Thursday, June 19, 2008

Infectious smiles and a daily dose of political discussion.

Jonathan Richman is a man who doesn't look accustomed to smiling. The lines on his face tell you he's been in the music business longer than you've been alive, so much so that you begin to wonder if he's disappointed to be playing a gig in such a small space, strumming out old favorites accompanied only by a drummer who seldom speaks.

And then he smiles. He smiles and he plays his songs and he dances and he relishes in the crowd as much as they're enjoying him. You listen to his words and watch his demeanor and you think, maybe something is right in this world after all.

Go see him play when he comes to your town.


When your aunt forwards you one of those "Obama is a secret Muslim who won't do the Pledge of Allegiance" emails, don't let that racist shit slide. I don't care who you're voting for or what your political views are, fight the smears. Debate on the candidates merits, personalities, stance on the issues, hell, argue about whose wife is prettiest*, but don't make it about black versus white. There's a problem with race in an America where people believe it makes any sense to say they're not "racist" but find those bizarre rumors plausible.

I also just want to say I don't get those Hillary Clinton supporters who say they're going to vote for McCain. The two Democratic frontrunners had such similar views that I didn't want to choose--being a registered non-partisan voter allows me that luxury. If you were so gung ho about a woman in the White House, why the hell would you go with the guy who wants to abolish major women's rights in this country (and supposedly called his wife a "cunt," which, classy)? I guess I just hope you all change your minds by November.

* Don't, actually, but at least that's subjective and debatable, not an outright lie.


Anonymous said...

Senator Obama is NOT a Dirty Muslim!

"What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge," says Mr. Obama, while denouncing statements of him being a Muslim as a smear. Why is the presidential candidate who claims to be religiously inclusive is treating the word "Muslim" as an insult? Apparently, it is OK for Mr. Obama to be associated with terrorists like William Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright, but God forbid somebody would call him a Muslim! No, he won't stand for that kind of smear! We admit that most terrorists are Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists and the statement on Mr. Obama's website is insulting to hundreds of millions of people.

How could a man who discards his family heritage in favor of political expediency be even considered for presidency of the United States? Where are all the so-called "Islamic civil rights groups" like CAIR, MPAC, ISNA, MAS, etc. who are quick to defend every Islamic terrorist, but are silent when Muslims in general are being denigrated? Would Mr. Obama have the same reaction if someone claimed that he was raised as a Jew? We sincerely doubt that.

Muslims Against Sharia demand immediate removal of "SMEAR: Barack Obama is a Muslim" statement from the official Barack Obama's website as well as an apology for giving the word "Muslim" a negative connotation.

emily said...

I am sure this is some kind of comment-bot but it's a good point, one I forgot to make in the post--the implication that Muslim=bad and something to be vehemently denied does bother me deeply and is another dimension of the scary racism.

Obama does seem to be stuck in a difficult position, because on one hand, so what if he were a Muslim? Why should that bother Americans? It's fucked up that it does and that he has to strenuously deny the allegation as a "smear." It's a fine line he has to tread between letting the truth bear out and letting that it's a lie imply that he agrees it's a bad thing to be Muslim.

Anonymous said...

We wouldn't have a problem with "Lie: Obama is a Muslim", but "Smear" Obama is a Muslim" is very different.

emily said...

The intent of those who spread the lie IS to smear, so in that sense it is accurate, but I hear what you're saying and agree. The original emails give it the negative connotation, and Obama's campaign unfortunately ends up validating that negativity in calling it a smear.

I guess the campaign felt "fight the smears" (and there are more lies beyond the Muslim thing) was a stronger message than "fight the lies"?