So last weekend I was watching Youtube videos of some old Super Chicken cartoons, and enjoying the hilarious staccato “cluck cluck cluck cluck” during the refrain of the theme song. As one does. (If you haven’t read my last column, that line probably doesn’t make any sense.) (If you want to read that column before this one, hop over to Martinsimpsonwriting.com. But then come back – always come back! – to Cautious Optimism.)
But after re-living some nostalgic moments from my youth, I noticed a little video window on the screen identified as “Surprise Pregnancy Announcements.” So I watched one. And then another one.
And then an hour had gone by, as I compulsively watched about 30 of those videos. And I’ll admit that I was repeatedly choked up to the point of tears multiple times.
That may shock many of you in CO nation, who think of me as tough as a two-dollar steak. And you are not wrong. I can neither confirm nor deny that I once won three out of four arm wrestling falls with Chuck Norris, or that the character of Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec was based on me. On advice of counsel, I have no comment on whether I may have ever killed a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
If the mysterious CO and I ever faced off in a tough-guy contest, it would be like Batman v. Superman, and the earth would tremble.
But watching those videos had me crying like a dad walking his little girl down the aisle in a country music video. There was a sweetness and a joy to all of them. Even as they were all different, there were consistent themes. All people, as they get the news that their loved one is pregnant, get a momentarily shocked look on their faces. Then the dam breaks.
Some grandmothers-to-be get all screamy, some jump around in hysterics, and many just cry into their hands. A few grandfathers and fathers cry, but there are also some raised arms, and fist pumps, and raucous cheering (not unlike when the Cubs sweep the Cards in a weekend series, as God intended).
You see some ethnic differences: I never saw any super-restrained black or Hispanic families, and a few patrician New Englanders (even as they teared up) said things like, “Well that’s just wonderful! Such great news!“
You see some class differences: some announcements happen in immaculate HGTV kitchens over granite countertops or in impeccably decorated great rooms, while others take place in cramped little living rooms and dated kitchens like the houses that I grew up in. Some happen in trailers, and you can almost see the walls shake when the news is out.
You see some religious differences, too. Some houses have crosses on the walls, and people start crying and thanking God. One sneaky young father-to-be managed to slip the news into his prayer as he said grace at a holiday meal, “And lord, we thank you for the four-month-old life that Kelly is carrying inside her…” (Yes, the rest of that prayer was heard only by God, as everyone at the table erupted.)
Others start dropping instinctive, shocked F-bombs and strings of accompanying expletives.
Some of my favorite videos were the announcements of twins or triplets. After the first wave of joyous chaos was just beginning to subside, the pregnant woman would point out the second baby on the ultrasound, or intentionally let it slip that “the babies are due in early July.” Several clever women gave their mothers tiny little onesies labeled “Thing 1” and “Thing 2,” which produced open mouths and momentary shocked silence.
Followed by the Democrat talking points hitting the proverbial fan, as they say.
There are several constants: Dogs always go nuts when a pregnancy is announced. (God love ‘em!) Very old people suddenly look 30 years younger when a family member has finally gotten the message through, half-shouted into their good ear. Everybody hugs everybody like their lives depend on it.
Most importantly, there is such life-affirming happiness in all of these videos. I recommend them to anyone who is feeling down, and I defy you to watch just one or two, and not find yourself simultaneously tearing up or smiling as you watch them.
“Hey Martacus,” I can hear many of you saying, “all of this treacly Hallmark stuff is fine, but where is the acid sarcasm and the sharp tongue we’ve come to expect from you? Have you gone soft on the “should we ever stop mocking Grandma Squanto” question? Have no Dems pulled a ceramic chicken this week?
I’m glad you asked. Because what got me thinking about all of this sweet joie de vivre stuff was seeing the polar opposite of it in the miserable, malevolent face of the Worst Leftist of the Month: Brian Sims.
You’ve probably seen and heard about this guy. He’s the elected PA state representative – from guess which party? – who has videotaped himself harassing peaceful protestors outside a Philly Planned Parenthood abortuary.
Full disclosure: I understand why some pro-choicers are repulsed by and angry at some pro-life demonstrators, especially the attention-getting subset who carry gigantic, graphic color photos of aborted fetuses, and scream at miserable young women who run their gauntlet.
But these protestors aren’t those types at all. The videos run around 10 minutes total, and capture a mother with three girls (ages 13-15), an elderly lady by herself, and what looks to be a lone male in his late teens. All of them are low key, quietly protesting and praying and trying to persuade any women who might show up from going through with an abortion.
Sims aggressively harasses all of them. He corners and then stalks around the elderly lady, who tries to avoid him, all the while snarling that she is “an old white lady,” and a hypocrite. He taunts her, asking how many children she has fed or clothed today, and saying that she should be ashamed of herself.
Her treats the mother and girls and the lone boy the same way. He repeatedly points out that they are white. (Even though one of the girls – who looks to be Hispanic – says, “I’m far from white.”) He says they are pseudo-Christians who should be ashamed of themselves. He also threatens to dox all of them, offering $100 to anyone who will tell him their names and where they live.
In general, he is a hateful, obnoxious bully. And thus, I would argue, a perfect representative of the far-left leadership of the Democrat party.
In 10 minutes of video, he demonstrates all of the dysfunctional, malicious tropes that characterize the Woke Left Resistance:
Self-righteousness: He perfectly captures the left’s hatred for all religions (except Islam), and its simultaneously judgmental hyper-religiosity (in the name of either their secular religion of leftism, or their own eccentric version of “spiritual- but-not-religious” Christianity). He continually mocks them as pseudo-Christians and preaches how shameful and immoral they are. He’s a 21st century Cotton Mather, raging that they should all be forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” – for anti-abortion.
Obsession with race and gender: he continually berates them for being white, and for harassing women. Meanwhile five of his six victims are women, and he’s male, and pretty white. I mean, he’s not as white as Elizabeth Warren (#wemustneverstopmockingher), but neither is the hypothetical baby of Edgar Winter and Tilda Swinton. But he’s at least as white as any of his victims.
Textbook psychological projection: He accuses people whom he is bullying of being bullies. He accuses them of harassing women, while he (a male, and not a Mayor-Pete-looking-male, if you know what I mean) just happens to be harassing three teenage girls, a mom, and an old lady. He accuses them of being evil white people, while he is a white guy, acting evil.
Blindness to how he comes across: In a sane world, this video would be some kind of undercover sting footage, taken surreptitiously to expose a creep, who would be mortified when it went public. But this moron proudly took the video himself, and he thinks he comes off just great! He turns the camera on himself and identifies himself at the beginning of each segment, before turning it on his hapless victims.
Ugh. This guy is truly terrible. But one silver lining is that he seems to be getting some rational blowback against his hideous behavior, to the point that he had to make a cliched leftist non-apology apology. Usually that involves weasely phrasing such as, “If anyone was offended by my behavior…” or “I’m sorry that my totally justified actions have been taken out of context by evil right-wingers…”
But Sims can’t even do that. He is defiant, insults his victims, and the closest he gets to “sorry” is “two wrongs don’t make a right.” (Hey, Bri: you’re one wrong short, you pompous jerk.)
I watched Sim’s infuriatingly creepy video, and started to feel depressed about what darkness people are capable of.
But then I thought better of it. I sought out those pregnancy announcement videos, and felt the tightness in my chest loosen up. There’s a Hispanic woman, laughing in confusion as she holds up the small jelly bean that her son and daughter-in-law just gave her as a gift.
Then her daughter-in-law says, “That’s the size of your grandchild.” And the woman’s face transforms, and she starts jumping around like a lunatic, shouting and crying with joy.
And snarling, benighted Brian Sims seems a million miles away. As he should be.
I am not a single-issue voter, but I can’t think of any clearer illustration of the stark contrast between left and right than on abortion. The left used to at least act like they understood the moral gravitas of abortion, casting it as an option for those in extremis, and mouthing platitudes about how it should be safe and legal, but (tellingly) rare.
Those days are long gone. Today’s avant-garde left will not be infanticide-shamed. They’ll “shout their abortions,” as if irresponsibly sleeping with one shiftless quasi-male after another is something to be proud of, and then cancelled like an error on a math test.
They’ll reductively objectify themselves by wearing genitalia-evoking hats and costumes, and bring their small children to marches where they carry obscene signs and scream expletives at quiet and respectful opponents. They’ll assault you, and spit at you, and they’ll force you to pay for their abortions.
They’ll bully old women and teenagers, and they’ll proudly record themselves doing it.
Which leaves me with only question: Who is the most representative 2020 Democrat dream-team presidential ticket?
Avenatti/Sims or Sims/Avenatti?
Choose wisely, Democrat voters.