Go Feck Yourself
“Feckless” is one of those words you may have heard, maybe even used, but haven’t much thought about. If one can be feckless, what is it to have feck?
The part you know reads as expected: useless, incompetent, good for nothing. The part you don’t know is what’s lacking: effect. As for how you get from effect to feck — and thus the absence of effect — well, ask the Scots. We hear they’re good cussers.
As is Samantha Bee.
“Feckless” would be a good word to describe a couple of Donald Trump’s close advisers, one related by blood, the other by marriage, both toiling in the White House to little known effect. Back in April, Ivanka Trump announced an initiative to promote women’s economic empowerment, but the only fruits we’ve seen of her hard work are trademarks granted by China for her branded products.
Plenty of feck in that, granted, at least on China’s part. Those threatened tariffs are still up in the air, and palms must be greased. What a story that would make! Top White House adviser caught accepting favors from antagonist foreign government! Surely we’d be hearing about that for days until the media hounds forced her to resign in disgrace! Surely every talking head inside the Beltway would have material for a week!
Ha-ha, we’re just adorable, aren’t we?
Instead, everyone’s been rushing to defend the virtue of a self-dealing airhead because a cable comedian called her a naughty word.
And as the word happens to be #4 in George Carlin’s list, of course we’re interested, too.
As a cord-cutter, we enjoy watching Full Frontal via YouTube every week, where the show’s segments are posted the day after broadcast. But it’s not there this week — the entire episode was removed Thursday — so we’re stuck with a brief clip someone else posted.
The segment itself is about the new U.S. policy of stealing babies from their mothers at the border, which is deserving of all the invective one can muster. Over the weekend, as the story was raging to the front of everyone’s rage queue, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump tweeted a heartwarming photo of herself embracing her two-year-old son.
The contrast did not pass unnoticed. By Tuesday, Ivanka was professing stoicism about it, aptly quoting fellow emperor Marcus Aurelius. At the same time, someone else was neglecting the racist side effects of Ambien, and the stage was set for Wednesday night’s broadcast:
“Do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless cunt!” said Bee. “He listens to you!”
Here’s where we feel obligated to observe that as a white male, certain words and expressions are unavailable for our use, a prohibition we happily accept in return for all the benefits our status bestows in Our Exceptional Republic. As such, we recuse ourself from any discussion of what is appropriate to say between members of a given second class, although we’re happy to chortle with glee upon hearing it.
And it disheartens us to report that Samantha Bee chose to disown the remark on Thursday:
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
We don’t know Sam Bee, aside from watching her for fifteen years, and if this statement strikes us as out of character, that it might have been made under network duress, well, that’s just us. We’re sure she was sincere.
Which is a shitload more than we can say about the shitstorm that followed. After ABC fired Roseanne Barr for flagrantly being Roseanne Barr, the Racist Right was hunting for a trophy, hilariously suggesting that HBO should fire Bill Maher to own the libs who hate Bill Maher, until settling on that basic-cable comedian they had been ignoring to satisfy their bloodlust.
Of course, you expect that from the Bot Squad. Sadly, you must also expect that from the pearl-clutching denizens of our faded Fourth Estate, still clinging to the notion that if we were only polite to one another, we could have a civil discussion about how our government is stealing babies from their mothers at the border.
Please, let us not bring personalities into it. We may disagree with how the Trumps and their minions are selling out our country to Russia, how they’re using their government positions to enrich themselves, how they’re ruining lives with the actions they take, but to call them cunts, dicks and assholes violates what it means to be an American who is safe from the effects of those actions and will surely get along fine when fellow citizens suffer the consequences.
What’s happening today in America is obscene. But at least we have the language to describe it.