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April 17, 2008

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TDK

It seems Obama himself possesses this power to identify trace quantities of racism.

Here we learn (from the otherwise dodgy Ann Coulter) the incident that made Obama decide that his own white grandmother was racist:
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25953

Zelda

I suppose it makes no difference that the same charge was levelled (accurately) against John Whiter-than-White Kerry?

David

It’s the Mayan web of identity politics. Once you’ve bought into it, it will, in time, bite you on the ass. And it’s sticky stuff.

Hey, we need theme music. http://faultgame.com/images/spiderm1.wav

steveaz

In America's current comfortable and wealthy state, it is difficult to activate the sated to register discontent as a cohesive voting bloc.

This, the Dem's hope to solve, by elevating personal piques and fleeting emotions to the level of a national, group-resentment. The result is, they need to play on ALL resentments, no matter how trite, to build their coalition of commiserators.

Only in this light can I understand Obama's double-speak, where in ghettoized haters and resenters are called "Hopers," and happy rural Christians are labeled "bitter."

BTW, applied to our nation's health-care debate, this same argument will assign each citizen a pain-threshhold, presumably based on skin-color and net income, and then create the corresponding department of "pain-relief" to address his/her feelings. Only, instead of a new Poli-Sci department, or new hiring quotas, this department will dispense pharmaceuticals.

The aptness of this parallel should not be dismissed, as the Dem's will surely move to aggregate all of our citizens' pains before the election. The hurtiness of ill-health will definitely be included.

Now'd be a good time to cue Barbara Streisand's hit song, "Feelings."

AMac

David,

You certainly are being niggardly with your praise for the estimable David K. Shipler.

A sentence that would doubtlessly set his Spidey-Sense a-tingle.

Reference -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/jan99/district27.htm

David

AMac,

Thanks, I saw. It is, I think, quite creepy how speech is being policed in this way, widely, and with its passive-aggressive connotations. And even though we’ve already reached a remarkable level of fantasy and naked opportunism, it’s hard to see where exactly a line will be drawn, or by whom.

TDK

Note that this offence only applies one way.

David K Shipler has no problem writing about white n*ggers:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/1972/08/0021530

The Thin Man

Word of the Day from the Oxtail English Dictionary (2011 Edition)

wrightgeist (noun) : a psychological phenomenon affecting liberals, first described in January 2010; the first horrible inkling that “Obama” is an ideological anagram of “Mugabe”

Assistant Village Idiot

Following Zelda -
Yeah, like we're so accepting of arrogant white people. It couldn't possibly be the arrogance we dislike, it must be his blackness.

Mighty Thor

Hate word #2016: 'Japanification' http://thelondonfog.blogspot.com/2008/04/pick-ninny.html

Paul

Beautiful Ditko Spider-Man. Gets me right *here*...

David

Paul,

If you’re a fan, there’s an article about Ditko in the archives:
http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2007/02/steve_ditko_the.html

Paul

Actually David, I think it was stumbling across that very (excellent) article that first led me to your site. I love Ditko's work but when it comes to Spidey, I'm really a John Romita (Snr) man. I made my first encounter with Spider-Man (at the age of six, in 1974) through the British 'Spider-Man Comics Weekly' - it had just reached the Romita period. Thrilling stuff. And all in glorious black and white.

David

Paul,

Ditko’s work may seem crude and lacking in detail compared to some contemporary artists, but I think it retains a certain period charm. And the stories aren’t inhibited by decades of continuity and retro-fitting. I prefer it to Romita’s which was, I think, more polished and consistent. I suppose a lot of it hinges on when you first encountered the characters and the comics – there’s usually an affection for the very first pages pored over. If you chance upon any of Ditko’s 1970’s series, Shade: the Changing Man, it’s among his most visually striking work, though the narrative isn’t entirely comprehensible.

Paul

Yes, Romita was my first Spider-Man artist so I'll always have that affection for him. One of the things I liked about his work, as a kid, is that it seemed more overtly pop-art.... more 'cool', maybe. That may have been because the stories became more 'cool' and sophisticated at the same time. Ditko always seemed a little old-fashioned to me. But then that's possibly because I first became aware of him through his work on the corny - though great - Strange Tales stuff he did in the late fifties (through the cheap and bulky seventies reprints). And he couldn't draw women. Whereas Romita's women were just stunning, of course.

Then again, I like the fact that Ditko's Spider-Man is more obviously a skinny kid. It's why I like the recent Ultimate Spider-Man so much - that they revel in the fifteen-year-old kid angle.

I never liked Gil Kane's up the nostril artwork. Ros Andru was merely functional. McFarlane was too messy. In fact, of all of the post-Romita Snr Spider-Man artists, my favourite is John Romita Jnr. It took him a while to create his own definitive style but he does some very nice work.

One of the worst Spider-Man artists happened also to be the very greatest - Kirby. On the few occasions he drew him, he could never get it right.

EBD

"If you take this tool seriously, there's quite literally no good-faith way to accuse a member of a minority group of being snobbish or condescending. Every road...will lead inevitably back to 'uppity'..."

Actually,it's worse than that. It's not even necessary to use a mild pejorative like "snobbish"; a compliment will now suffice. I witnessed a situation where a description of a black person as "highly literate" drew an accusation -- or more a verdict, really -- of racism, on the grounds that the statement implied that the existence of a highly literate black man was so unusual as to be remarkable.

That sort of silliness fairly belches from the endless cornucopia of bad advice that a particular group of people continue to give to each other. Consider the advice implicit in this casual, exemplarily unhelpful piece of flame-fanning by Shipler: "I've met black men who, when stopped by white cops at night, think the best protection is to act dumb and deferential."

Yeah, those silly men. Everyone who's not a victim of racism knows that when you're stopped by a stressed-out cop late at night, it's vitally important that you be as confrontational and as clever as possible. Unless you want to sing the Traitor's Aria in the "long-standing symphony of racial codes."

Bad advice, followed by the consequences. Next up: more advice.

David

EBD,

“Bad advice, followed by the consequences. Next up: more advice.”

Perhaps I’m irredeemably sceptical, but I find it helpful to at least entertain the possibility that the whole identity politics package isn’t actually intended to make the situation more agreeable. That isn’t what it’s for. If by some unfathomable means it did, this would render the large and growing grievance industry redundant, unfunded and marginalised. Social harmony, insofar as it could conceivably be achieved, is not in the interests of those who peddle such ideas. It’s the grievance that matters, the drama, and the leverage it affords.

For some reason I’m reminded of a Simpsons gag in which, after digging furiously for buried loot, the entire town is stuck at the bottom of a very deep and narrow pit. A solution to their quandary is suggested: “No, dig up!”

EBD

David -- you irredeemable sceptic -- I believe that those who ply identity politics in the course of their activism or as a job are opportunistic, dishonest and profoundly cynical -- before they even wake up -- and that their advice is not intended to make any situation more agreeable. In the communities they claim to represent, though, most of the bad advice -- as opposed to commands -- floating around is well-intentioned. And you see a kind of guilelessness, an eagerness to take all well-intentioned advice at face value, and to consider all advice to be good advice if the person giving it is really feeling it.

The juiciest low-hanging advice tends to fall under the rubric of "Don't let nobody push you around" or "Stand up for your rights." Taken to heart, it flowers in the form of being rude, hair-trigger and stern-faced when someone is interviewing you for a job or calmly disagreeing with you or trying to teach you something. Or in uniform, stopping you at two in the morning.

Incidentally, that's why I come here: for your non-stop hair-trigger irrationality, and for the emotional mayhem and arbitrary leaps in logic.

David

Happy to oblige. :D

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