Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tennessee Conclusion*

Memo to Tennessee: ONCE MORE IN OH FOUR!
I really thought they were going to make it through the rest of the year. I did. But the official Dumbest State in the Union could not settle with its accomplishments to date. Being the home of the class action lawsuit against Janet Jackson's right tit was not enough. Trying to ban gays from living in an entire county wasn't enough. Launching the national tour of Roy Moore's Ten Commandments and almost lynching an atheist wasn't enough.
You simply weren't racist enough, were you? Not backwards enough. Not homophobic enough. Not xenophobic enough. You won't settle for the gold medal in the Pigfucker Olympics, you've gotta set a world record. You demand more from yourselves. You give one hundred and ten percent. You are the MARK FUCKING SPITZ OF HICKDOM.
If you want to see some of the worst humanity has to offer, look no farther than Somerville, Tennessee. Somerville, which is 20 miles east of Memphis. So it's not some isolated Brigadoon. It's a half-hour at most from Graceland. Yet, when the Memphis Muslim community wanted to use a five-acre plot in Somerville for a cemetery, guess what happened?
If you guessed "they opened their arms to their fellow Americans in the spirit of goodwill that makes this country great", you haven't been reading this column for hte past year. And you may not even be reading it now. I believe it's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"We don't need bin Laden's cousins in our neighborhood!" - An unidentified woman, shouting from an angry mob during a planning meeting on the cemetery proposal. FUN FACT: Tennessee is one of only three states to include "unidentified individuals shouting from an angry mob" as a recognized branch of state and local government.
Luckily, there are some Somerville residents who are only a little tiny bit ignorant and hateful. Providing this mitigating force, we turn to Herbert Howell for his insightful take on why his opposition to the plan was justified:
"We are not at war with all the Islamics. I have no problem with who they are or what they are. If it was a filling station, I wouldn't want that either." I'd like to thank Mr. Howell for keeping his racism almost entirely confined to subtext, and as a result, qualifying for membership in the Tennessee Progressives Club.
Between Howell and the Lynch Lady, opposition to the cemetery included the fear that the cemetery would become a staging ground for terrorism. Really. Apparently, in Tennessee, many people believe that Muslims set dirty bombs by gravesites instead of the more traditional bouquet of gas-station flowers.
"We know for a fact that Muslim mosques have been used as terrorist hideouts and centers for terrorist activities. Ladies and gentlemen, you may think this is far-fetched, but that is what the Jewish people thought when the Nazis started taking a small foothold, a little at a time, in their community. I don't think anyone who has read the newspaper or seen what investigations have gone on about other mosques would not have those kinds of concerns." - Farmer John "Farmer John" Wilson.
That's the kind of quote that makes you wonder if there isn't something larger at work here. What could make anyone, even someone from Tennessee, think that it's perfectly reasonable to compare your neighbors wanting to bury their dead family members to the early days of the fucking HOLOCAUST? They were building a cemetery, not a gas chamber, you stupid fuck. But maybe there is an explanation. And maybe that explanation can be found in the OTHER objection to the cemetery - that Muslims, traditionally, do not embalm their dead.
Yes, in Tennessee, it's apparently a problem when NOT ENOUGH FORMALDEHYDE leaks into the environment. embalming doesn't stop decomposition. It doesn't stop corpse molecules from making it into your tap water. But let's face it. Without all those extra chemicals, how can Tennessee retain its history, culture, and traditional way of life? By depriving Somerville residents of one of their major dietary sorces of wood alcohol, future generations of Tennesseans might have to settle for being not quite as dumb as Alabama. And we cannot let that happen.
Embalming fluid. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
*You will not get this joke. This joke is intended for 0.33% of any given day's readership.