There Might Be Monsters
Your Miss O’ continues to be astonished at the near-universal appeal of lawlessness on the American Right. Today in America, the enjoyment, perpetuation, and forgiveness (or acceptance) of lawlessness applies only TO the Right, FROM the Right, BY the Right. This week, for example, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that in his office of President of the United States, Donald J. Trump illegally withheld congressionally allocated funds for Ukraine’s defense, for which act he has been impeached. Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said in an interview, “The point is moot.”
No, it is not. It’s exactly the point, Sen. Ernst.
This week, too, Miss O’ read in the American wing of the British Guardian, which does a much better job of covering the real issues in the United States than the U.S.-based journals—for in the U.S., most papers relegate actual news, such as the complete exoneration of Hillary Rodham Clinton after years of probes (see also, rape culture hashtag me too) by the U.S. Justice Department, to Op-Ed features, despite years of Sec. Clinton being front page false-accusations fodder—that the state of Missouri has put forth a bill wherein librarians (yes, librarians) can be jailed for lending certain books to people under the age of 15. Reading further, the bill extends to the stocking of any questionable book (such as Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five or Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) within reach of readers under the age of 15. As to who determines the age-appropriateness of classic literature, or any reading material for that matter, I think I found the Grand Wizard.
The Monster at the End of This Book
The other week my cousin Kerry posted a photo on Instagram of herself and her grandsons as she read them the Little Golden Book classic, The Monster at the End of This Book, featuring Sesame Street’s “lovable, furry old” Grover. Not having reliable rabbit-ear antenna access to Public Television in the early 1970s, Miss O’s mom mostly missed Sesame Street and so would probably not have bought books featuring those characters, and so I had never heard of this book, Kerry’s favorite. My sweet cousin sent me a copy this week, and this very short book is nothing short of amazing in its timeliness.
As Grover implores young readers NOT to open the book, or turn one more page—tying the pages with ropes, building huge brick walls, shouting warnings of “MONSTER!”—Grover comes to realize that he, Grover, is the monster at the end of the book. On the last page he says, in small font that mirrors his shame, “Oh, I am so embarrassed.”
I had tears in my eyes. On the surface, Grover is a comical lure, a safe monster who in his warnings is of course BEGGING children to turn the next page, the way playful relatives will say to shy children, “Don’t you dare hug me,” to get them to grin and run to embrace them.
But, as only Sesame Street can, the writer, Jon Stone, and illustrator, Michael Smollin, created a book about a very, very grown-up theme: the evils of censorship.
The monster puppet that is screaming warnings NOT TO READ THIS BOOK because of a monster is itself the monster.
Monsters of America
The Missouri censors who are trying to stop the reading of books are the ones afraid of the ideas in those books (and, in fact, creating a demand for just those books, thank the karma gods).
The racist monster man screaming and railing against the dangers of other races is himself the cause of the racial division in question, asked and answered.
The American Christians who scream about religious intolerance are the ones who are intolerant of religions, including their own, if you look at the actual teachings of Jesus.
The American Right screamers about the lawbreakers of the Left are themselves the actual lawbreakers.
The monster is the person who is guided only by fear. The monster is the person who would direct their fear onto the innocent. The monster is the person who would kill anything or anyone they fear, and ask for a trophy.
The monster is the person who cannot admit of error. (“It was a perfect phone call.”)
So who is the MONSTER at the END of DEMOCRACY? Turns out, it’s the biggest whiners, who rail from the Right. Will they ever learn?
So one suspects that what you WON’T be hearing from the Right anytime soon: “Oh, I am so embarrassed.”
How refreshing would it be to hear those words, spoken with humility?
“Oh, I am so embarrassed,” Trump supporters should be able to say, as a rightly impeached Donald J. Trump lawyers-up with the team that defended admitted sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“Oh, I am so embarrassed,” Republican senators, representatives, and officials and American media should say, seeing the living hell they have put the brilliant and capable and caring and genuinely patriotic Hillary Clinton through.
“Oh, I am so embarrassed,” the American Christians should say, seeing the likes of Rev. Franklin Graham and Rev. Jerry Falwell, Jr., (and pick a Catholic Bishop) forsaking the teachings of Christ for the sake of Trump.
“Oh, I am so embarrassed,” Republican descendants of WWII veterans should say, seeing their fellow Republican Americans donning apparel with swastikas to march in the Main Streets of the United States.
The Right’s monster at the end of every Republican American Apocalypse story…is looking them right in the mirror, every single morning.
The Right will scream at you that there is a monster at the end of this blog, too, the MONSTER all the RIGHT WING people are WARNING you about!!!!!
What the Right is incapable of doing is the right thing—growing up—because that would entail feeling healthy SHAME. So they yell. And scapegoat. And shoot things. And blame YOU. In the name of Christ.
And let’s be honest here: when, to the American Right, this book-loving feminist, non-racist New Yorker, humorous bon vivant, Constitution-wielding patriot, language arts and theater educator, would-be artist, and daughter of a union meat cutter from Iowa, who is Miss O’, represents the worst thing that could ever happen in America, you know there’s a monster out there. And it ain’t Miss O’.
Oh, I am so embarrassed.