The following is an excerpt from a debate on Jim Goad’s Netjerk Lounge forum that started off about devastating insults, but jack-knifed into a discussion about the Tea Party.
The following is an excerpt from a debate on Jim Goad’s Netjerk Lounge forum that started off about devastating insults, but jack-knifed into a discussion about the Tea Party. Patton Oswalt apparently thought it would be prudent to throw himself to the wolves and criticize a redneck on an anti-anti-redneck site. We’re including it here it as a response to Luke O’Neil’s post, “So Sick of the Tea Party” because the only thing worse than Sarah Palin is all the liberal arts snobs who scoff at her.
PATTON OSWALT: … Let’s not forget the rare, escalating rant, which seeks to burn away every single molecule of pretension, delusion and bullshit around a subject.
Like this comment from a thread on DemocraticUnderground.com — a Vietnam vet, and his feelings on the Teabaggers and militia dildos:
“A little heads up for the Teabagger/Militia folks from [some]one who once packed heat for Uncle Sam.
If you seriously believe that you are capable of going up against the United States government, I would urge you to put your affairs in order, because you will be swiftly and efficiently fragged, tagged, and bagged. The idea that a bunch of rag-tag, candy-ass drunks believe they could stand up against even a platoon, let alone the full force of the US military is hysterically funny. You have no idea how stupid you appear, prancing through the woods in your camo, to individuals who have seen real combat. Deal with it, assholes. The C-in-C is an African-American. He was democratically elected (in a landslide). All the rest of your whining is bullshit, and you lack even the rudimentary courage to state your true objection to our President.
Fuck it, I haven’t worn a green suit for almost 40 years, but I just might re-up for a chance to put one in the ten ring of a few of you jackasses.”
JIM GOAD: This thread has suddenly taken a whiplash-inducing turn off the narrow, neatly manicured confines of Insult Lane straight into the dark, unincorporated swamps of Teabagger County, USA, and though I’m tempted to start a new thread, I recall that it was Patton, way, way, way, WAY back when this Lounge was founded, who said he preferred a one-threaded, free-association format.
I will respect his wishes on that count. And though I have some murky suspicions about why his own post did a 180-degree spinout from citing golden comedic insults to pasting a bitterly unfunny screed that ended with intimations of violence that I suspect he would have condemned if a “right-winger” had typed them, I would only be speculating if I articulated those suspicions. Patton’s always been very nice to me, and I’d like to believe I’ve treated him the same.
I’ve seen enough people entirely misquote, misstate, and misrepresent my words and motivations that I make a habit of never claiming that I know what’s in someone else’s heart or why they do things. I can sometimes speculate based on their actions and what evidence is available to me, but I never say for certain that I know what they’re really thinking.
And that is why this fallacious reduction of “Tea Party = Racism, Racism, More Racism, And Nothing Else” irks me so.
It’s been nearly two decades since I ceased believing that All Humanpersons Are Created Equal. I believe in the process of evolution, and I believe the process is ongoing. Therefore, I definitely don’t believe we all arrived at the Finish Line at the same time, nor that all social disparities can be explained away by “racism”—a term which, I’ve been told, was coined by Leon Trotsky, whose name at birth was Lev Davidovich Bronstein. I didn’t know Trotsky, so I can’t say for sure whether he invented the term, and you can bet that I’ll double-, triple-, and dodecahedral-check that allegation before I put it in my Race book. But if it’s true, it tends to form an intriguing link between communism and beating people over the head with allegations of racism.
Back when I was a Young White Wigger, it started to dawn on me that even though I’d laid down my Ethnic Guns, no one was demanding this of nonwhites. In fact, it was the same people who browbeat whites for racism who openly encouraged nonwhites to bask in racial pride and ethnic self-interest—often at the expense of whites who’d never oppressed a soul in their lives. That’s when the whole anti-racist jihad began smelling fishy to me.
See, I don’t hate blacks. Or Mexicans. Or even Jews. I believe that, generally, these groups tend to have different aptitudes and tend to excel and fail in different areas at unequal clips, but—miraculously, somehow—I’ve never wanted to harm anyone because of these beliefs. I also find it perfectly understandable that they’d want to act in their own interests.
What I hate is HYPOCRISY. And the ethnic double standards in this country have reached such an egregious level, it’s the anti-racists, with their incessant belittling of All Things White, who are actually creating more white “racists” than existed before they came along trying to stamp out racism forever.
You can only demean a group of people so long before they fall down prostrate and let you run over them…or they develop some healthy self-interest of their own and tell you to shove your imaginary guilt-tripping up your ass.
So, yes, I believe that in some respects, some members of this “Tea Party” movement are rejecting a hypocritical multiculturalism that celebrates everything except being white. If multiculturalism told EVERYONE to knock it the fuck off with ethnic self-pride—or, better yet, if it told everyone it was OK to be OK with your skin—I’d have no problem with it. It’s the double standard which I find loathsome and ultimately dangerous.
What’s also scorchingly hypocritical about all the verbal shit hurled at “Teabaggers” is the inherent level of seething hatred and incessant demeaning of the “cultural other.” Everyone knows I have no problems with hatred—but the anti-baggers are people who profess to be all about compassion. When they pull out their magnifying glasses in a desperate quest for someone, somewhere saying “nigger,” the palpable contempt and name-calling in their rhetoric seems—to me, at least—to exhibit a far higher level of true hatred than anyone they deem to be “haters.”
The danger in reducing all criticism of Obama to “racism” is that it will soon—sooner than you think—be perceived as crying wolf. Once people who don’t possess true harmful malice toward nonwhites get tired of being called “racists,” they won’t even care about being called it, and the arrogantly triumphalist white leftists who claim to understand what it’s like to be poor and nonwhite won’t have a wooden leg to stand on. Then they’ll have a fuck-ton of explaining to do regarding why the American standard of living has plopped into the toilet and why black communities are far more fractured, dysfunctional, and dangerous than they were before the Good Whites came along in 1965 or so to right all historical wrongs.
I don’t think the Tea Party movement is fundamentally driven by racism. Sure, it coincided with Obama’s election, but the bigger picture is that it coincided with a dying economy that still shows no signs of curing itself and a growing public perception that both major political parties represent only the interests of financial elites who have only scorn and contempt for working Americans.
I don’t know whether or not the guy on DemocraticUndergound.com was or wasn’t a soldier in Vietnam. But it’s a rank fallacy to imply, as he seems to do, that the Tea Partiers are devoid of people who have been shot at in Vietnam’s rice paddies due to the actions of our overreaching government. It seems as if his argument is that the government is so powerful that to even think about challenging it is an act of suicide. That may or may not be true. I don’t know. What I do know is that if people in 1776 felt that hopeless, we’d still be paying taxes to the Crown.
This one’s for you, John Goad, big brother o’ mine. You were my first hero, and you’re still my hero. You were shot at by communists. And if you think Obama’s a communist who’s trying to dismantle a nation you risked your life for, I’ll take your side on this one.
PATTON OSWALT: No disrespect to your brother, Jim — my father is a wounded Vietnam vet (three tours as a 1st Lieutenant) — but what evidence does John have that Obama is a Communist who’s out to tear down America? One of the things I’ve always admired about you — and, indeed, everyone on this board — is that, whenever they can, they present facts when making an argument.
And please — PLEASE — enough with the “white culture is under attack” nonsense. Last I checked, white culture is doing perfectly fine. Name one aspect of Caucasian culture that’s floundering. Most profitable music, live touring and record sales? Country. NASCAR and pro wrestling? Massive. The most profitable Hollywood blockbusters? Made for, starring, and about white people. The top ten moneymaking movies of ALL TIME are nothing but white people — and if they do involve blacks, Hispanics, Asians or any other culture, they’re pretty much represented as CGI aliens (Avatar), robots (Transformers) or talking animals (Shrek). And not only is television pretty much all white people, it’s white people who’re so white that even white people can’t relate to them (Desperate Housewives, The Hills).
We’re doing fine, Jim. It’s still great to be white. It sucks to be poor but, hey, that cuts across color lines. Always has, always will.
Also — when did I say anything bad about whites, white people, being white, etc.? I was — rightfully, in my opinion — ridiculing the Teabaggers and militia groups who are, also, angry about things for which they have zero facts. Where the fuck were they when Bush & Co. were sending their sons and daughters to war on a lie? Where were they when the Clinton Cabal was passing NAFTA? Where were they when Reagan was turning the American Dream into indentured servitude? There were plenty of liberal soy-douches out protesting, but everyone wrote them off as traitors and wimps. I’m sure the giant puppets and bongo-playing unicycle riders didn’t help.
And, most hilariously, they think Obama is a COMMUNIST. Obama is less liberal than Richard Nixon. Obama passed a de-fanged, de-spined health care bill, deepened our involvement in Afghanistan, hasn’t closed Gitmo (or foresworn the use of torture or wiretapping) and has completely protected the sociopaths on Wall Street who’ve done more to gut and cripple this country than any Commie, jihadist or trust-fund anarchist could ever dream. He’s completely in line with Bush — and yet the Teabaggers and militia groups have only voiced their anger since January 20th, 2009. Actually, a little before — anyone remember Rush Limbaugh’s November 8th, 2008 remark about the “Obama recession?”
And if, as you say, the Teabaggers and militia people aren’t racist, then why don’t they immediately censure, shut down, and shun the people at their rallies holding up racist signs, screaming, “Faggot!” and “Nigger” at Congress people, and walking around with fucking guns and “time to water the tree of Liberty” signs?
Also, the signs — where’s that old-fashioned American spell-check? Would the Colonists have rallied behind a “Don’t Tredd On Me” flag?
JIM GOAD: Patton, it’s telling that you mention “white culture” whereas I’m talking more broadly about white people. Regarding who raised the topic of race, it was your anonymously self-proclaimed Vietnam vet who, like so many others, insist on reducing all criticism of Obama to his skin color.
And when you mention “white culture,” the phenomena you cite are confined to pop culture—a world which my mind rarely inhabits—rather than, say, REAL-WORLD (and not the MTV kind) white guys in Denver who don’t happen to be country musicians or NASCAR drivers getting hunted down and murdered by Crips looking to attack someone “white” or white girls in Philly being permanently disfigured by black flash mobs chanting “BLACK BOYS!” and “BURN THE CITY!”
The real-world statistics regarding interracial violence—which will be presented in painstaking detail in my book—will reveal that white people are hardly doing as fine as you and Hollywood suggest they are.
The way the current argument is framed in American pop culture, “racism,” like domestic violence, is a practice in which only white males engage. I believe the evidence contradicts this somethin’ fierce.
You continue to suggest that the vocal upsurge in anti-government sentiment started PRECISELY on the day of Obama’s inauguration—or only a “little before,” when, to my recollection, militias were much more active during Clinton’s presidency—whereas I’ve already suggested that it more logically coincides with the economy’s collapse. As for your question of why weren’t any of these people criticizing Bush, I believe I’ve already demonstrated that, at the very least, my brother and I were doing precisely that long before either of us so much as heard of Barack Obama. And much of the libertarian-leaning folk in America, some of whom ally themselves with Tea Partiers but not many of whom belong to militias—welding the two phenomena is something upon which you seem to insist, just as many people like to link anyone who isn’t ashamed of being white directly with the frickin’ Holocaust, employing fallacies eerily similar to “Reefer Madness”-style arguments that smoking weed will lead to mainlining heroin within a week—have for DECADES seen little difference in the two major parties and view both entities as entirely sold-out to transnational corporations and international bankers. So it is, at worst, dishonest and, at best, uninformed, for people such as your faceless Vietnam vet to keep playing the Race Joker during this here card game. Plenty of people have been criticizing the entire system long before Barry O came along.
And since you threw down the gauntlet of presenting evidence and facts, I’d like you to present something more substantial than a black congressman or two’s claims that someone called them “nigger.” For every black politician who gets faxed a picture of a noose, I could trot out a dozen Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons disparaging “hymies” and “white homos.” I could unspool a toilet-paper-roll-length amount of RECORDED evidence of nonwhite American politicians disparaging whites in no uncertain terms, as well as ludicrously abundant—but again, documented—accounts of hate-crime hoaxes, but I’ll withhold doing that until you present me with something more than hearsay regarding your specific allegation.
Regarding spelling and grammar, I could go to any “by blacks, for blacks” pro-Obama site on the Internet and drag back more per-sentence grammatical atrocities than any Tea Party placard you care to mock, yet I don’t see you being fair and applying the same standards across the board.
Regarding dumb politicians, read this, take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.
Regarding the idea that all Tea Partiers should be held accountable for not censuring the purported actions of a few, some of whom are possibly leftist shills and “party-crashing” plants, I haven’t heard any righteous condemnations from you about New Black Panthers wielding clubs and taunting “crackers” outside polling places during the last presidential election. Likewise, I don’t see you criticizing groups such as La Raza—which, literally translated, means THE RACE—for being “racist.”
At the very least, let’s be fair here and apply our standards equally.
If someone actually screamed “nigger” at one of those rallies, then, yeah, he was a dumbass. Will you hold hands with me, transcend the boundaries that LSD taught us to transcend, and likewise condemn dumbassery when it comes from the other “side”?
You had asked for even a shred of evidence to support the idea that Obama may be harboring socialist/communist sympathies. Well, his deadbeat dad seemed rather keen on “African Socialism.” His deadbeat mom was said to be infatuated with the Frankfurt School’s “critical theory” method of assailing Western culture, an approach that was steeped in Marxist ideology. A reputedly huge influence on Obama’s thinking during his teen years was Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis. He has expressed fondness for Saul Alinsky, and he launched his campaign for the Illinois Senate at Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn’s house. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has light-heartedly suggested that Obama may be more left-wing than either himself or Fidel Castro. And Castro seemed quite happy with Obama’s healthcare bill.
There are your shreds. Do with them what you will.
As ludicrous as it might seem, at least on the surface, to imply there could be a connection between one-world communist nation-smashing and international corporate finance, there’s ample evidence that the Bolshevik Revolution was in no small part aided and abetted by capitalist bankers.
Lastly, thanks ever so much for the patronizing “we’re doing fine,” but you have, as you say, zero facts to buttress such an allegation regarding me or, for that matter, anyone with whom I normally associate. You may be doing fine, but across the board, everyone else I know is doing far worse than they were only a couple years ago. What’s worse, most of the media continue to slap them in the face by insisting that any grumbling they do about their deteriorating condition is rooted in psychological pathologies rather than measurable things such as nickels and dimes.
My father grew up in the Great Depression, didn’t finish high school, and yet, somehow, was able to pay for a house in full and buy a new car every three years. I graduated at the top of my class in college, scramble to pay rent, and have never owned a car that was made in the same decade in which I was driving it.
So please speak for only yourself regarding who’s doing fine, and I’ll do the same. Fair ’nuff, puddin’-pop?
Yesterday afternoon, before dragging my brother into this discussion, I called him and asked him if it was OK to drag him into this discussion. He said it was more than OK. Like me, he hears very little discussion from Tea Partiers about race and a mountain of concern about deficit spending, fiat currency, and the mathematically inexorable implosion such things will cause. He also, like me, doesn’t see much substantial difference between Bush and Obama, only that Obama is accelerating a downward economic spiral that began years ago. Like me, he also feels Obama is, perhaps unwittingly, only exacerbating racial tensions in the name of anti-racism and a hypocritically “post-racial” fixation on “racial justice.” He also wanted everyone to know he believes that until Obama came along, “George W. Bush was the greatest Democratic president we’ve ever had.”
Also—merely because I refused to make this particular discussion about popular culture doesn’t mean I don’t think anti-white sentiment abounds in popular culture while sentiments against nonwhites and Jews are verboten. The thing is, not only do I HATE pop culture and think it makes people retarded, I covered the topic of pop culture hatin’ on whitey over a dozen years ago in The Redneck Manifesto. I uber-anally detailed what I believe are persistently outrageous double standards in pop culture which allow free rein to anti-white depictions that would never be greenlit if they pertained to any other group.
I’d also dare to say that blacks, as 13 percent of the real population, are statistically over-represented on TV shows, movies, and commercials. It’s the Hispanics who are missing a voice in pop culture. But the reason I don’t like talking about pop culture is because I roll my blue eyes whenever anyone presents a scene from a movie as “evidence” for how things are going in real life. If one depended on movies, you’d falsely conclude that racial violence is a one-way street paved by the KKK. Sorry, Charlie, but that’s not how the numbers are skewing in real life.