Opinion » Bill Cope

My Peace Prize

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I am obliged to tell you before you get too involved here that what you are now reading is not this week's real column. If I am to trust what the techno-elves down at Boise Weekly Central tell me, my real column is somewhere on the BW Web site, and if you are already there, I presume it is somewhere near. Just keep fishing around and I'm sure you'll find it. It's called "Free To Do It," and it was inspired by Scott Weaver's news feature "Have Gun? No Pizza!" (BW, News, Oct. 7, 2009). Did you read it? In a nutshell, it was about an evening out with a couple of our local "open-carry" aficionados, and as soon as I read it, I just knew I had to do another column about the open-carry push and its pushers. I should know better by now. Every time I write a column about the gun bunch, they write back in force, they write from faraway places: Texas ... Virginia ... Kuna, and as a general rule, they are not gentle with my feelings. I can't count the times I've heard how a "lib-tard sissy" like moi "doesn't have a clue."

Still, when inspiration shows up on my stoop, I cannot afford to send it packing. At my age, I never know when (or if) it will ever come again. So I knocked out my opinion in one sitting--my real column, that is--which isn't my usual habit. Usually, it takes me all seven days to get one of these damn things done. But on that piece, my fingers were flying. Flying, I tell you. I was like a columnist on fire. Looking back on it, I would have to say it was more than simple inspiration. If I were a religious man, I'd say it was ... like ... divine intervention ... or something.

Though I doubt many open-carry advocates will see it that way.

Unfortunately, if you are enjoying a latte in one of our area's fine retail coffee outlets with your feet up on the window sill and the sun in your lap, reading these words in the actual, un-virtual, paper and ink Boise Weekly, you're out of luck. And if you don't have an Internet to go home to, you'll just have to take my word for it that my real column is, in my estimation, some of my best work. If it were a song, I do believe it would win me a Grammy. If it were soap opera, a daytime Emmy. I can only hope somebody in Oslo is paying attention as they search about for next year's honorees. And that is what you're missing out on if plain old paper newspapers are your only access to the world.

I regret it has to be this way, but my editor, my publisher and I all agreed that what I wrote (in my real column) could not fall into the hands of children, any living saints who happen to be transmigrating through Boise, or anyone with such delicate sensibilities that they cannot stand to see a certain word in print. You might guess what that word is ... begins with an "f," ends with a "k," and has been offending decent people since Geoffrey Chaucer's day.

BW management has even established a policy regarding this certain word, as well they should. It is a dangerous word and should be used only with the greatest care--except, of course, by anyone involved in making movies, all the adolescents in America from the age of 11 up who are trying to impress peers with their gangsta cred, anyone who has ever appeared on the Jerry Springer Show, and 98 percent of all the stand-up comedians since Mort Sahl. So it is understood by all involved in the production and publication of BW that this word must never be printed except in very specific circumstances, and even then, very rarely. Very, very, very, very rarely. In my 15 years writing for this publication, I have used it only once before ... that I can remember. (You know how it is: who among us hasn't let it slip out in front of Mom or good old Father O'Herlaughy or a cop, without even realizing we'd said it?)

And this is exactly why we all concurred--the publisher, the editor and myself--that my column must be disguised as one of those Internet post-it bloggering thing-a-m'-jigs, and not be allowed into the BW distribution boxes. You see, I not only used this certain word again. I used it 34 times.

And that's why my real column isn't in the real paper this week. As we've learned how indignant some people get over seeing that word written out even once, just imagine the uproar were we to multiply that indignation by 34.

Obviously, there has to be something here, in this space, written on real paper with real ink. So what I thought I'd do--other than steer your attentions to my real column (adults only please, and even then, only if you have a strong heart)--is to briefly address the Right's resentment of President Barack Obama's brand-new Nobel Peace Prize.

As you've certainly heard, the party of pissiness is all lathered up over our president having been recognized by virtually every human being on Earth except them as representing a transformative shift, not only away from the intellectual and moral latrine that was the Bush administration, but from the self-righteous and supremacist attitude that grew out of 500 years of imperialism and colonialism.

Personally, I would argue the prize was a positive acknowledgment that the world will never be the same after last year's election--that it was an irreversible refutation of so many ethnic and religious divisions in the Brotherhood of Man. But not having space left to expand upon that argument, let me give to the Becks, the Hannitys and the Limbaughs the more succinct answer they deserve: If you don't like it, go fu ... oopsie daisy! I almost did it again, didn't I?