Ours is the Milquetoast

Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle said there was a special place in hell for Ronald Reagan over the War on Drugs. The usual flying monkeys freaked right out, and she apologized for her “inflammatory” remark. Blah blah par for the depressing course, she had the temerity to be right in public, etc.

Steve:

“Reasonable people can disagree on the Reagan administration’s drug policies,” the Sun-TImesopines. “Reasonable people can believe, as we do, that he took too much of a punitive law enforcement approach, rather than a public health approach.

“But we can disagree on policies without – quite literally – condemning the man.”

By all means, let’s not condemn the man. That would be so impolite. He condemned the lives of so many others, but he did so with civility and we should return the gesture.

You know why people think newspapers don’t matter anymore? You know why people think traditional media don’t matter anymore? Because news organizations, every single fucking day, tell the world exactly that. We don’t matter. We won’t use strong laguage. We won’t react with righteous fury. We won’t get het up about anything, and if anybody else does, we’ll gently herd them back into line.

Once upon a time editorials thundered. Now they raise their hands meekly, ask permission to speak, and then sit back if their words cause too much trouble.

There are times rage is called for. There are times rage is necessary. There are times when rage saves human souls.

Why are we so afraid to get upset about anything? Why have we positively lionized not giving a shit? What is the fucking problem? Are we scared to get it wrong? Getting something wrong is not the worst sin in the world. Raising your voice about something is not the worst sin in the world. Sitting placidly while the fucking earth caves in, that’s much worse. Why does passion scare the crap out of us these days? Jesus, get off the fucking couch already.

A.

9 thoughts on “Ours is the Milquetoast

  1. Gummo says:

    “Civility” has been raised to The Cardinal Virtue by The Powers That Be, who realize that doing so helps mute passionate, dissenting voices.
    It also makes it easier to ignore the message and deplore the messenger — “Oh, those Occupy people are so loud and in-your-face! It’s just not done!”
    Over at whiskeyfire, Thers constantly harps on this theme — “civility” is a tool of control.

  2. montag says:

    Oh, I think rage is very appropriate when the subject is Reagan.
    But, let’s not forget that newspaper people have been conditioned to think that controversy is a bad thing because… it upsets advertisers, upon whom newspapers depend.
    Nevertheless, was the Colonel ever worried about advertisers when he used the pages of his newspaper (and a portion of its profits) to advance the political fortunes of one Joseph R. McCarthy? I doubt it.

  3. PWL says:

    Why? Because in the land of free speech, we dare not call a spade a spade,or express a forthright opinion. We like nice mushy euphemisms and evasions instead. We can’t say anything honest or controversial. Someone’s feelings might be hurt, and we can’t have that–especially if they’re Republicans.

  4. pansypoo says:

    reagan is hell for other things. or in addition too.

  5. iconoclast59 says:

    Oh, Reagan deserves a special place in Hell all right, not so much for the War on Drugs as for his total disregard and inaction in the early days of the AIDS pandemic.
    To get back in touch with my inner rabble-rouser, I intend to see the upcoming film “How to Survive a Plague,” about the ACT-UP movement. Talk about passion and not backing down! Here’s a URL with the trailer:http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2012/08/27981/
    Back to topic, I’ve waded some way into middle age, and I kind of feel like Danny Glover in “Lethal Weapon” when he says, “I’m gettin’ too old for this shit.” It’s a piss-poor excuse, I know, but a part of me really wants to keep my head low and just make it to the end of my mediocre, non-achieving life. I have some moderate health issues that also fuel my reluctance to take to the streets. What baffles me is the apathy of the young. They’re totally getting screwed out of their future — they should be out there overturning cars and setting them on fire. That’s what the French do when you try to screw them over, which is why I love them so.
    Our apathy not only doesn’t get us the government we deserve, it helps government build the apparatus by which we increasingly will NEVER get that government. There’s been little to no pushback against the Patriot Act, surveillance cameras, data mining, etc. All our “compliance” has done is embolden them to chip away more of the 4th Amendment.
    Maybe the problem is much more basic. I remember a psychological experiment where the subjects were told to go into a classroom and take a short test. Half of the group were alone in the classroom, while the other half were with actors posing as fellow test-takers. In the hallway was another actor playing a maintenance man. The “maintenance man” pretended to fall and get hurt, and cried out for help. Most of the test subjects who were alone in the classroom stopped their test to go out and check on the man. However, most of the test subjects who were with others did nothing. They were taking their cues from their fellow “students,” not knowing that the student actors had been coached to feign obliviousness.
    I think that’s what many of us are doing when it comes to social outrage. “I don’t want to go first; why don’t YOU go first?” “Nuh-uhhh, I think YOU should go first.” “Well, if you won’t go, why should I go?” We need more brave souls who aren’t afraid to buck the trend and who don’t give a rat’s ass what other people think. I think I could be that person if my damn knees didn’t hurt so much. (Weak smile.)

  6. ChuckleNuts says:

    I know for a fact, I heard this from a friend, who has a friend, who knows someone who was directly told by the Liberal Media Elite/Soros Cabal, that the liberal Media has been acting like complete asswipes for the last 20 years…on purpose. They are doing this so when Obama gets elected again, they can join forces with him and the UN and take over the US
    Shit, I ran out of tin foil, can anyone spare me some??

  7. MapleStreet says:

    Civility seems restricted to that which is directed at the right wing.
    Meanwhile even journalism outlets are complaining of the kenyan, marxist, stalinist, socialist, …

  8. Tommy T says:

    Assholes is assholes.
    Tommy

  9. Jo says:

    The right has cornered the market on the ability to be insulting to everyone who disagrees with them and then to be insulted when others disagree with them. It’s how they raise money, how they keep the rubes angry and how they keep from having to have an honest debate about issues.
    I don’t know why more isn’t being said about their ginned up outrage over every issue. Oh that’s right the “main stream media” is afraid the right will say something mean to them.
    Sheesh.

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