He said what?!?!?
By now you have probably heard that the Rev Jesse Jackson made some crude remarks about Senator Obama. I don’t even know where to start. There are several aspects of this whole thing I find really funny. The whole idea of a spiritual leader making this sort of comment just amuses me.
Anyway – here is the clip – so you can hear for yourself exactly what Jackson said and how he said it.
So, what we have here is a reverend – or someone who has been calling himself a Reverend for several years even though he only graduated from theological school in 2000 and does not appear to have ever led a congregation. Anyway, Rev. Jackson considers himself to be the “conscious of the nation. It says so in his biography so it must be true. He also fancies himself as a spiritual advisor of sorts to the civil liberties movement. So, this is a guy who fancies himself to be a spiritual and thoughtful man. A man of peace if you will. A uniter. And, here we have him on tape talking about wanting to physically castrate someone he is mad at with his bare hands. He even does a yanking gesture to show how much he means what he has just said!
Is it wrong of me to expect more from a self styled spiritual leader? Certainly there can be disagreements about public policy, but to want to castrate someone yourself with your bare hands over an inconsequential disagreement? My goodness, what kind of rage must Rev Jackson be dealing with to think such things.
But then, perhaps it is just my delicate sensitive female ears that were shocked. Maybe men talk this way all the time about one another and the suggestion of bare handed castration as a way to settle differences of opinion is normal. I asked my husband, he just laughed. He thought that the jerking motion was pretty funny. I never did get my answer, though I suspect if it were normal, he would have said so. But you never know with men and their code of silence about all things male. Keeps us women folk on our toes.
Aside from the whole this is a man of faith who said this and made the gesture, which I am seriously having a hard time not laughing about, then there is the idea that what Obama said on Father’s day is in anyway controversial. How is encouraging people to take their responsibilities seriously talking down? Telling them that they don’t have to be responsible is in my mind, coddling people. Telling it like it is, and that you need to be responsible is something you only do to other adults. People you don’t think are capable of being responsible, you don’t waste your breath on. So Jackson was way off base on that as well.
But really, Jackson is supposed to be a man of faith and he apparently expresses his anger in less then compassionate ways. And weird, when I was looking at what his religious background was, I was kind of shocked that he only graduated in 2000. He has been calling himself a Rev for years. Apparently he is a bit of a fraud. I had no idea. Having seen him in person and met him before, he is certainly dynamic. But there is apparently more beneath the surface then we commonly know about.
The other thing that was really funny about this was the Fox felt the need to spell nuts, ‘n_ts." Since when is nuts a bad word that needs to be spelled as if it were a nasty word. I suppose it is all about context.
McCain isn’t funny
Ok – so onto the other big presidential politics gaff this week. McCain told what he said was a joke about how cigarette exports to Iran. He basically said – well, perhaps that is how we are planning to kill them. Don’t believe me – view this.
Ok – to give McCain the benefit of the doubt, he did seem shocked to hear that we are exporting cigarettes to Iran and he clearly thinks cigarettes are dangerous and hasn’t touched on in 29 years. Good for him.
The problem is that the joke just isn’t funny. I really have struggled to figure out why it would be funny. The fact that cigarettes kill isn’t funny. And it is pretty clear McCain doesn’t think people dying from smoking cigarette is funny based on the rest of his statements. So, the humor must be about our problematic relationship with Iran and about the desire Bush et al have to go to war with Iran in the next year or so. Obviously, if we killed them with cigarettes, it would be easier on us then going in with bombs. So perhaps that is what he thought was so funny.
The problem is, it isn’t funny. Killing people isn’t funny. A potential war with Iran isn’t funny. The thought of circumventing that war through cigarettes, while creative, isn’t funny. I really don’t see the humor in it.
And this brings me to a point I make in my book to be published, Practical Wisdom. If a leader or his supporters routinely make jokes that only bigots would find funny, they are evil and you should not vote for them. Up to this point, my concern with McCain was that I haven’t been sure which McCain we would get if he became president. He has flip flopped all over his values in the past few years, I really don’t know who would be taking the oath of office.
At the very least, McCain has shown he has a very bad and very dark sense of humor. And I really hate that stupid smile he has when he makes one of his really stupid jokes that amount to a play on Obama’s campaign theme. Those aren’t funny either. I know it is supposed to be, but those jokes just come off as really really sad to me. And don’t even get me started on his "huh, huh, huh" laugh that goes with these not jokes. That is just creepy. When he doesn’t have a pasted on smile, he is actually quite handsome. You can tell the difference between his genuine smile and his forced smile – the genuine smile is quite nice.