October 17, 2008

Remember: It's About the Civility. And I, Too, Am Joe.

As Dave Burge points out, a vote for Obama is a vote for civility.

Go brownshirts!

But, you protest—you wanted fresh Iowahawk? Here you go! The sweet, and the sour . . .

"I Am Joe"


. . .[A] pre-emptive apology for the intentional non-humor to follow. I promise that all future non-humor will be strictly unintentional . . . .

We've all witnessed a lot of insanity in American politics over the last few years. Up until the last few days, none of it has seriously bothered me; hey, just more grist for the satire mill. But after witnessing the media's blitzkreig on Joe 'the Plumber' Wurzelbacher, I can only muster anger, and no small amount of fear.

Politicians—Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, et al.—obviously have to put up with some rude, nasty shit, but it's right there in the job description. Joe the Plumber is different. He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30-second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he [had to] be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Godwin's Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it.

If it's meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it.

I hope you will join me in expressing a simple bit of solidarity with this guy, Spartacus style. I AM JOE. I am a Wal-Mart schlub in flyover country who changes my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I smoke and drink beer and toss the football in the front yard with my kid, and I figure I can [find] my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah's candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me.

Are you a Joe? Say it proud. Leave it on every goddamn newspaper comment section and online forum. Let these pressroom and online thugs know you won't stay silent when they try to destroy the life of a private citizen for speaking his mind.

My emphasis.

The comparison I keep thinking of is Paula Jones, who also got slimed for "not knowing her place." When Americans are supposed to know their "stations" in life—and defer to politicians/media bigwigs—we have lost everything this country was supposed to stand for. We have got ourselves an Old-World style class system. And if you'll excuse another "hoochie-mama" moment: Fuck that noise.

I am a lifelong Angeleno whose family is from Nebraska farm country—and Michigan/Virginia on the other side. My hometown is Whittier, California, from the old days when it was an agricultural town. My ancestry sports both Mayflower refugees and a few Osage Indians. I'm married, childless, and not nearly as good at cars as Dave—though I do clear the drains and toilets in my home. (Because it doesn't take much finesse: just stubbornness, enthusiasm, and a willingness to bleach the entire room down afterward, given how physically clumsy I am, and how obsessive-compulsive.)

I'm overeducated, yet degree-free, and chronically underemployed due to my 'tude and a certain literal-minded "frustrated engineer" quality in my brain that renders me hopelessly impractical some of the time.

I'm a chronically depressed writer/editor.

And I am Joe, too. If people with college degrees and more original art in their homes want to look down on me, they are welcome to: I'll be on the porch with a cigar and a martini.

Need a palate-cleanser? Cool.

You say you still prefer your Iowahawk funny? Okay. Vaya con Dios.


Posted by Attila Girl at October 17, 2008 01:48 PM | TrackBack

Brilliant. I'll bring the monte cristos and olives. Be there in 5.

Posted by: TxSkirt at October 17, 2008 03:28 PM

I'll jump on the Joe bandwagon. I have more education than I need to do my job--all it takes is common sense. We need more of that in Washington, not Ivy League folks.

No original art in my home, just clearance stuff from TJ Maxx! Looks good to me, though.

Next rally chant: WE ARE JOE! Here in Missouri, this Monday.

Posted by: Julie at October 17, 2008 05:01 PM

Joe is regular America. And we've got his back.

Posted by: Stacy at October 17, 2008 06:17 PM

It frightens me that a citizen cannot ask a perfectly reasonable question of a candidate without being eviscerated. Is this America or the 3rd Reich? God help us all if Obama is elected. Will we all risk personal destruction if we dare question Obama or is Super majority Congress? He IS a socialist; why does Obama's response to Joe surprise anyone? By attacking Joe the Plumber, Obama and his public relations representatives, the mainstream media,have proven the Democrat party is elitist, mean, unprofessional, and a blatant threat to our First Amendment rights. Where is the different kind of politician, the one that will bring us all together?
I bet our founding fathers are rolling in their graves!
Wake up voters!!!!

Posted by: Sheila at October 18, 2008 05:37 AM

I have made my "I am Joe" Contribution.

Go Joe!

Posted by: Noelie at October 18, 2008 06:41 AM

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