Dear Ann, Please Eat a Sandwich
So, Ann “Convert Them to Christianity” Coulter has said something naughty
again. And once again, people have leapt at the opportunity to be offended by her. By now this sequence of events has pretty much turned into a choreographed dance. Ann says something so jaw droppingly stupid and offensive that there’s no single word in recognized English that concisely sums it up and then, like precision clockwork, the airwaves, blogosphere and print channels light up with people getting all self-righteous. Seriously, as much as Coulter’s career get’s a boost every time she says something stuffensive, I have to imagine that every other pundit/politician’s career gets a bigger boost out of reacting to Ann.
Somewhere, someone must have done studies showing exactly how many more hits/share/points and eyeballs a person or organization can gain just by getting huffy every time Ann says something horrible. It’s probably like a little industry at this point with graphs, spreadsheets and executives worried over the bottom line just praying that someone, anyone, will shove a microphone in Coulter’s face and let the magic happen. Which really sucks all the fun out of the whole thing.
Besides, all this anger over what the woman says only obscures the real reason she infuriates. What’s really crazy-making about Ann Coulter is that she’s seemingly removed herself from the realm of polite society. She just plain doesn’t care if she’s offensive, and what’s more, she doesn’t seem to care how you feel. Public performance and entertainment, Ann Coulter’s two trades, are dialogues between the actress and the audience. Coulter has turned her craft into a monologue. She’s so in love with her voice that she’s mentally and emotionally divorced herself from us, her audience and (theoretically) reason for being. The difference between her and Howard Stern is that Stern clearly gets off the on the controversy he (used to be able to) creates, Coulter just doesn’t care. Likewise, while Tim Hardaway didn’t seem to understand why what he said was offensive, Ann just doesn’t give a shit. She’s given herself the freedom that we (in the third-person, universal sense) generally reserve only for young children and the mentally ill, i.e., the freedom to not know any better. And that’s the transgression that irks, not the mean-spirited personal attacks or the bone-headed take on foreign cultures, but that Ann has granted unto herself allowances that the culture in general doesn’t feel she deserves.
Which doesn’t make her any less of a bitch.
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