Friday, December 23, 2005

Pod People

Here's Wil Wheaton worrying about the Borg who has replaced his father. Apparently, dear old Dad screamed at him during holiday supper for opposing the death penalty...

"The thing is, though, I know better than to bring up politics with my dad. Ever since he started listening to talk radio for hours out of the day, he's slowly lost his ability to objectively look at the facts and draw his own conclusions. If Rush, Hannity, Dennis Prager or O'Reilly say it, my dad believes it as surely as he believes anything. Thanks to this abdication of rational thinking, both of my parents completely bought into the Swift Boat liars, still believe that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11, and recently decided to move to Montana, which my mother described as "the real America" to me and my siblings."

It's funny- I've had both lefties and right-wingers in my family get mad at me when I shared my thoughts with them. But, the ditto heads in the family are the funniest. We'll get together for family functions and they'll start needling my sister because she's the flaming hippie. I get it too sometimes because, although I keep my opinions to myself, I am an academic and so, de facto, a bleedingheartcommiepinkofag. But, it never bugs me because they're so obvious about it.

Me: So, what's new with you?

Conservative relative: Oh, I've got a great new way to raise money for the state. We're going to execute Jane Fonda and I'll auction off the chance to throw the switch on that traitor bitch.

Me: Yeah, well, after watching Monster-in-Law, I'll probably join you.


The thing is, they just want someone to take the bait. It's the old bully routine- keep trying to get someone upset, and then act shocked if they respond.

Conservative relative: Hey, Rufus! I want to punch Hilary Clinton in the face!

Me: Yeah, great. Can you pass me the butter first?

I have a relative who'll bring out these cassette tapes of him reading a book of slave stories in this exaggerated Steppinfetchit voice, and play those for "big laffs". Or, he'll bring out these polaroids of dead black kids from when he worked on the subway line and make "histerical" racist jokes about them. Haw-haw!! Get it?! If you don't, they jump all over you about how "sensitive" and "bleeding heart" you are.

But, here's the punchline- these same macho Rush Limbaugh loving relatives cry like little pussy brats if the greeters at Target don't say 'Merry Christmas' to them. They've stopped talking to my sister because, get this, she worked with the peace corps in Thailand and once said that she didn't think the WTO was doing much good there. Oh, the horror! I mean, they freak out and loose their shit over the dumbest things. Like most bullies, they're total cowards when anyone responds to them.

You get this from a lot of Bloganderthals- this mentality that we must be strong at all times, but if some junior anarchist in Berkeley writes "America suxxx" on the Internet, they run around screaming like Chicken Little. Oh, no!! The world is falling apart!! Noam Chomsky wrote another lousy book!!! Academics are brainwashing our kids!! The Dixie Chicks don't like the President!! Soylent Green is people!! I think I wet my pants!!

It's as if their ideas are so poorly formed and second-hand that they can't hear someone else's thoughts on anything. Honestly, I think the left and the right are both completely nuts in this country. But, at least my flaming hippie relatives will hear you out if you disagree with them, which I often do. But, then, they've got real guts. They're men and women of steel- pure grit I tell you! The ditto heads in the family... total wimps.


Anonymous said...

Amen to that, my brother. Here's to justified self-righteousness. Ahhh, so addictive...

Rufus said...

Actually, I'm finding a sort of apathetic resignation to be better for my mental health.

daisy said...

I'm confused, as usual: what's a ditto head?

Rufus said...

Large swaths of my family are diehard fans of Rush Limbaugh. His fans tend to call themselves "ditto heads" because they so often "ditto" what he has to say. I don't actually mind Rush Limbaugh any more than I mind, say, Michael Moore- although both of them I can live without. But, there is something specially depressing about characterizing yourself as always being in agreement with someone famous.