October 25, 2019

"But I guess being on an island with minimal food resources might cause someone... to get excited by a blue-hued adult beverage called the 'Shark Bowl' that features a floating gummy fish."

"... Or cause [someone else] to declare that Applebee’s is her favorite 'sit-down restaurant.' I mean, come on. Shrimp ‘n’ Parmesan Sirloin? Yuck. Spinach and artichoke dip with chips? No thanks. Chef Bulgarelli’s Stuffed Rigatoni and Tomato Meat Sauce? Not exactly the right food for a tropical paradise. I don’t know how host Jeff Probst managed to even spit out the words 'loaded, sizzling fajitas, smothered with hot queso' with a straight face. Oh, and don’t forget the blue-ribbon brownie, whatever that is. Is it worth slithering on the beach tied to another player and getting your face and body exfoliated by what amounts hot sandpaper? I would say no."

Writes Susan Wloszczyna (at Gold Derby), which I'm reading because I hated the embedded Applebee's ad in this week's episode of "Survivor."

And maybe this is a good time to remind you that I don't blog about things in the order that I think they're important or criticize things in order of their badness in the grand scheme of things. I went to great lengths to analyze Trump's use of the phrase "human scum" — here and here — but that doesn't mean I think "human scum" is the worst thing anybody is saying right now.

I blog things according to my personal standard of bloggability, which is something of a mystery, and I don't expect you to understand it completely, especially since it's one of those I-know-it-when-I-see-it standards, but I would like you to remember that when I'm talking about one thing, I'm not implying something about all the other things that I am not talking about.

I don't like making an example of a particular commenter, especially somebody who is one of the all-time greatest commenters on this blog, but Laslo Spatula wrote, in the comments to my second "human scum" post:
The President has been called Hitler. Repeatedly.

But "human scum" is somehow problematic.

Perhaps because we assume those who cast about 'Hitler' don't really mean it, that they are engaging in hyperbole.

Which means they are diminishing Hitler's evils.

Or they really DO mean it.

In which case they are diminishing Hitler's evils.

But 'human scum'... that's upsetting.

There is a pea under these mattresses somewhere.
I said nothing about the use of Hitler in present-day political discourse. It's something I've blogged about in the past, but nothing about my "human scum" blogging — or my other blogging — said that calling someone "Hitler" is not also problematic. It's bad logic to infer that if X is bad then Y is not so bad.

But I will say one thing about Hitler and "human scum." The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance. This instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we need to notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness.

I did some historical research on the use of the term "human scum" and the similar expression, "scum of humanity." And I saw some truly nasty things, especially in stories about racial minorities and immigrants.

Trump is already associated — in the mind of those who hate him — with racism and xenophobia. If those associations are correct, then I'd say it's good that he's so unguarded he allows the ugliness to seep out. If those associations are not correct, I'd advise him to take better care not to say things that seem to come from the same place in the human psyche as racism and xenophobia.

108 comments:

Seeing Red said...

Tsk tsk it’s Deplorable.

john said...

I thought this was going to be about the Washington Nationals,

doo doo doo doo doo doo

Lyle said...

Isn't that what Trump wants though... for his opponents to think of him Hitler and call him Hitler? Being called Hitler is a political boon for Trump. Trump isn't trying to be the best yoga teacher in America, he's trying to be President of the United States from 2020-2024.

Marianne Williamson might be who you want as matter of style and word choice, if calling people names is a problem for you.

I think fair is fair ultimately. You get to call people names who call you or others names. It is self defense and the defense of others.

William said...

I read Shirer's book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. In that book, he takes note of the fact that Hitler truly was a brave soldier during WWI. Arguably Hitler will be treated better than Trump by most historians. I've yet to hear them say a single favorable thing about Trump.

Qwinn said...

If Trump had just said "scum", the Left would have screamed about Trump's "dangerously dehumanizing rhetoric". You know it's true. They do it ALL THE TIME. Adding the word "human" headed that off, and I really do think that was the only reason for that word choice.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance."

What's your take on the phrase "Shit for brains"?

rhhardin said...

I think you're making Laslo's point. You can't read men.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Did I just hear a call to civility? I thought all calls to civility were bullshit and designed to squelch speech one does not like.

rhhardin said...

The problem isn't Hitler or other things Trump has been called, it's that there's nothing wrong with human scum. It's exactly the know it when you see it criterion.

You're not good at seeing, or you bring something to seeing that is either typical girl or perhaps your own hot button.

The proof wouldn't be historical research. No matter who said human scum before, it's okay on its own. That's a guy's reading. No pea under the mattress felt.

rhhardin said...

Perhaps you mean to say that Trump has to watch what he says because you never know how women will react.

My idea is educate women rather than restricting speech.

rhhardin said...

That women don't make sense is part of what makes them loveable. But it stinks for politics, and women vote now.

Their reasoning (know it when you see it) is good for neighborhood-sized systems, not national systems.

Night Owl said...

If those associations are not correct, I'd advise him to take better care not to say things that seem to come from the same place in the human psyche as racism and xenophobia

Trump called particular people "human scum". People who have been trying to get him removed since before he even took office. There are plenty of voters who share his disgust in their actions.

If Trump is not a racist he would not associate that term with minorities or foreigners. We all know we're not allowed to say or even write the N-word. Are we also not allowed to use any phrase that was once used to denigrate (can I use that word?) minorities and foreigners? Is there a list we can refer to?

Someone who hears "human scum" and their mind automatically goes to minorities and foreigners just might be the racist, not the one using the phrase.

rhhardin said...

I can send an .mp3 ("an" before period? need a ruling) of Bernie and Sid listing the human scum they knew of this morning, evidently not seeing anything untoward with the term. Quite the contrary, they're able to make a list of just such people on the fly. It has a specific range just owing to the words. It's not nonsense.

gahrie said...

The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance. This instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we need to notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness.

Perhaps we should use terms like "deplorables", "bitter clingers" or "splooge stooges" instead.

rhhardin said...

Rush is going on and on about something. I'm not paying any attention. He has a less interesting topic.

RobinGoodfellow said...

I don’t have a problem with Applebee’s—they are what they are. When I have eaten there (rarely) I have generally been pleased.

What I have a hard time with is Survivor. I can’t believe people are watching this garbage.

But, de gustibus non disputandem est.

Nichevo said...

And I saw some truly nasty things, especially in stories about racial minorities and immigrants.

Trump is already associated — in the mind of those who hate him — with racism and xenophobia. If those associations are correct, then I'd say it's good that he's so unguarded he allows the ugliness to seep out.


NeverTrumpers are probably overwhelmingly white, so, get over yourself: if anything, President Trump is egalitarian in this regard. Remember, he is the one who blockbusted Palm Beach. He's won his non-racist spurs long ago and you should catch up.

cubanbob said...

I blog things according to my personal standard of bloggability, which is something of a mystery, and I don't expect you to understand it completely, especially since it's one of those I-know-it-when-I-see-it standards, but I would like you to remember that when I'm talking about one thing, I'm not implying something about all the other things that I am not talking about."

So it's a little bit mysterious to you? Thats nice. I like the randomness.

Michael K said...

I am not crazy about the use of the term but the crazy left has gone far beyond that.

Physical attacks, for example.

wendybar said...

President Trump apologized...http://stiltonsplace.blogspot.com/

Birkel said...

The question, of course, is whether the people who supported the coup attempt are human.
We already know they are scum.

Ken B said...

I think some people don’t like uncertainty. Your posts on “human scum” don’t have the disclaimer “but I think the other guys are worse”. That upsets many of the Trumpkins. I see the reverse situation when I discuss Trump with people. I refute the “good people” hoax, and people get upset because I don’t add the obligatory denunciation of Trump. This reaction is part of how epistemically closure happens.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My big complaint with respect to Laslo's comment is that he mentions pea and matresses, but fails to connect them to Russian prostitutes...

Quaestor said...

I said nothing about the use of Hitler in present-day political discourse.

Qui tacet consentire videtur.

stonethrower said...

Qwinn nails it.

Automatic_Wing said...

Everyone is xenophobic at some level. Just look at the Malibu City Council disapproving The Edge's building permit. If they tried to build an Applebees across the street from Althouse, her xenophobia might start to shine through.

cubanbob said...

But I will say one thing about Hitler and "human scum." The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance. This instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we need to notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness."

Hitler and the Nazi's were quite explicit in calling and treating humans as scum but calling every Republican Hitler is somehow less offensive? The instinctive loathing should kick in when comparing Trump or other Republicans as scum.

Infinite Monkeys said...

I took Laslo's comment to be a statement on the reaction of his targets to being called human scum, and the media pearl-clutching over it more than it was about that one post.

Infinite Monkeys said...

And I classify people who get excited over a blue-hued beverage with gummy fish as fun people. (Well, maybe not the ones who get "excited", but certainly the ones who see the silliness and fun in it. Especially if they're willing to pay the way-over-priced cost of it and buy me one too.)

Quaestor said...

"You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy," said Obi-Wan Kenobi of Mos Eisley. That was perhaps the first of many uses of scum in the Star Wars universe of entertainments. He doesn't say human scum because it least some of the villainous residents aren't members of genus Homo. Interestingly, it is said by ones whose allegiance is with the Rebel Alliance, though most subsequent uses of scum are on the lips of Imperials, as in "rebel scum" or "Bounty hunters! We don't need that scum!" Since a prominent rebel used the term first, perhaps the Imperials were just getting theirs back.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I believe that Althouse is a kind of Never Trumper who voted for candidates she didn't like in the 2016 primary and general in order to avoid voting for Trump. Unlike many Never Trumpers, she was willing to set that aside and accept the Trump Presidency. So the human scum label hits a little close to home.

Are there 20 Never Trump Republicans in the Senate willing to oust Trump from office? I don't know but there might be. If there are, most of them are closeted Never Trumpers, like Althouse. Is it good strategy to insult them now (or actually to threaten to insult them if they come out)? If you believe in the soft and squishy moderate, it might be. But if they are as adamant in their moderation as Althouse, look out!

Just like Hillary Clinton lost the deplorables she needed to get elected. Donald Trump has risked losing the human scum he needs to stay in office.

traditionalguy said...

The Human scum insult is is nothing compared to being called Beasts fit only to be targeted, caught and killed, or experimented on until the best parts have been eaten and the remains dissolved in acid. That takes a satanic scientist with his own orgy island who buys an unlimited supply of trafficked children.

n.n said...

Transgender conversion therapy (i.e. indoctrination and/or medical and surgical corruption), a colorful clump of cells, a fetus when deemed a life unworthy of life (Pro-Choice/abortion), cannibalized-child (Mengele experiments), White privilege, redistributive change, diversity (e.g. racism, sexism), anti-nativism ("immigration reform"), social justice/relativistic justice, political congruence, and other euphemisms.

n.n said...

Deplorable, yes. A burden.

tcrosse said...

Not even Hitler can be both scum and dregs.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

You’re assuming Laslo is talking to you, about your take on “human scum”. Not to speak for him (I could only wish to be so eloquent), but I’m pretty sure he isn’t.

Wince said...

Trump simply reminded us that when it comes to many factions of the governing elite, including the Never Trumpers, it only takes a little uncomfortable heat for the "cream of the crop" to turn into the "scum of the Earth".

Martin said...

TRump has several times "crossed the line," for me at least, but some of that has been because I have some knowledge and appreciation of history that it appears most people lack.

For example, "America First" reminded me of the pre-WW2 non-interventionists, though I am pretty sure Trump didn't man it is QUITE that way, and most of his base do not have a clue unless someone reminds them of it. Which the media dutifully did, and found it didn't make a difference because most people figured what happened in 1940 stays in 1940 and they were learning to listen to what he is actually saying, not just the words.

"Human scum" really bothers me, and I worry that under the incredible barrage of abuse he has had to take he may be losing some measure of judgment. But that is NOT to say that the people who have been dishing it out should get a pass from him--that's how Romney lost in 2012, and how conservatives and moderates lost the culture war.

And while some of his tweets and statements lack decorum and are "un-Presidential," if nobody else is willing to push back hard, what is he to do? Obama had literally thousands of influential people in politics, the media, and academia to ensure that he could stay "above the fray." They would attack others on his behalf, and defend him form even the most trivial criticism. Trump has almost nobody, so if he sometimes makes my jaw clench, I remind myself of that. And also ask "what is the alternative?"

Wince said...

The attitude is like saying...

Scum. You're all scum. I'm better. You're all scum.

Two-eyed Jack said...

In the search for purity, there are, perhaps, two directions: eliminate the scum and ignore the scum.

Kevin said...

But I will say one thing about Hitler and "human scum." The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance.

Yes, but Trump wrote his post in a way that you have to opt-in to be called "human scum".

The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats.

You can oppose Trump for a variety of reasons, without opposing him for any and every reason. But it also means you must at least occasionally stand up for the man and his actions. To not do so renders one pathological, not principled.

We cannot read your mind. To label oneself a NeverTrumper is to fix your future actions to always resist him, no matter how much his policies and actions reflect your stated values.

At that point your hypocrisy is on display for everyone to see.

Kevin said...

especially somebody who is one of the all-time greatest commenters on this blog

There's a resume bullet point, for sure!

BTW, one of these days perhaps you'll put out a power ranking of your commenters for fun.

Why wouldn't it also make someone day to be, say, the ninth-ranked commenter on this blog?

Hunter said...

So something like:

I didn't say calling people "human scum" was worse than calling someone Hitler. But actually, calling people "human scum" is worse than calling someone Hitler.

Of course, calling Trump Hitler and calling his supporters Nazis is dehumanizing, because the real Hitler and Nazis are popularly regarded as monsters who deserved death. "We used to kill Nazis" say the left, in defense of beating up people for wearing MAGA hats.

Tangentially, it seems to me that Laslo was critiquing the outrage at "human scum" from the very people who call Trump Hitler and his supporters Nazis, or at least don't complain when others do so.

rehajm said...

This instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we need to notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness.

Nobody who supports Trump and/or his polices, or doesn't loathe him sufficiently, needs their consciousness raised on this issue.

PluralThumb said...

Stalin to Russians was a revolutionary.
In America he was a tyrant. Hitler's leadership was intensely precise. 20,000 in a so and so time, done ! I prefer to compare Germany and the Industrial Revolution to the pinnacle of nano-technology. The confines that guide macro and micro revolutionary movements. That leaves a gap of a grey area for generations to labyrinth through. On a human level, who in the world wants to be called not nice names, I do not. Human scum is like an oxymoron minus 3/4 human plus 1/4 egg yolk but really the substance of placenta. There is a life creature called human somewhere on this planet but he or she is a single cell organism, racism aside. Studies in the future will prove President Trump's genius. I assume the elections may be stressful.

stevew said...

At least he doesn't refer to them as "animals", which I'm told is really bad.

Darcy said...

The instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we should notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness, but, as I see it, this is almost exclusively noticed in connection with perceived incivility on the right.

After the last 3 years of essentially being called human scum by the left because I support Trump, I'm all out of civility.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

re: last paragraph--
Why is the onus solely on Trump?
If, say, an innocent person is thought by some to be a pedophile,
would you advise them not to say "I love children"?
Or should they tailor their behavior with respect to their detractors?

DB said...

Were Laslo's comments directed at you?

Skeptical Voter said...

I won't say Laslo Spatula is the all time greatest commenter on any blog---but he's in the peloton at the head of the pack.

And as for Applebees? Its advertisements might be bad--but they're nothing compared to the food! The last time I ate at an Applebees was 6 years ago, and I'm in no hurry for a repeat visit.

DB said...

Were Laslo's comments directed at you?

Christy said...

I absolutely agree about the embedded Applebee's ad. Having the survivors make enthusiastic endorsements of specific menu items threw into doubt, more than ever before on this show, that it is not scripted.

Regarding our perceived over-reaction to your riff on human scum.... I suspect Althouse does not understand, understand deep in her bones, how Southerners and Conservatives have been trained to examine every word coming out of our mouths, no matter how benign, for racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc connotations and inclinations. Your discussion of the term "human scum" reads like Trump hate. Doesn't matter what you intended. To everyone on the lookout for dog whistles, you were hateful.

Infinite Monkeys said...

I suspect Althouse does not understand, understand deep in her bones, how Southerners and Conservatives have been trained to examine every word coming out of our mouths

Or the casual assumption by much of America, Canada, and many Europeans that everyone in the southeastern US is an inbred meth addict. We're used to being insulted so regularly that "human scum" doesn't even make a blip on our radar.

rcocean said...

That women don't make sense is part of what makes them loveable. But it stinks for politics, and women vote now.

The problem isn't that all women are political idiots - its that they have a higher percentage compared to men. Letting them vote, increased "the stupid pool" and had a negative impact on society. Interestingly, you had women AGAINST women's suffrage in the 1910's and they foresaw this.

One solution would be to grant, Veterans or Married fathers, who pay income taxes, 2 votes instead of one. The British originally went another way, granting the vote *only* to married women or those over 30. That's a good way too, but since its impossible to take anyone's vote away, the only solution is to give MORE votes to those who deserve it.

rcocean said...

I think some of the NSC/Diplomat types were "Never Trumpers" hired by Trump and they are now stabbing him in the back, despite earlier protestations that they had given up the Trump hate and were team players.

Hence, the human scum comment. Honest opposition is one thing. Being a spy/traitor is quite another.

Nonapod said...

I have nevered watched Survivor nor do I have any desire to. The entire concept of the show seems entirely uninteresting to me, and what I've gleaned about it over the years makes it seem like anything but reality. So to me mocking the ham handed inclusion of an Applebees ad in such a show seems almost hypocritical. To me, Survivor is to TV what Applebees is to dining out, a low brow experience wrapped up in a flimsy artiface.

n.n said...

Human scum is a metaphor for the bad, the ugly, the wicked that rise to the top. It's a legitimate criticism of the diversity or color judgment (i.e. blocs) that has judged and labeled him personally, and obstructed his policies, with ulterior and often special and peculiar motives.

rcocean said...

Trump only counter-attacks. I can't think of many cases, where without prior provocation he was viciously attacked anyone. From Day 1, almost 4 years ago, he has been slandered, instulted and defamed. Even his son has been slimed. "They" have simply refused to treat him with the respect due a POTUS. Every chance they get, the D's, the Press, the Never trumpers, call him traitor, Nazi, racist, idiot, crook, Hitler, sexual harasser, etc. etc.

Anyone else would've buckled under the pressure and either quit or let their enemies win. Trump counter attacks and the wimps and losers hate it. They're OK when the Bully steals the small kids lunch money every day, but when the small kid fights back its "OMG, can't we stop all the fighting?"


Rit said...

Embrace the term. We'll all be human scum eventually, unless you go the cremation route. Being pumped full of preservatives will only delay the final transition to scum.

Hey Skipper said...

Laslo is a national treasure.

Fernandistein said...

Not even Hitler can be both scum and dregs.

"Sordita...the dregs of the people, the rascall and vile sort of men or women, the sinke of a citie, the scum of the earth."

'Course that was over 400 years ago, and they couldn't talk too good back then.

PluralThumb said...



 ************** said...

"...fit only to be targeted, caught and killed, or experimented on until the best parts have been eaten and the remains dissolved in acid. That takes a satanic scientist with his own orgy island who buys an unlimited supply of trafficked children."

So, what you are really saying is that;
Miss Universe, The Apprentice, and the PlayBoy franchise should have an orgy in a golf course while white supremacists are eating sushi off Obama's nude body with Hillary in the background wielding a bull whip?

President should of went with impeachment.
How is going to collect the Washington Hotel money while in the office. I wouldn't want to live in the White House either. Kick in the scum balls if he gets re~elected. Humans, just humans.



rcocean said...

"Stalin to Russians was a revolutionary."

No, to many Russians Stalin was GEORGIAN. Stalin was no more Russian, then a Manuel Noriega was an American. The USSR, at least from 1919-1945, had very few Russians at the top. The head of the NVKD was always a Pole, Georgian, or Latvian. After Lenin's death the politburo consisted of:

A polish Jew
A Ukrainian Jew
A Russian Jew
A Georgian
A Russian Married to a Jew
A Russian Married to a Polish Jew
A Russian.

Later, anti-semtic Stalin got rid of the three Jews: Trotsky, Kamenev,and Zinonev, and substituted Khrushchev (a Ukrainian), another Georgian (Beria), & an Armenian (Mikoyan).

Amy said...

I am a long-time Survivor fan and I loved the Applebee's spot. It was weird that the one woman said it was her favorite restaurant. But after a few weeks of rice & coconuts, the thought of that hot melty spinach dip and brownies could bring you to your knees. The blue drink creeped me out, but I just don't think we get what it would feel like to see that stuff after a period of deprivation.
I am enjoying this season. After all these years, they keep switching it up and it stays interesting to me.

The human scum comment? I could not care less. The whole civility thing really IS nonsense, the standard is completely unevenly applied. Next.

dbp said...

This isn't Laslo's point, but he, along with Althouse, brings it to mind.

"Trump is already associated — in the mind of those who hate him — with racism and xenophobia."

There isn't much evidence, despite the "minds" of haters, that Trump is actually, you know, racist or xenophobic. So, I'm not sure what difference will be made by what Trump says or does at this point, as far as the haters' view of him.

But in the minds of, people who have functional ones, doesn't Trump's use of the most vituperative language, which is only used on categories of people, nevertrumpers for instance, kind of show that he lacks the same animus toward any particular race, origin or religious background?

Clearly he is comfortable using harsh language, scum is worse than deplorable but they are residents of the same neighborhood in a bad part of town, yet he never uses it on the sort of people he is most reputed to hate.

Rabel said...

Wouldn't expect a lady who makes a living promoting "reality" television to turn her nose up at Applebee's.

Wouldn't expect a lady who's a fan of "Green Slime" (and gratuitous use of vulgarities in the dictionary) to be offended by "Human Scum."

Meh. I'm lying. I expect both.

I like Applebee's.

readering said...

Truly some see the world through Trump colored glasses.

narciso said...

meanwhile across the pond:

https://twitter.com/Sam_Schulman/status/1187746534110191616

Jim at said...

Shorter version: It's OK when certain people sling bad names at their political opponents, but not OK when others do it.

Then again, name-calling will be the least of our problems if we stay on our current trajectory.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

After the last 3 years of essentially being called human scum by the left because I support Trump, I'm all out of civility.

Darcy!!! Hello :-)

I agree. Being told I am the dregs of society, deplorable, justifying violence against Trump supporters and other acts of "incivility" to say the least... calling someone one else scum is pretty tame.

There is nothing racist about calling someone scum because scumbags come in all colors and genders. It isn't how you look. It is how you act that makes you scum.

Sebastian said...

I am with Laslo, and with Christy: "I suspect Althouse does not understand, understand deep in her bones, how Southerners and Conservatives have been trained to examine every word coming out of our mouths, no matter how benign, for racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc connotations and inclinations. Your discussion of the term "human scum" reads like Trump hate. Doesn't matter what you intended. To everyone on the lookout for dog whistles, you were hateful."

It's odd, but telling, isn't it, that even Althouse, who has been quite tolerant of us righties, and by now knows more about us than anyone else with her background, is nonetheless so unaware.

narciso said...

btw they called us gusanos, 'worms' not scoria, fwiw,


https://babalublog.com/2019/10/25/smithsonian-mag-sanctifies-che-guevara-as-a-loving-papa-holding-a-baby-bottle-concerned-with-injustice-in-the-world-did-they-omit-anything/

madAsHell said...

and don’t forget the blue-ribbon brownie

It sounds like a 4-H prize for the underpants that just won't sit down!!

readering said...

Being a Republican who opposes Trump who takes pride in proclaiming that he is opposed to many of the policies of such Republicans as the two Bushes and McCain (whose policies I also mostly opposed, go figure) makes you scum? What has the world come to.

Laslo Spatula said...

Infinite Monkeys and Hunter explained me better than I could - thanks to them.

What I find interesting about the 'human scum' phrase is that I took its use in exactly the opposite of any xenophobic sense:

It read to me like an insult purposely chosen to NOT hint at any race/sex/tribal-marker etc -- an insult at the basic amoeba level.

The fact that one needs to go to the books to find out more about the phrase indicates it is not laden with easy triggers for the easily triggered: it cannot easily be purposefully misunderstood.

I do think it might very well play differently on male and female ears, but -- after being called " one of the all-time greatest commenters on this blog" -- I am certainly not going to choose this moment to dip the Professor's pigtails in the inkwell.*

(*I think I am using that expression correctly)

So I looked it up: the first reference is "An easy, common form of bullying or harassment would be to dip the pigtails of the girl in front of you in an inkwell, leaving it dripping ink", which isn't it at all.

Then, further down: "He wants to dip your pigtail in his inkwell--it's how they show affection at that age."

I meant it more like that. But without all the heavy sexual innuendo that is implied there.

I am Laslo.

tcrosse said...

"one of the all-time greatest commenters on this blog"

Don't get cocky, Laslo.

FullMoon said...

Brett Baer Special Report talking about 'human scum" today.

Interestingly, also Tic-Toc(sp?) mentioned as being dangerous for teens because ISIS has used it. Congressional investigation suggested.
As if ISIS has not used every single social media platform for years and years, including twitter, facebook, and youtube.

J said...

Echoing Lazlo, DBQ,Christy, and Infinite Monkeys here.Attempts to surreptitiously invoke civility after the "elitist" behavior of Antifas and other lefties over the years is just another attempt to denigrate the masses.

M Jordan said...

A word about potential NeverTrumpers in the Senate. There are many but they won’t vote to convict, My senator, Todd Young, is a perfect example. He clearly detests Trump but he won only because of Trump’s coattails. Does he really think he would’ve beaten Evan Bayh on his own?

So he he simply cannot vote to convict. It isn’t because of principle; it’s fear.

Jim at said...

Being a Republican who opposes Trump who takes pride in proclaiming that he is opposed to many of the policies of such Republicans as the two Bushes and McCain (whose policies I also mostly opposed, go figure) makes you scum?

No. It's the actions of certain NeverTrumpers which makes them scum.

James Lileks is a NeverTrumper and I have yet to read or hear of one account of him going off the rails with his opposition to Trump. Can't say the same for Kristol, Boot, Goldberg, French and the rest of the human scum who claimed to be conservatives for years and we're now finding out it was simply lip service.

You really know nothing of which you speak when it comes to the chasm between conservatives and NeverTrumpers. And it shows.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

when we lived in predominantly Cuban city x, with its fair share of tattooed Marielitos,
it was explained that Fidel considered the political undesirables "gusanos", but the 'dregs' were "escoria".
The spineless worms who had no heart for the revolution vs 'low-life' scum.

Bay Area Guy said...

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed scumbag is King.

narciso said...

maybe just call them chud, gusanos, kulaks, it adds up to unperson, no matter what language

Marcus said...

But I will say one thing about Hitler and "human scum." The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance.

So what's your take on the recent comment that Trump is "a piece of shit"?

THEOLDMAN

No Applebee's but more Lazlo for me

stevew said...

Pointed to this bit by streiff at RedState, it is in reference to all the "human scum" upset and complaining about Trump's use of that descriptor:

To tell you the truth, I really don’t care about the butthurt over this. For three years these people have degraded, demeaned, and libeled anyone who simply decided that, for all his flaws, Trump was better than any Democrat. No grace was offered to people who had considered them friends and colleagues. No common cause was allowed to be made. They stopped being conservatives and Republicans who simply disliked the candidate and then the president and became active Democrat partisans who simply called themselves something else. Every hoax and bad faith allegation made against the President and his administration, from the Russia bullsh** to defending illegal FISA warrants to the “Muslim ban” to “kids in cages,” was spearheaded by NeverTrumpers flagellating themselves with their principles and yodeling “we’re better than that.”

I'm the eldest of six kids and this all sounds a bit like the "he started it" claims of me and my sibs when a dispute broke out, but the Dems and NeverTrumpers really did.

The complete article: https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2019/10/25/people-spent-three-years-insulting-trump-supporters-no-reason-gripe-get-insulted/

Lurker21 said...

"But I guess being on an island with minimal food resources might cause someone... to get excited by a blue-hued adult beverage called the 'Shark Bowl' that features a floating gummy fish."

Sharks get exited by the tasty treat called "human chum."

I have trouble connecting the rest of the dots on this thread.

Paddy O said...

"will be treated better than Trump by most historians. I've yet to hear them say a single favorable thing about Trump."

Oh, you won't have to wait too long. Just until the next Republican candidate/President comes along.

DavidUW97 said...

Mustn’t offend the wine moms

Shouting Thomas said...

This is a preposterously trivial issue.

I don’t care.

Unknown said...

Applebee's is a decent place to get a decent burger & fries at midnight. It is what it is, and it's decent at it, as opposed to, say, Denny's which is invaribly awful noon or midnight.

steve uhr said...

It is natural and appropriate to make judgements about your opinions and biases based on how you exercise your editorial discretion.

Gospace said...

For people of my ilk, being described as lower than whale shit is much worse than scum.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"It's bad logic to infer that if X is bad then Y is not so bad."

It can be bad logic to infer that if X is bad then Y is not so bad.

It is idiotic to assume if Y is less bad than X that X and Y are both equally bad. Totally wrong logically.

Better to be mostly right logically than totally wrong, as wrong as Althouse has shown herself to be via the above quote.

Good job Laslo. I've thought for some time you deserve more credit and admiration.

Guildofcannonballs said...

50% off at Rent-aCenter is still 60% too much.

I go to AXn and cool.

Oh no! Failed acct.

Okay go to WalM and open a credit card account for 40% of Rent-aCenter before discount price.

Save up and spend the whopping, get this, $357 for a 52" TV. What the heck?

Anyway to leave all the hypothetical above is natural, to go beyond the ordinary, and think, given lessons, is unique.

In my many scenarios I didn't allow a simple example to prove me wrong simply, I gave many scenarios where I could be right but also accept failure as an option logically.

There also encompassed something I just can't explain but always congenially understood and it was fractals.

Grain of sand, Earth, Life, planets.

Guildofcannonballs said...

If I had one thing I could try and knew I would not fail* *not my idea search it* I would direct Jeff Bridges and Goodman and Turturo and most especially J. Moore, along with Joel and Ethan as Donney and Smokey tribute, in The Big Lebowski Too.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...The reason "human scum" bothers me so much is that it characterizes human beings as a disgusting substance. This instinctive loathing, this view of other people as gross and slimy and infectious is something we need to notice and raise to the surface of our consciousness.

Tennessee Williams had it as "Nothing human disgusts me...unless it is unkind or violent"

One of the best characters on the great show King of the Hill misattributed that to Lucretius, but he was otheriwse faultless: Gilbert Fontaine De la Tour D'Haute Rive

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Bowlin... yeah, Boleyn!" crash of pins.

Crash of pins over and over eaxh tmme Boleyn does well.

Here's where we start 1 of 5 or 6 bowling alley scences.

Opening credits. ALthouse alleye

Some L.a. near Maude's place safe spac3.

"If your memory serves you well, we were going to meet again anyway" background, and three 25 ywER olds "playing bowling"

You don't play bowling dipass.

Fuck yeah I do cunnynose, you too dumb.

Dumb as your fuching cunnynot you idjit; no such thing as a cunnybised nose callagone.

daskol said...

Sometime soon Trump is going to do the human scum thing on that lovely man, Obaama. Who, by the way, was lovely at Elijah Cummings’ memorial today. Really lovely. But he did allowed some really awful things under his authority, at best. When we’re encouraged to be disgusted by Obama, I wonder how Trump will evoke that feeling for such a lovely seeming man.

Guildofcannonballs said...

If such a thing as opposite of Be Cool, the worst thing in terms of okayness Hollywood puked out, pigs puked Be Cool out, who would know?

Bannon?

Frankly to me J. O'Keefe is the only real American, save Trumps, kickin'.

Crazy World said...

I am waiting for my Trump spa slippers to arrive that I ordered when his Doral property was shunned. I don’t think he was referring to me.
And I also don’t care. Beautiful weekend to all !

Guildofcannonballs said...

How crazy has it made Althouse that we can hear their voice?

Those females not yet aborted.

We can hear their voice.

Men and un-hateful women can hear the millions of soon-to-be little jolly boys too.

Nichevo said...

readering said...
Being a Republican who opposes Trump who takes pride in proclaiming that he is opposed to many of the policies of such Republicans as the two Bushes and McCain (whose policies I also mostly opposed, go figure) makes you scum? What has the world come to.


By your logic, you should support President Trump. Go figure.

Narayanan said...

It appears Laslo Spatula's comment was the final pea under Emerita mattress?

How many others are there!?

Trump has insisted on pointing out that people (as individuals) make choices and some make bad scummy choice.

With him Standing so alone it is easy to see him as individual.


Breezy said...

I wonder how the human scum will respond.

Bob Boyd said...

I'd advise him to take better care not to say things that seem to come from the same place in the human psyche as racism and xenophobia.

Did you associate the term "human scum" with racism and xenophobia before you did all that research? Me neither. It was just an insult. Trump was using a nasty insult against his opponents, two-faced, under-handed, back-stabbing opponents, who are trying to destroy him and what he has built in order to prevent their own sins from coming to light. After all, aren't the Never Trump Republicans largely white Americans?

I believe anyone, regardless of race, who works hard at being scummy could earn Trump's designation.
Unlike Hillary, who's Basket of Deplorables is whites only, Trump welcomes people of all nations to his scum bucket.

stlcdr said...

What DBQ said at 3:38PM

Also, it’s probably shocking simply because all other insults have been thrown about so much, that a person become numb to it, and has just a ‘meh’ response. This one is new.

stlcdr said...

I say let all this social media fist throwing escalate as far as we can possibly take it. Just keep going.

Most normal people look at what goes on around them and will eventually disregard anything on the internet, the cloud, the media, social media and so on. It’s just a playground.

Did Trump say this? Sure, but I’ve never met Trump, I’ve never met Clinton, or numerous other spouters of nonsense. I’ve met people who have been supposedly characterized as Nazis, xenophobes, racists, deplorable and human scum. They are none of those things.

man in reno said...

The Duke of Wellington pointed out that Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo by the scum of the earth.