Ha ha, or as they say, LOL. It’s a wonderful day when you realize that all your efforts have paid off. It’s a really great high, man, when you know you’ve won. Oh Lord, it almost makes me believe in God and want to go to some church where they do those miracles. Is that what Episcopal means?
You see, I’m having a beer or two with my thoughtful conservative friend and he’s like on his phone a lot more than usual and I ask him what’s up, so he tells me the Twitter was blowing up about these “ignorant” Catholic school boys – hey, it’s in quotes because I didn’t say it and let no one accuse me of being anti-religious or anything like that, I’m a liberal and I am all 1st Amendment to the core – who were harassing this old native American man who was also a Vietnam vet! and how bad horrible it was and then he says hold on and he does this long tweet so I just sit there drinking my beer, very patiently if I do say so myself. Well, then he finishes and I ask him what he said and he tells me he just wanted to tear into those boys because who did they think they were and they weren’t representing themselves or their religion very well with that kind of behavior and I say are you Catholic and he says no, I’m an Episcopal but we’re all Christian you know and then we have a real nice discussion about all that religious stuff and did you know he believes his body is invaded with a ghost? Is that what Episcopal means, possessed? Kind of surprised me, really, but I guess we all have our own weird belief systems that seem a little .. off to the next guy, you know what I mean?
Anyway, so we’re having this discussion but then his phone starts going off, I mean it is one buzz after another and I tell him go ahead and look at it, must be important, so he does. And he gets this quizzical look on his face that turns into a frown and he just seems to sag down in his seat and turn a little pale, so I ask him again what’s up and he says well it turns out I didn’t get the whole story about these kids and I say really? and he says it seems they were just standing there and the native American man started picking on them. And it looks like both groups were really being harassed by a bunch of black Hebrew crazy guys, but the native American man decided to put all the blame on the boys. And he wasn’t even a Vietnam vet and I say what?, he lied about being a vet and he says no he was a vet but not a Vietnam vet and he kinda let people think that and I think what the hell but I put that aside for bigger fish to fry.
So I say you went off half-cocked and he says that’s a gun metaphor and I say sue me man, but that is what you did and he says yes well I hadn’t seen the whole video at first and I say so you might be accused of a rush to judgement and he says well there was this native American guy and this white Catholic kid who seemed to have a smirk on his face and I say so you were presented with that tableau and it immediately convinced you the white kids were bigoted idiots and he says yes I guess so and I say but do you think Catholic schools are that prehistoric and he says no and I say well maybe just a little too, ummm, reactionary and he says no I generally think they do a good job of instilling values in kids and I say but yet you were willing to suspend all that and assume these boys were the exact opposite of what you would have expected and he says yes I guess so.
And at that point I let out a whoop and get up and dance a little jig around our table and I’m waving my hands in the air and shouting out WE WON! WE WON! and he says man have you gone crazy and I say maybe I’m possessed too and he says what and I say with that ghost thing and he says I didn’t say I was possessed I said it lives inside me and I kinda look at him and I think wow but now is not the time for that one, either, because this is such a moment of — well, exultation for me. And he says what in the world do you mean by WE WON and I say because this is what us liberals have been fighting for all our lives, it’s the cause that we dedicate ourselves too, the liberal world view, sir, and you have just demonstrated to me how successful we have been and he looks a little thoughtful and says yes I can see why you would say that and even though I know I don’t have to explain it I do because at this moment I just want to rub it in a little, I mean can you blame me? So I say yes sir those kids were your propitiatory offering to the god of diversity, yes they were your sacrificial surrender to the hegemony of pluralism! Even you the most thoughtful conservative I know was bending over backward not to appear too un-PC and that shows me that yes you bet your Ronald Regan silk tie that we won! We changed the culture! Multiculturalism is in your DNA now now, buddy, and I think I may have overdone it just a little by pointing my finger straight at his nose at this point.
Well yes, he says, I can see your point but I don’t let him finish because I’m not finished gloating – well, you have to cut me some slack here I mean it is such a big thing and look, Ive seen more celebration when a defensive end tackles a quarterback half his size, and this is like just a little more important than breaking some millionaire’s leg, so I say look at the old native American guy. You know 50-60 years ago we might have at best thought of him as a mildly amusing cartoon, the drunk old silly Indian and object of derision, but then he progressed to an astute observer of the sins of man, oh you know what I mean, the “tear” and how you can prevent forest fires? And then of course he progressed to misunderstood and persecuted minority, oh yes I am old enough to remember the Peltier affair thank you very much. And now, look, he’s the numinous suffering icon who embodies all truth and wisdom and above all innocence and you couldn’t help but react the way you did. In other words, WE WON!
And he gets this serious look on his face and he says you know, you are entirely correct and I have to admit there is a lot of good in that societal shift and I say yes you old conservative you I know there is and then he says so tell me, this, what do you call him and I say I call him the old Indian man and he says okay, I just wanted you to say it because I get in trouble when I say things like that and I say I get your point and then he very quietly says so this “Old Indian Man” started out as a caricature and I say yes and he says and he ended up as a cartoon. Don’t you think you overshot the mark just a little?
And what can I say, a little of that holy spirit just leaked right out of me. Well, maybe the conservatives can help reel it all in a bit, they are good at that sort of thing.
Tee he he, but we did win.