Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"...Rosie who...?"

Apparently, in a fit of - well, complete honesty, Rosie O'Donnell let her moral equivalency slip show in equating Christian fundamentalists with "fundamentalist" practitioners of the religion of peace (...that'd be "Islam," for those of you in Rio Linda and Miami-Dade County).

One of her more lucid nuggets of wisdom was:

Just a minute, radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."

...and it is so simply because Rosie says it is so. Don't bother confusing the issue with facts; the Hollywood glitterati have long lost the capacity to honestly deal with minor annoyances like "facts" or "reality."

One of the things that Rosiegate brings up for me, however, is something that I've long wondered about; why are we in an uproar about her statement? She's a comedian, not an intellectual or a competent social commentator. It's simply her (arguably) celebrity status which affords her even a place at the table (literally; the "The View" chicks do their thang around a table... tres domestique, no?). She's certainly entitled to her opinion, and we're certainly entitled to analyze and comment on it... but to take it seriously...?

I mean, a simple analysis of actual reality lends the lie to her assertion.

After all: how many stark-raving fundamentalist Baptists have comandeered jetliners into buildings lately? In the last ten years? Twenty? Thirty? ...ah... none. They may be charmingly goofy when it comes to short hair on a gal or the KJV or tongues or any of a plethora of subjects, but they're hardly the looming threat that Rosie believes them to be (remember: she said "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam." Her words).

How many funeral-picketing fundie wingnuts have beheaded anyone slowly with knives crying the funeral-picketing fundie wingnut version of "Allahu akbar!" in recent memory? ...none.

How many stark-raving, frothing-at-the-mouth evangelicals have gathered at soccer stadiums and lined up blindfolded women whose only crime was putting on makeup or refusing to wear a burkha and shoot them unceremoniously in the head with military-grade firepower? ...oh, right, none.

To be sure, we can point to the really sick sickos who misappropriate the name of Christ and blow up abortuaries, or kill abortionists, or bomb those of a differing theological persuasion (a la those zany Irish over yonder, still arguing about whether one should wear green or orange on St. Patty's Day...). But that only proves the point - they are very obviously the horrific exception to the rule which serve quite well to starkly illustrate that very rule: that Christians - radical or otherwise - aren't "just as threatening as radical Islam". Not by an interfaith dialog mile.

Rosie is obviously not commenting on anything even remotely approaching reality. Well, not our reality, anyway.

But she's entitled to spout off about whatever her little misandrist heart desires; that's the beauty of a free country.

But why get upset at it? Or to view her pontifications as anything beyond the mildly amusing oddities that they are, to garner a good, jolly chuckle, and then move on to other, vastly more important things? Please let me reiterate: she's a comedian. Okay, technically, "comedienne," but you get the point.

This illustrates a greater problem that I've been seeing in America for some time now; our elites are those who know the least about anything, but who amuse us the most - actors, singers, entertainers. Our heroes are no longer... well, heroes. They just pretend to be.

It's indicative of the deeper "form-over-substance" cultural shift that many have observed, where we've become as a people far more concerned with how things appear than we are with how things are.

Anyway, the absolute best response to Rosiegate that I'd read in the article was from an internet contributor identified as "LJS":

"Rosie who????"

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