We’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you

When the Republican bishops insist on making themselves ridiculous, honest people will provide the only appropriate response: ridicule.

Amy Poehler and Seth Myers: “Really!?! With Seth and Amy

Jon Stewart: “Sir, your parable about the kosher deli, while delicious, makes no [frocking] sense …

Mark Silk: “Lori’s Kosher Deli

What’s interesting about Lori’s little jeu d’esprit is not how inept the analogy is, however, but how a proper Parable of the Kosher Deli would prove the opposite of what he’s seeking to demonstrate.

(Yes, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport: You have made yourself a punchline. And a set-up. Congratulations.)

Katie Halper: “10 Thoughts About the House’s All-Male Panel Convened to Discuss My Vagina

1. I guess I should give the GOP props for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, since it would be hypocritical to condemn violence against women, while at the same time advocating ultrasound rape. …

The Onion: “New Law Requires Women to Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion

Megan Carpentier: “5 sexual health services insurance will cover … for men

Viagra? Of course, with no objection from the bishops. And they’re unperturbed by insurance coverage for “vacuum erection devices” or for penile implants.

Laura Conaaway: “Panel Chosen to Discuss Viagra Distribution

Semi-related rewind: “Top 10 Boston Red Sox Nicknames That Would Have Made an Even Worse Name for an Oral Contraceptive

Update: But wait, there’s more …

John Aravosis highlights this video: “Women Hold Hearing on Men’s Reproductive Health

Sarah Seltzer shares another video from The Daily Show.

And in comments here, of course, we’ve had performance artist Amanda Squeeze entertaining us with her Poe spoofing the wankery of anti-women trolls who just repeat the same thing, over and over and over, refusing to qualify their mechanical talking points even after their assertions have been refuted. (Amanda says she’s just trying to demonstrate how it’s impossible to regard such folks as arguing in good faith when they’re incapable of listening. I asked her to tone it down a bit with her character “Frank,” though, because it’s not as funny when the parody crosses the line into an over-the-top cartoon figure that just makes the person out to be totally unreasonable.)

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  • Anonymous

    Why is it that so many people confuse the right to say whatever they want with the right to never be told they’re wrong?

    Newsflash: No-one is saying you can’t say the word retard (see? I just said it). We’re saying that in most contexts it will be unnecessarily hurtful to some people, and make many others think less of you. We’re also mildly surprised* that the first reason isn’t enough reason to stop. But we’re not oppressing you. 

    THERE IS NO NATURAL RIGHT NOT TO HAVE PEOPLE THINK BADLY OF YOU.

    Seriously, why is it always the left who is accused of having a thick skin? We’re not the one’s who whine for hours everytime someone asks us to reword a point.

    *Until you cited Encyclopedia Dramatica anyway…

  • Patrick Phelan

    …Can we put Frank and GT in a hole and make them fight for our amusement? I mean, some people would say this thread has two problems,  I think it has two solutions looking for a problem!

    (I do not, I just do not, get the endless ranting against political correctness. “Oh no! People want me to sound less like a racist clinging firmly to a time that has passed while the normal world has passed him by, spitting incomprehensible fury at passing birds! People want me to talk in ways that aren’t free-fire, hurting those on my side as well as those I’m aiming at! And if I don’t, they’ll BE IRRITATED WITH ME! This is the greatest act of fascism since Ayn Rand’s mother donated her toys to the needy!”)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    This is the greatest act of fascism since Ayn Rand’s mother donated her toys to the needy!

    There are not enough “likes” for this.

  • Base Delta Zero

    TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of slurs (Racial, Sexual, Disability…)
    Discussion of Disabilities
    Strong Language

    Huh.  He’s been thoroughly addressed, so I’ll just say this. 
    GT, you call yourself a ‘destroyer of power’, but your actions contradict that.  You don’t want to ‘destroy power’.  You’re just angry it isn’t yours, that you can’t do whatever you please.  ‘Fuck war’, yeah, but your mad quest to offend as many people as possible has nothing to do with that – it looks like you just want to see a world where there’s no society to stop you from hurting people (based on the presumption that your genetic (25%!) affinity for elaborately carved rocks will give you the superiority to throw your weight around).  It’s stupid.  Being offended by your wildfire insults, does not make us cowards, it simply means we have a sense of decency (and this is a (semi-)civil discussion, not a bunch of buddies at the bar).  You’re trying to attack the ‘enemy’, but you’re hurting other people as well.  A microcosm of the collateral damage you (rightfully) despise.  Why?  Because an insult, is, by definition, insulting.  If you call someone a ‘shithead’, that means you are comparing them to someone with feces for a cranium, a metaphor understood to be negative.  If you insult someone by calling them ‘a faggot*’, or a ‘nigger’, that means, necessarily, that these are bad things.  To be called a homosexual is insulting.  Likewise, with insulting someone by calling them a ‘woman’ or a ‘schoolteacher’, as seems to be your barb of choice… it means that being a woman or a teacher is bad and wrong.  Do you truly believe that?  Trying to insult someone by calling them a ‘woman’ or ‘girl’** is offensive and absurd.  It relies on the assumption that female-ness is a negative state, and without that ridiculous bias, it merely becomes an error.  Being proudly and willfully wrong is insulting only to oneself.

    Likewise, when you insult someone by calling them a ‘retard’, it’s understood that that means it is *bad* to be retarded.  Not entirely unreasonable, I don’t think anyone will argue that mental retardation is actually a good thing, even here, and you’re insulting their intelligence, after all… but the difference is, an actual mentally disabled person doesn’t have a choice.  They aren’t doing it to annoy you – they’re sick, and shouldn’t be blamed for it… meanwhile, the people you’re aiming at aren’t ill.  They’re intelligent, but they’re choosing not to be.  Not only is it offensive to use a disease (which you can’t really help) as an insult, it’s also not nearly as bad as what they’re actually doing.  It’s like calling someone asthmatic because they’re unfit.

    *’Faggot’ technically refers to a bundle of sticks.  (Its usage as slur probably derives from refering to women as ‘faggot-gatherers’ – i.e. widowed women who tried to survive by gathering sticks for fireword.  From there, the path is obvious – (male) homosexuality is considered feminine, which is considered insulting).  However, no one in America at least immediately thinks ‘sticks’ upon hearing the word.  They immediately think of the insulting term.  To someone who has been insulted by that term all their life (invalid as it may be), can you see how that might be offensive?  The same goes for similar terms (‘niggardly’, ‘retarded’ (in the context of ‘hindered’ or ‘slowed’, e.g. ‘retarded fall’, ‘Oriental’ (e.g. easterly) That doesn’t mean you can never use it (for sticks.  You should never actually use it the other way, because it’s stupid), but that you should only use it in ‘safe’ contexts, where you know no one will be hurt by it.
    Again, not cowardice – basic civility.  It would be bold and convention-defying of me to walk up to my grandmother and punch her in the face… (and there are times I want to) but it would also be evil.
    This website is intended to be a ‘safe space’, where anyone can come without seeing hurtful remarks, or things that might frighten and upset them.  (Trigger warnings exist for a reason.  PTSD***, depression, phobias, probably some more… can be triggered (ergo the name) by some seemingly minor stimuli.  And they can literally kill you.)  That means that you need to be especially careful with your words here, even if it’s annoying.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I, certainly, don’t talk like this on my own time.  I police my speech here, because there are rules about what can and cannot be said, which are there for the comfort and safety of all the guests.  It’s like you’re trying to watch a G-rated movie and get Reservoir Dogs.
    Or to, put it in terms your anarchy (sorry, Kratoclastism) addled brain can appreciate, the consensus of this group is that potentially offensive language will be minimized.  We can’t (and I for one certainly don’t want to) stop you from saying whatever you want on your own time, but we do not appreciate it here.

    **’Girl’ could be used as insult in the line of ‘childish’, but it’s application as a universal dimunitive has sort of pre-empted that…

    *** As much of a PITA as it might be for me and Fearless Son, perhaps ‘Discussions of Combat/Military Affairs’ or the like should be a trigger warning?

    As a final question to the rest of the board, are terms like ‘Idiot’, and ‘Imbecilic’ considered kosher?

  • http://mmycomments.blogspot.com/ mmy


    As a final question to the rest of the board, are terms like…considered kosher?

    I have a question about the use of the word “kosher.” Kosher actually has a useful (in fact extremely important) meaning for many people. If someone asks if a kitchen is “kosher” or if food is “kosher” they usually don’t mean “is it okay” they mean “does it adhere to a specific set of dietary restrictions/regulations.”[1] By using it in more general speech (and in unrelated ways) a word that is necessary and useful to one group of people is appropriated and robbed of its still-useful/necessary meanings.

    [1] Yes, I am aware that there are different rules/standards among various groups that “keep” kosher.

  • Lori

    The plural of anecdote is not data, etc, etc

    FWIW, I have known quite a few people who keep kosher and none of them have ever expressed discomfort with the colloquial usage. In fact, at least some of them use it that way themselves. I have no idea how the more strict Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox feel about it. 

  • http://mmycomments.blogspot.com/ mmy


    FWIW, I have known quite a few people who keep kosher and none of them have ever expressed discomfort with the colloquial usage.

    I have actually known a few people it did bother but I don’t have any sense as to the more general feeling among people who do.

    Got me wondering. :)

  • FangsFirst

    you obnoxious little prick*

    Okay, this is…weird territory. I’m basically preparing to be excoriated. But I am legitimately curious:

    There is offense taken at the usage of female genitalia slurs being used
    as insults, yet no one ever says a word at “you dick,” or “you  prick.”
    At least, not that I’ve seen, so maybe it’s just that.

    Would it not be appropriate to avoid genitalia-as-insult in general?

    Background: this thought was derived from mental calculations of how exactly to explain or defend the aversion to using slang terms for female genitalia as insults– “We’re a male-oriented culture, so that would mean we doubtless only use *female* genitalia as insults. So one could say, ‘You don’t use terms for penis as insults, do you? So it’s really just the implication that being female is wrong or bad.’ Yeah, that seems–well, so, what insults would that…Wait a minute, we do use those. And…no one ever seems to take issue with it…”

    PS: It rarely stops me from using them (IRL, at least–and I mean the male ones, or at least variations like “dickish behaviour”), but the question intrigues me, nonetheless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    I agree – I think we’re better off the less gendered language we use. Incidentally, I like jackass or asshole for body-related epithets – everyone’s got one!

    I also like that y’all are ripping into the trolls as you drop the sweet, sweet knowledge. 

  • FangsFirst

     Absolutely viable choices, imo. I’ve gone with “jackwagon” after Fred used it once to try to replace “dick” in my vocabulary as insult for someone just being an obnoxious jerk who is not quite an asshole, just stubbornly contrarian with only a mild sort of callousness.

    Jackass has a nice family history though. It was my grandmother’s favourite.

  • Lunch Meat

    It would be quite easy to have the option of doctors, on a case by case basis to provide a waiver to allow a woman to be best treated for her condition.

    A waiver? You mean like a little slip of paper signed by the doctor saying “I have examined this patient and discussed treatment options, and the patient needs the following medications to best treat their condition and protect their health”?

    We have that. It’s called a PRESCRIPTION.

  • Base Delta Zero

    As a final question to the rest of the board, are terms like…considered kosher?

    I have a question about the use of the word “kosher.” Kosher actually has a useful (in fact extremely important) meaning for many people. If someone asks if a kitchen is “kosher” or if food is “kosher” they usually don’t mean “is it okay” they mean “does it adhere to a specific set of dietary restrictions/regulations.”[1] By using it in more general speech (and in unrelated ways) a word that is necessary and useful to one group of people is appropriated and robbed of its still-useful/necessary meanings.
    [1] Yes, I am aware that there are different rules/standards among various groups that “keep” kosher.

     
    The colloquial meaning is ‘does it adhere to a set of group regulations’.  That’s pretty much the same meaning as the actual definition, and… we are speaking English.  English appropriates everything it touches.
    Distinguish by capitals?

    Oh – several things I would add: the language market is smarter than those who want to nerf the world. A LOT smarter: more flexible, more dynamic, and less stultified.

    Good for it.  You go do whatever you want on the ‘language market’ (lol, libertarians – sex market, language market, culture market, love market, health market… everything is a market).  This is not it.
    Again, I can’t speak for everyone here, but I don’t imagine many of us actually think offensive words should be banned.  We’ve just don’t want them *here*, because we want this website to be a place where people from persecuted groups can feel comfortable.

    *Sticks and stones may break my bones/ but names will never hurt me*. (Obviously, I’m leaving aside the implied threat of suicide in the second stanza, which is seldom quoted: “*/When I’m dead and in my grave/you’ll be sorry for what you say/*”… which is probably not true)

    Thus completely reversing the meaning of the poem…

    The ‘only acts may be punished’ has corollaries that shock the senses sometimes – for example it means that political leaders are not culpable for individual war crimes: only the people who pull the triggers are.

    I’ve never seen an anarchist say that the state literally cannot be immoral.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Birthday: John Jacob Astor, John Dee (the mathematician and magician), Harrison Ford, Nathan Bedford Forrest and David Duke (crap, really?), Tom Kenny, Cheech Marin, Margaret Murray (ugh), and Patrick effin’ Stewart! Oh, and Julius Caesar.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Interesting mix for my birthday: Karl Popper, Don Black (founder of Stormfront), Soulja Boy, Beatrix Popper, Jackie Kennedy, Peter Cullen, Jim Davis, Hugo Chavez…  

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    TL;DR: English evolves in a market.

    No, it does not. Markets are about trading – You’re not selling your old slurs high and buying new ones cheap. (Although a market of evolution would be interesting – how many tails did humans give up to get opposable thumbs?)

    And what is it with Internet idiots who whine the loudest about “freedom of speech” not being able to discern the difference between state censorship and other people using their own freedom of speech to tell them to sit down, shut up and perhaps consider buying a clue?


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