T131: Trash Talk

trash talk

n.Disparaging, often insulting or vulgar speech about another person or group.

trash-talked, trash-talk·ing, trash-talks

intr.v. To speak disparagingly, often insultingly or abusively about a person or group.

What united millions after another lost (stolen?) election in 2004 was trash talking about George Bush. After the near worshipful and fear-based strictures against criticism of the pResident – the first mocking put downs were a wonderful relief. And with the monstrous disappointment of that election, fury was unleashed.

And indignation became addictive. We should have all been prepared for that after observing the decades of hate radio from the right. It is a sad and sorry thing to have this indignation addiction. I am katecontinued and I am indignant . . . perpetually.

But, it grows old. Randy Rhodes on Air America was the first trash talker posing as a progressive voice to piss me off. I simply stopped listening to her. But the list kept growing and growing. This last 5 months I am sick to death of the ugly misogynist slurs against Hilary Clinton and the racist, anti-Muslim hatred against Barack Obama. Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has been cataloging these hits. As of today there are 94 on the Hillary sexism watch .

These are a few highlights bulleted by Sadly No:

Melissa also writes:

I mean, how great has it worked out for conservatives that the reality-based community has failed utterly to perceive a comprehensive reality about either of its remaining candidates, not to mention cast aside all that rigorous adherence to fairness, accuracy, and cynicism about the media and rightwing frames on which the leftwing blogosphere was ostensibly built?

Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have been so quick to stomp the shit out of her, or slay the golden calf for him—and hand to conservatives the perfect opportunity to make us look like we got it backwards, even if we didn’t.

We’re going to go into the general election with what looks to be a weak candidate either way, when we had the chance for the total opposite. And that won’t be Barack Obama’s fault, and it damn sure won’t be Hillary’s, no matter how many of the numbskulls who got us here try to blame her for their own idiocy.

I haven’t followed much of this horse race as I worked since last year to turn away from the political race to concentrate on the real life, grass roots work of living a sustainable life. But, I did read enough to know that Obama’s supporters became pretty crazed. I remember this group energy from the Daily Kos. This blog was another fauxgressive (Melissa McEwan’s word) site that has swarmed and attacked opposing opinions for some years now. But, lately I have been reading more of the attacks from the media, from Clinton supporters and GOP against Obama. Melissa’s survey of these attacks against Obama I noticed in April that she titled, Shakesville Doesn’t Cover Campaign Racism, where she lists almost 40 links “to get you started.”

Don’t get me wrong. I like snark and I read a couple sites with snarky humor. But, lately the misogyny and ugliness about women is getting too difficult to witness. This has been an ongoing struggle within my life. Laughter can be cruel and a weapon. I have been guilty of crossing lines. I am not proud of this. But the more conscious I become, the more difficult I find it to show disrespect in this way. And when I do, I am quicker to own up to this. It is not okay.

The number one weapon to shut women up is to say, “You have no sense of humor, I was just kidding.” Absolute bullshit, it’s talking trash. It all comes back to respect – or not.
Update: I just read something by Melissa McEwan that made me realize I hadn't differentiated between indignation and anger, directed anger. Let me quote from this short but but vital Feminism 101: On Anger post:

Progress is dependent on people who get angry, because anger—productive anger, motivating anger, directed anger, rational anger—is the root of all progress.

Feminists/womanists and their allies know that change comes by virtue of anger.

Progress ain't fueled by rainbows and gumdrops.

If you're not angry, you're probably not helping.

That is all.

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