A Right Wing Christmas Story (Now with hostages)

So, about 2:30 yesterday my brother-in-law calls my sister, saying he thinks a bank is being robbed. He’s been right about this before; the last time a bank was robbed around here, he drove by just as the cops were arriving. He seems to have a knack for passing by crime scenes just at the opportune time to be caught in a potential crossfire.

Now, something is indubitably afoot, and the CBS affiliate in Roanoke unleashes a crack team of plus-sized models with camera crews to get to the bottom of it; upon arrival they engage in a spirited disinformation campaign that would make Tokyo Rose wince. On the 5 o’clock news, our zoftig reporters bumble, fumble, stumble, and generally fail their anchor desk tryouts whilst breathlessly disseminating the purported facts-some of which in hindsight even turned out to be true-

The man has one leg and fired three shots.
No, the man has three legs and fired one shot.
He pushed a wheelchair laden with explosives in and threatened to blow up the building.
No, he’s in a wheelchair and had explosive diarrhea and threatened to level the men’s room.
His name is Gator and his truck is boobytrapped with grenades.
No, he is an alligator and his truck is made of grenades!

Somewhere in this 10-gauge approach to reporting they actually let slip the salient fact-It’s not a bank robbery, it’s hostage situation in the post office next door.

By now some of you are shaking your heads and wondering “What is this rube raving about? I thought that’s how they did Christmas in the hinterlands.” And to that I say, “Well, fair enough.” Not necessarily true, but I can see the logic. No our actual yule celebrations consist mainly of playing Survivor: Appalachia, which entails getting knee-crawling drunk and staging a region wide demolition derby on public roadways, with the occasional drug store hold-up thrown in to procure painkillers for the mewling wounded.

Which brings me to real tragedy in this mess-in closing off several blocks surrounding the post office, the goddamn jackbooted thug cops thoroughly restricted entrance and egress to the local liquor store. Now, how in the world the good God-fearing people of Wythe County, Virginia, are supposed to maintain enough of a logy buzz to stay their urges to throttle and maim their insufferable extended families without unfettered access to duly taxed spiced rum for the spiking of egg nog is utterly beyond me. I predict murders, and the authorities aren’t blameless.

Blackhearted cynic that I am, I’m screwed to the TV as all this unfolds, laying odds. Post Office is nice shorthand for ‘Government’, so I give 3-1 it’s paranoid gun nut up in arms (ha) about his right to bear-into a federal facility with malice, in this particular case, and lo-

The Oliver mentioned is Jimmy Oliver, a long time military vet and is by all accounts a hero; he was taken hostage and bonded with the gunman via his service, thus keeping the guy calm long enough for him to come to his senses.

Around 8 o’clock, the guy ordered pizza for himself and his hostages; he’d also allowed his captives to call their families multiple times during the ordeal. Those two facts pointed to a peaceful resolution, and indeed the gunman released his hostages and surrendered around 11 PM.

All well and good you say, drama comes to a small town, but what does this have to do with politics? Well, not much really. What it does have to do with is Glenn Beck, Sean Hanity, et al spouting this “They’re taxing the working man to death! They wanna confiscate your guns! Death Panels!” bullshit. This is the logical conclusion of a bunch of surrealist anti-government rants based in no way on reality echoing around the so-called brains tens of millions impressionable dullards who watch it.

For fuck’s sake-I actually feel sorry for the poor dumb son of a bitch who did this. He’s obviously under all sorts of legitimate duress (See- son killed in Afghanistan, financial hardship, physical handicap), but I’m pretty sure he’d have been content to sit at home and stew in his own misery like a good peasant if it weren’t for a bunch of shameless bastards on the radio and TV raising the hue and cry about the how the government is running amok and socialism this and 2nd amendment that and something has to be done!

Well motherfuckers something has been done. Some poor fucked up grieving obese diabetic amputee walked (or rolled) into a post office with 4 guns, towing your fucking line, and now, if you have the brass to talk about him at all, you’ll throw him under the bus like the fucking minnowmouthed crawfishing goddamned charlatans you fucking are.

You’ll go tut-tut-tut and mouth platitudes about how you don’t condone this sort of shit. And you know what, I know you don’t condone it. But you incite it. And you make money off it. You are paranoia profiteers and I wish to gods I don’t even believe in that someone would hand you bastards a fucking bill for-

-The five local hospitals that were standing by to receive casualties.
-The fucking Medivac helicopter standing by at an elementary school parking lot to transport same.
-The untold hordes of local cops, state cops, feds and who the hell knows what else who were milling around in full riot regalia with fucking automatic weapons slung up in a town of 8,000 fucking people. Two days before Christmas.
-A bottle of spiced rum for anybody that wants one.

I’m all for blustering hyperbole (my post is my cite), but have some common fucking decency and understand that when your audience numbers in the tens of millions, literally hundreds of thousands of them are mentally ill. And what we, as a country, don’t need is for someone with a national reputation legitimizing their paranoia and delusions by wrapping it in an American Flag and calling it patriotism.

Rant over.

Now excuse me, I have to pour the shots and warm up the Buick. Merry Fucking Christmas, and to all a good night

HO! HO! HO!

::Bootface::

Merry Christmas to you!

So, you filling in for Olbermann tonight? It’s a pretty good rant; got a beat you can dance to, I’ll give it an 8.5 because it’s Christmas.

But if you are subbing for Keith, please make sure the guy with the bleeper button waits until after work before you give him his bottle of spiced rum. And you and he can share mine.

I hate spiced rum.

Boy, so do I! Won’t even touch it unless everything else is gone.

Sampiro, do you have kinfolk up in Wythe County?

You are so full of shit it’s oozing out your ears.

Don’t forget the five Ws: who, when, where, why and what-the-fuck?!

Well they are taxing the working man to death but other than that I give your rant a 9 on the small town mindset and the funny in general. Well done sir.

The term is “toe the line.” And it has nothing to do with propaganda. In the days of one-room schoolhouses, students had to stand at the front of the room, one class at a time, in a straight line. It was best to keep your toes right up against the line that was drawn on the floor. So if you toed the line, you were well-behaved.

Now, “party line” is a term for a political party or sub-group’s agenda. But you don’t toe it, and I really don’t see how you could tow it. I used to hear the term “spout the party line,” and that seems to be a better metaphor. Guess somewhere along the line, “toe the line” got conflated with “party line.” Still not right, though.

This situation was to right-wing as the ELF whackjobs who burn down hummer dealerships is to left-wing. (or Al Quada is to Islam, probably). It’s just a mental case whose madness ended up channeled in that direction.

I get it that you hate Hannity, Beck, et al; their success must be driving liberals crazy. But it’s America, and it’s a free country (for now). But I would think that if you believe that those people put this guy up to it, given his mentally fragile state, then you must equally blame Al Franken, Al Gore, most of MSNBC, etc., for every act of leftist terrorism that occurs? Every group of self-described communists or anarchists that break McDonalds’ windows at every IMF meeting?

Or are you a hypocrite?

No, because they don’t advocate it.

Goddamn you’re a loathsome, ludicrous fucking moron.

Oh, isn’t this peachy. Now gun owners advocate crime?

You people are unspeakably retarded.

That’s one I’ve never heard. The origin of toe the line has been variously attributed to military formations, sailors lining up on deck to a line between boards, prize fighting, various other sports and keeping behind the lines two sword-lengths apart from each other in the House of Commons.

In any event, toeing the party line is a very common and entirely correct usage of the phrase.

No, it’s not “gun owners.” Gun owners are just one segment of the population being lied to by right wing talk show hosts and elected politicians about imaginary threats from the government all day, every day. They get the morons all worked up and scared. A few of them take the bullshit so literally, they lash out with actual violence. Like when Bill O’Reilly got that doctor murdered by hysterically decrying him as a deranged baby killer running amok until somebody did exactly what O’Reilly wanted somebody to do.

There’s no left wing equivalent. ALF is the fringiest of the fringe, and they don’t own any cable news networks or hold elected office. Show me a prominent Democrat with something as stupid as “death panels” in their resume, and we can talk about equivalency.

Can somebody translate the OP into English? I can’t parse this stream-of-consciousness stuff. Either that or I’m too lazy.

Reminder:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=507985

Please don’t do this again.

Gfactor
Pit Moderator

Maybe so, but you can’t TOW a line, party or otherwise.

Meh, it’s a common misspelling/misapprehension. We’ve discussed this ad nauseam on this board. It’s probably still incorrect, but may very well become an acceptable usage in the near future.

A diabetic amputee from Tennessee named Warren “Gator” Taylor had had it up to HYAR with the dread gubmint, so he pulled off the interstate in Nowhere, Va and made his stand by taking 3 people hostage in a post office. He had 4 guns and a fake bomb, which he used for dramatic purposes as he lorded a ~9 hour Frank Costanza style airing of grievances over his captives before apologizing, releasing them and surrendering.

I ventured the conclusion that his actions were at least partially provoked by right wing mouthpieces and that said mouthpieces were therefore morally culpable to some extent, and am now taking flak from other right wing mouthpieces who disagree.

Incidentally, I started this thread as a farcical recounting of a potentially horrible situation that got sorted out peaceably; I admit that I didn’t murder my darlings (just had to leave that ‘zoftig’ sentence in their to showcase the vocabulary, didn’t I?) and indulged in a few Mississippian oxbows in order to establish a strong sense of place. :wink:

But-big BUT-I wasn’t going to say a damned thing about politics or pundits until I googled up a cite and the quote in the OP was staring me in the face. Now I’m more ranter than raconteur (as the devolution of the OP readily illustrates) and when I came into the fork in the road, I took it.

Thanks to the kudos-givers.

To those all het up about my bullshit, hypocritical, disingenuous conclusions -Merry Christmas guys, take a deep breath.

And, Rilchiam, please accept my sincere apologies for mangling what is obviously a noble and beloved idiom. Here, have some spiced rum.

PS- It turns out that Gator himself served 4 years of a 12 year sentence for shooting an ex-wife three times, and he’s a convicted sex offender to boot. I think that serves as a nice meta-commentary on the state of gun safety dialogue in this country; A serial felon holds 3 people hostage at gunpoint to preach to them about the glory of lax gun laws.

PPS-My father (and scores of others, no doubt) is/are still irked about the what is quickly becoming known locally as the Great Liquor Store Fiasco of 2009.