Saturday, December 01, 2007

Media Buzz Words I Hate To See

Political buzz words and buzz phrases are passed off all the time in the news. They're catchy, contrite summaries of certain ideologies that politicians force upon us to keep us pacified in fear. Usually, when a buzz word is used, it means that the issue is too complex for the average layperson to comprehend, and the politician uses that ignorance to their advantage. Whenever I hear someone spout off one of these buzz words, the only thing they prove to me is that they've formed a concrete opinion on something they know nothing about, based on a summary of someone else's self-righteous opinion.

Liberal Media
Also known as "Liberal slant" or "Liberal bias." I hate this buzz phrase more than any other because it's used by Republicans and their loyal army of brainwashed laborers whenever the news media points out something stupid that Republicans have done. How about, rather than claiming a Liberal bias whenever someone catches the Republicans doing stupid shit, the Republicans all decide to stop doing stupid shit? Instead they just keep doing stupid things and blaming the news for being slanted against them when they don't have any better explanation for their actions. When your last best choice for a President was so incompetent that by comparison Bill Clinton has been elevated to a near godlike status, I think it can go without saying that you're probably doing something intrinsically wrong.

If there's one thing the Republicans love more than anything else, it's being victimized. Democrats are victimized all the time because they try to be open-minded and courteous, and thereby allow the Republicans to stomp all over them like a stampede of frightened elephant, but you never hear the Democrats whine about how horribly they're treated in the news. If anyone dares point out the fact that George W. Bush's approval rating is careening toward the single digits, suddenly there's a Liberal bias all over the news. Where was the Liberal bias when all we heard on the news for about two years was Bill Clinton's infidelity? Yet, no one dare question the integrity of a President who catapaulted us into debt by waging a war on a country he could narrowly prove guilty of anything based on evidence that, it turns out, was largely fabricated, because that would be the Liberal agenda injecting its bias into the news.

To counter the alleged Liberal slant, renowned Republican sympathizer Rupert Murdoch formed the Fox News Channel that boasted a "fair and balanced" representation of the news by hiring every Republican pundit they could find who could be loud and obnoxious enough to intimidate or suppress any Democratic authority invited onto their show. If the alternative to a Liberal slant in the news is a bunch of pompous bullies spouting off their beliefs as scientific fact, then I'll take the Liberal slant any day. However, I'm not going to be convinced there actually is a "Liberal bias" in the media until I see Stone Phillips smoke a joint and blow Chris Hansen during the opening montage of Dateline NBC.

Activist Judges
This is another phrase grates on my last nerve. I haven't done so myself, but I'd be willing to bet that if you look at the etymology of the phrases "activist judges" and "legislating from the bench," you'd find that they couldn't be traced back much further than George W. Bush's lifetime. This is because it's a term that the Neoconservative movement came up with and was shoved into the collective conscious by George W. Bush himself. I'm not saying he invented the term anymore than Al Gore invented the Internet, but just as Al Gore and the Information Superhighway, George W. Bush was instrumental in making the terms "activist judge" and "legislating from the bench" cheap and affordable household items with the primary purpose of desensitizing the minds and destroying the ethics of Americans everywhere.

As far as anyone has ever been able to tell, an "activist judge" is any judge who happens to make a decision that George W. Bush personally does not like. A judge who "legislates from the bench" is one who interprets the Constitution to fit within the context of the case presented and bases his decision off of that. There's no way the Founding Fathers could have foreseen a time when scientists could not only clone a human being but work out any perceived genetic defects or people could download an entire body of music from one computer to another halfway around the world, but then the Founding Fathers also never envisioned a country where big business held more political weight than the masses of voters and people could be rewarded for their own stupidity either.

Notice how no judge who declares abortion illegal, homosexuality abominable, or waterboarding an "approved interrogation technique" is considered an "activist judge" who "legislates from the bench," even though it's all the same moral judgments based on controvercial issues, just in Bush's favor. In truth, the only difference between being an impartial arbitrator and an "activist judge" is whether or not your verdict agrees with the President's personal beliefs.

Gay Agenda
There's no such thing as a "gay agenda" unless you count the homosexuals' plight to be accepted and tolerated as human beings despite engaging in a lifestyle that has no impact on anyone's lives but their own. Gays have no intention of turning you gay or turning your kids gay or "fagging up" the community you live in. Well, some of the more annoying ones might try, but then there are some really ugly girls that try to persuade a lot of guys, and a lot of really obnoxious guys who try to persuade a lot of girls, and you don't see them beaten with an aluminum baseball bat in an alley outside an "uglies only" nightclub.

If a gay guy hit on me, I'd first be flattered because I am by far not the Ryan Seacrest of metrosexuals, but it'd be really no different to let him down easy than it would be to let a chick I wasn't interested in down easy. In fact, it'd be easier because I wouldn't have to come up with a polite excuse as to why I wasn't interested in a gay guy; I could just say that I'm not gay, and in every circumstance outside of unexpectedly finding myself inside a gay bar, that excuse should suffice.

The only things the gays have an agenda for are tolerance and equality and the ability to get the insurance and the tax break that married couples enjoy. If two people are in love, and someone wants to deny them the ability to experience that love, then that someone must be a really self-loathing and hateful person. With all the irrational paranoia and ignorant bigotry surrounding the topic of homosexuality these days, I don't see how anyone can utter the words "gay agenda" without taking the final step and just pulling the pointy, white hood over their faces and burning a giant cross on Rosie O'Donnell's front lawn.

Illegal Immigrants
Whenever I hear someone talk about an "illegal," an "immigrant," or an "illegal immigrant," I automatically categorize this person in my brain as not possibly having an IQ that reaches the triple digits. They just spout off the rhetoric that the media feeds them without first passing it through any sort of bullshit detector.

Are there immigrants in the country? Yes. Are some of these immigrants illegal? Yes. However, not all of the immigrants are illegal, and not all of the illegal ones are Mexicans. The problem I have with the term "illegal immigrant" is that it's a very negatively biased new way of saying "Hispanic." You can easily transform talking to random people into an entertaining game of "Spot the Bigot" by seeing how long it takes them to comment on any Hispanic person, no matter their nationality or social status, as an "illegal," "illegal immigrant," or a "dirty foreigner." The man who bought the company I work for is a born American with a Cuban heritage, and I get a barrage of xenophobes outraged that a local company was bought out by a "damn foreigner." It amuses me to see the looks of compunction on their faces when I inform them that their "damn foreigner" was born to legal immigrants on American soil and served in the Marines before working for the U.S. Treasury Department. Whoops, you're racist!

Yeah, something should probably be done about the illegal immigration problem before it gets out of hand, but convincing white, middle class laborers that anybody with brown skin is both here illegally and most likely a terrorist isn't a viable, long-term solution to the problem. If people aren't busy blaming Mexicans for murdering Internet porn stars, they're blaming them for everything that's wrong in their lives. Nothing is more ridiculous than a fifty-year-old industrial superintendant who fears losing his job because Mexicans are coming into the country illegally to sell fruit at roadside stands or cook fries at McDonald's.

Terrorism
Ever since September 11th, 2001, Americans have allowed themselves to be pursuaded to do some of the most idiotic of things for fear of terrorism. Probably the most idiotic of those idiotic things was vote George W. Bush into office for a second term based solely on the fear of terrorism. Bush was fortunate enough to happen to be the President when the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon occurred and because of that, has been transformed into some sort of hero figure for keeping America safe from terrorism despite the fact that he was President when the attacks happened. No one makes me feel more assured that he will keep America safe from terrorism than the man who failed to prevent the most heinous terrorist attack to ever be perpetrated on American soil.

Terrorism has been going on long before September 11th, and it has been happening ever since. Some terrorist attacks don't even have anything to do with and cannot be tied to the Middle East. The reality of the situation is that America is no more safe from terror today than we were on September 10th, 2001. "Terrorism" is just the latest political buzz word to replace "Communism" that manipulative politicians know they can spout off to panic the country into agreeing to whatever terms they dictate. If you watch any speech President Bush has made since September 11th, 2001, you can make a fun drinking game out of taking a shot any time he utters any form of the word "terrah."

By definition, "terrorism" is any form of mass hysteria that can be used to induce a political change, so by definition, just reminding Americans that we have to be afraid of the constant threat of terrorism is terrorism in itself. Personally, I am completely unafraid of terrorism. I have been unafraid of terrorism from birth leading up to September 11th, 2001, and I have been unafraid of terrorism ever since. I have better things to worry about in my life than the possibility that I might die someday. I fully acknowledge and understand that I am going to die someday, and afterwards I'm certainly not going to care because I will be dead, so there's no point in worrying about it, and there's no point in worrying about terrorism either. Sometimes shit just happens.

However, most Americans allow themselves to easily be manipulated by politicians who remind them to be afraid of terrorism. These politicians are doing less to actually keep America safe from terrorists than they are to keep Americans believing that they're being kept safe from terrorists. Hey, whatever happened with our search for Osama Bin Laden, you know, the guy responsible for 9/11? We have yet to turn up him, but we sure tore the living shit out of an entire country that has been proven to have nothing to do with him, and we will continue to do so until he has yet to be captured.

I'm not going to say that terrorism doesn't exist. I don't honestly think it's anything that we'll ever effectively eradicate. As long as there are crazy people in the world who don't value human life quite as much as they value destruction, there will always be terrorism. As long as politicians know that we're still afraid of the threat of terrorism, they will still be able to use it to their advantage. If we feel we're safe, we won't question the authority that allegedly keeps us safe, and if we do, we'll be labeled as a terrorist anyway, so it's probably best to keep our mouths shut either way. Until we can free ourselves of the fear, we won't be able to free ourselves of the oppression that goes along with it. That is why I hate the various derivatives of the buzz word "terrorism."

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