I’ve done a good deal of soul searching over the past few hours.
In my zeal to get my message out, while dishing back to the other side as good as they dish to us, I admit that I sometimes say and write things that are insensitive, even hurtful. Teasing the executive director of the Republican Governors Association about his obvious drinking problem…? That showed a regrettable lack of compassion and maturity. Accusing a sitting state senator of fucking pigs…? Impolite, at the very least.
And after reading the many thoughtful and compelling comments in the threads on several of my recent posts, I now realize that I’ve committed yet another lamentable error in judgment.
When the state Dems released their recent web video highlighting the disturbing connection between Dino Rossi and his pals at the BIAW—an organization that equates stormwater regulations with Nazi death camps—I enthusiastically posted it here at HA. It was pointed, well paced, and featured a catchy tune; all in all a nicely produced piece of work. So when the Italian Club of Seattle issued a letter condemning its use of the theme song to The Sopranos as offensive and anti-Italian, I admit I reacted defensively.
I hadn’t recognized the music, and to be honest, had listened to so many Rossi stump speeches in which he dwelled on his Tlingit heritage that I’d almost forgotten he was Italian. I just figured the complaint was political posturing, so even when the state Dems edited their video, replacing the music with something less… something, I defiantly reposted the original here. And here. And here.
But rather than listening to my own sense of outrage, I should have listened to that of my Italian friends, whose food I adore, whose culture I admire and whose love of democracy is so strong that they’ve elected nearly sixty governments in the sixty-two years since the end of World War II. After all, it’s not a question of whether I find the music offensive, but whether my Italian-American neighbors do. So if some pale-skinned guy named Brian tells me the use of a dance tune from a British “acid house” band inherently implies a connection between Italian-Tlingit-Americans and organized crime, who am I to disagree?
And so as a mea culpa, and a personal apology to Italian-Tlingit-Americans everywhere—but especially those in the Republican Party—I have taken it upon myself to remix the video on my own, inserting a hauntingly beautiful yet oddly appropriate piece of music I stumbled upon that couldn’t be further stylistically from the theme song to The Sopranos. Enjoy: