Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Anti-intellectualism and men who wear Spandex.

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Labels.

What better way is there to avoid the burden of thought, the demands of rationality and the challenge of rectitude?

When those of us for whom veracity and truth require too much work, thought and time away from watching professional sports to be of value, we simply replace those efforts with an all-encompassing word or phrase. This not only allows us to identify with those others of the synaptically challenged who need these intellectual shortcuts, but it makes us sound relevant, informed and, I guess, hip. Most of these words, when reduced to their essence, are simply euphemisms for Evil and Good.

Words like Hero, Patriot and Ally tacitly identify those being spoken of as those who do that with which we agree. Yet, Evil, Terrorist and Enemy tend to tacitly identify those with whom we must contend, correct, re-educate, imprison, or kill. You know, those other guys.

Evil is a convenient way to identify those who harm and kill those with whom we agree, yet Good is an antonym, or a way of identifying those who do the same to those with whom we do not. When someone we like kills someone we don’t, that killer is often identified as good, whereas when those who have been killed by our guy return the favor, they are called Evil. Yet the things they’ve done are exactly equal.

Few would defend a black kid killing a white (or any color) cop. Obversely, we have Ferguson, Missouri, where a white cop killed a black kid and where over $300,000 has been raised to defend the cop, yet the memorial fund for Michael Brown currently totals about $130,000. Good and Evil. White cop, black kid. Except for the fact that the only thing we can be certain about in this case is that THE KID IS DEAD.

Barack Obama has been called a terrorist (Evil), yet Ted Nugent, Cliven Bundy and Phil Robertson have been called Patriots (Good). If I need to explain that irony, I, ah, err, well, you got me beat on that one.

Saddam Hussein was called a terrorist by many who enjoyed repeating the word and by some who likely couldn’t spell it, but he wasn’t. He may have been a dictator, murderer and all-around bad guy, but anyone who understands what the word terrorist actually means realizes the difference. To all the others it was simple. Since terrorists are bad, everyone who we think is bad is a…terrorist. See? Saddam Hussein and Barack Obama-terrorists! Simple!

There are even good (Christian) and evil (Islam) religions, depending on whom you ask. Even within the same belief system, there are good (Baptists) and bad (Catholics, if you ask many Baptists). Within Islam, Sunni and Shia will debate, or behead, those who are of the other camp. You know, the good guys versus the bad guys.

The Minuteman Project refer to themselves as Patriots because they claim to “close holes that allow illegal entry of drugs and people into the US”. Notice how they toss in the word “drugs” to legitimize themselves, even though they do absolutely no drug interdiction, since drug smuggling is way too sophisticated and too large in scope to be done in small quantities by kids walking across the desert. What they actually do is keep poor, hungry people from entering the country, to keep them from taking all the lawn maintenance, kitchen staff and child-care jobs that us white folk are just clamoring for. They are protecting us from all those evil Mexicans who have propagated terrorist attacks upon us, you know like when…well, I can’t think of any right now either.

Basically, this group, like those who showed up at Clive Bundy’s ranch, are just a bunch of Tea Party apologist gun owners who are disappointed that Obama’s re-election never caused the violent people’s uprising and revolution they were so confidently and longingly predicting, and since they spent the food money on all these extra guns, bullets and desert camo formal wear, they need to show their friends and wives that they are not the mouth-breathing, violence-loving imbeciles that they appear to be. They need to find a reason, any reason, for being armed to the teeth and fully strapped when they go to the Piggly Wiggly to buy Pampers. But I digress…

Yup, its easier to label someone with that which comports with your poorly-thought-out, black and white, good and evil, anti-education, good-ole-boy view of the world than it is to actually spend a minute or two thinking about it. Just like sports. There’s always an easily-identified good guy and bad guy; the good guy, of course, being the team that you, for some arcane and simplistic reason, support. The colors, the mascots, the team symbols and other shiny objects all being those which make you feel at home.

There is actually a book written by Tim Green called Football Hero about a kid who wants to be a professional football player. Curious word, Hero. Al Qaeda used it to describe those who brought down the World Trade Center on 9/11. We use the Exact. Same. Word. to describe our 9/11 first responders.

And, apparently, people who strive to get into the NFL.

Interesting irony, that. Makes one wonder if anyone will actually do the math and reconsider their use of these simplistic words.

Nah. Who the fuck am I kidding…
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2 Comments

  1. Words are spells! Great post my friend. You nailed it with the labels being a lazy route to avoid substantial thought.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Follow me if you want to get future notifications of my posts

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