Sunday, June 29, 2008

Word of the Day - Mau Maued

Ahhh. Maureen Dowd. NYT's resident bitchy vixen, has managed to use the term Mau Mau in relation to Barack Obama. I'm not sure how many main stream media types would dare to do this. There is absolutely no way this was a mistake. She's playing with fire, teasing all the conservative writers who would get pilloried for such cutesiness with racially charged terms.

Here's the quote from Sunday's column:

"It’s hard to fathom why Obama should be mau-maued into paying off the debt that Hillary and Bill accrued attacking and undermining him, while mismanaging the campaign and their nearly quarter-billion-dollar war chest so horribly that one Hillaryland insider told The New Republic that it bordered on fraud."

Redheaded Seductress Maureen Dowd

Excellent point! Especially given that about $12MM of Hillary's $22MM campaign debt is owed to Hillary herself, and another $6MM is owed to the hateful and rightfully despised Mark Penn. Take those two out of the mix and I'll send in $100. I don't even mind paying Hillary back, but as long as Mark Penn is in the mix, fuggedaboutit.

So, unless you're as old as John McCain, you're probably wondering, "What the hell is a Mau-Mau?" Some kind of chocolate-coconut candy from Hawaii? Well, no.

The Mau Maus were a group of African revolutionaries in Kenya in the 1940's and 1950's, fighting English imperial rule. They used protests, strikes, and terrorism to fight the English. Of course they were also black, and so even scarier than the Irish Catholics. The Mau Mau lost, but their cause ultimately prevailed.

Kenyan Mau-Maus

And their name has stuck around. Tom Wolfe used it in a hip book from the 1970's. (Isn't it funny that Tom Wolfe used to be hip?) As a verb, it means to strong arm someone, which is a form of "unarmed" (hah hah!) robbery. Basically to bully someone into doing something or giving up something.

But, it also is used, rarely, as a racial pejorative for black people, implying that they are criminals or violent. When I say rarely, I'd say not as rarely as "Macaca," which I had not heard used as an epithet prior to Senator George Allen's famous blurtation.

So, for context, I've included this song from Hair! which includes the use of Mau-Mau (I know I'm being inconsistent with the hyphens) among a litany of racially derogatory pronouns. It's also a pretty snappy tune. But don't sing it at work.

I'm not typing or saying the name of this song.

So, what do you think? Will Maureen catch any flak? Should there be fallout? Will anyone even notice? If nobody notices, is that even worse for Maureen? And finally, what is she up to with this?

Weekend Roundup

Kids Today

My 5 year old tells me that the big kids "make out" while they hang around their swim meet waiting for their races. When I ask what "make out" means, I get giggles, until finally my 8 year old answers that it means, "bust a move." Who knew?

Young MC

Our Growing Economy

If GDP is up 1%, but inflation is 4.2%, then I don't think the economy is really growing. Oh, and oil is at $142 a barrel.

The Angelina Jolie of Journalism - Lara Logan!

So, I saw CBS's Lara Logan on The Daily Show and thought, "What a gutsy chick going into all those war zones. May she's brainy, too." Well, maybe. But now she's also a tabloid queen for having 2 boyfriends in Iraq who got into a fight over her. A fistfight in Iraq? Now that's news! Oh yeah, she and one her boyfriends are married to other people, and she's from Africa.

Old Ralph Nader Still Crazy But Now Also Racist!

Ralph Nader, who may or may not also be Alan Alda, became a famous liberal icon by writing a daring "tell all" book to inform the country that cars can be dangerous. And he was right! That was about 45 years ago. So, apparently bored, Ralph has kept busy by being a public crank and helping Republicans beat Democrats in elections because his own political soul is too pure to engage in the dirty business of doing any real-life good in the world.

For his next act, Ralph will publicly soil his pants in a condescending and pretentious manner.

Here's Ralph's latest insightful ralph on Barack Obama:

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

Well, they call it ralphing for a reason. Obama is obviously just a white-talking mulatto who doesn't give a crap about exploitation. (When's the last time you heard the word "explotation" in a political context?) He ain't no better than that white-playing quadroon Tiger Woods.

Nader, of course, is Green, thus continuously embarrassing all people who care about the environment.

Irresistable headlines