Etta Lives

As longtime Hag readers know, I had a crazy grandmother who, though quite embarrassing  and seemingly anachronistic at the time (she died in 1980…), turned out to be an exact prototype of the American right wing circa 2010.  She berated complete strangers in public for speaking a foreign language, she applauded black people who worked as shoe-shiners or janitors, (Etta voice:) “they know their place,” she loathed the war-related influx of the “Vietnese,” and referred to service personnel, to their faces, as “the help.”  Back in the 70′s, such behavior was, to say the least, frowned upon.  My mother received more than one earnest offer of assistance over the years from doctors who had met Etta and thought, for the good of all of us, that she should be committed, and they didn’t even know about her politics….   As I’ve said before, Etta just died too soon.  Heck, today she could go on MSNBC, when in the old days to was too dicey take her to the A&W drive-in, and we rarely did.

Listening to Thom Hartmann’s radio show the other day, I had the glorious opportunity to hear the latest, and most repellent yet, excuse from the teabaggers days before it hit the media.  A disgusting fatass named Mark Williams, who loudly and tendentiously “represents” the fake Tea Party, completely dismissed the NAACP’s quite appropriate condemnation of the rather visible racism in the Tea Party movement, because the the very presence of the word “colored” in the NAACP’s name meant that it was racist, despite the fact that the 100-year old organization picked the name because it sounded nicer at the time than the word then most commonly in use, and “colored” people were, indeed,  sorely in need of a bit of “advancement.”  As though this belligerently delivered nonsense weren’t enough to convince anyone listening that this ape wasn’t just Etta minus the white hair and mink, he decided to further till this fertile ground and write the following on his personal blog, in the form of a mock letter to Abraham Lincoln from the current head of the NAACP.  Like Peggy Noonan, Williams seems to have a lot of best friends from beyond the grave, who agree with him, and like Etta, he always sees himself in history’s heroes:

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Admittedly, the shoddy writing veils the meaning a bit, but when you’re as dumb as Williams, posing as an imaginary darky makes you look slightly less idiotic, so why not?  The more disturbing part is that Williams believes, or is willing to pretend to believe, that “taxes” have something to do with African Americans having flat screen televisions when anyone with a grasp of the most basic arithmetic, much less economics, knows that absurd claim to be laughably false.  Like nearly all other righties, he is deluded into thinking that all problems in the world are caused by people who don’t work, usually of a duskier hue, and this creates a new, more palatable reason to hate black people than the ones advanced by his Confederate soulmates and other white supremacists throughout history.

I’ve got news for you, Mr. Williams:  Etta is dead, and America has moved on.  Whatever credence such comments receive in our Republican-coddling media, the much sought-after “Independents” will recoil in horror at such ignorant, hateful hogwash just as I did when it came out of Etta, more than 30 years ago.  The NAACP, pardon the expression, hit the nail on the head.  Yours.


  1. daphne says:

    hag: may I surmise that Etta, most inadvertently, is largely responsible for who you became? that she didn’t live in vain?

  2. michlib says:

    Particularly poignant was the ” we don’t cotton ” quip thrown in by alleged human Williams. Behold the Tea Baggers in full bloom – this snarling, rabid, disjointed ” letter to Lincoln ” should settle any doubt as to their true thinking. Slaves pining wistfully for the discipline of the whip and easy living they had ? WOW .

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, once they started openly waxing nostalgic over Jefferson Davis, you knew this couldn’t be far behind. Several righties have already advanced the notion that we did the darkies a favor by dragging them over here to pick our cotton, and they owe us for rescuing from the Big Ghetto, Africa.

  3. cocktailhag says:

    Etta did, indeed, draw us all together as children, and amongst the seven of us siblings/cousins, there are no Republicans. (My older brother Butts didn’t switch until the 90′s, but still…) She was a strong believer in God’s punishment, and she did sort of get it, until now. She’s the new normal, and she was by all accounts a crazy person back in the day. At Etta’s funeral, a longtime friend of my mother’s whispered to her in the receiving line, “I guess I’m sorry.” It was all I could do not to bust out laughing, with joy and relief.
    Who’s sorry now? Etta’s back, and she’s got several TV shows.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    Sadly, for you anyway, you’re not bright enough to grasp the situation. This guy could help, but once again, sadly, you’re not bright enough.

    • cocktailhag says:

      If that guy could “help” anyone, I’d like to see how. Why is it that long-winded, faux academic, elitist nincompoops like that are forever claiming to represent some sort of silent majority? I had an excellent writing teacher in high school who espoused one cardinal rule of writing: Don’t waste your reader’s time. If one can go on and on for six pages blathering about some ruling class usurping the constitution and losing wars with nary a mention of Gorge Bush, Dick Cheney, Halliburton, Big Oil, etc., someone’s time is clearly being wasted.
      I don’t deny that there’s a ruling class in this country whose goals are different from those of ordinary Americans, finding it in the Democratic Party is so plainly nuts it isn’t worth the pixels wasted to air it.
      Fortunately the blathering bozo from the prestigious American Spectator neither requires nor offers a scintilla of evidence to support any of his ridiculous claims (couldn’t fit it in in 6 pages?), but it was enough to convince you, I see. Must be because you’re so bright.

      • nailheadtom says:

        Your writing teacher in high school couldn’t have been very excellent if you’re an example of her production. But she was dealing with a student that apparently had a hummingbird attention span, six pages is just toooo much material to consider! With no intermission for a trip to the bathroom. No wonder you stooges have never been able to comprehend the ideas and writings of Jefferson, Madison, Spencer, Popper, et al; they don’t fit on a bumper sticker.

        • dirigo says:

          Conceding your erudition and book learning, it’s obvious there’s no discussion going on with you, Tom.

          It’s just you, declaiming, on the assumption we’ll all bow to the great brain before us, fucking sooner or fucking later.

          How arrogant you are; you are not communicating or engaging in discourse, but simply lecturing.

          Do you not think many of us have, ourselves, not been like this? I know I have, that at one time I thought I was the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

          Do you think you’re being persuasive?

          Mostly, you are creating resentment, along with the wish that you would go back where you came from.

          Good grief.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Those guys, unlike your pretentious wingnut welfare recipient at Scaife’s rag, had something worth hearing to say. That article was just the standard claptrap we’ve all been hearing, everywhere, for 30 years WHICH HAS BEEN PROVEN WRONG EVERY TIME.
          I know you like to avoid that subject, but there it is. Your ideas are all proven failures… why bother reading them for the hundredth time?
          Please, name the country where these ideas succeeded. I wait with bated breath. Then, i’ll be happy to read boring and idiotic screeds like that.

    • avelna says:

      Ah, he describes you and yours to a T. Too bad you’re both blinded by your own misdirected “brilliance” to figure it out.

    • dirigo says:

      Tom lives in the Shining City on a Hill, a municipality made up largely of airy nothings and see-through office buildings.

      You can’t get there from here.

  5. avelna says:

    My grandmother and yours could and would have been BFFs back in the day had they known each other. It was embarrassingly humiliating to go almost any place in public with her. She was not just mindbogglingly bigoted but she would do things like steal the silverware or salt shakers when we went out to eat. Of the 7 of us siblings and cousins unfortunately only 3 (on some issues 4) of us rebelled and went in the opposite direction. Still amazing to me how much influence she actually did have on us.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Etta used to finger restaurant tips and give them back to my mortified mother in the parking lot, “Keep your money, you can’t afford that.” (The reason the tip was large was Etta’s behavior, natch)
      She also shoplifted. If you’re interested, go back and read my several Etta stories in archives; I bet you’ll see your grandmother again and again. (Tag: Etta…. one entitled “Batter Up,” and “The Commies and the Unions” come to mind…. In the first one, I think my cousin Paula even makes a cameo in the comments to talk about Etta, and her insidious impact.)

      • avelna says:

        Heh. Yep, two of a kind. Fortunately my grandmother didn’t drive,thus no doubt, saving the lives of many. Road rage could have been coined for her.

  6. retzilian says:

    This reminds me of a conversation I had recently with someone about gay marriage and how the conservatives/fundies insist it is a threat to the spectacularly successful hetero marriage – which we know fails over 50% of the time.

    (Oh…incidentally… Hi. I have been really busy now that I have a job. No more reading blogs and news 10 hours a day. I have missed you.)

    I’d like to compose a similar spoof letter posing as a wife & mother during Lincoln’s time – Dear Prez, please repeal the 19th Amendment while you’re at it, and keep women and children as chattle of their husbands, and marriage an institution based on property, and please let my father and brother beat and abuse me with impunity, later to prepare me to be abused, beaten and possibly raped by my spouse, and my children to be indentured to hard labor and endangered by lack of regulations.

    Oh, yes. The good old days.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Great to hear from you, Retz, and I’m glad to hear that you’re no longer JOB negative. Still, I think you could, with careful time management, write more on your blog. There’s the awfully juicy Kyron Horman story unfolding right here in river city, and I’d be happy to keep you abreast of the developments. Mostly it seems a story about the pitfalls of straight marriage… Won’t someone think of the children?
      Looking forward to your spoof letter, and may there be many more. These apes don’t know when to keep their mouths shut, which is currently the Democrats’ last hope. Sigh.

  7. retzilian says:

    Uggh. I hate child murder stories. I prefer spousal murrrrder theater, if you can call it a preference. A few years back, 2004 or so, I followed several stories that seemed to occur one right after the other where some child was murdered because of their stupid parents putting them in direct danger of a pedophile; sometimes even knowingly. Three of them occurred in Florida alone. I was so infuriated and disgusted, I had to stop following these kinds of crime stories.

    The worst one was a little boy who looked a lot like this missing Kyron – a little boy named Jaden, who was collateral damage when he interrupted a man killing his mother when his mother was allegedly pregnant with this guy’s baby. Turns out, it wasn’t even his baby. It was a horrible story and it haunted me for a long time.

    The perp’s on death row in Texas. He won’t last as long as Peterson, that’s for sure.

    Anyway, I am curious to see what happens to that other douchebag multi-murder suspect, Drew Peterson (speaking of Petersons), who is likely responsible for killing at least two of his now 5 wives. The newest wife is some dimwit who may now be spared. People are so stupid.

  8. retzilian says:

    I found a spouse murrder theater story local to me and will be writing about it soon. White trash scandalous, but entertaining.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Those are always juicy…. Here we’ve got bodybuilder gals, landscaper hired to take out the husband, love triangle involving hubby’s high school buddy (since the disappearance, no less…), restraining orders… you name it. That kid was probably lucky to get offed.

  9. Meremark says:



    Why is CNN still allowing Mark Williams on its network?,, July 18, 2010

    UPDATE: The National Tea Party Federation announced on today’s edition of CBS’ Face the Nation that Williams and the group he represents, the Tea Party Express, has been expelled from the federation. If Williams’ own fellow tea partiers no longer want anything to do with him, why does CNN?

    Please, to all that is decent, let it be so. They capped the KKK brand. We all wait to see if a muzzle on media can contain the racist-rage FUXNews pressure.

    • cocktailhag says:

      It’s both sad and ridiculous, but I guess they think it’s good TV, and Williams certainly couldn’t have done a better job at showing everyone that the NAACP was right. On balance, I think it’s better to have him on TV every night between now and the election, between various apologies to BP, and calls to reduce the minimum wage. “Independents” just love that stuff, you know.
      Obama could learn a bit about three-dimensional chess from the NAACP….