(Trigger warning: If you’re a hypersensitive twerp you may feel unsafe in this column.)
It is time to party, my fellow Americans. Once again we come together to celebrate our national birthday and participate in our favorite ritual, internet shaming and outrage.
Nothing goes viral faster than some public person doing something it is possible to take offense at, because if it’s possible, everyone will.
While the medium of outrage is up-to-the-nanosecond Twitter feeds, our reaction is so old fashioned it’s quaint.
John McEnroe makes an ignorant, disrespectful comment about Serena Williams and the digital world purses a billion lips and gasps a collective “Well, I never!”
This adorable Aunt Tilly sensitivity extends to places that are really nobody’s business, which, I must admit, is a quaint notion too. But when you let yourself get distracted by stupid stuff, all you think about is stupid stuff.
These two things happened on the same day. Which do you think was the bigger news? Iraqi troops routing ISIS from the mosque in Mosul where they originally declared the Islamic Caliphate, marking the beginning of the end for those murdering maniacs? Or Donald Trump tweeting incoherently about female television journalist Mika Brzezinski?
It was Trump vs. Brzezinski by a landslide. I watched the news all night and never heard a single word about the liberation of Mosul. The only way I knew about it was a brief note on the crawl.
Now, don’t get me wrong. What Trump said about Ms. Brzezinski was repulsive. He insulted all American women with that “bloody” tweet, but how is that news? He is reliably ridiculous; impeachment can’t come fast enough.
But while North Korea readies to hurl nukes, Russia fixes our elections, and Congress breaks healthcare, all anyone could talk about was how horribly shocked they were by the Idiot in Chief’s online bullying of a blameless woman.
Being obsessed with the president’s outrageous behavior is at least understandable. He is, regrettably, our president.
But how to explain the loud outcries caused by a loutish statement from superannuated tennis player and noted brat, John McEnroe? Apparently he made a comment about Serena Williams only being as good as the 700th ranked male tennis pro.
You’d have thought he used the N word. The web, and TV, exploded. Was his comment sexist? Probably. Should anyone care what he says? Probably not. He’s an insignificant dork who peed himself like a whipped puppy when the blogosphere called him out.
But how one has-been’s opinion ever got enough weight to outrage an entire sex, is beyond me.
Another target of outrage is otherwise-beloved, ex-president, Barack Obama.
His offense? Taking luxurious, expensive vacations with his lovely family abroad.
How could he? I saw one comment, from a Democratic official, no less, saying Obama has never been more out of touch with the American People.
Well, pardon me, but after enduring eight years in the White House, having his politics, patriotism, and even his citizenship called into question, and responding by ignoring the slights and doing his job; after fighting a hostile Congress and toxic alt-right media, and still managing to bring some succor to those without healthcare, those unfairly sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for selling the wrong kind of cocaine; after winding down foreign wars—not completely, but enough to drastically lower battle casualties—after doing all that and more, here’s what I think Barack Obama owes the American people:
If I were him, I’d know what my response would be: “Go pound sand.” But he’s made of better stuff and will do the right thing.
“Greetings, Mr. and Mrs. Obama! Welcome to the Omaha Holiday Inn Express Vacation and Resort. We’ve got you in the Cornhusker suite, I’m sure your family will love it.
“Complimentary breakfast ends at 7AM, don’t be late! You have to try our bran muffins, they’re world famous!
“We’ve been having a bit of trouble with the toilet in your suite. It drips a little after you flush. Just jiggle the handle, that should stop it. If not, call the front desk and they’ll send Larry to take a look.”
(I was being politically correct there. The odds that the janitor at the Omaha Holiday Inn is named “Larry” are about the same as the President of the United States being named “Barack.”)
So, let the 4th begin and the outrage fireworks fly! And, to anyone I offended in this column, my sincerest “take a hike.”