I love this stuff.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Michele Bachmann, rather than Sonia “The Wise Latina Woman” Sotomayor, had said this:
Mr. Olson, the bottom line that you’re being asked — and — and it is one that I’m interested in the answer: If you say that marriage is a fundamental right, what State restrictions could ever exist? Meaning, what State restrictions with respect to the number of people, with respect to — that could get married — the incest laws, the mother and the child, assuming they are of age — I can — I can accept that the State has probably an overbearing interest on — on protecting the a child until they’re of age to marry, but what’s left?
…I offer that should a certain Japanese megacorporation ever have to file bankruptcy, I’ve already filed my claim on the blog post title “Tempus Fujitsu“.
That is all
Now, this is one of those stories where there are really a couple of levels.
At the surface, this is a story about liberal hypocrisy; a Pennsylvania NAACP leader blames a rape victim for tempting a couple of football players into perfidy:
In shocking comments, the president of the Steubenville chapter of the NAACP places the blame for the rape case that has shocked the nation on the 16-year-old victim.
Royal Mayo, a lifelong resident of the Ohio city that gained national infamy following the rape of the girl by two Steubenville High School football players, says that attention should be focused on the role of the young woman, whom he calls the “alleged victim,” saying she was drunk and wanted to go out with one of the football players. He also claims that other teens involved in the incident were let off easy, because they were “well-connected.”
Yes, yes, I know – official for a liberal organization violates PC kashrut with great gusto, exposing the left’s deep-seated hypocrisies, yadda yadda. An example of the left’s war on women. Same as it ever was.
But I’m here to issue a challenge to conservatism’s assembled linguists, the movement’s neologic engineers.
These stories are with us always. They are constant blog fodder, and have been ever since most people still thought “blog” was a sound associated with gas-station burritos. And these stories almost always need to plod laboriously through explaining something along the lines of “if a Republican or conservative would have said this, the media and the left’s chanting-point-bots (ptr) would be howling for blood, but since it’s one of their own, they’re silent”.
We need to come up with a snappy, dismissive word or short phrase to wrap up that meaning. If I were a lefty and this were twitter, I’d make it a hash tag with an acronym: “#IAROCWHSTTMATLCPBPTRWBHFBBSI1OTOTS”, but that’s almost worse than having to type out the explanation.
So set to it, real men of linguistic genius! We need a single word or short phrase that goes Alinsky on this pattern, and does it with style!
To: Everyone in the USA
From: Mitch Berg, Peasant who’s been through it all before
You may not remember this, but we’ve been through all this before. Remember the “partial government shutdown”, back in the nineties? It was a whole big nothing-burger.
Oh, the Clinton Administration tried to make sure that the people felt whatever pain was generated – closing parks, cramping down on the voters. But as a rule, the whole thing affected nobody.
And here in Minnesota, we had a “complete” shutdown two years ago (which, again, wasn’t – the courts kept most of the government going as “essential”). It lasted a few weeks. Then Governor
Messinger Dayton abandoned it, when he realized Minnesotans, for all his efforts to squeeze and scare them – shutting down state parks and highway rest areas, threatening to lay off teachers – barely noticed any difference. While the media did its best to prop up the Messinger Dayton line, the people of Minnesota heard the gales of calumny but saw and felt a big fat nada burrito. Even Governor Messinger Dayton – as cosseted and isolated from reality as his staff keeps him – noticed; on his trip around the state to whip up support for the DFL budget, he saw tepid crowds of union droogs, and a few professional protesters, and realized he had nothin’ (which may be why Dayton makes so few public appearances these days).
So it’s time for “sequestration” – the “radical” budget cuts that Obama and the super-di-duper commission agreed to as a stick to lead everyone to the “carrot” of an actual federal budget. We’ve been waiting nearly 1,400 days for a budget from the Democrat-addled Senate, so Washington figured a “stick” was needed.
By the way – how radical and drastic are those cuts?:
Yep. They’re not even cuts. They’re reductions in the increase. Indeed, almost completely worthless, if cutting spending is your goal, but really nothing but a fart in the wind; sort of like “dropping HBO” in your family budget, even though your gas bill is rising and your teenage kids are costing more and more.
Obama will try to make “sequestration” hurt; he’ll slow down the TSA lines, he’ll gundeck some ship overhauls and clamp down some military maintenance budgets, he’ll inveigle some big cities to lay off a few cops and teachers, he’ll shut down Yellowstone as the cameras record photos of crestfallen children. Hell, Joe Biden may even personally try to close the gates at Disney World.
But there is no there, there. It’s a scare tactic, engineered by Obama and his compliant media.
It needs to be ignored.
That is all.
Over this past six weeks of fairly constant writing about Second Amendment issues, it’s occurred to me that I’ve been letting the Orcs drive the discussion by controlling the language involved.
It’s time to roll that back with extreme prejudice.
So from now on on this blog and in all personal and public discourse on the matter, the following terms shall be used, with the following meanings:
|Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane in a meaningful way that results in actual impact on crime||(Media uses no current term)||Gun Control|
|Restricting the access of law-abiding citizens to firearms||“Gun Control”||Victim Disarmament|
|Weapons with collapsible/folding stocks, large-capacity magazines and bayonet lugs||“Assault Weapons”||Ugly guns|
|People who favor restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans||“Gun Safety Advocates”||Orcs|
|Heather Martens||“Leader of “Protect Minnesota”"||Pathologial Liar|
That is all.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Godwin’s Law says the first person to bring up Hitler in a debate, loses. Is there a comparable law for playing the race card?
“The person who attributes opposition to a public policy proposal to racism is presumed to have no valid arguments in support of the public policy proposal and the opponent no longer need participate in the discussion, having won by default.”
Well, we should at least try to get this generally accepted.
This next bit worries me almost as much as last week’s story (about Minnesota’s “social studies standards” being turned into nothing more than lefty indoctrination).
I was a teacher in the inner city between 1992 and 1996 and immediately realized that those unfortunate kids could not read anything, because nearly every sentence had at least one word they had never seen before. This went for magazine and newspaper articles as well as traditional English stuff. I was not shoving college chemistry texts or The Fall of the House of Usher at them. (Read Poe to a 16 year old today and you will get the glassiest stare imaginable; in Usher, there are 20-25 words in the first paragraph, as well as a round-about way of expression, that would totally defeat all but the brightest teen.)
Now, I”m not sure how many teenagers could follow Usher even 30 years ago. Still, there’s no question; literacy is receding in our country:
They said they don’t like black and white films, and they didn’t, but I truly believe they didn’t like how much people talked. Watch a Bogart film and see how much of the action is moved by dialogue, sophisticated and adult dialogue, and compare the number and length of words to a contemporary film.
And it’s not just schools or pop culture:
Or, my personal favorite annoyance, my church sings all Contemporary Christian Music, what I call Sesame Street music. There are few words of more than one syllable. I
It’s one of the reasons I seek out churches whose hymnals include no music written after 1880.
How does one reverse this? I spent a long time encouraging them to see the value of having more tools in their linguistic tool box, but when f*** is their primary adjective and adverb, when using “big” words is excoriated, and every “art” form they enjoy diminishes rather than exalts language, what could I do? Read to them, put lists of words they would never see again on the board, encourage expression with some complexity. Not generally fruitful options.
On the one hand, while it was an awful movie, I did like the Leonardo DiCaprio/Claire Danes MTV-friendliy version of Romeo and Juliet if only because it demanded its audience keep up with Shakespearean vocabulary and pacing (which may be why it flopped, but work with me here).
On the other? I despair of anything getting any better. Our nation’s media, academia and too much of our ruling class benefit from dumb subjects.
The came via email yesterday:
In Greece, rioters are throwing Molotov cocktails at police. The cops who are not on fire are responding with tear gas.
CNN calls setting cops on fire “minor scuffles,” and the rioters/attempted murderers “protesters” and “demonstrators.”
A “student” throwing a molotov cocktail at a cop halfway around the world is a “protester”.
Someone throwing one at, say, CNN headquarters is, I suspect, a “terrorist”.
I’ve always wanted to create a new word for the English language .
And I think that word is going to be “Inshgoogle” (pronounced ”Insh-GOO-gle”).
It’s a corruption of the Arabic “Insh’allah”, meaning “If it’s Allah’s will”. Its meaning, essentially, becomes “If my Google information is correct…”
That is all.
One of this blog’s most enduringly-popular features is the “DFL Dictionary“.
First written in 2002, it’s been updated bit by bit over the last nine years, to serve as the greatest single lexicon of DFL-to-human and Democrat-to-citizen translation in existence.
And we have a new entry:
Fact-checking: Noun: To check the congruency of a Republican’s statement with Democrat conventional wisdom. Verb: The act of consulting the list of Democrat chanting points for such congruence.
Admiral Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher – known to generations of naval historians as “Jacky” Fisher – was one of the most consequential men of a consequential era.
Fisher served in one of the most technologically transformational eras in history. He started his service in the Royal Navy during the Crimean War, on a sail-driven wooden ship of the line armed with muzzle-loading cannon. Over the next 40 years, he led in the tactical and technical developments that turned the British (and, by extension, American) navies from wind-driven wooden fleets to steam-powered steel ones.
He helped develop the torpedo for use in Royal Navy ships:
In 1906, he was instrumental in the construction of the first modern battleship, HMS Dreadnought, which defined the basic outlines of the battleship from that day in 1906 until after the Gulf War.
And then, thinking that speed was more important than armor, he developed a new class of warship, the “Battlecruiser”, with the firepower of a battleship but the armor and speed of a (faster, much more lightly-armored) cruiser, intended to be faster than anything that could kill it and stronger than anything that could run with it.
Fisher, and the battlecruisers’ crews, discovered to their immense chagrin that while outrunning a battleship was one thing, it didn’t allow the battlecruiser to outrun the battleships’ shells. On one day in 1916, at the Battle of Jutland, three of Fisher’s battlecruisers exploded, victims partly of too-thin armor (an intentional part of the design, to keep the ships relatively light and fast) and unstable British cannon propellant (which was not intentional, and also led to the destruction of many other British ships during the war); the Invincible, Indefatigable and Queen Mary all blew up like fireworks, leaving about 30 survivors among combined crews of over 3,200 men.
And HMS Hood continued the streak; the greatest battle cruiser ever built, the epitome of Fisher’s theory and redesigned to reflect the lessons at Jutland, the Hood was in its day the fastest and most powerful battleship in the world, the very symbol of British naval might in the twenties and thirties:
And on 1941, as it chased and caught the German battleship Bismarck somewhere between Greenland and Iceland, the German ship’s gunfire blew up the Hood, killing all but three of its crew of 1,200.
However, the dozens of other fullly-armored battleships of both the British and German navies, the vast majority of which were descendants of Dreadnought, survived to serve as the templates for every battleship in the world built between 1906 and the end of World War 2.
But today? With the last of the battleships (The USS Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin) retired and serving as museum ships, it may be that Jacky Fisher’s most well-known, if not most significant or enduring, contribution to the world may be that in 1917, in a letter to Winston Churchill, he was the first person ever recorded using the abbreviation “OMG” as a shortcut to writing “Oh, My God”.
The lesson? You never know what it is that you’ll be leaving to posterity.
…is someone who, given a choice between being killed or living, says “Let’s compromise on massive internal bleeding or some mid-level brain damage”.
…and other writers. But this should mandatory reading for people who write for billboards.
And especially menu boards for small restaurants.
Secretary of State Ritchie http://www.twincities.com/
And Joe Doakes of Como Park is not impressed:
Excellent example of the language battle. Other possible titles:
“Enshrining Hate In The Minnesota Constitution.”
“Limiting Homosexual Activist Court Tactics”
“Establishing a Second Class of Citizens”
“Limiting” is different from “Recognition” because “Limiting” implies discarding some legitimate options. That’s not what’s happening – we’re not going from several forms of marriage down to one, we’re recognizing that we’ve always had one form and we intend to keep it.
More than liberal meddling, it’s liberal activism, attempting to influence voters with the wording question.
Given that it’s Mark Ritchie, we should be thankful he’s not calling it the “Family Suppression Amendment”>
I’m a language geek.
So it’s not a mystery why I flocked to this story. Sperm whales communicate via a series of morse code-like clicking sounds.
And those sounds apparently have dialect differences and, according to researchers,
Differences in the patterned clicks that sperm whales use to communicate with each other seem to be down to culture and not genetics, say researchers.
The finding could influence conservation efforts; instead of focussing solely on where the animals live, protection should also consider which dialect they use.
In other words, conservation efforts – say some of the researchers – should focus on cultural differences between the groups of whales.
Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into full-blown multiculturalism
The Democrats have been waging a war for the English language. Part of that war is harping on how the Republicans are…well, waging a war for the English language.
Rhetoric – using language to try to control how people think about issues – is as old as politics itself.
And Jill Klausen – writing at Kos, Re-Elect Democrats and Alternet and, no doubt other members of the big leftyblog cluster-cuddle - has some suggestions for the left on how to do it more effectively, with her list of five terms Democrats should never use.
But not before explaining a bit about how the Republicans have learned a thing or two:
We talk about the “Death Tax” and not the proper term, “Estate Tax.” Two little words—”Death Panels”—were capable of nearly derailing the best thing that’s happened to health insurance in this country in decades.
That was a good one, actually. Smart Democrats went “wow – that WAS effective”. Democrats with intellectual opportunities said “there’s no such thing!”, ignorant of how managed care has always worked. Too much explaining for them to do; it was a great term.
Misleading? Well, not really, not the way Republicans actually used it; in managed care, you do have a group of doctors, attorneys and administrators figuring out what treatments would and would not be cost-effective. Is it a death panel? If you were 95 and had liver failure and the group figured a liver transplant wasn’t the best use of a donor liver, yes, it could very well be. What DO you call that group? Is it different when it works for the government, as opposed to an HMO? Of course!
But this isn’t about real explanations; this is about language:
Harvard-educated President Obama is universally considered “elite,” while Yale-educated George W. Bush is considered “down home.”
Give it a rest, Dems; not only did you spend eight years chanting that Bush was stupid, you’re the ones who claimed an Ivy League education one of Obama’s great qualifications! Bill Maher – the exposed intellectual id of the Democratic Party on the national level, in the same way that “Two Putt Tommy” is for the Minnesota DFL – once “joked” “you hate Obama because he went to Harvard, and you resurface driveways for a living”.
So while this article is about using language to frame things, you sort of did his one yourself. Just saying.
And it’s all a diversion, because the article actually is a useful primer on how framing is done.
As Progressive Democratic linguist George Lakoff explains it, this “framing” is crucial to how they’ve managed to win so much of the debate…This sleight-of-tongue has managed to manipulate at least half the country into believing things that simply are not true.
Well, yes and no. Rhetoric – “framing” – is never about truth, and it’s never not about truth; it’s about using language to get people to believe things.
It can be a big, clumsy club, designed to woo the stupid – like Alliance For A Better Minnesota, whose “Tom Emmer Favorited Lowering DWI Penalties” gulled 43% of Minnesota’s less-gifted. Or it can be incredibly subtle.
Ms. Klausen has some suggestions of her own – the aforementioned “five things” Democrats shouldn’t say:
1. Never say Entitlements.
–Instead, say Earned Benefits.
Which, worst case, would send Republicans into a frenzy of explaining that those benefits are almost never “earned”, while Democrats cash in all those votes from the dumb people whose egos they’ve stroked.
2. Never say Redistribution of Wealth.
–Instead, say Fair Wages For Work.
By which they mean “Fair Wages For Other Peoples’ Work”.
3. Never say Employer Paid Health Insurance.
–Instead, say Employee Earned Health Insurance.
That’d be a tough one to reframe. My suggestion would be “unicorn-paid health insurance”. That’s where Dems think money comes from.
4. Never say Government Spending.
–Instead, say The People Are Investing.
They’ve been trying this one for decades.
5. Never say Corporate America.
–Instead, say Unelected Corporate Government.
Now, this is the first genuinely dumb idea in the article, and I do hope the Democrats run with this one hard hard hard.
So as I’m working away at my day job today, paying for other peoples’ earned benefits and fair wages for my work, wondering what rathole the people elected by the dumb people are “investing” my money down, I’ll be watching for the Unelected Corporate Government Press Department doing this sort of framing for our good-heavens-not-elite President.
…or maybe it’s because I’ve been working in IT too long.
But almost every time I try to type the phrase “White Paper”, I end up typing “Shite Paper”.
I need to kick that error before it costs me.
…so I don’t know if I’m right to bag on DFL-training-ground law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi for bragging up an award for their “pro-bono” work in blocking an AT&T cell tower near the Boundary Waters…:
The case centered around a 450-foot cell-phone tower AT&T proposed to build near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The tower would have despoiled the scenic and aesthetic resources of the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for miles and would have posed a significant threat to migratory birds. The Friends challenged the project under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, which gives citizens the right to sue to block projects that have the potential to diminish environmental quality.
Our representation culminated in a four day bench trial with 15 live witnesses and 17 witnesses by deposition. After carefully considering the evidence, the court issued a 58-page order, ruling in favor of the Friends and permanently enjoining AT&T from constructing any tower in this location taller than 199-feet.
…while demanding court costs for the case.
I mean, it’s not “pro bono” if they get paid, is it?
Prenege - To go back on a promise even before it was supposed to be accomplished.
It’s been conventional wisdom in linguistics circles for a long time now – America’s dialects, under assault from mass media, are fading.
Only it’s not true, and they’re not (emphasis added):
Although the United States is an international melting pot and the average American makes a dozen moves in a lifetime, regional accents are alive and well. In fact, regional accents are becoming stronger and more different from each other, says William Labov, a professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, although it’s not entirely clear why.
So why would that be?
Well, there are explanations that seem like linguistics, sort of…:
One possibility, says Labov, is that these original sound differences are being exaggerated, like trains moving in opposite directions on two railroad tracks.
Others? Well they sound like Paul Krugman plain linguistician:
“The other is that dialect differences have become associated with political differences, so that the Blue States/Red States division comes close to the boundary between the Northern and Midland dialects,” he explains.
On the one hand – please tell us what a “Red State” accent sounds like? Anyone?
On the other – there’s an interesting point there; there is at least a correlation between linguistic groups – maybe:
The “Northern”dialect group covers everything from New York to the western Great Lakes (and on west through the Dakotas and Montana, which kinda scrubs the whole “northern dialect is a red-state dialect” thing.
Labov says that our dialects change little after age 18 and we tend to retain the accent we grew up with. Young people first match the dialects of their parents, but then they often change to match their peers. These changes, though, are unconscious, he explains.
Oh, ya. You bet.
My “DFL Dictionary” first came out in 2002.
The Dictionary – a glossary of terms that explain the world and English Language as the DFL sees them – has been pretty stable since then. It’s time for an update.
I made an addition yesterday – “Intransigence: n. When a Republican sticks to their “principles”. (See also: “Princples”)”.
But we need more.
So – for the first time in almost a decade, I’m taking submissions for the DFL dictionary!
Times have changed. The DFL hasn’t – not since 1972 – but it’s time the Dictionary did! Please send me any definitions I’ve missed over the years, and I’ll get the update underway!
Leave your entries in the comment section. Winning selections will be…well, included.
Earlier today, I wrote about an op-ed from over the weekend in the Strib. Reading it, I assumed that the piece – by “Hinda Mandell”, formerly of Edina – was incredibly bad, overly over-the-top, broad-to-the-point-of-unfunny, stereotype-clogged parody.
Mandell is, in fact, a real person, with a twitter feed of her own; Ms. Mandell is apparently a real mid-level “communications” academic whose brief seems, ironicaly, to include parsing communication so finely for the wispiest hint of perceived victimization that “communication” of any type will eventually be rendered impossible. The article was apparently on the level. Not to mention the first thing I’ve ever read that was actually too dumb to be on Minnesota Progressive Project.
Ryan Rhodes figured it out before me – and after almost ten years of blogging, he’s just as worth reading as he ever was, by the way. He commemorated Ms. Mandell’s raving with the gifts of art…
Who says there’s a higher education bubble? Note to aspiring communication students: Avoid the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, lest you come out of college much, much, MUCH dumber than when you went in.
Anyway – I guess there are a couple of lessons from this whole thing:
- We have too many academics.
- The higher ed bubble is about to explode. And when it does,and if (heaven forfend) Hinda Mandell has to find another gig, wouldn’t it be ironic if she had to get a job as a barrista?
I apologize for the error.
I’m off to tell my farmer friends to stop referring to “Hard Red Spring Wheat“, before Hinda Mandell claims they’re bigoted against Native Americans.
An actor friend of mine tells me that the hardest roles to play are “dumb” people. It’s easy to play the less-intelligent too broadly, like a bunch of “dumb people” cliches. Making them sympathetic, nuanced and interesting? That’s hard.
Parody is kinda the same.
The Twin Cities conservative blogosphere has more than its fair share of brilliant satirists and parodists – people who attack with humor, and by getting inside their targets’ styles, peccadillos…heads for comedic yet pointed effect.
The roll call is long and distinguished; “Sisyphus”, “Nihilist in Golf Pants”, “Wintryminx”, Brian “Saint Paul” Ward, Joe “Learned Foot” Tucci and Ryan “Dirty Shroom” Rhodes are all known quantities who dominate in print (and conservatives going by the names “Spotty”, “MNob” and “Phoenix Woman”, their true identities unknown, do spot-on sendups of smug, overpraised, overwrought “progressive” bloggers); Tom “Swiftee” Swift is by far the most talented, iconoclastic visual satirist in the Twin Cities; and of course, James Lileks is the Segovia of multimedia satire.
Doing good adversarial satire is like playing a dumb person; it’s easy to do badly, and very hard to do well.
So I’m puzzled as to who wrote this Strib parody masquerading as “op-ed”, entitled “The subtle racism around us (even in a cup of coffee)”. With a stable of satirists like we have in the Twin Cities, we could certainly come up with something less over-broad and hamfisted.
For starters, the “writer” is “named” “Hinda Mandell”, and is purportedly an “assistant professor of Communications at Rochester Institute of Technology”, who graduated from Edina High in 1998. Why not name “her” “Golda Schimmelfarb-Williams, adjunct visiting scholar in Victimization Studies at Radcliffe”, while you’re at it? Have her come from North Oaks? Maybe have her complain about her asthma and constantly ask if it’s too cold in the room and start sentences with “oy vey” before nattering about white privilege? If you’re going to run with the cliché, why not go all-in?
Cliché is not satire, and stereotype is not parody.
Anyway – with that out of the way, the piece is about that ultimate “progressive” cliché, hYpStR coffee!
What do you do when a favorite coffee shop features various coffee blends with racially tinged names?
Just a tangent here; twenty years ago, when gourmet coffee shops were a new thing, and I would order a cup at the Dunn Brothers by Macalester College. And I’d occasionally ask – “are all you liberals aware that the coffee you’re ordering, from Ethiopia and Java and the Celebes and Peru and Venezuela, supports a lot of ugly, authoritarian regimes?”
They’d stare blankly.
Just a tangent. Apropos nothing.
Emphasis is added below as “Ms. Mandell” continues:
I was sitting in this beloved joint in New York recently, with its hipster-hippie ambiance, when I overheard a conversation. I’m convinced that the barista and customer, both white, were oblivious to the racially charged nature of their utterances.
Asked the customer: “What type of roast is the Jungle Roast?”
The barista, who looked on the younger side of 20, answered: “It’s a darker roast.”
I sat there flabbergasted. These two women were engaging in a practical conversation — is the coffee a light or dark brew?
But because of the name of the roast — and its richer flavor — they were in fact reinforcing the notion of the jungle and its people as “dark.”
Now, this is funny – but pretty rote. An overweening liberal petty academic,finding racism in coffee? It’s freshman level stuff.
Perhaps you think I’m making too much of a simple exchange.
Oy. To the serious parodist, saying “maybe you think I’m making too much of this” is like waving a sign saying “I’M PRETENDING TO HAVE THE VAPORS FOR COMEDIC EFFECT. PLEASE LAUGH NOW”.
And, unfortunately, it’s a rookie flub that telegraphs a descent into hamfisted absurdity rather than good parody:
But consider, too, that while eavesdropping I was sipping on a luscious coffee blend that the shop calls Jamaica Me Crazy. It’s seasoned with fresh cinnamon. Maybe that’s what they drink in Jamaica? I don’t know, since I’ve never been there.
But I do know that if the coffee was labeled Protestants A Plenty, Catholics Be Crazy, Jews be Jivin’ or Blacks Be Boppin’, there would be an uproar. Of course, Protestants and Catholics, as part of the religious mainstream, do not typically face the brunt of prejudice in the United States.
As I drank my French Roast this morning, trying to recover from last night’s Irish coffee and Swedish meatballs, I shook my head. Too obvious.
And most know that intolerance against Jews and blacks is not publicly accepted. Blatant bigotry is easy to spot, while covert bigotry — where an entire group is used to sell coffee — can be easier to stomach and therefore ignore.
Right there – that’s the bit that threw it over the top.
The key to great parody is painting a picture of your target that is just sympathetic enough to be plausible. It’s the touch that separates a good parody – Dwight Schrute, for example – from a bad one, like Stephen Colbert. Is Hinda Mandell sympathetic? About as sympathetic as a turd on your kitchen floor – a turd that nags and hectors you about the racial overtones of the dark stain you used on your bedroom floor!
It’s been nearly a decade since I learned one of my biggest life lessons. Difference is all about perception.
For instance, perceiving that coffee that is roasted to a darker hue is “dark”?
Seirously – calling this “satire” is like calling someone who walks onstage and bellows “Durrrr! I am teh DUMMY!” “acting”. Whoever is writing this “Mandell” character just swerved past parody into group defamation.
I mean, how is this – “Durr, I am a spoiled, cossetted pseudo-academic who draws lessons that impugn others from my own provincialism!” – any different?
Do I embarrass the cafe manager by saying something? Do I become complicit by ordering a medium Jamaica Me Crazy with steamed milk, please?
Yes, unknown parodist – we got it. ”Hinda Mandell” is tortured by the racism in the mundane. Let it go. I’ve given up on finding a reason to like “her”; I’d settle for believing “she” was plausible.
Deciphering these messages might be the easier part. Figuring out what to do with them afterward is a lot harder.
The scary part is, someone apparently wants us to believe we have an entire academic discipline to help people “figure out” “hidden racist messages” in everyday objects – if you believe that “Hinda Mandell” is real.
But I think we all know better.