b Papa Dog's Blog: Tired Old Gamblers and Hate Speech Residue on a Quiet Sunday Morning

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Tired Old Gamblers and Hate Speech Residue on a Quiet Sunday Morning

A soothing night’s poker: Was last night the first night we’ve had the poker game at our place since Baby Dog first anted up? I’m not sure, but it was definitely the first time we’ve had it upstairs since then, and it surely made for a different game from years past. One of the basic tenets of the game has always been that it’s a musical democracy. Everybody is free to bring their picks, and the discs are played in an order selected randomly by the cards. If that meant we had to listen to Bernardo’s laserdisc of Golden Earring Live, then so be it. Everybody had a chance, everybody had a say. Current top 40 crap, old top 40 crap, rockabilly, Irish sea shanties, funk, Jerry Goldsmith, 80s metal, modern jazz, country, rap, chain gang songs, classical, TV show themes, they’ve all shown up at one time or another on our playlist. Well, that was then, this is now. Like America itself, the music selection in our house on poker might be many things, but democracy is probably not a strictly accurate description. While we haven’t converted to the prevailing system of divinely sanctioned monarchy, we moved along to something perhaps best described as a neonatal snoozocracy. Poor Bernardo never even got the chance to scare us by showing what he’d brought. We had a 4½-month-old to put to sleep, so there was an embargo on sounds that fail to lull. Where once the drunken gambling and gambolling was accompanied by an absurdly amplified cacophony of Brechtian castrati blues, one now heard only the mild susurrations of a collection of middle aged card players placing orderly wagers to the soothing sounds of The Mills Brothers. Baby Dog went to sleep in her crib listening Alberto Igelisias’ lovely score for Hable con Ella, and the deal was sealed by a little Beethoven? We’ve had this game going for six or seven years now. I can’t remember a quieter one. We are old and we are tired and we are parents. When we offer words of encouragement and advice such as “Shit or get of the pot, numbnuts,” we do it quietly, and the baby sleeps on.

A troubling morning’s walkies: While taking Doggy Dog out for his Sunday morning sniff ‘n’ purge, I came across a curious item discarded in the gutter. It was a tabloid-sized leaflet, crudely laid out and ineptly photocopied, bearing a large photograph of a local resident. The banner headline gave her name and identified her as “an abortionist.” Below was her home address. The address was a block away from where I was standing.

Because I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing, I picked the noxious thing up and took it home. Now, I try not to go too far overboard when it comes to blaming the Cheney regime for the ills of the world, but geeze, the nutbars seem emboldened, don’t they? Hate flyers in the middle of the Bay Area. I try to avoid the comparisons to the Nazis, I really do – but this seemed forebodingly similar to an anti-Semitic tract in 1933 Berlin. It seemed like a first step toward Kristallnacht.

We thought about calling the victim or going over to her house to let her know about the attack being perpetrated upon her, but Mama Dog did a little net research and it turns out this has been going on for a while. She’s probably already all too familiar with it.

If anybody still really thinks there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats anymore, remember the people who sent these flyers. George is their boy. They are his base.


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