Vandals and Varmints and Mau Mau, Oh My!

Someone spilled paint on the highway leading to our house and my poor daughter, driving home in the dark, didn’t see it in time to avoid it.  The result was brown paint all down the left side of my car.  Fortunately it proved to be latex and Polly was able, with elbow grease and a lot of Goof-Off, to clean it off.

Do people still name their cars? Mine is "Old Paint."

Sometimes you have to wonder if people spill paint on roads intentionally.  Polly thinks so, but I’m not so sure.  There are so many more surefire ways to damage cars, it seems to me.  And if it were vandalism, wouldn’t they use a more lasting kind of paint?  Of course it happened to Polly so she takes it personally.  It didn’t happen to me, so it was probably just an accident.  If I run over a carpet tack on my bicycle, now, that’s vandalism … someone put that tack there expressly to flatten my tire!

Polly’s reward for two nights spent scrubbing paint off my car is the use of Donna’s pearly-white Lincoln Town Car for a trip to Phoenix this weekend.  I know she’ll be keeping an eye out for spilled paint on the freeway.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said some nice things today about Al Jazeera, lauding the network for providing “real news.”  You can anticipate a ginned-up wave of outrage from hate radio and Fox: first she lesbian-murders Vince Foster, now she’s in bed with Arab terrorists.  Sadly, many Americans today think “real news” means “the kind of news we want to hear,” and that’s generally what American networks give them.

You know how, sometimes, you just want to see some music videos on TV, and they aren’t there anymore because MTV does other stuff now?  There are times when I want to watch straight news on CNN, but CNN does other stuff now, too.  Stuff like Charlie Sheen, or Nancy Grace.  If Al Jazeera’s providing the kind of 24-hour international news coverage CNN once did, then there’s a market for it here.  I understand Al Jazeera is in talks with Comcast about US distribution.  Knee-jerk anti-Muslim opposition will, of course, get in the way of the deal, but we can hope it won’t stop it in its tracks.

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I’m watching a ground squirrel forage for spilled seed underneath the bird feeder outside my home office window.  The creatures have come out of hibernation and we’ve been noticing them around the neighborhood, but until today not our yard.  Every year I put off poisoning them; then they multiply and start chewing on the siding our our house and I’m sorry I dithered.  Not this year.

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Something else has been bothering me about Mike Huckabee’s shout-out to the birthers: “If you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

Do Americans no longer believe the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted our forefathers?  What the hell was Huckabee even saying?  It doesn’t make sense.  We fought a revolution against those British imperialists.  Would not the Kenyan view of the British be exactly the same as ours?

No.  There’s only one way to make sense of Huckabee’s remarks: he was blowing the racist birther dog whistle.  His intent was to utter the words  “Obama,” “Kenyan,” and “Mau Mau” in the same sentence.  But in his attempt to spread a lie, Huckabee inadvertently revealed a truth: that conservatives know we’ve replaced the British as the imperialists of the world, and that revolutionaries anywhere are now our enemies, just as we were once the enemy of the British.  Pretty heavy stuff.

Mike “Mau Mau” Huckabee.  Maybe he’ll go on Dancing with the Stars some day.  I hope they ask him to do the Watusi.

© 2011, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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