January 12, 2009

"The Althouse delinquents, unable to grasp more than one thing at a time, are convinced this has solved the question of racist language."

Lean Left thinks you're not getting it.

IN THE COMMENTS: Bissage says:
I managed to get about one-third of the way through.

That’s exactly the kind of sophomoric and prolix crap that tempts a survey course grader to take the stack of bluebooks and simply toss them down the stairs.
Ha ha. Now, I've got to link to Daniel Solove's great old post demonstrating the down-the-stairs method of grading.

AND: Oh, look, Glenn Kenney is reacting to us:
[T]here seems to be some theory afoot that the oft-played-for-laughs deployment of racial epithets in the picture, when considered in tandem with a years-old video of England's Prince Harry, now makes it okay for one to refer to, say, one's Jewish friend as a "kike" to his face....
We've been talking about whether the film may make some people think it's okay, not that it actually makes it okay. (And, Glenn, the character's name is Thao, not Bee. Bee is the actor's first name.)


Original George said...


What is a 'git'?

'Manichean self-delusion?'


I'm just a simple country boy from the hills.

Your friend,

David said...

It is always good to have someone of higher learning and greater sensitivity tell us (endlessly--doesn't this person have anything else to do?) how wrong we are.

American Liberal Elite said...

The "Althouse Delinquents." Cool! Do we get official T shirts? Is there a secret handshake?

Paul Snively said...

This particular delinquent is convinced that the question of racist language was solved thousands of years ago by the observation that people are inherently flawed. Some people's flaws are very apparent, especially to people other than themselves. What I find questionable is the assertion that humanity is somehow perfectible, and in particular that the road leading to that perfection consists of "hate crime" legislation and the like. The places for moral suasion are the family, the church, the synagogue, the mosque, and the like. The place for protection of rights and redress of actual wrongs, as opposed to perceived wrongs such as taking offense at someone's language, is the political system.

Meade said...

I tried to look up the word "nuance" but my dictionary only goes to "P"

For pussy.

AntonK said...

Ann, now that's a great photo you have up of yourself for your blog!

SteveR said...

Well who are they talking about? Cedarford, Alpha Liberal, Eli Blake, Palladian, Titus?

To your credit, we are over the place and often with our tongues in our cheeks, mostly not being overely sensitive or serious.

As with many people who come by and look in here without any context or willingness to understand how you operate... they don't get it. So don't tell me I don't get it when you don't get it. Get it?

Harry Flugleman said...

Imagine how much fun you would have had going to see Gran Torino with KTK.

Meade said...

All these years and I still don't get SteveR.

dbp said...

I can certainly understand people being offended by ethnic (or any other slur). Am I allowed to be just as offended by people who tell me what words I am allowed to use?

vet66 said...

lean left and ktk;

In memory of the recently departed General Kinnard of Bastogne fame, I ask you to nuance this in as pithy a phraseology as the original bestowed upon the dumbfounded Germans;


Nothing complex about that. It stands on it's own and leaves no room for negotiation and wiggle room.

campy said...

So is this KTK person in the Officer Krupke role in our little rumble?

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lawgiver said...

The Eastwood character is a hero, and he uses racial slurs; we approve of heroes, so obviously racial slurs are acceptable.

I'm pretty dumb but that's some kinda logic thingy isn't it?

EDH said...

Let me document that I left the following comment over there, in case it disappears.

edh Your comment is awaiting moderation. January 12th, 2009

Seems of me you use a heck of a lot of words to contradict yourself. Isn’t the point being made by the movie (and those you criticize) that people who use racial and other “slurs” out of habit or upbringing are not always “bad” people? You know, “nuance,” not categorizing a person as “all bad” or all good based on the slang they use, however offensive or hurtful it may be to some people, especially if that was the speaker’s actual intent?

ooops, s/b

“especially if the was not the speaker’s actual intent”

save_the_rustbelt said...

Do the people on the left understand that Eastwood was playing a movie character?

Like, duh.

Should all movie characters be saints, like that is real life?

Good grief.

Crimso said...

"Don’t they get it? You’re entitled to be a racist now, if you were a racist then."

Only if you're a Democrat (Byrd).

"unable to grasp more than one thing at a time"

People really should think before writing such things. The unintentional irony of such a phrase tends to undermine your credibility.

So how does KTK feel about the word "redneck?" It is most certainly an ethnic slur (because I say it is; it offends me). Just because some rednecks wear the term as a badge of honor doesn't make it okay (think of how some ethnic groups use slurs against them in the same way. NWA?). I'm betting KTK doesn't see anything at all wrong with it. I'd also bet KTK buys into the intellectually dishonest bullshit idea that you can only be racist if you have power over someone else.

rcocean said...

We were part of the all powerful white male patriarchy - now we're just delinquents.

What a come down. Lean Left sounds like they were the model for a post on "What White People Like".

Simon Kenton said...

Harry wrote:

"Imagine how much fun you would have had going to see Gran Torino with KTK."

Been there. I went to see "Unforgiven" in a Boulder theatre. Two rows behind was a woman saying loudly, as if to her male escort, "But, this is Quite Violent."

"Don't they understand that Violence Never Solves Anything?"

"This movie, it is Not Very Moral."

"I ask you, who could enjoy this? Just barbarians hurting each other. What is the pleasure of that?"

At first I thought her an idiot, and her husband a much greater idiot, as he had brought her to the wrong place. But of course that was the point. She knew what she was going to see, she had come to the movie on purpose to denounce, to be hushed, to confirm her superiority, and to destroy if possible any enjoyment for the rest of the audience.

Don't let anybody tell you that liberals don't know how to get their money's worth. Her $8 got her a much more complex, a more Nuanced, experience than mine got me.

Ann Althouse said...

@AntonK -- Thanks. It's actually a frame from the last Bloggingheads. That is, I'm not smiling for the camera. It's a genuine smile of pleasure, because I'm enjoying getting a chance to talk to Glenn Loury.

Joaquin said...

Ditto on the photo!
Lean Left can lean on this right here!

Tibore said...

"All the stupidity aside, what prompted me to comment on this post is the clunkiness and ineptness of the kind of thinking displayed here. "

My irony meter just exploded.

"Remember when the GOP relentlessly mocked Al Gore for having used the word “nuance”? Some of them were dumb enough actually to think that way, and some were smart enough to be glad their fellows were dumb enough."

And somehow, the rubble bounced as it exploded again.


Professor, I think you missed a few tags: Hypersensitivity, assuming outrage for others, condescension, superiority complex...

Freeman Hunt said...

They explicitly say that the movie makes it OK to use racist language, because it shows a hero who also uses racist language.

LOL We did? I must have missed that.

KTK cannot see the difference between arguing that racist insults may not be the worst of all insults and arguing that it's time for all of us to go out and start slinging some slurs.

Though I admit I skimmed. Writing too Greenwald-ish.

Tibore said...

Aha... 'nother tag: Is there a term for the intellectual insularity epitomized in Pauline Kael's comment on Nixon ("No one I knew voted for him!")? It's that same sort of confined cerebral climate that brings people to post rants like Lean Left's: Pick your outrage of the day, caricaturize the opponent, post the standard political/social/intellectual bromides, and feel good about yourself. Lean Left's post fits that to a T.

Whatever term exists for that mindset needs to be used as one of your tags.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knox said...

Sorry, but I just have to reiterate what I said last week re: Political Correctness:

Those espousing the tenets or value of PC are not really outraged by racism, homophobia, etc. They are simply using it as a cudgel to intimidate others into silence or compliance.

former law student said...

I refuse to read any blog that uses the word "Manichean" (or even properly spelled "Manichaean") outside of the context of Gnosticism.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, I've got one. A guy from Lean Left goes into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "Get the fuck out of here."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go shoot some British soldiers because I just watched The Informer last night, and I can't help but feel that I must emulate whatever the heroes in movies do. Later I might drive my car into a bulldozer due to the after effects of the Kowalski in Vanishing Point who was also a conservative. This hardly leaves me any time to learn how to talk like a racist which I didn't realize I was arguing for, but then again, I'm not much of a multivalent thinker.

Meade said...

knox's and Freeman's comments directly above are now neck and neck for my new all time favorite.

LordSomber said...

The "Althouse Delinquency" would make a great Robert Ludlum book. Maybe Jason Bourne could make an appearance?

jdeeripper said...

knox said...Sorry, but I just have to reiterate what I said last week re: Political Correctness:

Those espousing the tenets or value of PC are not really outraged by racism, homophobia, etc. They are simply using it as a cudgel to intimidate others into silence or compliance.

"The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators." - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Maybe not the actual Puritans but the stereotypical ones and their PC left descendants.

They hate Sarah Palin a lot more than they love wolves.

Sigivald said...

lawgiver: Yes, it's a syllogism (strictly, I suppose, two syllogisms).

It's just that there's the matter of it containing invalid premises.

(Character X is a hero.
Character X does Y.
Therefore Y is heroic.

Heroic things are approved of.
Y is heroic.
Therefore Y is approved of.

The problem is that "Y is heroic" requires the unstated and false premise "all things a hero does are heroic".

Heroes eat breakfast; that does not mean that eating breakfast is heroic.

Even beyond that trivial level of analysis, there is the flawed hero, where failings such as drunkenness or racism are contrasted with the hero's actually heroic actions.

But an analysis at that level requires some level of understanding and nuance, and doesn't let one just bash The Bad Man for using those terms that are just evil all the time no matter what.

The belief that showing realistic people being "racist" in that they use racial ephitets, must therefore be a statement of approval or an endorsement is ludicrous.

Grownups don't need to be told by a moralizing story that it's rude to use racial slurs*, and that they tend to be expressions of bigotry, and thus either reveal it or make one look like one.

* At least in any general, non-specific context. In some specific contexts it's not offensive at all, as demonstrated by people not being offended; the context is part of the meaning>, and a semiosis that attempts to ignore that is untenable on its face.)

blake said...

I refuse to read any blog that uses the word "Manichean" (or even properly spelled "Manichaean") outside of the context of Gnosticism.

Well, that's just fine.


Michael H said...

You know people wouldn't call us delinquents if Beth didn't wear a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in the sleeve of her t-shirt.

Nah. It's the duckass haircuts and the cuban heel, pointy toe'd shoes we're wearing. Except for Freeman because even though she'd look great, in a kd lang sorta way, and we don't want that around here. We already got enough.

Just wondering - is it okay to call a wop a dork? Or call a spook a geek? Or call a mick a dweeb? How many layers of language can be used to achieve a weird sort of insult neutrality?

Why are you pussies staring at your computers? I'm looking at you, Lean Left.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It isn't JUST that we are delinquents....we are also entrepreneurs!!!

Yay. Win win.

Nichevo said...

Ah yes, Patrick O'Brian to the rescue, once again. From possibly his truest work, Post Captain:

...and their conversation drifted away to the likelihood of a French invasion, of a breach with Spain, and to the odd rumours of St Vincent impeaching Lord Melville for malversation, before it returned to Nelson. '

He is a hero of yours, I believe?' said Macdonald. '

Oh, I hardly know anything of the gentleman,' said Stephen. 'I have never even seen him. But from what I understand, he seems quite an active, zealous, enterprising officer. He is much loved in the service, surely? Captain Aubrey thinks the world of him.'

'Maybe,' said Macdonald. 'But he is no hero of mine. Caracciolo sticks in my gullet. And then there is his example.'

'Could there be a better example, for a sea-officer?'

'I have been thinking, as I lie here in bed,' said Macdonald. 'I have been thinking of justification.' Stephen's heart sank: he knew the reputation of the Scots for theological discussion, and he dreaded an outpouring of Calvinistical views, flavoured, perhaps, with some doctrines peculiar to the Royal Marines. 'Men, particularly Lowlanders, are never content with taking their sins upon their own heads, or with making their own law; a young fellow will play the blackguard, not because he is satisfied that his other parts will outweigh the fact, but because Tom Jones was paid for lying with a woman - and since Tom Jones was a hero, it is quite in order for him to do the same. It might have been better for the Navy if Nelson had been put to a stable bucket when he was a wee bairn. If the justification that a fellow in a play or a tale can provide, is enough to confirm a blackguard, think what a live hero can do! Whoremongering - lingering in port - hanging officers who surrender on terms. A pretty example!' Stephen looked at him attentively for signs of fever; they were certainly there, but to no dangerous degree at present. Macdonald stared out of the window, and whatever he may have seen there, apart from the blank wall, prompted him to say, 'I hate women. They are entirely destructive. They drain a man, sap him, take away all his good: and none the better for it themselves.' After a pause, 'Nasty, nasty queans.'

rhhardin said...

Back before he was muzzled, Imus's Bernard McGuirk had a fine Pakistan/India accent he would deploy on the right occasion.

real audio on the occasion of some India/Pakistan news item. June 2, 2002.

Nowadays there are no yuks at all, Imus having turned completely into an old queen.

Beth said...

You know people wouldn't call us delinquents if Beth didn't wear a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in the sleeve of her t-shirt.

That's right, blame the dyke!

Meade said...

Love the dyke.