I Spent Superbowl Sunday with the ACLU

By John Zmirak Published on February 5, 2019

A wacky weekend was had by all. By most Americans, who kicked back and watched the news, I mean. How often do we see Democrats hoisted quite so high on their own petards? Pro-infanticide Planned Parenthood puppet Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia for instance. He won his race thanks in part to a vicious, lying ad accusing squishy centrist Republican Ed Gillespie of sympathizing with Klansmen.

Now it comes out that Ralph had the nickname “Coonman” in college. And dressed up either in blackface or a Klan hood. That was either for his medical school yearbook or a dance competition where he impersonated famous white-face performer and child molester Michael Jackson. (Northam seemed willing to moonwalk during a press conference, though his wife swooped in to stop him.)

In retrospect, I’m really glad that friends dissuaded me from going as the singer Prince for Halloween back in college. Instead, I dressed as the killer Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, complete with an ax.

Friends dissuaded me from going as the singer Prince for Halloween back in college. Instead, I dressed as the killer Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, complete with an ax.

Northam’s story keeps morphing, like Gollum’s voice in The Lord of the Rings. And Northam’s desperate attempt to cling to power is so far the farce of 2019. But this kaleidoscope of squalor might not force Northam out of office. The Lieutenant Governor who’d replace him, Justin Fairfax, is even more pro-abortion, and was actually born black. But now a woman has come out and accused him of forcing her into an act of oral sex. Fairfax has fed into rumors that Northam planted the story. Sure, the accuser’s charges wouldn’t hold up in court. But they’re more substantiated than most of the smears Democrats hurled at Brett Kavanaugh.

Pass the popcorn. Maybe don’t butter it, since you’ll likely end up hurling it at your television.

I missed most of this. I was busy. At an out of town wedding.

The Beagles Felt Abandoned

I normally don’t leave my beagle twins for more than a couple of hours. As rescue dogs from an abusive home, they’re kind of … needy. They tend to run in circles chasing each other and baying, for instance. That’s how I found myself expelled from a much-loved apartment.

But a friend was getting married in Houston, a mere four-hour luxury bus ride away from Dallas. (Every Texan should know about Vonlane, which costs half as much as flying, takes only an hour longer, and features first-class seats with cocktail service.)

Rayne Zmirak

Rayne Zmirak, as Audrey Hepburn.

So I really had no excuse. My girlfriend agreed to camp out, and thought she could handle Finnegan and Rayne for two long days. I stocked up on bully sticks and organic chicken feet to help her buy their silence. As it turned out, Rayne was heartbroken at Daddy’s absence, and moped around the apartment, pawing my bedclothes. Finnegan, the more sanguine hound, kept running over and licking her ear to console her.

Finnegan Zmirak

Finnegan Zmirak, as Burt Reynolds.

A Royal Wedding

The wedding was great. While the church was modern and therefore halfway hideous, the families picked beautiful music, and reverent priests. The day saw the union of a New England Armenian friend of mine from church and a lovely Texas Czech. I ribbed him that it sounded like an arranged marriage between a Byzantine courtier and some exotic Slavic princess. The wedding rite included the noble Eastern Christian custom of crowning the bride and groom, in a glance back to Adam and Eve in Eden as the crowns of Creation.

The rest of the wedding was thoroughly and delightfully blue collar Catholic, which is what I’m used to. No country club, no “destination” reception. The party was held in the church hall and featured goofy Slavic folk dancing. (Sadly, they left out the custom of making guests pin money to the bride’s dress to buy a dance. Maybe that’s Slovak, not Czech.) We ate fluffy kolaches and great Texas barbecue, self-service.

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I thought I spotted New York Times center-left columnist David Brooks in the church hall. I asked around, and learned that it really was him. (He’s married to a relative of the bride.) I didn’t accost to him to question his praise for Sen. Kamala Harris. And neither of us took part in the festive “chicken dance.”

The next day I headed home, and sauntered over to board the luxury bus. But it turned out that, like an idiot, I’d bought a return ticket not for February 3 but March 3. I panicked, but managed to get a seat on the next bus … five hours later.

My Holiday in Hell

So I had to kill the afternoon at the hotel where the bus boarded. And by a stroke of divine mischief it was hosting a convention, the American Civil Liberties Union. Thousands and thousands of people with the worst ideas in America, swarming all around me. Swaggering hefty womyn who spend most of the year terrorizing citizens at the DMV. Scrawny bearded beta males in boys-size “Smash the Patriarchy” t-shirts and fanny packs. Twenty-something girls with bright, deluded faces marred by ugly piercings, and pale brows perma-furrowed.

Thousands and thousands of people with the worst ideas in America, swarming all around me. Swaggering hefty womyn who spend most of the year terrorizing citizens at the DMV. Scrawny bearded beta males in boys-size “Smash the Patriarchy” t-shirts and fanny packs. Twenty-something girls with bright, deluded faces marred by ugly piercings, and pale brows perma-furrowed.

And here I didn’t even have a MAGA hat to wear. Though I did have my smirk, which I call “The Zmirk.” It got me through four years of Yale with people like this.

The 1980s were a more tolerant time. The Clintons used Confederate logos in campaign ads, and nobody said that it was racist to have a national border. Back then, if you criticized someone’s Che Guevara t-shirt, he might call you a Nazi. But he wouldn’t punch you for it.

The Better Part of Valor

This time it felt different. You see, the grubby common folk dared to vote against instructions in 2016. That brought out the punitive Red Guard that lurks inside your average liberal. When some shabby guy stuffing his face with souvlaki in the lobby asked one of the swaggering womyn what the ACLU was about, she explained it to him Al Gore style (that is, like a mean nun talking to a slow child). “We’re here to defend the Constitution.”

Twenty years ago, I would have volunteered: “Except that you aren’t.” I’d have gone off on how the ACLU once impartially defended all free speech of any extreme. But that now it’s just another interchangeable cog in the Intersectional juggernaut coming to crush us. A raucous but non-violent discussion would have ensued. No more.

Looking around at the zealots yesterday, and remembering all the fantasies of literal violence aimed at Kentucky schoolkids for “smirking-while-white,” I decided for once to keep my mouth shut.

Instead, I sat in a corner, charging my phone and reading Darwin’s Doubt. It’s a first rate book by Cambridge-trained scientist Stephen C. Meyer. It shows up the gaping holes in scientific materialism. That’s the creaking, steam-powered Victorian Rube Goldberg which serves secularists in lieu of a coherent worldview. Looking around, I wished there were some way to convey its contents to this multitude. Watch a thousand heads simply … explode.

Instead, I found the bar. Then I boarded my bus at last at 6 pm. Just in time to see, on the TV screen, some kind of sporting event. I couldn’t make out the action, but from the unchanging score of 3-3, I concluded it must be a soccer game.

But at least I was safe from the defenders of America’s Constitution. And Rayne’s little face lit up with glee as I schlepped my bag through the door. 

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