Can you fear me now?
I have a bunch, (well one) kooky right wing zealot who thinks it his duty to pass along the garbage he gets from, and passes along to, similar kooky wing-nuts in the e-mail equivalent of junior high-schoolers passing gossip notes in class.
These routinely begin in breathless earnestness in all CAPS stating that this is VERY IMPORTANT information about Barack Obama that they should immediately send along to all their friends, or lacking those, people that they have managed to get e-mail addresses for, and pass it on to them, thus cementing their reputations as being rather dim-witted pests, the digital equivalents of mosquitoes and gnats.
They seem to favor the capitalization style of A.A. Milne ala Winnie-the-Pooh, which is fitting since they show every sign of having VERY LITTLE BRAIN.
Of course, these folks haven't figured out or don't think to just pass along the relevant false smears, no, no. These nutty e-mails invariably arrive with 57 e-mail headers stretching into infinity, one for every single lunk head who has gotten it and passed it along, along with whatever pearls of ignorance they felt like dropping, meaning that you have to scroll down a few yards to even find the stuff, which is WAY too much work for what it is. (Hell, using the rods and cones it takes to even LOOK at this stuff is an utter waste.)
It's like digging a hole 10 ft. deep through clay and tree roots only to come across a rusted beer can. Even though the scrolling takes two seconds, you still feel bitterly that you've been robbed of that much of your life once you see what's at the bottom of the yards of gibberish.
Each of these e-mail equivalents of primates flinging feces contains at least a hundred exposed e-mail addresses, Never mind that they're broadcasting all of them across the world for spammers and anyone else to pick up. (and how do you think they expand their lists of addresses to forward other chain drivel to? Yep....
It's like the guy who thinks that amassing 5 lbs of keys and wearing them prominently displayed on his belt will make someone thing he's important. These people collect e-mail addresses of strangers and pretend they're friends and delude themselves into thinking that any sane person would actually be glad that they cared to pass along every bit of sewage that passes through their inbox.
These folks ain't exactly sophisticated. It makes you wonder what they're doing with access to computers in the first place and exactly how they figured out how to turn it on. But they do provide the answer to the stubborn question, "Just who in the hell falls for these scams where a deposed king in Africa wants you to hold a few million for him 'til he can get back to you.? They also must account for the number of male enhancement spam. I mean, they wouldn't be sending those by the millions if there weren't a lot of people falling for it, right?
And these people obviously will fall for just about anything. If they got an e-mail telling them they left the stove on, they'd get up and check.
But I digress.
Slate magazine thinks more sane people might adopt this decidedly low-brow tactic to their own end, seeing its appeal to the dim, the gullible, those prone to believing every bit of prurient gossip they hear, and those rather pathetically conditioned by years of Republican hogwash into believing that only the very people who've played them for chumps all along are able to keep them safe from the non-white threats lurking behind every bush. These fine folks who are, in short, Republicans.
Not ALL Republicans fall for this sort of thing.... just those who've had whatever capacity for reason they possessed sucked out of them through years of exposure to sheer unadulterated B.S. and crass manipulation of their ugliest fears and prejudices which they lacked the capacity and character to resist and who are are now in so deep that to change their tune, they'd have to admit they've been saps all along. Their massive egos won't allow them to do that. After all, it's a basic bedrock principle of Bush Republicanism that a real man NEVER admits he was wrong, right?
Republicans have launched a wide-spread and concerted effort to spread via these e-mails the most far-fetched crap imaginable, such as saying that Obama is a scary secret Muslim, refuses to wear a flag pin or put his hand over his heart or say the pledge, or any number of lies designed to appeal to racism, including trying to pin the supposedly scary label of "angry black woman" on Michelle Obama. (As opposed to Stepford Wife blond, which everyone knows is the only sort of acceptable First Lady.)
How long before we hear them breathlessly report,
"Obama has fathered TWO BLACK CHILDREN!"
They tried it against McCain in '04. Why not give it another shot?
"Can you fear me now??" should be their official slogan.
Slate suggests that the Obama campaign should counter this with the same style of nuisance e-mails targeted at the lonely and gullible in the same style.
Here's their clever send up of the type of swill churned out feverishly by certain right wing people. And trust me, it's not too much of an exaggeration. (bold, colors, and huge type size added to more realistically mimic the originals.)
Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?
There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.
Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.
A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.
Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.
Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.
Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.
There's only one artist on Barack Obama's iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.
Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.
Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.
Barack Obama's new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.
Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.
Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.
Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.
Pass this along to 50 of your friends within 10 minutes or dark skinned people will buy property in your neighborhood and force you to adopt black liberation theology and shout in church!!!!
(Ok, I added that last one.)