Racism, irony and talking sink teeth into recent news headlines

Once in a blue moon it happens — man bites dog. I love it when irony, stupidity and hypocrisy all join hands!

According to Wikipedia, “man bites dog” originally came from New York Sun editor John B. Bogart, who said, “When a dog bites a man, that is not news because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”

This week, several dogs were bitten by men; hypothetically, of course.

By now, we’re all familiar with the law against using cell phones while driving. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, isn’t, despite the fact that her husband signed off on the damn thing!

Posted clear as daylight on TMZ.com are pictures showing Maria behind the wheel, cell phone in one hand and steering wheel in the other. Most of us have probably broken this law, but only the slick ones don’t get caught. Shriver obviously isn’t in that category.

Tsk, tsk, Mrs. Governator.

Honestly, there isn’t much point in making stupid laws that even the wives of politicians who enacted them disobey. I will certainly sleep much better knowing Arnold has vowed there is going to be “swift action” in response to the pictures of Maria talking and steering. Will Maria be “terminated” for her insubordination? We’ll see.

Racism is another issue that always gets blown out of proportion. I am willing to bet there isn’t a person reading this article who hasn’t snickered at some point in their life at a racist joke.

What about when a celebrity makes a stink out of something he considers racist, but really isn’t? That’s exactly what singer Harry Connick Jr., did on an Australian variety show earlier this month.

When a group of Sydney doctors appeared on “Hey, Hey It’s Saturday” dressed in blackface and wigs as a send-up of the Jackson Five, celebrity judge Connick voiced his incredulity. Claiming this wouldn’t fly in America, Connick was so appalled at the group’s “racism” that he gave them a score of zero out of ten. Take that “Jackson Jive.”

The ironic thing is that Connick appeared on Mad TV in 1996 as a white southern evangelical preacher alongside a black Baptist minister in a rather politically incorrect sketch. The skit wasn’t racist, but to see Connick participating in it and then suddenly getting his panties in a bunch over a Jackson Five tribute is strange.

Ironically, 1996 was also the last year anybody cared about what Harry Connick, Jr., had to say. Nostalgia … isn’t it great?

And what week wouldn’t be complete without the Republican Party — still desperately bitter over losing the 2008 election — causin’ a ruckus over Muslims? This time they might actually have a point.

According to a claim in a new book titled “Muslim Mafia,” the Council on American Islamic Relations tried to “plant” spies within government committees to have influence over policies.

Whether the group is guilty of this claim or not, CAIR does have a rather sordid past. I mean, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, well, you know.

The thing that is annoying is a statement made by CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, as quoted by TheHill.com. “It’s a shame to see elected officials take part in a smear campaign based on bigotry.”

Where exactly is the bigotry in accusing a group with less than savory ties of having subversive motives? The last time I checked, that was called being critical. Hooper and Connick must be in-cahoots on this one.

Even with our flailing economy and seemingly useless president, the United States is still a pretty damn fun place to live. I, for one, tip my hat to John B. Bogart. Man bites dog, indeed.

Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily 49er.

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