Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

Yesterday's 11 Show, starring me, topic: the controversy regarding Kathryn Bigelow's new film "Zero Dark Thirty." See, e.g, Glenn Greenwald, Tommy Christopher on Joe Scarborough, Peter Bergen, David Edelstein, Dexter Filkins and Spencer Ackerman, to name a few.

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< Tuesday Morning Open thread | EW Review of Zero Dark Thirty: "Torture Worked" >
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    And now here's something (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:34:33 PM EST
    you'll really like!

    New Hampshire police taser Chinese woman for buying too many iPhones without showing a command of the English language.


    But don't fret. Police captain says that there's "nothing out of the ordinary" about it. It's standard procedure.

    standard procedure. uh-huh (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by sj on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:31:25 PM EST
    Remember when the justification was that tasers were a non-lethal alternative to fire arms?  Yeah, neither does law enforcement.  Unless the Police captain is saying they would have shot her for buying too many iPhones without showing a command of the English language.

    Safari dumps my link again! (none / 0) (#27)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:39:30 PM EST
    Link on tasering of Chinese Woman.

    "Our force continuum" (none / 0) (#98)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:40:36 AM EST
    Please, if you dare to question one of these policies in a local public forum, remember to thank your local enforcers liberally for their selfless devotion to the American Flag, and for being the only thing that stands between your front door and untold hordes, (hordes I tell you!) of freedom hating terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrists, meth-heads and murderers.

    Reading Les Miserables (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:38:38 PM EST
    I don't have the energy for it myself, but some of you were talking about it in an earlier thread. Here is a Slate blog where Troy Patterson is starting to read it and will discuss. He is a good writer so I will read his account even if I never read Les Mis.

    Thanks, ruffian. Now I have an unabridged (none / 0) (#62)
    by caseyOR on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:21:22 PM EST
    edition to seek out and read.

    Another mass shooting in the U.S. today. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:43:55 AM EST
    This time a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. According to NBC, preliminary reports from local and state police are that as many as 20 children have been shot. No word on deaths except to say that the shooter is dead.

    Merry fricken' Christmas, Wayne LaPierre and NRA.

    CBS (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by DebFrmHell on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:54:37 AM EST
    is reporting 27 dead, 9 are adults including the gunman.  His approx age is 20.  The kids ages range from 5-10 (Kindergarten to 4th Grade)

    Hopefully that number will drop.


    Yep. Merry effin Xmas. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:36:49 PM EST
    Makes one wonder what the LaPierre's stance on automatic weapons bans would be if some deranged Kevlar-clad crackpot who was armed to the teeth entered the NRA's HQ and proceeded to shoot up the place.

    Saw this graph regarding age distributions (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 12:58:36 PM EST
    of social networks and online communities, made me wonder how old TL's demographics are.

    I'm in the dark green colored age range (none / 0) (#3)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:04:59 PM EST

    I went to the youngest-skewing community (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:09:54 PM EST
    the devianArt site, and it's really pretty good! Very talented artists. I hope by going there I don't mess up their demographics. ;-)

    Will check it out. (none / 0) (#5)
    by vml68 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:29:28 PM EST
    Speaking of screwing up demographics, I think I do a pretty good job of it for my age range. I don't use any of the social media networks. Don't own a smartphone, don't text, etc.

    Mustard now, moving to orange in 3 weeks! (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:42:48 PM EST
    Happy early B-day! (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:59:12 PM EST
    So far TL is skewing older than dirt, myself included!

    Well, I'm older (none / 0) (#9)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:11:55 PM EST
    than you are.  Orange, not far from red.  You young pup!   ;-)

    Ha! I do feel young! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:25:45 PM EST
    Good. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:35:15 PM EST
    My dad always used to say "You're only as old as you feel."  
    (And, quoting Bette Davis, he also used to say "Old age is no place for sissies.")

    Thanks, I needed that!!! (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:38:55 PM EST
    You seem younger at heart than I do though.

    Quoting my dad again (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:44:02 PM EST
    You're only as old as you feel.
    Although, there are some days I feel about 80.  OTOH, there are days I feel about 30.  Not physically (I only wish!) but certainly mentally and in outlook.

    Welcome! (none / 0) (#73)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:56:46 AM EST
    I'm light green (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:42:08 PM EST
    oy.  I feel internet/old.

    And I've never even heard of orkut.

    Not surprised at all that facebook skews old if my family is any indication.  My parents use it more than I do.

    Deviantart is very cool, found it a few years ago when an old friend of mine posted jewelry he made.  He is a phenomenal jeweler, so it got me into the rest of the site.


    Oh, to be light green again! :-) (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:50:42 PM EST
    Actually, I'm pretty dam happy in my mustard years. Great wife, kids, friends. Life is good!

    Dark green (none / 0) (#17)
    by vicndabx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:46:26 PM EST
    graduated (none / 0) (#42)
    by Amiss on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:14:31 PM EST
    From h.s. in the 60's

    Unlike whoever put that article together... (none / 0) (#71)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:27:20 AM EST
    ...I'm close enough to the red to know that data are plural.

    Everyone should go look at Drudge (none / 0) (#8)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:09:24 PM EST
    Right now.  Like right now before it is gone.

    Not a chance (none / 0) (#10)
    by sj on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:19:51 PM EST
    No way will I give that website hits.  If it what it says was significant you should have said with that is.

    Huff Post (none / 0) (#18)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:49:16 PM EST
    I'll go with (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:06:30 PM EST
    the Huff Post's speculation that Drudge is "merely being cheap and incendiary."  It's what Matt Drudge does best- cheap and incendiary.  
    As long as it plays well with his right-wing fan base, and at the same time appalls those who are more liberal; actually, I would say "more human."  

    What Drudge does best (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:42:27 PM EST
    is keep the income level of his local gambling establishments in the black.

    Well, (none / 0) (#32)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:45:37 PM EST
    there is that.

    The Lee Atwater quote? (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:30:12 PM EST
    N**, N*, N**, etc. ?

    You think I am angry (none / 0) (#14)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:41:00 PM EST
    My email inbox just blew up with people emailing the drudge page around.  People are pretty ticked off about this one.  Think he may have gone too far.

    Matt Drudge (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:13:30 PM EST
    always tries to go too far.  He's a disgusting piece of dreck.  But he's on the internet- he may go too far, but it's not like he can be fired.  He maintains his own website.  He gets some advertising, and perhaps a threat from some advertisers to pull out might hurt him, but there will always be those idiots who won't care and will continue to buy ad time.  And he will, unfortunately, continue to get the "eyeballs" and the click-throughs that generate money from these.  Plus, I'm betting he accepts donations.

    But you're not angry with Tarantino? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:29:33 PM EST
    Drudge is just acting like a little twerp who loves to shock and probably also thinks fart jokes and "you said doody" are funny; clearly he just relishes putting the n-word in 48-point font.

    But isn't he just the messenger?  Seems like Tarantino's the one with some kind of message, but since it's not kosher around here to opine without having seen a movie in question, perhaps I should stay out of this one.


    Tarantino (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    Is awesome.  Love his movies.  The N word used all over the place in context is just fine (and don't tell anyone but the N word flows freely around family gatherings at my house).  

    The key with the word is, as with anything, context.

    It's angering because the N word and its use, combined with the links to Foxx making jokes about Obama being a Savior or what not) all fuel the conservative thought process that has the white male as the victim of everything in this modern age.  

    So using the words in that way is a not so subtle way of using the word to further inflame the sense of white victimization while simultaneously giving  allowing the same victimized white male to use the word in a way they may subconsciously want to.  Especially in an era with a black president who just crushed their white corporate savior handily.

    It's just disgusting on all levels.


    Can you give us an example (none / 0) (#28)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:41:39 PM EST
    of the N word "being used in context"?

    Because I was raised to believe (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:43:19 PM EST
    the use of that word is pretty disgusting in all instances.

    Do you object (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:04:26 PM EST
    to the use of the "n word" in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn?  Because the use of that word has gotten it banned from reading lists in schools.  But Twain was making a point about the times, and the slave Jim, in fact, was the most admirable character in the book.
    I am not black, and I would not presume to speak for black people, but I understand what ABG is saying.  The point that Tarantino is making, as far as I can determine from not having seen the film yet but only having read the revues (if I am allowed to write about something I have not yet seen), is to expose the horrors of slavery.  Among other things.  Such as the fact that slaves were not at all happy with their bondage, and that, in fact, some slaves did something about it.  Maybe not like Django, but they escaped and they fought back, when they could.
    The film may have anachronistic elements.  It may have scenes of horror and brutality.  It may use the "n word" a whole heck of a lot.  But scenes of horror and brutality, and lots of use of the "n word" were certainly consistent with the times.
    Matt Drudge is not trying to make this point-  again, this is just my opinion.  His point seems to be just to pull in eyeballs, particularly from his most loyal readership.  Although, he has gotten clicks from people who would not normally go to his website, so perhaps, in his stunted mind, he has been successful.  

    Huck Finn (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:09:40 PM EST
    I don't object to the use of the word in that book at all.  I would not want the version with the N word read by kids too young to understand context (just as I would rather young kids not read books with lots of curse words or sex) but for teens and adults, I think the book should be read as written.

    Zorba's right.  You can't white wash the times and if the times included regular use of the N word, then stories of the time should as well.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:33:07 PM EST
    I also wouldn't want younger kids reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, or Night by Elie Wiesel, or Schindler's List, or any number of other books about the Holocaust, either.  Nor Farewell to Manzanar about the internment of Japanese-Americans in prison camps during World War II.  Nor Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee about the injustices perpetrated on the Native Americans of this country.
    But all of them should be read and discussed at the high school level.
    Brushing such things under the rug does nobody any good.
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

       George Santayana

    I disagree (none / 0) (#64)
    by Rojas on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:35:02 PM EST
    These are decisions for librarians. Unless the ALA code of ethics have changed the books should be available.
    As for teachers, I would defer to their individual judgment.

    I was talking about (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:05:08 PM EST
    curriculum in schools, not what is available at public libraries.  As far as libraries are concerned, let it all be available, and let parents decide what their kids can or cannot read.
    As far as the schools are concerned, I stand by the recommendations for the age appropriateness of the books I mentioned.  And I would not necessarily defer to the individual teacher's judgement.  Many teachers would make the correct call, but I have also known more than a few teachers who would not choose to teach anything that would discomfit their own beliefs.

    Many will not (none / 0) (#67)
    by Rojas on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:22:58 PM EST
    "discomfit their own beliefs".
    Some will choose to make a difference.
    More power to them.

    You say "Many will not (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by sj on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:34:59 PM EST
    ...discomfit their own beliefs."  With your own words you admit that some will.  So are you saying that it's fine that student access to these works will be essentially a cr@pshoot depending on the teachers' beliefs?

    Which classroom do you want for your child?


    And by the way (none / 0) (#68)
    by Rojas on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:28:43 PM EST
    the school libraries are public libraries and the same code of ethics should apply.

    I agree, especially about Twain, (none / 0) (#45)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:21:40 PM EST
    who was writing characters that were true to the times. Twain wasn't being exploitative, IMO. I just don't understand why in current times, it's okay for some and not others. Because I think a lot of the people who are given permission to use it now ARE being exploitative.  

    I don't have an opinion of Tarantino's (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:23:37 PM EST
    use of it in the new film. I haven't seen it. (And I likely won't see it. I don't like Tarantino's films at all.)

    Libraries banning "Huckleberry Finn" ... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:24:03 PM EST
    Zorba: "Do you object to the use of the 'n word' in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn?  Because the use of that word has gotten it banned from reading lists in schools.  But Twain was making a point about the times, and the slave Jim, in fact, was the most admirable character in the book."

    ... are like the networks censoring the dialogue in Mel Brooks' 1974 provocative social satire-as-slapstick comedy "Blazing Saddles."

    As you so noted, Twain was actually making a point about the corrosive effects of racism in America, as were Brooks and co-author Richard Pryor when they wrote the screenplay for "Blazing Saddles." Thus, the word "ni**er" was included and used in both works for a specific reason.

    Remove the word, and you not only cheapen both works, you end up obfuscating the whole raison d'etre for even having broached the issue of racism in the first place.


    Examples (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:49:58 PM EST
    1. In a movie about pre-civil war America in the south

    2. In reviews about such movie.

    3. In movies or shows attempting to provide an honest portrayal of the way characters speak to each other in that time, place or setting (i.e. if it's a movie about the klan or a history of Tupac, I would be astonished if the word was not used).

    4.  When used by rap music fans reciting lyrics containing the term.

    5. By and between african americans who clearly are not using the term to denigrate the race generally and have accepted and embraced the term to depower it over the years.

    The issue with the Drudge types is that they do not understand how 1-5 can be true but they can't call Obama the N word. That makes it no less true.

    So, it's really just (none / 0) (#34)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:54:19 PM EST
    #'s 1, 4, and 5. In other words, it's okay when used by white people ONLY in explaining historical, pre-Civil War America, and it's okay when used by blacks at all times.

    Doesn't really pass the smell test for me. Either it's a vile word or it isn't.


    shoephone (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:18:04 PM EST
    Among kids of a certain age, I believe that the word really has morphed.  Example: something increasingly common is sitting in a group of all white kids or all asian kids and hearing them call each other the word without even thinking about it.

    My base rule is that almost all people know when they are using a term like that in the wrong way because intent and context are the real issue.  In a perfect world, we wouldn't be so draconian about it's use and only care when it is being used in an obvious racist context.  The problem is that a certain section of the country would take that leeway to use the word with a racist intent and then hide behind the fact that others are using it in a context appropriate way. Because they can't handle nuance, the word just has to be banned outright in most situations.  But the times are changing, and when I am walking down the street and hear a white kid reciting a rap song with the N word, I don't flinch any more because the kid isn't even thinking about the racist context. I think that says something profound about the end of the last generation to give the word its power.  Shoephone you may not understand this nuance because we are from a different time.  But the kids get it.  

    It's the same grasp of nuance that allows otherwise feminist women to call each other the N word and gays to call each other the F word in jest.

    We are the last generation that will require hard and fast, black and white prohibitions on such words because the next generation will be able to better understand the gray areas.


    Absolutely right... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:14:40 AM EST
    there is a generation gap...what was once a slur is now simple slang.  It's a sign of great progress...as much as it may make those who lived through the uglier past uncomfortable, it measn the racial/gender/sexual hang-ups of the past are disappearing.

    My view is well known by now...there is no such thing as a "bad" word, it's all in the context.

    Even the thought of censoring/prohibiting the use of a word is preposterous to me.  It would be like prohibiting a carpenter from having a screwdriver in his toolbox because it could be use it as a shiv.  Every word in our language is a tool in the toolbox, and all have their appropriate/unappropriate use.


    feminist women (none / 0) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:19:17 PM EST
    to call each other the B word I meant.

    Women of all stripes, (3.00 / 2) (#53)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:40:12 PM EST
    whether feminist or not, use the "B" word, and it still is used to offend. But I don't often hear women using the "C" word. It's a word that is, in my experience, used primarily by misogynists -- whose precise intent is to denigrate and offend -- and other ignorant people, who think they are being clever and cute. The only people I know personally who have EVER thrown that word around are two extremely misogynistic men, neither of whom I have had anything to do with for many years.

    I get what you are saying about the use of historically offensive terms, but I still think that these words have great power, regardless of who is using them, when, or how. And I have a lot of younger friends who don't generally denigrate themselves or each other with derogatory words. So, it's not just generational. But there is a cultural shift, and I think it's interesting and important to delve into what the shift is all about, and whether our culture is really better off for it. I have my doubts.


    The "B" word is now becoming more (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    and more mainstream, if you are not aware. I noticed it years ago among gay friends/relatives, they referred to each other, warmly, as "b*tches." And now I hear it more and more among the general population.

    I've also seen the "C" word used in UK/Ausie slang to describe men, mostly, in a positive way. "That George, he's a funny c*nt."

    I think it really does depend on how you use these words, although to an old fart like me, hearing them always makes me wince a little...


    I can't disagree (none / 0) (#55)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:47:53 PM EST
    with any of these points Shoephone.

    I struggle with it.  I don't use the term much myself behind closed doors, but I have family members that do and have for their entire lives.  It's hard to tell them to stop when they are using it in private and in such a way that everyone in the room understands the context.

    Tough issue.

    But yeah.  I still hate Drudge.


    He said Examples....not an all inclusive list (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:01:41 PM EST
    Yep, I asked for examples (none / 0) (#39)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:06:14 PM EST
    and ABG gave me examples. I just think it's a lot of intellectual acrobatics to create conditional circumstances when it's okay and when it's not okay, and for whom. But then, I'm not one of those women who throws around the "c" word around in the company of my women friends, pretending that it takes the power out of it.

    What?!? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:01:59 PM EST
    It can be used in a movie review about pre-civil war America in the South, but not as the title to a hyperlink to the review?

    Here's on for you. (none / 0) (#41)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:09:59 PM EST
    My kids watch this asian guy on youtube all the time: nigahiga.

    I told them they can't say his name, that it makes me want to puke. So they agreed to refer to him as "higa."

    Personally, I'd love for the word to have no power.

    Anyway, is it OK for this guy to use this name for himself? Should others just throw his name around in casual conversation?


    sarcastic (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:28:53 PM EST
    That's a tough one, but not because the kid is wrong, because there is a generational clash.  A person of any race calling themselves that just a decade ago would have been unheard of.  

    However here is an important reality:  The music of this generation is hip hop.  Hip hop music has embraced the N word in such a way that there is almost no mainstream rap star that does not have the N word in some way on his album.  Jay Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dog, etc.

    It's one of the most used slang words in the most dominant musical medium on the planet.  It's almost impossible for kids to escape it's casual use.

    I don't think we have any historical parallel to this happening in modern history regarding a hated term that is now so much ingrained in pop culture.

    So I don't really think there are any rules and parallels.

    Bottom line: I am with you.  I would not allow my kids to say his name (just as I wouldn't allow my kids to say curse words).  But I also understand that the prohibition would be more about making the adults comfortable.  At some point in the coming years, the adults of the day are probably going to think we are pretty silly.


    feel comfortable.

    With regards to #1 (none / 0) (#89)
    by coast on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:29:28 PM EST
    I know you are aware there were slaves in the north as well.  So why is it only appropriate to use it in a movie about the south?

    I'm no fan of Drudge ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:58:45 PM EST
    ... but that's a whole lot of convoluted/creative logic to arrive somewhere other than the obvious - he was using the word to get attention.

    BTW - Drudge also linked to a 1997 Variety article in which Spike Lee was criticizing Tarantino's use of the N-word in "Jackie Brown".  Lee said Tarantino was "infatuated" with the use of the word.


    Spike Lee (none / 0) (#46)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:22:38 PM EST
    Is a fellow alum of Morehouse and I have heard him speak on this topic a number of times in person.

    I love Spike and believe that his mark on our culture is vastly underrated, but he too comes from a generation where nuance with respect to these sensitive matters could not be tolerated.

    I disagree with him on this issue.  I am younger than him and I believe there is a generation gap on issues like this.


    I would offer that members of ... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:00:56 PM EST
    ABG: "I love Spike and believe that his mark on our culture is vastly underrated, but he too comes from a generation where nuance with respect to these sensitive matters could not be tolerated."

    ... Spike Lee's generation actually lived through the civil rights battles as youngsters, rather than viewed them as younger generations might today as part of stock video footage about 1950's and '60s Americana. As such, the difficulties and traumas of those times obviously remain a very vivid memory to Lee and his contemporaries, and their own views on such "sensitive matters" were hardened by those times.

    My mother has told us the story of her own race-based experience in late 1950s Jacksonville, North Carolina (home of the USMC's Camp LeJeune) as the young 20-something Marine Corps officer's wife from Southern California. While she was waiting at the train station with my older sister and brother to go to D.C., my sister had to go to the bathroom, and so my mother impulsively decided to make a public social statement of her own about segregation in the South, by taking her children into the women's restroom clearly marked "Colored Only." Needless to say in retrospect, this was indeed a very big faux pas for white people back then. (This incident occurred three years before I was born.)

    Upon exiting the "Colored Only" restroom with my sister, she was physically confronted by several menacing local white policemen and threatened with arrest for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. As it was, she and my siblings were taken to the police station, thus missing their train.

    My father and his commanding officer were then both summoned there to pick them up and take them home -- but not before everyone received a great big lecture from the local police captain about the necessity of military folks respecting local customs, statutes and ordinances, all in the spirit of continued military-civilian cooperation.

    Given that I had no first-hand experience with those times, I have no real idea what my mother must have been feeling at that particular moment, even though she told us that she was scared out of her mind and second-guessing her own impulsive bravado, thinking that she had unwittingly placed her own two small children in harm's way.

    I would offer that people who got caught up in those turbulent times didn't necessarily have the luxury of "nuance" back then. And we should remember that, and cut them some slack.

    As it stands today, my mother's own views about using the word "ni**er" are hardened and not unlike shoephone's, in that she considers the word to be a terribly vulgar obscenity, and thus not to be used under any circumstance in our everyday world.



    As it happens... (none / 0) (#72)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:53:25 AM EST
    ...the presence of the military in Jacksonville meant that de-segregation proceeded a lot more smoothly than in other eastern NC communities.

    Eventually, yes, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:19:17 AM EST
    ... it was still a few years off in 1958, when my mother decided that she would rock North Carolina's world.

    It was only 5 years later... (none / 0) (#93)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:06:20 PM EST
    ...that the schools there were de-segregated.

    Actually, considering the way the federal government came in and practically overnight ran people off of land they'd been farming for generations, their annoyance with her could have been due as much to a distaste for anyone connected to the military (or from "up north") coming in to tell them how they ought to be doing things as it was for a desire to maintain "separate but equal" restrooms.

    I wonder if there were any blacks around at the time, and if they saw her as a force for liberation or just another priviliged-feeling white, who'd take for granted their right to their own restroom while ignoring the rights of the blacks to their own separate facility.

    I'm not saying that's how she was, just wondering if she could have been perceived that way by non-mind readers.

    Did your folks live in town or on base?


    They lived on base. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:15:41 AM EST
    My mother still refers to those two years as the longest in her life. That incident -- and the civil rights struggles as a whole -- had a profound impact on her, and she despises those particular Southern whites she calls "crackers."

    I admit that it was convoluted (none / 0) (#50)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:33:45 PM EST
    I need to find a more direct way to explain.  I do think that far righties get a thrill from seeing the words used in that way. I need to refine my explanation.

    On some other day's open thread (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:44:56 PM EST
    I would be interested to discuss Edward P. Jones' novel, "The Known World" with you, if you have read it. It's a very provocative plot line.

    Shoephone (none / 0) (#69)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:20:29 AM EST
    Have not but I will definitely check it out.

    I think I know (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:24:30 PM EST
    what you mean, ABG.  It's difficult to explain, and if I find a reasonable explanation, I will let people know.  But I agree that it is convoluted, and I also agree that "far righties" are titillated by the use of the word, in ways that are far, far different from the ways that either black people themselves may use the term, or in ways that authors or film-makers may use the term, in the historical context of the times.  

    I think the titillation comes... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 11:42:42 PM EST
    ...not so much from the use of the word as from "getting away with it".

    Kinda like when people like George Wallace would say "Nigra" with a smirk.


    Don't get it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:14:10 PM EST
    All the other stuff he's posted, and a link ("N**, N*, N*, N**. ...") to a story about a Tarantino movie that uses he "N" word (with a photo of Tarantino) is where he's crossed the line?

    If it wasn't for... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:43:28 PM EST
    Quentin Tarrantino there would be no racism in the world.  And that Jaime Foxx too...lol.

    Forget that Bigelow flick, give me Django Unchained!  Crackers meet giant can of whoop-arse!


    I'm going to pass on "Django Unchained." (none / 0) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:58:42 PM EST
    I've heretofore been a big Quentin Tarantino fan since I first saw "Reservoir Dogs," but I didn't care much for either of his "Kill Bill" films, and I really didn't like "Inglourious Basterds."

    Actually, "really didn't like" is probably too mild a term in my case. I absolutely phuquing despised "Inglourious Basterds," which neatly substitutes an alternative fantasy world for the harsh reality of Nazi rule in World War II-era Europe, a place without any moral ambivalence where revenge-fueled violence easily solves everything, and the Nazis are only one lit match away from suffering a deservedly cartoonish demise. It was "Hogan's Heroes" with a lot of blood and gore and without the laughtrack.

    Seeing the previews of "Django Unchained" in the theatre, I couldn't help but think that Tarantino was simply lifting the premise of "Inglourious Basterds" and substituting the antebellum South for Nazi-occupied Paris, as a means to further indulge his inherently obvious fetish with violence by cloaking it as some sort of social commentary about the equally obvious evils of slavery in 19th century America.

    I'll wait for the DVD at Blockbuster or Netflix. And even then, I'll probably think twice about renting it. Personally, I think Tarantino needs to grow as an artist and director, rather than continue with variations on the topic of violence in cinema.



    A question of taste.... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    No question Quentin always go big on the violence...and revenge/vengeance is a common theme.  But he tells some great f*ckin' stories...I've enjoyed all of his films.

    Speaking of torture scenes...Mr Blonde came immediately came to mind.


    Tarantinos "entertaining" (none / 0) (#82)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 01:07:15 PM EST
    but personally, I always forget his movies about 10 minutes after I see them..

    What's "the take away", as they say in Tinsel Town? Is there any whatsoever?



    They've got take aways.. (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:02:36 PM EST
    certainly not "Shawshank Redemption" level take aways, but those are rare in Hollywood.

    One "moral" (if you will) I took away from "Pulp Fiction" was no matter how bad you think you are, there is always someone bigger and badder...everybody answers to somebody. Even Marcellus Wallace.

    And Mr. Wolf solves problems! ;)


    UPDATE: "Django Unchained" just ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:27:08 AM EST
    ... received a bunch of Golden Globe nominations this morning for best picture, ditector. etc. So what do I know?

    I'm still probably not going to see it.


    So (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    I take it it's not about Django Rheinhardt..

    No... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 01:13:07 PM EST
    But that Reinhardt did put the jang in Django;)

    Golden Globes nominations for best picture (none / 0) (#78)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:02:31 PM EST

        "Django Unchained"
        "Life of Pi"
        "Zero Dark Thirty"


        "Exotic Marigold Hotel"
        "Les Miserables"
        "Moonrise Kingdom"
        "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
        "Silver Linings Playbook"


    Glad to see "Moonrise Kingdom" (none / 0) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:30:16 PM EST
    nominated.   An off-beat film of a world where everything is perfect except the people---Bruce Willis in a role unlike what we have seen him do, and Ed Norton (not the Honeymooners guy of the sewers) was very good.  Frances McDormand (Fargo) and Bill Murray top it off.  

    before, "Nobody's Fool" was a good one for him.

    I loved "Moonrise Kingdom" (none / 0) (#88)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:19:29 PM EST
    It was my favorite movie of the year. Speaking of Bruce Willis, I wish I'd liked "Looper" more, but it was just too violent in uncomfortable ways that stayed with me after the film ended.

    on local news (none / 0) (#52)
    by Amiss on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:40:08 PM EST
    Charlie Crist (who is always around when Obama is) is now changing parties again. This time Democratic.
    I have heard rumblings about that he would go Democratic and run for Governor again for some time now.
    Floridians may vote for him too, after the screw-up that has been Rick Scott.

    Re: apples not falling far from their trees... (none / 0) (#56)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:53:19 PM EST
    Jeralyn, SITE VIOLATOR on the loose. (none / 0) (#70)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 12:29:30 AM EST
    Spammer gjfgjr has hit several old threads.

    Susan Rice (none / 0) (#86)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:50:51 PM EST
    is about to withdraw from consideration for SOS. The bad thing here is it may put Scott Brown back in the Senate.

    I don't see what you are complaining about (1.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Slayersrezo on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:20:47 PM EST
    That will just give your corrupt party another reason to blame those evil Republicans for failing to pass legislation the President and most of the Dems have no real intention of passing in the first place.

    Every single reaming you get (and I'll say this for Republican partisans as well) from some jerk you voted into office is totally deserved.


    They're all corrupt! - heh (none / 0) (#91)
    by Yman on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:38:32 PM EST
    So you don't vote?

    Of course he votes (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:34:40 PM EST
    He votes for Republicans, but comes here and fibs, pretending he hates both parties and is an "independent."

    Cue Chinaski.... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:16:18 AM EST
    The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.

    NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament: (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:53:32 AM EST
    At the NCAA Final Four semifinals tonight in Louisville, Oregon rallied to stun No. 1 Penn State in four sets 21-25, 30-28, 25-22 and 25-19.

    The Ducks will now face No. 3 Texas on Saturday for the national championship. The Longhorns were taken to five sets by a feisty Michigan team in the first match tonight, before prevailing 25-11, 21-25, 23-25, 25-12 and 15-11.

    Great volleyball matches tonight, and we'll look forward to Saturday's finale, which will be televised on ESPN2.


    Go Ducks... (none / 0) (#96)
    by fishcamp on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:50:43 AM EST
    Indeed. (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:41:04 PM EST
    I'll be rooting for them, but I gotta tell ya,  they're going to have their hands full with Texas. But then, who's to say that lightning won't strike twice in the same Louisville locale?