23 February 2013

Teabag -- the word that reveals a world

When commenting on right-wing sites, one must be a bit careful when referencing members of the "Tea Party" movement. They often don't like it when you refer to them as "teabaggers", even though everyone else has long grown used to doing so. They take it as insult, now that a lot of them know what "teabagging" actually means.

I maintain that it's OK for non-teabaggers to call teabaggers teabaggers because teabaggers called themselves teabaggers back before non-teabaggers told them what it means. So there. Remember this (from 2009)?

They chose the word and now they're stuck with it. It's not everyone else's fault that they didn't know what it means.  In fact, it's rather revealing. What a quaint little bubble world they must inhabit! Not one of those people who proclaimed "Teabag Obama", etc. even knew anybody who could take them aside and quietly point out that, uh.....

Is it any wonder that they periodically get caught circulating caricatures of Obama as a chimpanzee, or the White House lawn planted with watermelons, or this (found via Progressive Eruptions) apparently oblivious to how such innocent japes look to the broader society?  They don't know..... much of anything, really. It's cluelessness turned proud and militant.

Secluded in their Ozzie-and-Harriet time capsule, they also probably think slash is just what the bad guys in horror movies do, bareback is how you ride a horse when you forgot your saddle, a shipper is somebody who uses Fedex a lot, and a safeword is -- what? A word that doesn't offend anyone? (Which they'd doubtless denounce as political correctness.) And they'd be quite baffled to hear talk of Larry Craig or Rush Limbaugh having beards. Who knows what expressions they'll innocently glom onto in the future? I can hardly wait to see what the next right-wing splinter group calls itself.


Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I don't know what the next splinter group will call itself either, but I DO love Charlie Pierce's name for them: "gobshites."

PS. Have to admit, I had to look up some of those terms: "shipper" and "safeword." I knew the others.

It's an age thing, I guess.

23 February, 2013 07:38  
Blogger uzza said...

My favorite factoid from grad school was one of the most famous linguists (Saussure) writing about the noun/verb distinction, used the example that the word fist can only ever be a noun.

23 February, 2013 07:53  
Blogger Ahab said...

Wow. I've heard of all those terms! I really do belong to the 21st century!

Seriously, though, I'm hoping we never see right-wing political movements named after hooking-up or ho-yay. The late night comedians and progressive commentators would have a field day.

23 February, 2013 10:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SK: You're still ahead. The average teabagger has terrible trouble with the real meanings of terms like "socialist" and "natural-born citizen".

Uzza: Oh good grief, I can just imagine some teabaggy group hilariously misusing "fist".

Ahab: Right-wingers would never use ho-yay. They'd think it was something Spanish (like "ho-zay" for José).

23 February, 2013 14:30  
Blogger LadyAtheist said...

I'm happy to say I don't know what those things mean, and I refuse to look them up!

24 February, 2013 03:58  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

While the TP'ers' (and yes, there's a dual meaning for that)ignorance of the teabagging term is funny, their insufferable ignorance about so many other things is appalling, when not downright scary.

A long, long time ago, a very smart, funny TV personality, Jack Paar, used to say that if the crackpots and crazies ever get organized, we're in trouble.

Well, they have and we are.

24 February, 2013 21:55  

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