Two Worlds, Two Movements: Update

Posted on November 17, 2010


I hope I’m not the only one that has a problem with the current “don’t touch my junk” controversy. Predictably, Breitbart has embraced the kerfuffle with open, bigoted arms. Here’s a clip from Rush Limbaugh on Breitbart TV.

While I hate drawing traffic to that disgusting site, I think one of the most interesting things to watch is the pro-BP ad that precedes the clip, featuring regular  folk who have the most reason to feel screwed by BP in the gulf coast, praising the super-polluter for throwing them a few crumbs after destroying their way of life. That really, in a nutshell, tells you all you need to know about almost anything this douchebag touches. He’s going to take a potentially popular means of resistance and completely co-opt it on bigoted, authoritarian lines using the venerable politics of white male privilege and grievance.

It’s too late in the game for me to actually feel anything but a dim tremor of antagonism towards the drug-addled obelisk named Limbaugh–even my tired upper lip refuses to curl upward in disgust. But I think he perfectly exemplifies how this issue is going to be played out. Don’t touch my junk.

Rush Limbaugh: “You let them feel you up….meanwhile there’s Mohammed walking straight through…cause it’s discrimination to think that Mohammed might be a problem…or Abdul…or Osama.”

Of course. Because you could never be named Mohammed or Abdul. Those are their names–those pampered, nurtured and totally justly-treated elite minorities who’ve been zooming through the airport lines while middle-class white  folk with proper names like you are hassled day in and day out by the man. You know the man I’m talking about. The black man who inaugurated this intolerable police state in 2010.

What I’m not saying: I’m not dissing John Tyner. I’m not exactly invigorated by his act, the way some people seem to be. That’s just a question of experience, and of perception. I’ve been watching people with names like John zoom though the airport while I spend eight or ten hours interrogated, for years now. That’s not John’s fault, nor do I wish for their to be a system to subject John to the same rigors I have to go through on some of my air trips. In fact, John Tyne has a pretty right on blog. Though, I will say that in all of his commentary, he’s never once mentioned the racial profiling that accompanies TSA procedures. I think that is definitely a product of his experience, and  perhaps it was a problem that he was not aware of or ambivalent to, exactly because it wasn’t happening to him.

What I am saying: it seemed quite obvious to me that this issue would be hijacked by tea-baggers and their corporate mesmerists. Because at its base, our country is founded on a several tiered system of justice, in which certain citizens–or their votes–matter, while others don’t. Racial profiling and the police state that has existed in this country for certain classes of people are the status quo. Something we accept with a sigh, while we go about our own business. Yes, it is news when it happens to a white guy. But that message is rarely, “hey, there’s a systemic problem here.” The issue quickly becomes, “how do we make that white guy happy.” And I wouldn’t be surprised if the words “beer summit” haven’t already been uttered behind drawn shades in the Oval Office.

Moreover, see how quickly Rush moves to dress up the issue in gendered anti-Napolitano language, “big sis”; then slathering it with homophobia. Look out white guy, here comes them darkies and womynes to make you gay, while Abdul and Mohammed drink liquid explosive daiquiris with welfare mother concubines in first class seats paid for with affirmative action policies and taxes on the middle class.


On a lighter note, as I wrote elsewhere: it would be wonderful if the teabaggers would pick up don’t touch my junk as their new catchphrase; that mantra, combined with the “teabagging” appellation, would reflect perfectly the non-sensical and contradictory basis of their movement, simultaneously naming themselves after a phallo-centric sexual practice while pleading with Big Bro/Sis to keep their elite en-gaying hands off their “junk”.

Sorry, Rush and Breitbart. Your lips say no, but your authoritarian rhetoric says yes!



I was riding my bike down the street today and, ironically enough, heard a young kid yelling at one of his friends–Abdul. That’s actually spelled wrong, or should I say that I haven’t spelled it the way the rotund smack-head pronounces it, Adooool. Of course, there may be a dialect somewhere out there in the Arab world that pronounces it Abdool; I’ve yet to hear an Arab speaker say Abdool. Rather, I’ve always heard it pronounced Abdel or Abdol or even Abd(and its actually even more complicated than that, since its a contraction of a longer, old world name. Don’t ask me, I can barely pronounce my own names).

But this was the most American kid in the world calling out to his friend “Abdool”, who I assume, is another most American kid in the world, on lunch-recess from the American school they attend with kids who identify as black, white, latino and asian, and possess a variety of lingual modes. These are the people that Rush Limbaugh is attacking; these children and their parents, who’ve gone to the trouble of mispronouncing each other’s names, just to fit in to this society. What a hero.