Saturday, October 20, 2007


I don't watch a lot of TV, so when something memorable happens, and I'm present for it, it can make a big impression. One of my favorite scenes was Carroll O'Connor doing Bill Gillespie on "In The Heat Of The Night", having heard one of his deputies say something nasty about a young Vietnamese boy. "What was that?" he demands, and he gets back the response that it was "nothing".

"No it wasn't nothing. It was downright mean, and that's worse than nothing," is his response, as best as I can remember it, and it was a golden moment. He wouldn't let it be brushed aside as "nothing" or "I shouldn't have said that", and I reckon he'd have erupted volcanically if his deputy had said something like "it was a joke".

Kind of a sad world when that golden moment comes from a fictional character who has no effect in the grander scheme of things, isn't it?

Rush Limbaugh started this game; say whatever nasty bullshit[1] you want, but claim it's a "joke" or it's "entertainment".

I've often wanted to say something about that kind of thing... to point out that no, it's not "just a joke", it's not just "nothing". Today, Tristero did a good job of writing what I wish I had thought of writing.. It's worth a read; Tristero points out the nastiness and dishonesty with a live example.

[1] apologies for the language, but when you just make something up, without regards for the truth, you're BSing. When it's something nasty being made up, using a euphemism like "BS" is putting a pretty face on an ugly situation... to say that someone like Limbaugh or Coulter is "BSing" is to euphemize to the point of dishonesty.

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