Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hate Groups Top 1000

In the near-recent past
If your hatred was vast
You could sit there and plot in your basement
You were perfectly free
Where nobody could see
You, and ask what the look on your face meant.
You would sit there and stew
As you muddled things through
And get caught up in impotent rages
You could hiss, you could vent;
Though it’s not their intent,
Still, basements make pretty good cages
You could keep to yourself
As you fill up your shelf
With the books that would fuel your conspiracy
But you’re only one man
And your beautiful plan
You keep hidden so no one will hear or see
But technology changed
So the warped and deranged
With a desktop computer and modem
Could now easily find
Those who write the same kind
Of conspiracy screeds and upload ’em
And they soon became lords
Of their bulletin boards
Or their chatrooms or newsgroups or forums
Where they found one another
And brother to brother
They gathered together in quorums
Now these like-minded chaps
With their keyboards in laps
Found a comfort, a sort of community
When they set to their tasks
Anonymity masks
Them, and blather they will, with impunity
Their connection is fast
So their knowledge is vast
In the internet age, they’re in heaven
With definitive proof
Of the moon-landing spoof
And how Bush was behind 9/11
Or how giving vaccines
To the populace, means
That the government’s playing the villain
They’re in league with Big Pharma,
So sound the alarm, a
Concern since they “found” penicillin
And the Kennedy plot
With a gunman who shot,
In a story that’s kept from the masses
Just a C.I.A. lackey
They think it was Jackie,
Who’s free now to marry Onassis
And the people all laughed
When an alien craft
Was a weather balloon, though a nifty one
But a cover-up works
Now they look like they’re jerks
When they talk about area fifty-one
But this corkscrewing ride
Has a sinister side
When the groups may be formed around hatred
Where their heads are all filled
With a view that’s distilled
Cos they read all the stuff that their mate read
Now there’s one group of hacks
Who are blaming the blacks
For the changes they see in society
While another sees gays
And their sodomite ways
As a blow to the nation’s propriety
Yet another will frown
If a person is brown
Whether wetback or Ay-rab, you lose
And additional groups
Hate the government’s troops
Or the faithful old standby, the Jews.
Now you’ve written a site
Where you post what you write
Of the citizenship of Obama
And there’s hate in your views
And the language you use
You would never repeat to your mamma
You are joined by your friends
And the fun never ends
As you’re lost in the thrill of debating
You’re exchanging your views
And deciding on who’s
Is the group most deserving of hating
If you needed a clue
I could point back to you
As I’m reaching the end of this ditty
I’ll admit the appeal,
But the way that I feel?
It’s not so much hatred… as pity.

NPR reports on a new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which finds the number of hate groups in the US has topped 1000, for the first time.  This is a sobering study (direct link), finding huge climbs in some sorts of hate groups (including a 60% rise in antigovenment "Patriot" groups), and listing known terrorist actions taken by some members of these groups.

As my silly little (?) verse indicates, I think a substantial part of this is simply that the internet makes it so much easier for the lone voice to join with other lone voices.  It's hard to escape noticing, though, that the leap in some sorts of hate groups corresponds with the election of a president of an unapproved skin color.  I'd have written about that, but it was too depressing.

Oh, and if you are wondering... yes, the Nightmare Song, from Iolanthe.  Not exactly, but inspired by.


Melissa said...

You really nailed the ending.

I do like the way you structured this. I was getting agitated and slightly angry thinking about these groups as I moved through the poem. However, toward the end I just felt bogged down by all the hatred they must feel and ended up feeling sorry for what their lives must be like. Pity is correct.

Anonymous said...

The Iolanthe-style patter really fits the angry incoherent tone of many of these groups' blatherings.

Masterly stuff again.


Cuttlefish said...

Music to my ears, both of you--it was very intentional. I've been wanting to do something with this structure forever, but I needed something fractured enough to fit the structure. When I saw NPR's piece this morning, it practically wrote itself. (Would have been up hours earlier, but I kinda had to teach a class while in the middle of writing it.)

Pigbristles said...

Most excellent, Cuttlefish! I found it especially compelling, given the context of recent events in the middle east. The internet seems to act at times like some kind of "social laser", it concentrates and aligns all the energy dumped into it, usually scorching the unfortunate target.

Anonymous said...

dc... we want you to know that no harm will come to you from us....

we just wanted to give you a little fright, and I think we succeeded at that....

we just wanted to show you the consequences of BLINDNESS TO REAL ISSUES....

Cuttlefish said...

Bullshit, DM. "We just wanted to give you a little fright" my ass. You have been doing this for a decade across different platforms (not just to me), attempting to disrupt, to annoy, to harass, and to intimidate. Your impotence is clear, and those of us who have put up with your ranting for a while are no more fearful of it than of any other internet basement bully.

"I think we succeeded at that". You're delusional. You have served merely as an illustration of the desperation of a believer--when you go on your spamming benders, our assumption is not that we must be afraid, bur rather that you are off your meds--and are, as the current verse indicates, an object of pity. Two clicks and your bile is in a spam filter, securely waiting, out of sight, but ready to be sent to your caseworker.

"we just wanted to..." No you didn't. Stop lying. I have given you the opportunity to engage and interact. As before, I tell you now, simply apologize to my readers (whom you have insulted on many occasions) and post coherently, and I'll treat you like anyone else. Until then, you get the treatment you have earned.

"we want you to know that no harm will come to you from us". That was already crystal clear, given the number of times you told me you were going to torture and kill me "today", or that "today" would be the day my family dies, or that "today" I would know the true meaning of pain... DM, I feel perfectly safe from you. You are an annoyance, not a threat, and at this point you are mostly a clown to point at and laugh.

Go back to your therapist. Get the help you need. Tell about making death threats. Quit lying--to us, to your therapist, to yourself.

markr1957 said...

Love the poem although I had to find the G&S theme myself for it to make sense. I love how it so clearly describes the childish minds behind the hate, but as you tell DM we cannot ignore these ranting hate groups just because they are so childish - sadly a child's rage can be so irrational as they decide to destroy - well anything they can - in order to vent.

Cuttlefish said...

Ah, Markr1957, I had neglected to link a performance! I shall remedy that error immediately.

Sadly, that makes me miss John Reed again--I can't find a recording of him singing this, but I guarantee it would be faster and cleaner than anything out there.

embertine said...

Deliciously written as always, Cuttlefish. I read it out loud to myself to get the full effect of the meter.

I particularly like the abruptness of the ending. It's so true; the more I read about these people the sorrier for them I feel, especially those like DM who are genuinely disturbed.