Commentators, politicians, and people of every stripe have started yet another predictable cycle bemoaning the recent downturn in civility, particularly as it pertains to the national political dialogue. They claim that shouting has replaced rational debate; sound bites have replaced intelligent discourse; partisanship has replaced compromise; and confrontation has replaced deference. Many point to the anonymity of the internet, where flaming and trolling are valued more than contributing to and participating in the community. Others point to the breakdown in traditional family values and the slow, steady decay of public institutions where respect, courtesy, and manners once reigned supreme and uncouthness was regarded as the province of the lower, uneducated classes and something to be shunned. Still others point to the associated rise of popular music, television, and movies that celebrate rudeness and elevate vulgarity to an art form on equal footing with poetry and the great classics of literature.
Well, fuck them. At long last, I say! Random acts of incivility are the last true and honest expression of the human spirit in our politically correct age of un-enlightenment. Of course we no longer debate issues in an open and rational manner. Agreeing to disagree has been substituted for reasoned debate to the point that if you tell me a woman should be stoned for not covering her face in public because your faith says so, I can’t call you a backward savage because I’m expected to understand rather than condemn. And no wonder since we’ve replaced the god of reason with the twin gods of multicultural tolerance and consensus. Today, every child is a special snow flake, every life is precious, every point of view has merit, everyone’s a winner, and all voices deserve to be heard and have a seat at the table. We have become, as our own Matt Cale is fond of saying, a bunch of sentimental grandmothers offering fake sincerity in place of honesty.
We’ve been raised, conditioned, and taught conformity in our reactions, not the rules because somewhere along the way the rules themselves became sexist, culturally biased, xenophobic, and oppressive. Since when did pointing out asshole behavior become worse than the offending behavior itself? Some selfish prick, full of entitlement and who has been taught that he’s above the rules because he’s a special individual, is in the self-checkout express line at the supermarket with a full fucking cart and suddenly I’m the asshole if I say anything? What the fuck? Not only have we sacrificed the normal rules of behavior on the altar of civility, we have replaced them with far more irrational rules that designate too many areas of debate and behavioral reactions out-of-bounds. We swallow our emotions, dance around issues, and walk on egg shells for fear that someone somewhere might get their feelings hurt if we make a judgment. “Can’t we all just get along?” has become the guiding principle that has turned us all into a bunch of sniveling little pussies.
We may very well look back at Joe Wilson shouting, “You lie!” from the floor of Congress as our generation’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going take it anymore!” moment. A spontaneous instance of incivility in which two words conveyed more honesty than any speech delivered in that hallowed institution within my lifetime. Of course Wilson is full of shit and an asshole to boot, but his behavior, like that of his fellow Right Wing town hall disrupters is not cause for alarm but cause for celebration. The recent spate of alleged incivility has torn away what remained of the Republican Party’s respectability, exposing them and their supporters as the racist, classist, uneducated, fundamentalist, corporate cocksucking assholes that they really are. At long last – public validation of what we only dared to whisper among close friends and like-minded associates for fear of being branded as intolerant. Democrats, too, should prepare themselves for a maelstrom of criticism for their own collective pussification and compromise brought about by their position as a constant bottom boy in the D.C. orgy of special interests. At least the Republicans are butch enough to actually do some pitching instead of cowering on all fours playing the submissive with a welcoming ass. One can only hope that the long-simmering passions of the Left will at long last shrug off the shackles of civility and pacifist non-confrontation and opt for an in-your-face, sarcastic, and caustic style of mean-spirited ridicule, like Barney Frank’s response to one of the town hall downies. If we can’t drag these people and their ideas from the shadows of tolerance, then we will taunt them kicking and screaming into the light through open confrontation.
We are on the cusp of a magical time when the stars align, the heavens open, and the people of this country might just awaken from their anesthetized slumber of apathy masquerading as consensus and shout in unison with one loud voice, “FUCK YOU COCKSUCKER!” It doesn’t matter who that cocksucker is because your cocksucker may be different from my cocksucker, whether it’s the fundamentalists who have been allowed to use the law to deny equal rights to others based on their own narrow, twisted version of morality; the race-baiters who have used our collective guilt to avoid addressing their own community’s long-standing and culturally toxic problems; those who march in gay pride parades dressed in leather chaps carrying signs that decry gay stereotyping; every Asian who has ever sat behind the wheel of a car; third generation immigrants who demand bilingual classes for their fourth generation immigrant children; women who complain about the glass ceiling from the comfort of the home they won in their divorce, along with full custody of the children and weekly alimony; teachers, medical professionals, and parents who make excuses for their asshole kids by claiming they have learning disabilities or ADHD; white people; corporations who cry poverty and expect public bailouts for their own piss poor management decisions; or idiotic G20 protesters who smash the windows of a Subway store because they think they’re sticking it to The Man.
So, let it out. Scream it from the rooftops. Don’t wait your turn. Forget about censoring yourself or moderating your ideas. Flip someone the bird. I’m an asshole, he’s an asshole, she’s an asshole, we’re all assholes. Wouldn’t you like to be an asshole too? To hell with civility! For fuck’s sake, just be an asshole. Trust me, you’ll feel better.