IN DEFENSE OF IMUS!
(For a change...) in keeping up-to-date with all of the tippy-top goings on out there in the real world...well, I just couldn't resist. I mean, here's this guy with the unkempt hair and the craggy face who looks a bit like "Radical Republican" congressman and Southerner-hater Thaddeus Stevens (probably best known to filmgoers as the basis for the naive-yet-powerful Austin Stoneman in Griffith's BIRTH OF A NATION) and now the legendary (or so his agents tell us) broadcaster is in deep 'doo for calling the Rutgers' women's basketball team "nappy headed 'hos"! Not only that, but a whole buncha people whom I wouldn't give the time of day if I only owned a wristwatch (y'know, the usual bleedheart suspects!) wanna see his 'nads lopped off in public for this unspeakable discrepancy which in saner times used to be called "free speech" no matter how off-the-wall it was! And call me a sensitive old fanabla but the entire brouhaha only makes me wanna feel even more sorry for Imus despite his reputation as just another bigname jerk because if anybody knows how it feels to be the lone defiant one while all of the despicable enemies (some whom you thought were friends!) close in on you for various crimes against humanity (or at least crimes against certain untouchable protected classes) it's ME!!! So maybe I am a better person than your runna-da-mill average blogster to comment on this stirring current event, for at least you ain't gonna be inundated either with self-conscious white-guilt bleating nor self-smarming elitism when it comes down to my own personal opines on the matter!
Frankly, I dunno just what to make of this Don Imus character at least as his whole radio and tee-vee career figure into the big picture. Never listened to him and doubt I ever will, and if you must know I don't even know which local station is running his (I guess) popular morning radio show. Evan after seeing him on television here and there and reading the usual hotcha comments about him via certain news programs o'er the years, I know relatively little about Imus which should be a given...after all, why should I spend time listening to him when I could listen to some Archie Shepp album? What I am trying to say is...attempting to get me interested in what's going on in the exciting not-so-new world of shock jock radio is probably on par with attempting to sway me over to the alternative lifestyle way o' being by inundating me with chic clothing and all the Judy Garland records I can stand!
I can tell you that the first time I can recall discovering who Imus was was also the first time I can clearly remember reading anything by that famed performance artist Richard Meltzer, and that was during Christmas Break '75/'76 inna pages of CREEM when The Master wrote a front-pages mini-missive about what was then considered the Dictators' last live appearance at the "Ms. All Bare America" beauty pageant! The article was aptly entitled "Manitoba's Last Hurrah," and naturally I remember this 'un because of Meltzer's then-eye-opening usage of the English Language and its less "couth" moments, such as when he wrote that this alleged Dictators swan song took place at a "slantfood emporium" in the "Chinkytown district" of New York City! (And, for a guy who had just started browsing through NATIONAL LAMPOON a few months earlier this was certainly startling stuff, especially in the nicey-nice atmosphere of the Gerald Ford-dominated mid-seventies.) I do recall being pretty much bowled-over by Meltzer's, er, flowery language and even though I must admit that I really like Asian people (especially their women!) I gotta relay to you that I didn't find Meltzer's comments to be racist as much as ridiculous. Anyway, the host of that stellar event was none other'n Mr. Imus himself, and the fact that somehow Imus and the Dictators were associated, even in this casual fashion (and being written up by Meltzer) was cool enough for me, sorta like hipness by association which doesn't always work but in this case it seemed OK.
In reality such a "connection" ain't enough for me to give Imus all the hip brownie points he needs especially now (and besides do you think he remembers the Dics?), but when it comes to TODAY Imus is in agua caliente for his comments which I personally think don't come off that offensive when read on paper or pixel (frankly he coulda been way more on-target if he called 'em a bunch of dykes) unless you wanna talk about white people co-opting black slang. But really, after all was said and done and Imus gave his enemies more than the prerequisite pound of flesh all I gotta ask is WHY THE CONTINUAL HARANGUING OF THE GUY ANYWAY??? Considering that a whole slew of so-called "shock jocks" who have been radically changing the industry ever since the early-eighties have said way worse than what Imus came up with it seems more to me like he's the guy who got caught for doing 65 in a 55 m.p.h. zone only because the cop couldn't get hold of the ones doing ninety! Like I said, maybe we should ticket Imus for using that rap ghetto lingo when he should know better, but this ain't the taste police we're talking about!
OK, I gotta be upfront with you all and say that I like offensiveness, at least when it comes to offending people, institutions and beliefs that I hate. Or at least I like it when the offended party isn't the minority member or the woman or the perv at the rest stop who has suddenly been elevated to victimhood status, but the sick white liberal who so patronizingly wants to look out for everyone as long as they fit into his preconceived notions of "inclusiveness" (which means no Southerners or ethnic Northern blue-collar types y'know!). Maybe that's one reason I hold such things as BACK DOOR MAN and the old NATIONAL LAMPOON to heart like I do (not to mention the original SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE which really knew how to dish it out to even the gathered post-hippies at hand, at least until Ronald Reagan sorta made 'em all traditional Democrats at heart!), because the intended target of scorn is probably gonna be that uptight guy with the glasses who mixed a little too much Marx in with his BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN and comes off like an even bigger bunsnitch all these years later. Y'know, that guy who kept giving me this evil eye when I showed up for jury duty ten years back with an issue of HETRODOXY featuring a "FREE MUMIA---NOT!" headline in a vain attempt to avoid getting picked!
So maybe you're oh-so offended...well, as the old saying goes, "WELCOME TO THE CLUB!" Have any of you "enlightened" ones out there who might have happened to read this via your fave search engine ever thought about how offensive you certainly may be? I mean, look at your own spokesmen if you wanna find some outright disturbing slurs and vehemence. Downright jagoffs like Penn Jillette, Bill "Penis Nose" Maher and Christopher Hitchens have been slinging out the worst sort of barbs towards a whole number of everyday people whose only crime is being productive citizens who happen to support a whole nation of freeloaders and still have faith in pre-enlightenment ideals. And yet, the well-publicized media stars of the day can get away with saying things that make Don Imus look about as innocuous as he was time and time again solely because their bosses agree with their invectives and can supposedly vanquish any criticism with tired old "free speech" bromides that always seemed to work for the ACLU defending child pornographers but not for people protesting at abortion clinics.
Of course the whole "sensitivity" issue that has sprouted from Imus' offhand remark is enough to make one who hadda grow up during the big "relevance" movement of the early-seventies gag (especially watching the coach of the team dribble on in a particularly sickly way while the team members took turns telling the world how "hurt" they were...I'm surprised the entire incident didn't end with a group singing of "Kumbaya"!). I guess we have come to the point in time where when certain groups are offended America has to collectively rend garments (as I said, only when people casually ignored or outright hated by liberals get the shaft does the specter of "free speech" and "diversity" rear its ugly head) which makes me wonder just how such bright minds of the past who certainly knew how to offend and disturb could even fathom existing during these rather Stalinesque times. I mean, can you see a Lester Bangs working in the here and now without the confines of Political Correctness run amok functioning like he did during his seventies CREEM days? (Maybe not, since his infamous racism in punk piece from '79 was certainly a harbinger of smear tactics to come.) Better yet, what about H. L. Mencken with his still-unequalled acerbic and admittedly offensive wit? And the fact that many Jews counted (and still do!) Mencken as a huge influence on their own core beliefs and that, despite his borderline racialist (for the uninitiated, there's a dif. between that and "racist") rants Mencken was an unabashed foe of Jim Crow will undoubtedly fly past way too many of his critics who were undoubtedly brand the Bard of Baltimore with all sorts of hate-filled denunciations once the next bio comes out!
But then again, after what I've been through thanks to a whole load of provoking remarks courtesy yours truly that might have been farcical yet probably more or less heartfelt I should know! I mean, having to take a load of manure from bloggers I wouldn't even pay to SHOVEL it is pretty bad enough, so lemme just tell you that I really bond with what Imus is going through these rather frightening (moreso'n the McCarthy-era, all you protest kiddies!) times. And it's undoubtedly even worse when Imus has to play kootchy-koo with the likes of such "race hustlers" as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who you know won't stand for anything less than the total public humiliation of Imus. Y'know, that same sorta drubbing that these two have so richly deserved for many a year! Sheesh...having to stoop to a guy like Sharpton who never will apologize to Steven Pagones and who has started more than his fair share of riots only to act all innocent one the carnage is done (which makes him the American equivalent of Ian Paisley, whose recent turnabout seems oh-so-enticing mainly because you know he's gonna get crushed by all of those loyalist lackeys who bludgeoned on his command lo these many years) would be way too much for any man to take! Imus, if you're reading this, maybe it's time for you to take an early retirement rather'n suck the hiney of this fool!
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