Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Point of All This

Oh, you guys, I've done something to my whole spine. I slept funny a couple of nights ago, but thought I'd walked it off. Then I worked out this afternoon and now I hurt in a straight line from below my left ear, down my back and on past my left butt cheek (what the hell kind of spinal twinge manifests itself in the butt cheek area?). I have to talk myself into moving from any seated or supine position. I think this is what being old must feel like. Shit. I might be old. I'll try some yoga to see if that takes some years off.

But let's leave the butt cheek and move onto the heart of this post: I've been tweeting regularly lately with various attempted witticisms as to how Barack Obama is not a Muslim and that there's also nothing wrong with being Muslim. I thought I'd break free of the 140 character limit and talk about why I'm doing this (and to complain about my sore neck, back and butt cheek).

I'm not kidding myself that I'll change any minds. I don't reckon that some poor simple-minded sap will randomly glance up at his Tweetdeck and suddenly recognize that his pastor is telling him lies and retweet with, "Crp! Btr skp Koran burning!" I don't think that some tea party disciple is going to read my sucky tweets and decide that it's not the Muslims and the Mexicans that are responsible for his economic woes (hint: it's corporate interests and congresspeople who collude with them). I don't imagine that some Ayn Rand devotee will friend-of-a-friend their way to my Facebook status and say "Wait! Maybe if Atlas Shrugged we'd all be better off!"

I do it because it makes me feel better. It's all less scary when I manage to access the underlying hilarity of it all. And, I hope, maybe those of you who inbox me with supportive messages and comment on how you're enjoying my sucky tweets will post some of your own. I don't think it's rude to remind people that the anti-Muslim fervor sweeping this country is poisonous. And, goddammit, fundamentally anti-American. I understand how you might not want to get all up in it with crazy Aunt Lulamae and her 2nd Amendment remedy for them damn raghead terrorists, but maybe if it's fun enough you will. And maybe Aunt Lulamae will wise up and get the idea that maybe (just maybe) she's the pot calling the kettle black.

Lookit: I'm 41 years old and this is the most racist I've ever seen this country. And, folks, I grew up in Memphis, Tn where, back in the 70s, it seemed every third pickup truck had a rebel flag embossed across its back window. But this is worse. And, if possible, stupider. Radio talk show hosts that play to enormous audiences think it's a legitimate grievance that Jay Z can use the n-word and they can't. The former speaker of the house and almost certain GOP candidate for president thinks Saudi Motherfucking Arabia should be setting baseline standards for religious liberty in America. Mainstream Christian pastors speak out in front of their huge congregations and declare Islam an evil religion. These are crazy, racist times.

Still, I'm an unabashed optimist and have little doubt that we'll make our way through this. We have before. But, in the meantime, I have to do what I have to do to keep myself from going crazy. And this is my cure:

My sore neck has somehow traveled to my left butt cheek. Which is weird. Less weird: Islam. Also, Barack Obama is not a Muslim.