Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 14, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SURVIVOR BLOGGING....As a longtime Survivor fan, I guess I'm supposed to be outraged by this season's newest gimmick: segregating the tribes by race and then pitting black against white, Asian against Latino. In reality (no pun intended), my initial response was, What took them so long?

After all, Survivor has never had any problem slicing and dicing the tribes by age or gender. Why is that OK but ethnicity isn't? Sacha Zimmerman expands on this today over at TNR:

In a country where the struggle for racial equality is a defining feature of our recent past (and where race remains a topic at the forefront of issues that span everything from education and poverty to military enlistment and pop culture), even the specter of segregation seems shocking.

But is it really? Whether it's in the ethnic enclaves of the inner city, suburban sprawl, or gated communities, America is a segregated country....In fact, Burnett's reality-TV stunt may actually reflect reality better than any other so-called reality programs out there. In a TV landscape where contestants are often plucked out of suburbia and placed in a totally contrived situation with a totally contrived racial make-up (think "Big Brother" or the "The Real World"), Burnett is simply codifying what everybody else has been happily ignoring since reality TV hit the mainstream; he is breaking the illusion that any of the other reality TV shows in any way reflect our everyday lives.

I pretty much agree. I'll bet this turns out better than people think, much as Welcome to the Neighborhood would have if Disney hadn't caved in and pulled the show. At the same time, I agree with Zimmerman that it's probably going to matter a lot less to the actual operation of the show than people think. (And if it doesn't well, that's why God invented editors.)

So: wait and see. American TV has always been a yeasty blend of simple storylines and treacly moralism, and I'll bet that when all is said and done, the treacly moral of this season's Survivor will be exactly what you think it will be: we need to look beyond racial stereotypes and accept every individual on the basis of their true inner gifts. Do you honestly think it will end up any other way?

More on a separate subject below the fold.

Survivor has been criticized in the past for being too white, but check out where this year's contestants live for a heaping helping of geographic favoritism. Here's the list:

San Diego, CA
Washington DC
New York, NY
Santa Monica, CA
Washington DC
Christiansburg, VA
Oakland, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Lake Forest, IL
Chico, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Long Beach, CA
Playa del Rey, CA
Venice, CA
West Hollywood, CA
Laurelton, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Columbia, SC
Los Angeles, CA
San Mateo, CA

Do you notice any particular area of the country that's a wee bit overrepresented? Sheesh.

As for me, I guess I'll be rooting for Jessica Smith and her cat Alita, who reside in Chico. She's a "performance artist/rollergirl," and my best pal in Chico will be amused to read that she moved there at age 18 in order to live in "a town that supports the arts."

Kevin Drum 6:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (126)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I deny watching this show. No one can prove that I do.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

I will watch when they divide teams up by their religious affiliation.

Posted by: Hostile on September 14, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just sort of irritated as to how they are creating the controversy to irk people, and then play it up themselves. I guess I should expect it though.

Posted by: Chris O. on September 14, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Surprise Kevin.
This country is built on the premise of race equality.
But race separation is strong, and I would risk to say, is seen with a favorable view by the white majority.

Posted by: nych on September 14, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, only ONE lousy contestant from Playa del Rey? Why people gotta be hatin' on the westside?

Posted by: dj moonbat on September 14, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

I apologize for what I am about to do. But I feel the need to kill this thread. Not because Kevin's point isn't correct, I just detest the show. So here goes this is what survivor brings to mind, this is what I heard in the gym for about six months.

[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)
[Chorus: Destiny's Child]
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm not gon' give up (WHAT)
I'm not gon' stop (WHAT), I'm gon' work harder (WHAT)
I'ma survivor (WHAT), I'm gonna make it (WHAT)
I will survive (WHAT), keep on survivin (WHAT)


Just say no to "survivors".

Oh, you don't think I am serious? Have some more survivor, this time from the 80s.

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger


Posted by: jerry on September 14, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I thought I remembered you being a little more concerned about this in your original post but I could be wrong. Maybe a link to it?

My main concern is just that by separating people by race you are going to exasperate all the racial stereotypes we already have about each other. I bet this will turn out worse than you think but the producers will edit out a lot of the worst stuff.

You know experiments like this have been done before. I remember a group of young people were seperated by race in some camp to see what happened and before long they were attacking each other in the most rascist, ugly manners. When they were put back together and talked about it things calmed down again but much spiritual damage had been done and that lasts a lifetime.

Posted by: Pablo on September 14, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I pretty much agree.

Me too. If a good Jewish girl like Sarah Zimmerman says racial segregation is OK, who am I to argue? It would be even better if Jews on Survivor were put in their own group also.

Posted by: Al on September 14, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Do you notice any particular area of the country that's a wee bit overrepresented? Sheesh.

Absolutely: all those states east of California. Why would they have anyone from there? Who cares about those places, anyway?

Posted by: Tom Hilton on September 14, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

While I detest Survivor, people enjoy going on the show, so I won't stop them.

...And California is more represented not because we seem to have more outgoing people, we might... But Because people are just more likely to join into events and mail ins which are near them.

Just more people from California offer themselves up; if the mail-in, auditions address was anywhere else in the country, I'm sure it would lean toward that region as well.

Posted by: Crissa on September 14, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I heard Burnett interviewed on the radio, and he pointed out that the structure of survivor means that the losing ethnic team will be voting out one of their own each week - so the struggles will all, initially, be internal, not across racial lines at all.

The team aspect is another story, however.

Still, I agree that this is no big deal. And I also agree that shortstop never watches the show. At least, I can't prove she does.

Posted by: craigie on September 14, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, only ONE lousy contestant from Playa del Rey? Why people gotta be hatin' on the westside?

Dude, you've got Venice!

Posted by: craigie on September 14, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

...And California is more represented not because we seem to have more outgoing people, we might... But Because people are just more likely to join into events and mail ins which are near them.


Oh come on, you can say it - it's because we're better looking than the rest of the country.

There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Posted by: craigie on September 14, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, why is segregation by race viewed differently than segregation by age or gender? Wow, I have no idea. That's a really tough one!

Could it be because this country has never had a serious social problem involving people being segregated by age or gender? No, that couldn't be it!

Posted by: Steve on September 14, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: We've never had a serious problem of gender discrimination? Really?

(Though, actually, my point was sort of the opposite. Why is it that ethnic teams make us uncomfortable but a "Battle of the Sexes" is no big deal?)

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 14, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is one of those few and far between moments where this blog is just completely too left coast for my blood.

I've seen Survivor once, at a bar eating a steak dinner.

Only because I had no access to the remote control.

I. just. don't. get. it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

And, I was just getting ready to contribute. I think Survivor and most of the reality shows promote and perpetuate hating your fellow man/woman.

Posted by: Mazurka on September 14, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, craigie; owe you one.

Steve, you've never attended a summer social event at which grilling takes place, have you?

(He said "segregation," Kevin, not "discrimination.")

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I will watch when they divide teams up by their religious affiliation.

The Christians and Jews would work together to build things, the Muslims would blow them up, and the one atheist would loudly proclaim how much smarter he is than everybody else.

Just like now.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 14, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Then, all three of them would gang up to exclude the atheist.

Just like now.

Posted by: craigie on September 14, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

I tell you all, this is gonna get ugly, but as long as money is made and Kevin is titillated it's all for a good cause.

Posted by: Pablo on September 14, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I'm waiting for them to split up the tribes by sexual orientation (butch lesbians versus caberet fluffers versus bears) - or how about a team of morbidly obese d&d nerds versus a clan of hardcore SCA fighters (or any other "living history" type group)?

This is why I don't watch Survivor. The producers obviously have no imagination beyond the original spark that spawned the show in the first place.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 14, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

And I also agree that shortstop never watches the show. At least, I can't prove she does.

A guy told me about this website that supposedly proves that shortstop never watches "Survivor" -- I guess because they have like, hidden cameras or something all over her house and you can see what she does twenty-fours a day and they say she never, ever watches it.

But dude, I totally lost the address!

So I guess I can't really be sure....

Posted by: trex on September 14, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight. . .
Posted by: jerry on September 14, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

And I have to say: what exactly the fuck is a "cream of the fight"?

No lyric in any song has made me want to kick a songwriter in the nuts more than this one.

And, I was just getting ready to contribute. I think Survivor and most of the reality shows promote and perpetuate hating your fellow man/woman.
Posted by: Mazurka on September 14, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

One co-worker, about two years ago, engaged me in conversation about Survivor, breathlessly explaining to me how it's all about "game theory" and how it's a model for real-world personal interactions. Sadly, he was promoted to management shortly thereafter. . .

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 14, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

trex: I disabled those cams. Next time, I ask subscribers to pay in advance instead of believing their convincing stories about how their wallets are in their pants and they'll pony up tomorrow if they can watch "just for tonight."

OBF: One co-worker, about two years ago, engaged me in conversation about Survivor, breathlessly explaining to me how it's all about "game theory" and how it's a model for real-world personal interactions. Sadly, he was promoted to management shortly thereafter. . .

Sheesh. Loser. At least I'd have the decency to be ashamed if I, um, watched this show.

Which reminds me, where the hell is mr. shortstop, my non-viewing companion? I wouldn't say no to a little worthless TV to take my mind off mourning Ann Richards.

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

um, their wallets are in their OTHER pants...

I knew that would bite me in the butt, somehow...

Posted by: shortstop on September 14, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Put a group of 30-45 yo gay men up against 30-45 yo straights, and the gays likely would win the physical contests. It would be fun to see the reaction.

And before the show is half over of course the individual tribes disappear, so this is just a gimmick for the start of the show.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on September 14, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

I work on a major university campus, and watch the students naturaly segregate themselves into clubs based on race. Black Caucus, Hillel (sp?), Latin, Polish, etc. I've always thought they should be segrating based on swim club, music, and other things that cut across lines. Oh well.

Posted by: Red State Mike on September 14, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: As for me, I guess I'll be rooting for Jessica Smith and her cat Alita, who reside in Chico.

Yeah, why would you want to wait and actually get to know the contestants before deciding who to root for? Better to just go with superficial impressions and tribal identifications rather than base your support on character and substance.

Posted by: Darwin on September 14, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

I've always thought they should be segrating based on swim club, music, and other things that cut across lines.

Brilliant! Swim club vs marching band. Even better, woodwinds vs brass. Ready, steady, go!

Posted by: craigie on September 14, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Survivor has never had any problem slicing and dicing the tribes by age or gender. Why is that OK but ethnicity isn't?

Um, 'cause "black" is not an ethnicity, and the notion of "race" is so imprecise as to be intellectually corrosive. It simply encourages an us/them mentality on the basis of physical features -- what's the point?

Look, we all inherit our bodies from our parents; why make people responsible for something they had no choice about?

The TV show is making a joke of our worst tendencies. Martin Luther King, Jr. would turn over in his grave.

Posted by: Pothique on September 14, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten: One co-worker, about two years ago, engaged me in conversation about Survivor, breathlessly explaining to me how it's all about "game theory" and how it's a model for real-world personal interactions. Sadly, he was promoted to management shortly thereafter. . .

The Dilbert Principle

Posted by: alex on September 14, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

And I have to say: what exactly the fuck is a "cream of the fight"?

No lyric in any song has made me want to kick a songwriter in the nuts more than this one.

"cream of the fight" is what you get when you kick a songwriter in the nuts really hard.

Posted by: billyj on September 14, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it that ethnic teams make us uncomfortable but a "Battle of the Sexes" is no big deal?

Well, that kind of show presents its own set of problems. But simply put, the difference between sex and race is that one is a matter of nature, the other a matter of perception.

Posted by: Pothique on September 14, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: Why is it that ethnic teams make us uncomfortable but a "Battle of the Sexes" is no big deal?

Because the differences between the sexes are more important and fundamental than the superficial differences between the races.

Posted by: alex on September 14, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the races "separate but equal", now glorified into legitimacy at the start of the game. How nice.

I'll bet George "Macaca" Allen is excited about it too.

Posted by: Irony Man on September 14, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Something already happened that may result in cry of racism. The black and white teams were bringing up the rear on first challenge. The white team started up the ladder to light their fire and the announcer told them that had forgotten to install their puzzle pieces in the wall. If he hadnt told them or told them at a later time, the black team may have beaten them. Just sayin...

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on September 14, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'll watch "Survivor" when the show draws the contestants from Baghdad and its environs and is no longer about them actually having to survive anything more serious than a TV game show test.

Posted by: TJM on September 14, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are so damn naive. Nothing good can come of this. Sure people are people are different, but so what? That should not be a point to drive apart - it should ignite a celebration of our diversity. But the small minded will surely not have that reaction, instead using every disparity to drive wedges and promogate prejudice. So why give them more amunition?

(And this is nothing like the formerly proposed ABC segment showing gays in a neighborhood environment.)

Posted by: pluege on September 14, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

wow...in need of corrections:

Kevin, you are so damn naive. Nothing good can come of this. Sure people are different, but so what? That should not be a point to drive apart - it should ignite a celebration of our diversity. But the small minded will surely not have that reaction, instead using every disparity to drive wedges and promulgate prejudice. So why give them more ammunition?
(And this is nothing like the formerly proposed ABC segment showing gays in a neighborhood environment.)

Posted by: pluege on September 14, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Trying to talk logic with a republican is as futile as this!

Posted by: BigJohn on September 14, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Survivor: Race War"

Posted by: Jason on September 14, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Television one of the few things you can see better with your head up your ass.

Posted by: olds88 on September 14, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think survivor would be a much better game if they did away with the voting people off the island thing. Just keep score. The tribe with the most points at the end gets the biggest prize, but the prize has to be divided unequally, with the appropriate shares determined by a vote at the council. A team would have to work together to get to the council, but would then have to evaluate each other's contributions. That would be interesting.

Posted by: Randy on September 14, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

pluege;

Yes - the way to illustrate the benefits of diversity would be to pit an ethnically diverse team against a monoculture (like a group of southern white supremecists).

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 14, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and speaking of reality television, this just in:

Dog the Bounty Hunter is behind bars in Hawaii as we type.

They got him for skipping Mexican bail when he picked up the Max Factor heir -- the nab that made his rep and got him the TV show.

The judge is going to swear out an extradition and it's off to Mexican jail for him, his son and that other guy with the same last name. Hehe ... be nice to see them work that into next season's plot.

(Yes, I *do* watch some commercial TV occasionally when my buds come over for beer drinkin' on the weekends. About two hours every three weeks.)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

OBF:

Or even better: monculture vs monoculture.

Amish vs Hasidim !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

The winner gets to choose wives from the winning team.

j/k

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think Survivor should be set in the U.S. Capitol, where the contestants have to feed off the scant bits of intellectual nourishment to be found lying in the hallways and have to avoid fatal cranial fecal syndrome, where their brains turn to shit, just like the current President of the United States.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 14, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the useless info Bob.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Tribalism is not a good thing, folks.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 14, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

And thank you, "Bob," for being such a jealous and humorless nebbish.

You know, beating up on trolls is fun, but kicking the shit out of Doppelgangers is *sublime* :)

Frequency Kenneth:

Well, just blame your good friend, the market economy. Obviously Survivor is a show with good ratings and the audience enjoys watching people team up according to various attributes. Race is one form of tribe, but they are assuredly others.

If I watched the show (heh), I'd like to see jazz vs rock musicians, but that's my preferred little micro-market niche.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

hopeless pedant: "And before the show is half over of course the individual tribes disappear, so this is just a gimmick for the start of the show."

I think the gimmick is breath-takingly audacious, and I'm curious to know where it will go! In a classic study, the Robber's Cave Study, psychologists took 22 white boys, encouraged them to form teams (they named themselves the Rattlers and the Eagles) and then, after a period during which the teams competed for resources and become increasingly polarized, the researchers sought to get the two teams to set aside animosity and work together towards common goals.

The study is usually interpreted in the context of race--as evidence that one can't integrate competing groups (aka racial groups) by simply putting them together. For competing teams (aka racial groups) to cohere into one happy family, you need equal status participation, leadership and superordinate goals.

So I'm very interested to know if this stupid TV show is going to be a modern Robber's Cave? Except this time, instead of 22 white boys, the participants are adults from different racial groups. Is equal status participation possible? And at the end, the winner goes home with a jackpot--forget about the idea of superordinate goals.

Posted by: PTate in MN on September 14, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

PTate:

Honestly, I'm with Kevin on this. In TV Land, much is done to maintain the illusion that every social out-group can rise to the top tiers of consumerist paradise. From The Cosby Show to MTV's Cribs -- great pain is taken to show African-Americans grabbin' on to that piece of that dee-licious American Pie. I think the sponsors are very much behind this, because encouraging emulative behavior is not only PC, but it strokes the economy.

So I think, just like Kevin, that you're going to see some evenly-matched teams that fight hard, respect each other as competitors at the end, with the winner squeaking by by a vote or two.

Racial dissonance is positively awful for a consumer economy, and it will only be exploited to the extent that it draws interest in the show. Expect no Milgram experiment or William Golding-level revelations about the darkness at the core of human nature.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 14, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting to note that Disney/ABC caved and pulled "Welcome to the Neighborhood" but insisted on airing their "Road to 9-11" POS.

Posted by: kd on September 14, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

What Language Will You Be Speaking?

Posted by: elmo on September 14, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, you really need a hobby.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:

You're right. I think I'll take up spoofing blog regulars.

Thanks for setting such a good example :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK
I work on a major university campus, and watch the students naturaly segregate themselves into clubs based on race. Black Caucus, Hillel (sp?), Latin, Polish, etc. I've always thought they should be segrating based on swim club, music, and other things that cut across lines. Oh well. Posted by: Red State Mike on September 14, 2006 at 8:27 PM
Are you saying that your campus doesn't have a swim team? Or a marching band? Or the dozens of sports, music, artistic, political, or literary clubs that one finds on most major campuses? Nobody segregates according to their interests there at Red State U.? It's all tribal?

I was sure that you hung out with the Objectivists Club and tripped out to Rush albums when you were in college.

Oh sure, every campus has ethnic cultural groups, but I've never set foot on a campus where those groups were the primary social groupings. I guess the Greek system counts as good old-fashioned class segregation, but they're rarely a majority of the campus these days.

Hell, I watched sporting events at La Casa Latina with friends when I was in school. It's not like they kicked my gringo ass out of the building or refused me beer or anything.

Posted by: ajl on September 15, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

ajl:

Sadly enough, I saw a lot of the same thing at my large Northeastern state university. There was definitely auto-segregation of the African-Americans in the cafeteria lunchroom, at least when I went back to school there.

Which isn't to say that race or ethnicity trumps other kinds of self-sorting; far from it. Only that tribal identities have yet to wither away even in a highly integrated part of the country with burgeoning assimiliated immigrant populations from every corner of the globe.

America's never been precisely a melting pot. More like a salad bowl.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

To quote Kevin in an earlier post:

"Or is pessimist what we call racists and xenophobes these days?"

So, "sloppy wording" is racism, yet outright segregation is not worthy of similar outrage? Indeed, Kevin wonders "What took them so long?".

Sorry Kevin, I generally agree with much of what you write, but your selective outrage has left me a bit confused.

Personally I find "reality" shows distasteful & unwatchable. I can honestly say I've not seen more than 5 minutes of "Survivor" during its entire run. But I find this latest premise particularly offensive. Not because of its overtly racist content, but because of its pandering to shock-value/lowest-common-denominator bullshit.

US "reality" shows only confirm what the rest of the world already suspected: Americans are idiots. The fact the Bush is serving a second term only enhances that belief.

Posted by: raff on September 15, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

OK. Sure California has the overwhelming number of contestants, but isn't DC winning the number of contestants vs. actual population prize? Do I get an honorable mention for noticing that?

As to this year's "theme," I have to say I'm neither really offended or very interested. I think it's a cheap gimmick, and will most likely be dealt with in the most cliched way imaginable, pretty much as Kevin suspects.

Personally, I'm waiting for a version of Survivor that doesn't leave just one person standing, but that requires group coordination all the way through. Give me staff vs. management, and make it a team win, and I actually might bother to watch Survivor again.

Hell, give me HR vs. marketing (again with the group concept) and I would watch Survivor again.

If there's one thing that tired franchise really needs to rework, it's the boring solo Machiavelli thing. How many times have we seen that? From Richard what's his name to Puck from the Real World to who cares?

Celebrities (even reality solo celebrities) are old hat. Give me staff vs. management!

Posted by: moot23 on September 15, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Survivor has never had any problem slicing and dicing the tribes by age or gender. Why is that OK but ethnicity isn't?"

Kevin, this is just idiotic. I'd like to tell you why without getting all academic and crap, but i'm not certain i can. Poethique put it pretty well above, here's my take:

What you're trying to be polite and call "ethnicity" here is race, & race is tricky. Age and gender are physical differences, & while they can be used to type and limit people, our understanding of them as physical differences is at least fairly consistent (less so gender i guess) with their physical nature. But, race is a social difference that's been mapped onto certain sets of physical characteristics through a long and terrible history. There is no more genetic difference between someone who's "black" and someone who's "white" than there is between someone who's Swedish and someone who's Irish. But that difference is felt and understood and acted out socially, and passed down historically, to a degree which dwarfs any actual "racial" differences.

Race is a kind of a lie that's gone hand in hand with social differentiation and oppression for centuries, often propped up by pseudo science. It lives in people's heads as a much more serious distinction than it is, & that idea, that the differences between "races" amount to more than the difference between say brown and blue eyes, or between being 5'5" and 6'3" tall, is given tautalogical (circular & false) confirmation in real world circumstances that are the result of centuies of oppression origianaly justified by that same idea.

That is to say that Europeans & early Americans justified enslaving Africans (i know, i know, Africans enslaved each other too-but not on this scale & that's beside the point here)by deeming (and for most probably believing) that they were an "inferior race." This belief, bolstered first by biblical interpretation and then by errant and faulty science, outlived slavery, & propped up legal and social segregtion and oppression in the North and South. so, when you look around you and see that "Whether it's in the ethnic enclaves of the inner city, suburban sprawl, or gated communities, America is a segregated country"-what you are looking at is the long shadow of oppression, misery and heartbreak, and the idea that racial differences amount to any kind of real difference has been the primary engine of that oppression.

Before asking why a populr TV show shouldn't endorse race-based tribalism and competition, you could just as well ask yourself why it would make you feel like a tool to compliment a black friend on their excellent sense of natural rhythm. I mean, rhythm is a good thing, right? if you can figure out why this isn't a winning way to relate to someone, you should be able to figure out what's so fucking obnoxious aobut this version of Survivor. Or jsut go watch your damn game show.


Posted by: URK on September 15, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't mean to harsh on you so much Kevin, I usually abhor that kind of host-bashing. Just frustrated that you don't see this at all. Let me add to my rant above: people do self-segregate by race, as many people observe, and it's not all just about opression. It's not, I think, even always a bad thing, as long as the social boundaries remain permeable and as long as there's a real integrationist public ethic. My problem with Survivor doing this is that it's bringing those "intelectually corrosive" ( thanks poethique) ideas of racial difference into that public culture. I also think it's safe to say that the reasons that people feel more comfortable self segregating have alot to do with living in a society that's still trying to get out from under the history I was ranting about.

This is also I think, why "racial identity" can be a slippery and troublesome political rallying point. You can't throw off racial oppression by pretending it doesn't exist of course. And, throwing off oppression requires that the oppressed have a way of rallying, of reclaiming and healing a stolen and corrupted sense of self. But you run the risk of adding energy to a sense of difference that's used to seperate people who otherwise have commmon political enemies. As Patterson Hood of the great Southern rock band the Drive-By Truckers singss "Ain't about the races, sucha crying shame/to the fucking rich man all poor people look the same."

Posted by: URK on September 15, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1: The judge is going to swear out an extradition and it's off to Mexican jail for him, his son and that other guy with the same last name. Hehe

Was the Max Factor heir/rapist that Dog brought to justice (now serving a 124 year sentence) a particular friend of yours that you're now so gleeful over the prospect of the bounty hunter spending years in a Mexican prison?

Posted by: bookem on September 15, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

bookem:

No. Why? Did you quote me out of context so it would seem that way?

Helpful hint: That "Hehe" was part of the next sentence you left off.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

It would be even better if Jews on Survivor were put in their own group also.

Great idea, Al. And they could all live together too, like say, in a camp or something.

Idiot.

Posted by: Reprobate on September 15, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

I would like to associate myself with URK's remarks above. Well put!

Instead of Survivor blogging can we have some The Wire blogging?

Posted by: Mad Professah on September 15, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

thanks mad professah! I think that Poethique said most of that more compactly and elegantly upthread.

Posted by: URK on September 15, 2006 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't read any of the comments so maybe someone thought of this already. But I think they should pit a team of blacks (African-Americans is difficult for me to say since I live in Norway where that term doesn't really apply) against a team of neo-nazi racists. Most of the challenges and such could be intellectual in nature and we could all watch the neo-nazi's get their asses handed to them by the people they think are beneath them. It would be contrived, certainly, but really fun to watch.

Posted by: platosearwax on September 15, 2006 at 4:32 AM | PERMALINK

No offense intended, but reality TV shows like CBS' Survivor and and news programs like MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews are but two of the reasons that I spend most of my free time surfing the net.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 15, 2006 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

"Survivor: Race War"

More like "Survivor: Hell in the Pacific"

Posted by: ajay on September 15, 2006 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Bob: That "Hehe" was part of the next sentence you left off.

Right, because no matter how dyslexic it might seem to laugh at jokes before telling them, the best way to signal one has changed one's tone from sympathetic to ironic is to begin giggling.

Posted by: bookem on September 15, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Read today's NYT story on "Survivor" -- Alessandra Stanley apparently doesn't read her own newspaper because she mentioned "Welcome to the Neighborhood" and repeated ABC's excuse at the time for killing it: that "civil rights groups" had complained about it.

Posted by: Melissa on September 15, 2006 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, let me get this straight -- there will be a primetime show where 75% of the people won't be white?

Posted by: cm on September 15, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Survivor has always been an excellent metaphor for America in general. One big winner, a handful of people who take home a decent paycheck, and a bunch of folks who don't get jack for their efforts. And of course lying, back-stabbing, and manipulation is not just accepted, but encouraged if it helps one "compete"...

Posted by: Dan T. on September 15, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

URK writes:

There is no more genetic difference between someone who's "black" and someone who's "white" than there is between someone who's Swedish and someone who's Irish. But that difference is felt and understood and acted out socially, and passed down historically, to a degree which dwarfs any actual "racial" differences.

Race is a kind of a lie that's gone hand in hand with social differentiation and oppression for centuries, often propped up by pseudo science. It lives in people's heads as a much more serious distinction than it is, & that idea, that the differences between "races" amount to more than the difference between say brown and blue eyes, or between being 5'5" and 6'3" tall, is given tautalogical (circular & false) confirmation in real world circumstances that are the result of centuies of oppression origianaly justified by that same idea.

You have fallen for Lewontin's Fallacy, see here:

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/lewontindebunked.pdf

"Conclusion
There is nothing wrong with Lewontins statistical analysis of variation, only with the belief that it is relevant to classification. It is not true that racial classification is . . . of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance. It is not true, as Nature claimed, that two random individuals from any one group are almost as different as any two random individuals from the entire world, and it is not true, as the New Scientist claimed, that two individuals are different because they are individuals, not because they belong to different races and that you cant predict someones race by their genes. Such
statements might only be true if all the characters studied were independent, which they are not."

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002443.html

"Second, a single global metric of variance obscures the correlation structure of the variance in the human genome."

Also see:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1196372

"We note that the genetic cluster results indicate that older geographic ancestryrather than recent geographic originis highly correlated with racial/ethnic categorizations and, thus, is the major determinant of genetic structure in the population."

Posted by: rory on September 15, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Like they are going to get people who live in segregation, CA is the obvious choice because of it's diversity. I would imagine that all the races are going to be fairly bland, mixed-up, and people who are used to being around other races.

Posted by: ScottW on September 15, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I will watch when they divide teams up by their religious affiliation.

Oh dear god yes! Four teams of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians -- and hey, why not throw in a team of pagans too!

It would be simply the greatest show ever broadcast.

Posted by: D'oh Jones on September 15, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, "Dog Whisperer" is the best show ever. The phoney plots on the "reality" shows are so thinly contrived as to be physically painful to watch.

Watching some dude wrestle a foaming, snarling Weimaraner into submission? Now THAT's some real television.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on September 15, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

I will watch when they divide teams up by their religious affiliation.

Hey, what a concept! And instead of getting voted off, they get burned at the stake!

Posted by: Joshua Norton on September 15, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I've just submitted a treatment to the Survivors producers for a new version of the show in which teams of Sneetches are divided according to whether or not they have stars on their bellies.

Posted by: Wonderin on September 15, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

URK -- if race doesn't exist, how do you explain the study cited below? Please debate in scientific, and not simply in emotional terms (i.e. it's insufficient to simply say "that's racist pseudo-science" in response to scientific studies that don't produce the results you want).

"Turning to race, we must begin with the fraught question of whether it even exists, or whether it is instead a social construct. The Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin originated the idea of race as a social construct in 1972, arguing that the genetic differences across races were so trivial that no scientist working exclusively with genetic data would sort people into blacks, whites, or Asians. In his words, racial classification is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance.25

Lewontins position, which quickly became a tenet of political correctness, carried with it a potential means of being falsified. If he was correct, then a statistical analysis of genetic markers would not produce clusters corresponding to common racial labels.

In the last few years, that test has become feasible, and now we know that Lewontin was wrong.26 Several analyses have confirmed the genetic reality of group identities going under the label of race or ethnicity.27 In the most recent, published this year, all but five of the 3,636 subjects fell into the cluster of genetic markers corresponding to their self-identified ethnic group.28 When a statistical procedure, blind to physical characteristics and working exclusively with genetic information, classifies 99.9 percent of the individuals in a large sample in the same way they classify themselves, it is hard to argue that race is imaginary."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html

Posted by: erkon on September 15, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Have they tried Dems vs. Repubs yet? Protestants vs. Catholics? Morbidly obese vs. anorexics? I mean really, how hard are they trying?

Posted by: G on September 15, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

TEST
Posted by: Thomas1 on September 15, 2006 at 8:32 AM

Charlie's best post ever.

Posted by: craigie on September 15, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

And I have to say: what exactly the fuck is a "cream of the fight"?
No lyric in any song has made me want to kick a songwriter in the nuts more than this one.

Uh, I think the lyric is actually "thrill of the fight"

Posted by: Bob Smith on September 15, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Certainly his most prescient.

Posted by: shortstop on September 15, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

This show helps legitimizd existing segregation in not just viewers minds but in the minds of anyone who comes in contact with the news that it is being broadcast. It also legitimizes the assumption that there are underlying differences based purely on genetics. Sure, it would be legal to give the Bell Curve authors a weekly television program to espouse their views on racial superiorities and deficiencies, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't legitimize bad science and existing racial prejudice.

This hurts my family because we are multi-racial and the show encourages preconceived perceptions that we are not grouping correctly. Broadcast of this show would have been unheard of 15 years ago, but I think the public is being desensitised to all sorts of things that were formerly considerred backward and destructive, including torture.

Posted by: Mirror on September 15, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Still hard to say, but that's what makes it worth talking about. URK and Mirror make valid points, but the show may end up making those points in terms Joe Idaho can understand. Before this is over, the "tribes" are going to get mixed up and alliances will form across social barriers, just as they do in "real" real life.

The current notion of race, per URK, is in fact nothing more than family resemblance written down in books as if it were law. That may be one reason that the people who squawk so loud about family values are also those who are so afraid of other races. Maybe eventually we won't even be able to call them racists; guess, in a way, they are family haters.

Posted by: Kenji on September 15, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't read any of the comments so maybe someone thought of this already. But I think they should pit a team of blacks (African-Americans is difficult for me to say since I live in Norway where that term doesn't really apply) against a team of neo-nazi racists.

Good point about terminology; the concept of "AFrican-Norwegians" simply sounds as silly as it is cumbersome. (I have seen references to "African-Canadians" in Toronto media, which is similarly jarring.) Me, I simply use "black" and "white." Then again, I'm a copy editor...you try fitting "African-Americans" into a headline!

I'm hoping this "Survivor" idea flops in the ratings. It's already been a tough past few weeks for reality TV stars -- Richard Hatch going to prison, the passing of Steve Irwin (who was easy to parody but at least did his share to promote conservation), the mysterious death of Daniel Smith, Anna Nicole's son (the only person on her "outrageous" show who appeared to comport himself with any amount of dignity), and the news that "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" may be extradited to Mexico.

I'm hoping the whole reality genre collapses so TV can get back to creating some intelligent, witty sitcoms again a la "Seinfeld" and "Frasier." (Although I must admit I hope the wonderful Lucy Lawless, who should have her own sitcom, wins "Celebrity Duets.")

Posted by: Vincent on September 15, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

> Bob: That "Hehe" was part of the next sentence you left off.

> Right, because no matter how dyslexic it might seem to laugh at
> jokes before telling them, the best way to signal one has changed
> one's tone from sympathetic to ironic is to begin giggling.

Right. And the best way to twist someone's
words is to quote them out of context. Fuck off.

Now I'm sure nobody's interested in this, but since you're
challenging me on it, here is opinion of the Dog, stated explicitly:

I do not support vigilante justice. To the extent that a bail
bondsman (what a "bounty hunter" is) can do his work within the
legal system, that's fine. To the extent that they abuse the
justice system (and they do, starting with relatively picyaune
matters of getting their buddies the cops to spit out false warrants
to jack up the costs for desperate, freedom-craving clients), then
they're scumbags. Nobody denies it's a shady profession, or that
some of the people who work in it have seen the law from both sides.

Now Dog happened to nab a particularly onerous perp in Mexico who
happens to be rotting in jail. That's great; that Max Factor punk,
the drug-'em, rape-'em-while-they're-unconscious-'n'-videotape-it
asshole, needs rather severe punishment for a repulsive crime.

But if Dog is going to tail this creep into Mexico -- then he needs
to abide by Mexican law. If he gets popped, posts bail and then
*skips* on it -- wouldn't you call that just a little ironic, since
Dog's own job is to track down people who have done precisely that?
Since he's not law enforcement himself, it's not like answering
to justice in Mexico would have put the Max Factor bust at risk.

Now what I was snickering at is the *television* aspect of this. How
are they going to spin the man that bad guys dread now that he's a
bad guy himself? Is wife 'n' mom going to rant about the injustice
system -- the same one that paid their bills until a few days ago?
Will they have conjugal visits? Will they videotape him in prison?

It's going to be quite amusing to see how this plays out ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: How
are they going to spin the man that bad guys dread now that he's a
bad guy himself? Is wife 'n' mom going to rant about the injustice
system -- the same one that paid their bills until a few days ago?

Mexico has a justice system in the same way you have an editing system -- it's thoroughly corrupt.

Your condemnation of the "bad guy," Dog, only proves the point that you were snickering at his predicament, despite your protests that I quoted you out of context. Besides, as further evidenced by your placement of "Fuck off" prior to your extended piece-of-mind rant, you speak out of context.

That said, I look forward to more of your contradictions and illogical defenses.

Posted by: bookem on September 15, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

hey Bookem
-Maybe what Bob is saying is that it's complicated, that the evilness of the Max Factor punk doesn't automatically translate into the Dog being a knight in shinning armor. Just a thought.

Erkon
It's interesting that you pick the (philosophically) smallest part of my argument to take issue with. Anyway, I haven't had time to check your link out so i don't have any comment on Lownestein's factuality. But I don't think that Lowenstein needs to be absolutely verified to carry my overall point. Certainly, there is a genetic basis for morphological (visually apparant) differences in the way humans are formed. Those differences do aggragate, sometimes, perhaps often, into groups that correspond to what is popularly thought of as "racial" groups.

But this doesn't contradict my point, that those differences don't amount to the same kinds of differences that have been historically used to differentiate "races." As recently as 1957 an alabama judge suggested that segregation was natural because different species of animals did not "mingle." this is the kind of difference that "race" is populalry thought to be, something deeper and more profound than the statistical genetic tendencies that you seem so enthralled with. The pseudo scientific reasoning that i'm talking aobut propping up race was usually a matter of taking an assumption about a group of people (African Americans aren't as bright as white Americans) and working backwards to find a "cause" in the physical structure (their craniums aren't as large-this was accepted as "scientific fact" in the latter part of the 19th century.) Certainly that reasoning isn't asccpted as science today, but it's ghost is with us, & we can see it in the arguments that assert the "scientific" validity of race as a way to deny the contradicitons between a massive social difference and a minute genetic one.

another way that i think your argument misses the point i was making about race as a social fact is that you cite statistical tendencies that aggregate into groups, whereas "race" has historically been talked (and written into law, social custom, etc-that is it's talk with consequences) about as a set of characteristics that apply to each individual memeber of the race, setting near absolute limits & supplying near absolute predictability for individual behavior and appearance. But this isn't true. While i may have overstated the point, it is entirely possible for an individual African American to have more in common genetically with someone of Swedish descent than with another African American even tho there is a "racial" difference.

so, you can come away from this saying "aha! African Americans do (statistically, as a group-not addressing what any individual African Americn's genetic make up might be) have more in common with each other than they do with Swedes!" But if you think that this says anything profound about race as a social fact, or contradicts my larger argument, or validates the kind of social categorization that's historically been carried out in the name of "race", then you're still wrong.

Posted by: URK on September 15, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Race is always about generalization. And even in this mobile era, most racial assumptions are based more on geography than anything else. Mentally, we're still letting accidents of birthwhether that involves skin color, beauty, wealth, intelligence, class distinctions, or proximity to resourcesdetermine our knee-jerk reactions to vast amounts of individuals.

That sucks. But with any luck, this will prove to be the subtext of the show. Maybe?

Posted by: Kenji on September 15, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hey bookem:

Experts agree: You're a troll and an idiot attempting to provoke a pointless argument.

URK understood defended my position quite nicely.

Whether *you* get it or not is a matter of trifling irrelevance.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 15, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

As a longtime Survivor fan, I guess I'm supposed to be outraged by this season's newest gimmick...

As a longtime Survivor fan, you're supposed to be ashamed.

Posted by: Disputo on September 15, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Bob. BTW I want to steal your salad bowl analogy & use it in class. That's good.

Posted by: URK on September 16, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

URK: hey Bookem
-Maybe what Bob is saying is that it's complicated, that the evilness of the Max Factor punk doesn't automatically translate into the Dog being a knight in shinning armor. Just a thought.

Despite its condescension, I would appreciate that thought a bit more if it didn't have the effect of analyzing my interaction with Bob as amounting to his position being composed of nuanced reasonability versus my narrow focus on a presumption of Dog's shining armored knighthood.

Bob's nuance consists of: "I had a notion; ergo, it is good." His notion bestows equivalence upon a brutal rapist and the person who apprehended him, even as it relishes the karmic justice awaiting the rapist's tracker -- never mind that the justice is notoriously unjust and that the equivalence is supported by vague references to a "shady profession" and the generic "bad guy" members of it.

Your BFF made a rather sadistic remark regarding Dog which I noted. In addition to personal attacks, he has replied with denials, even as he described at length (albeit, ineptly) the basis for his sadism. Whether bedazzled by his convolution or made dizzy by his sloppy editing, you have chosen to align yourself with him. Careful, lest your students suffer.

URK: Thanks Bob. BTW I want to steal your salad bowl analogy & use it in class. That's good.

Bob's analogy? HARDLY. Despite his tacit claim for it, Bob did not invent this "analogy." The salad bowl paradigm is not an analogy to the melting pot theory; rather, they are competing metaphors. And you couldn't possibly steal Bob's salad bowl, as it has long been part of the dialectic concerning multiculturalism in the U.S. As a teacher speaking down to me, you had already demonstrated a troubling lack of diplomacy and analytical skill. Equally disturbing is this considerable gap in your knowledge. Better you fill it by dedicated study than by plucking false notions from a pompous blowhard on a political blog.

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

URK:

Bookem may be a pretentious piece of shit who hasn't a clue how to follow an argument attempting to start a fight for no good reason -- but he's indeed correct in that "salad bowl" is hardly my coinage.

My American Studies undergraduate journal is, in fact, called The Salad Bowl.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Bob: My American Studies undergraduate journal is, in fact, called The Salad Bowl.

Sadly, it's filled with contaminated spinach.

Your undergraduate journal? Your personal undergraduate journal? What the hell is that? Or do you mean The Salad Bowl was the title of a submission you made to an undergraduate journal? Is called? As opposed to was called? Got a link?

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

bookem:

No, I don't have a link, asshole. Google it -- or I see that you did. Scroll the pages.

Let me spell it out, you disputatious dimwit:

My = the American Studies undergraduate journal at the school I attended (I reveal no personal info on blogs). Is = the journal is still around. Called = The Salad Bowl is the name of the journal.

Anything *else* in the realm of the obvious of which you lack a firm grasp?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

As an alumnus of Rutgers, you should know that the American Studies journal was called The Salad Bowl, but that it is now called The Pie.

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

No, I didn't know that. Heh, you learn something new every day :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, if I attended, say, BYU, for half a semester before flunking out, do I get to say that my Prelaw undergraduate journal is called The Brigham Young University Prelaw Review.

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm. I wonder if Dr. Rockland is still there. I don't keep up with the department, but I don't know if I particularly like that change. "The Pie," first of all, seems to connote a zero-sum game. Secondly, it seems to apply a grappling for good slices, which seems like a retreat back into identity politics -- each discrete group aiming to maximize its own slice.

The beauty of the salad bowl metaphor is that it's not exclusive. A salad both has its own flavor, but each particular ingredient can also be picked out. It implies that American pluralism is a middle ground between strict assimilationism (the melting pot) and multiculturalism (a riot of different, discrete entities all fighting for a share -- which seems to reflect something like a pie metaphor).

Since The Salad Bowl was Rockland's creation, I'd guess that he no longer chairs the department. If true, I'd consider that a loss ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

I dunno. Did you win cash prizes for submissions to it two years in a row?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

I guess if you flunked out after half a semester, the answer to that would be "no" :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 16, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: I dunno. Did you win cash prizes for submissions to it two years in a row?

I'm not the submissive type. Besides, the rewards of being drafted into the NFL proved more tempting.

How's your prize money holding up?

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

from a pompous blowhard on a political blog.

Bob's pompous, but he blows soft.

Posted by: BUDDY on September 16, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

"The Pie," first of all, seems to connote a zero-sum game. Secondly, it seems to apply a grappling for good slices, which seems like a retreat back into identity politics -- each discrete group aiming to maximize its own slice.

Maybe they are more reality based than when you were there.

Posted by: Clanitra on September 16, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

bob says:

Bookem may be a pretentious piece of shit [and an idiot and a dimwit] who hasn't a clue how to follow an argument attempting to start a fight for no good reason -- but he's indeed correct in that "salad bowl" is hardly my coinage.

shorter bob:

Bookem may have the facts on his side, but when he challenges my warped sense of justice, I'm going to spit and snarl like a cornered viper.

Posted by: Randi on September 16, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bookem
of course,you're right, it's a metaphor not an analogy. Given your condescending tone and pretentious mode of argument, not to mention your needlessly combative approach to this forum, this is a pretty aggravating admission of error, even if the post in question was a dashed-off aside. Actually, I'm finding it rather amusing that you wasted so much energy on something that i spent about 3 seconds writing. for what it's worth, I never meant to condescend to you. I wasn't entirely certain (at that time-you've since cleared it up for me) that you were purposefully missing the point of Bob's original post, so i thought that condensing what i saw as his larger point, and rephrasing it in vernacular manner might deflate the whole argument. Sorry if you saw this as less than "diplomatic" but really you're hardly in a position to make that charge against anyone else.

Anyway, when I referred to the "salad bowl" as Bob's, I was referring to his introduction of the term into this forum. Had I been writing mroe carefully, or were I concerned that somewone who I wasn't even addressing might take such a literal and pedantic approach to my comment, I would have thanked Bob for REMINDING me of the term. I didn't suppose that he had coined the term, and despite your claims that he did so "tacitly," neither did he. True, he included neither reference, documentation or history of usage for the term, but, on the other hand, this is an (increasingly) off-topic argument in the comments section of a popular political blog, not a published academic paper. Bob USED the term in a sentence, he didn't make any claim as to coining the term.

In fact, this points towards what's really annoying about your arguments here. You claim that Bob "tacitly" claimed to coin the term salad bowl, not because of anything he said, but because he didn't supply attribution in a forum where attribution is hardly the norm. Your claim here, that he is saying X because he didn't specifially say that he wasn't saying Y, is just the kind of rhetorical tactic that's amusing in high school debate and tiresome in second rate academic work.

Similarly, you suggest that Bob is endorsing the acts of the Max Factor heir because he dares to mock the bounty hunter who captured him. And your evidence for this is what? That he engaged in said mockery ? This only makes sense if you think that the BH's cpture of the MFH necessarily renders BH blameless, of sterling character and above reproach. Moreover, when you argue that bob is endorsing the acts of the MFH because he didn't specifically condemn them, you are once again basing this charge on what he did not say that you think he should have said to keep you from drawing an erroneous conclusion. It's true that what bob said is hardly "nuanced" (my words, not his) but "bad guys can be captured by bad guys" is a little more sensible than "anyone who captures a bad guy must be a good guy and anyone who criticizes that guy is morally equivalent to the bad guy that he captured."

You make another move of this sort when you suggest that my sparse comments generally in support of Bob mean i'm "aligned" with him and am therefore in danger of becoming myself the moral equivalent of the MFH. Not only does this reek of self-righteousness, it's more like a junior high debate tactic & reminds me of the brilliant connection that my debate partner and I made between funding for vocational education and teen suicide. I'm guessing that you learned to argue like this in the NFL, no?

Posted by: URK on September 16, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Some high points from three pages of URK: Actually, I'm finding it rather amusing that you wasted so much energy

Hahahaha!

You claim that Bob "tacitly" claimed to coin the term salad bowl, not because of anything he said, but because he didn't supply attribution in a forum where attribution is hardly the norm. Your claim here, that he is saying X because he didn't specifially say that he wasn't saying Y, is just the kind of rhetorical tactic that's amusing in high school debate and tiresome in second rate academic work.

It's overly cumbersome and off-center, but thanks for the definition of "tacit." I've always wondered what it meant.

Similarly, you suggest that Bob is endorsing the acts of the Max Factor heir because he dares to mock the bounty hunter who captured him. And your evidence for this is what?

I'll tell you that as soon as you show me your evidence that I suggested Bob is endorsing the acts of a rapist.

You make another move of this sort when you suggest that my sparse comments generally in support of Bob mean i'm "aligned" with him and am therefore in danger of becoming myself the moral equivalent of the MFH.

You sure have me making a lot of suggestions that not once crossed my mind. If and when I come to think you are the moral equivalent of a rapist, I'll not make any bones about telling you.

You say a lot of other weird things, too. First year teacher?

Posted by: bookem on September 16, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

bookem
"Actually, I'm finding it rather amusing that you wasted so much energy

Hahahaha!"

-Touche (no, I don't know how to put the accent in there, thanks.)I wrote that before I wasted my own energy on a long reply to you. That comment would certianly have made more sense if i hadn't gotten mad and lost the plot.

"It's overly cumbersome and off-center, but thanks for the definition of "tacit." I've always wondered what it meant."
-I still don't see how bob made a claim, tacit or otherwise, to have coined that term. I still don't see how you can think you're honestly arguing a point of substance by refuting a claim that he didn't make.

"I'll tell you that as soon as you show me your evidence that I suggested Bob is endorsing the acts of a rapist."
-I wasn't exactly right here, since i was working from memory & didn't review your earlier comments before writing. What you said, that i was thinking of, was: "His [Bob's] notion bestows equivalence upon a brutal rapist and the person who apprehended him, even as it relishes the karmic justice awaiting the rapist's tracker..."

So you're not accusing him of endorsing the acts of a rapist, you're accusing him of finding those acts to be morally equivalent to those of the Bounty Hunter. I was wrong, sorry about that. the next point of mine that you bring up falls accordingly too, tho i have to say that your tone ("you have chosen to align yourself with him. Careful, lest your students suffer.") is preposterously self important. Now I see that you were just suggesting that i had aligned myself with someone who found rape and being a dubious, shady, hypocritical character to be equivalently evil. So, I still think you're wrong about Bob & wrong aobut me, but I apologize for mischaracterizing what you said.

But I still don't see how you get from A (Bob thinks that the Bounty Hunter is a shady, publicity seeking hypocrite) to B (Bob thinks that the Bounty Hunter and the MFH are morally equivalent). If you haven't already lost interest in this tiresome debate, I'd sincerely like to know your reasoning here, or why bob's original criticism of the bounty hunter so outraged you.

That seems to me like a pretty weird thing to start an argument over. first rate asshole?

Posted by: URK on September 17, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

彩票 彩票 彩票 彩票 泵阀 安防 仪器 化工 注册 机械 机械 12 13 14 15 16 泵阀 泵阀 泵阀 泵阀 泵阀 彩票 数码 设计 机械 机械 仪器 机械 化工 机械 注册 泵阀 化工 工业 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 搬场 43 设计 设计 彩票 设计 设计 设计 设计 安防 仪器 化工 注册 机械 彩票 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 数码 66 数码 数码 数码 70 71 72 数码 数码 租车 租车 租车 租车 注册 注册 注册 注册 83 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 民品 94 95 96 97 98 99 仪器 数码 102 租车 化工 工业 搬场 机票 机票 化工 化工 化工 数码 工业 仪器 工业 工业 工业 泵阀 机械 搬场 工业 工业 工业 工业 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 机械 机械 机械 安防 安防 安防 安防 租车 安防 安防 安防 化工 143 搬场 租车 租车 注册 注册 民品 民品 机票 机票 化工 化工 工业 156 工业 彩票 彩票 160 搬场 泵阀 ENGLISH 搬场 工业 166 167 168 搬场 170 171 172 机械 搬场 175 176 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 机票 182 机械 民品 工业 186 工业 工业 工业 化工 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 彩票 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 安防 仪器 化工 注册 机械 机械 彩票 设计 仪器 化工 注册 机械 彩票 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 仪器 注册 泵阀 彩票 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 设计 仪器 工业 注册 机械 262 263 264 265 彩票 267 268 269 租车 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 泵阀 化工 工业 搬场 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 彩票 机械 机械 设计 机械 设计 设计 328 设计 仪器 工业 注册 泵阀 彩票 彩票 泵阀 机械 彩票 泵阀 彩票 泵阀 彩票 设计 机械 旅游 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 设计 仪器 359 注册 工业 彩票 363 364 365 366 367 仪器 旅游 彩票 371 泵阀 373 机械 375 设计 377 378 379 380 设计 机械 彩票 泵阀 机械 设计 机械 设计 389 390 391 392 393 394 仪器 396 旅游 彩票 泵阀 机械 设计 仪器 旅游 彩票 泵阀 机械 设计 安防 安防 机票 机票 机票 机票 安防 搬场 工业 化工 机票 机票 化工 安防 搬场 工业 化工 机票 机票 427 医疗 429 安防 搬场 工业 化工 机票 机票 436 437 设计 仪器 注册 注册 泵阀 安防 彩票 搬场 工业 化工 机票 机票 机票 设计 仪器 工业 注册 机械 旅游 机械 设计 机械 泵阀 彩票 旅游 旅游 设计 机械 机械 彩票 旅游 设计 泵阀 设计 设计 彩票 仪器 旅游 彩票 泵阀 机械 设计 仪器 旅游 彩票 泵阀 机械 设计 设计 仪器 仪器 工业 旅游 彩票 泵阀 注册 机械 设计 496 497 注册 499 500

Posted by: ccc on September 17, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

URK:

Thanks for the spirited defense, but sadly it wasn't really necessary. Bookem is obviously a troll, and everyone else in that discussion save *perhaps* Clanitra (who appears to have a Rutgers email address) is, judging from their emails and snickering hifive intent, no doubt a sock puppet of his. This is obviously grade Z character assassination, the kind of crap you see routinely in AOL chatrooms and the like.

The original "argument" was based on such a blatant and obvious distortion of what I wrote, that the only response I deemed approriate to the intent was sardonic snark. Obviously I implied no moral equivalency between the Dog and the Max Factor slime. My great moral crime was to consider that Mexico has something resembling a justice system. Mexico is doubtless a corrupt country -- but bookem's implication reeks of grotesque amounts of anti-Mexican prejudice.

None of the tangential issues that *could* have provoked an interesting discussion orthogonal to the topic were engaged -- the differences between the melting pot, salad bowl and pie metaphors (which I see as the differences between assimilationism, pluralism and multiculturalism), or anything about the culture of more prosaic bail bondsmen than Dog -- which I see as filling the same kind of morally dubious niche exploiting the poor as payday loan operations and tiny bodegas in poor neighborhoods selling food and household goods at 15% more than you'd get in a suburban supermarket.

No, it was all about *me* -- and by implication *you*, for supporting me. Is this guy an NFL draftee? I dunno; it's more likely he's lying.

But steroid abuse would certainly help to explain the tenor of his "arguments."

Let's also recall that he started this by quoting me out of context.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Clanitra:

>> "The Pie," first of all, seems to connote a zero-sum game.
>> Secondly, it seems to apply a grappling for good slices, which
>> seems like a retreat back into identity politics -- each
>> discrete group aiming to maximize its own slice.

> Maybe they are more reality based than when you were there.

A statement like that demonstrates stone-cluelessness about
cultural studies. Cultural studies is interpretive, not
hard-scientific, and can support ideological orientations
across the spectrum from harcore traditionalist to
relativist multicultural depending on one's emphases.

American studies is an amalgam of American history, American
literature and interpretive sociology, and it attempts to
answer questions about what makes the American character
unique. Michael Moore examined a quintessential American
studies topic in his movie Bowling For Columbine -- just
what makes Americans so much more violent than people in
other places? A more scholarly treatment of the same question
can be found in American studies professor Richard Slotkin's
"Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in 20th-Century America."

"Randi":

Oooh, a sock puppet with a *female* handle. How ... romantic :)

> bob says:

> Bookem may be a pretentious piece of shit [and an idiot and
> a dimwit] who hasn't a clue how to follow an argument attempting
> to start a fight for no good reason -- but he's indeed correct
> in that "salad bowl" is hardly my coinage.

> shorter bob:

> Bookem may have the facts on his side,

Uhmmm, no. The point was never in disupute. It can hardly be read
that I attempted to pretend that I coined the term "salad bowl," nor
did URK seriously believe that I did -- just said that he'd use the
term in class because he liked it. I merely acknowledged the point.

The "dispute" was entirely fabricated by bookem
to no purpose save to attempt to sew discord
between URK and myself. Neither of us took the bait.

> but when he challenges my warped sense of justice,

"Warped sense of justice." Where does that come from?

Straight out of bookem's butthole.

> I'm going to spit and snarl like a cornered viper.

While making infinitely more solid arguments than either of you.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Why do each of your posts remind me of Captain Queeg on the witness stand in The Caine Mutiny? Do you roll a pair of steel balls in one hand while typing? That would account for your bizarre spacing.

As for your bizarre thinking -- steel plate in your head?

Posted by: bookem on September 17, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

Once again, you make my point. You're not interested in discussing anything that might be relevant to the thread. This is all about attempting to start a flamewar for no other purpose, apparently, than that you have some extra aggression you'd like to dislogde. Abuse steroids much, Mr. Draft Pick?

Now I chuck back as good as I get; but at least I'm also capable of having a discussion about issues. Are you? Where's that accusation that I have a "warped sense of justice" because I think Dog should've obeyed Mexican law? Where's any evidence that snarking at a TV clown equates to moral approval for a serial date-rape artist? Where's *any* semblance of the original attack you made on my post?

It's all gone. Why? Because it quite obviously had no substance to begin with -- just a means to the ends of provoking a personalized war.

Life's too short, bro. Go chuck a football or hit the gym if you've got some ya-ya's you need to work out.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Lotta questions there, Bob. Let's look at one of them:

Where's any evidence that snarking at a TV clown equates to moral approval for a serial date-rape artist?

Tell you what: I'll answer all of your questions if you can point to even one instance when I said that you gave "moral approval for a serial date-rape artist?"

Artist? Hmmm. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder.

(Lest the above be considered "evidence" by you, one other instance.)

Posted by: bookem on September 17, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

> Tell you what: I'll answer all of your questions if you can
> point to even one instance when I said that you gave "moral
> approval for a serial date-rape artist?"

From our very first exchange. Note, once again,
how you quoted my snicker from the next sentence
out of context, which referred to the TV aspect of it:

> rmck1: "The judge is going to swear out an extradition
> and it's off to Mexican jail for him, his son and that
> other guy with the same last name. Hehe" [...] {elipsis
> added to indicated truncated sentence.}

> Was the Max Factor heir/rapist that Dog brought to justice (now
> serving a 124 year sentence) a particular friend of yours that
> you're now so gleeful over the prospect of the bounty hunter
> spending years in a Mexican prison?

This is beyond moral approval in the abstract. This is an
allegation that the Max Factor shithead somehow must be a
personal buddy of mine, because I happen to be gleeful at the
absurdist twist Dog's imprisonment is going to bring to the TV show.

That's what you call a libellous personal accusation, asshole.

And it's supported by absolutely nothing, as URK has argued.

> Artist? Hmmm. I guess art is in the eye of the beholder.

It's a term of rhetoric. Like calling you a flame artist :) Anyone
aside from a certain deliberately obtuse disputational dimwit (and now
who could *that* be?) would glean the intended meaning in context.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: That's what you call a libellous personal accusation, asshole.

Hahahaha-HAH!!! Yeah, sure it is. At any rate, it isn't what anyone would call an accusation of "moral approval for a serial date-rape artist." Unless, that is, you believe, in addition that I actually supposed the rapist--or, if you prefer, rape artist--is your friend, that you also believe one must morally approve of any thing one's friends do.

You are what I call PREDICTABLE.

Bob: Like calling you a flame artist :)

By the way, according to your "snicker from the next sentence" rule, shouldn't the above be:

:) Like calling you a flame artist ?

Forget Queeq, your reasoning reminds me more of the president's. Is Bush a particular friend of yours? (Feel free to sue me.) Hehe (The "Hehe" actually goes with the next sentence, but I truncated it.)

Cheer up, Bob. Maybe some of your buds will come over with beer tonight and force you to watch TV.

But first, if you've got a few minutes, how about some more "rhetorical terms" from the mess maestro?

Posted by: bookem on September 17, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

> Bob: That's what you call a libellous personal accusation, asshole.

> Hahahaha-HAH!!! Yeah, sure it is.

To be sure, that was a tad overstated. Certainly your
comment was no worse that what routinely files from the
fingers of blog commenters who appear to prefer personalized
pissing matches to debating anything substantive -- and it's
obviously not remotely actionable. Regardless, your "point" stands
as an unsupported non-sequitur and, indeed, a personal accusation.

> At any rate, it isn't what anyone would call an accusation
> of "moral approval for a serial date-rape artist."

How comically disingenuous.

> Unless, that is, you believe, in addition that I actually
> supposed the rapist--or, if you prefer, rape artist--is
> your friend, that you also believe one must morally
> approve of any thing one's friends do.

The comment wasn't meant *literally*, obviously. It meant to
imply that I somehow must feel less qualms about the Max Factor
scum (hence the rhetorical question about my personal relationship
to him -- what *else* could explain my opproprium going to Dog and
not to rapist boy?) than I do about what landed The Dog in prison.
Remember the bullshit you spouted about the Mexican justice system?

And, as URK pointed out in a couple of messages -- what I feel about
Max Factor rapist dude is totally unconnected to what I feel about
Doggy's predicament. Dog's the one with the TV show, after all.

Try to backtrack if you like, but on this point you've been crucified.

> You are what I call PREDICTABLE.

And you are what I call a pointless flame artist.

> Bob: Like calling you a flame artist :)

> By the way, according to your "snicker from the
> next sentence" rule, shouldn't the above be:

> :) Like calling you a flame artist ?

Uhh, no. I haven't seen this codified, but it seems to be
standard that emoticons supplant end-of-sentence punctuation.

> Forget Queeq, your reasoning reminds me more of the president's. Is
> Bush a particular friend of yours? (Feel free to sue me.) Hehe (The
> "Hehe" actually goes with the next sentence, but I truncated it.)

No, the "Hehe" is actually part of neither sentence
because you stuck it between two parentheticals.

> Cheer up, Bob. Maybe some of your buds will come
> over with beer tonight and force you to watch TV.

As far as you're concerned, this is all about me, isn't it.

> But first, if you've got a few minutes, how about some
> more "rhetorical terms" from the mess maestro?

One can only wonder what you think you're getting out of this.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

bookem:

Finally, I'll say this last bit on the substance of the debate:

I have no problem with a guy like Dog chasing a particularly odious criminal who clearly deserves to never see the light of day down to Mexico and apprehanding him. Bravo, Dog -- seriously.

But if Dog's gonna do this -- then he needs to abide by Mexican law, and if he ran afoul of it, then he needs to face the music just like anybody else. Again, since this guy isn't a cop, it's not like whatever crime Dog committed jeopardized MFH's prosecution or -- gods forbid -- aided his potential for future parole. The creep's already in the pokey, and Dog's actions have nothing at all to do with that. We're not talking about a Fourth Amendment case that might jeopardize a prosecution with illegally obtained evidence or something.

What's amusing to me is the way the show sets up Dog to be this white-trash father-figure to a bunch of small-time drug criminals. All the tearful self-recriminations when Dog crushes the ice pipe under his biker boot to cut the poor guy a break, etc. etc. That's the drama of the show -- what a compassionate guy this Dog is. A born-again Christian, too. Serving rough justice in the mean streets.

Well okay, that's great. Even small time drug users need a father figure. But Dog ain't above the law. And if the "law" in Mexico sucks -- hey, that's the turf. He made the choice to go down there, ergo he submits to the rules. America has an extradition treaty with Mexico, and the FBI's got obligations in this case, too.

You start questioning whether this is unjust in the abstract -- well then, you begin to start wondering about the "justice" that creates a class of revolving-door petty drug offenders, too. Except, you know, if you're Dog's family and it puts food on the table. That dissonance could produce some *very interesting* reality television.

Some people really really like the idea of vigilante justice. They thrill when Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson take the legal gloves off and have a little judge, jury and executioner action. It's a big part of our popular mythology -- look at the latter-day Minutemen (only they're, well, pussies compared to Bronson and Eastwood). That's part of the appeal of Dog -- and doubtless the outrage that some fans feel that a such a crime-fighting hero has to face justice in such an *un-American* place as *gulp!* Mexico. It's an old, old narrative that's fired many a Western movie.

Well, as I said earlier, I'm not one of those people (though I *do* enjoy Charles Bronson movies). I don't believe that anybody's above the law.

And that POV has a long and storied pedigree in American cultural mythos as well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bob: One can only wonder what you think you're getting out of this.

Nothing less than the chance to bask in your brilliance. Take the essay just above, for instance. Why, if only you could contribute one like that every day to your American Studies undergraduate journal, you'd be a rich man.

You're not buying this, are you? All right, it's time I leveled with you. Until there's a vaccine, I am doing my best to keep the virus you are at bay. More virulent than AIDS, you disguise your infection by posing as a refreshing tonic to some and a boring sideshow to others. No matter which, damage is done as normalcy makes subtle shifts toward lunacy. Bob, you're an imminent threat that must be confronted. A toxic axis, you're a typing WMD!

I'll leave you to your Charles Bronson movies now.

Posted by: bookem on September 18, 2006 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

bookem:

> Bob: One can only wonder what you think you're getting out of this.

> Nothing less than the chance to bask in your brilliance. Take the
> essay just above, for instance. Why, if only you could contribute
> one like that every day to your American Studies undergraduate
> journal, you'd be a rich man.

That post wasn't particularly crisply written, just a re-hash of what
I had said earlier, the final word on what's become a dead topic.
This thread will, none-too-soon, be off the main page as of tomorrow.

There's no greater proof that you've lost every shred of the original
argument than your response here, another entirely disingenuous
personalized provocation. If I'm such a toxic influence -- why respond
at all? Isn't the way to deal with an odious troll not to feed them?

But that point isn't any more sincere than your sarcastic snark above.

Look, I've dealt with people like you for the decade I've been posting
on message fora. There is always one of you somewhere -- somebody who
can't stick to the issues and be satisfied with winning an argument or
making a point, but rather has a deep need to attempt to psychically
annihilate their opponent through personal attacks which go well over
the line of garden-variety insult or ad-hom attack. It's plainly
pathological behavior -- which is why you're so strenuously attempting
to project your own toxicity elsewhere and posting pseudononymously
when it's quite obvious that "bookem" has read this blog extensively.

Why you're attempting to do this to a guy who 1) is pretty much
smack-dab in the mainstream of political opinion here, 2) has
supporters who are willing to jump to his defense, 3) has a somewhat
complex (some might say convoluted) style which isn't all that easy
to effectively parody, I have no idea -- except that people like you
never need a "good reason" to express their free-floating hostility.

I fully realize also that the tone of your last graf I didn't quote
was sardonic and its content over-the-top, and by responding to your
post at all I've allowed myself, once again, to be sucker-punched by
a troll. Hey, that's cool. I take full responsibility for playing
in the mud with you. It's not like you're capable of fucking with a
guy who has literally seen and heard it all from posters like you.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 18, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly