The photo challenge this week is to define what “distorted” might look like.
The first thing that came to my mind? Politicians and supposed “entertainers” like the horrible Rush Limbaugh. A picture of Rush Limbaugh does embody the word distorted, distort, distortion, like non other I can think of. But, I have never photographed him, nor would I ever want to.
Limbaugh’s recent on-air comments about a Georgetown law student’s appeal to Congress on the contraception issue, were so twisted, so hateful, and so misogynistic that it baffles the mind. We are in the 21st century, correct?
Limbaugh called Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke “a prostitute and a slut” for arguing that birth control should be covered by insurance at religious workplaces or institutions. But, more troubling than his sick, sick words? Some GOP politicians see nothing wrong with what Limbaugh said. I kid you not.
That’s not only distorted, it’s incredibly troubling…..
Anyway, about my entry, I captured this beautiful fellow (the zoo docent said though he’s mighty pretty, he’s a real pest!) at Zoo Miami while he was shaking his lovely plume. I am sorry I cannot recall the name of this bird…. I also don’t recall if he is a pigeon or a dove… I will attempt to find the answer though.
When the vitriolic rhetoric of some Americans in politics, in radio, or in television, graphically targets others, using cross-hairs on a hate map, we are in trouble.
When horrific hate-talk threatens the very essence of sensibility and civility, the rights that we cherish are in danger. Political hate-talk, if left unchecked, threatens what Thomas Jefferson called our rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
We constantly hear angry mouthpieces like Sarah Palin who cry, “Don’t retreat, reload.” And Bill O’Reily, Rush, Joyce Kaufman, and their ilk, who sensationalize hate and killing and guns using maps and websites that brazenly depict political districts as if they were war-zones. What does this say about us as a country?
Why do we allow our government servants to target one another by virtue of a political bent?
What can we do when politicians or talking heads say things like: “if ballots don’t work bullets will?”
I don’t have an answer. But, I would ask the people who are the mouthpieces in this country to realize that people listen to them, and take seriously their hate talk. People who are not quite all there mentally, who can buy a gun as easily as I buy chewing gum, to settle imagined or delusional scores, do listen to you. Words ARE weapons.
I feel helpless in this fight. I stand by and watch this hate and ignorance spread and feel hopeless because there seem to be so few answers. And, those in government who do have answers, aren’t talking.
I hope and pray that, as a result of yesterday’s tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona, we will let dialogue, not diatribe, stretch and reach out across the land, silencing the hatred that political animosity has created – is creating.
We need to take some deep, deep breaths in this country. Let’s regain our civility as a people, as a nation of human beings with empathy for the common good. Of course, good for one does not translate into good for all, but we can start with civility.
Let’s hope that our 112th Congress, as they take this coming week off to regroup after the tragic events in Tuscon, will put aside their political brains and use their human brains to realize that hate speech engenders more hate, and more hate, and more hate and more hate until we become a nation of gun-toting, trigger-haired, lunatics.
Listen to Keith Olberman.