Friday, May 11, 2007

Just Americans Being Americans

(originally published at OpEdNews)

I like to use baseball analogies. That’s OK, but it does have its drawbacks.

First of all, not everyone who reads OpEdNews is familiar with “the great American past time”.

Secondly, as was the case in my article entitled “It's Time to be Honest About Who and/or What We Do or Don't Support?”, the analogy was far too long and far too strong. I lost the message that I was trying to make by spending far too much time on the baseball part. This made for a poorly written article and I apologize to those who tried to suffer through it.

Having written that, I’m going to use a very brief baseball analogy to explain the title of this article.

There’s a player who plays for the Boston Red Sox. His name is Manny Ramirez. When Manny hits a home run, he stands for a few seconds admiring his handiwork instead of running around the bases.

Opposing teams hate this, but Boston fans have a saying for it. Red Sox fans say that “it’s just Manny being Manny.”.

Hence the title of this article.

Penn Jillette and Raymond Joseph Teller became a team of magicians in 1975.

However, as of late, they, especially Penn Jillette, have become quite politically active.

Their Showtime television documentary series is entitled “Bullshit!”. In it, they morph from masters of deception to people who expose masters of deception or at least people who think that they’re masters of deception.

Sometimes they expose the masters, sometimes they expose the deceptions and sometimes they expose masters of deception.

We all know that The Regime prides itself on being a master of deception.

I happened to watch an episode of “Bullshit!” last evening.

During that episode Penn and Teller’s staff posed as a right wing organization with a name like Americans for Family Values or some such typically right wing Orwellian named group. The staff stood about 200 feet from The US Capitol Building with a petition stating that no protests should be allowed within 300 feet of the US Capitol Building..

It didn’t take long for the petition to fill up.

Some of the reasons that people used for signing the phony petition were:

“The Capitol is a symbol of American democracy and freedom and should be respected as such.”

“I believe in freedom of speech, but there’s a time and place for everything. Within 300 feet of The Capitol Building is not the time nor the place to hold a protest rally.”

“They can do what they want to do, just not in the open.”

Penn Jillette editorialized on some of these explanations.

One statement he made was that he agreed that there was a time and place for freedom of speech in the US. According to Penn Jillette, the time is “any fuckin’ time” and the place is “any fuckin’ place.”

The most insightful statement that Penn made, or maybe the most insightfully sad point he made was that, if such a law was passed, the signatories of the petition would be breaking that law.

And that’s just Americans being Americans.

To friendship,

“Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts.” - Clare Booth Luce

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