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on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 11:30 am by Radley Balko
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Nothing new here. My visa card does the same thing with my money.
Cynical in CA |
October 27th, 2009 at 11:57 am
Unless one is disabled, one is not the target audience of that blog. Say what you want about people who complain about injustice perceived or real, talking about it is relatively benign, especially if you don’t have to hear it if you don’t want to.
That black hole thing is pretty cool. If you look at the earth from space, at night the cities would show up because of all their lights, but during the day they would show up as dark spots because of the black hole on top of every building.
In fact, what we think are black holes in space are probably nothing more than advanced civilizations that have already thought of this technology and are using it on their own planets.
What’s the big deal? If it’s acceptable for cops to pose as hookers, drug buyers, arms dealers, underage sex kittens, and terrorists to stimulate demand for services of the justice industry, then certainly it should come as no surprise when they act as activists encouraging people to riot.
Remember, until it’s as bad as Nazi Germany, you’re all just being paranoid.
the police in canada need to buy their uniforms like we do in the states. the black uniforms of our police in the states make me want to cry in complete admiration of their duty to uphold our constitution. it reminds me of the sheriff in the old show, The Andy Griffith Show. all except for the SS uniform, and the 9mm handgun, and the M-16, military assault rifle, and the tear gas grenades, and the tazer gun.
I have to say that I agree that making fun of the mentally disabled isn’t funny. I’ve heard good things about how funny 30 Rock is. I’m surprised they felt they had to go there.
Leon Wolfeson |
October 27th, 2009 at 2:12 pm
Some sections of the British press and a few MP’s love to whip up a storm. Of course, they tend to absolutely suck at giving a consistant ideological message compared to the US press, so… yea, I prefer our system, although a nice French-style privacy law would be good.
I had no idea that anybody was offended by using the word “lame” as in “that’s so lame.” On one hand, I try to avoid telling people they shouldn’t be offended by something, as to some extent you can’t really control what does and does not offend you. However, I do think that if you make it a habit to constantly seek out potentially offensive conduct, you can basically train yourself to become overly sensitive in an unhealthy way. I worry that rather than making abled (?) people more sensitive to disabled people’s feelings, all that site is doing is making disabled people more sensitive to otherwise innocuous behavior.
I hate it when people tell me what words I can’t say. The most infuriating thing is that that sort of censorship lacks a basic understanding of the nature of language. To whit: it’s fluid. The definition of ‘lame’ that connects to actual disability is more or less obsolete at this point, but we need to stop using it because of what it USED to mean? That doesn’t make any fucking sense. There is no subterranean meaning or intentionality unless you’re a poet or a literary theorist. Words are, by their very nature, completely arbitrary. We only just agree, collectively, on the meaning and connotation of a particular word. When that agreement begins to shift away from a particular definition, there is no weird residue that gets left behind. They’re just sounds we make with our mouths, people!
Trying to control the way one uses language (PC) is authoritarian, and becomes unconstitutional once such efforts move to make such restrictions on language a crime. Prior to that criminalization point, Gonzo has the right of it.
“So like, re: the 5:30am coffee-making flasher?
The bitch walking her kid to school who, horrified at the accidental viewing of some dude’s noodle, is a cop’s wife.
So like, it all makes sense now, doesn’t it…
Police are actually soliciting criminal complaints from the neighbors to give this story legs.”
And, in good LEO fashion, the wife and child were trespassing in the process.
did anybody notice that the feminist blogger lists
“stuff white people do”
in her “I READ THESE” list?
i thought her site was really spot-on, i mean, she nailed 30 Rock. but as someone ably underprivileged i am deeply disappointed in her listing the “stuff white people do” site. what about my site, “stuff white people can’t do”? why does she only help the able white people who are doing stuff? c’mon person, a little non-judgmental affection here.
The Canadian thing is old news to me, but I’m glad you found it. The boot soles of the arrested protester give serious pause, but the accompanying video prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. It was sadly comical how the police originally denied it (what a surprise), but admitted the truth a few weeks later with the caveat that it was for Reason XYZ and for the children etc. I would bet my life that this sort of thing happens a lot. There is another video of a protest in New York where you can see a thug looking white guy marching with protesters, but he looks very much out of place, and is on the outside of the marchers, and when he approaches police he randomly shoves another protester, which was the “signal” for cops to break up the protest and arrest people, under the guise of “those protesters are causing havoc”. One cop practically body checks a person on a bicycle, picks up the bike, then throws it on the downed protester.
Fuck. Sex hysteria has infected the UK. It’s like cancer. The way people talk about it, you’d think unwelcome sex was some kind of contagious deadly pathogen that invades your body when you’re merely walking down the street.
We have the sex trafficking hoopla here, too. To hear the stories, you’d think there that van loads of kids were being abducted from the nation’s high schools on a daily basis and sold to rich republican business executives as disposable sex slaves. In fact, every time I see a kid nowadays, I think to myself, “Hey, they missed one!”
The flu kills thousands of people each year and it barely rates a second thought in most people’s lives. But the mere suggestion that kids are at risk of being snatched up and sold into sex slavery is probably responsible for the sale of more cell phones than all other reasons combined.
October 27th, 2009 at 10:51 pm
I have to disagree with the direction the conversation has taken with regards to the blog about ableism. First, there’s nothing totalitarian about objecting on your blog to the way that people with disabilities are being portrayed on a television show. You may be upset, angry, confused, or bemused by someone’s argument that a term you are using is hurtful to others or misguided, but that doesn’t make the practice of attempting to persuade you “totalitarian.”
Second, while it’s true that language changes, it’s wrong to suggest that linguistic drift is merely conventional in the sense that the manner in which words drift is unrelated to their original meanings. Words have both definitions (denotations), and a cluster of “feelings” that surround them (connotations). When the denotation of a word changes, it’s often in a manner that’s related to its connotation.
It’s not by mere happenstance that one of the definitions of lame is “uncool” – that is in fact one of the most basic connotations about disabled (lame) people – that they are in fact uncool, unhip, and unworthy of attention. Similarly, it’s not by accident that kids use “gay” now to mean stupid, ridiculous, or uncool. That is, in fact, the recent historical connotation of homosexual persons.
Now, you may think this is no big deal, but it’s pretty meager comfort to a disabled person for you to explain that no, you don’t mean “lame as in disabled” you just mean it as “uncool, the way disabled people have historically been viewed.” That’s probably why linguistic drift seems to happen so often for derogatory terms that describe people in minority situations; it’s clearly “no big deal” to everybody else, who can’t possibly imagine why others would be so “sensitive.”
Hate away, Gonzo #20 |
October 27th, 2009 at 11:06 pm
I hate it when people tell me what words I can’t say. The most infuriating thing is that that sort of censorship lacks a basic understanding of the nature of language. To whit…
Gonzo, you can’t say “whit” (and reasonably expect your opinions on usage to be understood and respected) when you mean “wit” – an archaic synonym for “know.”
I don’t think it’s illegal anywhere to say “I managed to jew him down and he sold me the car at a big discount.”
But people will think you’re tacky if you say that. If you don’t care if people think you’re tacky, say whatever you want. Using “you’re retarded” to mean “I don’t like what you just wrote on the internet” is similar.
Similarly, I didn’t say, and I don’t think anyone else said, that 30 Rock shouldn’t be allowed to make fun of the mentally disabled or anyone else that they want to. I just don’t think doing so is funny. It’s kinda shooting fish in a barrel, for one thing, and it seems kind of weird and desperate.
I guess there’s good and bad here. He was actually indicted which is rare. And suspended without pay, believe it or not. On the other hand, GA law allows a cop to be present and address the grand jury considering whether to indict, a privilege not available to us peasants.
uncool – lame – disabled people? Your argument is gay. In the overly dramatic, flaming, drag queen kinda way, not in a derogatory manner of speaking.
Apparently you haven’t heard the Hillary Duff PSA about using the term “gay”.
The real challenge in this world comes with being short. If they ever need a victim for the next holocaust, it should be remembered short people are even easier to identify than Jews. And while not trying to fuel the coming hysteria, I might point out that we are already being singled out for blatantly discriminatory exclusion. If you think I’m kidding, just check out the high speed rides next time you go to an amusement park. There is always a sign that says “You must be this tall to ride this attraction.” That’s like having a sign at the airport that says “If you look Arab, please report directly to the TSA baggage search table.”
Being short I too have felt the iron boot of oppression. But I think we will fair better than you imagine, every crowded bar will be our sanctuary. And one should never underestimate a desperate man with a low center of gravity…
I do think “ableism” is one of those forgotten “isms”, or when it is handled, is handled terribly. Think of how many awesome people we’ve had in real life who’ve been missing limbs or in a wheelchair and then think of that one kid in the wheelchair stuck into an ad that reeks of artificial inclusion. The fictional portrayal lags WAY behind reality. And even when you get a good portrayal, the character only gets “spotlight” episodes that deal with their disability, not with any other problems/adventures.
However, I do disagree with the arguments against 30 Rock. I don’t think a show where most of the cast members are unfeeling jerks and most of the temporary characters wildly extreme and often one-note and bizarre that disabled characters being portrayed in the same way is ableism. I think the show is consistent, but that does not mean it is above criticism on that front.
I think the really sad thing that most of these comments lack is any compassion. Unless you have a family member with special needs you don’t seem to get where the hurt is coming from. If you live with an Intellectual Disability (okay, mental retardation for those of you who hate PC words) you just can’t defend yourself against the hatred. It’s up to us to try and make the word a little better for those being mocked. Seeing someone here try to be clever by inserting the word retarded really makes me ill.