The Artist Known as Joe The Plumber spoke to the RightOnline blogger conference last week, and made the manly claim that in the good old days he would feel free to take House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out behind the woodshed and beat the hell out of her.
The audience of conservative bloggers laughed and clapped (“Give us more fish!”) delightedly as the GOP’s answer to feminism strutted his stuff on stage.
Why does Joe (the creature the Republican party likes to pretend represents actual working Americans) feel such wrath towards Pelosi? Because she said this:
These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted "Just say no!" drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion...Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.
That was enough to set off the man who likes who evoke images of the good old days, or back in the day, or whatever tripe he is selling at any particular time. Yup, back in the good old days, men like Joe could take an uppity woman like Pelosi out somewhere and give her an old-fashioned attitude adjustment.
Cue wild applause - give us more fish!
When pressed, Joe will retreat into an “Aw shucks, folks, I didn’t really mean it,” stance. But he he really does, doesn’t he? Because he, like any other guy who beats his chest, is a buffoon.
Not only that, but those “good old days” have not existed for a long time - certainly before Joe was ever born. God forbid that any air head TV commentator should ever point this out, though. People have always been free to criticize those in power, and to speak their minds.
And, yes, even to criticize the military, despite the livid rants of Comrade Wurzelbacher.
And though violence against women has always been with us, at least in my lifetime it has generally been considered a shameful thing, and not something to make jokes about to giggling right-wing bloggers.
Isn’t it about time someone stood up and said it to this buffoon’s face?
Quote of the Day
"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people for a purpose which is unattainable." : U.S. historian Howard Zinn
The Time Travel Question - Guy Lancaster
Continuing the Time Travel discussion - where would you go if you travel to any period in history, and what might you change? Also, what was the best depiction of time on film or on Televsion? Today we present Guy Lancaster, who is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture and a Ph.D. candidate in the Heritage Studies program at Arkansas State University. He has published one novel, as well as a variety of short stories, academic articles, personal essays, book reviews, and interviews.
I think I would aim for early ancient Egypt. I think the Egypt of the pharaohs fascinates us and inspires so much science fiction because the mentality seems fairly alien to us--the theocratic governance based upon an elaborate tapestry of myths, the life-long preoccupation with death, the bare existence upon a few miles of fertile Nile Delta.
Of course, "ancient Egypt" covers a broad swath of time, and I don't really know what period of that I would be tempted most toward: perhaps the early dynastic period, to see how the civilization we call "ancient Egypt" arose, or maybe the Middle Kingdom to explore the developments in their increasingly sophisticated religious thought. The thing is that we feel some affinity for ancient Greeks and Romans because we see them as precursors to our own way of thinking, while such labels as "ancient Chinese wisdom" speak of our ongoing fascination with all things Eastern. But very few people feel some sort of kinship with ancient Egypt, and I would like to explore why.
If I might cheat at this: no event. Sure, a lot of our time-travel movies are based upon the idea that there is some greater metanarrative that can be advanced or inhibited by our actions. People either go back in time to make things better (12 Monkeys) or accidentally end up in the past and try not to interfere with developments so as to keep our progressive evolution on track (The Final Countdown).
But that only operates if you accept the idea that there is some grand narrative at work, some cultural and social evolutionary process, a vision to which we are all rising: Manifest Destiny, the Second Coming, etc. I don't accept this idea of linear evolution. Civilizations will rise and fall. Nothing inhibits our trend toward greatness save basic human nature. Sure, I'm supposed to say that I'd go back and kill Hitler, but why Hitler over Stalin, or why Stalin over Mao, or why any of them over Christopher Columbus, who aided in precipitating one of the greatest genocides the world has ever witnessed? I think rather than trying to change the past, I'll work at changing the future, because we are all time travelers, though we do our traveling only in one direction.
Army of Darkness, just because it's silly. As far as TV shows go, nothing but Doctor Who, though I think Quantum Leap deserves a hefty honorable mention.