N-word. I'm beginning to detest these politically-correct euphemisms. I feel like Albus Dumbledore trying to convince people to say "Lord Voldemort" instead of "You Know Who." The problem with these niceties is that they focus the attention on the wrong problem. It's not about words or letters on a page. Slurs and epithets are the tip of the iceberg of bigotry. It's not the language used to denigrate minorities that's important. It's the underlying hatred and devaluation of individuals that has to be addressed. A "God hates fags" sign at the funeral of someone who has died of AIDS isn't an abomination because someone had the gall to use the word "fag." It's the assault on basic human dignity, the irrevocable right of every creature of God, that cries to the heavens for justice.

Just because we create a society where people are afraid to say "faggot" or "nigger" or "kike" or "beaner" doesn't mean we've made any real progress. That's nothing more than a sterile dressing to ease the minds and consciences of people too afraid to gaze upon the root of the problem. Don't sugarcoat the language used by bigots, because that only sugarcoats the ugliness bubbling beneath the surface, waiting to spew forth in a pus of violence and lynchings and gas chambers and every other atrocity catalogued in the sad history of humanity.

On a personal note

Not so good on the alcohol front. "One more day, and then I'll stop tomorrow," continues to be my running mantra. It's kind of hard to explain, but my smoking and my drinking go hand in hand. (I never bother to smoke when I'm not getting drunk or high on drugs.) I usually smoke about half a pack of cigarettes each evening of debauch. I've even convinced myself to drink one more evening just to finish off the smokes I have left. This morning I tore up the cigarettes I had remaining in an effort to bulwark my resolve not to drink tonight. But after work I just bought more beer and another pack.

I've decided that I need to call in the assistance of my priest and my counselor to help break this cycle I'm in. I keep mentioning that "things have been going really well lately" and intending to elaborate in another entry. The short version is that I've finally found a medication that helps break depression's iron grip. It seems such a slap in the face to the grace that has entered my life to sabotage my future with my continuing bad habits. And yet I feel powerless to fight against it. I may have a lingering affection for my demons, but I will overcome them and find the path God planned for me.


At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coulter is like Michael Moore: a juggling clown. Feel free to ignore her.

What's interesting, though, is that if you actually read her entire comment, you're making the same point she was trying to make. She wasn't calling Edwards a "faggot", she was making a joke that if she WERE to call him a "faggot", she would have to get psychological counseling, a joke on the absurdity of the Isaiah Washington/Grey's mess.

The basic point, I think, is what you're saying: why is the act of saying a word somehow more punishable than whatever connotation that word actually has?



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