ELVIS, NELSON MANDELA AND HUMANITY

ELVIS, NELSON MANDELA AND HUMANITY

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,10 December 2013

The Snap:

Today’s post will discuss things I adore about humanity and things that make me hold my head and weep. One involves politicians and pundits; the other involves people letting their freak flags fly.

The Download:

First, that which makes me fearful for the future of humanity, presented in a way to help preps for standardized testing. For something that worries me about society is the tendency to make vastly inappropriate analogies to make ourselves seem more erudite and our causes more epic. In that spirit, which of these statements is a valid comparison?

A. Sarah Palin is to National Debt as Abraham Lincoln was to Slavery.

B. Rick Santorum is to Affordable Care Act as Nelson Mandela was to Apartheid.

C. Mike Huckabee is to Abortion and Debt Ceiling as the end of the Holocaust was to the systematic eradication of 11 million people.

D. Former Montana Lt. Gov John Bohlinger is to Tea Party what the U.S. Armed Forces was to the Taliban.

E. None of the Above

If you answered E, you win. If you doubt any of those comparisons were things said by purported human beings, I admire your optimism. Sadly, these people really did compare things to apartheid, slavery, and the Holocaust. Obamacare alone has been compared to all three plus Hurricane Katrina.

When I Am Queen of Everything, anyone making ridiculous comparisons to gain publicity, whip up a base or seem heroic will serve time as a children’s photographer at a busy mall, near a carousel that plays cartoon theme songs non-stop. I can personally attest this punishment will change a person’s soul forever.

So if lunatic comparisons represent the awful side of humanity, I found the good side at the Night of 100 Elvises. This annual event raises money for Johns Hopkins Children Center and is pure Bawlmer (aka Baltimore). People wait all year for this evening of male and female Elvis impersonators, kickass bands, awful costumes and free-beer-with-purchase-of-general-admission tickets.

I generally fear crowds. Slight claustrophobia and high anxiety means I don’t seek out jam-packed events. But something about the crowd this year (maybe the unlimited beer) gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I considered the wonder of people being who they are, enjoying each other and happily not fitting into societal bins of what they should be. As I perused the crowd of Elvises, go-go dancers and steampunkers, I wanted to hug them all, proclaiming their weird and wonderful beauty. For if ill-informed assclowns comparing themselves to some of history’s most venerable figures are poor reflections of our humanity, surely better reflections include fearless individuals, expressing themselves as freely as they can.

P.S. For the lunatics descrying the world’s celebration of the remarkable life of Nelson Mandela — calling him a terrorist and communist — I say to you in the words of my mother, shit in your hat and pull it over your ears. No person on earth is perfect. Honoring the sacrifices that Mandela made to ensure the freedom of millions of people and the righting of egregious wrongs isn’t diminished because he was a flawed man. We are all flawed. It’s not our flaws that define us but what we do in spite of our flaws that makes us who we are.

 

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Hat Tips:

PoliticoSalonWashington PostHuffington PostBaltimore Sun, Image Credit: Flickr



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