Brian Moritz on the death of newspapers

At Scholars & Rogues, Brian Moritz shares his story of “Why I left newspapers.”

Moritz used to be a beat reporter. I used to be a print and online copyeditor. At this point that’s about like saying he used to be a blacksmith and I used to be an elevator operator.

At one point we both loved those jobs, and then, gradually, they became a lot harder to love. “It stopped being fun,” Moritz says. And that was, in large part, because they stopped being something it was still possible to do well. (I wrote about that near the end of my run in the newspaper racket, in a post called “Playoffs and Rocking Chairs.”)

Click over and read the whole thing, but my favorite part of Moritz’ post is probably this:

The layoffs started, followed by the furloughs. Wondering every six months if you were still going to have a job was bad enough. Wondering every six months if you were still going to have a job while trying to figure out how to make ends meet when you lose a week of pay each quarter. Then the job cuts kept coming. The industry still hasn’t figured itself out.

More striking — it stopped being fun.

The newsrooms I worked in used to be fantastic, vital places. There was an energy to the room, especially when news was breaking. Being a reporter could be, above all else, fun.

That was long gone by 2009. The layoffs, the furloughs, the space cuts, all of it, sucked the life out of the room, out of the industry.

For this, I blame newspaper owners. By their actions, by their slavish devotion to print profit margins at any cost, by their desire to maximize profit while minimizing the quality of the product, by their inability or unwillingness to embrace digital news, they have sucked so much of the soul out of a business I love.

It’s telling that when anyone leaves the business, my first reaction (and that of almost everyone else I know) is “Good move. Smart decision.”

Every word of that. Amen to every single word.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I was a victim of newspaper budget cuts myself. 

    I worked at The Seattle Times, testing things like mobile phone apps and website updates for their New Media division.  It was nice to see the company embracing it, but I still noticed that it was not the company it used to be.  The building was old, and so was the company, and there were large swaths of rooms in the building that were understaffed.  The newsroom itself had lots of stations, lots of monitors and feeds, but was a surprisingly sedate place.  The few people there talked quietly, and it had almost a library-like atmosphere, rather than an energetic one. 

    After about six months of working there, at the turn of the budget, I attended a company meeting saying that they were laying off another 10% of the staff.  I was reassured that my department was not subject to any of those layoffs.  A day or so later, the boss called me into his office, to inform me privately before announcing generally at the team meeting that they no longer had the budget for contracted employees, of which I was one.  He lamented that, saying he hoped to put me in a full time position, but thanks to the budget cuts those open full time positions would be going unfilled.  I can understand that, better to cut unfilled positions than let people go.  At the general meeting I learned that another team member was being let go, and like me he was a contractor, but unlike me he had gotten a full time position.  Unfortunately, his payroll was still coming out of contractor headcount, and since that was what was cut, so was he. 

    Apparently, not cutting positions only means not cutting people with pensionable employment.  As contractors, we are always the first to go. 

  • AnonymousSam

    You can apply the same argument to quite a lot of American production in general. This article introduced me to the term “McDonaldization” — a process of standardization emphasizing efficiency, calculability and predictability.

    One of the biggest things the article emphasized is that the need for predictability and efficiency is interpreted as the human element being a problem. Humans can’t be predicted or relied upon to behave the same way, so the best kind of job conditions now are ones where humans are interchangeable or altogether optional.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     I always thought of McDonaldization as compromising quality for the sake of efficiency.  The theory behind capitalism being that whomever makes the best product ultimately gets the best reward.  Unfortunately, the practice of it does not necessarily reflect that, quality is secondary to other concerns when it comes to making money. 

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s another one of the consequences that arise. In short, the whole concept can be summarized as the imperative that production needs to be as quick as possible, as cheap as possible, and with as little variation as possible — all by any means possible, which includes substituting cheap materials in place of better alternatives, substituting automation for human workers, and substituting rapid production for individual value.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I do not have a particular objection to bland and/or cheap and ubiquitous products, but I dislike the way they have a habit of forcing other, more unique or niche products out of the market.  There may still be a market for those things, but the cheap crap just out-competes it and leaves the customers in that market less fulfilled. 

    I use the analogy of growing a vegetable garden, which then gets taken over by a bunch of invasive blackberry vines.  Sure, you could eat the blackberries, and they are tasty, but you will grow sick of eating only blackberries all the time, not to mention the health concerns of only eating one thing.  Unfortunately, since that land got taken over, you cannot eat any of the several different kinds of vegetables that had been growing there before.  Sure, they were more effort to raise, but they were better for you and provide the kind of variety you desired. 

  • Joshua

    Blackberry! Aargh! That is evil stuff. I have spent so much time trying to clear it out of my property.

    The wild vines hardly fruit at all, too. Yet somehow, they manage to spread seeds all over the place.

    I’ve tried pulling it out, cutting it up, digging it out. In the end, I mostly had to poison it, which is quite distressing because it was growing through a bog that drains to a mountain stream, and I don’t want to leach stuff into it. Erk.

    Keeps coming back though. That’s what it does. That’s all it does. And it will not stop until I am dead.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    I suspect that your blackberry vines are reproducing asexually.  It looks like they will develop roots wherever they touch the ground and that they also reproduce by spreading underground.

  • P J Evans

    It looks like they will develop roots wherever they touch the ground
    It’s something of a habit with the plants in that family. All the fruiting ‘vines’  (they’re not really) can do that, including rambling and climbing roses.
    I had a boysenberry with a cane where the tip landed in a large pot, and promptly sent out roots.

  • SisterCoyote

     This is a really excellent metaphor. I’m from way East, so I’ve never had to deal with blackberries-as-plague, but my boyfriend assures me they are monstrous things, and I can kinda see why.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     The theory is closer to “The person who maximizes the area under the quality-affordability curve gets the best reward”

  • DiscreteComponent

     Here is one of the problems in modern American business, the misunderstanding of what capitalism is.  It is not about the product, it’s about maximizing the rate of return on investment.  There is no connection between the quality of product in this age of instant re-branding.  Make a shoddy product and get a bad name, change your name and the look of your product and keep on selling.  Or better yet, load up your company with loads of dept, give yourself loads of bonus’s, and then sell it to someone else to take the fall.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    You can apply the same argument to quite a lot of American production in general.

    I’ve mentioned this in a lot of forms over the past few years. Just in my lifetime, there seems to have been a dramatic shift in how businesses do business. There’s been a detatchment between what a business does and what a business is *for*. When I was young, it seemed like you’d say “The purpose of our business is to make this product. Making this product is how we make money,” but today it’s more like “The purpose of our business is to make money. The process of making money sometimes results in a product being made”,

    I think this might be how the banking industry came to be seen as “real” business; manufacturing is collapsing? WHo cares. “The Economy” is what *banks* do! There’s a sense that banks are more noble or pure in their service of The Almighty Economy because they operate on pure money without sullying themselves making *products*.

    And because money is the “real” goal, no one sees any difference in how the money is made: if you can produce X more money either by improving your product or by firing some employees, there is absolutely no difference between these actions in terms of goodness as a business move.  If your product isn’t selling any more, that’s not a problem until you run out of staff to fire.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     What frustrated me about banks is that they seem like they are ideally placed to be a kind of paragon of capitalism working for collective good.  In a sense, banks only make money when everyone else in the market is making money.  The more successful other companies and individuals who do business with a bank are, the more money the bank gets to make.  Rather than being parasitic, this is a symbiotic relationship.  The banks benefit from others successes, but at the same time their ability to loan and leverage money on behalf of others helps enable those others’ success. 

    The problem is that it kind of metastasized, like a cancer, grew out of proportion to the economy it was involved in, became a danger to that economy.  It sucked up too much money without giving enough back, and starved itself in the process, which by extension starved all the other companies and individuals doing business with it. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    In this vein I cannot recommend Paper Boom in enough forms, ways, or manners.

    While it is specific to the Canadian situation I highly recommend American readers try to get a copy. It is a very illuminating survey of how the chasing-of-paper-and-computer-bits on the stock market (the “paper economy”) has effectively parasitized the underlying productive sector (the “real economy”).

  • VMink

    This happened near my home last night.  At least, I think it did; it’s hard to tell from the atrocious, horrible writing: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_21639820/san-jose-police-surrounded-where-distraught-and-potentially  Try not to let your eyes bleed when trying to read it.  Also, that story was NOT up when the Mercury said it was posted.  I call shenanigans.

    Basically, the San Jose Mercury is shyte and has just gone further to shyte.  I strongly suspect that it’s been bought lock, stock, and (ink) barrel by another media conglomerate like the one that ate Fred’s newspaper.

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

     Mein eyes! That article wouldn’t even look good in a junior high newspaper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Well, Fred, I never knew that your work there was as a copyeditor.  But, now that I do, I really want to go rather OT (off-topic, not Old Testament) and point out that there seems to be a distinct uptick of it’s-for-its mix-ups in the posts of late.  So watch it, or I might have to send you an Oatmeal or Bob the Angry Flower poster. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    re: editorial content I’ve noticed that rather than going toe to toe with their online competitors mainstream newspapers have gotten lamer. We get the Boston Globe and there is nothing like Glenn Greenwald, Justin Raimondo, or Jeremy Scahill (I’m trying to hit the major political sort of branches here) it’s the same lame-os and they sound like dinosaurs.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Using the word ‘lame’ to mean ‘pathetic’ or ‘deficient’ or whatever the fuck you meant (since I sincerely doubt you meant ‘having a physical disability’) is insulting to and dismissive of people with physical disabilities. I do not care whether you meant to be insulting and dismissive. I do not care whether you have ever before encountered someone saying it is insulting and dismissive. It is insulting and
    dismissive. Knock it the fuck off.

  • DiscreteComponent

    Years ago when I was studying the Antebellum South I got sidetracked into all the things the people believed about Black African.  One that struck me the most was that Africans were lazy.  Their poof was that to get the Africans to work full out from dawn to dark in the fields you had to have overseers, with whips & things, ‘motivating’ the workers.  Otherwise they might stop for food and/or water or worse not work just as fast as they can.  That the workers were not really into working themselves to death (field hands had life expectancy of less than 10 years) seems never to have crossed anyone’s mind.

    What really struck me was how similar these ideas about lazy Africans matched up with the lazy Indians, Irish, Italians, etc.  in the factories of the North.  It has always seemed to me that the people who own the business think that the workers are lazy and can only be motivated to work “properly” is from fear.  The idea that you can motivate someone by anything other than fear never seems to cross the minds of the Bosses. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    The idea that you can motivate someone by anything other than fear never seems to cross the minds of the Bosses.

    Motivating from fear costs them nothing (unless they want to employ physical torture or fear thereof and don’t consider fists sufficient equipment) and is for many of them enjoyable. Everything else that might motivate someone has a price tag. Sometimes literal, which cuts into profits. Sometimes metaphorical, requiring the bosses to pay attention to how well they’re doing rather than to how poorly, how much profit they are getting rather than how much they could be getting if, which feels like a cut in profits because it shifts the focus from the invariably large could-be number to the rather smaller actual number or the yet-smaller there-but-for-the-grace-of-whatever-go-I number. And motivating from fear doesn’t imply respect for the underlings. Motivating from anything else requires it.

  • MaryKaye

    Joshua, local park restoration people deal with blackberries as follows:  Cut down to the ground, and grub out as many roots as possible.  Then, cover the area with a layer of broken-down cardboard and a layer of wood chips.  Poke holes, and put in something that grows fast and produces deep shade–we used red-twig dogwood.  The cardboard suppresses the blackberry long enough for the dogwood to establish, and then the blackberry can’t handle the deep shade.  There is a large grove of dogwoods in Ravenna Park in Seattle that I had a hand in, and the blackberries have not come back 10 years later.

    It looks like crap for a while, but it can work.

  • SisterCoyote

    It’s sort of terrifying. As someone who kinda sorta likes to know what’s happening in the world, first off, but also as someone who’s currently majoring in Journalism.

    I don’t want to grow up in a world without a free press. I don’t want to live in a world without a free press. The idea of such a world is utterly horrifying; I don’t think anything could produce such a terrible dystopia as a world without press.

  • Hexep

    I wouldn’t worry.  Inasmuch as news content is diversifying itself so much – as small local papers gave way to national papers and then onwards to the internet – the ability to truly restrict the press, by way of force and all, has gone down.  Now that there are so many more content producers, it’s become harder and harder for governments to send people with guns to their offices, telling them what to write.

    As long as it costs money to publish journals and periodicals, journalists will always be, on some level, beholden to whoever funds them, be it sponsors, governments, or readers.  But with the advent of the Internet, the cost is perpetually going down, allowing journalism outlets to grow in number and diversity.

    It’s like I always say; technology makes it harder, rather than easier, to tyrannize people.

  • flat

    Looks to me that the technology is the one tyranizing nowadays.

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

     How so?

  • Lori

    I don’t know what flat is thinking of, but technology certainly makes surveillance of every aspect of your life a lot easier. Especially when it’s wrapped in a pretty enough package that you’ll do 95% of the work yourself.

  • Hexep

    Well, with measure comes countermeasure, and it ultimately creates more stuff to supervise, and more resources required to do it.  In the days before telephones, snooping on people just required little machines to steam open envelopes, and a few people sitting at desks reading the mail.  The advent of telephones led inexorably to the advent of telephone snooping, but this required a larger investment in terms of splicing phone lines and people to listen to those splices.  It got proportionally more expensive and difficult.

    With the internet came the advent of China-style internet snooping, but the fact remains that more and more stuff slips through the cracks over there – as the volume of communication goes up, it requires geometrically more resources for the government to supervise it.  Speaking of China, they’ve resorted to extremely clumsy (and easy to fool) word-substitution algorithms – prohibiting any post that includes the word ‘Tibet,’ for instance – but all you have to do is substitute it for another character that sounds the same, or any other commonly agreed-upon code-word.

    The only thing a tyranny really needs is broad acquiescence among its subjects.  If the government and only the government has access to fancy technology – as is the case with Burma, where the Tatmadaw has enough money to buy whatever it wants on the international market but most people are small rice farmers living on dirt floors – then it can create a problem, but that’s manifestly not our situation.

    All I’m saying is, the situation in America is better than it looks.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Given the level of warrantless snooping, I’d say the technology tyrannizes is pretty true.

  • Hexep

    Yes, but before there was Google+, they warrantlessly snooped on your telephone calls.  This is not a wholly new type of thing.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There was such a time as pre-PATRIOT Act, you know.

  • Hexep

    Ehh, they just did all that stuff without telling anybody.  In the old days, intelligence agencies just asked for forgiveness; it took a big opportunity for them to work up the courage to ask permission.

  • Jenora Feuer

     On a related note, there was a discussion a couple of days ago on the CBC regarding journalism, plagiarism, and how newspapers should respond to problems:

    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/09/26/margaret-wente-plagiarism-allegations/

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ah yes, one of the more “reasonable” right-wing bloggers/columnists falls into hot water. Too bad it wasn’t Ted Corcoran or Andrew Coyne.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- I will continue to lose “lame” , thanks

  • EllieMurasaki

    The juxtaposition of ‘continue’ and ‘lose’ produces a sentence that, though it resembles sensible English, has no apparent meaning. I hope you mean that you intend hereafter to refrain from use of ‘lame’ in any of its pejorative senses, but I suspect you actually mean that you intend to carry on hurting and offending people.
    Whatever you do, at least now you know what you’re doing.

  • Hexep

    EllieMurasaki, nobody has ever changed their ways because of a hard scolding.  Telling people ‘would you please,’ even if it’s to stop blowtorching puppies or telling racist jokes, occassionally gets results; telling people to knock it the fuck off never, ever does, because it compels the listener to double-down out of spite, now that they feel they’re under attack.  This is my best advice.

  • EllieMurasaki

    How about you take the tone argument and shove it up your ass, I am not in the mood. And indicate what exactly in Chris Hadrick’s history shows that politeness is more effective than bluntness at getting him to do what the speaker wants.

    Oh, and in my experience, “would you please stop” carries the implication that the behavior in question is acceptable in general even if undesirable in the present circumstances, while “knock it the fuck off” carries the implication that the behavior is unacceptable regardless, and these implications persist even when the context indicates the reverse.

    (Somewhere there’s an article on types of Internet arguers. Nuker, Appeaser, Logic Bomber, and what’s the fourth. They all suck in different ways, but they also all rock in different ways.)

  • Hexep

    No, EllieMurasaki, I do not think I will shove any such thing up my ass.

    Notice you’re now 0/2 in getting people to do what you want?  Shall we try for best out of 5?  If you’re not in the mood to respond correctly to something – correctly meaning ‘getting what I want out of it’ – then take a nap, or something.  The Internet will still be here in two hours.  It’s better to wait and think of what you should say, than to charge in half-cocked and say something wrong.

    Funny thing is, I’m actually on your side.  It’s no more correct to say that something bad or unwanted is ‘lame’ then it is to say that it’s ‘gay.’  (That’s why I like my made-up word Polmeck, which is short for Person Of Low Moral and Ethical Character, though it does sound unfortunately like some kind of mash-up of Polish and Mexican.)  But nobody mends their ways as a result of verbal abuse.

    And the thing you’re looking for is the Flame Warriors.  Voila: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/

  • EllieMurasaki

    You seem to misunderstand the concept of ‘tone argument’. It is what happens when some fuckwit such as you says that I am being too blunt, too abrasive, too bitchy, and you will not listen to me until I speak in a calm polite ladylike manner. Then one of two things happens. I take a deep breath and pretend I am not furious, and I speak in a calm polite ladylike manner, and you still do not listen to me. Or I behave in a manner consonant with fury, and you double down on the tone argument. Neither is productive, and the latter is easier, particularly when I am coming off two days as stressful as these past two days have been.

    There may be people who recognize tone arguments and are not infuriated by them. I am not one of those people. Taking two hours to do something else will not calm me down. It will give me opportunity to think of better zingers and more creative violent imagery (which some folk in the commentariat won’t appreciate, so I’ll spare you), but it will not calm me down.

    So fuck off. Or explain to Chris Hadrick, in the calm polite ladylike manner you advocate, exactly why ‘lame’ is an unacceptable pejorative (since you say you agree that it is an unacceptable pejorative and you say my manner of expressing that was unsatisfactory), observe how your method does not actually achieve better results than my method, and then fuck off.
    (No, the Flame Warriors link isn’t it. Too many flavors.)

  • caryjamesbond

    Ahh, language policing.  The most effective form of social activism, and isn’t it just so convenient how easy it is!  For extra points, remember to get angry when people don’t instantly agree with you!  

    Thats how Gandhi did it, y’know.  He was all shirty with the British until they stopped saying “wog” and Presto!  Freedom for all. 

    (Interesting sidenote:  when I first ran across the whole “lame is SO OFFENSIVE OMG ITS THE NEW N-WORD” thing, I asked a disabled friend of mine if he was offended by my use of words like lame or gimpy.  His response was to snort, laugh, and suggest that getting all lathered up over lame was, in itself, pretty lame. He also suggested a charitable donation to any one of numerous organizations would be far more useful. Then he kicked me with his false leg and laughed. )

    Anywhoo.

    “The Red Queens Race”  posits that a great deal of biological evolution, including the development of sex, was heavily based on an arms race with parasites.  I suspect a similar metaphor holds true for snooping- new stuff shows up, they tap it, new stuff comes up…

    Fortunately, effective oppression usually requires a GREAT deal of cooperation from the people.  The USSR had 11 million people working as informers, and the Third Reich was essentially a massive experiment in mass psychosis.   One of the benefits of being part of a nation as fractious as the US is that starting big torchlight parades for der Furher doesn’t really get off the ground. I sometimes  think that the the near 50/50 split in political alignment is one of our best defenses against tyranny.  Whoever the one side suggests, the other starts watching with intense paranoia.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. Which means words can never hurt anyone, because there’s no way in which anyone’s experience differs from mine. And my [lacking relevant privilege] friend is fine with me [exhibiting behavior common among those having relevant privilege and commonly hurtful/insulting/offensive to those lacking relevant privilege]. Therefore it must be all right! And of course words and actions that are polite and respectful and above all not forceful are always more effective than words and actions that are none of the above, and there cannot possibly be room in an activist movement for both kinds.

    tl;dr go fuck yourself.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The problem is, one person does not an entire group make. So while your particular friend may be unaffected by the use of the word “lame” (which I know from as far back as the 1980s to have been used in computer-geek circles to refer to someone who is not considered very cool or bright – “you lamer” being a common phrase back then), there are others who would be upset by it.

    It costs you nothing to avoid the use of word if requested to not use it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    (Interesting sidenote:  when I first ran across the whole “lame is SO
    OFFENSIVE OMG ITS THE NEW N-WORD” thing, I asked a disabled friend of
    mine if he was offended by my use of words like lame or gimpy.  His
    response was to snort, laugh, and suggest that getting all lathered up
    over lame was, in itself, pretty lame. He also suggested a charitable
    donation to any one of numerous organizations would be far more useful.
    Then he kicked me with his false leg and laughed. )

    Ah yes, the old “My friend of undererpriviliged group X isn’t offended by the word [slur against X]”. 

    Your friend is the arbiter for what is offensive to him.  He is not the avatar of all disabled people, empowered to grant you a letter of marque licensing declaring you officially unoffensive to all disabled people.

    Your friend isn’t offended. SOme people here are. You’re not talking to your friend right now, you’re talking to people here.

    There’s nothing wrong with the fact that you extrapolated from your experience with your friend and concluded that it was an okay word to use here. But you’ve been given new information now. When given new information, a person who is not running for president on the GOP ticket is supposed to process that information and revise their conclusions based on it.

    When someone tells you they are offended, and you respond by citing some other person’s lack of offense to justify ignoring them, you are calling that person a liar.

    Have the decency to say it to her face. Say “EllieMurasaki, I do not believe you are really offended. I believe you are a liar, feigning offence in order to control my use of language.”

    Because that’s the only thing this little digression means. It means you don’t believe she was really hurt, even though she said she was. That’s the only thing it can mean.

  • EllieMurasaki

    To be fair, I’ve no disabilities and ‘lame’ is not personally offensive to me, and I never said it was. But I’ve got two friends in wheelchairs who’ve expressed pain at encountering use of the word, and I’ve got ten minutes and a couple spoons here and there that I can quite easily use to work on ensuring that neither of them is accidentally hurt by that word.

    Which doesn’t improve matters all that much. Either Cary thinks I’m lying about my friends, or Cary thinks they’re lying to me. But last time I complained in K’s hearing about fuckwits using ‘lame’ in K’s hearing, they offered to come be my (K’s word’s) “token crip friend”, and K’s online (or left their IRC up, but probably online) and I bet the offer’s still open, and if we want to see whether Cary thinks a person with a mobility disability who says they’re hurt by ‘lame’ is lying to his face, I’m sure we can…

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- I was a little drunk, sorry. I meant I will gleefully continue to use the word lame to describe something that is lame lame lame

  • caryjamesbond

    It costs you nothing to avoid the use of word if requested to not use it.

    Well, sure, and if an actually disabled person says to me “hey, wouldja stop saying that, I don’t like it.” I’ll be happy to stop saying that in front of them.  Like I said though- I’ve asked. People with disabilities A. generally have bigger fish to fry and B. are generally prone to using the word “lame” just as much as anyone else.  It’s not exactly a commonly used term for disability anymore.

    Even assuming that “lame” is offensive, its a level of offensiveness and rudeness below calling someone a jerk, and WAY below telling someone to fuck off over what is at worst, a minorly rude thing to say.  See how that works?

    And there’s the simple fact that language policing is the laziest, most ineffective way to try and change the world that exists.  It’s used mainly by college students who’ve taken one course on the politics of language, and are to lazy to go protest, or write a letter, or volunteer. So you’ll excuse me for not flagellating myself over calling the last season of The West Wing “kinda lame.”

    You want to say “Don’t say these words”- peachy.  But unless you’re talking about the N-word or a few other racial slurs that have a LONG history of blood behind them, you’re essentially talking about, at worst, mildly insulting things.  And when people flip the fuck out over mildly insulting things, they don’t change minds.  They just look silly.  And kinda lame.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You know, I’m sure I would do more to help people with mobility disabilities if I donated a hundred dollars or a hundred hours to one of those organizations that trains dogs to fetch keys for wheelchair users or whatever.

    I do not have a hundred dollars or a hundred hours. I have zero dollars and ten minutes. And reducing the incidence of people accidentally causing hurt or offense is a worthwhile way to spend it. If I simultaneously increase the incidence of people deliberately causing hurt or offense, that’s not my fault, is it?

    Meanwhile:
    http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/blogs/edgecentric/metaphors_for_bad/000792.html–When disability words get used badly, disabled people mostly just grin
    and bear it. Doesn’t mean it’s the correct thing to do, though.

    http://www.modbee.com/2012/07/31/2306965/limp-lame-and-lazy-list-cited.html
    http://accessibility.net.nz/blog/why-i-do-not-like-the-word-lame/Some of my readers will say I am splitting hair. Or that I am too sensitive. Or that I should harden up. Be that as it may, the fact is, every time I hear the word “lame” used as a qualifier of negative value judgement, it hits me deep. It is not even an intelectual reaction, it’s visceral.

    How about you consider that a personal request from the accessibility.net.nzauthor to stop being a fuckwit and stop using the word ‘lame’.

  • christopher_young

    CJB, Would you stop saying that either in front of me or in any other circumstance. I have cerebral palsy, if that’s of any interest to you, but I don’t see why I have to ask you to mind your manners where Ellie can do so equally well. Your argument is essentially that it’s OK to use the N word as long as everybody in the room is white. It isn’t. You are a troll.

  • caryjamesbond

    Have the decency to say it to her face. Say “EllieMurasaki, I do not believe you are really offended. I believe you are a liar, feigning offence in order to control my use of language.”

    Ok. Although I don’t think shes LYING, persay.  I would guess she actually IS offended.  More properly, I’m saying shes getting offended on behalf of someone else. In general, there is a certain type of activist that takes offense on behalf of other groups who are then revealed to not actually care. (See the whole “native american” thing, despite the fact that 63% of actual natives either A) prefer Amerindian, or B) don’t really care at all.)

    I also have no doubt you can dig up blogs by people who are personally wounded by the word lame.  And when talking to them, or commenting on their blog, I’d avoid that word.  However, this is the internet. You can find people who are deeply offended by the word “goddamn,” the phrase “African-American,” the use of any “-American” term at all, the use of the word “American” to refer to people in the US, Columbus Day, abortion, Jesus, Not respecting Jesus, not respecting the Prophet Muhammad, not using the phrase “peace be unto him” after referring to aforementioned prophet, eating Nestle Chocolate, and referring to 400 lb people as “fat.”

    If interacting with such people, I’d respect their wishes in their spaces and in their conversations.  However, other than that- I’m not policing myself constantly in case one of the subset of disabled people that finds “lame” offensive happens to read my words. Its a tough old life sometimes. If anyone wants, I can suggest several high quality purveyor of big kid pants for those in need of them.

     I do not consider Ellie’s offense the arbiter of what I should and should not say. People get offended at lots of things.  If I say I’m offended by Ellie calling me a fuckwit, Ellie has made it perfectly clear that she is not taking my offense into consideration when she chooses her words.  So why exactly would I take her offense into consideration when I choose my words?  I don’t do favors for people who call me a fuckwit. And I don’t consider preserving the precious fee-fee’s of everyone on the planet to be a priority. Or as Steven Fry put it:
    “‘It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?”

  • EllieMurasaki

    1) 87% of all statistics are pulled out of the speaker’s ass on demand and don’t actually mean shit. And even if your 63% figure has some validity to it, shouldn’t the other 37% be taken into consideration?

    2) So it’s all right to use hurtful language as long as the people who are personally offended are not, as far as you know, present? That doesn’t hurt the people whose presence you have made no effort to discover? That doesn’t in any way contribute to others feeling that it’s all right to use hurtful language whether the people who are personally offended are present or not? Or does the language have to, in your (doubtless uneducated) opinion, be hurtful enough before you will admit that it should not be used under any circumstances?

    3) If you weren’t using language that hurts people, I wouldn’t be swearing at you. Your saying that my swearing at you is the reason you will continue to use language that hurts people is cart-before-horse absurdity. As for your implication that if I had not been swearing at you then you would cheerfully amend your ways to never use this particular bit of hurtful language again, citation fucking needed.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?

    I’ve never entirely understood this.

    If I say something that offends you, and you tell me, then I have the ability to make a decision. I can go on saying it, doing so in the full awareness that it offends you, because I prefer to say it. Or I can stop saying it, because I prefer to not offend you.

    If I say something that offends you and you don’t tell me, then I don’t have that ability.

    Telling me seems strictly superior. If I don’t care, then it doesn’t affect my behavior. If I do care, then it does.

    The kind of angry response your comment, and Fry’s, (and those of hordes of other self-proclaimed “anti-PC” advocates) demonstrate would make sense to me if I somehow didn’t get to make a choice… if, when you tell me you’re offended by what I say, I’m somehow forced to stop saying it, because I don’t actually have any agency. It makes sense to me when we’re talking about regulating speech, or criminalizing it, or something like that.

    But it doesn’t just get used in those contexts; it gets generalized to criticize people simply saying they’re offended.

    That seems goofy to me.  

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Has anyone bothered to ask the actual Indians how they feel about having to share a name with a group of people on the opposite side of the planet?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    persay

    PER SE, goddamnit.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    you just too the lord’s name in vain. that offends me

  • EllieMurasaki

    People of your religion who follow all the rules of your religion all the time are not all the people in the world. Similarly, people who are unaffected or unhurt by the statement that people who have mobility disabilities are bad or incomplete are not all the people in the world.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You have no grounds to try that ridiculously asinine attempt at logical judo when you’ve asserted you will continue to use a term you’ve been asked not to use around people on this here blog, Chris Hadrick.

  • caryjamesbond

    “50% of people who identified as indigenous preferred the term “American Indian,” 37% preferred “Native American” and the remainder preferred other terms or had no preference.”
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2/gen/96arc/ivatuck.pdf

    And even if your 63% figure has some validity to it, shouldn’t the other 37% be taken into consideration?
    Sure- and if they express that preference, I’ll gladly comply. But when you want to talk about making words and terms “slurs” you need a little more than 1/3d of the relevant population giving a crap. There may be black people who don’t care about the n-word, but the overwhelming statement of this group has been that the n-word is very, very bad.  I certainly doubt there are any black people at all who would just laugh it off if I used that word.

    So it’s all right to use hurtful language as long as the people who are personally offended are not, as far as you know, present?
    That really, REALLY depends.  “Hurtful language” is an EXTREMELY broad term. I won’t say “Jesus Christ” in front of my grandmother, because it offends her. On the other hand, I won’t say the N-word anywhere.

    That doesn’t hurt the people whose presence you have made no effort to discover?
    There is a wee box labeled “comment.  

    Or does the language have to, in your (doubtless uneducated) opinion, be hurtful enough before you will admit that it should not be used under any circumstances?

    People think taking the Lord’s name in vain is hurtful. People think disparaging their religion is hurtful. People think the  N-word is hurtful.  Three different cases, three different levels of hurt, three different reactions.  

    In one case, I limit what I say for the feelings of my grandmother, but just because my christian friend says “don’t say Jesus freakin’ Christ” doesn’t mean I’ll stop. In the next, my friend’s feelings may be enough to make me not say certain things, but I feel free to say them when he isn’t there. In the third, I don’t say that at all.  In all three cases I’m deciding what is “hurtful enough” when I mitigate or do not mitigate my behavior.  

    I’m assuming that you made the exact same decision when you thought “well, saying “fuck” is offensive to some people, but in this case…”

    As for whether your cursing made the difference-  I can say I’ve made an effort (not a perfect one, but an effort) to not say “crazy” and “retarded” as much, because people asked me nicely. Actually, while writing these comments, on at least one occasion I deleted the word crazy because that thought crossed my mind.   Now, however, every time I say “that’s so lame” I’m not just using a word, I’m sticking it to that schmuck what cussed me out for it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    caryjamesbond: As much as I get that there are personality types (yours
    apparently among them) who will purposely do something they’ve been told not to do if they haven’t been ~asked nicely~, could you just this once not try rationalizing the use of “lame” from your one-person data point and just… not use the word?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    ‘yawn’ pretty lame thread

  • Lori

    Why are you here? It’s not as if you’re an actual participant in this community.You’re just a troll. You contribute nothing of value and you learn nothing of value. Is your life so empty that you really get that much benefit from trolling?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I have to use this phrase now to Chris Hadrick:

    There is no palm large enough to encompass the magnitude of my facepalm.

  • AnonymousSam

    Do you enjoy coming across to others as a twelve year old who’s finally being trusted to use the computer without Mommy’s chaperoning?

  • caryjamesbond

    As much as I get that there are personality types (yours 

    apparently among them) who will purposely do something they’ve been told not to do if they haven’t been ~asked nicely~,

    “having curses shrieked at you” is hardly the same as not being asked nicely.But sure, IV.   I’ll add  it to my mental list  of words not to use. Won’t promise perfection but I’ll make an effort.

    See, Ellie? Not that hard*, is it?

    *Is it ok to say this? Seems like it might be insulting to the impotent.

  • Lori

    You do know that we remember that this is not the first time this issue has come up in this community, right? We do. We remember that folks have been asked, with no cursing involved, not to use “lame” in a derogatory way. We remember that at least one member of this community has spoken up to say that A) she is lame and B) finds the use of “lame” in this way to be insulting and hurtful. Your charming display of “no one specifically asked me nicely enough to suit me” special snowflakeness is not your finest hour here. 

    Also, being a dick while promising to try  not to be such a dick isn’t clever. (See what I did there?)

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I’m more offended by your attempts to act as the language morality police than you are by me using the word lame.

    Lori- she started it. I was talking about the topic. till she “called me out” for a using a word that millions of people use everyday in the context in which I used it.

    and which I will not stop using it. Sorry Ellie, you’re just going to have to learn to lame with it.

  • Lori

    What? Are you 12? Mom, she hit me first.

    Also, since when is the participation of millions of people every day your standard for moral acceptability? You’re constantly whining at us about how you’re the last moral man because everyone else is such a bunch of war mongers. By your standard the fact that so many people engage in, support or are at least indifferent to war must mean that it’s OK. You many want to take another look at your work there, big guy.

    Also, if you think you’re making Ellie look bad or unreasonable, you seriously need to jump on the clue train. Or more precisely, you need to crawl back under your bridge and stay there.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh god, not the “I’m offended that you’re offended” thing.

    What’s next? The “OMG Professionally Offended Language Police” crap?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino- your screen name offends me. please change it. It makes light of the plight of the invisible peoples of India

    lori- apples and oranges. war kills people, no one has died of theuse of the word lame

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ok, now you’re just trying to be an ass for the sake of being an ass.

    It’s people like you who behave like that which almost make me believe that theory I saw that people protesting the use of certain words in English, way back in the 1990s, were really right-wing trolls masquerading as social justice advocates, because that kind of infantile crap is something I’ve seen people on the right do.

  • Lori

     

    Ok, now you’re just trying to be an ass for the sake of being an ass.  

    Now? That implies that there are times when Chris is not an ass just for the sake of being an ass.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Most of the time he just seems to like being dense about political complexities, which, while not a sterling quality, isn’t really availing himself of the congenital meanness which underlies a lot of the behavior of the political right.

    But at this point he’s purposely choosing to be mean, and an ass into the bargain.

  • Lori

    People have died because of the othering of the disabled.

    Your issue is not what kills people, it’s what you like and don’t like. You don’t like that war costs you money. You do like othering the disabled for your own amusement. Once again demonstrating why no one with a lick of sense take you seriously when you attempt to play the morality card.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There are more purposes to the word ‘invisible’ than the one you mention. The only purposes to the word ‘lame’ are to describe mobility disabilities and to disparage by comparison to mobility disabilities.

    So no one is allowed to attempt to rectify an injustice, especially a popular injustice, unless the injustice has caused someone to die? Huh. Somebody tell everybody in the court system that they can take a few days off as none of the cases before them that don’t involve a death are going to be pursued any further.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     You know, for someone who ostensibly opposes war, you sure do love to create human suffering.

    Of course, that’s just based on your libertarian politics. This whole “Even though I know it hurts people, I’m going to say it anyway even though it’s absolutely no cost to me to stop, and also I will mock the pain of others” thing is just you being a super-asshole.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    are you offended by lame duck sessions of congress?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Now you mention it, yeah, there are surely ways to express that concept that do not rely on the disparagement of mobility disabilities.

  • caryjamesbond

     Has anyone bothered to ask the actual Indians how they feel about having to share a name with a group of people on the opposite side of the planet?Yes. The US Census Bureau.  50% preferred “American Indian,” 13% didn’t care, 37% like “native American.”  

    Also, being a dick while promising to try  not to be such a dick isn’t clever.

    First of all, I’m gonna presume that you’d be willing to let me use “pussy” in a negative sense, right? since you’re fine with gendered insults.

    (LOLZ I don’t care.  Seriously, who gives a crap about stuff like that?)

    Second- trying to not be a dick to IN, trying to be a dick to Ellie.   Because IN appears to actually give a crap about getting stuff done, Ellie just wants to yell at people for not living up to her standards.  Shes one of those people who gets off on offense. 

    You can tell- the people that actually want to change things are  kindly spoken, reasonable, and understanding. Like Cesar Chavez. The people that just want to be angry are all screechy and tend to jump up and down while foaming at the mouth. Like Michelle Bachmann.  Or Hitler.*

    *KNEW I could work him into this discussion somehow.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I’d rather you didn’t patronizingly hold me up as some kind of “example” to EllieMurasaki or Lori or anyone, TYVM.

  • Lori

     

    You can tell- the people that actually want to change things are  kindly
    spoken, reasonable, and understanding. Like Cesar Chavez. The people
    that just want to be angry are all screechy and tend to jump up and down
    while foaming at the mouth. Like Michelle Bachmann.  Or Hitler.*  

    Nice selective use of examples in support of an invalid tone argument. So impressive.

    Your complaints about tone would seem a lot more impressive if the request hadn’t previously been made in a perfectly nice way and still totally ignored by you.

    Somehow I suspect that at some point in the future we will have this discussion again and that you will once again act as if you’ve never been asked nicely enough to refrain from saying something that people in this community find hurtful. Because being asked nicely isn’t actually the issue. The issue is that you want to say whatever you want to say, without ever being called on it. At least own the fact that you’re just being a jerk and stop blathering on about niceness. That lecture really lacks something coming from a person defending his right to say something that hurts other people.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The US Census Bureau polled people in Mumbai?

    So the correct approach to trying to get people to remove hurtful language from their vocabulary is “Hey, if it wouldn’t inconvenience you any, do you mind not saying that?” Because that approach does not actually convey that there are actual people actually hurt and angered by this actual problem. That approach does not in fact consistently convey that there is a problem at all. And when it does indicate to the listener that there is a real problem here, it also indicates that the problem is not urgent, not important, an annoyance at worst.

    Which is not to say that reasonableness and respect do not have their place. They do. That place is generally in solving the problem after the people who must be involved in its solution have all been made aware that the problem exists.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Yes. The US Census Bureau.  50% preferred “American Indian,” 13% didn’t care, 37% like “native American.” 

    Why would the US Census bureau be polling Indians about what Native Americans want to be called? Were they polling Indian-Americans? Again, why would the census care what Indian-Americans want Native Americans to be called?

    (The question I asked wasn’t “Has anyone asked what native americans want to be called,” it’s “Has anyone asked if *actual indians* are okay with us giving their name to native americans.”  I’d be all for calling native americans whatever they prefer to be called, but if what they want to be called is “Indians”, well, sorry; that one’s taken by the people who live in india)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also:

    You can tell- the people that actually want to change things are  kindly
    spoken, reasonable, and understanding. Like Cesar Chavez. The people
    that just want to be angry are all screechy and tend to jump up and down
    while foaming at the mouth.

    This?

    Is what they call a

    wait for it

    “Tone Argument”

    So! ~The more you know~. Go forth and do not tone argument again please.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    What if your request isn’t reasonable though? Should people do what you say when it is altogether possible that it’s you not them who has the problem? You’re in danger of turning right wing blowhards, ahem, into first amendment heroes.

  • EllieMurasaki

    All we want you to do is find a way to say ‘not good enough’ that does not convey that via evoking people with disabilities. In what way is that unreasonable?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    What if your request isn’t reasonable though? Should people do what you say when it is altogether possible that it’s you not them who has the problem?

    My $0.02 — if I have a choice between expressing myself in ways that upset people and ways that don’t, I will generally look at how much it costs me to avoid it, and how much I care about the people. If the cost is low, I’ll usually make the change. If the cost is high and I don’t care about the people, I usually won’t.

    I don’t care too much if the request is reasonable, though, or who “has the problem.” For example, if someone has an irrational phobia of rabbits and requests that I not mention them in conversation, I’ll try to accede to that, even though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying “rabbit.” They have a problem, certainly, but that’s no reason for me to make things worse for them. Quite the contrary.

    OTOH, I do make judgments about people’s good faith. If I don’t think a request is being made in good faith, I might ignore it, even if the cost is low. But I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    What do you recommend doing?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I find it unreasonable because it would be feeding an unhealthy and illogical desire on your part.  I can’t be a party to that. Yes I can easily find another word to convey the same meaning but I don’t want or need to because there’s nothing wrong with the word lame.

    If you don’t want to use it that’s your choice. Perhaps one day society will realize what you’re saying is right and join you and the word lame will become taboo.  Who knows.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And my friends who cannot hear the word ‘lame’ without being reminded of the many and varied ways in which society considers wheelchair users deficient, unpersons, not good enough, their pain counts for nothing? Their pain, shared by a great many people with mobility disabilities, is insufficient to prove that there is something wrong with the word?

    Or is it just that it doesn’t hurt you and therefore cannot possibly hurt anyone?

  • Lori

    I find it unreasonable because it would be feeding an unhealthy and illogical desire on your part.  I can’t be a party to that. Yes I can easily find another word to convey
    the same meaning but I don’t want or need to because there’s nothing
    wrong with the word lame.

    You are just the worst. Smug, self-righteous, nasty and wrong. A perfect example of the Glibertarian in the wild.

    ETA: It’s people like you that make me wish Fred was a little bit freer with the ban hammer.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Their pain, shared by a great many people with mobility disabilities, is insufficient to prove that there is something wrong with the word?”

    Well first, I have no way of knowing if the word lame is offensive to a great many people or anyone other than these people you knew.

    Do you know how many times a day someone says something is a “lame excuse”?  I imagine disabled people would be seething with rage and letting us know in some way if it were as painful to them as you say.

     the definition of lame as it relates not to people but to THINGS  has come to be the dominant one and thus the generally understood meaning.

    In this sense, however,  calling an actual disabled person lame would now be in bad taste even though  it was of course commonplace in the past.

    Society has chosen the new definition for lame and scrapped the old one.  I don’t know who started it. surfers?  Anyway, It’s organic and theres nothing anyone can do about it unless the ones affected really raise a big stink over it.

     

  • EllieMurasaki

    GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.

    The “generally understood” meaning of ‘lame’ relies on the earlier meaning of ‘lame’. The understanding that ‘lame’ means ‘not good enough’ comes from the understanding that people who are lame, that is, who have mobility disabilities, are not good enough. Take away the disability-related meaning of ‘lame’ and we are left with a single syllable that signifies absolutely fucking nothing.

    Also, ignorance is common and so is fuckwittery. Many people do not know, because no one has told them, that ‘lame’ is unacceptable. Many others, like that troll over there goes by caryjamesbond, know it is unacceptable and that is why they use it.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Dave- theres no reason to fear rabbits. the person obviously experienced some sort of negative trauma with one that they need to get over.

    It’s like if someone has Obsessive compulsive disorder. You aren’t helping them by allowing them to wash everything, you help them by forcing them not too.

    Obviously the analogy is a little off but the point is it’s not always right to give people what they want. theres moral culpablity for helping people indulge as well.

    Lori- ban me for using the word lame?

  • Lori

    Ban you for being a troll.

    you help them by forcing them not too.

    You know as little about OCD and its treatment as you do about economics and politics. Which is to say, shut your yap, you ignorant jerk. Also, stay the hell away from people with OCD.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I neither have OCD nor know anyone who does (or if I do know someone, I am unaware of their OCDness), but OCD is an anxiety disorder. I find it very difficult to believe that the appropriate response to OCD is to refuse to permit the OCD person to engage in their anxiety-relieving behavior. Make them put it off for fifteen minutes and see if they still feel like they need to do it? That makes sense. Do not let them do it at all? That sounds like a recipe to send their anxiety through the roof.

  • Lori

    I know you didn’t mean it this way, but I suspect that the troll does so I’m going to point it out—–it’s not appropriate or in any way remotely acceptable for anyone to “make” a person with OCD do anything. A qualified therapist is the only one who should be working with the person to create and implement a safe, effective, humane plan for dealing with the behavior and the underlying anxiety. The fact that it would even enter the troll’s mind that it’s OK to “help” a person with OCD by forcing them to do what he believes is best is repulsive.

    Troll, this is how I know that you’re lying when you claim to care about people hurt by war—-because you have repeatedly demonstrated that you don’t care about people at all.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes, absolutely qualified therapist only, I thought I’d said that but I see not.

  • Lori

    Like I said, I knew you meant it that way. I suspect Chris really does consider it acceptable to decide what’s best for people and then do his best to force it on them “for their own good”. That shit’s just evil.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Dave- theres no reason to fear rabbits. 

    Sure. That’s why I picked the example in the first place. Like I said, I don’t really care whether it’s “reasonable” or not, I care whether I’m helping or hurting people.

    you help them by forcing them not to… it’s not always right to give people what they want. theres moral culpablity for helping people indulge as well.

    Sure, I agree with this.

    And it’s not always right to deny people what they want, or to force them to stop doing what they want to do, or to do things that upset them.

    If I understand the situation well enough that I’m confident that my judgment is superior to theirs, sure, I might ignore their requests and do what I think is best instead. But that’s relatively rare.

    In particular, if someone was traumatized by rabbits and asks me not to talk about rabbits around them, I don’t consider that a good reason to ignore their request and start going “rabbit rabbit rabbit, neener neener!” on the grounds that they need to get over it. That strikes me as a bad act.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens
  • lester

    Dave- I agree, but the point is they have an emotional problem about rabbits and you don’t. You shouldn’t avoid rabbits they should.

    Also, Ellie stated that in fact “To be fair, I’ve no disabilities and ‘lame’ is not personally offensive to me, and I never said it was” so this is a purely a intellectual excercise in which she is choosing to be melodramatic.

    Lori- what the therapist does is get them to overcome their OCD by touching doorknobs and that sort of thing. It’s called exposure therapy. It’s done with the help of a therapist but the person is doing it themselves.

    You help the person by facilitating them in this, not in making it easy for them to indulge in their behaviours. The goal is to cure the disaease, not just to make it more comfortable for the person experiencing it.
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Suppose Chris is sexually harassing Pat. Alex sees this and verbally or physically warns Chris off. Is that, for Alex, “purely an intellectual exercise in which [Alex] is choosing to be melodramatic”? Or is that an attempt to help Pat and to make clear to Chris that such behavior is unacceptable?

  • Lori

     

    Lori- what the therapist does is get them to overcome their OCD by
    touching doorknobs and that sort of thing. It’s called exposure therapy.
    It’s done with the help of a therapist but the person is doing it
    themselves.

    You help the person by facilitating them in this, not in making it
    easy for them to indulge in their behaviours. The goal is to cure the
    disaease, not just to make it more comfortable for the person
    experiencing it.   

    I realize that your epic self-involvement prevents you from processing or retaining any information about other people, but I was a psychology major in college and did social work as my first career. I have forgotten more about therapy that you ever have or every will know. Your generalizations about the therapeutic treatment of OCD are as shallow as everything else you “contribute” here. Just stop.

  • Chris

     Ellie –  Chris wasn’t sexually harassing Pat.  Pat considers the word “the” to be offensive. Everyone uses it but Pat chose tonight to suddenly start cursing at Chris for using it, completely derailing the thread. There’s no rule against using this word and Chris is never going to stop using it yet Pat perists. Who is the harasser here?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Your hypothetical has nothing to do with either my hypothetical or the actual situation here.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    it’s me btw

  • Madhabmatics

    yo when your argument is literally identical to the argument people use for “why can’t I drop an n-bomb whenever I want, screw you oversensitive weenie, I am a he-man who does not experience your human emotions” perhaps you out to come up with a new argument

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    madhabmatics- so you feel the word lame is offensive? It offends you when people say it?
     
    Ellie- it’s identical to here. There’s no rule against using the word lame on this site. No one except you has a problem with it. and you don’t even have a problem with it!

    “”To be fair, I’ve no disabilities and ‘lame’ is not personally offensive to me, and I never said it was”

    I’ll say what I please within the bounderies of the rules. let’s move on

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There is no palm that can possibly encompass the magnitude of my facepalm at this moment.

  • EllieMurasaki

    “I am not personally hurt by this” != “this hurts no one”

  • Lori

     

    I’ll say what I please within the bounderies of the rules. let’s move on   

    Fred really should ban you.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    heres bigoted “anti war” really just selfish libertarian Rachael Maddow talking about a lame duck session http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I378QlwEDI 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh christ why did I even bother with you EVER

    *PLONK!*

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    haha what are you talking about? this is crazy. everyone says lame

  • Lori

    There was a time when “everyone” said the N-word. That didn’t make it right.

    Also? Using “crazy” this way is rude and demeaning to the mentally ill. Not like you care, because no one tells Chris Hadrick what he is and is not allowed to say.

    Troll. 

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Also? Using “crazy” this way is rude and demeaning to the mentally ill.”

    here we go again!

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Well, this was a nice thread about businesses until it got derailed.


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