*Note: This is a little late now, but my internet has been out since Sunday afternoon. Weak.
So Andrew Breitbart has died. For those who don’t recall who he is you can see him here, in a YouTube clip of him at Anthony Weiner’s public apology. Yes, he was the one who was all over the Weiner-story. He’s yet another conservative who’s focus is centered more on sex than the economy, civil liberties, or two decade-long wars. He’s also a man of his conviction, and one who definitely had an equal courage to match said conviction. For that you have to respect him. But for some of his practices as a “journalist” or human being? Not so much.
Matt Taibbi – of Rolling Stone – has written a “farewell” to the Tea Bagger, entitled Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche, which has come under quite a lot of criticism. Why? Because he spoke illy of the recently dead Breitbart. You can judge for yourself if it was deserved or not; but of course that will take what is called “research” and “time”. Then some “thinking” to “formulate” an “opinion”.
I am not writing this however to discuss the pros and cons of Breitbart nor Taibbi; I personally don’t think it should be such a big deal and the people overtly upset with Taibbi should ask themselves if they truly believe in freedom of speech in this country, because if there is one thing Breitbart loved, it was just that. The ability to say whatever he wanted and when. I agree with Taibbi that he most likely would not of minded his article one bit, probably would have gotten a laugh out of it and a digital pat-on-the-back.
I am writing this to address another question. Why is death like religion? And by this I mean: why does ‘death’ come coupled with a shield of anti-criticism? When someone dies, all you get is a barrage of “how great they were”-ness. This, is one way history is miswritten. Not just in textbooks, but even in the history of our minds; the way we remember things. The most recent example of this is the death of Steve Jobs. Upon his death he was garnished with a wave of positive support and commentary. When just 24 hours before his death there were people talking about his intensity and criticism as a boss, his lack of responsibility to his first child for the first decade of her life, the fact that he like so many others, take advantage of cheap foreign labor, but come the next day after his death, and he becomes the New Digital Jesus. I am writing this on an iMac, I have an iPhone and am looking to buy a new iPad 3; I have been using Apple since I was a small child but I do not disillusion myself to think they can do no bad or that Jobs is some sort of superhero – if anything Wozniak was the cool one – and Apple as a company is currently on it’s way to Big Brother-hood status, what it so valiantly fought IBM for in the early 80s.
And to make it all better, when people die we give religious zealots and charlatans the liberty to pontificate a one-sided-list about a person they most likely never knew personally or had even met.
Religion is quite the exact. When religion hits the table people get up and quietly dismiss themselves, or with a casual shrug and a “I don’t want to get into that” or “To each his own”. It’s a topic that is given a free pass all the time and almost everyone is guilty, from conservatives to liberals to actual liberals (like the ones they got in Europe).
Society has created or allowed the creation of this bubble. Simply put, not all religions are equal and deserved of the same respect. Neither are cultures. It takes a serious pair of brass testicles or ovaries to stake the claim that the culture of the Taliban, or of Saudi Arabia, or that of North Korean leadership is deserving of as much respect and understanding as Buddhists, Christians, or Shinto.
There isn’t much more to say on this topic, because just questioning the phenomenon alone should get those who read this to at least think if it is in a good or bad state of affairs. The only and last thing I’d like to add is, that those moderates, those on the fence are just as detrimental as being a pacifist when your town is being raped and pillaged. No, standing on the sidelines and avoiding confrontation is not an appropriate response to the problems of the world, it’s only a bumper for which it bounces back and forth from. Be a pin.