Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Own Modest Proposal

I could never hold elected office. I have a past that is filled with dumb mistakes, questionable decisions and some plain bad choices (I had a thing for bad boys before meeting Mr. UM). I could probably come clean and apologize to keep the voters on my side. But I have a bigger problem, as Mr. UM will confirm. I like to talk and I like to make people laugh. I also hang out with people who make me laugh by shooting off their mouths, usually in crowds. I’m sure it’s a big, smart, competitive family thing – outrageous is a definate way to score in our constant game of verbal one-upmanship.

But outrageous is fatal in today’s political game, along with plain speaking and unguarded moments. Every word can be parsed, dissected, blogged, harshly judged and criticized. No context required. No understanding of irony or satire or humor necessary. Isn’t “A Modest Proposal” required reading anymore? It is still brilliant and relevant – read it here.

The latest twist in the game is to tar and feather Jane for the speech of Dick. Blame the Republican next door for the wacky comments of Ann Coulter, hold the Democrat in the car pool responsible for the ranting on Daily Kos. There are arguments in favor of this tactic – “birds of a feather...,” “tell me who your friends are...” and the most impressive “they did it first.” But at best this approach is lazy and diversionary; at worst it is mean and hatefully misleading.

So going forward, I promise not to blame Dan Seals for the crazy posts of left-wing bloggers, not to hold Mark Kirk responsible for the wacky tirades of Rush Limbaugh and not to fault Mr. UM for the drunken statements of his buddies. All I ask in return is the right to enjoy an outrageous comment, laugh at the occasional bad joke and write about what interests me without anyone demanding that Hillary Clinton condemn me because I advocate selling young poor children to rich landlords for food.


Team America said...

Amen, UM. That was one of my biggest digs at Ellen (when she would let me post)--one of her favorite tactics was to simply take the stupid comment of the day, whether it was from Rush, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly or whomever and castigate Kirk because he did not immediately come out and hold a press conference to denounce what a stupid comment it was. As I pointed out to Ellen, if Kirk did that, it would be a full time job, and is not necessary, as the silliness of most of these comments is obvious to most educated people.

I'm with you, UM- been photographed with a drink in my hand too many times (something John Porter always warned against) to make it in political office nowadays. And, frankly, who would want it? Could you imagine being a state representative and spending your time in Springfield with the insanity that's going on? No thanks, life is too short, and that's a shame, because we need good people down there, and it's just not worth it on an individual level. Self-sacrifice can only take you so far, and maybe if you are young and single, or older and established in life, that's different, but for the 30-40 something crowd like us, it doesn't seem to be a realistic goal.

Anonymous said...

TA and UM, today you MUST read her Blog, I'm serious. Ellen Beth Gill has reached a new low even for her. Enough said, but she has tanked at the absolute bottom. I used to read her posts more for laughs than anything else, but now she has her fellow travelers have dropped to the lowest level possible and it's just venom filled vindictiveness with absolutely no other way to describe it. But back to what YOU, UM are saying. Hey, we all make mistakes, we all let a less than perfect statement leave our lips now and then. So what. That's what makes up human and that's why there are erasers on pencils. One can easily tell from your writings that you are a very normal, decent person whose ideas are well thought out and deserve to be heard and read. Don't beat up on yourself. Continue to speak your mind with the intellect you obviously enjoy. Lighten up....your post, TA's post are just what we needed out here. Let's raise a glass of whatever we all choose to enjoy and relish the fact that Ellen Beth and her troops are going to continue to be mired in their twisted "logic" and non-credible nothings over there. Here's where intelligent discourse is now taking place.......with room for all.

Unincorporated Middle said...

At least she admits today's entry is made up.

Team America said...

But you can tell she really believes in her material!

Unincorporated Middle said...

The funniest thing today is the tortured construction:

She writes:
"He talked about a certain form of political humor that particularly interests him these days, taking on issues from the extreme point of reference of the opposite of what we are advocating."

I think she means:
He uses satire.

Brevity, sister, please.

Team America said...

Maybe explain it to her and see if she blocks you. That'd make four people confirmed as persona non gratis at Ellen's.