posted by Lloyd Dangle at
Apparently Mr. Johnson suffers from Hep C. The Lithonia Democrat's already-thin frame has shed 30 pounds in the past year. His speech is slower than ever, and he regularly gets lost in thought in the middle of a discussion. He is easily fatigued and often impatient and irritable . . . To keep the disease in remission, Johnson is going through an experimental treatment that he said has been the worst part so far. "I am weaker than I ever have been," Johnson, 55, said in his Capitol Hill office.-Atlanta Journal Constitution 3/29/10
Am I a heartless bastard or what?
It's not necessarily that you're a heartless bastard. You may simply be one of those individuals who are pathologically driven to make light of others' misfortune. Perhaps such people who find humor where there is obviously none are compensating for some inner emptiness they're feeling.But let's not use pejorative labels like "heartless bastard" for something that ought to elicit our sympathy, not our scorn. Possibly you just haven't yet gotten the help you need.
And from Congressman Johnson's official web site:April 1, 2010"The subtle humor of this obviously metaphorical reference to a ship capsizing illustrated my concern about the impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island."Some people just don't understand the concept of a metaphor. Now I remember, you were too busy drawing cartoons in your notebook when our high school English teacher was explaining that.
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When Skiffington first said that the congressman had hep C, well, I thought, that's a shame, maybe that's why he talks in that slow, halting manner, and can't find the words he's looking for. Terrible! I shouldn't call him a dummy if he's sick! I certainly derive no pleasure from his misfortune. But my aunt is 93 and has some dementia and can barely walk by herself, but I'll bet if I asked her if islands could spontaneously tip over when there's too many people on them, she would definitively tell me that they can't. Skiffington obviously thinks that a black man with hep C can't think.Next, Mr. Edwards clues me in that Johnson was making a metaphor and that I was too stupid to get it. This info I really appreciate, but I wonder what a capsizing island is a metaphor for. Overcrowding equals capsizing? Traffic equals capsizing? Edwards obviously believes that a black man with hep C cannot make an apt metaphor. If it was meant to be a joke, and not a metaphor, I'll hand it to the sick man that he straight-faced the joke without giving away an inkling of irony. In both cases, the only person here who gives the poor sick man some dignity is me for making fun of him in the first place.
Indeed, Sir. I share your dream that one day all our children, black, white, yellow and red, shall be judged not by the color of their skin, but by their ability to say amusing things in viral youtube videos.
When I first heard about this exchange I couldn't figure whether it was intentional humor or something weird. Now I see. Mr Johnson's hepatitis is apparently affecting his work performance, and that is unfortunate. I believe that when he regains his health he will be quite embarrassed about this entire episode.
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