14 March 2012

Dear Jon letter

Oh Jon Stewart, I'm sorry. Our love affair is over. Oh, I know it was one-sided, and you couldn't see my long distance lust for you in all your geeky, goofy gloriousness. But it's over. Oh, I'll still watch and enjoy, and maybe someday you'll win me back, but as of last night, we're done.

Why last night? I know, you're hanging on by a thread wondering what you could have done to lose my until-that-point undying love. Here's what you did: You made a joke at the expense of the mentally handicapped. You and Will Ferrell were going on about helmets, because of some comment made by a Fox News talking head about people hiding under their comedian helmets or something. And you said, "... if anyone ever needed a helmet..."

Oh Jon. How could you? How could you call Fox News "retarded" like that? I know, I know, you didn't use the r-word. But you insinuated it in exactly the same way. You said that they need a helmet, implying that they were mentally challenged. It's the same as saying "retard" or "mongoloid" or "rides the short bus" or any of these other terms.

You know, Jon, I've never once met someone with Down Syndrome or severe epilepsy, or autism, or any other condition requiring a helmet who was as ignorant or mean as a Fox News host. I've met some who are adults and spend the vast majority of their time watching Thomas the Tank Engine, and talking about it when they aren't watching it. They aren't mean. They aren't assholes. They do have low IQs. And they are in danger of hurting themselves when they have seizures or meltdowns. And that's it. And I'd spend all my time with them before I'd consider spending a second with a Fox News shithead. Because they're good people (the ones I know. I'm not enough of an ignorant ass to go on about how nice all "those people" are.)

"Need a helmet", "rides the short bus", and "retard" are offensive. They don't mean "ignorant" or "unacceptable". Don't use them to mean this. Don't use them when you don't agree with someone. Or when someone is deliberately obtuse. Or when they're clueless about something. Just don't use these terms as insults. Ever. You know when you can say someone needs a helmet? When they need a helmet. When they'll literally give themselves a concussion from banging their head. You know when you can say someone rides the short bus? When they ride the short bus. And you know when you can call someone a retard? Never. Never ever.

Do you call men "bitches"? Yes, men. Because that is the same. It's a derogatory word for woman, which isn't a bad thing to be, if I do say so myself, used with another group as an insult. And when you say, "But I'd never call a woman that!" it's the same as saying, "But I'd never call a developmentally disabled person that!" Or how about "gay" or "fag"? Or how, since I'm talking to you in particular, Jon, does it make you feel if you hear someone say, "You're such a Jew" when they're insulting someone (a gentile, likely) for being frugal? It's mean, it's rude, it's bigoted. Maybe you're okay with it. But I'm willing to bet you know it's offensive in general.

So Jon, it's over. I know you're heartbroken, but I just can't love someone who could be so insensitive. Apologise and I'll probably forgive you, but I know you won't.