Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bleeding Heart Liberal (3 stories)

I've been meaning to post this for a while, so here goes...

BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL

Bleeding.
Heart.
Liberal.
Everybody knows the phrase
Said seethingly
The quick sharp bite of venom that paralyzes
political discourse

Except.

Except it doesn’t make any sense.

The phrase itself.

Bleeding heart liberal.

Hearts don’t bleed.
The heart itself is almost entirely hard,
fiberous muscle.
Your leg bleeds, your arm bleeds, a vein bleeds.
Hearts, technically don’t really bleed.

What’s more, other than the phrase itself, there are no
examples of hearts that bleed in popular consciousness.
No common experience of skinning your heart on the playground
and covering it with a Band-Aid.
No fairy tales about bleeding hearts.
No nursery rhymes.
No Greek myths.
No Cabbage Patch Dolls featuring
spontaneous eruptions of
blood from the heart.
Because it wouldn’t make sense.
Hearts don’t bleed.

And yet, everyone knows the phrase.
Everybody understands the feeling that is being conveyed.
Which is what exactly?

For that we need to turn back to 5th grade and my classmate who explained,
giddly, on the playground one day
that in ancient Rome, the heart shape
that we draw on Valentines to symbolize love,
was intended as a representative of
the vulva.
An arrow through the heart represented sexual intercourse.

Indeed, any study of the symbol that we now identify as a “heart”
will tell you
its original signified
is actually the female genitalia.

And suddenly, it all makes sense.

When they say bleeding heart liberal
They’re speaking of the symbol not the
muscle.
What they mean is “bleeding cunt liberal.”
Because cunts bleed, vaginas bleed, women bleed.
Everybody knows that.
It’s the thing that disgusts, that puts
the intended inflection into the phrase.
When they say bleeding heart liberal
what they’re saying is that you’re too feminized,
we’re too feminized,
as a nation
we’ve become too female.

For fundamentalist white male America, the only thing worse than the brown man is the feminine.

Bleeding cunt liberals. Bleeding heart liberals. We know what they mean.

It’s important to point out, that the phrase
starts being used after Vietnam.

After carpet bombing a third world country for ten years
killing 3 million people
raping, burning, and murdering.
Their narrative to explain it all is that
we weren’t cruel enough,
lethal enough,
masculine enough.
Their narrative is that we’ve become too soft,
too caring,
too goddamn menstrual.

Bleeding heart liberal
Everybody knows the phrase
code words -- the Trojan Horse that
smuggles hate speech into everyday discourse
an underlying message that would be laughable
if it wasn’t so psychotic.

Pinko Commie


So too with “Pinko Commie.”

Everybody knows what it means.

Except.
The two words,
put together,
don’t make any sense.

It is certainly true that Communists
have a distinctive fashion sense.

Communists had the star
before Nike had the swoosh.
Chairman Mao sold a billion suits to the Chinese,
long before the creation of Men’s Wearhouse.
And Che seems to be on half the world’s t-shirts.

From everything we can observe,
communists seem to love the color red
and the color black.
Sometimes a little yellow.
But they never choose pink.

Pink is a capitalist color,
a bourgeois color,
it’s too happy for communists.

So how did pink get paired with communism?

Because the mullet wearing,
pick-up-truck-with-the-shotgun-rack-driving,
proud-to-only-have-a-GED
guys who actually use the phrase Pinko Commie
think of pink as a feminine color.

Once again when the say Pinko Commie
what they mean is that
these people are awful
because they are too feminine.
Indeed fundamentalist America
distrusts the communist focus on
the collective,
the shared, and
the greater good
precisely because they see those values as feminine
(and in opposition to the American masculine values of
individuality,
agency, and
greed.)

It also seems more than coincidence
that commie
rhymes with mommie.
Because if there’s one thing that conservatives like,
it’s calling someone a sissie or a momma’s boy.
Very sophisticated them.

The Myth of the Spat Upon Veteran

Data point #3

Everybody knows the story
of the spat upon Vietnam Veteran.

The conquered hero,
returning home,
only to be spat upon,
by some dirty fucking hippie,
at the San Francisco airport.

Except.

Except it never happened.

Sociologist Jerry Lembcke
examined news accounts
and archival footage from that era.
He studied accounts of anti-war rallies,
demonstrations
and marches.
And found zero evidence
that any Vietnam Veterans
had been spat upon by anti-war protesters.

The clue that gives it away
that shows us this is myth
rather than fact
is that it’s always women and girls
who supposedly did the spitting
and it’s that famously gay city
San Francisco
that is often depicted
as the setting
where the alleged incidents
took place.

In fact the myth of the spat upon veteran
doesn’t really appear in culture
until George Bush Senior
launched a propaganda campaign
to whip the nation into a lather
in preparation for the first Gulf War.

When they say Vietnam Vets were spat upon.
What they mean is that
female wetness
female fluids
femaleness itself
was what cost us the war.

The myth of the spat upon veteran is
an alibi
a stalking horse
a scapegoat to blame the feminine
for a war that was
planned, executed and bungled
by arrogant white men.


Taken together
these three hateful memes
Bleeding heart liberal
pinko commie
and the myth of the spat upon veteran
constitute nothing less than
linguistic domestic violence
inflicted upon society
by a culture of pathological masculinity
that refuses to accept responsibility
for its own sins.

To which I say this:
Liberals have heart
and compassion
and courage.
Yes females bleed
isn’t it about time you got over that?
and by the way
the feminine is sacred.

We welcome all the colors under the rainbow
and the full expression of god’s good creation.
The communal and collective
are just as important
as the individual and agentic.

We thank soliders for their service
but call upon them to lay down their arms
when called upon to kill
without provocation or justification.

And next time you want to introduce your tired old
hateful trojan horse memes into conversation
I say no
and close the gates.
Your misogyny is not welcome here.

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