Nigger

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits” – “seven words you can never say on television” – George Carlin 1972

I’m thinking about Bill Maher this morning and the brouhaha kerfuffle over his quick joke gone bad last night on live TV; wherein he used the word nigger. Even as I write this I wonder if I should capitalize the offensive word. You get the beef right. It’s, far as I can figure; the only word in the English language we aren’t suppose to say no matter what. If a black guy is on the roof of a burning building and the firemen show up you can’t point and say “Save the nigger”. In that context it would be a slur. But what about in some other benign context. Should the same rules apply?

I spent thirty of my last thirty-five years in Oakland, CA and for a hand full of those years worked in inner-city programs. In one C.E.T.A. project of forty-four folks I was one of only two whites and the other white guy was the director; a man who prior to this assignment may well have never met a black person. The guy rarely left the office and spoke to us from a privileged perch. I however, was in the streets with the guys and surely; I never said the word in any context. It’s never been a part of my vocabulary. I was a bit of a leader I suppose and as a running joke the guys took to calling me “say so” (my last name is Masesso). So as the nickname suggests; I wasn’t shy. When I was fifteen years old I was sentenced to the state reformatory for juvenile delinquents at Saint Charles, Illinois. I spent a year there. Out of two thousand inmates the white kids made up only 15% of the population. I said all that to say this; I’ve spent the better part of my adult life in the company of black folks. So given that fact alone I think I have some right to a “say so”. And I say take a chill pill on this one.

Some of the black guys in the juvenile facility, that’s a kind acronym for a gladiator academy where the age group was 15, 16 and 17 years old; prime fisticuffs period in any mans life and since these were, according to the state of Illinois, adjudged by a judge, delinquents, the toughest and most dangerous of the bad boys of that era, some would react violently to anyone black or white who used the term and some on the other hand would say it all the time. By the way; the term “Black” in those days, 1962, was also a slur and never said. The proper term then and you had to use it; was Negro. Say Black and you’d for sure be in a fight. Things change.

What seems completely lost in the current mess is Maher used the term in a benign context. He didn’t use the word in the context of a slur or in a derogatory manner. He used it in reference to site an historical fact; used it within a common colloquialism of that period of time and one that survived historically and is well known and still used today. Malcolm X most famously popularized it in the 1960’s; often using it in his explanation of how history had hung over in this particular regard to the current period. The phrase in question was in fact, in the way Bill Maher used it, self deprecating.

Surely just saying any word in a benign context can’t make you anything; certainly not something as specific as a racist or a bigot. Its all about the context. I’m writing this to defend the guy even though he’s apologized as he should but moreover to defend our right to speak freely without having the inquisition foisted upon us. Hearing the chorus of rabid calls for him to be made to disappear offends the memory of Mario Savio, Lenny Bruce, Salman Rushdie and all lovers of free speech. Anyway, this is what prompts my Sunday Morning concern and results in this; my little missive.

I know, I know – this column may well lead to all manner of repercussions for me from those easily offended – but frankly; I don’t give a fuck. Wait; can I say fuck?

#nigger # free speech #Bill Maher

Hot Air Balloon

Nick Masesso, Jr.

Do you think it matters how a man falls? When the falling is all that’s left; it matters a great deal.” – Lion in Winter – https://youtu.be/lKGPiecEEbA

It will almost have been worth it, enduring these many months of clownish embarrassment to America, to watch the slow-motion Titanic-like sinking of Donald The (T)Rump. My guess is he has about as much chance of winning as John Dillinger has rising from the dead. The Rumps chances of being Prezi are as dead as Disco.

The fun part of this three monkey; eyes, ears and mouth covered endurance trial, will be watching Rump decline, tumble and capitulate. His fall will be as macabre as any NASCAR crash we are ashamed to watch but feel strangely exhilarated by. I predict an ugly affair; one of bad form absent any sense of bearing or pride or self-esteem or good sportsmanship; a virtue that requires the loser…

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Hot Air Balloon

Do you think it matters how a man falls? When the falling is all that’s left; it matters a great deal.” – Lion in Winter – https://youtu.be/lKGPiecEEbA

It will almost have been worth it, enduring these many months of clownish embarrassment to America, to watch the slow-motion Titanic-like sinking of Donald The (T)Rump. My guess is he has about as much chance of winning as John Dillinger has rising from the dead. The Rumps chances of being Prezi are as dead as Disco.

The fun part of this three monkey; eyes, ears and mouth covered endurance trial, will be watching Rump decline, tumble and capitulate. His fall will be as macabre as any NASCAR crash we are ashamed to watch but feel strangely exhilarated by. I predict an ugly affair; one of bad form absent any sense of bearing or pride or self-esteem or good sportsmanship; a virtue that requires the loser to demonstrate dignity; one virtue so far sadly lacking in this Barker on the Midway. When this circus falls down on it’s knees and it’s big-top comes crumbling down; the sound will be hideous and repulsive, a grotesque crashing thud.

When Rump crows “folks; we can’t be so politically correct any more” it is a dog whistle, a clarion call to every racist, bigot and pseudo-militia wannabe longing for a white-wing, right-wing revolt; a John Birch-er, KKK takeover; fueled by some very pissed off people; crushed they’re tongue-bitten and can no longer say Nigger in polite company. It’s kosher at their churches, still the most segregated places in America every Sunday morning, their bars, barbershops, gun shows and back-yard wienie-roasts where bashing immigrants, Gays and minorities self-propels their need for a sense of better than thou.

Likewise the phrase “make America great again”. What America would that be I wonder Rump; the same one Reagan spoke about when he ran for the nomination; going to Stone Mountain Georgia and calling for States rights? That one?

The first time I heard anything about this carnival a friend called to ask if I’d heard the Rump was running for president. I asked; president of what; the Thieves and Scoundrels Union from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon TV show? The very thought that someone so terminally narcissistic, undignified and boorishly buffoon would have the stones to announce such an intention seemed ridiculous.

Having said all that; in an irony-twist worthy of a Shakespearean play, the rest of the Republican field is so devoid of any lift to the spirit of America, the Rump, as it turns; looks to be the best candidate they have. I fail to recall a more motley perp-walk crew of UN-American louts in the 50 years I’ve been watching this every four year joust; not Wallace in 68′, not even Goldwater in 64′ chucked hate and fear into the cheap seats like they were fired out of a t-shirt gun at a Timberwolves game.

This unveiled self-promoter has elevated the kind of anti-American fear and hatred of the other to a place common enough to make the supremacists feel comfortable coming out from behind their otherwise hidden prejudices and odious agendas. For this we must thank the Rump and his coterie of cunts; for now we can see who they are and get an accurate count. Anyone practicing statistical analysis of opinions, however, put forth from polls, long ago decided that 3 in 10 of us, despite how obvious the question being asked is, fall on the side of the inexplicably bat-shit crazy; proving they’re just plain rabid haters.

As so it goes; the greatest show on earth, LIVE; Americas free non-cable reality show starring the worst of us; the bottom 1/3, compelling us to watch the sporting contest, the concussion , the great car wreck, the double Ram pile-driver from the top turnbuckle of the biggest, the wettest, the most obscene WWE event ever staged. We can’t stand to watch it; but we can’t look away. It will eventually end, not with a whimper but with a Game of Thrones worthy sword to the neck of the loser; the biggest loser; Donald The Rump.

Who Murdered Michael Brown

“Where there is darkness crimes will be committed. The guilty one is not merely he who commits the crime but he who caused the darkness.” – Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Who murdered Michael Brown?
Who sent the bullets that laid him down?
It wasn’t us said racism and poverty
It wasn’t us made him angry
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No; you can’t blame us at all.

Who murdered Michael Brown?
Who sent the bullets that laid him down?
Not me said the light in the loafers cop
spawn of Pee Wee Herman and Carrot Top.
A sniveling, lying, cowardly prick
trying to extend his three-inch dick.
With a story so unbelievable
it couldn’t be believed as a fantasy novel.

I could have shot him in the foot
that would have been all it took
but then he’d be allowed to trip
and tell everyone how I flipped.

He tried to take my gun from me
I was rat-trapped and couldn’t flee
He ran I chased and put him down
pumped your tax paid for bullets into his crown

Why you want to blame me for?
Did just what you pay me for
To keep the fear from your door
It’s just what I’m suppose to do
you’d do the same; wouldn’t you?
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No; you can’t blame me at all.

He came like a crazed Mandingo demon right for me
Full of your bullets he charged big as a tree
His stare gave me a knock-y knee
I was so scared I had to pee

He had one hand in his waistband
The other in a fist
so I put him down in a bursting cloud of red-pink mist
He did it to himself you all
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all

The cops and firemen said we’ll make em’ pay
Like they did after Rodney King in L.A.
Let them burn down their own domicile
We’ll protect the rich folks turf sit back and smile.
it wasn’t us that killed the boy
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No; you can’t blame us at all.

It wasn’t me said the prosecuting attorney
who lead the grand jury right where he wanted them to go
in his element; in his flow.
It’s too bad he had to go
But there was a pressure on me too, you know
It wasn’t me that made him fall
No; you can’t blame me at all.

Not we said the vampire media tools
Who don gas masks looking like fools
who profit from leads that bleed
and feed the fat cats bosses filthy greed.
It wasn’t us that made him fall
No, you can’t blame us at all

It wasn’t us said the pious clergy
In starched white collars custom-made
Follow us in prayer and trade
your riotous anger for our clown parade
Don’t say ‘murder,’ don’t say ‘kill’
It was destiny, it was God’s will”
it wasn’t us that made him fall
No, you can’t blame us at all

It open season now on young unarmed black men
all you need is a badge and a pen
to write he charged me, went for my gun
and like they always do;
put their hands in their waistbands and run
We’ll say he was just another crazy nigger
we had no choice but to pull the trigger.

The heartbroken people marching in the street
will try to download all their grief
wondering if tomorrow their sons
will have to themselves defend
worrying if it’ll ever end.

While the harder ones all full up
of hopelessness and broken luck
will strike a match and shoot; Kapow!
Then ask the powers; can you hear us now?