June 23, 2007

"Bees have the only perfect society on earth... They have no crime, they have no drugs, they have no rape. A little rape, but it's not that bad."

Jerry Seinfeld tells a joke and has to apologize: "I don't find anything funny about rape. I was only referring to the insect world. I'm sorry if anyone got upset." You can't have any controversy interfering with your big, commercial movie. But is it possible that his movie about bees -- "Bee Movie" -- refers only to the bee community? Presumably, he's using bees to say funny thing about the human condition. But I do believe him when he says "sorry if anyone got upset."


An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I wonder how much of this outrage is just to draw attantion to the groups protesting Jerry's remark?

rhhardin said...

It wouldn't be a joke, or funny, if it were about bees. It's about people. So those offended are correct, but uncurious about why it's funny in the comparison.

There's the old saying from somebody on usenet, ``It's funny until somebody gets their eye poked out. Then it's still funny, just not around that person.''

I think the joke is, why it's funny is, that rape is too broadly defined, so that its edges are pretty unserious.

Mindsteps said...

I have never known anyone with as much know-how about apologies as Professor Althouse. It is hard to believe that any one person can contain the level of expertise in so many subjects as Professor Althouse.....law, art, feminism, and psychoanalytic interpretation (but I digress). Equally impressive is Professor Althouse's almost total awareness of the limits of her own knowledge.

Professor Althouse, could you please weigh in on the finer points of sending and receiving apologies? For instance, how do you know when an apology is sincere. I'll step of the "leave your comment' section and will await your reply.

Pogo said...

The list of things about which one is not permitted to make fun grows annually.
By subject, and to whom the restriction applies:

1. Rape. Even among insects and inanimate objects.
2. Race differences (white comedians only)
3. Gender differences (white male comedians only)
4. Religion (Christians only)
5. Gay jokes (straight males only)
6. Retarded people (frequently violated)
7. Drunk driving, drunk anything
8. Dumb women (dumb men jokes acceptable)
9. Cultures (all those not your own, except mocking American culture, which is required)
10. Everything else (someone is bound to be offended, so ask yourself, "Is it funny?" If it is, then it isn't, to someone).

rhhardin said...

Sociologist Erving Goffman on apologies.

In this case it's likely to be an expression of regret for having walked into a particular hornets' nest, and a sincere acknowledgment of their greater political power, at least for the moment.

As opposed to an apology.

George said...

Good thing Jerry isn't a wasp, or he would have gotten into even more trouble.

Mindsteps said...

rhhardin said...
Sociologist Erving Goffman on apologies.

Outstanding, thank you.

"I demand an apology" has quickly become Ann's trademark for me. It is coming to rival some other famous taglines like:

Jackie Gleason's.."To the moon Alice"
Larry the Cable Guy's.."Git er dun"
Beevis and Butthead's laugh
Lucille Ball's."Waaaaaaaaaaaa"

Every time Annie demands an apology it brings a smile to my face (sigh).

Richard Fagin said...

Anyone upset by Jerry Seinfeld's remark should be sentenced to spend a week with Clayton Williams:

"Weather is a lot like rape. you can't do anything about it so you might as well sit back and enjoy it."

Now THAT was offensive. Shame on you if you can't tell the difference.

Gahrie said...

This post just begs the now classic joke/commentary:

Q. How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. That's not funny

jane said...

The reaction and counter reactions remind me of this old one:

A man is driving up a steep, narrow mountain road. A woman is driving down the same road. As they pass each other the woman leans out the window and yells, "PIG!!" The man immediately leans out his window and replies, "BITCH!!" They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds the next corner, he crashes into a pig...

(I have some dumb women jokes to balance that one out, if needed--)

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann's trademark for me"

What a bizarre sense of your importance!

TMink said...

For me, Jerry's joke is funny because a little rape is awful, that is what makes it funny. If rape were not awful, it would not be funny.

"Bees have the only perfect society on earth... They have no crime, they have no drugs, they have no rape. A little arson, but it's not that bad."

Not funny. Child abuse would be too over the top to be funny at all, I think in his genius, he chose rape. It is funny because of the incongruity of the teller pretending to not find "a little" rape too bad.


Mindsteps said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Ann's trademark for me"

What a bizarre sense of your importance!

C'mon Ann:

I'm starting to get your sense of humor. "I demand an apology"...it cracks me up. Fans of the Annosphere...you've got to admit it....great impersonation of Ms. Althouse.

C'mon Ann. Your playing with boys! (Then again, my 'freudian' reading of your two most famous posts suggests that you prefer your men without penises and your women without breasts). With guys, sometimes the horseplay crosses the line a little bit. We just gotta suck it up. To be trite: If you dish it out you've got to learn to take it.

Git er dun!

Simon said...

So, he got stung.

Mindsteps said...

Simon said...
So, he got stung.

By numero uno, the queen bee, no less.


Simon said...

Mindsteps said...
"[M]y 'freudian' reading of [one of] your ... posts suggests that you prefer ... your women without breasts."

Oh, not that silly canard again...

Maxine Weiss said...

There are gradations of rape. It runs the gamit from simply being manhandled, to the more heavy duty stuff.

Mindsteps said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Ann's trademark for me"

What a bizarre sense of your importance!

To use a version of Wayne and Garth's trademark line: "I'm not worthy."

Ann, if you really took the time to understand my comments and put them in the proper context you would never have responded in such a condescending fashion. I really expected more from someone of your stature (tee,hee).

"I demand an apology" Ann, I really think this could be your trademark line. C'mon Ann...can't you and your fans laugh at themselves.

Simon said...

Oh, not that silly canard again

Commenting, like blogging and doctrine is complex, organic, ever-evolving, occaisionally seems contradictory, and is endlessly fascinating to certain minds.....and yes, often silly

Simon said...

^ Silly is one thing. False, baseless, and intentionally derogatory - the meaning of "canard," which you conveniently omit - is quite another.

Mindsteps said...

Simon said...
^ Silly is one thing. False, baseless, and intentionally derogatory - the meaning of "canard," which you conveniently omit - is quite another.


What makes Ann's interpretation any more or less accurate, baseless, and derogatory then mine? Ann, for example knows as much about Freudian 'analysis' as I know about the law....yet she insists that her assessment is true, on target. Apparently being a blogger make you an expert on everything.

Does she have knowledge in psychoanalytic interpretation that I do not? Of course, she dosent. In light of the fact that she really does not know what she is talking about, then what would motivate her to impose some sort of derogatory freudian cast to a Hillary Clinton commercial. Ahhh, but noooooo we cannot question the motives of Miss Annie. She can, without any real knowledge of analysis attempt some sort of hateful interpretation of other people, yet we cannot turn the same lens onto her. Like I related in an earlier post about the 3 Christs of Ypsilanti, so many of us want to tear others apart, while insisting that we are perfect.

Indeed, I often find Ann cruel, unfair, demeaning, baseless, and hateful. I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. When I engage in blather comparable to Ann's, she and you attack me. Talk about a double standard.

Your right, I need to leave this place......the hostility is contagious. I myself am acting in ways that I do not approve of.

Simon said...

Mindsteps, there's a famous quote from the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. You can opine until you're blue in the face that the Valenti business was about a criticism of Valenti's breasts, but it won't change the fact that it had nothing to do with that.

In the same vein:
"Indeed, I often find Ann cruel, unfair, demeaning, baseless, and hateful. I guess it is in the eye of the beholder."

And I often find black, white, hot, cold, and war, peace. Again, you're entitled to you own opinion - "freedom is slavery," "ignorance is strength," "Barack Obama would make a great President" - but opinion at odds with fact is worthless.

Mindsteps said...

Simon said...
but opinion at odds with fact is worthless.

I know the difference between opinion and fact. I know I have a right to my opinion. Almost all of the fruedian mishegas brought up by Ann related to the Clinton piece are based on her opinion. Yet she claims it to be the truth.

It is a fact that I know more about analyses than Ms. Althouse. If you chose to believe her, then you are chosing opinion over fact.

paul a'barge said...

I'll step of the "leave your comment' section and will await your reply

Well, you might if you were running things around here. However, you're (not the spelling, moron) not.

By the way, I notice that you didn't leave. Too bad. Here's hoping you leave now and don't come back.

paul a'barge said...

note, not not.

Cedarford said...

A variation of Pogo's comment.

An odd couple, a conservative Christian guy, and a progressive Jewish feminist are watching the news, when "Tragedy in Africa", a featurette comes on:

Soldiers in Ubangi Provence are slaughtering each other

Couple: *Shrug*

The soldiers are slaughtering civilians!!

Couple: "Everytime we get concerned about it, it just seems to go on and on."

Civilians not slaughtered are starving!

"I give to Christian charities" "Yeah, and I give to NGOs dedicated to making African terrorists obey international law."

And they are using child soldiers!

Man: "Must have something to do with the employment rate, and kids are a free market solution to the problem of lack of slaughterers." Woman: "Clearly more nurturing and free midnight basketball tournaments paid for by the USA are needed."

And people are being tortured!

Man: "What do you expect? Africa! Cannibals, tire necklaces, all that." Woman: "They only do it because they learned dumb Christian values and probably tried emulating an evil nation like America after Abu Ghraib. Whatever they are doing, Bush did worse in Iraq."

Whole villages in Ubangi Provence burned!

Man: "Normal in war." Woman: "Anerica is no better. We did that in WWII and Vietnam. We have no moral authority to criticize them."

Word has come out that the butchering soldiers and child soldiers are torturing cattle and pet dogs as they do people

Man: "Now that is absolutely sick and over the line!" Woman: "Little doggies? America has a responsibility to end it!"

And both sides in Ubangi have come up with demeaning ethnic jokes belittling the victims before they mutilate or kill them. The child soldiers play the straight man!

Man: "So?" Woman: "That is absolutely intolerable in the majority tribe. They should apologize and any killer saying ethnic jokes needs to be fired promptly by the head terrorist or general."

Refugees from both factions escaping Ubangi say both men and women are raped as they are told objectionable ethnic jokes before they are tortured, starved, or killed.

Man: "Male rape? We need to immediately send the 101st Airborne down there and kick ass to save ass." Woman: "Rape is a crime against humanity, coupled with ethnic jokes - its, its, Hitlerian!! America must send its dumb Bible thumping Southerners to fight and die to stop the rape, take back the African night! We secular progressives at law schools and prospering businesses will cheer the foolish rednecks on - especially if they die and we can pretend we care."

And the child soldiers are raping calves and little puppy dogs and other children!

Man stands up furious: "I'm getting my gun! Send me!" Woman: "I'll write you everyday while you are in Africa and work midnights in a bullet factory if lesser educated women cannot be found...And work to get all the child soldiers, raped kids, and abused puppies into the USA so they can heal in loving homes or loving gangs!"

Mortimer Brezny said...

Bee society is run by queens. The "rape" is of the drones.

Mindsteps said...

I'll step of the "leave your comment' section and will await your reply

a'barge wrote:

Well, you might if you were running things around here.

OK, I see now. My above comment was viewed both by Althouse and a'barge as some sort of reflection of my sense of importance. People who know me, would see that as very off base because I am typically self-effacing and usually self-critical (even online. this blog evokes the hostile elements in me). Actually, the above comment "I'll step of the "leave your comment' section and will await your reply" was a variation of what I often hear from folks who call into sports talk radio where the caller asks a question of the talk show host or guest, and deferentially hangs up rather than clog up the phone lines to await the answer to the question. (FWIW, I cannot listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Air America etc. because it elicits an anger in me that is similar to how I feel when I read this blog...do not worry, like my reaction to political talk radio I suspect I will be distancing myself from here sooner rather than later), Obviously, it got lost in the translation (understandably). Nonetheless, if Ms. Althouse and a'barge are basing their assessment of my character on that remark, well they misunderstood (and I demand an apology!, am I kidding or not?). They can accuse me of being unfunny, an idiot (or a moron), bizarre, but a bizarre sense of importance......way off.

And by defending the truth of Ms. Althouse's so called fruedian interpretations, you, Simon, like Ms. Althouse.....don't know what you don't know.

vnjagvet said...

But what about the BEEEEEEEEEES?

B said...


You win the award for "Best Comment on Political Correctness" of 2007, so far.


DBrooks17 said...

"because I am typically self-effacing and usually self-critical"

Oh, PLEASE. Go self-efface somewhere else.

Mindsteps said...

DBrooks17 said...

Oh, PLEASE. Go self-efface somewhere else.

I'm going out on a limb here.....but I get the distinct impression that you are not impressed.

Peter Palladas said...

Can we tackle the matter of consent here please? How do we know bees are raped? What are the stats? Where are the transcripts?

And is it just the lady bees get stung? My money is on some poor worker [male] bees being penetrated by other males higher up the food chain.

And as for the Queen Bee, it's rape then murder.

Who'd be a bee.

I had a friend years back - we neither raped the other at any time - who told me she 'painted bees' for a living. She did. Not landscapes but bees.

For her PhD she had to paint microscopic doses of tracking dye on their heads.

No one thought back then to ask if that was OK by the bees. Woah!

Ann Althouse said...

As long as she didn't paint a microscopic Hello Kitty on their heads, I think it was okay.

TMink said...

All we are saying is give bees a chance.


John Althouse Cohen said...

So the groups think what he said was "shocking"? That's not necessarily a negative for a comedian!