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S.F. Gate's Mark Morford: Liberals Are So Intolerant!

 
 
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 10:51 am
Liberals Are So Intolerant!
The Right loves to sling this smug accusation at critics from the Left. Mark Morford has a reply
- By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I get this a lot: Hey Mark, you nefarious and perverted liberal commie tofu-hugging sex-drunk San Francisco medical experiment gone wrong from the land of fruits and nuts (or some iteration thereof -- so cute, my hate mail can be), hey, I notice you love to ridicule those creepy Christian megachurches and you enjoy spanking wide-eyed Mormons and tweaking the litigious nipples of the cult of Scientology and you recoil from toxic Bush policy like a vegetarian recoils from undercooked veal ...

And I can tell you think Dick Cheney is pretty much the devil in a defibrillator and that America is so desperately on the wrong track it might as well be North Korea, and you clearly tend to wince in savage karmic pain when looking down the rusty barrel of a welfare-happy red state and I just have one slightly nasty and pointed and cliched question for you --

Here it is: Where is your supposed progressive openness? Your liberal generosity of spirit? I thought you Lefties were all mushy and passive and live-and-let-live?

In other words, where is that famous so-called tolerance I thought all you libs were supposed to possess like some sort of gentle polyamorous smiling hug for the world?

To which I reply: You cannot be serious. Does the answer really need to be articulated? Is it not painfully obvious? Can I have a shot of PatrĂ³n and a long nap before I answer? Here goes ...

You, hate-mailers from the sanctimonious Right and even some of you morally paralyzed middle-grounders from the Left, are correct. I am, in fact, deeply intolerant. It is true. I can hide my deep biases and predispositions no longer.

I cannot, for example, tolerate the dark and violent road down which this nation seems intent on careening like an Escalade on meth. I cannot tolerate brutal never-ending unnecessary wars and I cannot allow gay rights to be bashed and I truly loathe watching women's rights be slammed back to 1952. Or 1852.

I really have little patience for the gutting of our school system and the decimation of science and mysticism and the human mind for the sake of a handful of militant Christian zealots who truly believe the Second Coming will be arriving really soon but hopefully not before the next episode of HBO's "Cathouse: The Series," which they watch in secret with the lights off while clutching a Bible in one hand and a big tub of Country Crock margarine in the other.

I cannot tolerate an American president, ostensibly meant to be one of the most articulate and intellectually sophisticated leaders on the planet, mumbling his semicoherent support of the embarrassing nontheory of "Intelligent Design," to the detriment of about 300 years of confirmed science and 10 million years of common sense to the point where America's armies of dumbed-down Ritalin-drunk children look at him and sigh and secretly wish they could have a future devoid of such imbecilic thought but who realize, deep down, they are merely another doomed and fraught generation who will face an increasingly steep uphill battle, who will actually have to fight for fact and intellectual growth and spiritual progress against a rising tide of ignorance and religious hegemony and sanitized revisionist textbooks that insult their understanding and sucker punch their sexuality and bleed their minds dry.

I have surpassed my allowable limit for how much environmental devastation I can willingly swallow or how many billion-dollar tax subsidies our cowardly CEO president gives his cronies in Big Energy while doing nothing to ease our gluttony for foreign oil, all the while trying to tell us how many undereducated misguided American teenage soldiers we have to sacrifice at the bloody altar of oil and empire before we can call ourselves king of the bone pile again.

But I am perhaps most intolerant, not of Christians per se, not of faith, certainly not of radiant self-defined spirituality, not even of organized religion, though I do fully believe more independent spirits and raw human souls and moist sexual licks have been lost to its often narrow-minded and cosmically rigid brainwashing techniques than have ever been saved. But hey, that's just me.

I am most intolerant of, well, of those who allow such intolerance. Of those who would, based on their narrow views of sex, God, love, hope, war, the mind, the Earth, soil and animals and air and water and fire and love and spirit and drugs and guns and dildos, work to legislate those neoconservative beliefs, codify them, make them the law of the land, force their regressive beliefs on everyone else under punishment of violence and beatings and prison. I am, in short, intolerant of intolerance.

Oh, let us be clear. I love diversity, religious pluralism, peace and love and pacifism and good drugs and open-mouthed sensuality, happy to let you believe in any god you like and marry any gender you like and let you love how you will and be in full control of your sex and your body and your mind.

This, to me, is the America worth fighting for. These are the laws I support. Don't believe in abortion? Don't understand gay people? Sexuality make you rashy? Think Harry Potter teaches kids evil and witchcraft? Don't marry a sexy gay witch abortionist. But don't you dare, based on your limited understanding of God and life, make laws declaring that I can't.

But maybe this is the problem, especially here in San Francisco, the World Headquarters of Tolerance, where liberals tend to be so PC and open-minded they merely sigh and shrug when our government and half of the nation move to outlaw everything they stand for, when they openly loathe human rights and try to codify homophobia in the U.S. Constitution and slowly annihilate Roe v. Wade and treat any display of resistance or questioning of the norm the way a dog treats a fire hydrant.

Enough. Basta. Let's refashion the old, stagnant definition of tolerance and make it less about merely enduring, merely putting up with the existence of other narrow-minded beliefs no matter how devastating and embarrassing they obviously are to the nation's health.

Rather, let's flip that sucker over and baste it with raw goat butter and sear it on the open flames of divine justice and bliss and intellectual fire and white-hot orgasm and burn it new.

Let us take the rather flaccid word tolerance and pump it full of Ecstasy and medical marijuana and sake and real divine love and fancy book learnin', turn it on its head and spin it like a bottle and reclaim it from the neocon Right and turn it into, say, giddy outrage. Or radical reconsideration. Or ecstatic rebellion. Or wet conscious electric pointed awareness. Is this not a better way?

Let us explode those dead meanings, correct the mistaken neocon dictionary. Let us hurl that dying and mealy and abused term back at their powerful and often bigoted scowl. Here is your weak, ineffectual tolerance. We cannot swallow it anymore. In fact, we are choking on it.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,115 • Replies: 26
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 11:45 am
Re: S.F. Gate's Mark Morford: Liberals Are So Intolerant!
Mark Morford wrote:
I cannot, for example, tolerate the dark and violent road down which this nation seems intent on careening like an Escalade on meth.

I hereby nominate this as the worst simile ever written in the history of the English language.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 07:31 pm
"I love diversity, religious pluralism, peace and love and pacifism and good drugs and open-mouthed sensuality, happy to let you believe in any god you like and marry any gender you like and let you love how you will and be in full control of your sex and your body and your mind. This, to me, is the America worth fighting for. These are the laws I support. "

I believe allowing anyone to do anything used to be called anarchy...now the radical liberals like Morford call it "the America worth fighting for". Is anything more idiotic??
0 Replies
 
coachryan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 09:03 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
"I love diversity, religious pluralism, peace and love and pacifism and good drugs and open-mouthed sensuality, happy to let you believe in any god you like and marry any gender you like and let you love how you will and be in full control of your sex and your body and your mind. This, to me, is the America worth fighting for. These are the laws I support. "

I believe allowing anyone to do anything used to be called anarchy...now the radical liberals like Morford call it "the America worth fighting for". Is anything more idiotic??


Intelligent Design.

Ry
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2005 11:58 pm
Re: S.F. Gate's Mark Morford: Liberals Are So Intolerant!
joefromchicago wrote:
Mark Morford wrote:
I cannot, for example, tolerate the dark and violent road down which this nation seems intent on careening like an Escalade on meth.

I hereby nominate this as the worst simile ever written in the history of the English language.


I'm also trying to decipher even inexactly what he was trying to put forth here. It's a simile in search of a metaphor.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 08:20 am
I don't know too much about writing styles or whatever but I think the author was merely trying to say that he is intolerant of the rigid intolerance of the right in order to be currently PC. Which would make him intolerant as he had been accused of in his hate mail. I agree with him on that point.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 08:51 am
Laughing That's certainly got to be close to being inexactly right.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 10:06 am
BBB
Those of us who know Mark Morford's over the top writing style enjoy his passionate essays. He's famous and beloved in San Francisco for them.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 11:40 am
I like Morford's writing but occassionally he does go too far over the top. I'd try putting some Meth into one's Escalade. It would likely sputter and break down. Then again, just where does one put it? In the water tank, the windshield wiper, the transmission fluid, the oil or the gas? I think he was the one on Meth.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 11:41 am
(Escalades symbolize Yuppies, right? Probably just as much as a BMW. Try putting Meth in a BMW -- it would probably turn into an Ferrari).
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 12:01 pm
Wizard
Lightwizard wrote:
(Escalades symbolize Yuppies, right? Probably just as much as a BMW. Try putting Meth in a BMW -- it would probably turn into an Ferrari).


Or in Dyslexia's red Porche.

BBB
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 12:28 pm
Revel,

"...the author was merely trying to say that he is intolerant of the rigid intolerance of the right..."

So let me see if I've got this right...Morford is intolerant of the right's intolerance of the left's intolerance of the right...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 12:35 pm
Well, let's just deconstruct this simile to determine why it sucks so much:
    I cannot, for example, tolerate the dark and violent road down which this nation seems intent on careening like an Escalade on meth.
OK, first of all, the "dark and violent road." I'm not quite sure how violent roads can get, even in San Francisco, but my guess is "not much." Now, technically, a "violent road" isn't a simile, it's a metaphor, but it's part of a simile so it's included in this analysis.

Moving on to "careening." I suppose that one can "careen" intentionally, although typically one sees "careening" paired with "out of control," so it does raise the image of an action that is unintentional. Given that the simile is already a mess, there's no need to make it even more of a train wreck with this kind of ambiguous term.

And finally, the veritable cherry on top of the simile sundae: "an Escalade on meth." An Escalade is an SUV manufactured by Cadillac.
http://www.cadillac.com/images/models/escalade/gallery/photoExt1_med.jpg
It's a big, expensive gas-guzzler, so there's some point in likening it to the nation. But an "Escalade on meth?" What's that about?

Putting methamphetamines in a motor vehicle's gas tank is, no doubt, contrary to the manufacturer's recommendations, and I doubt that doing so would alter the vehicle's performance except for the worse. An Escalade on meth, therefore, wouldn't act like a person on meth, it would act like an Escalade with some foreign substance in its tank.

I suspect, however, that the author was instead simply using a set expression -- "he was acting like a ____ on meth," where one is free to fill in the blank with something particularly ominous or imposing. Sort of like saying that "he was acting like a ____ on steroids" or "on crack." But then it just becomes a tired cliche, no matter what fits into the blank.

In sum, this remains, in my estimation, the worst simile ever written.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 12:49 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
Revel,

"...the author was merely trying to say that he is intolerant of the rigid intolerance of the right..."

So let me see if I've got this right...Morford is intolerant of the right's intolerance of the left's intolerance of the right...


Just leave it at "is intolerant of the right's intolerance" and you will get it right.

It's like saying I am fed up with the right trying to force their moral or opinions into laws that the rest have to live by.

It's like saying someone is bigoted against bigots.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 12:57 pm
So it would somehow be a better world if no one lived by a moral code...or if everyone lived by no moral code...or everyone lived by their own moral code...ahhhhh, as I said before, anarchy.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 01:14 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
"I love diversity, religious pluralism, peace and love and pacifism and good drugs and open-mouthed sensuality, happy to let you believe in any god you like and marry any gender you like and let you love how you will and be in full control of your sex and your body and your mind. This, to me, is the America worth fighting for. These are the laws I support. "

I believe allowing anyone to do anything used to be called anarchy...now the radical liberals like Morford call it "the America worth fighting for". Is anything more idiotic??

Being allowed to do what one wishes with one's own body and possessions is different from being allowed to to what one wishes with another's body or possessions.

The funny part is that this guy's a Libertarian and doesn't know it.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 03:04 pm
slkshock7 wrote:
So it would somehow be a better world if no one lived by a moral code...or if everyone lived by no moral code...or everyone lived by their own moral code...ahhhhh, as I said before, anarchy.


No it is a better world when people are free to choose their own moral code as long as that moral code does not infringe on others. Gay marriage does not hurt anyone else or even those involved. (as just one example)
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 11:22 pm
Since between the two of us, joe, we've successfully destroyed the silly metaphoric nonsense that should never have found its way into any sensible journalistic discourse, now we have to make sense of the gist of the essay. For me, a social liberal with some conservative sensibilities, his theme seems a bit too whinny for any serious consideration. Ya can't combat whinning with an equal and forceful whinning. This is a culture of complaint where nothing is right in the perspective of both sides. To continue to insist that one side is always right is an exercise in futility.

It will all work out in the end -- the planet will be destroyed but we will all be dead of natural causes so who cares?
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 09:52 am
Quote:
I cannot, for example, tolerate the dark and violent road down which this nation seems intent on careening like an Escalade on meth.


I don't believe you guys are making such a big deal out of this.

I don't see anythng wrong with the sentence at all, be it simile, metaphor, or anything else.

Roads can indeed be violent if violent things are likely to happen if you go down there.

An Escalade is both a Cadillac-once supreme symbol of American power-and an SUV-a current symbol of American wastefulness. Careening is generally the result of going far too fast than common sense would dictate. The phrase "on meth" is frequently used to describe anything hyper and out of control, since that is what meth users become.

The author is simply saying, in a colorful way, that the country has recklessly chosen to plunge headlong down a path which is destined to lead to continual, unending bloodshed.

I like the sentence.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 11:35 am
I have been around meth users and your right, they are hyped up and out of control. Been down some pretty dark and dangerous roads down in my part of KY which is known for it's high volume of meth users. You get a meth user on one of those narrow curvy roads late at night and you got an accident waiting to happen.
0 Replies
 
 

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