Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I don't hate "e." I'm not fond of "u" though.

Sometimes, it seems like there’s so much going on in the world it’s hard to know where to even begin. I suppose the proper place to begin is with Haiti since there are 200,000 dead, 250,000 wounded and over a million without homes, but Rush Limbaugh assures us this plays right into the Obamaization of American and Pat Robertson chimes in that the death and destruction there is well earned because of alleged devil worship there in the 1200’s all of the sudden it just seems better to dwell on Jay and Conan, or a Republican nude model who’s about to take “the Kennedy Seat” in Massachusetts.

Just when you think the Late Night Wars were over, they start up again in earnest. This time Dave Letterman gets to sit back and watch from the cheap seats while Conan and Jay have at each other—especially since Letterman stands to come out of it all on top. I say, good for Dave. He got screwed out of the Tonight Show when Johnny retired and a little love coming his way is long overdue.

Myself? I’m a Carson loyalist and he wanted Dave to have The Tonight Show so I’ve spent over a decade now boycotting Leno. I don’t watch O’Brien but I approve of him and wanted him to do well. He certainly did Late Night proud after Letterman left. That said, I have a hard time feeling too bad for a guy who just got paid $32 million dollars to take a vacation until September. He’ll come back stronger than ever on FOX or ABC or the pasty white guy channel (PWGC).

It’s funny to watch it all play out though. There may be nothing more entertaining in the world than when comedians get mad at each other. Especially when those comedians have entire staffs of other comedians who help them in their verbal spar sessions with each other. Insult wars are something a guy can truly wrap their heads around. We like to call it Friday night at the bar, we don’t get staffs to assist us and we won’t be YouTubed by millions the next day, but there’s something very real about two guys who aren’t going to fight, trading barbs and insults until one gets shut up.

I have to admit, I didn’t know much about the race for the “Kennedy Seat” in Massachusetts until just recently, but what a joke it’s turned out to be that Teddy Ballgame’s legacy will be to see his seat go to a Republican who has vowed to vote against Obama’s health care plan, spent his formative years taking his clothes off for ladies magazines and apparently drives a truck.

Why? Well because his opponent seems to be from another planet. You do not woo the people of Massachusetts by mistakenly referring to Kurt Schilling—a Red Sawks hero, as a Yankee. You also don’t woo them by claiming that you don’t win elections by shaking hands outside Fenway Park.

Aggravating Sawks Nation in order to win a Senate seat is akin to running for President on the al-Qaeda ticket. Some people are just too stupid to be wasting our oxygen on and how the Democrats settled on her as their candidate is befuddling to say the least.

And that brings us back to Haiti, which has ruled the front pages of newspapers and been the lead story on the newscasts, but there’s a feeling of reluctance to allowing them to do so that accompanies those placements. When 200,000 people die, as a newsperson your hands are pretty much tied. Even if the dead are just Haitians who were living in poverty long before this earthquake hit, they take precedent.

It’s with a wink-wink that we put them first. It’s understood that you can skip to the Entertainment section of the paper and read about the Late Night Feud, or get a drink and some Cheetos while the lead story is on the news and get back in time to find out if anything comical has happened in the Kennedy Seat runoff that day.

Haiti? We text our $10 donation and feel good about ourselves, like we did in 2004 for tsunami relief. Then, as soon as possible we move on to more interesting and scandalous news, forgetting about the aftermath. It makes me think of the quote shown on the screen at the end of the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, which perhaps was meant to educate us as to why people in Afghanistan might hate us so much after helping the Afghans expel the Soviet Army and then leaving them fend for themselves. “These things happened. They were glorious, and they changed the world. Then we fucked up the end game.”

I wonder, in years to come, when young Taiwanese survivors of the tsunami or Haitian survivors of the earthquake grow up, how simple it will be for them to see us as people of zero substance, who help to feel good about ourselves and our giving natures instead of our having a true desire to do continued and sustained good? I wonder if they will feel abandoned after the initial wave of assistance? I wonder if they’ll choose to handle that abandonment like a pair of pissed off comedians, or perhaps with a bit more verve?


Anonymous said...

The truth is that they did make a pact with the devil.

Now the significance you put on that pact I guess has to do with whether you believe the devil is real or not.

But it is one of Haiti’s founding myths.


According to Haitian national history, the revolutionary war was launched on the eve of a religious ceremony at a place in the north called Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman, in French). At that ceremony on August 14, 1791, an African slave named Boukman sacrificed a pig, and both Kongo and Creole spirits descended to possess the bodies of the participants, encouraging them and fortifying them for the upcoming revolutionary war. Despite deep ambivalence on the part of intellectuals, Catholics, and the moneyed classes, Vodou has always been linked with militarism and the war of independence and, through it, the pride of national sovereignty.

So, yeah if there is a devil, Haiti made a pact with it. Might explain why even though Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island, the Dominican Republic has been far more successful.

Albert Riehle said...

Or...yanno...it could have to do with science and geography.

The Romans fed Christians to lions for sport. Where is the retribution for that?

It's just nonsense and foolishness and its irrisponsible and racist for a man of faith to be influencig others with his own bigotry.

Beverly said...

So, not only does your commenter scream loud and clear "I am an irrational and superstitious idiot"; but, he or she did so anonymously and so is also a coward. Awesome!

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