The following piece, “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain, sums up pretty well how I felt on Independence Day as I reflected on the gung-ho, John Wayne, cowboy diplomacy attitude espoused by so many of my fellow American Christians.
From introspection and multiple external confirmations, I know that I’ve become a lot mellower as I’ve gotten older. I’m not quite the reformer/revolutionary I was when I graduated high school twelve years ago. Nor do I have the temper I once had. I’ve even surprised myself, friends, and loved ones by taking on the role of peace-maker, diplomat, or arbitrator. I’m beginning to realize, though, that I rarely fill such a role unless I lack a stake in the matter at hand. When I do, it’s clear that I still have a lot of mellowing to do.
Sometimes I feel as though my emotions are volcanic in nature. Aside from the occasional tremor, I maintain a relatively calm exterior. Deep down, though, I’m really a very angry person; the red hot magma is still bubbling and flowing. It’s come close to breaking out of its rocky shell, but somehow enough heat and pressure are vented off that the volcano remains intact another day. Someday, though…
I’m a gangster, I’m a straight up G.
The gangster life is the life for me!
Shooting people by day, selling drugs by night.
Being a gangster is hella tight.
– “I’m a Gangster” by Rappy McRapperson
Nerdcore rap cracks me up in general, but the above parody of gangster rap is one of my favorites. It’s also a nice companion piece to this Michelle Malkin op-ed. It’s too bad I don’t have a fresh quote from Bill Cosby to complete the hat trick. 😉
Let’s stipulate: I have no love for Don Imus, Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. A pox on all their race-baiting houses.
Let’s also stipulate: The Rutgers women’s basketball team didn’t deserve to be disrespected as “nappy-headed hos.” No woman deserves that.
I agree with the athletes that Imus’s misogynist mockery was “deplorable, despicable and unconscionable.” And as I noted on Fox News’s “O’Reilly Factor” this week, I believe top public officials and journalists who have appeared on Imus’s show should take responsibility for enabling Imus — and should disavow his longstanding invective.
But let’s take a breath now and look around. Is the Sharpton & Jackson Circus truly committed to cleaning up cultural pollution that demeans women and perpetuates racial epithets? Have you seen the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart this week?
[While going through old posts, I found a comment that I felt deserved a post of its own. Since the author is a relative of mine and a guest blogger here, I took the liberty of editing the text and publishing it here. Funky]
“Violent lyrics in songs increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment, according to a U.S. a study released yesterday.”
Quite some time ago, Funky off-handedly related this article to gangster rap. Indeed, gangster rap music feeds the need to feel empowered, to feel righteous in the fact that anyone who crosses you shall be an ant to be squashed. You feel less frightened, but you continue to support the environment that you fear. Everything is a fight for life.
“DESTROY THE THREAT! ASK NO QUESTIONS! DO NOT HESITATE!!!”
You have to romanticize your screwed up social environs. Otherwise, you won’t feel good behaving in such an inhumane, psychotic manner. So, yes, it induces aggressive thoughts. It helps to have these when everyone else is about to pounce on you and destroy your life! Or so you think.
That’s the real problem, though. People often behave stupidly when they perceive a threat. Take reactions to 9/11 , for instance. One day I hope they make a study about American foreign policy showing that it can “increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment.”
The Pitt News bills itself as “one of Amercia’s great student newspapers”. If only it were. Then again, maybe it is. *shudder*
In the 11 years I’ve been in Pittsburgh, I’ve watched the quality of writing and journalistic integrity of the Pitt News wax and wane with the arrival and graduation of classes. When it’s good, it’s no worse than any other small paper. When it’s bad, it’s awful. Sadly, it’s been bad more often than it’s been good. There have been years when the only feature I looked forward to reading was the comics page. Some years even that sucked. I’ve read articles that would make the journalism department go apoplectic – if Pitt had a journalism dept.
In the last couple years, though, I think the paper inproved a great. Perhaps there was an editor that was more interested in relatively unbiased news than sensationalism and sex columns. Those halcyon days may be over, though. Observe exhibits A and B:
Joseph Mance remembers a time when packets of birth control pills cost $8 each. Today he is trying to spread the word to his student clientele that prices have hiked up once again, this time to the $40 range. “I hate telling these kids, ‘We’re raising your pill price,'” he said with a troubled look. “It’s like pulling a gun on them.”
Telling kids their birth control pills will cost more is “like pulling a gun on them”? First of all, if they’re kids, they’re too immature to be having sex. Secondly, what ever happened to advising people to keep their hormones in check? If expensive birth control is either going to majorly disrupt students’ lives or result in a lot of unintended pregancies, Pitt has much biggers problems than government economic policies. Granted, the Pitt News can’t be faulted for Mance making an ass of himself by allowing himself to be quoted uttering that nonsense, but the article is entirely one-sided. The entire front-page piece is written from the point of view that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which is responsible for the price hike, is a bad law, at least as it pertains to offering cheap birth control for the masses. Reporting on the price hike is just fine and a public service announcement, but the second half of the article pertains to the politics of birth control discounts, which should have been presented in a more balanced fashion.
…[S]cientists have attempted to change the sexual orientation of sheep to help farmers, who have accused gay sheep of causing them financial loss. The scientists gave the sheep injections, adjusting the hormone levels in their brains and, amazingly, some previously gay rams became attracted to female sheep. Naturally, the gay and lesbian community was not happy. Their fear is that this success could be a gateway to experiments involving human sexuality and may one day be used to “breed out” homosexuals entirely. Personally, I think this experiment is debauchery. The scientists responsible should be tarred and feathered – or maybe tarred and wooled. Altering sexuality is a very slippery slope. But it seems as though these scientists have forgotten an important fact: If those sheep would just accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they could easily overcome their homosexuality.
At least this tripe was printed as opinion rather than news. Still, any newspaper that would print this should be embarassed and ashamed. It’s a sophomoric attempt at satire of Christian bioethics that reads like a secular Jack Chick‘s poor imitation of a “A Modest Proposal“. The kind of Christian presented in this article is straw man. Sure, there are Christians like the charicature the author presents; after all, stereotypes don’t appear out of thin air. Still, the author needs to realize that we’re not all fans of the 700 Club, any more than all gays are fans of Will and Grace.
You don’t have to be Fred Phelps to think active homosexuality is wrong. You also don’t have to hate or fear science if you’re a Christian. Heck, you can even believe that homosexuality has a biological component and still think it’s wrong to perform homosexual acts.
Christianity aside, arguing that a disorder of lower animals is natural and therefore acceptable in humans is ridiculous. Lots of lower animals practice cannibalism and incest. Will it soon be PC to defend those behaviors?
In summary, this article isn’t just bad satire, it’s ironically full of the kind of disgusting malice and prejudice that seems to have offended the author, and the ignorance and denial he specifically mentions.
Be sure to let the editor of the Pitt News know how you feel about these articles. Regarding the latter, you might want to let ACLJ and the Catholic League know, too.