Plausible Deniability: You're Doin' It Wrong

« November 2009 »

You, there, with the Psalm 109:8 bumper sticker: YOU ARE DUMB.

There are few things in this world funnier than stupid people who think they're being clever. They're like bad stage magicians, strutting around the stage after sawing the lady in half, not realizing that it was a bad idea to have only one white assistant between the two boxes. And they think all the pointing and laughing is a sign of approval.

The latest front in allegedly clever tricks by definitely stupid people is "Psalm 109" merchandise. It's wingnut hanky code, only instead of letting your fellow wingnuts secretly know you're gay, it's for letting other wingnuts know you, too, want Obama to die. All you do is buy a cheap ass bumper sticker or T-Shirt over the Internet that says "Pray For Obama: Psalm 109:8" on it and display it proudly.

Now, I'm told that in Biblical notation, the upper part of the colon, or "small intestine", indicates which psalm you're looking at, and the bottom half of the colon, tells you which line of the psalm you're referencing. So the eighth line of Psalm 109 reads thusly: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."

You see what they did there? It looks like they're praying FOR Obama, but you're actually praying for him to be a one-term president! HA HA HA HA HA! Get it! It's like they hate Obama, and God hates him too! Man, if everyday conservative Christians are this funny as amateurs, I should totally stream that "Apostles of Comedy" special from Netflix, because I bet their professional shit is even FUNNIER.

Now, if this were all that there were, it would just be the latest HUR in two thousand plus years of Judeo-Christian DUR HUR HUR. But it's not all there is, because you know what Psalm 109:9 says? "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow." And even in the Good Christian Bible, there's really only one way for that to happen. It's not the slightest bit ambiguous.

Now, your yeehaw Jesus-freaks will tell you that they specifically say 109:8 because they don't like Obama, but want to exclude 109:9 because they don't want him to die, or at least don't want the Secret Service to know how much they want him to die. But let's face it, this is like wearing a T-Shirt that says "Bloodhound Gang 2:3:3", and insisting that you hope someone puts out the fire on the roof, rather than letting the motherfucker burn.

Context is important, even in a line pulled from a poem in a millenia-old book of fairy tales that you use to justify your hatred of a black President. That plausible deniability you think you're hiding behind, snickering, is a big glass wall, and we can all fucking see what you're doing in there. Well, OK, CafePress took the stuff down, then put it back, then asked some experts and ran a poll before they took it down again, but the rest of us knew exactly what you were up to from the get-go.

Case in point, a commenter on the Christian Science Monitor coverage of this slogan, who spewed the following. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I see many people have problems with the context of the quote in question. So why do they not ever look so far into the context of all the Islamic quotes thrown around? Context in the case of Koranic verses can be highly revealing. It seems that it is very hip and acceptable to mock, analyze and pick apart Christianity and Judaism, not to mention other religions, but it is a both literally and metaphorical death sentance to apply the same logics and views to Islam."

"Deadweezyl" is, shockingly, confused about what's happening here. Right-wing Islamophobes take individual lines from the Koran, ignore the context, more importantly, ignore the usage, and use this reading to justify fear of anyone with a beard. What's happening here is taking an allegedly innocent quote, looking at it's context AND usage, and determining just how highly revealing that context and usage is. And while I wouldn't call contextual analysis "hip", I sure as hell find it acceptable. I also, not un-coincidentally, know that the plural of "logic" is "logic", but then I don't name myself after roadkill.