Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pink or Grey? Neither, Thanks

A bunch of right-wingers are all atwitter about a silly essay written by a guy named Bill Whittle, in which he divides the world into tribes of steely, competent Greys and weak, evil Pinks. Please, don't read it because I link to it. It really isn't well written, and it's a waste of your time. But, if you've already read it because one of your right-wing friends has forwarded it to you with a breathless "This is wonderful" or "Prepare to read someone who speaks the truth", then here are my comments, which I prepared as an email to an acquaintance who wondered why I think it is chest-thumping, lying, illogical garbage.

Okay, as for the chest-thumping macho thing, I'll just pull a few quotations as illustration. I don't think they'll require any further commentary. If you want it, let me know . . .

- "Now please pay attention to this, because I’m not going to state it again, and if you don’t hear it now much mischief will follow"

- "Now, with that said – have we all heard that loud and clear?"

- "I hate those sons of bitches with all of my heart."

- "If such a thing is not self-evident to you, please get off my property. Right now. I should tell you I own a gun and I know how to use it."

- "(And anyone who even thinks about selling short Reykjavik as a symbol for those eight years of steadfast resolution should see my gun warning, above)."

S______ - that's only going through about half of his bombastic piece of crap - there's more, but I think you get the idea.

More importantly, I suspect, you want to know where he lies. Well, first off the whole thing is intellectually dishonest. He's either stupid or he's intentionally creating a false division of the world into two camps. But that's a little deeper of a criticism than I owe you for this one - you want some examples of where he tells actual, provable lies. Fair enough.

- "My Tribe doesn’t make excuses." - Lie. That is exactly what he is doing for President Bush in much of this piece. When he calls Bush "grey" at the very same time the Bush administration is spreading provable lies about what happened in the run-up to Katrina, all in a pathetic attempt to make excuses for his own failures, that's a lie.

- "My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes." - This is a lie because it completely misrepresents what anybody is saying about the hurricane. No commentators are claiming that a single man can cause, prevent or steer a hurricane. His attempt to distinguish his tribe from another is based on a lie in this instance.

- "my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones." Complete and utter bullshit. If he's counting on the police tonight, or the military, he's counting on someone else. If tries to dodge that reliance by claiming that those people are members of his tribe, then remind him that he relied on Bill Clinton for 8 years as Commander in Chief.

- "$500 million would be less than 10% of every outspoken celebrities' combined wealth. That money could take every poor person in LA county and put them into much nicer apartments than the one I live in. They could, at a stroke, shame the President, the Congress, and the evil NeoCon warmongers by putting every displaced person in New Orleans in a Marriott for a year." No. That's simply not true. In Los Angeles county alone, in 2002, before Bush's failed economy put even more people into poverty, there were 1,683,869 people in poverty. I refuse to believe he's living in an apartment for less than $300 in LA. Does he honestly think that dividing $500 million among the god-knows-how-many displaced persons would truly get them into a Marriott for a year? He's either stupid or misleading us on purpose. (And, while we're on this point, how about Halliburton giving us 10%? Or Cheney? Or that over-privileged windbag, Barbara Bush?)

- "And in Louisiana last week the governor cried and the mayor blamed everyone but himself, and half the country bought every single stinking Pink lie about global warming and missing National Guard units and blamed the sheepdogs while the wolves raped and pillaged and looted everything in sight." No, that's simply not true. The "wolves" did not rape and pillage and loot everything in sight. There are no confirmed rapes, or pillages, for that matter, and, even if there were some, it was not everything in sight. He's lying about he scope of the lawlessness. Why? To downgrade his fellow man.

Had enough? There are more, but, really, factual mistatement are hardly the bulk of this jerk's problems. The problem is that his logic is totally off.

For example, what's with the pink and grey crap? Is he intentionally alluding to the Confederacy when he uses grey as "his" color? There's no other real reason to choose that color, is there? But there is a group of dimwits who are ready and willing to attack the blacks of New Orleans, and grey is a loaded choice for that a bunch of them.

And why pink? He's not trying to call those who disagree with him homosexuals, is he? Oh, no, he wouldn't do that, would he? Of course that's what he's trying to do, and he can kiss my pink ass.

But, S_____, the real problem is that people cannot be divided as he tries to do. Guess what? Some of those brave people he lauds on 9-11 were liberals, and were alert to race issues, and would not have supported the war in Iraq distracting us from hunting down bin Laden. They were, in every sense of the definition he makes up, pink. But they had courage, and they were willing to do the right thing.

And his grey examples are guilty of weakness and cowardice. Regardless of whether you believe he went AWOL, Bush clearly and inarguably used his daddy's status to send someone else off to Viet Nam in his place.

This guy's "rah, rah, we're better than them" psychosis is contemptible. His verbal sleight of hand, through which he claims that everyone who knows how to build a building, or who is decent, or who knows how to give or follow an order is on his side, is transparent nonsense.

In all seriousness, it is pathetic to read his posturing on paper about how good he and his fellow white people are. His supposition about how "his tribe" would survive in the Superdome is laughable - they'd be fucking each other over like an Enron board orgy, and we all know it. His repeated threat to go get his penis substitute gun is just embarassing.

I've spent too much time on this guy. I hope this suffices to give you a flavor of what I think of his essay.


Anonymous dolphin said...

I suspect he's trying to use the "pink" to refer to communists as opposed to gay people.

As in "You pink-o commie scum." It's old school right-wing rhetoric.

9/08/2005 9:05 AM  
Blogger les said...

Geeze, Dan, you're gettin' all subtle in your old age. All those words, just to say "he's a lying prejudiced douche bag." I suppose yours is prettier, tho.

9/08/2005 2:37 PM  
Blogger reverse_vampyr said...

The use of pink and grey was completely described in the essay. Any further meaning attached to them is erroneous and is a poor attempt to discredit an otherwise brilliant look at personal responsiblity sans political parties.

But at least you're reading what the other side says. More than I can say for lots of folks. Good on ya!

9/09/2005 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, me again. Remember? Bill of Rights, 2nd amendment and all? First, see previous poster re: pink/grey. Plain enough in his essay. You choose to see what you choose to see.

Personally, I wouldn't have used the term "tribes;" it carries to many racist connotations, and the writer made it abundantly clear that race was not the issue. But his choice of words, not mine. His meaning is clear enough.

In any case, you choose to see what you choose to see. Fair enough. It makes clear which side you're on. Pink. That's fine. Just get out of my way when the defecation strikes the oscillator, because I hope to do what I must to do the right thing. I may fail; I'm sure I will be scared to death. But I will not roll over and cry. I'll load the rifle, grab the tools (as best I can), and get to work to help out. I'll even rescue your butt, if I'm able. Just try not to cry on me.

9/14/2005 10:57 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry, Reverse, his explanation is that pink is the color of bunny ears and somebody I've never heard of's Corvette, while grey is the color of mechanical pencils and concrete. If that suffices as an explanation for anyone, they are the correct intellectual level for this guy's idiocy.

And, anonymous, I'm glad to see that you're willing to engage in the same tough guy fantasies as the author. Do you play a lot of video games?

9/15/2005 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan - Video games? No. Adults enough simply understand that ultimately the Shit does indeed hit the fan. I don't pretend that I'm superman; just that it is prudent to be prepared. I'll try to do what I can, fear and all. Ultimately, of course, none of us really know how we react until we are faced with the situation where we must. Most people can rise to the challenge, if prepared, however. Flight 93 did.

Get reasonably trained in first aid and basic rescue and recovery. Buy a decent firearm, learn to use it safely and accurately, and pray you never have to. Hook up with your neighbors who are similarly inclined and prepare.

It's simple; so simple that you cannot understand it. Prepare for the worst, pray for (and work toward, if possible) the best. Human history and human nature tells us that the worst is indeed entirely possible. But you need not be a sheep. Your call.

9/15/2005 11:13 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

No need to get a gun - but learning first aid, etc., is a good idea. A gun is much more likely to result in more problems that it will prevent. At least that's my experience. My gun nut friends always seem to have gun experiences, while I've somehow managed to avoid being shot at for almost half a century.

The worst is entirely possible, but it is corrosive to the soul to live in constant fear of it.

9/16/2005 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not fear, Dan, just preparation. Reality, remember?

9/16/2005 5:36 PM  

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