When we heard last week about the rodeo clown ordered to undergo sensitivity training for the offense of wearing a Barack Obama mask while performing at the Missouri State Fair, our immediate thought was of the Soviet-era practice of confining anti-communist dissidents in psychiatric hospitals to “get their minds right.”
Our second thought was that as far as we know, the Soviets reserved that treatment for those judged capable of creating serious problems for the regime. We guess you can learn a lot about people by considering who makes them feel threatened.
A couple of days later and spurred by new developments, along came Thought Number Three: The Obamoids aren’t going to let up on this guy.
Sensitivity training seemed creepy enough by itself, given that whatever the clown—the clown!!!—may have done, it couldn’t reach the level of what’s routinely seen on late-night TV. So it seems reasonable to conclude that the protocol is now to first decide who it’s safe to pick on before applying full fury.
Then we learned the clown had been banned for life from working the Missouri State Fair, a development eerily reminiscent of another Soviet-era practice, that of making dissidents unemployable.
But the allegation of a “hate crime”—a designation we’ve always found stupidly offensive in that it values one victim’s suffering over another’s and seeks to punish unknowable thoughts rather than culpable actions—enters the domain of intellectual anti-matter.
We aren’t going where you think we are with this. Two hauntingly familiar overreactions and one bizarre failure of reasoning do not add up to a Soviet resurgence.
Remember, the Soviets could comprehend what mattered. The poor clown is the nemesis of very small individuals, likelier to react vengefully against imaginary threats.
So be careful out there.