Links

They’ve been piling up a bit, I’m afraid.

Graphene: the gift that keeps on giving.

Remember what happened to the Shakers, kitten.

How to keep your man.

The Daily Telegraph, just a century ago.

– “You will know us by the trail of dead.

Ice, Ice, Baby.

Eagle grinders: the downside.

Duh.

Also duh.

And then they roll in it.

Works for me!

Duh #3.

I want one.

Sharks who tweet.

Faith in humanity restored.

This is why we rule the planet.

Thomas Sowell on income inequality.

Apparently not satire.

Old school.

I’d buy this on looks alone.

Radical chic.

Well, whaddya know?

Passweird.

Does this work?

Trick shot Titus.

32 Comments

  1. Kevin Kim says

    Regarding that “trail of dead” link (Handle’s Haus, “Bullied, Badgered, Pressured and Purged”): I think the sheer number of such “purges” helps the blog author make his(?) point, but there are a few members on that list for whom I have no sympathy: Michael Richards, Paula Deen, and John Derbyshire among them. I watched Richards’s blowup on YouTube and thought to myself, “OK… he deserves whatever’s coming to him.” The man basically ruined his own career and made himself untouchable, and since that incident was caught on video and uploaded to the All-remembering Cloud, it will follow him to his grave. Paula Deen? Same thing. Some of her remarks, in very public places (and also available on YouTube), were almost casually racist. As for Mr. Derbyshire, whom I’ve disliked from the beginning, well… I wrote about him here and here (oh, and here, but that’s not relevant to this topic).

    Again, I think the blog author has gathered more than enough evidence of the current PC “purge” culture to have made his point, but he needn’t have included Richards, Deen, and Derbyshire in his list of “victims.”

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    I do. The double standard is breathtaking. Jamie Foxx, for example, gets to say “I get to kill all the white people — how great is that?” on SNL, and everybody just laughs.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink
  3. Kevin Kim says

    I agree there’s a double standard. Those on the left justify it by talking about “asymmetrical power dynamics.” It’s OK for a black comedian to crack racist jokes about white people because whites are The Oppressor. It’s not OK for whites to crack jokes about black people because That’s Oppression.

    Edward Said set up the same victimological dynamic in his Orientalism: the West has raped and continues to rape predominantly Muslim countries. Violent acts against the West are therefore ennobled as acts of resistance, whereas all Western violence against Middle Eastern lands, real or perceived, amounts to oppression and subjugation. (I’ve long noted that Said’s principal hypocrisy, in Orientalism, is that he accuses the West of creating and objectifying a construct it calls “the Orient,” but in making this accusation, Said creates and objectifies a construct he calls “the West.”)

    But we don’t want to be guilty of committing a tu quoque fallacy, here—of saying “Well, Jamie Foxx does it, so why can’t Derb?” I think victimology is ugly no matter who’s engaging in it.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    The “white people” which Jamie Foxx referred to were the white murderers, rapists, and slave traders from the movie he was promoting. It is only by taking this sentence completely out of context, and wildly distorting its meaning, that one can infer that he was referring to white people today or white people in general (which, of course, was what right wing media did at the time).

    There is no double standard, because there is no equivalency between Foxx’s remarks and those of Derbyshire, Deen, Richards, et. al. – all of which are directed at black people today and black people in general.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Kevin:

    But we don’t want to be guilty of committing a tu quoque fallacy, here—of saying “Well, Jamie Foxx does it, so why can’t Derb?”

    I’d reframe that as “Jamie Foxx speaks his mind and goes unpunished for thoughtcrime”.

    Peter:

    The “white people” which Jamie Foxx referred to were the white murderers, rapists, and slave traders from the movie he was promoting.

    Well, there is for starters the fact that the movie he was promoting existed solely to portray white people as demons; a popular sort of pornography these days.

    But he didn’t say “I get to kill murderers, rapists, and slave traders — how great is that?” His remark, and the glee he expressed, was clearly about killing white people as white people. This framing, this categorization, is what exactly what made the “joke” work, and you know it. For you to pretend otherwise is morally and intellectually dishonest.

    Imagine similar pornography with the colors reversed: an innocent white person living in an area bedeviled by black ‘gangstas’, in which, say, his wife is killed by the “knockout game”, and the white guy takes revenge, killing an assortment of evil racial caricatures: pimps, thugs, crack dealers, gangbangers, rapists, etc. He then goes on TV and gloats about “getting to kill all the black people.”

    Can you even conceive of anything like this ever happening? Can you imagine the reaction?

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  6. Dom says

    Richards certainly wasn’t talking about all black people! Why In the world would you say that? He was obviously talking about the two people who were heckling him.

    Derbyshire was trying to be as obnoxious as the people he had in his sights.

    I don’t care about Paula Deen.

    I’ll take Jamie Foxx’s side though. That wasn’t him, that was the snl writers.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  7. the one eyed man says

    If you are making a movie about the antebellum South, it would be perfectly accurate to characterize the slave owners who raped, murdered, tortured, and bartered their captives as demons. If enslaving other people is not demonic, then I don’t know what is.

    There is nothing “pornographic” about this. It is historical truth.

    If a movie were made about the Treblinka uprising, and an actor playing an escapee remarked on how awesome it was to “kill all the Germans,” it would not be a racist anti-German remark. The prison guards, like the slave owners, were villains who received their just rewards.

    Nor would one require him to say “I get to kill the warden, the commandant, and the executioners – how great is that?” “Germans” is shorthand for the Nazi prison staff, just as “whites” is shorthand for the slave owners.

    The idea that Foxx was glorifying the murder of innocent white people is preposterous. You are observing a molehill and claiming that it is Mount Everest. By contrast, what Derbyshire, Dean, and Richards said was explicitly and unabashedly racist.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  8. Kevin Kim says

    Dom,

    Michael Richards, 2006, to a black heckler or two:

    “Fifty years ago, we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass. You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out. He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger, look, there’s a nigger!”

    Even if Richards was concentrating his ire on only those two hecklers, how could anyone in earshot not interpret his rant as racist? He says “nigger” and evokes lynching.

    If a black woman accidentally bumps into me and I bark, “Get your black hands offa me,” what does it matter that I’m addressing only one woman? It’s racist whether I’m addressing one woman or all black folks. Nothing excuses such language. (And since we’re talking fairness, here, I’d say the same about a black man who says, “Get your cracka’ hands offa me!”)

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    Peter, remember that the context of Mr. Foxx’s remarks was not the context that existed within the movie itself; they were made to an integrated audience in which not a single person had ever been a slave, nor kept any. But his real-time gloating was simply about the thrill of killing “white people”. Har har!

    As for your example, it would be one thing to for an Jewish actor in such a movie to say “I get to kill all the Nazis”. It would be quite another for him to express, while addressing an audience of young, 21st-century Germans, his palpable excitement about “killing all the Germans”. The former makes clear that his is a reaction against long-ago behavior; the latter expresses, panders to, and fans the flames of ongoing racial/ethnic resentment.

    As far as the media are concerned, Mr. Foxx belongs to a protected class that can get away with saying things that others (in particular whites, and most of all, white males) cannot.

    Dom: as for Derb, although he certainly made no effort NOT to be obnoxious, for the most part his aim was to rebut “The Talk” — in which black people warn their kids to be wary, for the sake of their safety, around white folks — by giving data to show that black people are statistically far more likely to cause violent harm to white people than the other way around.

    At the very least, he certainly didn’t fantasize about how “great” it would be to be allowed to kill them.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  10. JK says

    As Malcolm says,

    Peter, remember that the context of Mr. Foxx’s remarks was not the context that existed within the movie itself; they were made to an integrated audience in which not a single person had ever been a slave, nor kept any. But his real-time gloating was simply about the thrill of killing “white people”.

    Recall that only about 7% of the population actually owned slaves, and the historical facts even then are pretty messy:

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2013/03/black_slave_owners_did_they_exist.html

    Of course that article’s author being Henry Louis Gates [?] offers the take that black folks keeping slaves were mostly of the “benevolent slaveholding sorts” but he I suspect likely ignores Louisiana’s Cane River and “who” ran the market.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  11. JK says

    Well. That’s curious.

    As recently as 2006 I accompanied a Sociology Professor along with his mostly black class on a little excursion which trip’s purpose was to “open some eyes.”

    I kinda wonder whether recent PeeCee goings-on had anything to do with

    http://www.caneriverheritage.org/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

    ?

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  12. Kevin Kim says

    Dom,

    Did I miss that you were joking? If so, I apologize for being slow.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  13. the one eyed man says

    If an actor in an historical drama talked about killing Nazis to a young, 21st century audience, I doubt that even the most thin-skinned person would have objected. I certainly don’t recall any outrage when this ditty was released:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SlYtqpOu8Y

    * * * *

    Your argument rests on the premise that whites and blacks are treated equally, or the even more risible suggestion that white males are a disadvantaged class. The history of blacks in the US started with slavery, segregation, and lynching. When blacks marched for their basic constitutional rights in the 1960’s – the time Phil Robertson remembers so fondly – they were met by police with truncheons and biting dogs.

    The inequality continues to this day, albeit in more subtle forms. All you have to do is look at the blind studies showing how a job candidate with a black-sounding name and a superior resume is less likely to be called for an interview than a white candidate with an inferior resume. Or similar studies showing how when two similarly qualified renters show up to view an apartment, the black renter is far more likely to hear that the apartment has suddenly been rented and is unavailable. Or the disparity in sentencing (e.g., blacks use marijuana at the same rate as whites, but are four times more likely to be arrested for it). Or the laws in dozens of states whose intention is to restrict black voting. Etc., etc.

    I’m not here to defend offensive speech of any sort, but if there is a heightened sensitivity to speech which is offensive to blacks, I don’t view it as a huge outrage. The real outrage is that blacks are still far from getting a fair shake in society.

    * * * *

    I must thank you for the enlightening article on dog poop. From now on, when I drive to an unfamiliar place, I’ll be sure to bring Jenny, the Wonder Dog, as my GPS.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  14. Malcolm says

    If an actor in an historical drama talked about killing Nazis to a young, 21st century audience, I doubt that even the most thin-skinned person would have objected.

    You’ve misread me; go and have another look.

    As for the rest of your remarks, particularly regarding what’s “risible” and what isn’t, I’ll take that up in another post. I will just say, however, that I don’t think it will advance your cause to begin parsing crime statistics.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  15. Dom says

    Kevin, the joke was thick, not you. Looking back at it, it was not well executed at all. I was referring to a stupid interview Richards did afterwards in which he insisted it was only aimed at the two people in the audience.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  16. Kevin Kim says

    Dom,

    No, no—that’s actually pretty funny.

    Posted January 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
  17. “a job candidate with a black-sounding name …”

    What’s “a black-sounding name”?

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:38 am | Permalink
  18. the one eyed man says

    I think that if you get a resume from someone whose name is Kwame, Kanye, Trayvon, Moesha, or Shawniqua – or Barack, for that matter – you can reliably infer that the applicant is black, just as names like Chaim, Seamus, and Helmut would lead to different inferences.

    I once worked with a black guy named André. I was within earshot when the President of the division came up to him. “André. That’s French for Leroy, right?”

    This is the same guy who explained to us why Sunday morning is the quietest time in New York. (“The Christians are all in church, the Jews are all in bed, the blacks are all in jail, and the Puerto Ricans are all out trying to start their car.”)

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink
  19. I don’t know about Barack; that sounds Israeli to me. Of course, there might be some bias against an Israeli, too.

    As for Moesha, Shawniqua, or D’Brickashaw, for that matter, those names sound like they were made-up by mothers who were on an all-night crack binge.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  20. Malcolm says

    Peter, in the interests of decorum, I will spare our readers some of the similarly-themed jokes you have told me over the years.

    In short: one of the things that human trait-groups do is to make jokes about other groups. (All groups have their unique folkways, which by logical necessity seem questionable, or often laughably silly, to other groups.) This universal expression of human nature, which is a humorous and non-violent way of manifesting the in-group cohesion necessary for the survival of all human societies, was a perfectly normal part of life always and everywhere — until the modern Cathedral declared it a heresy, punishable by excommunication, public shaming and economic ruination.

    So deeply marinated are we in this new social brine (now at least a generation or two old) that we are beginning to lose sight of how completely at odds it is with our natural cognitive and social architecture. Yet we remain puzzled that somehow cohesion is declining, ethnic tensions are on the rise, etc.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  21. BTW, name-related bias need not be negative always. In Breaking Bad, Saul McGill is an Irish lawyer, who had changed his name to Saul Goodman because his clientele preferred a Jew lawyer.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  22. the one eyed man says

    Oh please. I have absolutely no problem with humor directed at ethnic groups, religious groups, gays, or anybody else. The last thing I want is a humorless world of political correctness. Offensive humor: bring it on.

    However, there is a time and a place for everything. When you lead an organization, it is never the right time, especially when the humor is directed at someone who works for you. It is not only embarrassing for the person who is the butt of the joke, but he would have the knowledge that his boss thinks unfavorably about his ethnicity, and would have legitimate concerns about his ability to move up in the organization.

    Over the course of my career, I have had one hundred or so people work for me, including blacks, women, gays, Asians, and so forth. I would never tell a joke which could conceivably offend anyone in the organization, and I never did. This has led to instances of tongue biting, but if you are going to be a responsible leader, you just don’t go there. Period.

    Suppose that you worked for a boss who made a joke in front of you and your colleagues about Scotsmen being notoriously cheap, or wearing kilts in order to facilitate access to the hind quarters of sheep. I doubt that would make you feel better about the organization you worked for.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  23. the one eyed man says

    I have no problem telling or hearing jokes directed at Jews or Puerto Ricans. However, I once worked for a boss who would call me a “pushy Jew from New York” and insisted on referring to my colleague Arturo Rivera as Artie Rivers. We both had the reasonable belief that when an opportunity for promotion would arise, our boss would give the inside track to a fellow WASP (which is what ended up happening).

    Being rude and boorish is bad enough, but making your reports feel uncomfortable about their ethnicity, gender, or sexuality is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want to be an effective manager and lead an organization in the right way.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  24. Malcolm says

    I have absolutely no problem with humor directed at ethnic groups, religious groups, gays, or anybody else. The last thing I want is a humorless world of political correctness. Offensive humor: bring it on.

    Well, you are at odds with most of the rest of the Left, then.

    Over the course of my career, I have had one hundred or so people work for me, including blacks, women, gays, Asians, and so forth. I would never tell a joke which could conceivably offend anyone in the organization, and I never did. This has led to instances of tongue biting, but if you are going to be a responsible leader, you just don’t go there. Period.

    Actually, I’ve had bosses who did just that, and worse. Sometimes they did it deliberately to piss me off. Other times they were just goofing around. But at no time did I think I had some legal right not to be offended, as increasingly seems to be the rule in all corners of society; at worst I just thought my boss was an asshole who didn’t like me. (I didn’t like him either.) One guy I used to work for, upon hearing that my daughter had just been born, asked me — and I quote — “when do I get to fuck her?”. You can imagine that my reaction was not an amiable one. In particular, in public companies managers have an obligation to shareholders to do their best to get the most out of their employees, and a manager who behaves like this can reasonably be canned for it.

    I agree with what you say here: from a management perspective, deliberately insulting your workers is stupid, because people won’t work as hard for you if they don’t like you, and think you don’t like them.

    As you say, there’s a time and a place for everything.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  25. “pushy Jew from New York”

    Mighty offensive, that; fer shur.

    Don’t know how I would have responded. Perhaps something like, “I resemble that remark, not being from NY and all”. Or maybe, “That’s triply redundant, asshole”.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  26. Malcolm says

    Following on my previous comment: the problem with all of this comes when the definition of “offensive” is up to the subjective whim of the offendee. That such offenses result in reward for the offendee and punishment for the offender creates a selection-pressure that favors the gossamer-skinned, and tends to create a humorless, frightened society in which everyone is terrified to say anything to anyone.

    As I have written often, the more homogeneous a society is, the more likely it is that something I find funny will also be something that you find funny, and we all feel freer, more trusting, and more at ease in the public square. If what is acceptable to say in public can only be that which offends nobody, and different groups are all offended by different things, then the the freedom of public expression shrinks every time a new group is added to the mix.

    It amazes (and depresses) me that this simple, fatal defect of multiculturalism isn’t plainly obvious to everyone. It certainly used to be.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  27. the one eyed man says

    I think the proper response to the boss who made the crude comment about your daughter would be “the next time your dick gets hard, so we have nothing to worry about here.” Regrettably, he can insult you but you can’t insult him, which is why this situation is so pernicious. I’m sure your boss was a big hit with the ladies.

    Employees have the right to work in an atmosphere free of harassment or intimidation, broadly defined. I don’t know if my black co-worker was spooked by being called a Leroy, but he may well have been. Had another worker decorated his office with a noose and the white sheets of a KKK Grand Dragon – or even gray sheets, if using their away uniform – he would have had plenty of grounds to be fearful and upset.

    If a woman works in an office decorated with a calendar featuring Vargas girls, it may be OK. If the calendar has split beaver shots from Hustler: not so much.

    The issue then becomes what legal remedies, if any, the employee ought to have. I think the balance between protecting the worker and protecting the employer from frivolous litigation is the Potter Stewart standard: I know it when I see it. If a reasonable man would take offense, then the employee should be able to seek redress. It seems to me that nooses and beaver shots clear this bar handily.

    * * * *

    I don’t think that “most of the Left” gets upset with offensive or racially tinged humor. Nor do I think there is any movement to eliminate humor which could offend some group, as you suggest. I’ll have to ask my fellow progs at the upcoming Malcolm X dinner down at the Ho Chi Minh Club. (Maybe next year we can have our annual jamboree at Bill de Blasio’s newly christened Che Stadium.) From Lenny Bruce to Andrew Dice Clay to Sarah Silverman, we’ve heard some pretty vile stuff, and I don’t recall anybody getting cheesed off. If the remark is personal and offensive – like Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton “the family dog” – that is different. Context is everything.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  28. Malcolm says

    I don’t think that “most of the Left” gets upset with offensive or racially tinged humor. Nor do I think there is any movement to eliminate humor which could offend some group, as you suggest.

    Ha! Well, now I know you haven’t lost your own sense of humor. That, or you’ve been out of circulation for a while.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  29. Malcolm says

    I think the proper response to the boss who made the crude comment about your daughter would be “the next time your dick gets hard, so we have nothing to worry about here.”

    My actual response was somewhat different. Let’s just say that I helped him to realize he had gone a little too far with that one. He was more respectful to me after that, and didn’t even press charges.

    Posted January 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
  30. JK says

    I think that if you get a resume from someone whose name is Kwame, Kanye, Trayvon, Moesha, or Shawniqua – or Barack Zimmerman, for that matter – you can reliably infer that the applicant is a “White” Hispanic.

    Just So Stories, Kipling: available on Amazon.

    Cheap.

    Posted January 6, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink
  31. JK says

    Do not trust any Imam in Syrian mosques because they are all employees of the Syrian government, which openly fights against the religion of Allah. It is impossible for people living there to attend prayers at the mosques without having the Syrian intelligence sweeping through the place. These Imams are either Sufis or fighting against Allah and his prophet. They write their daily reports and submit them to the oppressive Syrian forces. The majority of the people who are arrested while trying to cross the border are those who were betrayed and turned in to the Syrian intelligence apparatus Do not approach the Salafist youths inside the mosques because they are always watched in there. Try to meet up with them outside the mosques while maintaining a sufficient distance.

    Posted January 6, 2014 at 5:18 am | Permalink
  32. I thought Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information”, not to be somebody’s sockpuppet.

    Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

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