Well, well, a reporter is attacked at a McCain-Palin rally in my very own North Carolina

At Elon, no less. For all I know, the asshole in question used to be my neighbour. The same sort who’d yell “go back to Russia!” after I resisted a boozy, grabby attempt at so-called flirting.

Am I surprised that this happened in my state? Not really. But I am dismayed.

North Carolina was and is a great place to live. It is routinely portrayed by outsiders as this terrifying no-go zone, when it is in fact a diverse environment, with all sorts of good, and bad, and plain fascinating.

Having said that, I have doubt that the McCain-Palin hate-fest is empowering and enabling the bad.

This thuggish contempt of media should give us all pause.

(And, for the record, no, I don’t think the attacker’s weight should have anything to do with the discussion, though I understand the impulse to bite back at him in a way that humiliates him. If that was me being kicked, I probably would have thought something very similar.)

Dear Nazischweine Of *All* Nationalities

As we say in the former Soviet Union – Hitler kaput.

I don’t believe it’s grammatically correct, but I do believe it gets the point across.

On this day, let us raise a toast to a quick and dishonourable end of your bullshit ideology and all of its wormy bastard spawns in all corners of the good earth: from St. Petersburg to Iowa and beyond.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

A Classy Day for English Football: Death Threats, Rape Threats, and Racism Against Avram Grant and Tzofit Grant

Yes, yes, I know using the word “classy” is un-progressive of me. I’m re-claiming it, however. On behalf of… uh, Ukrainian peasants everywhere. That’s right.

After Jose Mourinho left Chelsea, I decided to take a break from blogging about the Premiership. The fact that the new boss, Avram Grant, has received anti-Jewish death threats, not to mention the rape and death threats against his wife, has brought me out of my torpor.

What is there to say?

I suppose this incident can be written off with the usual “but what can you expect, these lads are football fans, that’s what football fans do, don’t watch football if you’re going to be upset.” It’s the same argument that was used against me when I began pointing out to people that the streets of Kiev were becoming more and more unsafe for racial minorities, Jewish men in yarmulkes, and anyone else who might somehow stand out: “but what can you expect, these are thugs, just don’t walk in the bad neighbourhoods if you feel threatened.” Right-o. Except, of course, the attacks were fast-becoming part of mainstream life in the capital.

Similarly, this episode with Avram Grant is part of mainstream football life. Racism and other nasty stuff there, it’s a problem, and being complacent about it isn’t going to do the sport, or anyone at all, any favours. Was it just a bunch of dumb kids who sent that stuff in? Probably. But those kids are going to grown into brawny adults one day. The sort of people whose eyes you try to avoid on the tube, lest they grab you by the collar and spit in your face.

I hope the cops catch them, and I hope they learn a lesson, if they are capable of learning it. Look, we can discuss Grant’s leadership, we can discuss how he was hired, we can discuss the ideological make-up of many Chelsea fans, and we can discuss many things besides, but this? Vile and unacceptable.

I don’t think the people who sent that package can, or should, be described as fans of football. A fan does not turn a sport into a venue for his particular brand of idiotic bigotry. A fan does not want wish to become an embarrassment to the very sport he or she professes to love.

Enough said.

P.S. Other sites on this story: here and here (no, I don’t think it had to happen at all, actually, although, like the author of this post, I am not shocked).