Friday, March 2, 2012

Awesome, Offensive...or Awesomely Offensive?

This is awesome.

No, not this.
OK, it is, but it's not what I'm talking about.
There's a federal judge in Montana who's in hot water over an e-mail that he forwarded. He's apologized and self-initiated an official investigation into his actions.

Awesome thing about this #1: The headline on reads "Judge asks for probe after sending racist Obama e-mail."

I've been a bad boy. Be gentle.
Needless to say, I have a new career goal, and it is to be a headline writer for It replaces my former goal of being a headline writer for

Who apparently will fire you for having a flair for inventive descriptions.
OK, so Richard Cebull - who is the Chief Federal District Judge of the state of Montana, which is a real job - is facing predictable calls to step down because of a joke that he forwarded to some friends via e-mail. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the calls are not coming from anyone he sent the e-mail to, or whoever actually sent it first, or any of the people from any point on the political spectrum who think it's hilarious to say tacky things about elected officials they didn't vote for.
Which leaves this guy.
Caption: I is on your news, calling for your resignation.
Awesome thing about this #2: actually repeated the joke! Here it is:
Cebull did not write the offensive material, but admitted forwarding the February 20 message to a few friends after it was sent to him by his brother. The Great Falls Tribune newspaper was given a copy and reported the message went:

"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

"A little boy said to his mother, 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!'"

Thanks to the crack reporting skills and high journalistic integrity of CNN's Bill Mears, millions of people can now enjoy what is being called a joke so offensive that it should cost a federal judge his job. Mears helpfully added this sentence to his story for much-needed context: "Obama is of mixed race."

In other breaking news: Wet.
Awesome thing about this #3: In his apology, Judge Cebull defended his actions thusly: "There's no doubt it's racist.... I didn't send it as racist...I sent it out because it's anti-Obama."

"I didn't kill six million people because they were Jewish.
I killed them because I'm batshit crazy. Quit being so sensitive."
See, when something is offensive on multiple levels, e.g., making fun of mixed-race individuals in general and making fun of the President of the United States for being of mixed race, you get to choose in which way you intended it to be offensive. By the same token, when you are offended or defending those whom you presume to be offended, you get to choose which portion of the offense was actually offensive.
As usual, Opus got it right.
Awesome thing about this #4: While the left is getting all huffy that a Republican judge made fun of a Democratic president, and the right is getting all huffy that the left is refusing to let it characterize a mean-spirited and crude joke as protected speech, everyone is ignoring the real point, which is: Ha-ha, it's funny because it implies that President Obama's late mother had sex with dogs! No one wants Judge Cebull to resign over that. It's much funnier to be horrified by the idea of a white woman procreating with a black man, or by the notion that an educated man in a position of responsibility still enjoys rude humor. Let's give him a pass on implying the President's mom enjoyed a spot of bestiality.

Also hilarious.

Really? Come on, guys, there's an entire slate of Republican Presidential candidates who want to give corporations more rights than women, and you're focusing on a well-respected jurist who forwarded a stupid e-mail...and apologized for it...and is probably relieved no one has mentioned all the other e-mails with dick jokes in them?

That part isn't awesome.

But all the other parts?

Hell yeah.

1 comment:

You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.