Saturday, May 21, 2011
Award of the week goes to listener Drew
(Bear with us, Drew. Your award comes at the end of our segment. You know how award shows go. You have to trudge through to the end to see the important part.)
Despite our busy spring, we have caught bits and pieces of WZBH programming this week. Christ Steele and JJ are going strong and both steer clear of potentially inflammatory comment. Sure, JJ still vehemently denies wanting to get married, much less have kids, but we at the Critics Page strongly feel that a sizeable portion of our population should refrain from breeding - and probably marrying, too. We mention this because we feel JJ should at least be acknowledged for his positive contribution to Delmarva, and the world, for spreading the message to leave the breeding to those who are more qualified than he to have children. We certainly don't view his commentary as being anti-marriage or anti-kids.
Matt and Crank bored us with more mundane, adolescent gibberish all week. One serious topic they hit upon dealt with hate crime legislation. Innae Park reported on the case of someone being charged with a hate crime for beating up a transsexual in a local fast food joint. Matt felt a need to protest the idea of hate crime legislation, claiming that if someone is beaten up in a mugging, that crime of assault is no different than the transsexual who was beaten up for no reason other than being different. The gist of his argument was that if we're all are to be treated equally, why is the person who beats someone out of hatred treated differently than the person who beats someone in a robbery scenario.
On the surface, the argument sounds good, but we ask, "Why does someone, who is speeding ten miles over the speed limit, given a lesser fine than someone who is speeding twenty-five miles over the speed limit? Speeding is, after all, speeding, whether it is one mile per hour over the limit or a hundred."
We could go further. Killing someone is killing someone, yet the law breaks killing someone down into different degrees: first, second, third, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter. The penalties for the different charges vary greatly. Some first degree murders are eligible for the death penalty while others aren't. But killing is killing. By Matt and Crank's reasoning, whether you're a serial killer butchering hundreds of people or the drunk driver who drank three beers and is over the legal limit, if you kill someone, face the lethal injection.
Intelligent people know the reason the law is so varied in any crime is because of the motive, intent, and impact on the community. Someone speeding a few miles over the limit is a good excuse to make the state more money, because we know politicians can't balance a budget and they need the extra cash. Someone speeding twenty-five miles over the limit is probably an aggressive driver and an accident waiting to happen. He/she needs to be punished more severely in hopes he/she will slow down and make the roads safer. If you've ever been pulled over for speeding, depending on how fast you were going and the flow of the traffic, the officer will often lower the speed he/she quotes to you so you get the lesser fine and points. After all, their job is to make the state money - not to get speeders off the road.
Intuitively, we know there is a world of difference between a serial killer, someone who carefully plans a murder, someone who acts in a crime of passion, someone who meant to intimidate or scare someone and the action resulted in a death, someone who did something stupid that resulted in a death, and someone who got behind the wheel feeling perfectly sober, but an accident that may or may not have been his/her fault resulted in a death. Should all these people who killed someone be treated the same? By Matt and Crank's logic, killing is killing so why aren't they all given a death penalty trial or a slap on the wrist of temporary insanity?
So a transsexual walks into a fast food joint and is beaten up by someone who has a problem with transsexuals. At the same time a couple of blocks away, someone else is beaten up by someone who is trying to rob the victim. What's the difference?
Simple. Motive and impact on the community. Everyone living in a community knows they may be a victim of a robbery. No one expects to be a victim of a crime simply because of who they are. Black, White, Christian, Muslim, male, female, able-bodied, disabled, young, old, straight, gay, reasonable weight, obese - doesn't matter. We all expect to be able to walk in public and not be beaten up simply because we don't meet someone else's standards. Hate crime laws address the difference - and seriousness - in crimes motivated out of one's prejudices and bigotry.
Matt and Crank were, in effect, saying that a transsexual getting beaten up for being a transsexual was the transexual's fault for being a transsexual. The transexual should've taken his beaten and the offender should've been charged with an assault charge that could've resulted in two to three years prison time instead of the added five to ten years the hate crime legislation may add to the sentence. Beating up someone because of who they are isn't a serious crime warranting more jail time.
One thing we do agree with Matt and Crank is that hate crime legislation protects one group of people that shouldn't be protetected.. Every protected group is protected because the individuals were born with their skin color, ethnic background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability (or became disabled through genetics or accident), and, of course, age. One protected group, however, is purely choice, that choice being religion. One's religious choice should not be a protected group.
As the beers keep flowing, here, we all agree that one's religion should not be protected under the discrimination laws or the hate crime laws. Religion is a choice. One isn't born a Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, Christian, or... One's religion is chosen. You make the choice and if we decide to beat the crap out of you for your choice, oh, well, simple assault and no added ten years for the hate crime. Matt and Crank, we're sure, would agree with this as long as the religious person getting the crap beaten out of them was any religion other than Christian.
Fact is, at the Critics Page, we're all for the sport of bringing back the time honored tradition of feeding the Christians to the lions. Tickets to that event would outsell the Superbowl. That wouldn't be a hate crime, would it? We're only talking about feeding the lions the holier-than-thou Christians, not real Christians, so there shouldn't be any objections, right? C'mon, Matt and Crank. Help us out here.
Now to our award for the week. All week, at least during the parts we listened to, Matt and Crank preached to us heathens about heaven and our childish views of it. They lambasted Steven Hawkins for his claim that there is no heaven. Matt and Crank offered no insights as to how we should view heaven. They only ridiculed those who held the childish views of spirits floating in the sky or those who claimed there was no heaven.
Now, we're faced with the end of the world in about another fourteen hours, a story Matt and Crank ridiculed for at least two days, and yet we still have no idea of what heaven is as described by Matt and Crank. We only know whom we're supposed to laugh at for their silliness of claiming the Rapture is coming - at least, we know because Matt and Crank has told us whom to laugh at. Today, they came up with their Rapture-Rama type game where callers could answer some questions, and this "machine" would determine if the caller would be raptured or doomed.
Chad was the first caller, and failed. He's doomed.
Drew called in and made rapture. He was saved, hallelujah! When Matt asked him how he got through life without enslaving a whole race of people, Drew answered that he was an atheist, so he didn't get drawn into all that organized religion bullshit.
Drew, if you are reading this blog, you have won an all expense paid trip (and we mean an unlimited credit card for a full seven days) to anywhere you want to go. You made Matt and Crank look like idiots in that suave, calm manner we all can appreciate. To claim your prize, Drew, please read the fine print below.
The Critics Page offers one unlimited credit card for a full seven days to be spent by recipient known as Drew on the contingency that either one or all of the following named agree to pay for the credit card in full: Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner, Matt Walsh, Andrew Murr, leading drug cartel dude down in Mexico (cash only for him).