Sunday, April 15, 2007

Imus: A culture of meanness? I wonder...
I thought I was done with this subject, but I guess not...

A lot of the naysayers I'm seeing on political programs this weekend are decrying the "culture of meanness" exemplified on the now-defunct "Imus in the Morning" program...again, I'll admit that he went way over the top in his reference to the Rutgers' Basketball Women, but a culture of meanness? My own Dad could get really off-the-wall with his humor; I've heard put-down, fairly racy humor in coffee klatches (yes, I used to be a member of one long ago), and I hear people in everyday life using varying degrees of disparaging observations. Imus would refer to people as morons or war criminals or fat weasels; indeed, I've heard people refer to each other as such; I've used some of those references and so have many others I've spoken with. No, that doesn't imply any sort of justification, but since we're all imperfect beings (I subscribe to the "seed of Adam" theory), sometimes we hurt others' feelings, when we don't MEAN to hurt others' feelings. It happens to all of us. Sometimes, what we say doesn't come out "just right" and gets misinterpreted.

A culture of meanness? It is honorable that people are so politically-correct these days that they are in favor of removing all kinds of short-sighted references from our collective lexicons, but it just ain't gonna happen. Feelings are going to be hurt. People are going to poke fun. I've been damaged by things people have said about me, but life goes on. It just goes with the territory. Had I been in Imus' position, no, I would NOT have used the term, "Nappy-Headed Ho's" on my program; my own take is, that Imus must have thought that the term was common vernacular, and perhaps Imus thot he could use it, because the term was bandied about with alarming frequency long before he got hold of it. So, the climate for those remarks certainly existed. Imus certainly didn't use the term out of any spirit of meanness, but it's my feeling that somehow, the whole planet has become so damn sensitive that we get hung up on words, without hearing the message.

So now, I've just heard Tim Russert say on "Meet The Press", that Snoop Dogg has used the "n-word", the "h-word", several other "n-words", and "this word" and "that word"...and sooner or later this is going to become so exaggerated that one day, people will be offended when you tell them "have a good day"; and instead, perhaps we'll have to say, "have a g-word, d-word". I remember being offended by an Oscar Mayer commercial that said that "skinny kids and fat kids like Oscar Meyer's ultra-processed meat by-products" (okay, I was 'slightly' liberal with that quote), but I noticed that commercial because I was, and still am, fat, but no way am I going to sue the meatmaker for damages or cry out how injured I was because of what I'd heard. All we have, to convey our thoughts to each other, are words. There are many, many words out there. Everyone has a different frame of reference, and there are endless possibilities for hurting someone's feelings, somewhere.

I think we all make mistakes, and as evil and racist as the black community now thinks that Imus is, ALL DON IMUS DID WAS MAKE A MISTAKE. So let's get over it, people, and just try to do better in the days, weeks, months, years and eons to come. Should Don Imus have lost his job over this? I think the original platform MSNBC adopted, of a two-week removal, would have been the best way to go. Imus could have come back and done a better show. And, given the chance, I think he would have been just fine. Lessons learned the hard way, are the lessons learned the best, after all. But what sent Imus packing, pure and simple, were the economic ramifications of sponsors pulling out of his show. The major media have done what they felt they had to do. I watched Imus because his program was a lot like people I meet, almost every day; forthright, outspoken, opinionated, funny, quirky, and above all, human. And, because it was a refreshing break from the politically-correct pablum spewed out by the rest of society.

So, now that this post is over, I'll wish you "good night and good luck". (Or, good "n-word" and good "l-word".) I can imagine ol' Ed Murrow rolling over in his grave right about now.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Well said. And isn't it a tradgedy that the only thing that got this nonsense off the networks today was the mass slaughter at VPI.

2:24 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Mari, it's also amazing that, when we hear of something such as today's shootings, the big story of last week all of a sudden doesn't mean a hill of beans. We live in a pretty twisted world, don't we?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows what could have set the shooter off was a being insulted with a racial taunt.

9:56 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Anonymous, that's a thought-provoking observation. Does a "taunt" warrant murder, though> I think not.

4:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home