February 11, 2010

I'm going to have to defend my fellow garbage pail kid, John Mayer.

I'm only noticing this story because a "Human Garbage" listmate asked me what John Mayer was doing there with us. So, let's look at what Mayer said:
Mayer, 32, told [a Playboy] interviewer: "Someone asked me the other day, 'What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?' And by the way, it's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n*gger pass."...
I think he's musing about whether it's fair for him to see himself as having earned credibility in the way that a black person would. That's deferential to black people. He's also using the N-word, which is never a good idea for a white person, but if really had a "hood pass," it might be an argument that he should be able to use the taboo word the way a black person can. By actually using the word, he's implicitly making that argument.

He goes on to say:
"What is being black?" He then answers himself: "It's making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that's seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you'll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude's."
That supports my interpretation of what he was trying to say. My point isn't that he should use the word, only that he didn't have a hateful reason for saying it. Substantively, he is sympathetic to black people and thoughtful. But form can eclipse substance. In short: Don't use the N-word, even to make an enlightened point about race. It's inflammatory, distracting, and likely to be taken the wrong way.

And then there's this:
When asked by the interviewer, "Do black women throw themselves at you?", Mayer responds: "I don't think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke cock. I'm going to start dating separately from my dick."
He's being outrageous there, but read, people. He's insulting his own penis! He's saying his penis is a big racist. That is, he's always gone out with white women, because he's been following his cock. Now, he's saying, he'd like to be more open-minded and have his heart take over. Let the cock be the follower now. He's trying to entertain Playboy readers, and that actually is funny.

Why not read and think first before attacking this man? Let your mind go first, not your... whatever you have instead of a dick that gives you a stupid instinct for racial excitement.

Now, Mayer tweets that he was wrong — about the N-word:
"I am sorry that I used the word. And it's a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualise using it, because I realise there's no intellectualising a word that is so emotionally charged."
It was arrogant — he's saying — to think other people would be intellectually sharp and interested in ideas. It's a bit of a nonapology. He's pretty close to saying: I'm sorry people are stupid. But obviously he knows what is obvious: The word is what it is because it transcends thought and stimulates emotion. The decision to use it is a decision to go for emotion. You can't really complain that people got distracted by the distraction you created.

Now, if you're really smart and you do it right — or maybe only if you're Lenny Bruce — you might find a way to use the very emotional distraction to leverage your way to a brilliant, enlightened, substantive statement about race. But Lenny Bruce wouldn't have tweeted an apology if he were misunderstood. He'd have said something else smart, not whined about how other people aren't smart enough to get him.

179 comments:

Florida said...

Bill Cosby would like to have a word with you, Ann.

Nobody should be calling black people "niggers."

Not even black people.

And I'm surprised you would defend Mayer for his use of the epiteth.

He's also a misogynist of the first order.

What a scumbag.

Fred4Pres said...

John Mayer using that word is like Quentin Tarrantino using that word. Faux shocking. Stupid too. How about we just not use it (other than reading it in Huck Finn and history books)? Black and white.

AllenS said...

It's obvious that my dick has no conscience.

Michael said...

HA, Ha, Ha! Now even wannabe Lenny Bruces have to apologize for offending. The coolest most iconoclastic badass dudes on planet E have to be politically correct pussies. Have to get on their stupid little devices and twitter an apology. Lenny Bruce would have had another bit of smack and said the offending word again. Louder. Ha Ha leftie pussy "artists" who can't draw, can't sing and now, oh God, can't even say mean things without offending the other. Ha Ha Ha.

Joan said...

I had a very similar take on this -- I got the point Mayer was trying to make, but he made it stupidly.

Unlike Ann, though, I appreciated his apology. He realizes that it was arrogant to think he could use that word, that way, and have people respond to his meaning and not the words of the message. I think it's rather a shame that we have someone here who is being honest about how race has influenced his behavior in the past and how he would like to change in the future, and here he is getting raked over the coals for even talking about it.

Then again, before this kerfuffle I had no idea who John Mayer even is. Still don't, except for figuring he must be some sort of celebrity. Maybe he really is just a jerk.

Palladian said...

He actually does sound like a piece of trash, even without the neurotic racial nonsense.

Ann Althouse said...

@Florida When did I say anyone should use the N-word? I don't think that and I didn't say it. I don't address the subject of black people using the word.

rdkraus said...

Guitarist.

And quite good.

rdkraus said...

Also, loves and plays (sometimes) the blues, and you know where that came from

Hoosier Daddy said...

He's being outrageous there, but read, people. He's insulting his own penis! He's saying his penis is a big racist. That is, he's always gone out with white women, because he's been following his cock.

Um...despite the jokes, it really doesn't have a mind of its own.

Sofa King said...

At first I thought you were talking about Ken Mayer and I was like whaaaaat??!

traditionalguy said...

The walls of the racist favor system are carefully built upon the N word and other words and phrases that have been used to denotes a racial difference. In today's Legal Culture of Cash payoffs and eternal job security whether one works or just pretends to work. Therefore the N word as a legal trigger for damages will not be allowed to morph into an acceptible post racial discussion of ideas, not without a fight. This favor system has also attracted women to work their similar system on gender words, and now gays and atheists are getting ready to work their version of the system. What does a straight white man like Mayer have to do...STF up and earn your income the old fashioned way.

Paul said...

Yeah he sure can play blues guitar. Tone, touch, ideas for days. Very talented musician. I admit to having little interest in listening to him unless he has a guitar in his hands, and then I'm all ears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7vYR_Xb8k

Hoosier Daddy said...

I had no idea who John Mayer even is. Still don't, except for figuring he must be some sort of celebrity. Maybe he really is just a jerk.

More often than not, celebrity is synomomous with jerk.

spongeworthy said...

If anybody'll get a pass for this it's John Mayer. He used to clown around with Dave Chapelle on Comedy Central and he uses a ton of black musicians. He has an odd sense of humor but seems to be a genuinely good-natured guy. It matters.

MadisonMan said...

Never try to be funny/smart in an interview. It'll go right over the interviewer's head and the tone of what's written down will be all wrong.

Paul said...

"If anybody'll get a pass for this it's John Mayer. He used to clown around with Dave Chapelle on Comedy Central and he uses a ton of black musicians. He has an odd sense of humor but seems to be a genuinely good-natured guy. It matters."

You'd be hard pressed to find a racist blues or jazz musician. Pretty hard to hate on black people when most of your idols are black.

paul a'barge said...

Didn't he record a song called "Say What You Want to Say"?

WTF?

garage mahal said...

Was flipping thru channels and caught Mayer on HDNET playing his pseudo bluesy crap in front of some teeny bop girls in the audience, and thankfully Buddy Guy was invited and comes out with his trademark black and white polka dot Strat and just killed "Damn I got the blues!". Man among boys, as they say.

And through the wonder of youtube, here it is

traditionalguy said...

Mayer seems to be a normal screwed up musician with a second career in the Blog/Twitter digital world. He will likely say whatever he feels like saying. Over at The Daily Kos world that is not permitted any more that Danish Cartoonists are permitted to comment on Mohammed and his terrorist bombers killing infidels.

Joan said...

Paul -- thanks for the link. Wow. How did I miss this?

Right or wrong, this evokes Led Zep's "Lemon Song" which I coincidentally heard just last night channel surfing on the radio while I was on chauffeur duty (piano lessons). Made my evening, just as this is making my morning.

bagoh20 said...

Whatever strange magical power this word has, it was fabricated out of thin air.

It says the target is too childish to handle a word. It says they are less mature and not up to full participation.

It may be that's the way it is, but it's insulting, and blacks should see their "protection" for what it is. Racism.

I'm not saying it should be used, but neither should any racial insult. This word is treated as something more, only because the "victim" is considered something less. We may not like that, but it seems the logical implication to me.

tree hugging sister said...

Oh, please. He's a such a skeeve and always has been, which begs a much more obvious question: how sleeping with him is something any sane, marginally self confident woman would consider for a second?

Looking over his conquests...one hasn't.

Kim said...

Bah. PC nonsense, all around. Who cares what Meyer's motivations were for using the word "nigger*"? Speech is speech, we either have the freedom to say it or we don't.

Where does it end? I'll tell you. Next, we'll no longer be allowed to say the "S-word" (that would be "snigger"), lest someone's ultra-prickly sensitivities are offended.

There are many, MANY words uttered in modern everyday conversation which offend me, but I don't call for their banning. Nor should anyone.

And I don't buy the "heritage" argument for racial sensitivity, either. When Blacks stop referring to Jews as "Jewboys", "Kikes" or worse in their everyday conversations (just listen in sometime), maybe I'll start taking this nonsense seriously.

*["N-word", my aching African-American ass]

Hoosier Daddy said...

Man among boys, as they say.

I had a similar thought when I first saw Hootie (Darius Rucker) on CMT.

bagoh20 said...

"He's saying his penis is a big racist. That is, he's always gone out with white women."

Then most everyone's a racist. There is not a lot of cross-racial dating, nor cross-class, nor cross language, nor cross-culture, nor even cross-interest. It's not a crime.

What's next, government enforced racial diversity in our sex partners. If so, great: I have some work to do to get legal.

M. Report said...

A: The word is what it is because it transcends thought and stimulates emotion.

Sort of like cartoons of the Prophet,
and contraindicated for the same
reason: Those offended by it are
likely to respond with lethal physical violence.

jimbino said...

I'm with Kim. There are no magic words. Only religious and superstitious wimps say "G*d damn" for goddam and "stingy" for niggardly.

Peter V. Bella said...

He was just being niggardly in his choices of female companionship.

Michael said...

Garage: Well said. Buddy Guy has a Memphis style loose string way with the blues. Authentic, natural, to be found in any old school black club in Dixie. Mayer has a music school approach that is well meaning but essentially a pose. He is to blues as K Gibran is to poetry.

Salamandyr said...

To be fair...other people were too stupid to get him, or this wouldn't have even been an issue.

He seems like a decent guy, but I still have never heard one of his songs what was worth listening to more than once.

tim maguire said...

The irony, of course, is that he was completely right--if he had a hood pass, he would be able to use that word. But he doesn't have a hood pass, so he can't, but he did. So he has to be censured for his use of it.

Obvious point brilliantly made and I find all the faux outrage here and elsewhere boring. His point, and an entirely correct one it is, is that if he were black, nobody would blink (except maybe Bill Cosby). The outrage is not over what he said but that he was white while saying it. And no matter how "black friendly" he may be, he is still white in the eyes of liberal America.

rhhardin said...

The emotion, such as it is, is that you should have known about the opportunism.

AllenS said...

I hate the way the word "gay" is being used. It used to mean merry or lively mood. Now is means homo. Can we still use the homo-word?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Lets face it people, white men can't jump or play the blues. They're just going through the motions.

Franco said...

Heard in Vegas lounge act. What do Mark Twain and Barack Obama have in common? They both can speak in the "negro" dialect. Ba dum-bum.


Hey, black folk be very territorial bout that word. If you be a Democrat like Robert Byrd and are referrin to white folk, you can get a pass.
Y'aa- iigt. If you a rap star, no problem dey makin money offa da word. White folk can't use the word to mean shit. We can say, she-it muthafukka, whateva we want. We ain't listenin to no Bill Cosby, who he?

I hear "negro" is comin' back in since the Democrats be usin' it an stuff. We get 'nuff folk using dat word agin, we can get the ones left still usin "black" an "African American".
An don't be dissin my use o the dialec. Dis is how it be looking on Barack's telepromta when he talkin to the people.

Henry said...

Over at human garbage central the question is asked "Why isn't Rush on this list?" and the answer is "He's subhuman."

Henry said...

Aferthought: Playboy is still around?

AllenS said...

Remember in 2007, Hillary Clinton in Selma Alabama talking at a black church and showing off her own Negro Dialect trying to talk like James Cleveland? That was a classic.

Pogo said...

Mayer seems hoist by his own retard, a hipster lefty who has discovered the fetters he favored were also his own.

Mayer's predicament is an example of PC thought that coerces "preference falsification.

Someone may publically be silent on or favor gay marriage, and so avoid PC opprobrium, but privately reject it, and vote that way. Supporters blame the Mormons.

Any controversial issue in the US has an easily predictable Right Thinking dogma from which the "correct" position can be anticipated and voiced, but the actual held beliefs are left unsaid.

By "living a lie', one is protected from social criticism. Individualism is retained, but becomes covert.
But the disappearance of public dissent is not the same as agreement, much less support.

Just like the USSR crumbled and the Berlin Wall fell, the suppression of beliefs that are not PC may see a "surprising" revolution to overthrow them. It will seem unanticipated only to the conescienti and enforcers.

Hence the TEA party.

Fred4Pres said...

I am all for free speech. Mayers can say anything he likes. We can say whatever we like in response.

Free speech is good. Not all speech, however, is good. I will take the later to save the former.

MikeT said...

Where does it end? I'll tell you. Next, we'll no longer be allowed to say the "S-word" (that would be "snigger"), lest someone's ultra-prickly sensitivities are offended.

Real life is already ahead of you. The language/culture police (cannot use the word Nazis--Godwin's ya know. so many "laws" about speech) already have fired someone for saying "niggardly". They have determined that the word "niggardly" is racist because it is too close to "nigger".

Can the s-word be far behind? And after all, if these malignant toads can control our speech aren't they getting closer to controlling our thoughts?

Shanna said...

I had a similar thought when I first saw Hootie (Darius Rucker) on CMT.

Can I say how awesome I think it is that he decided to go country? His songs are pretty, if a bit sweet for my taste, but that’s definitely marching to your own drummer. And it fits him well.

mariner said...

Right.

And women who dress provocatively are "just asking for it".

William said...

Black people can use the word and white people cannot which is why black people use the word so often....My penis is actually a pretty good judge of character. It is completely unimpressed by status, wealth, and ethnic background. I don't have a snobbish or racist boner in my body....A couple of years ago I saw a large white man use the word on a black traffic agent who had given him a parking ticket. It was pretty ugly, but I remember thinking that this was the first time in my life I had actually heard the word spoken with its original intent in years.....I grew up in a housing project, and sometimes shit happened. My brother got worked over pretty good one time. My mother never used the n-word prior to that. But whenever she described the incident, she would pause for dramatic effect and use the n word to describe the assailants. She didn't use the word in other contexts, but she got a lot of satisfaction using it thus......By using n-word instead of n*gger aren't we just giving it more power--like a bunch of Old Testament Jews using Y**weh.

Richard Fagin said...

Some poor government bureaucrat got in a heap of trouble for using the word "niggardly", correctly, in a conversation. He may have even lost his job. Collectively, I think we've gone nuts over use of the N word

bagoh20 said...

"And women who dress provocatively are "just asking for it".

They are asking for something, and it's imposable to ignore, so it's almost a demand, whatever it is.

ricpic said...

What does the word hateful mean? Althouse tells us that this creature Mayer is not being hateful toward blacks because he tells the whopper that to be black is to make the most of your life. Would it be hateful if Mayer had said that some blacks make the most of their lives and most don't? No, it would have been the truth. The same truth that applies to Jews, WASPs, you name it. But because for Althouse blacks don't really cut it anything less than smearing them with schmaltz is hateful.

Maguro said...

Nothing is more lame and cliched than a white musician who thinks his life experience has made him kinda black. Mayer sounds like he's watched Ralph Macchio in Crossroads a few too many times. STFU and sing. Or just STFU.

Pogo said...

"What does the word hateful mean? "

It is applied to anything felt to be "not PC", and can change on a whim, depending largely on the target.

Marvel Goose said...

When the campaign was to liberate people to use the F-bomb, all the libs were for it. The words were the taboos of an uptight conservative class.

Now we need a Lenny Bruce to do the same for the N-word and take out the taboos of the uptight leftish class.

No Taboos. No Sacred Cows!

c3 said...

Can we bring back public flogging (or maybe a virtual flogging) And following up on Warhol's "15 minutes of fame" we can all have "15 minutes of shame" for past, present or future sins.
You can sign up for your flogging in advance, just to get it over with....

you know you deserve it

WV: aranical. No I'm not being aranical

tom said...

Why is it that the "N" word carries a punch unlike any other racial slur or put down. White folks don't like be called "cracker" or "honkey', but most often they won't go ballistic over it either. Likewise, "kyke" or "hebe" will offend most Jews, but we won't beat you for simply saying it. Indeed, of all the vicious, scurrilous racial attack words, only the "N" word is not allowed to be written or spoken. No doubt the history of blacks in this country helps explain why they recoil so at the word. But, is there more than that to the sting they feel; is there a real nerve being struck?

former law student said...

I agree almost entirely with the professor. But Mayer was presumptuous (arrogant) to think he had enough of a "hood pass" to use the N-word even in the limited contex of talking about who could use the N-word.

When Blacks stop referring to Jews as "Jewboys", "Kikes" or worse in their everyday conversations

I have never heard anyone use the word "Kike" in my adult life, and I grew up surrounded by casual anti-Semites. (The late Marge Schott could have been any mother in the neighborhood.) Who are these black people who use that word in their every day conversation?

former law student said...

Whoops, I meant "my entire life"

Sorry.

Squid said...

If only Herbert Kornfeld were still around. He'd have straightened this out wit' a quickness.

Rest in peace, H-Dog.

Paul said...

"White people can't play the blues".

There you have it. Racist ignorance in all its glaring ugly stupidity.

Too bad for Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, and yes...John Mayer, that they don't know their efforts have been for naught as it has been so decreed by a couple of no-talent-never-played-a-note asshole blog commenters.

Funny thing is, speaking as someone who has played with some of these Black legendary musicians, they don't feel this way at all. I guess when you have actually paid the dues to master your craft you have a more humble appreciation of what it takes and you feel compelled to give credit where it is due.

former law student said...

Why is it that the "N" word carries a punch unlike any other racial slur or put down. White folks don't like be called "cracker" or "honkey', but most often they won't go ballistic over it either.

Because it has always been menat to hurt and belittle, and the listeners know the customary association. In contrast, call me cracker and I don't feel any bad associations. Call me honkie, and I know it's derived from either bohunk (Bohemian) or Hungarian. Neither have bad associations in my mind.

Likewise, "kyke" or "hebe" will offend most Jews

Most attractive blond women would not be offended by being called "shikse," because they don't realize the word is derived from the Hebrew term sheketz, which means "loathsome", "abomination", "unclean", "dirty", "rodent", or "lizard",

rhhardin said...

Nigger is a resource for the offended.

They above all don't want to lose control of that lever, and that's the reason that the reaction is certain.

The offense is a protective move, lest the copyright ever be lost on its demonstration of political power, which the reaction itself is.

It's a slavery they wish on themselves.

Florida said...

"@Florida When did I say anyone should use the N-word? I don't think that and I didn't say it. I don't address the subject of black people using the word."

With all due respect Ann, the title of the post is "I'm going to have to defend my fellow garbage pail kid, John Mayer."

Clearly, what you are defending him against, is criticism for having said the word "nigger."

You also suggest, very clearly, that it's OK for black people to say the word "nigger." You make a clear distinction between a white person saying it and a black person saying it.

You do that in this way: You write that for white people it's never a good idea to say "nigger" which very clearly indicates you think it's OK for black people to do - or else why the "white" modifier?

If you don't think it's OK for black or white people to say "nigger" then you could easily write that it's never a good idea for anyone to say it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Can I say how awesome I think it is that he decided to go country?

I only heard a couple of his songs and they didn't blow my skirt up. He ain't no Hank Williams.

bagoh20 said...

Herbert Kornfeld was simply above all of this. A true leader.

Florida said...

"He has an odd sense of humor but seems to be a genuinely good-natured guy."

Nobody who describes his own cock as a "white supremicist" or who speaks of his former girlfriends out-of-turn is a "genuinely good natured guy."

He's a garden variety narcissist asshole.

I'd also remind folks that most people thought Tiger Woods was a "genuinely good-natured guy" until the media began making you aware of his activities, instead of hiding those activities from you.

People are often not as they are portrayed by a media which is often covering up their activities for various reasons that you are never made privy to. (CBSNews for example was covering up Tigers' nighttime activities because CBS makes a fortune covering the PGA).

Many members of the media were well-aware of John Edwards' tryst with Rielle Hunter, but did not report it because they wanted to be able to blackmail him with the information once he became President. Others did so because they supported his candidacy and would benefit by his election.

Many journalists are members of the elite class; and more than willing to protect one of their own.

Oligonicella said...

traditionalguy -

"This favor system has also attracted women to work their similar system on gender words, and now gays and atheists are getting ready to work their version of the system."

Hey, martyrdom's an ancient tradition, you know. Even held in reverence by some. Got old books saying so.

On another note, Althouse will be deleting like crazy today.

wv: nesser - Nesser, I won't say that again.

Fen said...

You write that for white people it's never a good idea to say "n-word" which very clearly indicates you think it's OK for black people to do - or else why the "white" modifier?

There's clearly a double standard in play. Racial slurs against blacks are forbidden, so much that I have to censor the n-word out of your quote so Ann won't delete my post [yours will be].

But racial slurs against rural whites are tolerated here and in society: Redneck is tossed around with reckless abandon.

Of course, some will argue that the n-word is more offensive than redneck, but that doesn't change the fact that both are bigoted stereotypes of urban blacks/rural whites.

Brian O'Connell said...

"What is being black?" He then answers himself: "It's making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted..."

Any definition of "black" that goes beyond skin color or genetic heritage is inherently racist. That some black people might not have a problem with it doesn't matter.

What is being Asian? It's being good at math and respecting your parents. Margaret Cho is inauthentically Asian.

O. Tockfield said...

But John Mayer is not Lenny Bruce, Ms. Althouse. John Mayer is a d*#che-bag.

You can argue those point, though I'm not going to buy them. Still, I know know d*#che-baggery when I see it, and John Mayer is one.

bagoh20 said...

FLS, those arguments very weak.
You offer that other racial slurs are not forbidden because some of them were not used in your one-human sphere of reference.

And, "Because it has always been menat (sic) to hurt and belittle, and the listeners know the customary association."

You really believe other groups are too stupid to know what the slurs against them mean?

You resort to these weak arguments because there really is no good one. It's emotion and a power play as rhhardin points out and it's also racist as I have argued. You can't treat a group different because of their skin color and claim otherwise, period.

Fen said...

Just to be clear: my understanding of Ann's policy is that use of the "n-word" trips the google filters, and that even using the word to discuss why you shouldn't use the word will get your post deleted.

PCBS.

bagoh20 said...

This post is mostly about authentic blackness. If such a thing is possible, then that requires inauthentic blackness. The whole concept is racist. Assuming what kind of person one is and what abilities they have (blues) based on the color of their skin is foul.

I guarantee anybody could be fooled if blindfolded by some whites playing blues and some blacks playing country.

garage mahal said...

You can argue those point, though I'm not going to buy them. Still, I know know d*#che-baggery when I see it, and John Mayer is one.

This.

Seerak said...

This favor system has also attracted women to work their similar system on gender words, and now gays and atheists are getting ready to work their version of the system.

Christians already *are* working it, but your point stands nonetheless... the inability to distinguish people from ideas is destroying discourse across the board.

Fen said...

"because I realise there's no intellectualising a word that is so emotionally charged"

Who's the Czar that determines which racial slurs are emotionally charged and which aren't?

Chase Kimball said...

Joke for John Mayer: "Why do men like to name their weenies? So they don't have a complete stranger make all their decisions for them."

Paul said...

"I guarantee anybody could be fooled if blindfolded by some whites playing blues and some blacks playing country."

Not garage or Hoosier....they would know immediately because white men can't play blues.

veni vidi vici said...

Jimmy Page is not only white, he's British, fer chrissakes! Doesn't get any whiter than that, unless maybe Ireland can be Cleaved from the persons of the Isles of Albion.

And dayum could that boy boogie...



Where's the Crack MC's take on this tempest in a thunderpot? I speak for most of the readers here when I hereby inquire about "the macho response" to Mr. Mayer's controversy!


wv: "retra" -- a nostalgic girl

danielle said...

First -- Ann, I agree in part ... his use of the N-word is fine. I think he's presumptuous and arrogant in his attempt to compare himself in the way that he tried to a 'black dude' ... i mean, really, what does that even mean. What he described as his struggle is so universal; clearly when there is talk about a 'black struggle,' it has to do with increased opposition within this general human struggle that seems to result from America's history with slavery and the political conflicts that have ensued ...

But on the second point -- Ann, you've got to be kidding me. Do you really believe his self proclaimed thinking with his cock in a way that excludes a particular race is something completely separate from his deeper beliefs/values ? And despite his actual choices, that his deeper beliefs/heart are for an inclusion worthy of a benetton ad ? Really ?

I think it makes more sense to judge people by their actions, as opposed to judging them by what they claim to be the aspirations of their hearts. And what he said so casually, and what he demonstrates is a preference for white women, and from his own statements, entirely because of skin color. That is as clear a statement of racial bias as I have ever seen a celebrity in the younger generation make.

I credit John Mayer for being very 'raw' in this interview. He exposed himself to be an arrogant idiot.

narrledudh said...

I only know of Mayer's first hit, which seemed to me merely insipid, at normal pop levels.

On the dick question, what, if anything would the outraged mewlers have said if he had claimed to have Andy Sullivan's?
(Nothing, of course.)

As a great writer once said, there's no such thing as an insincere erection.

Michael said...

Paul:

"When you have paid the dues to master your craft..." Mayer started playing the blues around 2005. The blues greats would be pleased to know that a white boy from Connecticut is such a quick study. And down with the bothers. As I said, he is as much a bluesman as K. Gibran is a poet. Not much of a badass either. Mississippi John Hurt tweeting an apology? Ha. James Cotton tweeting? Ha Ha Ha

Florida said...

"Why do men like to name their weenies? So they don't have a complete stranger make all their decisions for them."

I'm not sure Mayer would get the joke.

He says in the Playboy interview that he's "masturbated" his way out of many of life's problems - so, you know, he's got some experience in the area.

Judging by how John Mayer talks about women he's dated in the past, I'd be willing to bet that skill will come in handy in the future. What self-respecting woman would ever want to date this douche-nozzle?

(BTW: No man calls his penis a "weenie." Only girls do that.)

The Crack Emcee said...

What is being black?

It's having dark skin, nothing more.

All that other delusional PC bullshit - no matter what his (or Ann's) take on it is - is what's bothersome, not the word nigger.

You'd stop this shit, Ann, if you knew how awful it actually plays. How would you like to be a black guy, just trying to be normal, and none of the "good white people" around you would stop bringing up how different you are? Isn't that racist in itself? Isn't the whole set-up racist? Judge a man by the content of his character?

Some of you, still, don't understand the meaning of the phrase.

Signed,

The Head Nigger In Charge of The Macho Response.

Paul said...

Michael, what do you do for a living? Because it obviously ain't music. Of course that won't stop you from claiming some divine right to expertise.

JM has been playing blues a lot longer than you think...at least 15 years...but that doesn't matter. Shuggie Otis played his butt off when he was 16.

Forget his pop stuff and watch this video. Try and control your prejudice and just listen to the guitar playing. He's a guy that people love to hate. I get that. I don't care though because as a musician if I was to ignore every douchebag musician that would have to include people like Miles, Jaco, Jimmy Smith, just to name the first three that immediately come to mind.

If after watching the video you still think he's not a fine blues guitar player then I can safely write you off as an ignoramus, because every guitar player I know, black or white, thinks he's killing here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7vYR_Xb8k

danielle said...

'How would you like to be a black guy, just trying to be normal, and none of the "good white people" around you would stop bringing up how different you are?'

....Crack, I'm not convinced just bringing up difference between people is racist. If there is a tone of harsh judgment because you are not like them, then that's something different. And then attributing all of those 'other' characteristics to everyone who have black skin is something even further ...

I definitely agree that constantly questions can make a person feel 'other;' but i think its human nature to notice difference and to want to know something about them. And clearly, its tiring to feel like you're always answering questions .... but sometimes even answering stating how the questioning comes off is really helpful -- don't you think ?

rdkraus said...

Of course he plays the blues well. As do/did Duanne Allman, Johnny Winter (God, you can't get any whiter than he is), Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and THOUSANDS OF OTHER WHITE GUYS (EVEN GALS) in clubs/venues all over America and elsewhere.

What is this crazy talk?

WV: pluck (semms appropriate)

rdkraus said...

Also, music is not a contest to see who is the "best" or most authentic. The musicians I've hung out with appreciate good music by others and, even, good faith effort at playing good music. They understand that.

AllenS said...

Thanks, Crack.

BJM said...

Who buys/reads or cares about what's in Playboy anymore? The magazine's relevance jumped the shark about the same time as the Fonz.

How the hell anyone who puts out a whiny pussy anthem like "Say What You Mean To Say" would think he had black street cred is delusional.

I'm also having a hard time imaging the gangstas hangin' at a liquor store in the Iron Triangle talking about some candy-assed white boy trash talking and pretending he can seriously play a blues guitar when a pregnant mother was gunned down this week. That's what our hood is worrying about, not fucking John Mayer.

Seriously. Can we get some perspective here?

victoria said...

And we are listening to him because......?


No


Vicki from Pasadena

Michael said...

Paul: Love your keen logic. If I disagree with your assessment then I am an ignoramus. I gather that you are a liberal.

You might go and check on when John started playing the blues. You might find that most sources disagree with your assessment.

And since in your world only musicians can judge musicians then I suppose in your world I am disqualified from having an opinion. As it happens I spent the 60s and 70s in Memphis and the Mississippi delta during which time I met and listened to a lot of blues musicians. I must have a bit of a tin ear, but I think John Mayer is a competent musician who plays blues notes but not a blues man. Sorry, but you Paul are wrong.

former law student said...

Even white men get the blues. Hammond's dad produced records for Bob Dylan, among many others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiV__rVvn8M

Martin Mull performs his song about growing up near the Cleveland Delta:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVfYos--B_c

garage mahal said...

Not garage or Hoosier....they would know immediately because white men can't play blues.

I didn't say that, and don't even go there. Mayer's whole wonderkid shctick is packaging up Steve Ray Vaughn's work, [another white guy, take note] softened down a bit for the Gen X sexual angst target audience. Blech. Mayer is just peach fuzz. Blues for rubes.

Skip Mayer go to straight to Jonny Lang for comparison. Buckets and buckets of soul. It's hard to believe that voice is coming from that body.

From Inwood said...

FLS @11:32

You actually raise an interesting point while showing that you live in a cocoon (Oh, dear, can I say that last word without any misunderstanding) in your assuming that because you never heard a particular derogatory word for Jews that no Black would be using it.

The interesting point being that I too never (well, hardly ever) hear any of the old derogatory terms for race, religion, or other PC areas anymore.

(1) I believe that that’s because people have been “shamed out” of such generally accepted banned terms (GABT).

(2)Yet people still look down on certain races, religions, etc &, in place of GABT, use euphemisms or words, which while innocent enough by themselves, are, when used in context. obviously meant to denigrate people.

(3) And the PC Police or race warriors, looking for attention & for victimization find up to then innocent words to be “code” words, witness “Professor” as applied to The President.

(1) Terms gone by: A friend of mine was subject to a class (really a CYA thing by his employer's HR lawyers)on PC at work, designed by “outside consultants” & given by a couple of White “experts” who informed his class that the, the class, that is didn’t know what it was like to be poor & minority. Of course they, missing the irony, nay farcical aspects of this, set themselves up as all-knowing in these areas. Anyway, these (now wealthy) fakers stood up in the front of the room & wrote a series of descriptions like Blacks”, “Jews”, “Women” etc. on the big pad in the front of the room & asked members of the class to describe derogatory terms about each such entry.

Of course no one wanted to speak. My friend, being a wise guy, said “Harp” for his & my race. He reported that the experts were then mystified. Like you, probably, they’d never heard the term, which is not commonly used anymore as far as I know, but which was used once upon a time.

(2) Euphemisms: A friend of ours has a cottage in Wronghampton. She describes her neighbors as “Bluejays”, a version of Pig Latin, I guess. I suggested that she not use the term on the LIRR especially in context since, like C4s writings here, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out. She was surprised. Those soi-disant sophisticated people now use terms like “affable Irishman” to describe Irish Americans who are not our kind, my dears. Or use, you know, “people with ‘vowels’ after their names” to describe Italians. (Aside, my late Godmother’s surname was “Kinsella”, a fine Irish name. Some people assumed from her name that she might have been Italian.)

(3) Since most people are PC indoctrinated, I never hear anybody use any of the words the two fakers in my # 1 above were looking for, so the professional victimology hucksters have developed what they claim to be “code words” which must be accepted as un-PC) Like, the other day, “Professor”. See a great book exposing this fraud: The Language Police by Diane Ravitch. Her list (A Glossary of Banned Words) is hilarious. Interestingly enough in view of the Palin/Emanuel dust up, she included (in 2003) “retard”.

Another friend (um this is beginning to sound like a literary device) who is more of a snob than a bigot describes Jews who work in the apparel business as “garmento”. I’m not sure if that’s derogatory, so I would hesitate to use it. Unless some Jewish guy called me an affable Irishman!

Hey, I think that that would be a good “Former Affable Irishman”. Whadda ya think?

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

Well Michael I guess 45 years of hard practice, a billion gigs, and tours with great musicians people from Jimmy MgGriff to Levon Helm aren't enough to qualify me to argue with someone who actually spent time in the Delta. No sir. Whatever.

No doubt your prejudices prevent from enjoying a lot of great music but that's your problem, and if I was a liberal I might pretend sympathy. But I'm not, so I really couldn't care less.

Michael said...

Garage: You are right that Lang is closer to the real thing than Meyer. I would never contend that white guys can't play the blues, but I will contend that they didn't begin as blues players for the most part and that the best white guys spent many years mimicking the techniques, and in Lang's case the voice, of the great black bluesmen. Your characterization of Mayer is spot on.

lucid said...

I am so tired ofthe way we talk about race, our endless carefulnesses and confusions and doubling back on what we or someone else has said, endlessly poring over it for clues to hidden intent. Some idiot is now bloging that calling Obama a professor is racist.

This country just elected a very underqualified and underexperienced black man president by a decisive margin.

QED, issues of racism are no longer of significant concern in America.

Get over it. Move on. Stop whining. Stop the moral extortion. Stop the hypocrisy that denies black racism about whites. Take responsibility for your own lives, and stop holding other people responsible for what happens to you. Let others feel and think about you what they want to, just like everyone else has to. Earn their respect, just like everyone else has to do.

From Inwood said...

OOPS Last sentence should've read

Hey, I think that that would be a good nom de blogue
“Former Affable Irishman”. Whadda ya think?

bagoh20 said...

If whites can't play the blues, then why do we care what whites say about judging the stuff?

See how stupid it gets?

The Crack Emcee said...

danielle,

If you want to say "The Crack Emcee is a black guy" then I'm fine. but if you think being black means:

"Making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that's seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you'll die inside."

Then you're talking bullshit. You're making shit up. You're projecting. And you have no clue what being black is, because being black today is only two things:

1) You have dark skin.

2) That dark skin makes you one of the citizens of this country few liberals in America will allow to live as they do. (Do we say "the c-word" for cracker?)

Sorry, Ann, but you're NOT a conservative yet. Not as I see it. Or as Rush sees it. Or as Ward Connerly sees it. You're not even a post-racialist as MLK hoped for us. As many times as I've asked you to drop the race angle, I don't know what you are. Oh, wait, yes I do:

You're an I-voted-for Obama/First Black President/the end of conservatism, yada, yada, yada, liberal.

And it breaks my heart.

BTW, your pal, Glenn Reynolds, does it, too, so at least you're not alone.

Gee, Crack, why are you so angry? Because I not only want, but think we need, a bigger voice in all this. It's easy to call conservatives a bunch of angry white guys - without me. It's easy to keep this dumb race shit going - without me. It's easy to kow-tow to NewAge ideas - without me. Arrogance? You don't know what it is until you look around and see a bunch of white folks in charge, who don't know their heads from a hole in the ground, continually harping on shit that does no one any good - least of all black folks. Or even white folks. Or the country. I mean, if being black means all that shit Mayer says, then what does being white mean? Solve that one for me.

It's all - all of it - in your heads, people.

And it's putrid to The Macho Response.

P.S.

For the billionth time:

I'll debate Ann, Glenn, Ann and Glenn, or anyone else. Prove me the nutcase I supposedly am. Don't rely on my writing - I'm not a writer - face the real human being and prove me wrong.

Michael said...

Paul: Jeese, sorry. If I had known you had played with Levon Helm I would have asked your opinion on Bach. Helm was such a great bluesman that just being on stage with him must have been like fifty years of the moan down on Parchman farm. Man, I guess I messed with the wrong guy venturing an opinion on a posing badass like Mayer.

Fen said...

Crack: What is being black?

It's having dark skin, nothing more.

You'd stop this shit, Ann, if you knew how awful it actually plays. How would you like to be a black guy, just trying to be normal, and none of the "good white people" around you would stop bringing up how different you are? Isn't that racist in itself? Isn't the whole set-up racist? Judge a man by the content of his character?


Spot on. Thank God for the Marine Corps. I actually got to live in a society where skin color was as relevant as hair color. It was nice.

Some of you, still, don't understand the meaning of the phrase

I still maintain that what tipped Ann over into casting a vote for Obama was the colour of his skin. I think there were alot of voters like her.

danielle said...

so Crack, you've now added to your definition of what being black is. First you opted to define being black in just the literal sense of having dark skin. Now you say there is some historical and political context to it as well.

what specifically do you mean by this:

'2) That dark skin makes you one of the citizens of this country few liberals in America will allow to live as they do. (Do we say "the c-word" for cracker?)'

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Mayer's comments on race were actually fine -- if you actually read them through.

His comments on Jessica Simpson, on the other hand -- rather uncool.

Whatever.

Paul said...

garage that's what I mean. Johnny Lang is a fraction of the guitar player that Mayer is. I you compare the video you linked to to the one I did it's obvious to anyone who knows guitar and is objective.

Mayer plays with dynamics, Lang is on 10 from start to finish.

Mayer uses a pick and also his fingers to draw out different tones. Lang just bashes the strings with a pick not even bothering to modulate his attack.

Mayer gets a truly enviable Strat neck pickup tone that guitar players go crazy trying to achieve. Lang's tone is a pedestrian bridge humbucker into a gainy amp. Not bad but nothing special.

But mostly it's time. And this is where your dilettantism will always give you away.


Mayer has a highly developed control over note placement in the bar that is a hallmark of the the really accomplished musician, and the best blues guys all have it. Lang's time is imprecise and awkward and what would be disparagingly referred to as "white".

Mayer's solo tells a story. It goes to different places. Lang's not so much. Just teenage energy from start to finish.


Sure he is influenced by SRV and Hendrix, but having transcribed dozens of solos by both of them myself I can hear JM putting his own stamp on the music.

You are fooled into thinking Lang has buckets of soul because he scrunches up his face and shakes one note, but your ear is simply not as sophisticated as you think it is.

Here's a guy who is better than either of them though. More soul, chops, and tone than just about anybody out there. I wonder how much of his playing you'll get?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn09Xn9JF5s&feature=PlayList&p=0A12537BFF0A2F8E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=13

Oligonicella said...

rdkraus --

"Johnny Winter (God, you can't get any whiter than he is)"

Edgar

rdkraus said...

OKOKOK

Paul said...

Michael give it up. Levon has more soul in his toenail clippings than you and your ancestors put together. And I noticed you ignored McGriff. Just like a liberal would in a cheap sneaky way to argue your point.

It must suck to be such a goddamned musical expert and not be able to play a note.

Pity.

The Crack Emcee said...

danielle,

I mean you place blacks in a special category, where you feel the need to speak differently about us, in a manner you don't bother to use for yourselves. Going all the way to being juvenile and starting this silly "n-word" nonsense because - in your own minds - there are words any black person can say that you'll castigate a white person for - without any limits on black people for the same offense.

You are infusing our culture with contradictory behavior, that can't be justified, even by the impulse to be racially blind. I don't want to talk baby talk, have my skin made an issue of, or even think about race. I just want to be me.

Is that too much to ask? Especially from a law professor? (Two, if you count Glenn,...)

When will you just let it go?

The Crack Emcee said...

And - if you can't let it go - then let me speak for myself:

Debate me - on bloggingheads.

danielle said...

i find it very interesting that Ann as well as so many people here completely overlook the blatant misogyny -- at least for black women -- in john mayer's statements .... Passing this off as immaturity and thinking with his cock seems both inconsistent and rather convenient for those who want to show that he's not racist because is earlier use of the N-word was not hateful.

Michael said...

Paul: Shouldn't you be on a music blog somewhere? Since you have this view of uni-expertise I should think you would stay off sites that require critical thinking and the use of logic and instead spend your time talking to others about your nearly successful career as a musician.

Can you share your thoughts on Glen Gould?

Republican said...

The whole thing with Mayer started with his faggy ex-friend Mario Lavandeira, who is desperate to "out" Mayer as a fag himself. Mario has been hot for Mayer, for years. He's been on Mayer's ass ever since Mayer rejected his gay-boy advances.

Mario likes to insult upwards, especiallywhen it's hurtful to someone he has a personal axe to grind against- in this case he was successful at creating this controversy by deliberately misinterpreting what Mayer said.

Any ninny could figure out what Mayer was saying. He's not talking rocket science-just race drivel.

The rest, like who is allowed to use "nigger" in an appropriate context, or who has a "hood pass", is just silly, and it's divisive as hell.

No bonus points either, for talking about his cock. TMI.

Fen said...

danielle,

I mean you place blacks in a special category, where you feel the need to speak differently about us, in a manner you don't bother to use for yourselves. Going all the way to being juvenile and starting this silly "n-word" nonsense because - in your own minds - there are words any black person can say that you'll castigate a white person for - without any limits on black people for the same offense.

You are infusing our culture with contradictory behavior, that can't be justified, even by the impulse to be racially blind. I don't want to talk baby talk, have my skin made an issue of, or even think about race. I just want to be me.


Shorter: Danielle [and Ann], you are holding people to a different standard, based on their skin color.

Republican said...

For anyone who may not realize, Mario Lavandeira is also known as "Perez Hilton".

He has been hostile to Mayer ever since Mayer refused to admit he's also gay.

Das said...

Ture story. Use myself as an example (not to promote myself but to help illuminate): me, white, guitar player: wife, black and well-known S--- singer. Visiting black sax player at house one Saturday says to me, "D, you play that guitar like a niggah." Me, pleased, I reply, "Really, you really think I play like a nigger?" Sax player: "NO! Don't say "nigger!" You sound like some klan cracker from down south; I said "niggah."
Hope this helps...

Paul said...

Nah Michael. I go where I please. But you'd be better served refraining from belching out your musical ignorance here or anywhere else for that matter. It's embarrassing.

Working with great musicians and having THEIR respect is all I need to validate my career, so the opinion of a non-entity and feeble little putz like you is of less than no import.

rdkraus said...

Ironically enough, misogyny, not to mention outright violence toward women, is a big part of the blues.

Examples of this are endless.

I love Albert King's song about the Laundramat Blues, where he's gonna unscrew his woman's leg if she keeps sneaking out of the Laundramat and cheatin on him.


Then there was that contoversy a few years ago over Clapton's song about taking his shotgun out on his woman. Some fem's complained and he removed it from his song list (big mistake - should have modified the song to include taking out those women too).

Didn't the Dixie Chicks have a song about reversing the process. Oh, wait, that's ok. No problem if the victim is a white guy. I forgot.

Michael said...

Paul: And Glen Gould? What do you think of Glen? I like that "putz" bit of logic, that is a sideman's deal ain't it Paul? Hit a nerve about the old career there. Sorry.

garage mahal said...

You are fooled into thinking Lang has buckets of soul because he scrunches up his face and shakes one note, but your ear is simply not as sophisticated as you think it is.

No, I seen him play live about 5 yrs ago, didn't even know really who the cat was until he went on stage. We might be talking about two different things, blues to me isn't about what or how you play, it's how you sound. it's supposed to move you, and I get absolutely nothing from listening to Mayer, except the urge to turn it off. I used Jonny Lang as a "young white kid" comparison. Maybe stupidly. But he has much more soul and authenticity imo. John Lee Hooker didn't exactly shred the guitar neck now did he.

danielle said...

crack,

so you feel that liberals have reduced the entire political history of blacks and America to their current PC treatment of blacks ... or at least that their PC-ness is the primary way that history informs the lives of black people today ?

interesting. perhaps that is true of how these sorts of issues are debated in the political arena --political blogs, and sunday talk shows and such -- but do you think that is true for the real effects on people's lives ? I'm not convinced that this would be the case if you asked this question of large number of black people if they'd agree ..... i mean, you seem to be steeped in political thought -- i've seen you defining yourself as a 'black conservative.' I suppose we could also look at some data on wages and education and these things to talk about real effects .... do you care for these sorts of analysis ?

anyhow -- if you do allow your definition of blackness to contain some historical and political context, then it seems odd to define 'blackness' just as the external influences on black people's experiences and not also on black people's own understanding of those influences and experiences.

Not that I agree with john mayer, but it seems to me that this is what he was going for ...

danielle said...

Fen, when did I say that I am holding people to a different standard, based on their skin color ?

those are your words, not mine !

Oligonicella said...

bigger
chigger
digger
trigger
jigger
snigger
trigger

Which of these are now off limits to white people?

wv: injigro - I'd never heard of that one. Perhaps one of the descendants of Lewis & Clark's black scout?

The Crack Emcee said...

Danielle,

"Perhaps that is true of how these sorts of issues are debated in the political arena --political blogs, and sunday talk shows and such -- but do you think that is true for the real effects on people's lives ? I'm not convinced that this would be the case if you asked this question of large number of black people if they'd agree,..."

What does what they'll agree with have to with anything? Are we trying to find the truth of our lives or what someone will agree with? I have lots of black friends who will complain about the white man but, when questioned, discover they can be as racist as any klansman - because liberals give them permission to be so - without question. (Florida's first statement, here, was "nobody should be calling black people 'niggers.' Not even black people." Really? Says who? And who gave anyone the power, or the right, to stop anyone from speaking as they wish? As Paul Mooney - Richard Pryor's writer - said, "I say nigger every morning, makes my teeth white: nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger.") It's insanity to think otherwise. Nobody has a right not to be offended, or to tell me how to express myself. That's what this whole "free the blacks" shit was supposed to be about, right? Or was it just free as whites define it? Or as liberals define it? Or as PC blacks define it? Or blacks into victimhood?

Or can I just be free?

From Inwood said...

lucid@ 1:22

Of course you're correct, but good luck with that.

BTW re "free speech & The First Amendment", ever notice the "Moderate Left of Center" guys, Leftists, Liberals, Progressives, whatever they want to be called, talkingheads on TV?

On Day One, these Left-of-center guys aver that the 1st Amendment must be read literally &, QED, is absolute regarding no abridgment of free speech. End of discussion, please.

On Day Two, these Left-of Center guys, especially the professional victimologists, aver that “Hate Speech” codes & ritualistic attempts to silence Talk Radio hosts are absolutely necessary & that dissenters (deniers?) must stop being racists, homophobes, sexists by raising phony 1st Amendment sidebar references.

exhelodrvr1 said...

There is a difference between racism and environmental factors whose origin was due to racism. Too many people don't understand that.

Paul said...

Michael I know nothing about Glenn Gould.

You bet I'm a sideman. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a hired gun. A soloist. I get hired to blow, and that's just how I like it. I have found my niche and I know how rare and lucky that is.

I've never had to hold a day job since high school so I must be doing something right.

From Inwood said...

Oligonicella @2:39

Go figger.

Lyle said...

There's nothing more embarrassing then having to say the N-word instead of nigger.

It's one thing for Althouse's generation, but if there's no racist intent behind the use of nigger, just use nigger... and don't apologize for it.

jgm said...

C-MC kicks ass (sometimes).

Cedarford said...

I think the "authority" to claim words acceptable within the tribe, but forbidden to people outside the tribe is part and parcel of identity politics.

Being around blacks and gays, I have been in frequent earshot of "forbidden words" that are part of certain segments of each groups affectionate or not so affectionate but reaching right into belligerant daily vernacular.
F*ggot is common, and in the airport last October I was waiting in one of those interminable lines run by TSA for security theater behind three black teens who started in on one another on each's level of n*ggerhood. After the 1st dozen or so, I passed the time counting n*gger utterances from the 3. After about 10 minutes it got tedious and I got the three's attention and said I counted 77 "n*ggers" coming out of their mouths along with inumerable MF'rs, bitches, etc..
One girl got very huffy and said I could not use "The N Word"..puffing up as she proclaimed it.
"Then don't use it yourselves".

They knocked it off. But for a while it was a regular black blizzard of "n*gger variants" tossed out....just like if they were sitting in school or at home or on the streets. But in their thinking, they had the POWER to say it, while simultaneously having the POWER to suppress others. Shock! Outrage! Demands for punishment under PC rules - in their minds - if a "Non Authentic N*ggah" said the word.

Gays and F*ggot? Same routine.

Now others are getting into the act. "Retard" is now a "forbidden word" except, well, by people that know and love some retarded person?

I think some Islamoids got into the act recently by a variant of this identity politics game. Saying that while "Allah" is hardly offensive, it IS offensive for non-Muslims to say the word. Even for arabic-speaking Christians in the Ummah, who have called THEIR GOD "Allah" for some 1400 years side by side with Muslims saying it.

It's all a big identity politics game. Palin gratuitously played it recently against Rahm Emmanuel for calling LIBERALS!!! a pack of "fucking retards" - something no doubt that was music to the ears of Palin's own Handlers..

It's a comedic gold mine for black comics and musicians and film-makers. Who ridicule the black hypocrisy and dichotomy on saying "The Awful N-Word" when "The Awful N-Word" is uttered a 100 million times or so a day, each day by the US black population..and maybe a few thousand times a day, if that by the 270 million people in the rest of the US population.

I don't think the US, an open society, is ever going to accept a huge growing list of forbidden words. They can't even manage to culturally forbid the original what....7 bad words?
Even nice ladies say "fuck". Some even scream it repeatedly and demand it be harder and faster...
Even priests say "BS".

From Inwood said...

Prof A

Instapundit (linking you)

"But Lenny Bruce lived in a much less puritanical era."

danielle said...

So first being black is just about skin color, and then anyone who brings up any way that you are different is the root or racism. Next, being black is having dark skin and not having true freedom because of liberals who are too PC ….. and now you’re saying that no one can constrain how anyone expresses themselves.

So … if I’ve got all of this …your original objection is just an objection to the conversation about JM and race and racial language in the first place; and your definition of blackness as just skin color (initially) is a way to over-rule the conversation itself as a pain to you. And you also don’t care what other people understand as blackness because you think it has nothing to do with you.

Fair enough. But I’m not convinced that trying to prevent conversations about race actually makes racial conflicts go away. Which brings me back to my initial point about John Mayer’s misogyny (against black women) …. This issue is being swept under the rug, and I suppose it will stay there since no one has anything to say about it. But the problem of this misogynistic view on black women will persist.

danielle said...

oh, and that last msg was for Crack

Paul said...

"No, I seen him play live about 5 yrs ago, didn't even know really who the cat was until he went on stage. We might be talking about two different things, blues to me isn't about what or how you play, it's how you sound. it's supposed to move you, and I get absolutely nothing from listening to Mayer, except the urge to turn it off. I used Jonny Lang as a "young white kid" comparison. Maybe stupidly. But he has much more soul and authenticity imo. John Lee Hooker didn't exactly shred the guitar neck now did he."

I'm a huge Albert King fan so obviously it's not just about shredding, though when a guy like Bonamassa shreds in a blues solo it's thrilling because he understands tension and release.

John Lee had tone and time in spades. Lang doesn't. Sorry. To me he is the poster child of the fake blues wonderkind. I think if you never knew anything about Mayer and just saw him play without preconditions you might feel differently. And while it is true that music is about feeling and it is very subjective it is also true that a lifetime of study will attune one's ears to notice things.

I try to separate Mayer's annoying mannerisms from his musicianship. As a musician I'm like a prospector always mining for musical gold and perforce must take it where I can find it. But I understand for the average music lover it's the whole package. My wife can't stand his voice so she will switch him off immediately. I get that, but as a guitar player I have to give him props.

Anyway I know you like jazz too so I'm going to hip you to an awesome young tenor player that you probably don't know but might really like. His name is Seamus Blake. He solos after Mike Brecker in this vid.

Peace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yh4g0sLjpw

Michael said...

Paul: My hat is off to any artist who can support himself. I personally thought I wanted to be a novelist, but the hard biscuit was that I didn't have the needed combination of talent and tenacity. Some of the former and not nearly enough of the latter. So my respect for you is without bounds, truly. But give the consumers of music the choice to like some musicians and to judge others not so likable. That is what makes it possible to make a living at it I would think, a broad and diverse audience with fierce opinions.

Cedarford said...

The Crack Emcee - great rant!

If blacks are free to say and do things, the whole point of the civil rights struggle....then why exactly should any black listen to some sanctimonious white person or Oldguard black identity politics or PC purveyor - listing words blacks can or cannot say.

Clearly, if you are around young black people - they ain't buying it.
Not the victimhood, not the hypocrisy, not the obedience to Stalinist white liberals..

And it seems that "Nigger!" has about a dozen different contexts when used by blacks. (As a black pal explained to me over beers about 10 years back). Anything from affection to making it a marker of distinction in the black community - "you got the good black people, then you got the niggers...that is how my Dad back in N Carolina put it.."

And back then, whites had already "coded" the same last message, I told him. Whites aren't blind to the "good black people, bad dysfunctional black people" situation. So we say "thugs" or use Bill Cosby's own code word "knucklehead". (That was at the time a then-new controversy Cosby started about blacks needing to clean up their own act because gov't and white liberals can't fix anything unless people want their communities fixed and take ownership of it,)

And he said it is obvious to him as a black person that whites are substituting "thugs" or other words to replace "nigger" and it was still a hell of a lot more honest than white liberals code for nigger. Meaning that he thought white liberals thought "nigger" but filtered it into even more banal expressions: "misguided urban youth". "Deprived people".

"Why call a depraved person a deprived person?", he asked rhetorically, referring to a then-well publicized case of three black "thugs" who abducted, raped, then killed a Hispanic mother of 3 and who were predictably described by media on arrest as "troubled young men from deprived backgrounds, one an honor student."

Similarly, if blacks are free...then social justice says other races are free as well. And have the same rights - and no limits imposed on them that other "identity groups" claim exception from such limits..

People are smart enough to filter what some other people say is true hate - from what is just normal insult or just everyday use.

Chase said...

palladian's comment at the top is spot on. Just because Mayer's talented doesn't prevent him from being Human Garbage. And, Law Professor Ann, you can do the legal-like parsing of this particular interview. But to those of us who have been exposed to Mayer's immaturity (I personally know studio musicians who have and will continue to work with Mayer), the sum of his comments and actions in his public life show a continual self worship that eventually destroys every relationship he has. Add to that this fact: there are hundreds of guitar players, famous and not, far better than he. And really, even in his chosen field, Mayer's not respected by his peers with anywhere near the worship that his celebrity is by the musically purchasing clueless fans.

Which leaves . . . what? Maybe he'll grow up some day. In the meantime, John Mayer is a worthless human being.

Paul said...

Thank you Michael. I agree with everything you said. I merely felt compelled to defend John Mayer as a guitar player knowing that it is hard to separate his musicianship, which is tops, from his off-putting mannerisms and personality quirks.

That being said if we can't get this economy murdering administration and congress replaced I may have to finally look for a day job. What's MacDonalds paying these days anyway?

The Crack Emcee said...

JGM,

Thanks.

Cedarford,

To show you how nutty it gets, after sarah Palin started her anti-retard jihad, it was picked up by a group called the "ARC of Virginia" - but guess what the "R" in "ARC" stands for?

Danielle,

You're becoming tedious now. Look, it's like Sci-Fi movies: is it possible to make one that doesn't depict a dystopian (sp?) future for us? Why not? Because it's a vision the filmmakers can't break out of, like depicting a better future is, by definition, a future with no potential for cinematic drama or conflict.

Race is the same way. It's a mental tick people are stuck on, and can't see their way out of. I mention standards here a lot because, whether they're something we can actually attain or not, it's something better to shoot for than not. You're defending the idea of not even trying - keep it going by bringing it up in every variable possible (pro or con) even as I tell you I want nothing to do with it. And the more you bring it up, the more you'll tell me I'm wrong - it's real - but only because of your attitude.

Like I said, it's tedious.

danielle said...

umm .... cedarford, if you express yourself for your own sake, then yes, obviously, everyone is clearly free to say whatever they want.

but, if you're also interested in communicating with other people, then i think that requires understanding what other people hear when you say whatever it is that you say. And we all know that words are more than just the letters that make them up -- there is context, intention, meaning, allusions, who the speaker is and more that give the word meaning at the particular instant that it is used ... right ?

... so, is it so far fetched of an idea that some words are like kryptonite in some context .... ?

yes, PC-word police take things too far; but that doesnt mean that using some words to communicate is fraught with difficulties, and that to avoid miscommunications, that its sometimes wiser to just avoid using certain words ... yes ? no ? maybe so ?

danielle said...

Ah, Crack -- how can I forget the 'New Age' philosophy that underlies your world view.

Just trying to understand your view, not to debate it necessarily.

Perhaps race itself is something of a straw man, but the reactions/feelings that result from racial conflicts are not. And to work those reactions/feelings out, they have to be acknowledged and discussed. That is hard and uncomfortable, but we are human beings and that is what is required. Adopting a new age philosophy wont change that.

Perhaps you have already done the internal work. But I think it is a mistake to think that others that are honestly unhappy about a subject to get over it by ignoring it.

garage mahal said...

Paul
I'll make an attempt to listen to Mayer, albeit only on audio. I freely admit I have preconceived notion on the guy. I bookmarked that link to Seamus Blake, I'll definitely check it out.

Brian O'Connell said...

I think danielle seriously needs to work on her reading comprehension. Crack's New Age philosophy!? Really?

But she's talking about black Americans as a group ("history informs the lives of black people today" and "I suppose we could also look at some data on wages and education") while Crack (and I) are talking about individuals. Maybe she's too into group politics to see a difference- I wouldn't know.

You can make any number of generalizations about a group (if you're so inclined), but that doesn't mean that those generalizations "define" that group in any way, or that any one member of that group has to or should fit the stereotype you're helping to prop up.

For many leftists, I think that a nasty and horrid old stereotype has been replaced by a spiritual and uplifting (and semi-tragic) one. But it's still a box and it's still pre-judging people based on the color of their skin. The motives don't particularly matter- I'm assuming that they're good- though in many cases that's granting them too much I think.

Joan said...

danielle:Ah, Crack -- how can I forget the 'New Age' philosophy that underlies your world view.

Nuclear detonation in 5...4...3...2...

danielle said...

brian, you seem to be confused --please review the conversation above.

i have not put forth a definition of blackness; i was just trying to understand Crack's definition which was first second skin, and then later included black some sort of effect of american political history.

...and um, did anyone else chuckle at the irony of brian attempting to scold me for generalizations about black people and then making generalizations about liberals ?!?!

ha ha ! c'mon brian, you're going to have to do better than that !

John Stodder said...

"What is being black?" He then answers himself: "It's making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that's seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you'll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude's."

Sounds like a guy who's read too much Norman Mailer.

http://www.learntoquestion.com/resources/database/archives/003327.html

Penny said...

John Mayer is a primo bluesman. I just wish he was less a student of the "new media" where ANY attention is a good thing.

Paul, thanks for exposing Althouse readers to those tasty blues videos. I've spent many hours listening to great blues music in hole-in-the-wall juke joints all over the mid-Atlantic and in Memphis. I kind of like it like that, BUT, what I like even more is that we have a new group of young people who can take over the BIG stages and arenas, introducing the blues to a whole new audience.

Congratulations also Paul, on making your living doing what you love and what I love. I still have a few musician friends who eek by without getting that second job, but only because there are a handful of bar owners who still have a commitment to providing a venue for live music. When we are out there listening to the music, be sure to thank the folks who are footing the bill, and keeping the music alive.

Beldar said...

I thought from the title of this post that it would, indeed, be about his comments about Jessica Simpson. But as to them: What grownup would not want to be described as "sexual napalm in bed" and as such a great sex partner that she was "like crack cocaine"? When you're marketing yourself as a sexy singer, that's got to be worth millions in concert tickets and CD sales.

Would that my ex-lovers would go public with such comments about me. [Crickets ....]

The Crack Emcee said...

"If you're also interested in communicating with other people, then i think that requires understanding what other people hear when you say whatever it is that you say."

Yes, Cedarford, you must be psychic when communicating with other people, understanding what other people hear when you say whatever it is that you say. Danielle doesn't mention what you have to do if those others are insane, or retarded, just what you have to do for them.

Danielle,

Since you bring it up, PC multiculturalism is NewAge. So is the insistence on "feelings" as a basis for human interaction. Try reason, instead.

wv: squat - what most people don't know.

danielle said...

sure, Crack, forget empathy and love and beauty -- pure reason in human relationships, that's the way to go.

and on understanding what other people hear --good point; i stated that too strongly; you never really know what others hear. but in many cases, people will let you know, and if communication is the objective, then it seems reasonable to heed their wishes if your objective really is to communicate.

Cedarford said...

Danielle - I think one's right to express themselves is still governed by norms of behavior that we all expect in our workplace and peer groups...or to "outsiders".

Call it professionalism, call it politeness. Call it expectations.

In my workplace and peer group, we generally strive to avoid cusswords and crude slurs - but not in an absolutist, saying X.Y. or Z approaches criminality way. But with repercussions for "crossing the line" or a deliberate "highly offensive remark" directed at an individual.

But "norms" say that it is OK to say bullshit and ladies say "fuck" at appropriate times. Or do certain slurs of "outsiders".

Thats the way it is.
Thats the way it is everywhere.

What PC does is attempt to impose outsider's will on others, essentially violating their norms. It claims high offense and high moral dungeon in matters that are basically none of their business via the "championing of the victimized" - who often unwittingly are patronized by the very "champions" supposedly backing them.

We all know how it works. Ambitious politicians, activists, PC media glom onto an incident that affects them and "society" not in the least - but which they see as an opportunity to advance their own power and interests. From Sharpton to Palin to O'Reilly to Couric.

A classic was the Imus "nappy-headed 'hos" crack. The basketball players were the same age as the Duke Lacrosse players demonized a year earlier - but the same forces that demonized the Duke kids claimed the black female basketball players were helpless children and Imus must be demonized and removed. There was a near-total vacuum of sincerity in the process of bringing Imus to "Alinsky-style" social justice.

But it worked.

And the stupid ritual continues until we are sick of it. Palin, rightly or wrongly, claiming high moral dungeon over Rahm's claim that liberal dems were acting like "fucking retards" - was playing the game.

We just have to see the game for what it is - assertion of power over others in matters that are really none of Palin's or Sharpton,s, etc,, business.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey Danielle,

One of my two liberal roommates threatened to call the cops on me this morning because I raised my voice (I shit you not - it's scary coming from a black guy) so don't think I don't know what you're getting at. But, if you've been following my writing, you would know I count all stupidity - even racial bullshit - as mere stupidity.

About liberalism:

One of my roommates (66 years old) refuses to stop commenting on what I eat, while the other (58 years old) is carrying on an affair with a married woman while turning into the Green Police (we were arguing over his desire to enter my room, while I'm at work, to switch my light bulbs for those mercury monsters when he threatened to call the police - insane.). I informed them both, this morning, I'm moving out. Seeing how I'm the only one in the house with a job, we ought to have some fun tonight when I get home,...and how much you wanna bet that asshole switched the bulbs anyway?

I'm telling you, NewAge liberals are losers.

Paul said...

Thank YOU Penny! You just made my day :-)

danielle said...

Cedarford, for the most part, I agree with that last post ... a lot of the public cases come off like a public lynching. In this case (for instance), JM's use of the word nigger didnt seem offensive to me ... but his use of the term was in the way that it is used by young people; more as a statement of belonging, and ironically, as one of affections.

That's definitely not the way (intentions) you were using the term in your earlier post, and its in those instances, that use of the word can be very offensive .....

danielle said...

Crack, your roommates sound like they need to get their own lives, and stay out of your business. Why do they have to be characterized as liberals ? Why don't you just call them idiots ?

I've had plenty of people I consider conservatives tell me I need to go to their church and their bible study and all of that -- but to me they're just idiots who need to stay out of my business. I don't condemn all of you here for their behavior ...

lucid said...

Up with The Crack Emcee.

What Mayer said abou what it means to be black is hialriously stupid.

Ann's take on all this is VERY underdeveloped intellectually and morally. Got to do some work in this area. Maybe question some of her premises.

Sixty Grit said...

John Mayer is not very bright or self aware. Wealthy, sure, but fundamentally clueless.

WV - nessi - John Mayer's racist Scottish penis.

1jpb said...

How much junk do I need to buy through Althouse's link to Amazon to get her to put her following words of wisdom under her name at the top of the blog?

"He's insulting his own penis!"

She does have a way w/ words.

BTW, someone should tell John that the old 'my dick made me do it' excuse doesn't work. I learned that the hard way, a bunch of times...well, maybe I haven't completely learned it yet: Damn you dick!!!

Methadras said...

Mayer is a douche bag, not because he can say nigger, or pretend to talk about black struggles, which is frankly stupid, but because this guy figured out that playing a guitar, writing a few songs about this and that can let him bag some really hot women. It's that old canard about reading Playboy just for the interviews, yeah, well, whenever I see Mayer opine about how he views himself in the philosophical sense, well, I'll just go right to the centerfold instead. At least she looks great, tells me in her bio that she is turned on by good stuff, is turned off by bad stuff, and that her parents give her their absolute support and love in posing nude in a magazine for millions of men to see. Now that's the truth.

Michael said...

Paul: If you're still around tonight I wonder if you knew my sideman friend Jim Dickinson?

The Crack Emcee said...

"Sure, Crack, forget empathy and love and beauty -- pure reason in human relationships, that's the way to go."

Danielle, I don't mean this too harshly, but grow up. I've got nothing against empathy and love and beauty but the people who talk that nonsense are the first to screw you over. That's where the phrase "a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality" comes into play. Now all I want to hear is common sense - something we desperately need more of - not anything to do with how you "feel" or "believe" or anything else.

It's time.

Michael said...

Crack: I am not sure if the measurement of everything by ones feelings is a new age thing, but it is surely a therapeutic age thing. I go with the Stoics who decided it was better to be in charge of one's feelings rather than the other way around. I am with you entirely on the topic of this thread from beginning to end.

Chris N said...

Mayer's kind of a tool, but a self-aware tool for now. He's not a bad guitarist, but I had to listen my gf play his first album every day. He was like that douche in Animal House on the stairs, singing to your girlfriend.

As for black folks, I think most white folks won't get the depth of the issues at stake...especially the well meaning ones who embrace them in nothing but their sloppy thinking and sentiment.

Be a good captain of your soul, and a stoic if need be.

danielle said...

oh, c'mon gentlemen.

rationality and feeling are not mutually exclusive ... we are human beings ... remember ?

Oligonicella said...

danielle --

"oh, c'mon gentlemen. rationality and feeling are not mutually exclusive ... we are human beings ... remember ?"

Most of the time they are. I'd prefer someone relate to me in a rational way unless we *both* agree on being emotional together. Most people who get emotional during a discussion are really just trying to play a guilt trip.

Penny said...

Way upthread, rh made this comment that so entirely hit the bullseye, at least to my mind, that I thought it worthy of repeat for those who join in late and read from the bottom up.

"Nigger is a resource for the offended.

They above all don't want to lose control of that lever, and that's the reason that the reaction is certain.

The offense is a protective move, lest the copyright ever be lost on its demonstration of political power, which the reaction itself is.

It's a slavery they wish on themselves."

Paul said...

Michael: Just in from a gig now...I do not know Jim. What instrument does he play and where is he based? I'm in the SF Bay Area now but formerly New York.

nrn312 said...

One of my roommates (66 years old) refuses to stop commenting on what I eat, while the other (58 years old) is carrying on an affair with a married woman while turning into the Green Police (we were arguing over his desire to enter my room, while I'm at work, to switch my light bulbs for those mercury monsters when he threatened to call the police - insane.). I informed them both, this morning, I'm moving out. Seeing how I'm the only one in the house with a job, we ought to have some fun tonight when I get home,...and how much you wanna bet that asshole switched the bulbs anyway?


You guys deserve each other.

Michael said...

Paul: James Luther Dickinson, who died last year, was a guitarist and piano player who toured w/ Ry and was on piano on the Stones Wild Horses. His sons have a band called North Mississippi Allstars. There is a bunch of stuff on youtube for both Dickinson and his boys.

Joseph said...

Thank you for this post. I completely agree. I wish more people could talk openly and frankly and thoughtfully about race.

I actually really liked his David Duke dick comment. Most people, whether they admit it or not, still don't or won't date people outside their own race. He recognizes what few are willing to admit: that the inability or unwillingness to be sexually/romantically attracted to someone of different race is a form or manifestation of racism.

Fen said...

Ann, have you rethought your policy re the n-word? Or have you just not gotten around to scrubbing every commment here that uses it?

Will the double standard be back again tomorrow?

Salamandyr said...

Having had a chance to go through the links provided, I take back what I said about John Mayer, the guy can play...very well. He may look like a precocious 12 year old, but that's real Blues.

And Paul, thank you, thank you, for the Joe Bonamassa link. God in Heaven that is some amazing blues.

former law student said...

Penny said...
Way upthread, rh made this comment that so entirely hit the bullseye, at least to my mind, ...

"N*gg*r is a resource for the offended.

They above all don't want to lose control of that lever, and that's the reason that the reaction is certain.

The offense is a protective move, lest the copyright ever be lost on its demonstration of political power, which the reaction itself is.

It's a slavery they wish on themselves."


So black people fake being offended when n*gg*r is used as an insult? Does that mean I can call Penny c*nt with impunity?

Paul said...

Michael: Thanks for the heads up. I will check him out.

You are welcome Salamandyr. Joe B is da man!!

Oligonicella said...

Joseph --

"Most people, whether they admit it or not, still don't or won't date people outside their own race."

It's probably more to the fact that for someone to date another race, that person must find someone in another race *who will date their race*.

This cuts the field down dramatically and increases the search greatly.

"whether they admit it or not"

That is a PC bullshit, mindreading, you're guilty because I think so kind of statement, you know.

Joseph said...

FLS: "So black people fake being offended when n*gg*r is used as an insult? Does that mean I can call Penny c*nt with impunity?"

Um, no.

1. John Mayer did not call anyone a n*gg*r or use the word as an insult. People can and should be offended when its used with animus but that's not what happened here.

2. For better or worse, some black people use the term among themselves without any animus. Women do not use the word c*nt among themselves without animus.

narrledudh said...

Methedras at 7:20. Seriously? A guy is a douchebag because he has found a way to bang a lot of womyn? The very reason a lot of people go into sports, politics, and entertainment in the first place?

Please tell me you're being ironic. (It's so hard to tell around here sometime . . .)

former law student said...

2. For better or worse, some black people use the term among themselves without any animus. Women do not use the word c*nt among themselves without animus.

Would it be all right to call Penny c*nt if I could find some women who affectionately refer to each other as c*nts?

Pastafarian said...

Interesting.

The other night, on a separate thread, several commenters, including me, used the word "n*gger" without the *; and had their comments deleted. We were discussing the use of the word, and how treating it as an unspeakable incantation gives it more power than it should have. We weren't throwing it around as a slur.

It was a fairly interesting and earnest conversation, but within a few hours dozens of comments were deleted.

But in this thread, I see several posts with this word intact.

Florida at 2/11/10 9:27AM; Kim at 2/11/10 10:14AM; MikeT at 2/11/10 10:50AM. rhhardin at 11:33AM, Florida again at 11:35AM.

What changed exactly?