DENIED: Bigotry of the Obamatronsby Charles Winecoff
- From: jose el fontanero <josefsoplar@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 08:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
DENIED: Bigotry of the Obamatronsby
Recently, at the office (a place I sometimes affectionately refer to
as Obama Central), I made the mistake of printing out a Washington
Post editorial that questioned the foreign policy expertise of our new
Commander-in-Chief. By the time I got to the printer to pick it up,
someone else had already seen it - and stamped “DENIED” across the top
of the page in red ink. Next to that was scrawled, “RIGHT WINGER GO
The first thing that went through my mind was: cross burnings. The
second was: children are evil (my workplace is overrun by hundreds of
I tried to be rational. Whoever defaced the page had no way of
knowing who had printed it out - just as I had no idea who the defacer
was - so it wasn’t personal. Still, it was hurtful.
And it was bigoted. The defacer didn’t know anything about me - my
political affilitation, my sex, my race, nothing. Die hard Democrats
read mainstream editorials, don’t they? So much for the good will of
Dave Matthews’s “American Prayer” starring Idi Amin and Perez Hilton -
and Michael Moore’s patronizing, post-Election email exhorting his
followers to be kind to their Republican friends (as if they have
I’ve been the object of hate before. As a teenager, holding my black
boyfriend’s hand in Greenwich Village, a truck swerved to hit us while
we waited to cross the street. To be honest, I prefer that kind of
hate. It’s direct, out in the open, and in response to an action - in
that case, our hand-holding - not in response to a thought. Had I
committed a hate crime without realizing it?
As I headed back to my office, images of the Ku Klux Klan, going after
people they didn’t know in the middle of the night, raced across my
brain. Then I had to stop myself. And chuckle. There was no
But my gut kept telling me there was. Whoever stamped ”DENIED” across
my document clearly felt justified in defacing it. Though petty, this
was a hostile act - another tiny blow in the insidious war on free
thought. And one thing I’ve noticed in the stifling PC smog of LA:
the Obama generation doesn’t think twice about openly ridiculing folks
who don’t follow in lockstep. They’re still acting like there’s a
Texan in the White House. They can’t let go. They don’t want to.
Because, like the believers of a certain 7th century ideology that’s
made a big comeback in recent years, their objective is not, despite
claims to the contrary, to coexist. To quote Obama advisor Valerie
Jarrett, it’s “to rule.”
Instead of gossiping at the water cooler, today’s privileged jugend
hover in packs around TV monitors to mock the usual suspects - poor
old Sarah Palin, the Tea Partiers, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Miss
California (chivalry is deader than dead). Together, they telegraph
their warning to anyone who might disagree: don’t.
They believe Loose Change is an important documentary, Al Franken a
natural for the Senate, and Arlen Specter a hero. They judge people
not for their principles or achievements, but by the letter that comes
after their name. The one coworker I saw who dared walk the Yes We
Can-festooned halls in a McCain T-shirt last fall got singled out by a
supervisor (”Are you serious?”). The answer? Of course not - the tee
had been donned as a joke.
Kids today. They enjoy complete freedom to open their pieholes at the
slightest brainfart. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That
should be a benefit of freedom. Yet despite the apparent spontaneity
of their farts, a strange uniformity pervades.
To their credit, Americans born after 1980 seem to be almost entirely
free of old-time prejudices like homophobia - kudos to Will & Grace, I
guess - though it’s hard to tell where genuine acceptance ends and
“Vote No on Prop 8″ fanaticism begins. Where I work, no one voted
“yes” - at least no one would say so - so we’ll never know if “DENIED”
would have been stamped across a human forehead.
But too much of a good thing, even media-sanctioned tolerance, becomes
oppressive. “You’re so negative” is an accusation I’ve heard many
times since moving to Hollywood, usually in response to less than
total elation about the release of the latest Spiderman sequel or the
nasal squeals of the current American Idol. Whatever happened to
I used to think its absence here was an organic deficiency of the West
coast. Back East, where the weather stinks, people spend more time
indoors, are more likely to pick up a book and exercise their own
imaginations. In the easy, optimistic climate of California, kids
grow up tanning and surfing, and the sky is generally blue. Irony
gets bleached out. Life is good. Why bring everyone down? Opinion -
Sometimes I wish I had been born in Malibu.
But lately - okay, since the Election - I’ve begun to suspect that the
rejection of critical thinking is more than a regional custom. Forget
the swine flu, anti-thought is a viral pandemic - and it’s spreading
fast. As Marge the Palmolive lady used to say, “You’re soaking in
Twenty-somethings are fond of declaring, “It’s a free country!” But
is it? Really? And what exactly does that notion mean to them,
anyway? Because from what I can tell, they believe the First
Amendment is a natural phenomenon which, unlike the climate, will
never change. At the same time, these kids - who see nothing odd
about surrounding themselves with creepy, halo’d icons of The One -
mock folks who actually make the effort to exercise their right to
free speech on talk radio, at Tea Parties, and at workplace printers.
Talk about a false sense of security. They think this double standard
is perfectly normal.
As a young’un said to me not long ago, “But Republicans… aren’t they,
like, evil?” When I was growing up, the only Republican I knew was my
grandfather - and he used to describe himself simply as a “skeptic.”
Party affiliation aside, I always thought skepticism was supposed to
be a good thing.
As the media distracts us with constant fear-mongering about hate
speech, racism, and possible assassination attempts on our President -
by rightwing nuts, of course - a virulent new strain of politically
correct intolerance has risen swiftly and silently in our midst: an
all-out intifada against the individual.
In 1950, journalist Edward Hunter coined the term “brainwashing” to
explain how some American POWs were converted to Communism during the
Korean War. Today, the practice is commonplace. In 2009, every time
an American turns on a television, he faces non-stop identity assault
from a rat-tat-tat of guilt-inducing messages and innuendo: America is
bad; America is collapsing; America should become more European;
America deserves to be put in its place; America must bow to the wise
and humble global community (especially if it’s Third World).
I’ve talked with otherwise well-educated twenty- and thirty-somethings
who seem unable (or unwilling) to distinguish between the cavalier
anti-war ravings of Madonna in concert and the published propaganda of
Hillary Clinton (Making History) and Barack Obama (The Audacity of
Hope). While it’s reassuring to know that Gen Oers still know how to
read, it’s chilling to observe how readily they accept the words
attributed to their idols at face value.
For reading these books, they are validated by their peers,
complimented for their good taste - and tacitly discouraged from
turning a critical eye to even a single sentence. No surprise, then,
that brainwashing is also known as “thought reform,” with social
acceptance the dangling carrot. The thoughts in these books are
This is the exact opposite of how Gen Oers are taught to view
literature by conservative thinkers like Mark Levin and Ann Coulter
(who, BTW, actually write their own books). In these cases, the same
kiddies are emboldened to ridicule, condemn and name call - no reading
required. The thoughts in these books are “bad.”
Guilt also plays a major part in brainwashing. Everyone from gay
activists and environmentalists to socialized medicine zealots use it
to browbeat people into submission (like any of us need more that).
If you resist their arguments, then you must: a) be suffering from
internalized homophobia; b) own shares in Exxon, or c) secretly want
minorities to die waiting to get into the ER.
Brainwashing can only work in an environment of isolation - and
there’s no lonelier place for a conservative than New York, San
Francisco or Hollywood. Hopefully, that’s changing as many of us are
starting to speak out. Still, the Left controls the arsenal of
psychological weapons (film, print and digital media) used to break
The challenge for young people is that, unless they already know
someone who at least identifies as a “classical liberal,” their
malleable minds will be hard pressed to discover the joy of civil
discourse or rational debate. They won’t be exposed to any.
In 1983, best-selling shrink M. Scott Peck published his second book,
People of The Lie. In it, he tells the stories of several patients
whom he came to believe could be clinically diagnosed as “evil” - a
character disorder he describes as “militant ignorance.” According to
Peck, an evil person prefers to psychologically destroy others rather
than face his (or her) own faults, exhibits zero empathy towards his
targeted scapegoat, and enjoys falsely labeling other people as evil.
You know, like spending eight years comparing people you disagree with
Self-deception, Peck states, is the number one risk factor for evil,
easier to maintain in groups - like MoveOn.org, Al-Qaeda, Queers for
Palestine, Rachel Maddow’s Facebook page - than individually.
Ironically, Hollywood has long told us this sort of mass bias is
wrong. Just watch Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire in Gentleman’s
Agreement, Ginger Rogers and Ronald Reagan in Storm Warning, Tom Hanks
in Philadelphia, Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thorton in Monster’s Ball,
the entire Screen Actors Guild in Crash… the list goes on and on.
So when did groupthink suddenly become cool? When did words start
meaning the opposite of what they were intended to mean? When did
“progressive” come to mean ”do nothing,” and “conservative” mean
“progressive” (i.e. “do something”)? When, as Andrew Klavan has so
eloquently pointed out, did the belief system of the angels get
reduced to the two-syllable mantra: “Shut up?”
When did dissent become a de facto hate crime?
In Don Siegel’s classic sci-fi flick, Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(1956), the citizens of Santa Mira, California, are gradually replaced
in their sleep by emotionless impostors - the proverbial “pod
people.” The film is often interpreted as an allegory for Communism
and McCarthyism (a tactic first reviled, then hijacked, by the Left).
But Body Snatchers is more relevant than ever - right here, right now.
You walk the halls, wander the streets, visit the homes of other two-
legged beings who appear to resemble you on the surface, yet seem to
have no clue you exist as a separate person, mentally, emotionally or
spiritually. These seemingly intelligent beings talk about you, in
front of you, as if you were in another room, automatically assuming
you are of like mind. (Maybe they just never read Miss Manners.)
If you say something to correct them - or just ask a question about
their leader - they blink, not comprehending. You repeat the
question. They smile at you wanly. It does not compute. Welcome to
Santa Mira, a.k.a. Hollywood, a shifty dreamscape, where nothing is
exactly as it seems, where a marine layer rolls in every night,
blanketing its sleeping citizens in a fine vapor of paranoia.
Does anyone know the way to San Jose?
Back in the harsh reality of daylight, the O generation carries on,
oblivious to its own cruelty or mortality. As long as they have
Dancing with the Stars and Tivo, all is well with the world. Are
these overgrown, enlightened rejects from Village of the Damned the
new ugly Americans? If so, they are primed to be thrown over,
fatally, themselves. By whom? I think we all know - and it ain’t The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
At the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Kevin McCarthy and Dana
Wynter have managed to escape pod-dom by staying awake for days on
end. Exhausted, Wynter finally succumbs. When she awakens, changed,
she gives McCarthy some icy advice: ”They were right… Stop acting
like a fool, and accept us.” If she’d had a rubber stamp, she might
have branded him - “DENIED!”
McCarthy flees, desperate for human help, lamenting in voiceover how
“a moment’s sleep, and the girl I loved was an inhuman enemy bent on
my destruction.” Watching the attractive people I see everyday,
working out at the gym, driving their Smart Cars, grabbing a
Starbucks, watching CNN, listening to their iPods - and talking about
Hope - I know how he feels.
When did they all fall asleep? When are they going to wake up?
Perhaps when they learn, the hard way, that freedom is not just
Meanwhile, try not to express a dissenting or individual thought - and
don’t gasp if one of them lashes out viciously at a friend who steps
out of line - because that’ll clue them in that you’re still human.
And then they’ll come after you.
"A virulent new strain of politically correct intolerance has risen
swiftly and silently in our midst."
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