God, Bush, Fuck

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
October 7th, 2005 • 8:50 am

I don’t know what’s more appalling.

The fact that we have a US president who openly states that he is on a mission from God when he launches the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (and who was probably also instructed by God to delay rescue operations for New Orleans for as long as possible after it was hit by Katrina).

Or the fact that a woman is bounced from a flight because she wears a T-shirt with pictures of Bush, Cheney, and Rice and the caption, “Meet the Fuckers,” and some other passengers find this offensive enough to force the airline staff to ask her to get off the plane in the middle of her trip.

Or the fact that, as I am posting this, I am wondering whether I am not increasing my risk of having my own web site cowardly attacked by right-wing hackers who might be offended by what I am writing and not have any respect for freedom of speech.

There are days when you wonder just how close we are to a world-wide collapse of civilization as we know it.

8 Responses to “God, Bush, Fuck”

  1. Jussi says:

    Well, GWB being a slightly more wacko than I assumed previously is not that big news.

    But I just can’t understand the thing Americans have with freedom of speech. That seems to exist only when you are telling the official truth. If not you are portrayed as unpatriotic, communist or terrorist.

    But I guess that is a freedom of speech too in a way, it just reminds me of the communist hunt of the cold war time, now the communists are called terrorists and the rights of individuals are constrained more than ever before.

    I guess that is the price to pay for “freedom”, or is it?

    Disclaimer: I’m in Europe so I really can’t know what is happening in the other side of the pond, but judging from the mass media it does not look quite right.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I guess what I find offensive is Bush saying this kind of stuff aloud, and in the context in which he did. Not just because it directly contradicts what real democracy is all about (separation between church and state, leaders acting on behalf of the people that they represent, not on behalf of some “God,” etc.) but also because he said it to a Palestinian politician, of all people, and four months after invading Iraq, when it was already clear that the Iraqi people were less than impressed with the true motives behind the invasion.

    And you’re probably right about the analogy with communists in the fifties. It certainly is the same kind of convenient demonization of the “other,” and the lack of dissenting voices in the American media and society at large is truly disconcerting and scary.

    And we’re in it for the long haul too. As far as I can tell, “socialist” is still an insult in the US today. They obviously haven’t learned their lesson. They’ll probably still be talking about those scary “terrorists” fifty years from now.

    It’s obvious that the US is by far the most conservative democracy in the world, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that it’s also one of the least democratic democracies in the western world. Can you imagine someone being booted off a plane in the UK or in France for wearing a T-shirt saying, “Fuck Blair” or “Chirac, je t’encule”?

    Same disclaimer applies here: I am in Canada, so my opinion is also that of an “outsider.”

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    It gets better: Now the White House is denying that Bush ever said such a thing, but at the same time Abu Mazen, who is now the Palestinian leader and who was another minister attending the same meeting back in 2003, said Mr Bush had told him: “I have a moral and religious obligation.” In other words, it confirms what Bush is denying, i.e. that he governs based on a so-called “religious obligation.” (Bush puts the Iraq situation and the Palestinian conflict in the same bag here.)

    Of course, the even more appalling aspect of all this is that a great part of the current decision-making at the White House is cynically based on purely economic factors (access to oil and big contracts for rich corporations close to them) and has absolutely nothing to do with morality.

    Religion and economics. The perfect (highly explosive) mix.

  4. MHC-in-the-box » Freedom of speech… Really? says:

    […] Via Pierre Igot’s Betalogue, I learnt that a Woman was bounced from Southwest flight for T-shirt. […]

  5. sdimbert says:

    Could the problem the passengers had with the shirt simply be the language, and not any urge to stifle the woman’s political creativity?

  6. Pierre Igot says:

    I doubt that this was their only complaint, but even then, as far as I know, there’s no law against using such language as a form of self-expression, even in “public” places. People might not like it, but it’s not against the law.

    In addition, it sounds like the woman in question was quite willing to minimize the “offensive” nature of her garment, and was booted off the plane nonetheless.

  7. sdimbert says:

    Of course there’s no law against it… but the airline has the right to make *most* of its paying customers happy at the expense of *one* of them.

    You’re right about how it sounds like she was willing to minimize the offensive nature of her garment (why you would put quotation marks around the word offensive when it describes a shirt which was defined to offend is beyond me), but we’re not getting the entire story in that USA Today article. We’re getting the woman’s perspective and, I’m sure, the Southwest employees were told not to speak to the press.

    I’m not saying she’s lying… I just suspect there is more to the story.

  8. Pierre Igot says:

    True. On the other hand, if we’re going to start talking about what’s really “offensive” on flights with various airlines, we’re going to have to consider booting many people off in mid-flight!

    As for the word “fuck” being actually offensive, it’s mostly in the eye of the beholder. I am quite sure that the majority of the passengers on that flight use the word at least occasionally themselves. Maybe what bothered some of them is that the T-shirt was a reflection of their own hypocrisy.

    Basically I still feel that there is no way that wearing such a T-shirt justifies being booted off a flight, and that the fact that it did happen says a lot of many of the things that are wrong today in America’s society. But then, as I said, it’s the point of view of an outsider…

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