Dear internets: Though the bacon flu popped up within the World Bank, where my mother works and where I’ve been hanging out a lot in the past couple of weeks, we are both non-infected. (We hope.) If I start shambling around and drooling, however, please note that the only way to really kill a zombie is by removing the head or destroying the brain. And, as a tip, they can be easily distracted by Michael Jackson.
But on to the real point. (Yes, occasionally I do have one.) According to a Pew Forum poll, a higher proportion of Christians (white Evangelical Protestants, white non-Hispanic Catholics, and white mainline Protestants) surveyed believed that the use of torture against suspected terrorists could often or sometimes be justified, as opposed to rarely or never. As an agnostic, I have to work very hard not to say something that could inadvertently offend about issues of religion. I know that for many people, religion is an issue of identity, and some respond to negative things said regarding their religion or followers thereof as an attack on them personally. And I wish I could say I was surprised by this study. I’ve spent enough time on the internet, lurking around both liberal and conservative fringe sites, to know that those who self-identify as strongly religious are the first to want to go to war. I’m reading Reza Aslan’s new book, How to Win A Cosmic War, and it’s teaching me about why people see these wars as more than just earthly wars. To some, it’s a battle of Good and Evil. We are Good. The terrorists are Evil. Therefore, it is okay to torture the terrorists, because they are Evil, and would do the same to us. Aside from the fact that we’re Americans, the Eaglelanders and defenders of Truth and Justice and The American Way, and We Don’t Torture. How strange that we should lose our respect for the sanctity of life first from a group that calls themselves the Moral Majority. (Yeah, torture them, kill them, they’re not like us, they’re different, it’s okay! But you know, heaven forbid we harm the unborn. It’s like George Carlin said, “if you’re pre-born, you’re fine; if you’re pre-school, you’re f–ked!”)
So before I engage in full-on Rant Mode, I’m going to switch topics. To, uh, lessee…how’s about my favorite right-wing radio jockey, Rush Limbaugh? Hey, Rush! Stand up and take a bow, attaboy. I won’t take the piss out of him too much for this, because I really like Lie to Me, but when multiple networks are airing the same thing (e.g., the Obama presser), it is standard practice to count all the viewers for the event as one group even if they’re not watching the same channels, am I right? Rush says no. Insert your own joke about “lying to me” here – it’s too cheap a shot, and I shan’t take it. But good game, bucko. Highlights courtesy of Media Matters’ transcript because I’m feeling a bit peaky (bacon flu ohnoes!) and don’t feel up to listening to Rush himself:
LIMBAUGH: Steve Gilbert at the Sweetness & Light.com points out a story from the UK Times online December 3, 2008 — “Beatings and abuse made Barack Obama’s grandfather loathe the British”: The President-elect’s relatives have told how the family was a victim of the Mau Mau revolt. Obama’s grandfather imprisoned and brutally tortured by the British during the violent struggle for Kenyan independence, according to the Kenyan family of Barack Obama.
I’m…I’m sorry. Just the last part of that…seriously, if Obama had been half Belgian, would there be any need to mention where his father’s side of the family comes from? There would not. “Beatings and abuse made Barack Obama’s grandfather loathe the Nazis” doesn’t have the same kick to it. Furthermore, his citizenship has been well established. The Kenyan connection is irrelevant. Do I have some grudge against Moroccans because my father was Saharawi? I do not.
LIMBAUGH: I actually thought — what’s that whorehouse out in Vegas? What’s the name of the place? The Bunny? No, the Bunny — I thought they let the inhabitants of the Bunny Ranch out to start pretending to be the press corps last night. When I watched highlights of it — I didn’t watch it last night.
Ha! Ha! The press are whores! Ha! Ha! Good one. And also, where do you get off judging the whole by parts? Proudly proclaiming that you “didn’t watch” the press conference you’re now pontificating on is about as sensical a claim to make as proudly proclaiming that you “didn’t read” the manual for your new rocket launcher. At least when I judge highlights, I do so of the individual highlights themselves, not using them to disparage the whole. Like I’m doing now. I mean, to do otherwise would be like all those YouTube videos out there supposedly proving Spongebob is gay.
(Word of caution: That link I posted earlier, the “Eagleland” one, is to TVTropes, which is hilarious and fascinating and will probably eat your life. It’s not uncommon for people to literally spend hours wikisurfing on it. Not, uh…not speaking from experience or anything.)