The Rhetoric of Figments

A classic mnemonic for spelling “graffiti” is that it “doesn’t have two fucking titties.” And the classic graffiti on locker room urinals is “A lot of pricks hang out here.” These durable tropes capture the sophomoric tenor of Chris Malone’s venom:

“Congratulations to the state of GA [Georgia] and Fat Albert @staceyabrams because you have truly shown America the true works of cheating in an election again!!!” Mr. Malone wrote. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl! You earned it!!! Hope the money was good, still not governor!” [Posted Tuesday night, January 5, 2021]

(Neil Vigdor, “‘Hateful’ Tweet About Stacey Abrams Costs University Football Coach His Job,” NYTimes, 1-8-21)

“Fat Albert,” a 2004 movie, is based on a figment of Bill Cosby’s imagination.

“… Because of the high school setting and gentle boy-girl crushes that partially drive the story, Fat Albert will have more appeal for middle grade kids and tweens.” (www.commonsensemedia.org)

Driven by the right-wing figment of election fraud, Chris Malone, an arguably grown-up white man, traduces “Fat Albert“ into a body-shaming label applied to a Black woman almost elected Georgia governor in 2018, and whose fight against voter suppression has recently helped put two new Democratic senators in national office. “Enjoy the buffet Big Girl” garnishes the spite with misogyny.

This is a taste of only one dish of Coach Malone’s rancid smorgasbord, but there’s no point in gorging on blind fury.

As an act of speech violence, Malone’s sally is garden variety invective of the sort fired gutlessly from the sniper roosts of social media. Its only distinction, other than having cost “an assistant and offensive line coach for the Mocs” his current job (spoiler: he’ll find another), is to add context to the myriad acts of physical violence carried out in Washington D.C., only hours after his tweet, on January 6, 2021.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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