Are we immune to vulgarity?

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014



Remember the mean kids in high school? The ones who did mean stuff to impress their mean friends, then laughed about it, because they were mean?

They’re still around.

Last month at a GOP Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C., adult meanies placed small, three-dimensional figurines of a grinning President Barack Obama in the bottom of the men’s urinals. Because nothing says “faith and freedom” like bathroom humor. Har-har!

According to CNN, a Huffington Post reporter took photos of the figurines. After White House Senior Staffer Dan Pfieffer saw the photos he wryly tweeted, “Totally uncalled for: Those ears are huge.”

The wonderful thing about living in a democracy is that we have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to defame our elected leaders. Whoever is responsible for placing the figurines is entitled to his opinion. And I am entitled to call him an ass. That’s how it works. (I say “he” because I doubt a female was skulking around the men’s room furtively depositing pee targets. But God knows I could be wrong.)

Was a crime committed? No. But, as my mother used to say, “Just because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.” (She was actually referring to a string bikini I wore in my younger years, but you get the point.)

Remember the word “vulgar”? You don’t hear it much today. In an era of nude pregnant women on magazine covers and shows like “Party Down South,” we’ve largely become immune to vulgarity. So here’s a news flash: Urinating on an image of the president is vulgar. And tacky. And juvenile.

Regardless of what you think about Obama’s performance, the office he holds demands your respect. Seriously, I’ve never seen such vitriol directed at a sitting president, not even Nixon or Slick Willie Clinton. (A tip for my Facebook friends: I’m weary of hateful, hysterical posts that claim Obama is single-handedly gutting America.)

In other political bathroom humor, the mayor of upscale San Marino, CA. resigned after he was caught on a surveillance camera tossing a bag of dog poop in his neighbor’s yard. A screen-grab from the June 7 “crime scene” is hilarious: The mayor looks schlubby in a pair of cargo shorts, sneakers and zip-up hoodie. Not very mayoral, but neither is a bag of dog poop.

Kneier’s neighbor Philip Lao discovered the doo-doo delivery outside his home, reviewed his surveillance tape and Kneier was busted dead to rights. Lao posted the video and it promptly went viral. Yes, we now have Poopgate.

According to NBC, Lao believed the mayor intentionally tossed the bag in retribution for Lao putting a “No Poop Zone” sign outside his home. Lao also publicly opposed a public dog park that Kneier proposed.

Kneier did the honorable thing and resigned as mayor, but will remain on council until his term ends in November 2015.

He has apologized to Lao and will pay the littering fine, which could top $1,000.

Okay, two things: First of all, you can buy No Poop Zone signs?? That’s awesome… or it would be, if dogs could read. People who allow their dogs to poop on someone else’s property are probably too stupid to read. So there’s that.

Secondly, San Marino city council is nonpartisan, and I don’t know what party Kneier belongs to. An internet search failed to enlighten me. But does it really matter if he’s a Democrat, Republican or Libertarian?

It’s just business as usual in the political trenches. And urinals. And poop zones.



Julie R. Smith, an unaffiliated voter, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.

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