The neighing and braying of jackasses on the hot still Carolina wind like the fetid breath of Satan after he's attended a cheese-tasting party

>> Wednesday, September 09, 2009

South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson was raised
in a barn by a mangy semi-feral cat and a rusted bucket with
a frowny face painted on it.

See that man in the picture, above? That man is a braying jackass. That man is an elected Representative from a state that shares half a name with my native state, but whereas my state, North Carolina, gave the world John Coltrane and Nina Simone, Michael Jordan, William Sydney "O. Henry" Porter and Thomas Wolfe and at least had the grace to offset the karmic debts created by Jesse Helms with Mr. Sam Ervin, South Carolina is a cultural desert and environmental swamp whose great contribution to American civilization was to instigate the bloodiest war in American history for the sake of the right of wealthy men to treat imprisoned, enslaved men and women like commodities, like beasts of burden. South Carolina is a great, stinking, swampy abyss that now exists solely to make the drive from Charlotte to Atlanta and back a tedious inconvenience. The main argument for not digging up the entire state and dumping it into the sea is that there's already a vast island of garbage in the ocean and basic decency requires us to forbear.

It remains a historical mystery why, after freeing the slaves, the Union didn't simply withdraw from South Carolina with newly-liberated blacks and allow the remaining inhabitants to go on mistaking cattle for their cousins until the population base completely collapsed from a failure to replenish itself naturally, perhaps freeing the United States to convert the former "state" into a vast natural preserve dedicated to the enjoyment of people (if any) who like to visit swamps and vast uninteresting tracts of sand. Such a solution might have saved the rest of us from having to put up with jackasses like Representative Joe Wilson, pictured above in the act of braying at the elected President of the United States while the President was addressing a joint session of Congress and Joe Wilson. Granted, this nature preserve would have required periodic spraying or perhaps draining for mosquitoes (much like an old tractor tire sitting in the back yard, South Carolina is a breeding ground for the beasts; also like an old tractor tire, South Carolina would stink and generate a thick, clinging, rancid black smoke if you managed to burn it, an experiment William Tecumseh Sherman attempted with mixed success in 1865).

Mr. Wilson shouted, "You lie!" which suggests some confusion on Mr. Wilson's part: it's possible he was remembering one of the times former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin claimed that a national healthcare plan would produce "death panels" that would euthanize folks' grandmothers. It's also possible that upon his head's brief emergence from his own asshole he thought he was playing Portal and was confronting GLaDOS about the cake. I don't know. What I do know is that there while it is occasionally entertaining to watch MPs yell at the Prime Minister of Britain or to read about fistfights breaking out in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, there's been a long tradition, at least since Wilson's spiritual ancestor Preston Brooks beat a man within an inch of his life on the Congressional floor (another fine moment South Carolina contributed to the national culture), of at least pretending that Congress bears some dignity or respect.

The expected defense to this is that there have doubtlessly been moments when Democrats blah blah blah--because, as we teach our very small children, all the bad behavior in the universe is justified when somebody else did it first somewhere at some point in time. All this argument really proves is that some people are neither smarter nor more moral than four-year-olds, and one wonders how in the world such infants, however precocious their spelling skills and ability to string together sentences, are ever given jobs at newspapers and cable television stations or elected to various offices, or even how they ever pulled their mouths from their mothers' tits long enough to drool such ridiculous and hollow nonsense. Better men--Senator John McCain, for example--are already calling for Wilson to apologize, but let's be honest: Senator McCain is wrong and Wilson shouldn't apologize.

This may surprise you, given everything I've said so far about the ridiculous little excretion from his mother's bilious womb, raised by animals without even the barest sense of good manners or public decorum, or so I'd presume if I didn't know that most animals will eat issue like Wilson or kick it out of the nest rather than allow it to waste the vital time and energy a beast normally bestows upon its progeny. But let's be honest, any "apology" that Wilson drools out onto the paper somebody has written it on for him to read (or more likely has taught him to recite phonetically) will be insincere and unmeant at best. At worst it will be self-justifying theatre, with Mr. Wilson explaining he was overwhelmed by his passions (one suspects any passions the brute possesses have more to do with melanin than an understanding of healthcare issues, but nevermind) and will quickly segue into some prattle about how job-stealing Mexicans (a vital part of his state's economy--but nevermind that, too) don't deserve healthcare or how private corporations designed to generate profits for stockholders in an uncompetitive quasi-monopolistic business ecosystem already function quite adequately (which, by the way, is perfectly true if you contemplate the tangible and immediate benefits rescission has for the insurance corporation stockholder) or how a public option brings the nation one step closer to socialism or how Obama is a grandma-murdering Kenyan alien robot from the future--honestly, there's no telling what else can come out of these people's mouths at this point, and while I concede a basic First Amendment right for them to froth at their mouths like rabid marmosets I really am sick of dodging spittle. Given a choice between Wilson's inevitable fauxpology and his silence (preferably by ball gag in Maynard's basement, but what are the odds of that happening?), I'd much prefer the sounds of Wilson's soft, husky mouth-breathing, raspy and humid as the soft Palmetto State breeze.

As I write this, it seems Wilson has apologized with a bit more brevity and less self-justification than I would have expected (thanks, Vince). We'll see if he leaves it at that; for now I'll stand by my invective, although I have to confess Wilson's rapid folding--I wonder if he thought his guttural outburst would be well received--has, for now, deflated my toxic typing. We'll leave this at that, except to add (in case the point wasn't adequately made already): South Carolina sucks.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Leanright,  Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:18:00 AM EDT  

I promise not to pull out the "They did it first" argument.

Nathan Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM EDT  

And now, previews from next week's episode of Mr. Wilson visits the land of Unintended Consequences

Tune in next week as:

-Mr. Wilson realizes that his apology to the President (intercepted by Emanuel Rahm), is the closest he will ever come to a White House visit again. (Security has been informed that he's not even welcome on the public tours.)

-Mr. Wilson discovers that the White House switchboard has really effective caller ID. Every time he tries to call, he is promptly switched to a circular version of prompts. After pressing "1", "3", "7", and "4" as instructed, and listening to a Muzak version of the Banana Boat Song for 12 minutes, another prompt says, "If this is Rep. Wilson of SC calling, please hang up now. Please try again in 2016."

-Mr. Wilson finds that he will no longer be considered for any new positions on committees.

-Mr. Wilson finds that the committees he is already on have rearranged the seating. He is now in the last position on the right and his microphone isn't plugged in.

-Mr. Wilson finds that nobody on the Democratic leadership will acknowledge his presence.

-Mr. Wilson finds that much of the Republican leadership has urgent business elsewhere when he approaches.

And don't miss the exciting conclusion or out show in which Mr. Wilson discovers that fully 50% of the DNC's warchest has been dedicated to the goal of unseating him in his next election...even if they can only find a rabid marmoset to run against him.


bluejayway76 Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:37:00 AM EDT  

As a native of SC, I want to be indignant here, a little - but it's hard. There's no shame I think in being born anywhere, but choosing to stay is indefensible. My entire high school class, if facebook provides anything like a sample, seems to have run as fast and as far as they could upon graduation, myself included.

What made NC a place to stay?

Does Colbert balance out Thurmond in any way? No?

Some of the mountains are pretty nice, too.


WendyB_09 Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 12:25:00 PM EDT  

Nathan - let's not forget he won't be able to sit down for eternity after the VEEP & Pelosi get done chewing his ass on this one. The looks from those two last night made me squirm, and I didn't do anything!!

Ah, yes, getting the blood-curdling death stare of hell from the 3 most powerful leaders in the country for being a public ass in prime time: Priceless!!

Eric Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 12:49:00 PM EDT  

Shelley, when I was a teen-ager, the idea that Charlotte would be a place I'd be living as an adult actually was inconceivable. I fully intended to fly far and fast. Happily, Charlotte has turned into a tolerably-decent city over the past twenty years, with some okay music, fairly good restaurants, and even the nascent hints of a sort of culture. Aside from that, Boone, Asheville, Chapel Hill and Wilmington are pretty alright Southern towns and Raleigh-Durham isn't completely unliveable if you had to.

As much as I love my home state--it has some fine points, actually--I do have to admit that the biggest staying point for me, personally, is being licensed to practice law here. Moving elsewhere would require becoming licensed or abandoning a twelve-year career (and accompanying post-grad degree), the former being hugely inconvenient and the latter being hugely impractical unless I somehow finished writing a readable novel with unusual licensing/marketing potential. (And even then--I live in a decent neighborhood with fairly good restaurants and bars in walking distance: I think I might well stay in town after all.)

What makes NC a place to stay? A few gleaming bastions of liberalism/progressivism. The fact that we're Southern without really quite being the South (this is maybe the one formerly-Confederate state where seccession was a reluctant obligation and not a grand cause). A good higher education system--one of the better state university systems in the country. A sweeping geography that runs from the Blue Ridge to the beach. Cherry Sun-Drop. A remarkable willingness to go both ways on the vinegar/tomato BBQ cultural divide, depending on which side of the Piedmont you happen to be on. I suppose that would be where I'd start a list; whether it's sufficient may be another matter.

Oh, and Colbert is a fair point in SC's favor. Doesn't take the state out of the red, but it is a mark in the "pros" column.

bluejayway76 Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 1:09:00 PM EDT  

I'm not knocking it. I'd move to research triangle but not back to TR myself. Just curious as to how it came to pass that a nice liberal boy with choices would stick there.

Nathan Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:44:00 PM EDT  

There's another thought that occurred to me earlier today...

I can't help thinking Wilson may have been emboldened -- to have thought he might be a hero to his constituents -- because of the amount of parents who kept their kids home from school instead of risking the blasphemy they might hear from the President on Tuesday.

It's ass-backward, but maybe there's something to it.

Eric Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM EDT  

Nathan, if you're suggesting that Joe's parents should have kept him home instead of allowing him to attend Congress past his bedtime yesterday evening, I agree wholeheartedly.

(I realize you're not actually saying that, but how could I resist the joke?)

Eric Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:40:00 AM EDT  

Tom Schaller at 538 pointed out Wilson's outburst was par-for-South Carolina, citing a list of examples that puts my rant to shame, methinks. I didn't know, for instance, that SC was a 'tarded enough state that they threatened to seccede from the Confederacy at one point.

Winners. A state of winners.

Tom Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 1:33:00 PM EDT  

Sometimes when I read your blog I have to think, and think really hard. Then there's times like this when all I have to do is sit with a big SEG until my cheeks start to hurt!

I realize I'm late to the party here, but I really like to catch up on what my co-UCFers were doing while I was vacationing in Texas. This particular post was extremely pleasurable to me. Thanks.

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