Oh har-dee-har-har. Don't you have a sense of humor, you bitches and ho's, nappy-headed or otherwise? What's wrong with "you people?" You one of those furry-legged fanatics, a bull dyke or what?
Against his will and apologies notwithstanding, Don Imus will be taking his long gray locks, styled and dyed Farrah Fawcett style, and his circa 1970 mind-set, out of circulation for the next two weeks. This gives us a moment of relative silence to ponder what he - and his ilk of professionally insulting, preeningly non-"P.C.," overpaid media bloviators - bring to the world.
The I-Man's brand of humor falls just to the left of Rush Limbaugh's and is just a hair less "shockingly" misogynistic than Howard Stern's. He is, in fact, the chattering male's Howard Stern. He doesn't bring strippers onto his show, he brings white male pundits up from Washington, D.C., to serve a similar entertainment purpose.
The appeal is the same with all three, though the styles vary. They all serve up a slightly different brand of red-meat bait, more or less coded, flung out over the radio in endless obscene waves, against which the culture is defenseless, but satisfying a similar need in the American male, genus fragile, privileged and white.
They are the Viagrans. They rise, fall, rise again. And now, another one falls. Albeit temporarily.
Slate has compiled a short list of choice I-man-isms, and everyone unfamiliar with Imus' scathingly open racism and sexism would do well to scan it here.
Reading them, it's hard to understand why the I-Man hasn't been suspended before, but something about the fighting female Rutgers basketball team was deemed unfunny as a butt this time (as opposed to Hillary Clinton's Satanism, say, or black basketball players and their amazing penile size). Probably he'd have gotten away with it if he'd just called the team whores and left their race alone.
Speeding to his wounded side are the Viagran Centurions, the mainstream media pundits who appreciate the I-Man's humor, and shill regularly for it on his show. His "posse," white male pundits Oliphant, Fineman, Thomas, and Co., are all too decently "liberal" to appear on Fox news, but they still "get the joke" when blacks, ethnics and women are the butt of it. Oliphant opened his appearance on Imus earlier this week by saying "I'm with you pal."
Here's Jeff Greenfield yesterday, giving the I-Man his umpteenth chance to publicly apologize on a major national network. He reminded Imus that he is "an equal opportunity offender and it's a comedy show. ... you do make fun of everybody, and you make fun of everybody in a way that sometimes is like, you know, school yard teasing, doing the dozens, whatever you call it."
The I-Man represents something to the Viagran Centurions and his apparently legion fans, and it's not, as they would surely argue, about Free Speech.
Imus - and Stern and Limbaugh, to different sets of the similarly afflicted - offer an acceptable public vent for that gnawing anger at power seeping away, being stolen by the less inherently entitled - "professional victims" - who say they've been wronged. These school-yard bullies make the nerdy guys behind them feel tough and protected at the same time. And the Viagrans, with their extreme, can't-you-take-a-joke "humor" bolster the illusion that the safe old clubhouse is still intact.
There are of course, certain very funny jokes you won't hear the I-Man and his friends cracking. They are the jokes that their wives and girlfriends share with each other, but quietly, in order to hang onto their icky diamond rings and the rights to the sweet little retirement ranch.
They have to do with what those little blue pills can't cure forever.