7 things @ 11 o’clock (7.1)

1. Funny or Die offers a sneak preview of the first new film from Rick Santorum’s EchoLight Studios. (Not really, but it is a good joke, well-executed.)

2. Joe Hanson shares a wise comment from J.B.S. Haldane: “My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

I think of Haldane as the “inordinately fond of beetles” guy. I’ve noted before that I think that comment — “If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation, it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles” — is an excellent piece of theologizing. Same goes for the quote above about the surpassing strangeness of the universe.

The other place I’d encountered Haldane was in C.S. Lewis posthumously published essay, “A Reply to Professor Haldane,” which included Lewis’ condemnation of theocracy (see here). That “reply” was a response to a couple of barbed pieces by Haldane in response to Lewis’ worries about what he called “scientism.” They seem to have been talking past one another a bit in that exchange.

3.I’ll be post-feminist in the post-patriarchy.”

4. Gary Bauer — the diminutive founder of the Family Research Council who later came up short in his bid for president — says that those of us advocating for marriage equality are not actually advocating for marriage equality. We’re just using that as an excuse to imprison anti-gay Christians like Gary Bauer. In a Washington Times column, Bauer writes:

The ultimate goal of homosexual-rights activists is not to legalize same-sex marriage. Rather, it is to silence those who disagree with them and, if necessary, to throw them in jail. … How did we get to the point where homosexual-rights activists would be clamoring to redefine society’s oldest and most reliable institution and people of faith would be worried about being fined or jailed for teaching their faith?

To answer Bauer’s question, if any “people of faith” actually are “worried about being fined or jailed,” my guess is that this fear comes from columnists like Gary Bauer repeatedly telling them that this is something they should be frightened of.

It also comes from these people of (very timid) faith somehow being the only people in America who have never heard of the Rev. Fred Phelps and his notorious Westboro Baptist Church. If they know who Phelps is, then they know that what Bauer is saying is not true. If no one is trying to put Fred Phelps in jail, then it’s ridiculous for cowardly Christians to fear they’re facing prosecution or persecution just because they believe in some less-confrontational and less aggressively abrasive form of “God hates [The Other]” theology.

5. Delaware has a new law protecting manufactured-home owners. As you may have read, the trap for manufactured- or “mobile-” home owners is that they own their house, but not the land it sits on. Most manufactured-home owners pay rent for the lot beneath their not-so-mobile home, and since trying to relocate the home can cost thousands of dollars, there’s no market-based check against landlords imposing predatory increases in rent. Delaware’s new law doesn’t impose rent control, but says that any proposed lot rent increase of more than the CPI has to be justified to and approved by a state commission. It’s not as ideal as helping residents to buy the land under their homes in order to form a resident-owned community, but it’s an enormous improvement over the former status quo, in which these folks had no protections from markets or from government.

6. A reminder: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May. A second reminder: “Pro-lifers” still seem mostly silent and/or hostile toward this bill. That suggests something.

7. Two examples of what the Internet is for: The Skunk River National Park Twitter feed (via Grist) and the Amazon customer reviews for the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe (the Sen. Wendy Davis model). Well done, folks.

 

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

    4. Gary Bauer
    — the diminutive founder of the Family Research Council who later came
    up short in his bid for president — says that those of us advocating for
    marriage equality are not actually advocating for marriage equality.
    We’re just using that as an excuse to imprison anti-gay Christians like
    Gary Bauer.

    Tommy Lee Jones and Emily Bett Rickards express my opinion on Gary Bauer’s words with the two best implied facepalms:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uRlNDK_Z03o/TqwNcqfvgsI/AAAAAAAAANo/Wes3uDQUSwQ/s1600/ImpliedFacepalm.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/NXFBdWa.png

  • Arresi

    Out of curiosity, do you know where those pictures are from?

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

    Tommy Lee Jones – just google Tommy Lee Jones implied facepalm. (Apparently it’s from No Country for Old Men)

    The second picture is Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak from Arrow. :)

  • Arresi

    Ah, thanks. Completely missed that you’d put the actors’ names there the first time. (Not that TLJ’s name helps much in figuring out where a screencap comes from. He’s only played a few dozen grizzled law enforcement/military officers.)

  • Kagi Soracia

    Wow, nobody caught that? It’s from Captain America, actually. Very funny scene, too.

  • LL

    Unfortunately, that “women aren’t adults capable of making their own medical decisions” law is more than likely going to pass here. So props to Senator Davis and all, and I appreciate her efforts, but because too many women in Texas don’t bother voting, and the ones who do apparently also agree women shouldn’t make their own decisions, Texas is dominated politically by anti-freedom Republicans and Rick Perry willingly does their bidding. If there is ever an opportunity for Perry to stand up and make some sickeningly self-serving, idiotic speech in order to burnish his reputation among the stupid Republican voters, he’ll do it. He doesn’t care who he throws under the bus. And this guy wanted to be president of the U.S.

    Dewhurst is just as bad. Most of the male politicians (the white ones, anyway) are beholden to the white, Republican, Jesusy crowd who elected them. So it’s not gonna get better anytime soon. Unless more people who aren’t beholden to that group start voting and keep voting.

  • FearlessSon

    If there is ever an opportunity for Perry to stand up and make some sickeningly self-serving, idiotic speech in order to burnish his reputation among the stupid Republican voters, he’ll do it. He doesn’t care who he throws under the bus. And this guy wanted to be president of the U.S.

    In the words of Rick Perry, “… oops.”

  • themunck

    It always annoyed me that -that- was the moment he lost. Lies, misogony and thinly veiled racism? No problem, who cares anyway? But he forgot something while the spotlight was on him during a debate? Clearly this man is demented, and unfit for office! (I do agree he’s unfit for office, and possibly crazy, but dementia isn’t the mental illness I’d go for).
    *sighs* I’m glad he lost the presidential bid, but damn, he’s said far more vile things than “oops”

  • FearlessSon

    From what I read about him, his governing style is pretty much about serving the government up to the highest bidder. Heck, even the cervical cancer vaccine he made mandatory was only because he has ties to the pharmaceutical company that made the vaccine which the state then bought in enough quantities to fit the mandate.

    I think that mandating cervical cancer vaccine is one of the few good things he has done in office, mind, but for the wrong reason.

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

    Reminds me of how in the movie of V for Vendetta, the senior officials of Norsefire happened to own shares in the pharmaceutical companies that issued a cure for the Reichstag-Fire-like St. Mary’s Virus.

  • LoneWolf343

    It was easy to meme, that’s why.

  • reynard61

    Not demented, just stupid and in over his head. If it hadn’t been for his privileged childhood, he’d probably be flipping burgers or swilling beer in front of a TV in a dilapidated trailer depending on welfare and “Food Stamps” to get him through the month.

  • AcyOS

    because too many women in Texas don’t bother voting, and the ones who do apparently also agree women shouldn’t make their own decisions

    This seems kind of victim-blamey to me. Gerrymandering is a thing, among many others, that severely limits the actual ability of voters to effect change. The suggestion that this is happening because we allow it is… unfortunate, at best.

  • AnonaMiss

    Eeeeeehh, while gerrymandering is a thing and I don’t like the victim-blameyness, I’m not sure we can blame gerrymandering when it comes to gender. Gerrymandering is done by location and AFAIK cities aren’t significantly more female than the country.

    It’s not that women are gerrymandered against, it’s that cityfolk are gerrymandered against. And happen to be less misogynist overall.

  • AcyOS

    Well yeah, that was only one example of reasons why “something bad is happening to Texas women, therefore Texas women must be doing something wrong” isn’t a great assertion to make. There’s also the general incumbent-favoring, candidates running unopposed, challengers who are no better on women’s rights than the one they’re challenging… “just vote them out” isn’t a helpful piece of advice, is what I’m saying here.

  • LL

    Yeah, I knew somebody would have a problem with this.

    The fact is, voter turnout for anything but the presidential election in Texas is pathetic. Like less than 10% of registered voters pathetic.

    It’s a little late to be bitching about what a bunch of assholes fill the Texas legislature. Obviously, the Democrats need to do better at getting Democrats registered and voting (and black churches do their part), but ultimately, the responsibility is that of individual voters, who include women. I wonder how many of the people cheering on Senator Davis last week (and good for them for at least making that effort) voted in anything but a presidential election?

    All the elections count. You can gripe about how unfair the system is, and it is obviously corrupt, but it’s the system we’ve got now, and simply not voting doesn’t help. Politicians in Texas have learned that they don’t have to care what most of us think. Because most of us don’t bother voting. They serve the Jesus freak/corporatocracy constituencies. Those people give money and get out the vote.

    The rest of us (women, people who don’t want corporations running everything, blacks, Latinos) don’t count. Because not enough of us vote. That IS our fault.

    Well, not mine, because I make the effort to vote. I voted in a municipal runoff election last month, for fuck’s sake.

    It continues to amuse me that people (I assume they’re younger people, but maybe I’m wrong and they’re just lazy older people) are offended when I bring this up. But by all means, go ahead and register your outrage on Facebook and Twitter if you think it’ll do any good.

    Meanwhile, the legislature in my state of residence has probably already passed that bullshit anti-abortion law. It was priority one on their list for the “special” session that Perry arranged for them.

  • Space Marine Becka

    I can understand why some people see this sentiment as victim blaming but I can also see why people feel that way.

    On the upside maybe they all felt alone and isolated and like their vote would change nothing. Maybe people don’t feel that way any more http://ow.ly/i/2uV8L More people voting is alway good in a democracy.

    Now you just need to make sure you’ve got people ready to help the would be voters jump through the hoops Texas has now set up for them.

  • AcyOS

    I can absolutely see why people feel that way, but it is victim-blaming. It’s an assertion that a bad thing being done to people by other people is their own fault because of something they did or, in this case, failed to do.

    And with the personal attacks and assuming on the basis of no evidence that I must not vote if I have a problem with that assertion, it’s also doubling down.

  • Space Marine Becka

    No one I saw said you didn’t vote. No one said anything personally about you at all? Not sure what made you think anyone did.

    If only 10% of your electorate is voting your democracy is failing and failing democracies do things like this.

  • FearlessSon

    If any good comes out of the clear attempts by places like Texas to disenfranchise voters, that would be to help shock those in disenfranchised groups into further action, to vote in ever increasingly numbers (with good organization and support) to overcome the weight that has been shifted against them. That the outrage at the injustice might overcome to hopelessness that might keep them out of the booth.

    I will not blame the victim, but I do try to stay optimistic about how injustices put upon them might steel them to see the wrongs against them righted.

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

    As regards the manufactured home rental increase protections, that’s pretty good, all things considered, as residential renters have long had rent-increase protections that are in some way linked to the CPI.

    That said, a park of manufactured home owners should get first right of refusal to purchase the land under their houses, and the government could easily use its power of the purse here: if the owner of a manufactured home park wants to sell the land, the law should provide that in the instance where the homeowners cannot gather sufficient funds to satisfy the right of refusal, but a supermajority (say, 60%) want to buy the land and run it as a homeowner cooperative, then the government should buy the land up front, then sell it back to the cooperative over a ten or twenty-year term.

  • AnonaMiss

    Gary Bauer — the diminutive founder of the Family Research Council who later came up short in his bid for president

    That was a low blow, Fred. Did you think it would sneak under the radar? Just because the man has no problem punching below the belt doesn’t mean you should stoop to his level.

  • AnonaMiss

    And to preempt anyone who thinks I’m actually taking offense here, read it again.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Yeah, glad you put the disclaimer there, cuz I missed it the first (several) times I read it. It’s early still for me, and I seem to be rather dense today…

  • Michael Pullmann

    I was seriously about to downvote you, but then I read this comment. Well done.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    +1 interwebs, good sir or ma’am.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Actually, I’d like to register absolutely unironic, non-tongue-in-cheek displeasure with Fred for the “short” jokes. What possible purpose is there in poking fun at the man’s height? That’s no better than poking fun at Rush Limbaugh’s weight on your way to pointing out his bigotry, or making misogynistic jokes about Sarah Palin while dissecting her politics, or transphobic/gender-normative jokes about Ann Coulter “maybe really being a man in drag” while calling her to task for the hateful things she says. Seriously, Fred’s usually a lot more aware of, and avoiding of, the nastiness of rhetoric that puts down someone in terms of what ought to be value-neutral traits.

    If I’m missing something that makes the “short” jokes OK, please feel free to point it out, but currently I’m not very happy about it either Fred’s original post nor AnonaMiss’s jumping on the bandwagon.

  • Arresi

    Well, if you don’t mind a personal opinion, I think the main difference is that there’s no double-meaning to calling Limbaugh fat or Palin a woman. Fred called Bauer a diminutive, literally something that makes the thing it’s attached to – in this case the FRC – trivial and small, and pointed out that he came up short (of votes) in his run, in a post that was basically about how Bauer’s views on homosexuality are making his supporters looks petty, trivial, and out of touch.

  • Amaryllis

    And yet, when in these pages Rush Limbaugh was referred to as a “big fat liar,” there was an outcry. Even though he IS a lying liar, and even though the adjectives could be read– probably were intended to be read– as referring to the size of the lies rather than the size of the liar, most of Fred’s readers considered the phrase inappropriate because it reads like a weight insult, and body size should be treated as a value-neutral trait.

    Like Nicole, I raised my eyebrows over the “diminutive.” (I was just to my shame too lazy to say anything last night.)

    Yes, you could read it as a clever reference, “something that makes the thing it’s attached to – in this case the FRC – trivial and small,” but I didn’t read it that way. I read it as “He’s short [and there’s something a little ridiculous about short men].”

    He’s a petty and trivial person because of his views,; his vies aren’t trivial because of his height.

  • Arresi

    “but I didn’t read it that way.” Which, it seems to me, is the point. I did, and explained how I had read it, and why *I* didn’t *feel* like Fred was insulting Bauer’s height. I do want to make sure I clarify: I am not defending, nor do I think it is possible to defend as legitimate and fair criticism, the sort of attack Nicole describes in her first paragraph or that he describes in his second and third paragraphs.

    I understand why Nicole (and you) feel that this is the same sort of thing, although it’s nice of you to offer support to Nicole and clarification to me, but I haven’t decided whether I agree yet. I like my interpretation – it’s mine, for one thing, and it’s funny, clever, and doesn’t require me to believe that Fred or multiple commenters have actually been publicly insulting people like me. Whereas, if I end up agreeing with you, I’m just going to be irritated and disappointed at almost everybody in this thread up to the main post.

    I will apologize for using petty in my comment though. A discussion about the appropriateness of size-based puns was the wrong place to use that particular insult. I should have caught that. (Although reading it again in yours did add some unintentional humor.)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    In the case of what Fred has written, that may be accurate. He used the word as an adjective, which doesn’t necessarily imply judgment. However, it’s also irrelevant, making one have to wonder why he–or anyone using such descriptors–would bother pointing it out unless it were intended to be significant.

    In the case of making references to Limbaugh’s weight or Palin’s sex, those aren’t typically used as descriptors, they’re used as means of attack. “Stuff another donut in that gob, you disgusting fat slob!” “What Palin really needs is to shut her mouth or put it to a proper use. *Eyebrow waggle*”

    Those aren’t descriptors. Fat-shaming and misogyny don’t belong anywhere, including directed toward people we don’t like.

  • Arresi

    As I did in my response to Amaryllis, I want to clarify, I am not defending, nor do I think it is possible to defend as legitimate and fair criticism, the sort of attack Nicole describes in
    her first paragraph or that you describe in your second and third paragraphs. I was trying to explain why I don’t read Fred and AnonaMiss’ comments as being that sort of attack.

    Not to go on for too long about a comment which amounted to “this is why someone else might not feel there was a problem, ymmv,” but I actually didn’t think diminutive was an irrelevant adjective. If he hadn’t mentioned height, I would not have connected Bauer the candidate I saw on tv with Bauer the evangelical Fred is talking about. That said, I did think the choice of diminutive was significant – it’s an odd word to describe someone who isn’t really all that short, which is part of why I read it as having a double-meaning.

  • AnonaMiss

    I always thought the value-neutral-ness is the point with short people jokes – c.f. Randy Newman’s Short People, where it’s used as a reducto ad absurdum for prejudice based on physical appearance. Half the point of a short joke is the inherent absurdity of poking fun at someone’s height.

    I do agree we could use some more value-neutral traits to rib people about. I’d suggest hair color, but the joke that gingers have no souls spun out of control a little fast among chavs.

  • David S.

    But it’s not value-netural. As per http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201306/why-women-want-tall-men , tall men have a big advantage (and despite the URL, not just in dating.)

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m aware of the small advantages tall men have, but I think that’s the result of the kind of subconscious prejudice that benefits from being brought to light through humor. Unlike racial prejudice or gender prejudice, no one’s going to double down on their height prejudice, so I speculate making jokes about it is less likely to reinforce prejudicial behavior.

    (Personally, I find men who are my height or shorter more attractive than those taller than me, and I’m almost never attracted to men with 4″ or more over me. (I’m 5’6″.) Which isn’t to say that prejudice against short folks isn’t a real thing, just mentioning my personal preference since it goes against the grain.)

  • TheBrett

    If it’s not rent control, it’s close. I’d much rather do some type of subsidized rent-to-own thing with the land beneath the fabricated homes. Rent control tends to benefit the people living in the spots while jacking up the prices and diminishing the amount of housing available to new people.

  • GuestPoster

    To pick nits just a bit:

    Bauer, and those like him, regularly make claims about how marriage is humanity’s oldest social institution. Now, of course, they also make clear that they’re talking about MODERN marriage, and that any of those odd-ball social orders that came before don’t count.

    Now, I’m no biblical scholar, but the first words god said weren’t ‘and this is how marriage works’, were they? If so, isn’t religion, from which folks like Bauer claim marriage flows, actually a rather older, perhaps more or less important, social institution? By claiming that marriage is as old as it gets, aren’t these people stepping right past young-earth creationism into a new ism, where they deny the very text of their infallible books in order to make political points?

  • Albanaeon

    And denying the text to support political goals will be new in what way?

  • FearlessSon

    These are also people who will say whatever serves the conclusion they like, even if it contradicts other things they say. They segment their mentality such that each idea occupies its own headspace, and the friction of incompatible ideas never happens because those ideas never bump into each other.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I suspect that when certain right-wing Christians of the gay-hating persuasion make noises about heterosexual, monogamous, complementarian marriage being society’s oldest institution, it is a form of question begging. The premise they assume in order to support their conclusion, if they bothered to spell it out, would go something like this: “Adam and Eve were literally the first two humans on the planet, so when God authored their marriage by creating Eve while saying ‘it is not good for man to be alone’, that was the first marriage in the history of humanity and the first human societal institution ever.”

    It is related to the so-called logic on display when someone says, “Silly, there are no ‘pre-Christian religions!’ Christianity is the oldest religion there is, because God came before and created everything else!”

  • WingedBeast

    Mr. Bauer, it should be noted that, once upon a time interracial marriage was once illegal. And, not it is legal across the US, without exception and, in fact, illegal for a state to legislate against it.

    But, you’ll note that racists can continue to speak their racist speech and not get thrown in jail for it.

    Truly, racists, Mr. Bauer, are your canaries in the coalmine. Sure, you don’t believe there’s any moral equivalency, but there are other equivalencies. They say things about people of other races regarding their “place” and what is “natural” and you say the same about homosexuals and homosexuality. They even often claim that what they say is not actually hateful, much as you claim about what you say and do with regards to homosexuality. And, most importantly, what non-racists think about racists is what people who don’t share your views about homosexuality think about you.

    Have there been cases in which a person who openly states a racist belief is thrown in jail only for the statement of belief? No. Can a racist person be fired from position for racist beliefs or expressions? Under certain conditions, yes.

    Now, here’s where you’re going to point out how that isn’t horrible for them but is for you because your anti-homosexuality beliefs are based in your faith. But, the equivalencies continue! Both the KKK and the Neo-Nazis claim that their views on race, much as you claim of your views on sexuality, come from their deeply held Christian values.

    So, keep a close eye on racists and how they are treated. It shouldn’t be difficult, most of them avidly agree with your stance on sexuality.

  • Lori

    I agree with you, but I’m not sure it would have the desired effect on Bauer even if he accepted the comparison. Paula Dean just lost her TV slot and her publishing deal for being a racist. For people like Bauer facing any consequences at all, especially ones that cost money, is persecution.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Well, Bauer has a vested interest in not understanding this, so nothing’s really going to change his mind. The people listening to him are another story. Of course, they have their own reasons to resist understanding. There’s a belief in that subculture that Christians are uniquely targeted for persecution, which is why they believe that the lack of punishment for racists doesn’t mean that they won’t be punished for their beliefs.

  • Lori

    That’s true, but my point is that this week they wouldn’t even buy the idea that racists aren’t punished. From their perspective Paula Dean is being (unfairly) punished for being a racist and they’re next.

  • WingedBeast

    We can’t exactly argue that there will never be *any* consequences for voicing anti-gay beliefs. But, there is a far difference between consequences and oppression.
    And, hey, if they really get very, very unpopular, they can always go to the ACLU for help!

  • Lori

    We can’t argue it, but that’s how they define freedom, for themselves (although obviously not for other people). You can’t really dent that. I think the only thing we can do is shrug and ignore their flailing.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Paula Deen also shot to the top of the bestsellers’ list on Amazon, her cruises suddenly became incredibly popular, and her restaurants are absolutely rammed, all because of her racist values. Overall, I don’t think she’s going to end up losing much money, and may end up gaining it, as sickening as that is.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Query- how much racism has Paula Deen actually shown? Aside from the “traditional Southern plantation wedding” remark (which was bad, don’t get me wrong), the lawsuit letter I read seemed to have very little to do with her and everything to do with her brother, Bubba Hiers, but his name never seems to come up in conversation.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The first lawsuit was to do with her brother. Whom she supported in every way. She was the boss, the buck stops with her.

    However, she’s been slapped with a lawsuit for paying her black employees in alcohol for at least one event. They couldn’t insist on being paid in actual money without getting fired. She quoted a racist joke on her Today interview, and that was not the only racist thing she said during it. And she’s playing up the “nice old white Southern lady menaced by mean black man” schtick, which is a racist dogwhistle if ever there was one.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Okay, I hadn’t heard any of that. If the joke is what I’m looking at, it’s a little tenuous (“I is what I is” sounds like something I would say while playing off of lolcatz), but I’m seeing some other stuff here that hadn’t been mentioned in the letter. Defending slavery, for one thing.

  • Lori

    “I is what I is” might be LOLcat speak coming from a kid. Coming from a 66 year old Southerner it’s racism, straight up and her target market recognizes it as such.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Well, I’m not exactly a kid, although I’m not 66 years old. ^^

    But yeah, I’m not about to question her racism when she went on a spiel about how great slavery was and how the slaves must have felt so bad to be freed.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    For bonus points, she phrased it in terms of “plantation owners’ poor fee-fees were hurt so bad by losing their slaves!” and completely missed the fact that the slaves didn’t stick around, meaning whatever she thinks her great-grandfather felt, it certainly fucking wasn’t reciprocated.

  • Lori

    I’ve seen a lot of people focusing entirely on the fact that she admitted using the N word, as if that was all there was to her racism, and then arguing that the response to that is overblown. That is so wrong. I don’t approve of people using the N word, but IMO her repeated expressions of nostalgia for the days when rich white people owned black people as property is far worse.

  • the shepard

    the whole plantation party with the waiters all dressed like uncle ben (from the rice, not spider-man) firmly creeps me out.
    anyone who thinks this is a good thing has some seriously skewed ideas.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I am prepared to admit that the antebellum South (from the perspective of a sufficiently rich white person) has a certain charm.

    However, once one starts looking at the perspective of anybody else in the antebellum South, that charm goes all rotten.

  • Lori

    I feel the same way. I’ve done plantation tours for Pete’s sake. The houses were beautiful and as a cos play thing it’s appealing (having lived in the South I would not want to actually live in an era when I had to wear that much cloth, even if I was willing to enslave other people to do my work).

    I would still never even entertain the idea of throwing a party for white people where I hire black people to play slaves, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. That’s just gross and disturbing and wrong.

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

    When I read about Plantation tours I get the sudden fervent desire to shower all the ick off of me, because they take such a hagiographic and patronizing viewpoint about the realities of the lives of slaves. I wish I had the website of that one tour which was all like “spend an authentic night in a slave shack” or some such rot.

  • Lori

    I never went anywhere like that. The ones I went on were much more honest about slavery and at least one still had the slave cabins as part of the tour*. Naturally there’s a limit to how much they say since they don’t want to upset the tourists, but there was no “happy darkies singing in the fields” crap. I never even heard of anyone offering to have tourists spend a night in a slave shack, and I don’t know what “authentic” would even be. Having the tourists go to bed hungry and sleep on the ground? I don’t see people paying for that.

    *Very, very few former plantations still have any slave cabins standing. Some were torn down, but a lot just fell down. They were very poorly built & didn’t last long once there was no regular fixing being done to them. In that sense the absence of the structures tells it’s own tale and at least one of the tours I went on pointed that out.

  • Jenny Islander

    If it was an authentic reproduction of the kind of uninsulated log dog kennel field slaves were expected to endure, and if you got to eat off chips of wood and sleep on corn husks, and if the evening’s “entertainment” was a projection of the people who were born, lived, and died in that house . . . maybe.

    Although I don’t know how truly authentic a person could get in this age of fire ants.

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

    I suspect it was a much more romanticized version.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I don’t see the “charm” at all. A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and have a father who was a rapist, and know all of this but have to pretend she didn’t.

    No charm at all, from any perspective that I can see. But maybe I’ve studied the reality too much to feel anything but revulsion for the fantasy.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Can you give some references for your claims?

  • Lori

    Are you in the US? If so, did they not cover the antebellum South in your US history classes?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    They did. I remain vigilant in my Skepticism.

  • Lori

    There’s “vigilant skepticism” and there’s Neo-Confederate bullshit. I think you may be drawing the line in the wrong place.

  • AnonaMiss

    It’s undisputed that slaveowners owned other people, had no moral problem owning other people, would face no legal repercussions for abusing them sexually or otherwise, and did regularly physically abuse their slaves.

    Consider the competing claims: that in this situation, slaveowners did regularly take sexual advantage of their slaves, or did not take sexual advantage of their slaves.

    You’re really more skeptical of the claim that rape was widespread, than that it wasn’t?

    PS Frederick Dougalss, Sally Hemmings (keeping in mind that in a master/slave relationship meaningful consent is impossible)

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    It depends on the meaning of “widespread”. Liira claimed “A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and have a father who was a rapist, and know all of this but have to pretend she didn’t.”. Emphasis added.

  • AnonaMiss

    If the frequency is what you wanted to know about then you communicated it extremely ineffectively. “Can you give some references for your claims?” and then going on about your Skepticism (sic) makes out like you don’t believe sexual assault of slaves was a common occurrence. “Do we know how widespread it was for sure? ‘Almost certain’ sounds a little high.” would have been a much clearer and friendlier way of asking for the same information/voicing the same objection.

    Sometimes I get the feeling you intentionally word your disagreements as vaguely as possible. The kind part of me thinks it’s because you’re on the autism spectrum and in denial of it; the unkind part of me thinks it’s because you get off on the self-righteous feeling of Being Falsely Accused.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Your first paragraph is true. Thank you for helping me realize how I was ineffective in communicating my request. I certainly don’t intentionally word my disagreements as vaguely as possible. I just don’t realize when I do. I also don’t get off on the self-righteous feeling of Being Falsely Accused-in fact, I find unproductive conversations very annoying.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Well now, “rape was widespread” is a very different and weaker claim than “A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be
    married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and
    have a father who was a rapist,” which is what was actually said. I haven’t seen EH actually dispute that rape was widespread, just that it was nigh-universal.

    (I wouldn’t say anything, but this isn’t the only time recently that there’s been discussions here where the “good” side makes claims that assume “widespread” means “universal” or “half the time” means “almost always” or “lots of people” means “most people”)

  • AnonaMiss

    Yeah, the problem was that by just demanding blanket proof, instead of pointing out what part of the statement he doubted, EH inadvertently triggered the NeoConfederate alarm.

    Which is, obviously… very loud.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I’m not Lliira, but you can find some references here.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    1. Your link’s unclickable.
    2. He/she who makes the claim is supposed to back it up. It’s good form.
    3. Not funny.

  • LoneWolf343

    He did back it up. Three independent sources is the minimum I always had to provide when I had to write a sourced paper, and he gave you three independent sources.

    Evaluate his sources, or GTFO. You’re not arguing in good faith anymore.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Sure. All these sources are memoirs. Memoirs, by their nature, provide detailed, but limited perspectives. As Liira claims

    A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be
    married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and
    have a father who was a rapist, and know all of this but have to pretend
    she didn’t.

    far more than three samples must be presented for Liira’s claim to be even considered plausible.

  • Lori

    DNA testing. All the African Americans we have walking around now are not descended from the same 3 white slaveholders. You’re trying so hard to prove how clever & skeptical you are that you’re being ridiculous.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    1. I went from memory and used “www” in the url. Edited it immediately, but one of Disqus’ many downsides is the inability to preview posts and make sure hyperlinks work.
    2. You don’t get to sit on your lazy ass and make demands of people.
    3. Your face isn’t funny.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You’ve never seen my face!

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I always imagine you looking like that Lulzsec guy, the one with the chin boobs.

    Actually I take it back, your face is pretty funny.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Link to image, please? Also, I have only one chin.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    You can find an image here.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Again, not funny. Also, I’m serious.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    So am I. Fucking go to google, type in “lulzsec chin boobs,” go to images. Why is using Google so hard for you? Everyone else seems to have mastered it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Jesus, you realize what sources are for, right? There’s a reason bibliographies exist. I’ve mastered Google, too. I did, after all, find the difficult-to-find pictures needed to make this caricature.

  • Beroli

    Jesus, you realize what sources are for, right?

    Giving to every random idiot who demands them on the Internet?

    Wait, no, that’s not it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Actually, it is it.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I’ve mastered Google, too.

    So you know how to use it, you’d rather just demand loudly that other people use it for you. Sounds like you, all right.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You didn’t reply to the person to whom you intended to reply.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Yeah, Disqus sucks, whatcha gonna do.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    That wasn’t Disqus’s fault; it was yours.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I could delete the comment, and then repost it in reply to you. I did that once. Disqus actually doesn’t delete the comment, it just converts it into a “guest” comment. Rather than have two of the same comment clutter up the thread, I just made it a blockquote.

    At least I can use Google, though, unlike some of us.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Ah. Now I see what you meant by your previous comment.

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

    As much as I see how the phrasing could have come about I don’t think it’s really nice to use such unflattering monikers based solely on physical appearance.

  • Amaryllis

    Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861.
    Mary Chesnut, Diary of Mary Chesnut, written 1861-1865.
    Fanny Kemble, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, 1863.

    Not mention numerous works of historical scholarship which I’m sure you’re quite capable of looking up for yourself, but those were three famous contemporary sources which sprang immediately to mind.

    Sexual exploitation of female slaves by slave-owners was an open secret. How could it be otherwise, with the evidence right there in the resulting mixed-race children.

    And Jacobs, Chesnut and Kemble all make it clear that the wives knew, and disapproved (not necessarily out of any kind of female solidarity, but finding their men’s behavior unpleasant and insulting to themselves and their own children) but were powerless to do anything about it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Amaryllis

    Oh for the love of God.

    You asked for sources; I gave you some. You want more, look them up yourself, they’re not hard to find. I’m done.

  • LoneWolf343

    Three sources is not a “small sample size.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Hint: anything less than 150 randomized samples here is a “small sample size”.

  • WingedBeast

    Your means of acquiring 150 randomized samples of female slaves from the antebellum south to gage the relative prevalence of slaveholders using their position to get sex from their female slaves would be…?
    Or we could work with what we know of history.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How do we “know of history”?

  • Lori

    So you’re both claiming not to be doing historiography wrong and also claim to have no idea how historiography is done. These to statements do not go together.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    When I ask a question, this does not always mean I don’t have an answer. I wrote a fairly large rebuttal of some Judeo-Christian apologists’ ideas on historiography at http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/review-of-a-biblical-history-of-israel-chapter-3/

    I sometimes ask a question to see what another person’s answer to a question is, so I can better understand what that person is talking about.

  • Lori

    Pretending ignorance is sort of a dick way to achieve your stated goal. You could just be honest and simply ask. “How are you defining that?”

    Also, I realized that there is a way that we can randomize history to an extend—DNA testing of African Americans. A very high percentage of African Americans have Caucasian ancestry through their great great grandparents. Funny that.

  • Lee B.

    Historiography: you’re doing it wrong.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How? I’m not seeing any error I’m making.

  • Lee B.

    Historiography is not a mathematically-based field of scientific study where you can expect to use statistical methods to disprove a null hypothesis.

    Primary sources are always limited in number. Primary and secondary sources are always in some way biased (as are historiographers, for that matter), and are sometimes unreliable. Statistical tests will not help you to overcome these limitations.

    This doesn’t mean statistics is never useful in the study of history, but it is just one of many tools, and is only appropriately used with the right kind of quantifiable data.

  • Alix

    1. You’re acting like personal memoirs are less valuable than other sources. In many ways, to a historian, they’re the most valuable sources, because they frequently provide details on daily life, culture, and psychology omitted from more official writings.

    2. You can’t insist on a large sample size. This isn’t science; it’s history. Most of the stuff I study, for example, we don’t even have one single complete document for, just fragments or oblique references in other texts.

    3. History requires both synthesis and extrapolation. You have to look at all sorts of information – not just documentary evidence, but things like DNA or archaeology, where applicable – and you have to not just combine that into one picture, but try to fill in the many, many gaps.

    4. Documents are biased – and not just the memoirs. At least with memoirs, personal journals, etc., the bias is clear. Every. Single. Piece. of written evidence, from a historian’s point of view, is as unreliable as any witness on a stand – human memory is fallible, and human records even moreso. We alter every story we tell, every report we give, without even knowing it – and this doesn’t even touch the many things slanted deliberately.

    Shorter me: history is not science, stop treating it like it is.

  • Carstonio

    You may see yourself as skeptical, but you sound very defensive, like you have a rant ready about how the war wasn’t really about slavery and how slaves were well treated by their owners.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I have no idea whether slaves were generally treated well by their owners or not. I know there were well-documented cases of blatant mistreatment of slaves. I know plantation life was shit for the slaves. I know the South seceded because they feared Lincoln would put America on the road to Abolition.

  • Lori

    I have no idea whether slaves were generally treated well by their owners or not.

    They were owned as property so no, they were not treated well. There is no way to own someone and treat them well.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    There is no way to own someone and treat them well.

    -I disagree. One could simply let them exist as though they were free.

  • Lori

    That’s a rather stupid thing to say since if owners had been willing to let them exist as if they were free they would not have owned them in the first place.

    But we’ll set that idiocy aside and assume that your statement makes sense. We still know that the slaves were not treated well, even by your standards. When the slaves were freed they almost all left the plantations. We know how the acted when they actually were free, so it’s safe to say that we know how they would have acted if they had been treated as if they were free. They did not in fact act that way prior to emancipation. Saying that they weren’t able to walk away from the plantations in droves is a rather enormous understatement.

    We know that the slaves were not treated well. Your claims to high intellectual standards are really undermined when you say these sorts of things.

  • Amaryllis

    Echo from fiction: “There ain’t no such thing as a good mistress, on account of a mistress ain’t a good thing to be.”
    – character in Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze, dismissing her “Old Missy’s” cherished reputation as a kind slave-owner.

    (Interesting book.)

    And have I mentioned lately how much I hate Disqus? With this format, there’s no following who said what to whom when. Everything seems to be all mixed up.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’s intensely weird how desperate apologists are to push the idea that slaves were treated well.

    As if “The people who owned these human beings treated them well” would somehow make “These people owned these other people” any less of a crime against humanity.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Aren’t you forgetting the famous Tale of the Slave, Ross?

  • Carstonio

    Why the legalistic focus on “generally”? That’s something I would expect from a person trying to defend the reputation of specific slaveowning ancestors. Keeping humans in bondage is possible only through brutality, and the bondage itself is a form of brutality. So debating over whether most slaveowners committed specific acts of mistreatment is pointless.

  • Lori

    You do realize that we’re not conducting an experiment don’t you? How exactly do you propose to randomize history?

  • LoneWolf343

    I want 150 randomized samples to prove you’re not an idiot.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    WTF?

  • LoneWolf343

    Yeah, not fair when it is pulled on you, is it?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    No, it’s just nonsensical.

  • LoneWolf343

    Exactly.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    There were millions of slaves. There’s only one of me. My requests made sense. Yours doesn’t.

  • LoneWolf343

    You’re not doing much in the “proving yourself not a moron” department.

    It happened. It was a well-documented phenomena. Jefferson fucking did it. Get. over. it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Besides, I’m only one sample.

  • Beroli

    Don’t sell yourself short. You’re more than stupid enough for 150 people.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m not stupid.

  • Beroli

    Sources?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    What would count as sources?

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

    You remind me of that guy who claimed female on male violence was far more prevalent than the other way around and based most of it on one link to like 200 journal articles for which 50% of the data set is based on one article that surveyed a lot of people.

    (The remainder had much smaller samples and considerable fluctuations from set to set as to the prevalence rate)

  • Beroli

    It is abundantly obvious that, because you’ve decided that you don’t want to believe rape was epidemic in the antebellum South, “anything you’ve gotten” is a small sample size.

    Hint: Your will to be stupid is your problem and no one else’s.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I don’t deny that rape of slaves occurred in the antebellum South. I am, however, strongly skeptical of Liira’s statement that

    A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be
    married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and
    have a father who was a rapist, and know all of this but have to pretend
    she didn’t.

    -Emphasis added.

  • Carstonio

    Why is that phrase in bold such a big deal to you? Sure, among the wealthiest of slaveowners there were probably a few who didn’t rape their slaves. That doesn’t matter, because we’re still talking about people who had no scruples about owning fellow humans for personal gain.

    Rape of female slaves was not just about abusing power, it was also about accumulating more wealth by siring more slaves. It would have been rare for a wealthy slaveowner to resist both temptations.

  • P J Evans

    Mary Chesnut was in my US history class, lo these many years ago. That’s a recognized source.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Chapter/pg. #s+edition?

  • Alix

    Dude, now you’re getting ridiculous. Given how rarely you provide that level of citation, you don’t have much right to demand it of others. You’ve been given some places to start, if you’re actually interested – ball’s in your court, now. Giving you a couple books to look at is plenty sufficient for a comments-section thread.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    To be fair, there are some history classes going on right now which assure us that slaves were fine with being slaves, gold is awesome and Thomas Jefferson had nothing to do with founding the country.

  • Asha

    Sad to say, I had that teacher. I had to grow up and discover the internet to really learn more.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Thomas Jefferson wait what now?

    I can understand, though of course I disagree with, whitewashing history regarding the personal motivations of slaves with respect to slavery, and I can understand, though ditto, the profit motive of pushing people to invest in gold. But how in hell does one write the author of the Declaration and an early President out of the events surrounding the formation of this nation?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    A few years ago, the Texas Board of Education approved textbooks which minimize the role Thomas Jefferson played in American politics, among other things. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html?_r=0

  • Lori

    It’s Texas. They cut him because he was inconveniently tied to the Enlightenment, which is of course anathema to wingnuts. Plus, they needed to make room for more John Clavin.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/03/12/86595/texas-education-board-cuts-thomas-jefferson-out-of-its-textbooks/

  • EllieMurasaki

    …still wtf.

  • Lori

    Oh yeah, a total WTF?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Well, after the response to calling Abraham Lincoln a war criminal who should have been (or was…) executed for treason and being told “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” well…

  • EllieMurasaki

    Run that by me again?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Snirk* Sorry. I knew that phrasing was a little clunky. The joke was supposed to parse as “They couldn’t think of anything nice to say about Thomas Jefferson, so they decided to say nothing at all.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    “He’s a big part of the reason we don’t have Queen Elizabeth II on our currency” isn’t a nice thing to say about him? Not that I’ve any particular objection to either the UK or its Queen, but USAians like our independence.

  • Lori

    They’re not fans of the Enlightenment, they’re not actually fans of democracy, they hate the Jefferson Bible and the religious beliefs that created it. They’re not big fans of Jefferson. (Accept the slave owning. They don’t ever seem to have any complaints about that.)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Actually, how many of the people who signed the Declaration are remembered by name today? I think their intent is to relegate him to the same sort of role.

  • Lori

    Well, he didn’t just sign it. But yes, I think they’d love for us to forget about Jefferson. Feel the love of the Founding Fathers.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There’s reasons watching 1776 on July 4 is a tradition in my house. The fact that I can only name (for certain, off the top of my head) four signers of the Declaration (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock) is one of them. Eventually I’ll memorize all the names of all the characters.

    I do know the events were somewhat dramatized, and not just to provide musical interludes and place Martha Jefferson in Philly that summer. For instance, dude from Pennsylvania who’s the swing vote in the musical, reality wasn’t that way. I forget how reality was exactly, but it wasn’t that way.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That seems like an admirable goal. My terrible memory makes it hard to memorize names (anyone’s), so I have to admire that.

  • Amaryllis

    I can only name (for certain, off the top of my head) four signers of the Declaration (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock)

    And this is where a Catholic-school education comes in handy, because I can name five! Much was made of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the Only Catholic Signer.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    What about Thomas Fitzsimons?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Interesting, the wikipedia page for Charles Carroll says he was the only Catholic signer, but the pages for Daniel Carroll and Thomas Fitzsimons say they were the only two signers.

  • Amaryllis

    Never heard of him.

    So either Sister Mary Frances or my own memory has let me down.

    As for Daniel Carroll, the Fitszimons Wikipedia page is just wrong. Charles signed the Declaration, Daniel signed the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution ( at least, according to his own page, but that sounds right).

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yeah, there are two very exclusive competing claims here, three people all identified as Roman Catholic and supposedly either only one or two (but not overlapping with the first) were Catholic. This is the first epic fail I’ve seen from Wikipedia in a long time.

  • Amaryllis

    Oh, they were all Catholic, it’s just that they didn’t all sign the Declaration. On looking it up, I find that Fitzsimons signed the Constitution, along with Daniel Carroll; I must have been too tired to read straight last night. So Charles regains his solitary status for the Declaration.

    I looked up Fitzsimons, and he was the first vice president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick– sounds pretty Irish Catholic to me.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ah! It’s probably a bad thing that I never knew the documents had separate signers.

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

    Button Gwinnett is just about the only signer I can name. Because how awesome a name is “Button Gwinnett”?

  • Amaryllis

    “Button Gwinnett” certainly beats the rather generic “Richard Stockton.” I remembered him as well, probably due to too much time spent on the New Jersey Turnpike. (In New Jersey history, you’re no one if you don’t have a rest stop named after you.)

  • Isabel C.

    I dunno about that–after editing a few employment law books covering Europe, “independence” sounds like we got the shit end of the stick here.

    Ah well.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Good point.

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

    You know, it’s like some people think the CSA movie should’ve been real.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I think if it was just that, it wouldn’t be so widespread. I think that in among the people who think slavery is forgivable is a much large group who through naievety or willfull ignorance think you can separate out the slavery and still have something left worth celebrating in antebellum plantation culture.

    I mean, heck, Joss Whedon did “The Civil War in Space with the Space-Confederates as the noble lost-cause good guys (only none of that icky slavery stuff)”

  • Jamoche

    I’ve never seen the “Space-Confederates” analogy. There’s a civil war, yes, but not The Civil War. The Browncoats weren’t a privileged class trying to hold onto that privilege – the privilege was all on the other side. All I’ve ever seen Whedon claim to have borrowed is one lost-cause battle, and lost-cause battles aren’t exactly rare.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Really? Seems like eveyr discussion I’ve ever had about firefly went “This is awesome. Except wait, did he just rewrite the civil war with the confederates as the good guys?”

    Also, neither “the browncoats weren’t a privileged class trying to hold on to that privilege, all the privilege was on the other side” nor “the confederates were a privilege class trying to hold on to that privilege, the privilege was all on their side” are strictly true. In Firefly, we see that the formerly independent outer worlds are places of immense wealth disparity, largely run by a wealthy elite by exploiting the locals. And contrariwise, the actual people doing the fighting in the confederate army weren’t the wealthy slaveowners. They may have been protecting the interest of the wealthy and privileged, but they weren’t protecting their own wealth or privelege, and they weren’t fighting because they wanted to protect that privilege — they were fighting because they weren’t able or weren’t willing to make the kind of sacrifices they’d have needed ot make in order to avoid fighting to serve the privileged. And don’t forget that the north was, in general, wealthier and more priviliged than the south to begin with.

    The narrative of the war in Firefly is “Those wealthy folks from the rich part of the ‘verse decided to roll in and impose their law on us poor folks out here. And sure we ain’t perfect, but the bad stuff here is all just because we’re poor and can’t compete with those yankees, and ain’t we got the right to decide how we’re going to live?” It’s a page torn straight out of the book of “How southerners think about the civil war”.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Hey! I took A.P. U.S. History in a High School in an upper middle class school district in a northern state! The textbook mentioned Jefferson (though the teachers didn’t emphasize him), the teachers and the textbook author were both strong Keynesians, and none of the teachers ever said that “slaves were fine with being slaves” or anything similar. BTW, I got an A- in that class throughout the year.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I wasn’t talking to or about you, Klondike Bar. All I was offering was a counterpoint that textbooks aren’t always reliable indicators of trustworthiness. That’s a point in your favor, if anything, except that in this case, there are too many sources (like genetic markers in thousands of people) to dismiss the claim.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Again, why do you call me Klondike Bar?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Because you’re square and satisfying when the mood strikes, but induce headaches when consumed too quickly and a violent stomachache if consumed in too great a quantity.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Also, you replied to a response to me, so I considered there was a good chance you were talking about me.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Ooh you got an A- in an A.P. class in high school, you’re a big boy now. I’m not going to throw out my credentials, because you’re obviously fishing, trying to get other people to brag about themselves so you can have a laugh.

    Are you even trying any more, or have you decided you’re just going to be here to amuse people? I mean, I certainly approve of this new, almost entirely hilarious and thoroughly transparent EH, but really.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You completely misunderstood my intentions. I’m not bragging, simply denying any commentator’s attempts, real or potential, to belittle my High School education to try to understand my requests for sources. I was certainly not trying to get people to brag about themselves. Remember, the AnonSam comment I was replying to was a response to a response to me.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Bullshit.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Why do you say my words are bullshit? I am telling the truth. Do you just say my words are bullshit because you do not like admitting you were wrong about my intentions?

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

    Also it’s an open secret based on the fact that so many slaves ended up picking up the surnames of their owners either on manumission or after the Civil War.

  • Lorehead

    Certainly. If you aren’t familiar with the history of slavery in America, you should be.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Lorehead

    I’m now convinced that you’re arguing in bad faith. I have nothing more to say to you.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    1) The person making the EXTRAORDINARY claim has to back it up.
    2) Go look up recent Civil War texts, and also slave memoirs, yourself. The commenters of Slacktivist are not here to be your personal researchers.
    3) Fuck off.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    And you did make an extraordinary claim-

    A rich white married slaveowning woman was almost certain to be be
    married to a man who was a rapist, have children who were rapists, and
    have a father who was a rapist, and know all of this but have to pretend
    she didn’t.

    -Therefore, you have to back it up with extraordinary evidence.

  • Lori

    The houses were pretty and, at least some of them were architecturally interesting. Some people find the clothes pretty. That doesn’t justify what was required to produce it, but the fact that someone can see the pretty doesn’t mean that they are unaware of the ugly.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I didn’t mean to imply that there was anything wrong with seeing the pretty and fantasizing so long as fantasy was strictly separated from reality. Just that I can’t do it. And I can and do have fantasies about all sorts of places and times that were actually pretty terrible (that’s often part of the, er, charm). The antebellum South just — I can’t with it. Maybe it’s because I see too many people defending it on a regular basis.

  • LoneWolf343

    I have the same feeling about Kansas. The country is great, but the people here suck.

  • Lee B.

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

  • Carstonio

    While some plantations as museums attempt honest looks at their history, others showcase only the opulent lifestyle of the owners. A lifestyle that was possible only through the brutal exploitation of fellow humans in bondage. I’m sure the term “whitewashed tombs” would be familiar to many folks here.

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

    The only charm I see is in the architecture, really, and even that has some detractors, as in the person who noted that it was usually built using cheap knock-off materials to simulate the actual marble or limestone used in buildings in the North.

    http://mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/hist/south.htm

  • Alix

    Oh, that’s an interesting site. Thanks for the link!

  • Lori

    Did you see the pictures of the couple who basically did this for real? They held their wedding in South Africa and had a colonial theme, complete with an all black serving staff.

    http://jezebel.com/5820577/colonial+themed-wedding-included-authentic-all+black-servant-staff

    People can be really brainless and f’ed up.

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

    The pictures got taken down from the original blogspot site, which is unfortunate, but even just the ones reproduced on the Jezebel site seem… unfortunately structured.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    What bugs me is not that Deen is getting worse than she deserves (She isn’t), but rather that she’s lost her show and been made a public laughingstock for using The Word and expressing nostalgia for a time she doesn’t properly understand. These are bad things, but I wouldn’t put them on the level of, say, actively and deliberately attempting to disenfranchise African-Americans through voting laws, pushing for drug laws that dispropotionately send dark-skinned people to jail or prosecuting crimes in a way that make african-american defendents more likely to face the death penalty.

    But Paula Deen lost her show, her endorsement deals, and whatever public respectability she had. The people who do those other things not only get to keep their jobs and show their faces in public, but if you dared to call them racist, you‘d be the one on the receiving end of public outrage.

  • Lori

    I think saying that Paula Deen doesn’t properly understand the slave-holding South she pines for true only if you define away the issue by saying that no one who properly understand the issue would be nostalgic for it. Paula Deen is not a child. She has no excuse for not properly understanding what’s wrong with waxing nostalgic for the antebellum South. I have no problem with Food Network and her publisher distancing themselves from her. I just hope they actually stick the landing.

    That said, I agree with you that people who do worse face less censor for it and that’s not right. One thing I would say is that people like Deen, who push the lie of the beautiful Old South, are part of what allows other racists to operate and get away with it.

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

    The fact that she even feels she can use the N word at all?

    That’s a problem and I’m amazed anyone is trying to defend her, even after it proves that she has other equally reprehensible viewpoints.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I think we put too much importance on that word as a dividing line. It’s like, if you say it, you’re a racist end-of-story, and if you don’t, you can pretty much be as racist as you like and no one will be allowed to call you on it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station did a thing on this that’s good reading. TW: racial slurs, references to lynching, language

    http://www.stonekettle.com/2013/06/a-certain-kind-of-hate.html

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Jackson-v.-Deen-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

    That is the full complaint against Deen, if anyone’s interested.

  • Lori

    Clearly she’ll do really well in the short run. (Nauseating, but unsurprising.) Over the long run it will depend on what kind of deal she can cut to replace her food network show and to get a new publisher for that book the racists are so anxious to buy. Without a platform to keep her name in the public eye she’ll fade away. People have short attention spans and they’ll move on to other things.

  • SkyknightXi

    Nauseating…That fits with quite a few of her more infamous recipes, truth be told…

    http://www.delish.com/food/recalls-reviews/paula-deens-most-outrageous-recipes

    {grimace} An onion-suffused burger…fine. Fried egg? Bleh, although I don’t like eggs on their own in the first place. Framed in a doughnut?! How does that even work?

    I hope these aren’t a proper sigil of her idea of cookery, but just the outliers…

  • Lori

    Now that she’s shilling diabetes meds she’s not pushing that sort of thing the way she once did, but before her diabetes was revealed her recipes tended to be heavy on the butter and sugar.

  • SkyknightXi

    I’m thinking more in terms of how such fat-and-sugar elementals could hope to be delectable.

  • Lori

    I don’t get the donut burger, but some people seem to like it. There are other meat & sweet combos that are more respectable so she didn’t pull it totally out of thin air. She just made it extreme in a way that I’d rather not eat.

    I’ve never actually made any of her recipes, but I have eaten similar things when I lived in the South. I found some of them tasty and some of them definitely not.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    And an awful lot of the fallout she’s faced on her racism has taken the form of fat-shaming. Which is not cool.

  • Lori

    I haven’t heard any of that, but I haven’t been keeping up.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    John Oliver and Bill Maher both made fat jokes about her in reference to the racism scandal,

  • Lori

    Not cool. I don’t expect anything better from Bill Maher, who is such an asshole I can’t even, but John Oliver should know better. Shame on him.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s actually pretty mild compared to some things I’ve seen. You can find variations of that in a few places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Burger

    I’ve seen another one which uses grilled cheese sandwiches in place of buns. http://www.neatorama.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/grilledcheeseburgermelt.jpg

  • SkyknightXi

    {squirm} I…I just..I don’t understand how a doughnut and a burger can be miscible. Vandross was improvising, but what’s everyone else’s excuse?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It’s not too dissimilar from people deep frying everything (which, look at the latter three recipes on the page you linked). They like to mix flavors, especially intensely unhealthy ones. In the case of the donut burger, they invert the donut halves so that the frosting melts into the meat and cheese and mixes them even more.

    Though it could still be worse. It could be the Octuple Bypass Burger, which is over 20,000 calories and you are not allowed to split it.

  • Lori

    You’re allowed to split it, but if you do you can’t claim whatever dubious honor they give to those who finish it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • Lori

    That is the stupidest, greediest thing I ever heard.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Clearly you haven’t looked further on their website. Not that I recommend it. XD

    At some point, someone decided to take the phrase “city of sin” at its word and go all out. This is Gluttony. That sickening feeling is your arteries hardening in sympathy.

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

    My god, there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to burgers. (O_O)

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

    How do you even eat that? It looks like it would end up being impossible to hold well. :O

  • Carstonio

    I might have assumed that the list was a parody, but then, I might have thought the same of fried Twinkies.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    And remember what the Bible says about marriage to Moabites and Ammonites! http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/23-3.htm
    http://biblehub.com/nehemiah/13-25.htm

  • Lorehead

    In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

    Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Yeah. That’s one reason why Walter Mattfeld declares that the Bible cannot be the Word of God. http://www.bibleorigins.net/MoabiteBloodMessiah.html

  • Lorehead

    You know, Ruth, the Moabite woman, was the grandmother of King David. And the Gospels say that King David was the ancestor of Jesus. Therefore, people who obsess over racial purity (I have the impression that you consider those laws as ridiculous as I do) reject Jesus.

  • Carstonio

    And of course, the most recent reviews of the Mizuno shoe are from pro-lifers who willingly labor under the false belief that pro-choicers want women to have abortions. Just like Gary Bauer’s apparent belief that marriage equality advocates actually want to do away with opposite-sex marriage. Gee, it must be nice to live in a world of comfortable absolutes.

  • Ethics Gradient

    Haldane was part of an interesting family. His father was an expert on the biological effects of gases, and was the man who suggested taking canaries down coal mines, since small animals shows the effects of poisonous gases first. He also did pioneering research on decompression sickness in divers, and research into defence against poison gas in WW1 – inventing an early gasmask. J.B.S. Haldane and his father were frequent guinea pigs in their own experiments.

    http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/features/for-this-scientist-life-was-one-long-experiment-1-1325199

    His sister was the author and political activist Naomi Mitchison. She was a proof reader for The Lord of the Rings – written, of course, by C.S. Lewis’ (and her) friend, J.R.R. Tolkien.

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

    All of the discussion of slavery on this thread reminded me — this (July 1 through 3) is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.