Postcards from the culture wars

We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”

Southerners love electing dumbasses, and then we complain when comedians take the ‘easy way’ and make fun of us for being backwoods and stupid.”

“It’s sort of like creating a naive, easily deluded ATM for elements of the conservative movement.”

“I will take your ‘questions’ about ‘weird’ black names seriously when you make fun of Reince Priebus and Rand Paul.”

“Liberalism will lead to legal collapse and then the Apocalypse,” Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said.

This is the last Slate article that will refer to the Washington NFL team as the Redskins.”

“A statue of Jackie Robinson outside Brooklyn’s minor league baseball stadium in Coney Island was vandalized with a racial slur and a swastika, police said.”

“So we have lots of freedom and also lots of death. Time after time.”

“The press’s acceptance of the dishonest self-label ‘Christian’ for this bunch of loons has a bad impact on religion as well as on politics.”

God doesn’t love all people.”

“It’s so petty. …‰ It’s a pointed way of saying, ‘We don’t like you.'”

“It’s kind of like when Jesus told the tax collectors and prostitutes, ‘Get out of here before you make me look bad!'”

“The mother of a two-year old boy says that while shopping at Walmart in Florida, a man didn’t like that her two-year old son was wearing a headband with a purple bow. So he called her son a ‘fucking faggot’ and slapped his head.”

“Attorneys from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office say that Michigan and other states which define marriage as being ‘one man, one woman’ have done so ‘to regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society.'”

“What I believe is that women are able to struggle with complex ethical issues.”

“I’m not suggesting that crowd is representative of pro-lifers as a whole, but it frightens me to see how many of them approve of death.”

“It teaches boys that being creepy – sitting around judging facebook photos for modesty! – is OK as long as it’s in the service of ‘protecting yourself from immodesty.'”

“By far the most common reason, given by 70-80 percent of men, for committing a rape was sexual entitlement — ‘men’s belief that they have the right to sex, regardless of consent.'” (TW)

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  • Jen

    I was watching a show on TLC the other day, and there was a child on it named Rainbow Dash. I didn’t catch the beginning so maybe it was just a nickname, but it seemed to be her actual name.

  • Launcifer

    I honestly don’t have a clue on that. I vaguely remember an initial from seeing her enrolment stuff, but I couldn’t swear to it. I don’t even know if she still uses the name because we dropped out of touch a while back. That said, changing your name over here isn’t particularly difficult, though there was a £100 charge when I had my papers drawn up just over five years ago. Mostly it’s just the hassle of having to inform every organisation that might possibly need to know.

  • Launcifer

    Well, my favourite drink’s Morgan’s spiced rum, so I guess it wouldn’t be too eyebrow-raising in a pinch. I doubt I could get away with Bishop’s Finger or Winkle’s Old Peculiar though.

    Actually, I know a few people with names of interesting provenance, now that I think about it. I’ve even got one cousin who’s warned me on pain of unpleasant stuff never to explain where he found the inspiration for his daughter’s name – and I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who guessed in the first place.

  • Cathy W

    I know some people have trouble puzzling out disemvoweled text, but I can’t see how that makes it worse than deleting the post or editing it to say something silly. I wonder if ROT-13ing or otherwise enciphering the text would get the same reaction.

    I’d like to not go to this place, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s some correlation between “disemvoweling is the most heinous form of moderation there is” and “disemvoweling was invented and championed by a woman”.

  • Jenny Islander

    Often they’re trying to sound Tolkienesque. However, Tolkien was a philologist. More than that, he derived exquisite aesthetic pleasure purely from spoken sounds, apart from their meaning; he once famously said that the most beautiful words in the English language were “cellar door.” So when he made up languages and names for the speakers of those languages, they not only worked, they were also beautiful.

    Unfortunately, most of the people who try to copy Tolkien have tin ears and no understanding of how languages work.

  • Jenny Islander

    My friend, who has a Western European name and a California accent, applied for aid at the local office and received very courteous treatment over the phone. But when she took her articulate, bachelor-degreed self to the office, the aid worker took one look at her, read “POOR FAVOOR, RAY-GRAY-SAY CONE OON UN-TURR-PRAY-TAY” loudly and slowly off a poster on the wall, and ignored her thereafter–until she introduced herself. (English is her first language, BTW.)

    My friend was just applying for food aid. But during the course of her appointment, she learned that she is unmarried, that all of her children are “oops” babies, that she needs her GED, that she is only a stay-at-home mom because she has no marketable job skills, and that she has no safe place to live–all news to her!

    Hey, can you guess what color she is? Or how the same person treated less-educated but much whiter me?

  • caryjamesbond

    Honestly sounds more like the gentlest of anal dildoes.

    I love it when I don’t post for a while, then I can come back with something like that.

  • reynard61

    “Velvet Remedy” sounds like the first and middle names of a Victorian middle-level aristocrat. (i.e. “Lady Velvet Remedy Kensington-Leigh”.)

  • Jim Roberts

    We already track the violent, at least those who are convicted, and the way that information is abused by society at large is a great reason to NOT have this database.

    The people I’ve heard speak in favour of a database like this have talked about sharing it with the psychiatric and social work communities, mostly.

  • Hawker40

    Anglicised spelling of the traditional Irish… which probably makes my more traditionally minded relatives ‘upset’.

  • Hawker40

    I knew a petty officer Sargent. And his first name is Major.

  • Hawker40

    I mentioned Catch-22, but he hadn’t heard of it. I guess it’s not on the required reading list at the Naval Academy. I’ll have to buy him a copy as a promotion gift.

  • general_apathy

    Tolkein is so incredibly good at language porn. His languages followed rules. They had consistent phonemes… Elvish names were rigidly structured… occasionally, you’d get some nod to actual language change (Took, Tuckborough). There’s nothing wrong with sounding a bit Old Englishy, as long as you know what you’re doing.

    (Seriously, George RR Martin. There is no language on earth that starts “mother” with a Q.)

  • Matri

    Promotions would be pretty awkward, I’m guessing.

  • Matri

    The point is still the same: They’re cutting it out because they think it makes them LOOK bad, and not because they think that it IS bad.

    Would you, for one nanosecond, think the WBC sincerely had a change of heart if they suddenly decided to stop using the word “fag”?

  • Pam

    How sad that a genuinely nice name now has to have such a horrible association.

  • Pam

    Ah yes, Tallulah Does The Hula From Hawaii. But New Zealand’s response to strange names is a bit mixed – apparently twins named Benson and Hedges (cigarette grand) are ok, but Yeah Detroit, Fish and Chips, and Sex Fruit weren’t allowed (gee, I wonder why with that last one).

  • Pam

    Was just about to mention Major Major Major Major

  • Pam

    I had an administrative glorified form-checker job years ago, and we would get a bit of passing entertainment out of some names. Often it was just ‘hey, I haven’t heard that name before’, but there was the odd male with a ‘female’ name, the unfortunate rhyming names, one first-middle-and-last-names-almost-identical, and the midlife-crisis name change to hippiedom (I wish I could remember that name, she changed from something average to something like Purple Magnolia), and the very unfortunate Adolphus (born pre-WW2). The names provided a little fun in an otherwise tedious job.

  • Pam

    On the names thing, nothing will ever be as (wonderfully) weird as Aussie Rules footballer Steele Sidebottom

  • Maniraptor

    In my darker moments I wonder how much of my massively improved rate of callbacks on job applications in the UK as opposed to what I was getting in the US (where I’m from) is that here my name tends to be read as Irish instead of “exotic” (read: not white).

  • Nothing to add to the story (which IMO reveals that there are still reprehensible assumptions being made about people even in the 20th and 21st centuries -_- ) but I want to note that the “Irony Point” does not seem to show up properly in my computer’s character set.

  • christopher_y

    That’s interesting and very sad, because I would have guessed that if you had a name like Siobhán Ní Dhuibhir, you’d have been more likely to encounter hostility in Britain, where people would casually assume you were an extreme Republican (not the American kind), than in the US.

  • Maniraptor

    Heh, well, I hope people don’t think that for a variety of reasons. Not least of which that as it’s not actually an Irish name, just close to one, and I’d be very embarrassed if I’d spelled it that badly.

    (Around here I suspect I’d just be mistaken for a devoted Hibs fan anyway…)

  • ffxtian

    I’m not normally a betting man, but I’ve got $20 that says Patriarch Kirill is referring to classical liberalism, not social liberalism.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “It teaches boys that being creepy – sitting around judging facebook photos for modesty! – is OK as long as it’s in the service of ‘protecting yourself from immodesty.’”

    Slacks and Slackettes, Crusading Against Immorality is the way Church Ladies get their Porn Fix while still looking all Moral And Righteous. After all, they have to expose themselves to all that JUICY JUICY JUICY Smut when Crusading Against It. (Cue Church Lady Superiority Dance…)

  • Persia

    Gennesee. Like the beer. Northern New England. IIRC, she goes by “Jenny.”

  • Persia

    Don’t you remember Major Major Major Major from Catch-22?

  • phantomreader42

    I knew of that one (though I think one of those might have been a Miner), but the Murtaugh example had the whole “changing his legal name to match his rank” bit as a gag.

  • Winkle’s Old Peculiar would make an interesting cat name, though. Of course, the cat might kill you in your sleep for it.

  • Graeme Sutton

    Is that where Dexter went bad?

  • Graeme Sutton

    I suspect the reason nobody did anything about the asshole who slapped the kid is that he could legally shoot anyone who complained if he thought they were threatening him.