Yes Donny, These Men Are Going to Hurt Us

Chris ChristieYou know me: Not a Real Man™. In general, I think men who act macho and belligerent are hiding something. They have very small penises or are awful in bed or are gay but too cowardly to admit it. Something. Regardless, it’s all about being terrified. So I’m not at all surprised that the political party of the macho man, the Republicans, should show its true colors and quake at the idea that terrorists kill people. I’m sure they are looking for women to walk in front of them so they lessen the impact of any bomb blast. If they are kidnapped, they won’t need to be tortured to yell, “Do it to Julia!”

It seems to me that the Paris bombings are a bigger media event here than they are there. We really are a nation of cowards. It takes almost nothing to set us off. This is why, with less than 5% of the world’s population, we spend just short of half of all the money on weapons. It’s why Bush’s line was so effective, “Fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” We just want to hide from the threats of the world. And that’s because we have to face such minor threats here. It’s also because we have one political party with an ideology so repugnant to the vast majority of people, the only way it can get power is by fear mongering.

I’ve always consider myself a coward. Yet I have often times gone into very dangerous situations and locations — alone. It’s not because I’m foolhardy. I just trust that (1) threats are usually overblown; and (2) I can usually handle situations. Given what I see among so many American men, I can’t consider myself a coward in an absolute sense — just relative to what I think true bravery would be. So I don’t know what that makes people who are afraid to live near a methadone clinic or a prison or a Syrian refugee family. We need a new word, but I’m afraid it is one that I would ban from this site on stylistic grounds.

“No Donny, these men are cowards.” —Walter Sobchak

The ultimate example of this is Big Chicken — or as I like to think of him, “Governor Shouts a Lot,” Chris Christie. He made the bold statement last week that we shouldn’t let Syrian orphans under five years old in. It’s not clear that he is actually afraid of them. He said, “But you know, they have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks?” Yeah, how would we ever be able to care for children? We just have no experience with that!

After the attacks in Paris, people opened their homes to strangers. The French government is not halting Syrian refugees from entering the country. But here, well, we can’t do that. It’s nice to be humane and all. But when you are vewy vewy afwaid, you just can’t allow it. I’ve been saying this about police for years: if they can’t stop killing unarmed people because they were afraid they might get a paper cut, can we at least cut the crap about them being brave?

The same thing goes for the Republicans (and frankly, a sad number of Democrats too): these men are something far below cowards. If Dante’s Inferno is real, they will spend eternity fleeing in terror from dandelion spores. But unfortunately, in this world, these men have power. And Walter’s assurance to Donny is not appropriate. These guys are going to hurt the whole world unless we fight back. Then they’ll run for their guns and a line of women to hide behind.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

17 thoughts on “Yes Donny, These Men Are Going to Hurt Us

  1. I am so embarrassed by my Congresscritter this week. We were hoping to primary her next cycle because none of the names that could mount a serious challenge are ready for it but it is start to look like we need to do one now. *sigh*

    As for the reaction-I was enormously puzzled by the total freak out over the Boston bombing. Sure it was awful but why on earth were people that upset? This is the same thing since we already know (or should know, Looking at You Congress) that the vetting process for refugees is extensive and thorough. Government employees are not interested in their families being blown up either so if there was someone who was going to do that, they would spot it. Even if they were going to become dangerous, it is at least 10 to 15 years down the line for the five year olds and never for the parents.

    You are right about those threats being overblown-I used to walk at 11 at night in some of the roughest parts of Phoenix alone without any weapons. Well I had a book but usually it was paperback. Outside of meeting a crack addicted lady who was having a really wild night based on her volume and that guy who asked me if I could find him a prostitute, I never had any trouble.

    • I think we are so afraid because we have so little to be afraid of. I was mugged once. Not a big deal. I lost some money. I was physically harmed in some minor ways. And I was afraid. But that was it. That’s not to take away from people being short or blow up. But the truth is that all these victims are disrespected by people making the threat to be worse than it is. The people killed and injured in Boston had something remarkably rare happen to them. And that makes it all the worse.

      • That could be it-it was very much “that sort of thing never happens here.” There is also the fact that so little of our life is dangerous because we have gone to great lengths to ensure this is so. So that means keeping anything that could even remotely be a threat far far away.

        Well except guns of course.

        • That’s the weird thing, right? I remember being up in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and it leans a lot. Yet the only thing between me and falling to my death was this tiny chain. That would never be allowed her! But anyone can walk into a store and buy a gun. It makes no sense.

          • It is very weird. I mean there are thousands of warnings all year long around here about the dangers of having your kids left in cars, leaving them around water and yet not a peep about how it is a good idea to lock up the damn gun.

            • Yeah, I saw a routine by an Australian comedian about gun safes. He’s not a guy I especially like. He’s a “real man” if you know what I mean. But not being American, he doesn’t understand the whole gun thing. And he brilliantly pointed out the catch-22 of having guns to “keep the family safe”: either they can be found by kids leading to disastrous results, or they are in the safe where they won’t be easily available when the Manson family shows up. As I think I’ve mentioned recently: I’ve been mugged. You give them the money, they go away. If they kill you, you were probably doomed regardless. Check out the Recycled Genius above.

                • Yes, when I was writing that I thought I might be repeating myself. But some things stick out to me as such perfect examples, that I go with them. That’s especially true here, because I tend to think more of Australian manliness. I think of American manliness as fake and compensating.

                  • Being Australian instantly means you are manly. And not just manly but make the Marlboro man look like a bloody poofter to quote an Aussie friend from college.

                    • Ah, is that how you spell it. I only know it from Monty Python and I thought it was “poofta.” But “poofter” makes more sense. You know the skit, right:

                    • Of course. Cracked.com had an article recently about how the members of Python don’t really like the Monty Python sketch history all that much. I have to confess, I agree with them not all of the sketches were as funny as the most famous ones.

                    • I have a long history with them as a viewer. At first, I thought they were brilliant. Then I found them pretentious. Now I’m back to loving them. But what I love is different stuff — subtle stuff. When they were at their best, they managed to create episodes that were far greater than the sum of their parts. And they were really the first group to even try to do that, much less succeed at it. Perhaps my favorite thing they did is something I hated when I first saw it, “The Cycling Tour.” It also sets up what Palin and Jones would go on to do in Ripping Yarns. Of course, ultimately, the best thing any of them ever did later was Fawlty Towers. But it’s also the most standard: a straight farce. But that was the brilliance of the original show: Cleese’s genius at traditional comedy and Palin-Jones’ postmodern comedy. Add to that what I think of as Palin’s sweet and thoroughly decent vision of humanity and you really can’t beat it.

                      On the other hand, I think they are absolutely unwatchable live on stage.

                    • My favorite stuff is Jones’ later documentaries on things like the number 1 or Medieval Lives.

                      But when it comes to Monty Python, there seems to be something for everyone’s taste. That is what makes it so good and sad that they finally shut it down.

                    • Oh yeah, Medieval Lives was especially good. I remember enjoying the one of the number one, but I would have preferred a whole series.

                    • I wanted something on Zero. Then I could make less than jokes the entire time and annoy everyone I know.

  2. Recently I had a co-worker angrily respond to a case where Minneapolis cops shot a man in the head. My co-worker’s take was, “cops are supposed to be fearless.” His point was that the man was no threat.

    Terrorists are a threat. The threat level has to be regarded seriously and responded to at the level of seriousness. Random people aren’t a threat. Informers, which we’d have more of if we weren’t embracing this “Muslims Evil” nonsense and putting refugees in horrific slums/camps, could help everybody thwart terrorist killings. There are just as many people intensely devoted to any cause as there are people passionately opposed to it. Spies are nuts, to me, but there are certainly many people quite willing to be spies if we stopped using the “shoot them all and let God sort it out” approach.

    Many people want to do something they feel is more important than the daily drag. Risking one’s neck for a cause appeals to some of them. Anybody who hasn’t felt the appeal of going down a crazy route to prove a point, those are people I don’t understand. And since spies are pretty crazy and militants are pretty crazy and I’m pretty crazy, this all gets muddled for me.

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