Enjoy It Too Much

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on July 27, 2010

Matt Taibbi spent some quality time with his computer the other day. The post was about the Tea Party, but took a couple of detours en route.

The preamble was about the execution of John Wayne Gacy . For those with short memories, Mr. Gacy was not a nice man. He entertained children wearing a clown costume, before he molested and murdered  children. The crawl space to his Illinois home was used for storage. After a while, Mr. Gacy was caught, and sentenced to die.

This is where the story kicks in. A friend of Mr. Taibbi covered the scene outside the prison, on the night that Mr. Gacy was poisoned by the state. A festive crowd had gathered to celebrate. As the party was breaking up, the reporter started to interview a young man. The chat went like this:
“You’re not against capital punishment, are you?” “I’m not against capital punishment,I’m against enjoying capital punishment.”
A few years ago, PG was working with someone who told stories. A celebrity murderer was going to be executed, this time using the electric chair. An Atlanta radio station had a parking lot party to celebrate the frying. ( PG cannot remember the name of the murderer, nor the state of the execution). The wife of the co worker baked a cake to celebrate the occasion. It was decorated with a bright yellow icing, to resemble a fried egg.

The arguments for and against capital punishment are many. For the foreseeable future, it is a fact of life in Georgia. PG ( who has written several posts on the subject ) feels that, while there are some despicable people, the justice system is too flawed to administer capital punishment properly. At the very least, the execution of a criminal is not a time for celebration.

Capital punishment is compared to war, abortion, and euthanasia. All are times where a conscious decision is made to end a human life. Is it proper to enjoy any of these activities?

The easy one is euthanasia. Does anyone enjoy euthanasia, or spend much time campaigning against it? The case of Terri Schiavo is the most prominent, and some did try to make political hay out of it. That really didn’t catch on, as many people saw the shades of gray involved, and were mostly glad they were not the one to make the decision.

Do people enjoy abortion? The procedure itself is not celebrated, and is cloaked in quiet shame. On the other hand, PG suspects that the opponents of abortion are having a bit too much fun with their activities. The morality of using abortion as a vehicle for power is another subject for debate.

Do people enjoy war? HELL YEA. Firing up people on the home front is an essential part of a successful war. When the conflict drags on, and victory or truce begins to seem impossible, the war may lose some of it’s luster. The glamorization of war makes the conflict much more likely. Maybe if the attitude about war was similar to the attitude about euthanasia, we would have less of them.

Part one of this feature was about the preamble to a Matt Taibbi post. The meat of the story was about racism, and people who enjoy it too much.

In case you have gone deaf, people in America love to talk about race. ( No one seems to enjoy listening.) In the past week, there has been the New Black Panthers and Shirley Sherrod, and no telling what else. Some thought that having a dark skinned POTUS would change things, and perhaps it has. Whether this is a good or bad change is anyone’s guess.

Mr. Taibbi (sounds like Tybee, as in island) made the comment:
Your average person doesn’t spend hours a day pondering his racial victimhood like this – not unless he enjoys it, and if he enjoys it, he’s an asshole! (Especially if he’s white. If he’s white, the scale of his assholedom (spell check suggestion:glasshouse, grasshopper) is almost incalculable). And this is where PG disagrees.
Why is it worse for white people to be race obsessed than blacks? Yes, black people have been the oppressed race, but do two wrongs make a right. Revenge is uneven and unfair.

A few years ago, when PG was working downtown ( and saw thousands of black people everyday), he read something in the fishwrapper. A black lady said that whenever she saw a white person, she was looking at someone who did not like her. PG realized that many of ( but not all) of those thousands of black faces that he saw everyday were looking back at him, and thinking, that man does not like me.

When it is us against them, you need to remember which side you are on. Some people are going to hate you no matter what you do. Just because someone hates you, that does not mean you have to degrade yourself by hating them back. And spending hours a day complaining does not make things any better, whether you are black or white.

And it does not make you a better person. Have pride in who you are, without searching for fault in others. The only person you can change is yourself.

The pictures for this feature were taken by PG on Nov. 11, 2009. They are located on the Atlanta Beltline. The image at the top was painted over during a recent effort to incorporate art into the Beltline project.

Postscript. PG thought he could build site volume by leaving a comment about this post on Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone page. The synchronicity of glasshouse as a spell check suggestion for assholedom was going to be mentioned. ( If Georgia builds another dome for Rankin Blank’s Falcons, could it be called the assholedome?)(So much for having a profanity lite blog.)
The problem is the Rolling Stone website. First, you have to register. This is annoying, but standard. Only thing, at Rolling Stone there is no way to scroll to the bottom of the page, to click the red button. After a few frustrating minutes, PG hit f11 for ultra full screen, and the red button appeared.
The next step was to make the comment. You type in the comment, hit send, and go do something else. Usually, the server works, and your comment is added. But evidently this is a bad day at Rolling Stone, because you get an error message, and your comment disappears into the ether.
PG was a serious Rolling Stone fan for years. He bought his first copy in high school, a pulp edition featuring the John Lennon interview. In those days, Rolling Stone was pulp paper, full of fine print articles that went on forever. It was the Great Speckled Bird on steroids.
Today, it is a slick ad rag. It got lucky with the story on Stanley McCrystal. It will probably stagger by on momentum for a while, until it goes to the media graveyard. When it is six feet under, then it will again be an underground paper.
The spell check suggestion for assholedome is assemblywoman.

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  1. Rumors Of War | Chamblee54 said, on July 19, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    […] although not enough to justify the amounts of money being spent on the conflict. This is a double repost. Pictures are from The Library of […]

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