Monday, January 24, 2005

Why this penguin keeps his snark

One of my regular viewers asks, "How do you keep your snark in these times?". Well, sonny boy, when I was a child people who dissented against the war in Vietnam were shot, not just beaten. When I was a child, the Southern city I lived in shut down every public swimming pool when a federal judge ordered them desegregated because "we ain't havin' no niggers swimming in the same water as white people." When I was a child, the Police Commissioner and his mounted police officers smashed through the front door of a black church whose preacher was holding a memorial service for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., rode the horses up the central aisle of the church, and pistol-whipped the preacher man in front of his apalled congregation because "we ain't havin' no celebratin' of no commie nigger man like that in this city." When I was a child black people used different waiting rooms from white people when they went to the doctor, if the doctor would see them at all, and ate in a different dining room from white people, if the restaurant would let them in at all. When I was a child, the President of the United States sent U.S. troops into a foreign country based on a lie, and 58,000 Americans and over 4,000,000 Asians died.

Are these times as difficult as those? Are these times as bad as those? The answer is "Not yet." We have the last part (a craven President from Texas sending troops into a foreign country based on a lie in order to prove how big his balls are), but for the rest... we are still a *LONG* ways away from the situation of 1964. Yes, liberals, gays, and Arabs are the new niggers. But nobody is yet suggesting that they be exterminated (well, except for Ann Coulter). Yes, we've destabilized an entire region of the world in order to satisfy an all-hat-no-cattle Texan's desire to prove he has big balls. But protesters against said war are not yet being shot down in the streets. What we have today is the usual state of the United States of America, not something unusual. It is usual that the United States is smug, self satisfied, ignorant, and hate-filled. The 1990's, when the United States shed its coat of hatred for a while, or the 1940's, when the United States was a beacon of light and freedom for the world, are an aberration of recent history. Just ask the millions of Vietnamese that we killed, or the millions of Filipinos that we killed in another war before that. Or the millions of black Americans that we deprived of freedom and liberty because we, a people full of hate, needed someone to hate.

How can I maintain my snark in these times? That's easy: All I have to do is remember that it's been worse -- and worse within my own lifetime. Which is not to deny that things are sliding backwards, and rapidly... just that the time to panic is nowhere near. The bastards have been defeated before. We can do it again.

- Badtux the Historian Penguin


  1. "I don't have any problem with Mao or Stalin or the Vietnamese leaders or certainly Fidel locking up people they see as dangerous. Because so often, dissidence has been used by the greater powers to undermine a people's revolution." -- Lynne Stewart

  2. You'll note that I haven't posted any outraged tome about Lynne Stewart's conviction here. What a nutter. She spent so much time defending lunatics in court, it appears to have destroyed her mind. Even if that's what you believe, you don't tell that kind of thing to a jury!


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