One thing I think everyone can agree on is the fact that this past decade has had more than its fair share of dicks. While almost everyone can agree on the dickishness of certain slimy characters out there, certain others inexplicably have their passionate defenders.
To my mind, however, over the past ten years quintessential dickishness has been defined by a select few.
So here it is, my list of the Biggest Dicks of The Decade:
"I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented"
- Elie Weisel
The freakin' fundamentalists are at it again. This time in Somalia, where the stoning of women goes on unabated. This week it was a 20-year-old divorcee who, because she had a boyfriend, was stoned to death for "adultery" (yes, these wackos call it "adultery", even if a person is divorced). Last week it was a 33-year-old man who was stoned to death for adultery and his girlfriend is scheduled to be killed the same way once she gives birth. Last year these same fanatics killed/murdered a 13-year-old girl for "adultery" after she was gang-raped. And one thousand people turned up to cheer, or at least watch, her killing.
Yeah, I know Islam is really a religion of love and compassion and all that. Only problem is, like with all other religions, whenever the fundamentalists take power, it's anything but. Believe me, love and compassion rarely have anything to do with justice in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Taliban-controlled areas of Pakistan, and the parts of Nigeria that have introduced sharia law.
Now you've all heard the anti-gay-marriage campaigners - in all their self-righteous raging homophobic glory - droning on and on about "traditional marriage", "God's intentions" and "Biblical teachings", as they condemn same-sex marriage and cry out that it's clearly something evil sent into this world by Satan himself to destroy us all.
You've listened, you've heard, you've observed, but you're not yet fully convinced that the haters are right and you simply don't have the time to read the whole Bible yourself right now.
Well, you're in luck, people, because Mrs. Betty Bowers, "America's Best Christian", has done all the hard work for you and in just four brief minutes lets you know everything you need to know about the good Lord's intentions when it comes to marriage.
a.k.a. Summer of Staggering Stupidity
"The best test of a civilised society is the way in which it treats its most vulnerable and weakest members."
- Mahatma Gandhi
That the majority of the rich and powerful in America, particularly those on the right, are vehemently opposed to universal healthcare and instead support the present free-market private insurance system is hardly surprising. Clearly they have nothing to fear, as it's highly unlikely that they will ever find themselves without coverage and they're certainly never going to be choosing between treatment and bankruptcy.
This stance - though truly despicable, completely devoid of compassion and totally self-absorbed - isn't really all that difficult to understand. It's simply the latest manifestation of that age-old philosophy: "Hey, I'm alright. Screw everyone else!"
What IS extremely hard to figure out, however, is the mindset of all these regular, ordinary working class and middle class right-wing nut-jobs who have been showing up all summer long at these town hall meetings chanting:
"Socialism! Communism! Stalinism!!"
"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."
– James Madison
As all the Right-Wing Christian Conservative Blow-Hard (RWCCBH) homophobes down there in the States continue to blather on about how gay marriage is going to destroy traditional marriage, I just keep scratching my head, struggling with all my might to understand just what the $&#% they're talking about.
"Morality is doing what is right, regardless what we are told. Religious dogma is doing what we are told, no matter what is right."
- Elka Enola
Whatever you may think of his days in power, there's really no denying that since leaving office back in 1981 Jimmy Carter has become perhaps the greatest ex-president in American history. And now he's taken one more, very significant, step towards wrapping up that title once and for all: He's just quit his church of more than 60 years out of disgust at their sexist, bigoted views concerning women.
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and
Our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our woman
Why we rape our woman
Do we hate our woman?
- 2Pac (Tupac Shakur), "Keep Ya Head Up"
As if you needed any more proof. But here it is anyway, two more stories demonstrating once more (and once and for all) the joy of tradition, the jubilation of superstition and, most of all, the glory - and glorious compassion - of organized religion.
Oh, and not to forget the awesome ability of men to take their beloved misogyny and sexism and make it an integral part of just about every major religion worldwide.
"I can't understand why people are afraid of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones"
- John Cage
What's up with Republicans and their love of stupid anyway? First Reagan, then George W. Bush, then Sarah Palin, and now Joe The Plumber. Well, perhaps it has something to do with their constant state of fear.
Drugs, terrorists, hippies, immigrants, universal medical coverage, Muslims, gay marriage, science, God, teenagers having sex - is there anything these people aren't terrified of?
Hey, all you fans of comedy and politics, Bill Maher has a new film out this weekend, a documentary on religion called "Religulous". I haven't seen it yet, but it sure looks great. What I have seen, however, is Jon Stewart interviewing Maher on "The Daily Show" earlier this week and, man, was it ever good! Check it out here:
"Two faces have I
One that laughs one that cries
One says hello one says goodbye
One does things I don't understand
Makes me feel like half a man"
- Bruce Springsteen, "Two Faces"
Regardless of what Barack Obama may have said four years ago in that famous speech of his at the 2004 Democratic Convention, there definitely are two Americas - two diametrically opposed Americas. And I'm not just talking about Republicans and Democrats here, though that division largely mirrors the real divide.