Monday, April 28, 2014

GOWGs Step In It

Some time ago I tried to add "GOWG" as a new term, like "Millenials". It never caught on, but the GOWGs themselves (Grouchy Old White Guys) are still with us, and still saying some amazing things. Last week was a big one for them as a group.

First, there's Cliven Bundy, who had already attained infamy by recruiting an army of red-neck gun- toters to keep the BLA from confiscating his cattle as partial settlement for a million dollars he owes in unpaid range grazing fees in Nevada.
But then, just as Mr. B. seemed to be generating a little sympathy from strictly neutral sources like Fox News, he started talking about race. At this point it's good to remind ourselves that at this point in our history race hate hasn't disappeared, but its public declaration by guys over eighty years old is doomed to be rejected, sincerely or not, by just about everyone. I, for one, can hardly think of someone with less interface with other races than Mr. Bundy, with the possible exception of contact with Latino cowboys.
As I was opining, Bundy somehow got to talking about race and soon managed to tie himself so firmly in knots that he didn't require any pointed questions to show everyone the opinions we had as a nation about fifty years ago, and that we have moved away from, thank heaven. By the time Bundy's rants were recorded, the order had gone from Sean Hannity's office at Fox to never (!) again take any calls from the old coot. So - anyone got a million they can spare the old guy? He'd be willing to do a press conference on your front lawn - if you like. Maybe his next moneymaking effort will be as a cowboy hat model.

Then there's Donald Sterling, who got a mention here a few weeks ago as owner of the long horrible but now pretty good L.A. Clippers of the NBA. Like Bundy, Sterling is also the other side of eighty years old, with opinions to match. What's odd is that the NBA is the last place you'd expect to find race bigotry given the makeup of players, coaches, refs, etc.
Sterling has much more practice with the press than Bundy, but it was a conversation with his girlfriend that got recorded which has landed him in hot water. The girlfriend, who's luminously attractive, is multiracial and maybe a third Sterling's age, holds up her end of the debate pretty well while the geezer keeps contradicting himself as a way to justify his standards for her behavior. The Clippers players themselves are stuck in the middle, but reversed their warmups last night as a form of silent protest prior to losing their playoff game. They deserve better, and offers to buy the team are starting to surface.
Evidently there is something about getting old that makes you think your opinions are infallible. I suppose that goes for me, too. Just keep in mind that when you start to hear somebody talk in terms of "them" and "they" followed by examples of bad behavior almost always indicting a group the speaker has no firsthand knowledge with, you too could be talking to a full-blown, bigoted GOWG.


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