On Making Sausage. And Political Correctness

Who doesn’t enjoy a juicy sausage link hot off the grill? (apologies to my vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian friends) However, as the saying goes – nobody wants to actually know what happens in the sausage factory. The same is apparently true when it comes to our pesky little conflict with some folks in that there middle east region of the world. When a certain orange politician says that we should temporarily ban Muslim immigration to the US until we have better screening… the more liberal half of the country collectively voids their bowels in horror at the inappropriateness of the comment.

I guess folks forget that we’ve put together a massive governmental security operation specifically to prevent a segment of the Muslim population from targeting our airline industry. We don’t willingly stand in three hour lines for invasive body scans because of tpche Swedes, Taylor Swift fans, or the seven remaining members of some sub-Saharan pigmy tribe. No, we submit to warrantless searches because a few of our Muslim friends have an annoying habit of blowing up airplanes. We make ourselves feel better by also letting the TSA shopping mall security guards randomly search 90 year old grandmothers from Nebraska. See, we’re being fair. God forbid someone thought we were actually profiling anyone.

I guess if the orange one had simply said “I’m temporarily banning all immigration” everything would be ok. Whew, thank god he didn’t single anyone out – they might have been offended and sparked global jihad and issuance of fatwas directing followers to do evil to us. Oh wait, we already have that. Never mind.

If you’re a Muslim American, I feel for you. A few of your brethren are making things difficult for you. I’m sure there are some instances where you’re being tarnished with the same brush. That, unfortunately, is human nature. I’m sure the vast majority of Catholic priests are fine, virtuous people. Unfortunately that group as a whole has pretty much lost their babysitting privileges for a while. As a country I think we tend to be one of the most tolerant places around most of the time. We certainly don’t always get it right, but there is a reason the rest of the world is trying to come here. So I think we can cut out the hyper vigilant “offensive speech” monitoring. I’m reasonably sure that some goat farmer in Afghanistan is not going to be driven to a murderous anti-American rage if you forget to include the “I stand with Muslims” hashtag on your latest facebook post. And that whole ISIS/ISIL/al-Qaeda/Taliban/Muslim brotherhood thing… well they pretty much already hate us. I doubt they’re going to stop the global jihad if we just hired a few really good speechwriters.

We need to get over our faux political correctness. Muslims are responsible for the vast majority of terror in the world at this moment in history. It’s ok, you can say it. It’s the truth. We’re smart enough to figure out that it’s not all Muslims. It doesn’t make you a racist xenophobe to be slightly concerned about folks declaring jihad against you. Similarly, we have folks streaming across our border from the south. No, they are not just “undocumented” as if they accidently got in the wrong line and their paperwork got lost. They entered into the country illegally. I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m being looked down upon by the intellectual elite like some sort of racist, uneducated, country bumpkin if I think securing our border is a good thing. Just because I don’t like Adel, Madonna, or the Beatles I shouldn’t be ostracized by the iTunes community like I’m some sort of music Neanderthal.

My point? I’m not sure. I got mesmerized looking at the Donald’s hair. It’s hard to look away. Someday the architectural blueprints for his hair will be published and we will marvel. Meanwhile, we’re a long ways from the racism that spawned Manzanar. I think we can be adults and speak about our security without the fear that we might offend someone. Besides, we have plenty of real offenses going on today. Like those Kim Jong-un pantsuits Hillary wears. Someone really needs to have a talk with her.

 

On Irony And Whatnot.

As Forest Gump said, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what irony is”. I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest crayon in the box but I always thought I was reasonably average with the English language. Yes I have trouble from time to time getting the commas and periods in the right places (I’m comma happy and I know it). And there are some tricky words I mangle here and there. All in all, I can somewhat put a sentence together. I paid attention when conjunction junction, what’s your function came on.

Having said that, I was inspired to write something today that quickly got away from me when I realized that you know nothing Jon Snow (if you don’t follow Game of Thrones, I’m ygsorry for you). I saw some news about the latest protests outside a Trump rally. I was going to make some brilliant insightful comments about the protesters, La Raza, and the future of my former city of San Jose. Looking for pictures or video I quickly grew frustrated at how truly awful most “newspaper” web sites are. I must have cycled through half a dozen before giving up. Poor page design, auto-start videos, and so many ads and pop-ups that simply trying to navigate through a gallery can take several minutes just to view a few photos.

I changed my mind and decided on a new topic. I was going to deliver a blistering review (and yes it would also be brilliant and insightful) on the current state of the newspaper industry. Most importantly – I was going to show the irony of an industry built on effective delivery of information being so horrible at it in the digital age.

But is that really irony? Figuring I better look it up before embarrassing myself in front ofirony three or four readers, I consulted the internets. Either I’m even dumber than I thought, or the definition of irony is hard. Dictionary sites, Wikipedia, writing and literary resources… and I’m still not sure I know what the definition is. Maybe the criticism of Alanis Morissette wasn’t entirely justified? Is it ironic that the website isitironic.com relies on readers voting to answer the question? Is it ironic that so many people have a hard time defining what irony is?

Welcome to the strange workings of my mind. Time to go take a nap. That little thought exercise burned up a few too many brain cells.


Forrest Gump: Hello. I’m Forrest, Forrest Gump.

Recruit Officer: Nobody gives a hunky shit who you are, pus ball. You’re not even a low-life, scum-sucking maggot. Get your ass on the bus, you’re in the army now!