Anybody who visits Stonekettle Station on a regular basis probably has a pretty good idea of where I stand on things. For those you just joining the program, basically the thumbnail version is that I spent twenty years defending the US Constitution and the ideals it embodies. I believe that those principles apply to all Americans, and anyone who is a lawful guest in this country.
If you want to irritate me, start by telling me how the only real Americans are Straight, Conservative, devout Christian White People who speak English as their Native Language (and yes, I know some of that is redundant), justify your views with poor logic, falsely revised history, made-up sound bites, and unjustifiable platitudes - example: Gay people are bad because God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! (Funny thing here, if you believe in God, then it sort of follows that He actually did create Steve, just saying). But if you really want to piss me off, start waving the flag and talking about Patriotism - with the unspoken but implied assumption that everybody in the military is Christian White People who Speak English as their native tongue. I normally get this from NeoCons who have never actually served themselves (funny how so few of them have, isn't it?), but consider themselves experts on the military and thereby assume that they know me and know my ideals.
I hate lazy thinking. But more than that, I utterly despise when these bigoted assholes can't find anything to justify their ridiculous world view - so they just make crap up. And then they email it to as many other bigoted assholes as they can find. And these other bigoted assholes accept the made-up crap as 'fact' and then email it to yet more people, adding little "Here, here!" comments and "You've GOT to READ this. Thank GOD there are still REAL Americans in America! God Bless America!" (A side question: what is it with fundies and bizarre capitalization anyway?)
I hate teh stupid, and I really hate teh group stupid.
But what really infuriates me, what really gets my blood boiling, is when these NeoCon retards divine from my background that I must be one of them - and I somehow end up on their mailing list.
Take the following picture I received via email from the Straight, Conservative, Devoutly Roman Catholic, White, NeoCon, Scout Master:
Prefaced with the comment: All, I'm with the Duke!
And there it is, right there: just plain lazy stupid thinking used to justify bigotry and arrogance in the guise of patriotism. And it pisses me off.
1) I love that fact that John Wayne isn't patriotic enough for these people, they've got to photoshop in the giant American flag background - either that or this picture was taken from the time The Duke auditioned for the lead in Patton (oh yes, he did). Love the pistol in his belt, nice touch, though any real cowboy who did that with a single-action Colt Peacemaker would probably have ended up shooting his balls off.
2) It is highly unlikely The Duke would have ever said "Now just why in the HELL do I have to press '1' for English?" John Wayne died in 1979, about a decade before automated voice mail became common, and about fifteen years before automated multi-lingual voice mail was in widespread use. In fact, rotary dial phones were still in common use in 1979, touch tone didn't become common until the mid-80's. No touch tone, no voicemail. I can't find this quote attributed to John Wayne anywhere, it would appear on the face of things that somebody just, well, made it up. Also I love the fact that "HELL" is capitalized - apparently whomever made this bit of NeoCon propaganda can operate photoshop, but doesn't know how to use the italics function.
3) John Wayne, especially in the years following WWII, was certainly a conservative (though he did support a number of strongly liberal causes that earned him widespread scorn from conservatives). He was often called a 'superpatriot,' and he said a number of things that could be interpreted as bigoted or even racist (However, if you read his comments in context, you can see that he was actually forward thinking for his time, though far, far short of 'liberal.') and I can see why somebody who hadn't done his research would have thought The Duke might have said something like the bit above. But again, lazy thinking here. John Wayne was married three times, to three different Hispanic women. That's right, Hispanic. His last wife, his widow Pilar, was Peruvian and spoke Spanish as her native tongue, and Wayne spent considerable time in Central and South America. I find it fairly difficult to believe, whatever the man's other failings, that he would have been offended by multiple language options on a voicemail system. So, when the Scout Master adds the comment "I'm with the Duke!" I have to wonder if that means he's hot for Spanish speaking foreign Latinas. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm just asking here.
4) John Wayne, born Marion Robert
Voicemail is the bane of my existence (next to Wal-Mart that is), but for crying out loud are we really such bigoted assholes that it is necessary to fake-up crap like the above and mail it around the internet?
I sent a "reply to all" email back, informing these people that I do NOT agree with either the subject of the picture or the rest of their narrow-minded, bigoted agenda. I told them in no uncertain terms to take me the hell off their mailing list. I also informed them that I am not a Republican and that I think it's about time that Conservatives stopped acting like lying self-righteous patriotic assholes. Either they'll stop mailing me, or their computers will melt down, either way I'm good.