Drew Magary lets the NY Times editorial page have both barrels. It’s great stuff prompted by David Brooks recent excremental whine that we need to be nice to gun owners and Republicans in MAGA hats.
So let’s talk about rudeness for a moment, because we live in rude times. The president is a pig. His underlings are nothing but a bunch of opportunists and enablers. And the rest of GOP is staffed by a wide range of scum, from camera-friendly establishment monsters like Paul Ryan to outright crackpots like this guy. When the president’s own little pukeson decides to endorse a conspiracy theorist truthering the motives of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas teenagers, I feel like that’s a much greater sign of the end of civilization than someone rightfully telling a lady at the Times that she should take the L.
None of these people deserve civility. In fact, civility only serves to enable them. The fact that Trump can go party at his fucking country club on the same weekend 17 teenagers were slaughtered inside a school, and have NO ONE surrounding him say an unkind word to him, is damnable. And when Brooks cries out for “respect” for the coterie of stubborn gun owners who lap up the NRA’s propaganda, he is tacitly maneuvering to blunt the momentum of the Parkland kids who, with a welcome brashness, have kickstarted a very real and potentially effective anti-gun movement. He would like everyone to calm down. He would like everyone to think things over.
But this is not a time to calm down. Kids are fucking dead. Their friends are rightfully, and loudly, pissed about it. David Brooks has no right to tell people who are mad as hell to stop being mad as hell. He can afford to be calm and collected because he is so wealthy and sequestered that nothing truly awful can happen to him. His civility is a luxury. He only wants to talk about this shit in civilized terms because he lives a civilized life. His words are those of a man whose foremost experiences in life have happened inside his own rectum. He deserves to have his ass dragged every time someone hits PUBLISH on his behalf.
Oh, yeah. The NY Times has been scorned by Trump, so instead of seeing that as an opportunity to be free of any need to suck up to power, they’ve been frantically trying to appease the Republicans. This is the opposite of what a good newspaper should do.
We should be engaged in revolution right now, but Magary feels that violence isn’t the answer (I agree). So what can he do?
That leaves me with words. That leaves me with rudeness and the power to SHAME. In the real world, I do my best to be nice to people. I say “please,” and “thank you,” and I try not to be an inconsiderate prick. Sometimes I fail, because I am a big goober, but I do try. And I have tried my best to make sure my children aren’t rude, either. People who are rude all the time suck. You and I both know that. As a baseline, rudeness is bad.
But as a weapon, it’s vital. Rudeness is the proper option when polite entreaties for sanity are ignored. I am very rude online to people. I have regrets about how I’ve deployed this rudeness, but I do not regret being rude to those who have continually demonstrated that they do not deserve such courtesies. Ivanka Trump shouldn’t be able to fly in public without getting an earful from her fellow passengers. Your local GOP Congressman shouldn’t be able to stage a town hall without residents openly telling him to go fuck himself. And the Respectable Conservative arm of the Times deserves every non-threatening piece of hate mail they get.
All hail rudeness. It is the appropriate mode of interaction in rude times.