I’ve been online for a number of years now, in forums and chat rooms and in the reply sections of online articles, and the jargon has never failed to crack me up. Much of it has entered the modern lexicon, thanks to the nimble fingers of a million texting teenagers. Hell, nine letters – OMG WTF LOL – makes for a whole sentence nowadays. Once upon a time, back when I was teaching English Literature, I thought the rise of online/phone-typed conversation would bring about a new Age of Letters, where the written word would once again reign supreme over the forces of monosyllabic dialog…but no, it led instead to a novel form of shorthand, some of which is pointed enough to carry an entire conversation within a single word. My favorite of these, by far and away, is (facepalm). The Urban Dictionary defines it thusly:
The act of dropping one’s face/forehead into one’s hand. Usually accompanied by a “thunk” or a cry of “D’oh!” Similar to (headdesk)…The only logical answer to a stupid question or statement.
(facepalm) is quite possibly the best bit of slang the internet has wrought (short of “FAIL,” which speaks for itself), and by far and away the best and only reaction to some of the stuff we hear in the news these days. It just works so well. Take, for example, a recent field report put forth by Wonkette about an anti-Muslim protest near the site of the proposed Cordoba House facility several thousand feet away from the site of the former World Trade Center.
Now, I’m no stranger to the spelling adventures of right-wing protest-sign pen-wielders. We’ve all seen the miraculously hilarious “Get A Brain! Morans” sign. I personally chronicled the following legendary slice of stupid – Best sign so far: a guy holding a placard reading “Remember when dissent was patriotic?” Except he spelled it “dessent,” and had crossed out the incorrect “e” and penned in an “i.” Poetry. – while blogging a Palin/Teabagger event in Boston back in April. The phenomenon is ubiquitous, and gives me hope; if these people can’t spell their way out of a paper sack, they’re not likely to get organized enough to take over the country (again).
But this…this is just beyond the beyond. Here are these madding crowds in an absolute froth to defend GROUND ZERO (please note the spelling). We all know what GROUND ZERO is, what it means, and people of good conscience can disagree over whether or not a Muslim community center should be built a couple of football fields away from GROUND ZERO. But if you’re going to chuck up a virulently anti-Constitutional, anti-First-Amendment protest with signs as a means to defend your interpretation of the sanctity of GROUND ZERO…well…you might want to work on your spelling:
Did you spend the weekend rocking out to the Mosquetard anthem “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”? Well then maybe you’ve already noticed this special part of the video, at 0:39, when the Doofus Forces of Justice raise this banner in support of “Groud Zero, the monument to terrorism!”
America’s differently-abled freedumb fighters tend to have trouble spelling the dumb shit on their signs and banners and trucks, but this particular piece of visual evidence also calls into question their comprehension of the supposedly Hallowed Ground of the WTC site. Is it truly a “monument to terrorism”? And if so, does that mean these wingnut slobs are actually protecting Islam and America’s Muslims from being associated with this nation’s vile “monument to terrorism,” which is the “Groud Zero” home of 9/11?
Wait, it gets better. Apparently, there was another one of these anti-Mosque (even though it isn’t a mosque) protests near the site on Monday, perpetrated by the patriotic ranks of oh-no-we’re-not-racist Tea Party brigades. At some point, a Black man named Kenny – a Union carpenter wearing an UnderArmor skullcap and a chain around his neck with an amulet bearing the Puerto Rican flag – began working his way through the crazed crowd, trying to get to work. The all-white-but-we’re-not-racist crowd turned on him like hammerhead sharks in a meat tank and started shrieking all sorts of anti-Muslim nonsense his way. According to reliable reports, Kenny comported himself well:
The crowd, astutely recognizing that he was on his way to build the mosque, began to chant “NO MOSQUE HERE” at him. In the video, someone says, “run away, coward.” The man turns around, perturbed. “Y’all motherfuckers don’t know my opinion about shit,” he says. Au contraire, my friend: You are a black man wearing a skullcap, after all! You are definitely a pro-Mosque, anti-freedom Jihadist! Why, aren’t you, in fact… Osama Bin Laden??
No, actually, according to the guy who uploaded the video to YouTube, the skullcap-wearing gentleman’s name is Kenny and he’s “a Union carpenter who works at Ground Zero.” Kenny is also – as he points out several times in the video – not a Muslim. (No word on whether or not he voted for Obama, as one of the very reasonable and intelligent-sounding anti-“Mosque” protestors speculates.) But I’ll bet you Kenny has been totally convinced about the truth of the Burlington Coat Factory Desecration Community Center. Who wouldn’t be?
So, yeah, there is a reasonably accurate snapshot of the current state of right-wing resistance to today’s realities. You may love the idea of the Cordoba House, or you may hate it, but do me a favor: use spell-check, and double-check your knee-jerk racism at the door, before you charge out to protest anything.
Oh, and P.S.: if well-meaning people stay home in November, these are the nitwits who will be fully back in charge of our national destiny.