Sunday, June 11, 2017

Calling Trump a "piece of shit"-- Reza Aslan, CNN, and unmutuality

Well, this was a fun little detail to learn.  Reza Aslan, who had a regular gig at CNN when not hawking pseudo-intellectual books about religion, lost the former job for calling Donald Trump a, "piece of shit," on twitter.  See, that's why I don't use twitter.  There's the off-chance that somebody might actually see what you write, unlike blogspot...  Everything here is nicely off-the-grid.  Also, I'm not on CNN's payroll, and never will be.  Particularly now.

I did a little search of my blog here for the phrase, "piece of shit," and the search engine just asked me how many grains of sand there are on the beach?  Of course, some of those uses may refer to someone other than Trump, but... c'mon.  Also, that didn't include separate uses of the phrase, "piece of fucking shit."  Fridays I post jazz, Saturdays country, Sunday is bluegrass, Monday is blues, Tuesday is world music day, but every day is a good day to call Trump a "piece of shit."

Then again, maybe that's not fair.  Shit has value.  It can be used as fertilizer.  Perhaps once Trump dies, he will have value.  He can be an organ donor (although... ick), or be used as fertilizer, but right now, to call him a "piece of shit" is actually demeaning to the pieces of shit in the world.  So, I hereby apologize to all of the pieces of shit in the world for having diminished their contributions to the circle of life, and stuff.  I just don't know the proper way to explain how uniquely repugnant Donald Trump is, among all figures in American history, in other terminology.

If you are reading this little blog, then you probably aren't a Trump fan anyway, and I don't need to bother documenting for you the fact that he is clearly a racist, almost certainly a rapist, the most egregious liar in modern American political history to the point that our best reference points for him are dictatorship propagandists, which brings us to his worship of brutal dictators, his creepy sexual obsession with his own daughter, not to mention underage girls more generally, his history of fraud such as Trump University... I could keep going, but the point is that it really is hard to find anyone comparable in American history in terms of total vileness.

The thing about Trump and moral virtue is that there is a divide among Republican commentators.  Not the politicians, who are in the learned helplessness mode that I observed yesterday, but the commentators.  Those in the New York Times columnist mode (e.g. David Brooks or Ross Douthat) will have no problem noting that Trump is a morally bankrupt person.  Hey, Trump is the master of exploiting bankruptcy!  Just ask him!  The extent to which they are willing to go beyond that point varies, but the less tied a Republican is to the party apparatus, the more willing they are to admit that Trump is just the embodiment of evil, at a personal level.

But that isn't what got Aslan in trouble.  No, what got Aslan in trouble was his Carlin-speak.  We're back to that.  "Shit."  Germanic-rooted words.  We now ask the "counter-factual."  Counter to fact.  What if the world had been otherwise?  What if Aslan's tweet had referred to Trump as a "piece of filth?"  Would he have been fired from CNN?  The probability is lower.  Why?  Because people over-react to Germanic-rooted words.  I wrote a long digression about this with Stephen Colbert when the FCC almost went after him.

But, I've actually been dealing with this for a while, and in stranger ways, with reference to Trump because there used to be questions about whether or not Trump was too vulgar to be president.  Remember how Trump got up on a debate stage and bragged about the size of his dick?  Back during the primaries, I wrote this about vulgarity.  If you read this blog, you know that I don't care about conventional understandings of vulgarity.

And it was the "shit" part that got Aslan canned.  (See what I did there?)  Trump rapes women, and becomes President.  Aslan calls him on it, and because he uses a Germanic-rooted word, he gets fired.

I can't find a clip of this on youtube, so I'll just quote it because the best way to explain things is, once again, South Park.  In the movie ("Bigger, Longer and Uncut," yes, really), Sheila Broflovski leads a war against Canada because a movie teaches kids to say Germanic-rooted words, giving us this quote:  "Remember what the MPAA says:  Horrific, deplorable violence is OK, as long as people don't say any naughty woids!"

Yup.  Trump rapes women and becomes President, but if Reza Aslan calls him a "piece of shit" for it, the Germanic-rooted third word there gets the latter canned.  Well done, Mrs. Broflovski, well done.

When I started this blog, I didn't think about how much time I'd spend writing about George Carlin.  Oh, Mr. Carlin, where are you when we need you?  Oh, right.  Damn.  That sucks.


  1. "And it was the "shit" part that got Aslan canned. (See what I did there?)"

    Yes. And you're going to hell for that one.

    1. For THAT? I'm going to hell? Not all the other stuff?