Monday, August 06, 2007

Bad Words

I saw another story about Don Imus in the news today, but I just skimmed over it.

I never liked that stupid bastard even before he and his crew of bootlickers made those comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

I often referred to him as "Dumb Anus" because of his habit of saying some incredibly stupid things.

In fact, the Rutgers thing angered me because, while I'm glad Imus got bounced, there are a lot of rappers who have made a living out of saying a lot worse about women than the broken down radio clown ever did and these pigs aren't out of work.

And spare me that crap about the situation being different because the rappers, like the ball players, are black. Filth is still filth, no matter who says it.

So, no, I was not sorry to see the plug pulled on that bum. And I wouldn't miss all those right-wing psychos spewing their filth onto the airwaves on a daily basis. If the Anus has to go, then the hemroids should join him.

The radio host John Gambling died a few years ago and, as I read his obit, I thought how much the AM band has changed.

Back when I was a kid, the AM radio personalities were, for the most part, friendly guys who spoke to their listeners as if they were their buddies.

Jim Lowe was one of my dad's favorites. He used to call speak to you directly, "hey, you old spotted dog." I know that sounds offensive, but it was really very affectionate.

After speaking with a caller, sometimes he'd say "by the power vested in me by no one in particular, I give tomorrow off." It was corny and old-fashioned and I always dismissed it as "old guy's radio."

But after hearing the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and other such vermin, I wish the old spotted dog would coming trotting back to the dial.

Mamma Mea Culpa

Now I find myself in an uncomfortable situation about my own words and I want to address it. In my last post I talked about a run-in I had with a former boss and quoted what I had said to him in the heat of anger.

While complaining about my old paper, I said "I've seen more tolerance among fundamentalist mullahs than I've seen around here."

Yes, that's what I said--more than 10 years ago in a fit of rage. But looking at it now, I realize how offensive and hurtful those words can be to innocent, well-meaning people.

The quote is accurate, but I wish I hadn't repeated it. Or, failing in that, I should have down a better job of putting it context and disavowed those sentiments.

God knows there are plenty of examples of Christians behaving badly--are you reading me, Dubya?--without me having to insult other faiths.

I was tempted to go back and delete the quote entirely and just pretend it never happened. This is the Internet, right? Press a few buttons and stuff just disappears.

But I don't think that's the way to address this. Deleting something doesn't mean it's been erased from people's minds. I am (or used to be) a good Catholic boy and I know that you must confess your sins and do penance.

I have changed since that time I uttered those hostile words; I have grown as a person. I now live in a heavily Muslim neighborhood so I should be more sensitive.

But most importantly, someone of the Muslim faith has come into my life and this person means so much to me. I'm sick at the thought that I might have hurt this person's feelings with my thoughtless words.

I know what that sounds like: "Some of my best friends are Muslims..." But it's true this time. One of my best friends really is a Muslim.

So to all Muslims, and to you especially my dear, dear friend, I am sorry for that offensive quote and I would ask you to please accept my apology. Please use the powers vested in you by no one in particular to forgive me.

I'm really not that bad a person once you get to know old spotted dog.

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