a morning in the court of civility
A version of this post originally appeared on the KatyKatiKate Facebook page on June 29, 2018, after the shenanigans of the summer when Red Hen restaurant refused to serve Sarah Sanders. Remember that? It wasn’t 10 years ago. It was 6 months ago.
Anyway, in light of the “controversy” today surrounding Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s statement about our Dear Leader (“Impeach the motherfucker.”) I felt it was time to bring it out again, since it’s about the debate between civility and obscenity.
A Morning in the Court of Civility
Bailiff: HEAR YE HEAR YE the court of civility is now in session, the Honorable Judge Farce presiding. ALL RISE PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
Judge Farce: You may be seated. And may I just say, you are all looking very neat and tidy today.
Gallery, in unison: THANK YOU, JUDGE. YOU ARE ALSO LOOKING VERY WELL PUT-TOGETHER.
Bailiff: The necktie really pulls it all together.
Gallery, in unison: IS THAT BROOKS BROTHERS?
Judge: Why yes it is! Thank you for noticing. My wife got it for me for our anniversary. 37 years last month.
Gallery, in unison: SHE SOUNDS LIKE A LOVELY WOMAN. YOU TWO ARE HASHTAG RELATIONSHIP GOALS.
Bailiff: She is a lady on the street.
Gallery, in unison: AND EVERYWHERE ELSE AS WELL.
Judge: Well, let's get to it, shall we?
Bailiff: Case number 14578321, Civility versus Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.
Judge: Mr. Sessions, please make yourself comfortable, have a cool drink, and at your leisure I'd be ever so grateful if you'd explain the charges against you.
Sessions: Why I declare, does this water have cucumber slices in it?
Bailiff: Well-spotted, my good man!
Sessions: My my my. That is refreshing. Well, Your Honor, if I must be honest--
Judge: You must be civil, Mr. Sessions. The rest is up to you!
Sessions: Thank you, sir! The charges against me are that I implemented a cruel policy of ripping babies out of the arms of their--
Gallery, in unison: GASP.
Bailiff: MR. SESSIONS! Please watch your language. Need I remind you, you are in the court of civility, sir!
Sessions: Oh, I apologize, I am so sorry, how could I have been so thoughtless! What I meant to say was that I have been charged with protecting our country from dangerous, violent gang members as young as 1 year old. If it please the court, may I show this clip of the film "Dangerous Minds?"
Judge: I don't think that will be necessary, Mr. Sessions. You've been charged with separating thousands of children from their parents, holding them in... summer camps... and doing so with no clear system of tracking these children so that they can eventually be reunited with their parents.
Sessions: Why, your honor, I've never heard it put quite that succinctly. You have a gift, Judge. And you smell like a bow hunter's hand soap. Is that... pine sap and elk urine? Your musk both soothes and dominates me.
Gallery, in unison: BY HIS HAND.
Judge: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Mr. Sessions, these charges are indeed disturbing. Hearing such things leveled against a man of your upstanding moral character, a man who ALWAYS washes his hands after he goes to the bathroom, even if it's just a number one... I am apalled, sir. APALLED. The court of civility finds you guilty on one count of "Delightful Southern Gentlemanry," and sentences you to a lifetime of mint juleps and nostalgia for a time that never really existed. All other charges are dismissed.
Sessions: Thank you, sir. Have a blessed day.
Gallery, in unison: PLEASE AND THANK YOU AND PARDON ME.
Bailiff: Case number 14578322. Civility versus Red Hen Restaurant.
Gallery, in unison: IT'S A SLIPPERY SLOPE.
Red Hen: Thank you for hearing my case, Your Honor.
Judge: I'd offer you a glass of water but you don't believe in serving people with whom you disagree, is that correct?
Gallery, in unison: GOOD ONE JUDGE.
Bailiff & Judge: (fist bump)
Red Hen: No, your honor, it's not correct. I often serve people from all over the political spectrum, not to mention people of different races, religions, genders.
Judge: But you did refuse to serve gentle lady Sanders, a Godly woman of virtue and beauty who toils ceaselessly to facilitate communication between the government and its citizens--
Bailiff: Um, pardon me, Judge... (whispers in his ear)
Judge: Thank you, Bailiff. I stand corrected. She toils ceaselessly to support our noble President, a man with hands the size of dinner plates, whose visage in no way resembles a snowman's half-melted butt that’s been peed on by half a dozen dehydrated schnauzers.
Gallery, in unison: SHE IS VERY HELPFUL AND AGREEABLE.
Judge: By the way, Bailiff, your skin is as smooth as a baby's bottom this morning.
Bailiff: It's the humidity! Bad for my hair, great for my pores.
Gallery, in unison: HA. HA. HA. HA.
Judge: Well isn't that the Lord's own truth! But enough of this pleasant civil nice easy conversation. Back to you, Red Hen. Is the “red” in your name a reference to the Communist party?
Red Hen: What? No. I—
Judge: SILENCE, COMMIE SWINE. Are you or are you not a socialist bigot?
Red Hen: No!
Judge: Yet you judged gentle lady Sanders based on her actions. That’s bigotry.
Gallery, in unison: REVERSE DISCRIMINATION
Red Hen: But... it's not…
Bailiff: (slams nightstick down on table) That's one, chicken bigot.
Red Hen: I'm sorry, I don't understand what's going on here.
Judge: I don't believe you ARE sorry. You haven't even said a thing about how clean my courtroom is. You haven't even mentioned how well I flossed this morning.
Bailiff: The floors are just glowing, judge.
Gallery, in unison: SO ARE YOUR TOOTH CREVICES.
Red Hen: Yes, it's very clean in here. It smells nice and your teeth are obviously well-loved.
Judge: Mm hmm.
Red Hen: I'm not sure what any of this has to do with my refusing to serve a woman who constantly lies to the press and enables a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic White House to continue to erode our nation's freedoms. I think her complicity in this administration's ugly actions--
Judge: DON'T YOU DARE CALL HER UGLY. YOU ARE A MEAN GIRL.
Red Hen: I... didn't...
Gallery, in unison: WE HEARD IT YOU SAID IT YOU SAID UGLY WE HEARD IT
Red Hen: I have the right to refuse service--
Judge: Not in the court of civility, you don't.
Gallery, in unison: NOT UP IN HERE.
Judge: I find you guilty of one count of disagreeing with the party in power, one count of being mean to a person who looks like my friends, one count of failing to compliment my dental hygiene, and seventy gajillion counts of not shutting the fuck up when I told you.
Bailiff: Um, your honor?
Judge: Yes, bailiff?
Bailiff: Sir, Marco Rubio just tweeted this morning about how the common use of the "f-word" is eroding our nation's civility?
Gallery, in unison: OH NO
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
THE COURT OF CIVILITY WAS JUST NOT CIVIL
BUT HE TOLD US WE HAVE TO BE CIVIL
WHO CAN WE TRUST
THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD
Judge: Well I'm the silver-tongued motherfucker in charge of civility and I say this chicken bigot MADE ME DO IT.
Gallery, in unison: TEMPTRESS
Judge: I will not be tempted!
Gallery, in unison: YOUR DEEP VOICE AND VEINY HANDS MAKE ME FEEL SAFE
Judge: I hereby sentence you to the mercy of the Internet. Your home address will be distributed to the patriots of 4chan, and your business will be smeared with both literal and figurative fecal matter. May God have mercy on your--
Red Hen: But I comped her cheese plate!
Gallery, in unison: THAT WAS NICE OF YOU
Judge: Oh. You did?
Red Hen: I did.
Judge: Well, I don't like you, so I'm going to assume you only did that to make me look petty.
Gallery, in unison: HOW DARE YOU HE IS A GOOD STRONG ANGEL OF CIVILITY
Red Hen: He might be civil, but he's not good.
Gallery, in unison: WHAT
Red Hen: What you call civility could also be called complicity, or consent, or silence.
Gallery, in unison: STOP
Red Hen: We are living in a country that is hurting children, attacking civil rights, promoting violence against journalists, openly pursuing an agenda of hate and oppression. We are living in obscene times that need obscene words to describe them accurately. And we are witnessing obscene acts that need obscene resistance to fight them back.
Gallery, in unison: I AM UNCOMFORTABLE
Red Hen: I understand why it's easier to get outraged about manners than about human rights. It's quite simple to tell which side of the issue "the good guys" are on when it comes to manners. And having good manners is an easy way to call yourself a good person, but good manners also have absolutely nothing to do with integrity. Sometimes the right thing is swearing a blue streak and refusing to get out of the way of a process that wants to hurt children.
Gallery, in unison: BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT THE MAN IN THE ROBE SAID
Red Hen: Have you even heard the tape of babies crying in detention centers?
Bailiff: NO SUCH TAPE EXISTS
Gallery, in unison: LOCK HER UP
Judge: That tape is leftist puppeteer propaganda!
Gallery, in unison: GEORGE SOROS EATS PUPPY STEAKS AND THEN SHITS THEM OUT AGAIN
Red Hen: You're part of a system doing unspeakable things, and you have the luxury of civility not because of your goodness, but because of your distance from the things you're doing. You can perpetrate hideous, awful, hellish acts with your shirt tucked in and your place settings just so.
Gallery, in unison: BUT OUR PLACE SETTINGS ARE JUST SO
Red Hen: I know they are. But look what's being served on them. Social progress is messy, ugly, and uncomfortable and is always, always, ALWAYS resisted by people who call for "civility," or "niceties," or "calm discourse."
Gallery, in unison: I LIKE THOSE THINGS ALSO BISCUITS
Red Hen: Me too, but that's not where we are. Go watch the all-new 24-hour "Gone with the Wind" channel from Fox News if you want to #MAGA. I'm gonna be out here putting my money, my voice, my body, and my job where my heart is.
Judge: But I just sentenced you to--
Red Hen: You sentenced me to shame, but guess what? I've got pardon powers on that, motherfucker.
Bailiff: YOU JUST SAID THE F-WORD AGAIN
Red Hen: Die mad about it, you fucking piece of shit.
Gallery, in unison: WHAT
THE APOCALYPSE IS NOT HAPPENING
THERE IS NO CIVILITY
SOMEONE WAS RUDE
BUT NOBODY DIED ABOUT IT
HOW CAN THIS BE
Red Hen: Welcome to the new world. We'll be civil when we're good again.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib:
Like I said, impeach the motherfucker.
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