January 12, 2018

Speaking of "shithole countries" —— remember "Shit Town"?

Last year, we went wild over a podcast — "S-Town" — about a place in Alabama that the central character took cynical delight in calling "Shit Town":
John B. McLemore lives in Shittown, Alabama.... “I live in a crummy little Shit-town in Alabama called Woodstock.”
Here's the ultimate rant about the shittiness of Alabama:



I don't remember the bien pensants getting outraged.

52 comments:

Craig said...

It’s like retirement halted the ability to think critically about what an intellectual opponent might say. (Or, perhaps, like retirement was caused by exhaustion at being intellectually accountable to anyone but a carefully inculcated group of alt-right fanboys.)

Ann Althouse said...

Craig, it's up to you to make the argument. You have a forum here. Let's hear it. Do you not think that people listening to "S-Town" felt cynical delight in looking at Woodstock, Alabama as "Shit Town" and calling it "Shit Town."

Using "shit" to designate backward places is standard colloquial English, and it's civility bullshit to pretend otherwise. If you can contradict that, do. Don't just lob casual ageism.

garage mahal said...

Craig, you seem bitter.

Richard Dillman said...

Other common casual ways to refer to “undesireable” towns or cities include: armpit, garbage can, ahole, cess pit, etc.

In Connecticut, where I once lived, a certain town was almost universally called “the armpit of Connecticut.” In Minnesota, I’ve heard
some towns called “garbage cans of Minnesota.”

n.n said...

Shitholes, second only to shitshows.

But, seriously, if there was not misfortune and trouble, why are the Clinton Foundation et al over there, everywhere? Are these "charitable" corporations merely fleecing second and third-world nations on a pretext?

Also, immigration reform (e.g. refugee crises, mass exodus), does not happen under gay and peaceful conditions.

Known Unknown said...

Welcome back, Garage. If that is truly you.

buwaya said...

" carefully inculcated group of alt-right fanboys.)"

Wait!
Some of us aren't alt-right - we are old-right.
Very old-right, in some cases.
Very old, anyway.

And "carefully inculcated" doesn't come into it.
There is no plan here. It is organic, in the best Burkean tradition.
Its your lot that tries to carefully inculcate.
Inculcating is your thing, really.
Conservatism is empirical, organic, chaotic, what will happen, will happen.
Gonna get all Doris Day if I don't leave.

n.n said...

Other common casual ways to refer to “undesireable” towns or cities

Flyover. Trailer trash. Redneck. Country. Backwater. Probably others.

Craig said...

Professor, you're smart enough to know the difference between existentials, generics, and universals. Almost certainly, some people listening to S-Town felt that delight; even more certainly not everyone did; but most certainly, the arguments that you traffic in here depend upon indefensible generics. It's cute.

I agree with plenty that you say (aside from your Trump apologetics, which are hard for me to understand as other than either intellectual laziness or trawling for cash, via endless cafes and this forum that you claim is for argument but which you've either purposefully or accidentally cultivated to be otherwise), and I've learned much even in reading the things I don't agree with. Here, I agree that civility calls are (often, usually, ordinarily, almost always) bullshit power grabs. That said, it is intellectual bullshit to focus on the "shit" aspect of this debate and to ignore the rest of the context. Your challenge for me to contradict a non-sequitur is -- like civility bullshit -- a cheap way for you to avoid the issue. But that's the bullshit I should come to expect around here. You used to have tags that separated the law from the non-law. It'd be great to have tags that separated the Trump from the non-Trump.

YoungHegelian said...
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Known Unknown said...

Those nipples cannot be unseen.

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, Prof. Althouse, you yet again don't get it.

Why, Alabama truly is a shithole & those countries that Trump supposedly derided where they live on $1.50 a day & have a life expectancy one half that of Alabama & people risk their lives to escape illegally to first world countries where they can actually feed themselves, why, those countries aren't shitholes. They're just misunderstoodholes. /sarc

Seriously, to those on the Left, it's just obvious: the problems of white people in places like Alabama are just their own damn fault for being so hateful & ignorant. But, places like the Congo, it's just colonialism, -- or sumthin! It's never their fault. It's never the fault of people of greater than whitey melanin content.

Actually, and I say this as an Alabama boy who no longer lives there, Alabama definitely has its good side. Good sides, too, such as a side of hush puppies with your fried catfish, or baked beans with your pulled pork platter. Go find those in Burkina Faso, smarty-pants!

robother said...

Heh. And he even wanted to collude with Putin, not to fix an election, but literally to nuke his neighbors! That's not going to Make America Great Again.

buwaya said...

"which you've either purposefully or accidentally cultivated to be otherwise"

It seems entirely accidental. I don't know how she would have, I don't know, recruited the gang.

"it is intellectual bullshit to focus on the "shit" aspect of this debate and to ignore the rest of the context. "

What is the context? Arguments about immigration policy? Nobody on the left seems to want to go there.

" a cheap way for you to avoid the issue."

But she did engage in discussions on immigration policy. No counter-party to that though.

buwaya said...

"But that's the bullshit I should come to expect around here"

If you wanted to argue immigration policy, and reform, that would be refreshing.
Propose a plan, or oppose a plan, or say something substantial.
And then dialectic.
It would be rare, unique, almost.

Angel-Dyne said...

Does anybody know what Craig is blithering on about? Or does he just stumble in here drunk now and again?

Etienne said...
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I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My favorite thing about all of this is seeing the sanctimony shares on Facebook from people who I have heard with my own two ears refer to places as shitholes.

I did, myself, on an immigration thread here maybe 2-3 days before this all broke. (I wouldn't on social media or in mixed company; I'm not an idiot.) I'm not particularly racist (I mean, everyone is, a little, if they are honest, duh) but I stand by my claim that certain parts of the world are, absolutely, shitholes. Dirty, hopeless, violent, corrupt, bigoted, ugly, dilapidated, unsafe. Doesn't mean the people who live there are worth any less than someone in Madison or Oslo or Singapore, because we are all equally valuable as humans, but no one can argue with a straight face that there is no such thing as a shithole, and furthermore that everyone from the first world hasn't thought it every time they encountered the third world. Fucking duh.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I mean, who is the bigger misanthrope ~ the one who looks at children playing in a river full of filth and sees a problem, or the one who thinks it's just jim-dandy?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I'd like to ask my asshole leftie FB friends, "So explain to me what you mean by Dumbfuckistan; you know, your term for my home?"

gadfly said...

Use of the "S-excrement" as opposed to the "P-excrement" word begins early in life - as in what did Mommy and Daddy say when talking to their toddler during potty training. In the end, the four letter S-word is naughty - as in third-grade naughty - and therein lies the reason why our immature president somehow was motivated and otherwise compelled to use the word.

The Vault Dweller said...

As I mentioned earlier today referring to small, middle of nowhere USA towns as shitholes and certain countries in the world as shitholes is distasteful in both circumstances. Not to the level of rising to moral outrage, or even anger. It is more of a make a 'Who farted?' face, and small noise of disgust. But again when it comes to accuracy of describing either places as shitholes, living in shithole USA is orders of magnitude better than living in random shithole country Earth, which may include desperate poverty, paramilitary gangs trying to control areas, actual worries of starvation and untreatable disease, no potable water source, no sewer system, no real educational oppurtunities, no real economic opportunities, really high mortality rates, and a populace where around 1/3 of the people are HIV positive.

Once written, twice... said...
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Once written, twice... said...
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Once written, twice... said...
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Once written, twice... said...

Ann is such an intellectually dimwitted phony. McLemore was presented as who he was—an emotionally unstable troubled man. As pointed out above, his use of “shit town” was not racially charged. Normal people who listened to the series understood that he was in pain and filled with self-hatred.

But Ann knows the above, but there is no rationalization beneath her in her desire to excuse the debasement that is Trump.

Ann Althouse debases herself everyday and most nights on this blog.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, your takeaway about why McLemore refererred to his lifelong home as “shit town” is that he took “cynical delight” in doing so?

Your lack of perception in both matters of art and life is comical.

The Vault Dweller said...

As pointed out above, his use of “shit town” was not racially charged

Assuming Trump referred to some African countries, some latin american countries, and Haiti as shitholes I don't think that is racially charged either. I suspect he is just correctly labeling those countries as bad because of their current conditions regarding crime, economic opportunity, educational opportunities, and public health. Just because these countries have, "minorities" as their largest demographic doesn't mean that Trump is alleging these countries are bad because of that base reason. The fact that some on the left assume that might indicate more of their own mindset than anything they are trying to read into Trump.

buwaya said...

Whats the difference between "intellectually dimwitted" and your garden-variety "dimwitted"?

And then there is, of course, the unwillingness of "Once", et. al., to engage in the argument over policy, preferring to argue about rhetoric.

Or simply to berate those who disagree with them.

EDH said...

A partial sampling of "shit hole" in cinema.

EDH said...

George Clooney: "Why, out of all the godforsaken shit holes in Mexico do we have to meet here?"

mockturtle said...

Some seriously ugly nipples.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"and therein lies the reason why our immature president somehow was motivated and otherwise compelled to use the word."
Oh good Lord. Everyone who uses the word "shithole" is immature and focused on their excrement. This is a crappy idea proposed in a crappy fashion. It cannot be defended with a straight face.

mockturtle said...

Please, bloggistas! Do not engage with one who would call our illustrious hostess a 'dimwitted phony'. And on her birthday, yet! :-(

YoungHegelian said...

@Once,

McLemore was presented as who he was—an emotionally unstable troubled man.

And being such gets exactly who drummed out of the modern Left? You think yer average SJW hears this phrase about a small town in Alabama & goes "Oh, I'm sure Woodstock, AL is a lovely place & McLemore is just an angry & bitter guy who doesn't see its quaint charm." If you believe that, Once, you need to join Althouse on the "intellectual phony" bench, I'm afraid.

As pointed out above, his use of “shit town” was not racially charged.

Why is white self-hatred not "racially charged"? Because the Left just doesn't want to consider it that? Go read Marx's "On the Jewish Question" if you want to read a classic piece of antisemitism written by a Jew. Just because someone is of the ethnic/racial group he loathes doesn't mean that his thoughts are not "racially charged".

Lewis Wetzel said...

Marx was not a Jew. His father was converted to Lutheranism before Karl was born. Karl Marx was a baptised Lutheran.

Ty said...

Arguably one of the best Live albums, "Throwing Copper", had a track called Shit Towne. As I recall, those incredibly talented boys were from some towne in Pennsylvania.

Drago said...

Gadfly- The Poor Man's LLR Chuck: "In the end, the four letter S-word is naughty - as in third-grade naughty - and therein lies the reason why our immature president somehow was motivated and otherwise compelled to use the word."

Dont you know its racist to call obama a 3rd grader?

I mean, are you sure you want to go thru with that cracker?

You are aware that obambi called Libya a "s***Show", arent you? Should I just call you gadfly The Grand Kleagle?

Let us know.

Drago said...

You know, when it comes to vulgarity, saying the s*** behind closed doors is "A big f***ing deal". Just ask Joe Biden.

YoungHegelian said...

@Lewis,

Ethnically, Karl Marx was Jewish both on his father & mother's side. His father was a convert to Lutheranism, &, judging from Karl's upbringing it wasn't like the family took that faith too seriously either.

From the viewpoint of the 19th C German society in which he lived, Karl Marx was a Jew, especially after he adopted Bruno Bauer's atheism.

Crimso said...

That's just the mercury talking.

Danno said...

What is it that makes elites hate on Alabama? Are they that insecure that they have to have an inferior people to point to and make their smug selves feel superior? Stereotyping Alabamans like this is disgusting.

Danno said...

Blogger Known Unknown said...Welcome back, Garage. If that is truly you.

A fake garage. The profile of the real deal ends in 686.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Danno said...
Blogger Known Unknown said...Welcome back, Garage. If that is truly you.

A fake garage. The profile of the real deal ends in 686.

1/13/18, 8:38 AM
--------------------------------------

Me too...but I want to see some bona fides.

mockturtle said...

I've done a lot of traveling, much of it throughout the US in my RV. Every state has its shit-holes.

Paco Wové said...

"it is intellectual bullshit to focus on the "shit" aspect of this debate and to ignore the rest of the context."

So stop doing it, Craig. Buwaya has some very good questions above. I don't see your answers.

Angel-Dyne said...

buwaya: And then there is, of course, the unwillingness of "Once", et. al., to engage in the argument over policy, preferring to argue about rhetoric.

Or simply to berate those who disagree with them.


"My moral scoldings aren't working and it's all I've got!"

Lot of that going around these days.

hstad said...

Angel-Dyne said... ".....Or simply to berate those who disagree with them......"

You must be talking about former President Obama when he called Romney a "...bullshitter..." - where was the Media's and your outrage then? Crickets! Who on this blog and in the World has not used such salty language at home? Name me one President in the history of the USA.

mtrobertslaw said...

"Professor, you're smart enough to know the difference between existentials, generics,and universals." What Craig was trying to say here is that the Professor is "smart enough to know the difference between affirming existence, DNA and the words "all" and "every".

Poor Craig, unaware that he cannot swim, has wandered into some very deep waters.

Angel-Dyne said...

hstad @10:48:

Some people can manage reading comprehension and replies that make sense when they're drunk or stoned. Some can't. Jus' sayin'.

hstad said...

When I read comments from "Inga" and "Chuck" we can expect propoganda none-stop. "Inga" has an excuse she truly believes in the "Gospel" of the Left. Therefore, she has lost her mind to her cultural "God" and will never agree with ideas contrary to her Leftist religion. "Chuck" on the other hand is a "NEVERTRUMPER", and uses some kind of convoluted logic to hold him to standards that "Chuck" has never used on other Presidents. Hell, "Chuck" even believes Senator Durbin's version of what President Trump said during the immigration meeting. Quotes from Durbin ".....In the course of his comments, [Trump] said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Durbin told reporters on Friday. “I cannot believe in this history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.” That last comment said it all for me - Senator Durbin is a vile and lying human being and will never contribute anything worthwhile to our society. This is not even good propoganda - Durbin most be personally hurt since he comes from that "shithole" and bankrupt state of Illinois.

hstad said...

ngel-Dyne said...
hstad @10:48:

Some people can manage reading comprehension and replies that make sense when they're drunk or stoned. Some can't. Jus' sayin'.

1/13/18, 11:22 AM

I agree with you wholeheartedly! Just using your sentence to point out the hypocrisy of this entire fake issue and the Media's desire to create a deflection from the real issue of immigration. After several days, I now know that President Trump has not only solidified his base, but also has moved over other working men and women to his cause. The Media has truly lost their collective minds!