Monday, November 29, 2004

Prissy Republican of the week

Well, finally, one bold pundit has dared to place the blame for the Pistons/Pacers/fans brawl squarely where it belongs, on the Democrats in general, and in particular, the Clintons. Michael Graham, writing in his column "the usual suspects," which is widely syndicated in two alternative weekly newspapers in South Carolina (the Columbia Free Times and the Charleston City Paper), complains about the tasteless Monday Night Football promo involving a topless (seen from the back) actress and a player. He also decries loutish fan behavior, such as screaming swear words, at college and pro sports games.

As far as I know, no one, certainly not any prominent Democrats, is defending the screaming of "FUCK" at sports games. But somehow, don't you know, Mr. Graham manages to make a connection between thuggish fan behavior and Democrats and blue states. 'Cause evidently nobody ever screamed "FUCK" at any red state sports event, 'cept for that Myrtle Beach Pelicans game I attended a couple of seasons ago where some louts were (rightfully) ejected for screaming "FUCK YOU" at the umps and opposing team. Apparently Mr. Graham didn't hear about that one incident. But his point was, screaming "FUCK" at ball games is the Democrats' fault, and also has something to do with the Clintons.

Poignantly, Mr. Graham queries:

Do any of these incidents, from the Carolina/Clemson fight to the Monday Night Football naughtiness really matter? Actually, yes. They matter to that slim (and shrinking) majority of Americans who share my unreasonable desire to live in a place where those advocating civility and common courtesy aren't the bad guys, and where the foul-mouthed morons demanding 24-hour porn access on broadcast TV are.

By now you are asking yourself, who IS this Michael Graham, this paragon of civility and common courtesy? He's a minor league conservative pundit, who when he got called up to the big show (the Chris Matthews show, to be precise), distinguished himself by expressing his desire to bludgeon Hillary Clinton with a tire iron. Because her voice annoyed him. Being all civil and courteous, of course, he would no doubt preface his fantasized bludgeoning of the Senator with the appropriate niceties. "Pardon me while I bludgeon you." "Do you mind if bludgeon you?" "May I be so bold as to bludgeon you senseless, Ma'am, as your screechy voice annoys the living bejesus out of me, excuse me for saying so."

But perhaps I am mocking Mr. Graham unfairly. If you go to his website (no link here) and behold his photograph, you will understand why he might desire to arm himself with a tire iron in a physical fight with an average sized female - I mean, he looks like he'd lose an arm-wrestling contest with Mary-Kate Olsen.

Too bad he didn't have his tire iron at a Wizards game last year, where, he claims, when Mr. Graham objected to profanity flowing from the mouths of fellow fans, one obstreperous fellow snarled, "Fuck you, asshole. I paid good money for these seats and I'm gonna say whatever I want." Vice President Cheney then tossed his beer cup in Mr. Graham's general direction.

In a burst of huffy righteousness, Mr. Graham concludes his column thusly:

You can call these concerned citizens who long for standards of public behavior "unreasonable." You can call them Puritans and prudes. But don't forget there's another name for them too.


I myself always thought of sports hooliganism as something that could be adequately addressed by the enforcement of existing disorderly-conduct laws - but then I'm not a Republican. You know how they like to make a federal case out of everything.


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