If you're in your late twenties or older, and a fan of Saturday Night Live, you might recall Victoria Jackson.
She was never more than a supporting cast member. Never any notable skits (outside of Toonces the Driving Cat). She used to be kind of hot, too, in that late-80's/early-90's-big hair-cute-little-blonde-who-does-handstands kind of way. The chipmunk voice was always pretty annoying though.
Nowadays, she goes around trying to evoke humor with Christianity. Not at Christianity. With Christianity. Oh, that is sure to be a successful formula. Probably why you might not have been aware of it.
Anyway, that's about all the introduction she's really worth. Jackson had a few YouTube videos out not long ago of her walking around Zuccotti Park in New York City patronizing and irritating Occupy Wall Street protesters (and here, and here) hereehalf of some Tea Party website called PatriotUpdate.com ("Fuck yeah!").
Some of my friends who oppose what's going on threw these up on Facebook as if Victoria Jackson (whom they probably had never heard of before these videos) was some sort of authority on political movements, current events, and economics.
I watched one, and I noted that she does a great job of avoiding discussion while fielding loaded questions and promoting unvalidated assumptions.
Here are a few questions and comments that this not-so-clever, no-longer-a-little-comedic vixen has thrown out there:
"Right now, 50% of people pay taxes and 50% do not. So if everyone gets free stuff who is going to pay for it?"
This is plain stupid for a variety of reasons.
Clearly math is not Jackson's strong point. I'd recommend that she stick to comedy, but she actually sucks at that too.
This statistic has been one of the favorites used by conservatives, Tea Baggers, Republicans, and general idiots for a while. It's also 100% misleading.
Approximately 51 percent of Americans do not pay Federal Income Tax. They do, however, pay everything else. Furthermore, this number comes from 2009, during a time of very high numbers of individuals receiving unemployment benefits. However, these are temporary, as is any related tax relief. Also, taxes are not always grouped so clearly. Federally mandated taxes on gasoline do not count when considering Federal taxes. This would make the number much lower. And if you're paying at least $1 in Federal taxes, then you're contributing more than the combined taxable income of many of the largest US corporations.
Still, when it comes to percentages, the bottom quintiles of the US population still pay more of their income than the very top. This is trickle-down economics in action, and both major political parties are enablers of this economic model if they're not open advocates already.
You see, this cohort of the population lives on fixed wages, and half of that number are retirees living on Social Security and pensions. Half of what's left are the working poor. People on welfare who do work, but earn lower than the poverty line, which is $25,000 per year. The rest, well, those are the people who are exempt for religious reasons, gaming of the system, unemployed, or whatever other reason people get out of paying for taxes.
The reason for the exemption of most of these people on fixed incomes is that further taxation will mitigate their ability to survive (which means spending in our country). They're already trying to sustain themselves on amounts of capital that are not sustainable. Also, in a market economy, what these people don't have to spend extra on taxes or social services (like health care for instance) allows them to still be consumers, which helps keep the economy going. These government services are in part designed to give this group of people a little more space to buy things.
And those creatins on welfare that piss you off because they have flat screen televisions? Well, if you support a capitalist/market economy, then quit complaining. Demand drives the economy, and, well, Warren Buffet and the founders of Google agree, consumers need to be protected and encouraged to buy in order to sustain the US's market economy. They should be buying in accordance with the system that you see no viable alternative to.
The bottom line is, the vast majority of Americans do pull their own weight. Even the claim about how, "everyone gets free stuff," is flat out stupid. If it were true that 50 percent of Americans pay no taxes whatsoever, as claimed, then how is "everyone" getting free stuff?
Wouldn't it be 50 percent?
Math grade: D-
I don't give an F if there's effort. Victoria tries to get all cerebral on their asses down at OWS with, like, percentages, but they're based on false premises. Victoria didn't read past the headline when that made the news the first time. Also, she demonstrates that she is unaware that "everybody" means 100 percent. Not 50.
"If you want everyone to be equal, how are you going to make them equal in good looks and smart brains? Everyone's not created equal."
The last part is true, though I think Victoria Jackson and I get to that conclusion via different routes, and it also has different implications. People are not created equal in ability. However, they should have equal opportunity to succeed.
You can't get very far with the US Constitution if this premise is not accepted by the majority of its adherents.
To deny equality is to deny liberty. To deny liberty is to deny the pursuit of happiness. To deny this is to deny life.
Suddenly, the Declaration of Independence looks quite flimsy. Don't forget that this is the moral and ethical foundation for the US Constitution.
Victoria failed at thinking this one through. She's also big into Christianity, which makes this all the more amusing.
"I'm in the Tea Party. We're not violent. We don't even leave litter!"
They aren't violent. They just carry around guns to be fashionable. Also, Tea Party rallies only last for a day and are smaller. Then they go home. Occupy protests are encampments. When the City of Utica, New York shut off the power at the site where I helped organize my local Occupy protest, we closed up shop for the winter. What wasn't taken home by participants was donated, for free, or left curbside for garbage pickup. We had also paid for a port-a-potty.
Occupy "violence" is laughable at best. If you go on YouTube, there are multiple videos of Right wingers, libertarians, and Tea Baggers on how to deal with police, who they view as an evil, government entity. However, when this same institution comes down on people they have different opinions than, it's no longer an exercise in big government. The police are courageous, patriotic, and just enforcing laws.
But wait, there's a YouTube clip of an OWS protester throwing a brick through the back window of a cop car. He clearly represents the entire scope of this democracy movement, right?
Just like the Tea Baggers who spat on black Congressmen and called them niggers, they are a reflection on the movement, they do not represent it in full.
And just because the Tea Party wasn't around when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah building, or that Andrew Joseph Stack III didn't claim affiliation with it before crashing a plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas doesn't mean that the rhetoric that the Tea Party preaches is not violent.
If they seek to separate themselves from it, then okay, fine, but on the other hand, it is not fair to label the Occupy movement as violent if the people commiting the violence are doing so outside of the creed by the Occupy movement that it is nonviolent.
Sorry. When police are spraying 84 year-old women in the face with mace, spraying pepper spray into the faces of students who are sitting on the ground, ramming batons into the sternums of others, pulling people off of the sidewalks in order to arrest them, assaulting journalists, and shooting tear gas canisters at the heads of protesters, you're going to have a tough time calling the protesters violent while trying to balance your own credibility.
"How come Van Jones is promoting violence for you guys? You know Van Jones is a communist."
Personally, I didn't even know who the hell Van Jones was until I was accused of being his lackey.
To Victoria, or anyone against the Occupy Protests, I ask, did Timothy McVeigh speak for you (I bring McVeigh up again because he was one of those paranoia-driven, anti-tax, anti-big government Right wingers)?
How about Glenn Beck, who one time stated, on air, that he would like to kill Michael Moore and then began to go into disturbing detail over how he should do it?
Joseph Stack III? He hated taxes and big government enough to kamikaze the shit out of a building with his own plane. Quickly, Stack was not a Right winger, but his target, an IRS building, is not mutually exclusive from the gripes and targets of the Right or the Tea Party. Plus, there are some on the Right who consider Stack an American hero.
How about Byron Williams, the self-proclaimed, "Progressive Hunter" who, taking Glenn Beck's word to heart, planned to shoot up ACLU and Tides Foundation offices in California? He refers to Glenn Beck as a "schoolteacher on TV."
How about the Oath Keepers? The current and retired military personell who are readily training and preparing themselves for an armed revolution against the US government.
Do they speak for the Tea Party (Beck certainly does)? They're all in line with it's ideology. If we use Victoria Jackson's logic, then absolutely.
Ah, it gets better.
And more delusional.
"So you don't think Obama is stirring up racial and class warfare and its straight out of 'Rules for Radicals' written by Saul Alinsky?"
Okay. This is where I begin to stop taking someone seriously.
Yes. The President of the United States is actively stirring up racial and class warfare in a conspiratorical fashion, and is in league with subversive elements in American society, like communists, gays, immigrants, and Muslims to bring America down.
What's great about this is the correlation seems to be explicitly based on Saul Alinsky being from Chicago. It's funny, to me, that Obama's opponents apply so much of their criticism on assumptions about where he came from, yet refuse to believe other things about the same past, as in, where he was born.
He spent some of his youth in Jakarta, Indonesia. The largest Muslim country in the world. He's clearly a Muslim.
He's from Chicago. Saul Alinsky is from Chicago. Barack Obama supports Saul Alinsky.
The best part of it all is that 'Rules for Radicals' is simply about direct democracy. How to organize the have-notes and engage in the act of fighting for their rights democratically. Political engagement is the key, not subversion of country.
However, in any article that links Obama to Alinsky (who died when Obama was 11 years-old), is a giant mess of assumption based on Obama's past as a community organizer. So, he's got to be a radical, right?
So, using that logic, if you're a libertarian, Republican, or conservative, then you explicitly condone Right wing dictatorships through your economic beliefs. That's got to be a stretch in most cases, right? Except for Herman Cain anyway.
"The real issue is, Obama is a Marxist and he's stirring up racial divide and class warfare on purpose!"
Barack Obama has to be a Marxist. That's why so many hardcore Leftists love Barack Obama.
No. Sorry. The more Left you go, the less you'll find support for Barack, the US government, or pretty much any institution at all. Obama is not a Marxist. That word has a meaning. Obama is a Democrat. The Democrats are a Center-Right/Right political party. They aren't anti-business. They aren't anti-capitalist. They certainly aren't anti-state. They're just not a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street (but they're trying, Republicans, they promise!).
Just because you're reading some speech off of a teleprompter about how polls suggest the support among Americans for shared sacrifice doesn't make you a Marxist.
Still, because the anti-Obama crew is blissfully unaware that all politicians read from teleprompters, have no use for "facts" or "polls", and regularly demonstrate a lack of historical and political knowledge, it matters not.
If they think Reagan would have done what you don't want to do, you're as guilty as Stalin. And Satan. They're cousins.
I'd like to entertain the mental gymnastics one has to go through to get there, but I don't think my groin is strong enough.
It's been proven that more liberal-oriented people handle complexity better (because that part of their brain tends to be bigger).
How about conservative-type brains? Well, they're more responsive to fear and recognizing threats. Which is why Obama tends to be a communist and a Nazi in the same sentence to these people despite these two entities being entirely opposed to one another. Thus, this is what you get when conservatives try their hand at complexity: a clouded mess of things perceived to be threatening thrown on top of one another.
On to the last one, which is my favorite.
As I said before, Victoria Jackson is all about the Jesus. So she further attempted to bolster her argument by evoking the Bible. Of course.
On the topic of redistributing wealth and the perceptions that Occupiers are just a bunch of unemployed have-nots who are jealous of successful people, she went on to solidify her argument in the eyes of "God" with a faith-based quip about the Ten Commandments and how the Bible says not to covet your neighbors goods.
This is bullshit of the finest grade.
First off, in the Ten Commandments, it only talks about coveting your neighbor's wife. In further elaboration later on in the Bible, it goes a bit farther, by warning about not taking gold and silver for yourself either, "Lest ye be ensared by it!"
Or some such nonsense.
Secondly, trying to convince others of an argument by invoking what you think "God" wants based on a book written by men, along with some bloody do-gooder from 2,000 years ago that history has not been able prove ever existed is the least effective way to justify what you're saying.
Thirdly, the Bible claims mad commandments, especially when you take Leviticus into account,but only a few are recognized as the actual "Ten".
They are, all the way from Exodus 43:28, give a round of applause for:
I) Thou Shalt Worship God and Him Only
II) Thou Shalt Not Make Molten Gods
III) Thou Shalt Keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread
IV) The first born or all things is mine.
V) Six Days Shall You work, but on the Seventh thou shalt rest
VI) Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, and three times a year your menchildren shall appear before the Lord.
VII) Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
VIII) Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto themorning.
XI) The first-fruits of thy land shall you bring unto the house of the Lord Thy God.
X) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
Yeah. That's right. Those other ten commandments are merely further suggestions bestowed on men by "God"/other powerful, influential men who conveniently want exactly what "God" seems to want after "God" supposedly changed "His" mind after "He/Jesus" was born.
Don't you dare skip out on the feast of weeks, infidel. Denying menchildren their Lord is blasphemy.
Molten Gods? Don't even fuck around with that shit.
Furthermore, what if the people Jackson was talking to were Buddhists? Atheists even! Does it ever occur to these American evangelical Christians that not everyone goes to their megachurch?
So, Victoria Jackson is a moron.