Ramona's picture

    What's in a Name? Depends on Who's Calling It.


    Over this past week I packed and cleaned and wore myself out getting ready for a long trip toward the places where I'm hoping merry holiday spirits abide. It would be a cruel trick if they didn't.

    During our long, long travels we got caught in not one but two snowstorms.  We spent three nights on the road when one night in a motel would have been more than enough.  When we could finally travel we had to drive well under the speed limit watching for black ice.  Here in Michigan we try not to think about the fact that winter won't even officially begin until Saturday.  We are sick of it already.  (Oh, I know--you New Yorkers have it much tougher, even though--may I remind you again--nearly every storm you get has already come roaring through our neck of the woods.)

    You can see where I'm at these days, so forgive me if I don't give two shits about what somebody I don't even know is saying out loud, even if it offends more than half the country's tender sensibilities.

    Megyn Kelly said on Fox News that there is no question that Santa and Jesus were two white guys.  This was in answer to an article in Slate by Aisha Harris, who wrote that maybe Santa shouldn't be an old white man anymore; maybe he should be a penguin, instead. 

    Maybe it was just my mood--I was looking for something to laugh about--but I found the whole thing hilarious.  In fact, I must remember to thank Megyn for putting a ray of sunshine in what was otherwise a bleak couple of days.  The fact that she's not the brightest bulb on the tree was a foregone conclusion even before she said what she said.  Nothing has changed, except that, honest to God, I got an email asking me to sign a petition to get her off the air!  Are they nuts?  For what?  Being so successfully bad at what she does?

    And then there's Phil Robertson, that long-bearded Duck Dynasty guy:  I'm betting he was an established oddball long before he said what he said about gays, the bible, anuses and vaginas.  I caught about 20 minutes of that show once, and after the first 10 minutes of it nothing any of them might say would ever surprise me.  But yesterday I got an email from a friend asking me to sign a petition to demand that A&E come to their senses and put the guy back on the air. If the petition hadn't suggested that the suspension was blatantly anti-Christian, I might have been tempted to sign it.  Nobody should be forced out of a job over a few rancid words.  Even that guy.

    When MSNBC fired Martin Bashir for saying something truly foul about what should happen to Sarah Palin in order to make her understand how terrible slavery really was, I objected to that firing, too, even though I thought Martin went way over any decent line.

    If MSNBC had wanted to fire Alec Baldwin for dismal ratings they were well within their rights--his ratings were dismal--but they chose instead to tell the public he was fired for uttering a homophobic slur while lashing out at a photographer.  It's not as if MSNBC didn't know going in that Baldwin was a loose cannon.  That must have been part of his appeal for them.  In fact, his (or their) decision to play it straight (as it were) is probably what killed the show.  He was no Jack Donaghy.  He was barely even Alec Baldwin.

    None of these people are politicians or leaders.  What they say has no impact on policy-making; nor does it change anything for any stranger who might feel victimized by their words.  We don't know those people and they don't know us.  I'm not defending any of them--every one of them said something stupid--but how sensitive is too sensitive?  Is a single utterance reason enough to cause someone to lose a job?

    After a successful career spanning decades, the ever-entertaining Howard Cosell found himself at the center of controversy for directing the term "little monkey" to a black player during a televised football game in 1983.  Cosell, clearly no racist, had used the term at least three other times within a span of about 10 years.  He refused to back down, and left broadcasting at the end of that  season.

    Thirty years later, we're still looking for insults inside stupid sentences.  It's as if we've never experienced a comments section.  

    Read the comment section of any article smacking of even a hint of controversy and you'll see name-calling soaring to spectacularly vile heights. Some of it comes after a public figure has done the wordy deed and the commenters respond in kind, as if they're competing to see how ugly it can get.

    Some participants in the comment sections have a talent for it; the vast majority don't.  F-bombs and its various variations dropping all over the place, as if there is no word it can't replace.  MFing L-bombs lobbed at even little old liberal ladies (just saying. . .).

    So here I'll make a confession.  I hate the F-word.  I don't just hate it, I despise it.  I have never used it, never written it, and even now, when its usage is more common than breathing, it still offends me.  I grew up in a time when it was so rarely used it was shocking to hear it spoken out loud.  We saw it in writing even less. But even when it's directed at me I don't fall apart over it. What kind of sissy would I be if I went off pouting or calling for heads to roll every time I heard it used in a way that I found offensive?  (Which, for me, don't you know, would be every way.)

    I was a young adult when feminism grew strong enough to become an F-word itself. I've heard it all. Words hurled at me by strangers have almost always been meaningless.  They can't hurt me unless I let them.  And why would I let them? Water off a duck's back.  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.  And nyah nyah, you lousy cootie.





    I think I have finally omitted the F word from my glossary; although I do wander back to this noun from time to time!

    It is like nicotine; truly addictive like fine brandy and French fries.

    As far as Cosell, every time I think of the monkey reference I laugh like crazy. I cannot help myself.

    The story is that he would drink as the 'game' progressed (whatever game was at hand) and by the third quarter or the seventh inning, he was quite drunk. hahahhaah

    It is funnier when you put someone like Howard into context and recall how he helped Ali shine in the national spot light.

    Alec blows up all the time and he really gets me to laughing.

    Megyn is just another pretty pretty face with no depth whatsoever and Jesus was a Jew and Santa was a Turk and...Megyn is an idiot Caressing corporate nether places all her damned life. hahhah

    That's all I got.

    We have a certain amount of free speech but we contract that away in the work place and blah blah blah.



    Richard, I thought I remembered the Cosell incident well but it turns out he wasn't fired. (Had to scramble to change it.)  He refused to apologize for it and left at the end of that season.  I distinctly remember some public pouting on his part, though.  He was quite the character.

    I was really looking forward to Alec Baldwin's Friday night show but he decided to go all intellectual, I guess, and having a single guest for an hour was a mistake, too.  I watched it twice and couldn't get interested at all.



    You lasted longer then I did.  I only watch about 15 min. of his first show and changed the channel.  It didn't hold my interest.

    I am glad you made you destination.  I wondered if you were in that storm. 

    I have never watched Duck Dynasty.  There is too much reality all ready in my life. The trailer across the road from me is a "Deliverance" character magnet. The new group that just moved in is from the back woods of Georgia.


    Instead of making no bake Santa Cookies from Nutter Butters this year for Christmas, why not Penguins for Christmas.  They will make you smile and they are so cute.



    Oh just incase you are wondering, this is the Santa version of no bake cookies that can be made from Nutter Butter Cookies.  It includes a Rabbi also for those who don't celebrates Christmas.

    Happy Holidays

    So cute, both of them.  Easy, too.  Wish I still had little grandkids to make messes with.

    I thought it would cheer you up to see how nutter butters get decorated for holidays. There is nothing worse then white knuckle traveling. 

    Well, it is anti-Christian, or at least specifically anti- what a lot of Christians believe from the Bible. The Dalai Lama is fervently anti-homosexuality, but somehow he's seen as a giggly genius, while Christians are seen as nutters.

    And vaginas are typically much much cleaner than anuses. You'd think the guy said "penguins fly & hold bachelors degrees in astral physics". Ok, he's an old school traditional Christian hippie type with a bit limited imagination - should he go drown himself?

    The comment re: blacks is interesting, because it might apply to whites as well - are we any happier rushing around cities than we were when 75% of the US lived on a farm? Seems we have a lot more stuff - phones and computers and cheap Walmart furniture and lots of new cars and ... - but are we happier or angrier? Certainly a couple pithy lines about blacks working the fields with white trash don't cover all the complexities of American racism, or discern what blacks might have been thinking in those fields, how many times they bit their tongues - but 45 years after MLK, I'm not sure our race relations have improved that much to mock this guy's sentiments. Yeah, we have "racism sucks" t-shirts to wear next to "Che Guevera", but what does it mean? we're so nervous that to point out Santa's white gives people the shakes. We've all become a bit dour.

    I guess my point is, why bother with any of it?  Who really cares and what does it matter?  We're so full of 24 hour conversation everything becomes a big deal.  We talk just to keep talking and we end up being around-the-clock listening posts, in case anybody says something even slightly tweet-worthy. 

    All that serious, studious attention to silly sentences can be pretty funny.  I'm surprised more people don't think so.


    "In actuality, there is a third category: non-Buddhists. Although he viewed homosexuality as 'sexual misconduct' for Buddhists, he said that it was “non-harmful” for non-Buddhists. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes him as saying, 'From society’s viewpoint, mutually agreeable homosexual relations can be of mutual benefit, enjoyable and harmless.

    I'm not sure anyone much cares what Christians (or anyone else) believes. It's when those beliefs bleed over into how other people are treated in the public square.

    For example, when there are discriminatory policies or practices...or when hate crimes are committed. Admittedly, this distinction isn't always 100% clear, but it's not impossible to make.

    More in a similar vein. I'm not so sure that Christian traditionalists would allow for what the DL says here:


    In his discussions of the traditional Buddhist view on appropriate sexual behavior, he explains the concept of "right organ in the right object at the right time," which historically has been interpreted as indicating that oral, manual and anal sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) are not appropriate in Buddhism or for Buddhists, yet he also says that in modern times all common, consensual sexual practices that do not cause harm to others are ethically acceptable and that society should not discriminate against gays and lesbians and should accept and respect them from a secular point of view.[75] In a 1994 interview with OUT Magazine, the Dalai Lama clarified his personal opinion on the matter by saying, "If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask 'What is your companion's opinion?'. If you both agree, then I think I would say, 'If two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.'"[76] However, when interviewed by Canadian TV news anchor Evan Solomon on CBC News: Sunday about whether or not homosexuality is acceptable in Buddhism, the Dalai Lama responded that "it is sexual misconduct".[77] This was an echo of an earlier response in a 2004 Vancouver Sun interview when asked about homosexulity in Buddhism, where the Dalai Lama replied "for a Buddhist, the same sex, that is sexual misconduct"[78]

    In his 1996 book Beyond Dogma, he described a traditional Buddhist definition of an appropriate sexual act as follows: "A sexual act is deemed proper when the couples use the organs intended for sexual intercourse and nothing else... Homosexuality, whether it is between men or between women, is not improper in itself. What is improper is the use of organs already defined as inappropriate for sexual contact."[79] He elaborated in 1997, explaining that the basis of that teaching was unknown to him. He also conveyed his own "willingness to consider the possibility that some of the teachings may be specific to a particular cultural and historic context".[80]

    The Dalai Lama has expressed concern at “reports of violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people” and “urges respect, tolerance and the full recognition of human rights for all.”[81]

    I'm starting a petition to have Ramona banned from the internet for being entirely too f'ing reasonable, and making the rest of us look bad. devil

    Okay, that hurt.  angry

    Ramona, just to take this a bit further than you intended (I think)...

    I've frequently been in conversations with conservatives who tell me that violent video games, movies, TV shows contribute to gun violence.

    And, in fact, I believe there are some studies to support this.

    So I wonder whether the Duckster--especially if he's emboldened to take bigger and bigger steps in this direction--might not have a similar impact on black and white and gay and straight relations.

    He tests the waters with a few comments, and if nothing happens, he gets bolder and bolder and perhaps more and more harmful.

    A big part of me thinks that it's silly, wrong, and even counterproductive to bottle people up and punish them for "every little thing."

    On the other hand, civilization, and civilized, peaceful interactions are founded on the repression of certain base impulses.

    The key is to find ways to let people blow off steam that don't hurt anyone or at least contain the hurt. Humor is one way.

    I think that's true about testing the water--they all want to make bigger and bigger splashes and this is a great way to do it.  Now the entire country knows about Duck Dynasty.

    But it's just as likely that this kind of talk is nothing new for any of them.  They're just doin' what comes naturally, and the happy result is that people are taking them seriously.  Score one for the long-beards!

    All I knew about Duck Dynasty before yesterday was that Netflix occasionally recommended it based, I guess, on my geography considering the shows included along with it.  I passed on it because the characters did not appeal to me and I do not watch reality shows. But yesterday support for Phil Robertson from family and friends started showing up in my FB feed. Out of curiosity, I read up on the controversy and confirmed that I do not really have a dog in this fight. Nevertheless....

    What I learned (from Wikipedia, of course) is that this is only the latest in a series of conflicts between A&E and Robertson over how the family's faith is portrayed and treated on the show.

    In 2012, Phil Robertson said he confronted producers of Duck Dynasty about editors of the show telling them not to say "Jesus" during their prayer at the end of episodes and adding "fake bleeps" when there was no profanity spoken.
    Robertson spoke about the fake bleeps, saying, "They inserted fake bleeps, like someone had used profanity, but no one had used profanity". Robertson said the editors "probably thought that there was some profanity going on" even though there was "zero". Robertson responded by saying, "If you want that, oh, you can get all of that you want. Just turn the station. There's plenty of that. If we're not using profanity, why make it look like we're using profanity? What is the point? Why don't you just run it, and say what we say. They're like, 'You got a point.' So they quit doing that."
    Robertson then said, "The other thing was when we prayed, we said, 'In Jesus' name, amen' … they would just have me say, 'And thank you, Lord, for the food, thank you for loving us, amen.' Robertson responded by saying, "So I said, 'why would you cut out in Jesus' name?" Robertson's paraphrased response of the editors was they "don't want to offend some of the Muslims, or something." Robertson responded by saying our calendar year is labeled Anno Domini (A.D.), which means "in the year of Our Lord". Robertson then said, "I said, 'You Hollywood cats are counting time by Jesus just like I am.' I would think that out of all of the people that walk planet Earth, if we've all decided in America to count time by just one of them, Jesus of Galilee, I don't think it hurts to throw his name in there from time to time". Robertson then said, "So I noticed now, every once in a while, they're leaving it in there."
    I doubt Robertson's latest remarks surprised the show's producers but may well have been to some higher up A&E's food chain.
    It seems remarkably stupid to me that the show's editors would actually tell Robertson not to use the very, very common idiom "in Jesus' name we pray" after saying table grace on a reality show especially when you consider how common it has become to hear Jesus' name used as an expletive in so many award-winning shows.
    So is A&E anti-Christian? Well, if it quacks like a duck call....

    We, the Management, regret the publication of this article and humbly apologize to the Cootie Pride Society for Ms. Ramona's unconscionable taunts. Many of our best bloggers have been cooties, and we understand and appreciate that cooties are people too.

    While our contract with the Union of International Bloggers prevents us from terminating Ms. Ramona's employment, we have imprisoned her in a virtual "rubber room" for which there is no possibility of escape, at least not in this dimension.

    Oh noes, not Schrödinger's Ramona!

    I would answer this but then you would know I've escaped.

    Oh f-ck, she escaped!!!!!! I mean f-dge!

    Wolraich said "F-dge"!   Hahahahahaha.


    What I like about this article is that it brings together two recent DAG themes: Duck and Parks. Really ties things up neatly at the close of the year.

    I'm glad he was fired. Its not about some troll commenting on some small site on the backwaters on the internet. Its about who gets a microphone, who gets a nation wide program on tv to spout hate speech. This is a fight worth having. This is something we should push back against. Hate speech doesn't just remain as speech. It increases. It leads to hateful actions.

    I'm upset, but less upset, with Robertson's obsession with anuses. I'm much more angry about this bit of anti-gay rhetoric from Robertson. "They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil."

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I will not do nothing. I won't sit back and accept hate speech on the national media. Robertson can say whatever he wants with his ignorant back woods brood but he shouldn't get a platform and a microphone to spread his hate to the nation.

    I also feel the same way.  I think A&E should of known better then to bring a person like him forward in a show.  They were playing with fire hiring him in the first place and there may have been more reasons to fire him besides the article statements he made.  He has a shady back ground from the past and has an anger management problem.  He may of been too difficult to work with.  

    There is a push back going on against the racial and over the top evangelical behavior in our society.  That push back has been gaining ground because the majority of the population are tired of it.  I wonder just how many in our population actually watched it?  

    They may of been afraid of a push back against their advertisers.  There is a whole network of groups that go after advertisers of offensive and racial shows that have had plenty of success in the past.  They may of felt they had to get out front of that before they took a large loss in revenue.  

    I suppose you could call what this guy says "hate speech" but I doubt anybody is in any real danger because of what he says.  He invented a duck call.  He's goofy on purpose.  Anybody who supports him and agrees with what he says didn't have their "come to Jesus" moment mere seconds after he spoke those words.  

    A&E knew what they were getting and if you want to blame anyone you can blame them for giving him a platform.

    But if we get bent out of shape every time some bozo says something stupid, whether it's racist or homophobic or anti-female or whatever, we give them what they want.  If we tell them their words have consequences we're also telling them their words have power.  

    On the other hand, if there is a history of this kind of behavior then let the punishment fit the crime.  In Robertson's case, I question A&E's judgment here because surely they had to know all about him before they signed him to a contract for his own show.  And if they didn't, they're current stance is hypocritical.


    You suppose what he said could be hate speech?

    "They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil."

    What more would he have to add to that for you to call it hate speech? You can find over reactions to relatively benign comments but this isn't one of them. This is the clearest example of hate speech I've seen in years.

    Sure there's lots of people who think the same way Robertson does. You can be sure many of them are watching this fight to give them clues as to what is ok to say out loud. There's a progression, thought, word, and deed. If we push back at the word phase we lessen the likelihood that we'll have to deal with the deeds.

    I'm not happy that A&E gave him a microphone in the first place. But I'm glad they finally took it away.

    Okay, let's call it hate speech.  We know the guy is a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, pretend-Christian.  The entire country has been talking about him for days now, non-stop. Everybody is in a uproar over it. 

    Meanwhile, congress has gone home for the holidays without resolving the food stamp issue and the poor are getting poorer.  They're threatening to cut unemployment benefits again, and they're still fighting against the ACA.

    In Michigan we now have a rape law where, if a woman is raped but didn't think ahead to buy an insurance rider covering such an act, the insurance companies are forbidden from covering a rape-caused abortion.

    Our food banks are emptying out and kids will go to bed hungry on Christmas Eve.  Unless some good Samaritans help out, they'll wake up to no presents on Christmas morning.

    It's winter and the shelters are filling up.  It's a fact that some people will be left out in the cold.

    This list of grievances could go on and on, but it will not include something stupid and inflammatory some backwater celebrity millionaire jerk happened to say out loud.  Why not?  Because with so much else going on I just don't give a shit.  He can't hurt me or any of my friends--including my gay friends. 

    It's infuriating that he gets all this attention when there are so many other obscenities taking place that absolutely are hurting real people.  It's a matter of priorities.  For me, anyway.


    Thank you, PP.

    That's quite a list. We all have our priorities. I guess I'm capable of a bit more multitasking since I'd include hate speech on that list. I do give a shit about it.

    I think you're ignoring a long history that shows that increased hate speech leads to increased hate crimes. People are being hurt.



    Thanks so much for the lesson, Ocean-kat.  I might not have known about the effects of hate speech without it.  You've made your point in big, big letters.  In red, too, just to make sure.  But you've obviously missed mine.

    That's simply how the words come through on a copy/paste from the search engine. I didn't choose it.

    I think I understand your point clearly. You don't think hate speech is harmful. You don't give a shit. Its trivial and there are so many other real problems. Even if your list of the very important issues was longer it wouldn't include hate speech. Its just not important.

    I think hate speech unchallenged will give permission to others to say the same and more. If its found acceptable to say something it will be more acceptable to do something. Hate speech unchallenged begats hate crimes.

    That's the crux of our disagreement.


    You haven't quite proven that hate speech caused all these incidents.

    One fairly common point of view is when people are able to talk about things, they're less likely to keep it bottled up and let it out in less acceptable ways.

    If we talk about people accepting new things, typically outrage & cursing are there on the first rung of acceptance - do we punish severely at this stage to make sure they never reach stage 2 through X?

    The cases you quote here have different angles.

    One is about transsexuals, not homosexuals (the NYTimes manages to mix the issue) - arguably a step further for tolerance.

    One is about a group of 4 blacks who robbed a guy in DC - very hard to say it was about sexual orientation, and not about easy prey for money, typical DC street crime. (the article doesn't make it clear whether the 2nd victim who survived is gay)

    One was an obvious hate crime, though "Police and representatives of the gay and lesbian community, however, said they have not seen an overall increase in anti-gay violence despite the recent assaults."

    One was re: 4 girls who'd known each other for years - not obvious why the 3 decided to abduct & assault the 4th now.

    Whether free speech is "harmful" has been with us from Wobblies to William Burroughs & Lenny Bruce to debate over Al-Awlaki and US-based Muslims to ....

    Typically "incitement to violence" or some other specific harm has been required, but in our PC world, people are fired all the time for less serious transgressions.

    Slightly related, it was a few years back that Larry Summers was forced to resign over "sexism" because in a speech he proposed 3 hypotheses for discussion why women didn't advance as much as men in Science & Engineering, and the fury mostly came regarding "even small differences in the standard deviation [between genders] will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out [from the mean]". Blasphemy. Yet 9 years later, we learn that men & women's brains tend to be wired significantly different - will there be an apology, a new firing?

    [the difference here is the study seems to frame this as women being better at multitasking, here considered a good thing - if it had focused on men's single focus that might contribute to Alexander or Genghis Khan conquering most of Asia or other megalomaniac male behavior, I imagine it would have been met with complaints that "women can single-task too", which misses the point of "which behavior will they typically exhibit]

    So did it help society to fire Summers for controversial but ultimately not far off the mark "sexist" speech? Can we subdivide "hate speech" into fairly harmless jokes based on American black names often being a bit funny (to white folks perhaps), vs. hate speech that dehumanizes or threatens blacks?

    Etc., etc., etc.

    For the record, I never thought Summers should have lost his job over that one, either, even though I thought what he said at the time was dumb and unnecessarily inflammatory.  It had nothing to do with his overall work record, and his being forced out over it was totally unfair. 

    If I had thought of it, I would have used it as another example in my post.  Thanks.

    I specifically said I didn't care about what this particular jerk had to say.  I didn't say anything about hate speech in general.  I've written before about hate speech, but my point is that this guy is such a huge nothingburger he doesn't deserve all that attention.  (He was just one of several examples I used above.  Probably not the best choice, but he happened to be in the news and suspended over single comments when I wrote the piece.)

    This list of grievances could go on and on, but it will not include something stupid and inflammatory some backwater celebrity millionaire jerk happened to say out loud.  Why not?  Because with so much else going on I just don't give a shit.  He can't hurt me or any of my friends--including my gay friends. 

    It's infuriating that he gets all this attention when there are so many other obscenities taking place that absolutely are hurting real people.  It's a matter of priorities.  For me, anyway.

    That's what I said.  Interpret it any way you choose. 

    I think in theory that I care, but in practice all this negative attention has been counter-balanced by positive attention, and with like-minded people now racing out to support him by buying his merchandise, I dare say the negative attention has had the opposite effect from what would be desired.

    Obviously hate-speech is to be decried, but I think that discretion doesn't have to be a dirty word.

    Well then we disagree about that too. Someone who has a prime time TV show and gets interviews with major magazines is not nothing. He's a thought leader. There's millions of nothings thinking the same thing in their back water towns. They don't get national attention. When a celebrity spouts hate speech he empowers those millions of nothings to speak out and spread their hateful views. If there's no push back when celebrities spout hate, and as I've said imo Robertson's comments are the clearest examples of hate speech I've seen in years, then hate speech will increase both in the media and in towns across the country.  And so will harassment and hate crimes.

    A comment I composed and didn't post suggested, among other things, that these duck dudes were just cleverly filling an entertainment niche with bs they didn't necessarily believe but  then went too far because they are piss ignorant dumb fucks, just of a different type than they were pretending to be. This vid may not be factually perfectly accurate, how the hell would I know, but it cracked me up and I agree with the points it was putting forth.  I would particularly like people to pick up at the 4;25 mark.


    Now Steve Martin got himself in hot water over a Tweet.  A silly, totally non-offensive tweet, if you ask me.  But what do I know? 


    Nah, that was definitely offensive (it's hard to impossible to argue otherwise), and Steve Martin was right to apologize for it.

    I must be missing something.  Explain to me how that is offensive?  (Remember that I'm 1/2 Italian.  I'm not even half offended.)

    He's suggesting that an African-American restaurant would misspell it, and by extension suggesting that African-Americans don't spell well.

    Wow, quite a bit of extrapolation there - I just assumed it sounded/looked like a black girl's name, seeing African-Americans are frequently creative when dubbing offspring - as someone else posted:

    I had the same thought. I've known a lot of girls with LA names
    Laporsha (just had her in my college class)
    Even have know LA guys

    Do a quick Google and you find out LaSonia is a fairly common black name. I actually think Steve was moderately quick & funny with this riposte, but you know, everyone has to find offense if it's about race. You only have to offend 1 person to be in the shit, even if you make 1 million-1 laugh.


    We are dealing with responses on Twitter. To me that suggests people with enough time on their hands to complain about something. It is not a scientific poll. Martin thought that he needed to clarify things, so he did.

    On a broader scale, not everybody has to find everything funny., Don Imus found this out when he ridiculed the Rutgers women's basketball team. During that episode, w also found that African-Americans at NBC and MSNBC thought that Don Imus was a jerk. Those minority employees had a chance to voice their opinions.

    I do think that it is interesting that African-American names are ridiculed while names like:











    Don't  turn heads. In many things, race gender and sexual orientation do matter. I think it is educational to listen to the perspectives of those outside a personal little bubble.

    When the press was having its faux outrage about a photo of a displeased First Lady Michelle Obama pouting while the President was taking photos with a blonde hottie. The photographer provided photos demonstrating that moments earlier Michelle had been joking with the blonde hottie who happened to be the Danish Prime Minister. The other guy in the photo was the British Prime Minister.

    I wrote the saga off to the usual lazy media. Melissa Harris-Perry noted that the initial photo was easy to use to create the angry Michelle Obama story because we are ready to classify a Black woman as the"angry Black Woman". It is an interesting thesis

    Some parents give their children"weird" names. African -American names tend to carry more baggage than "white" names. In fact  one study suggested that even with equal job qualifications, an "African-American" named applicant is less likely than a "white" job applicant to get a call back.

    Race matters. 

    The Steve Martin tweet is not burning up the Black blogosphere.


    And as one Daily Show faux correspondent noted: Megyn. 

    Well said. As I mentioned initially, I'm glad Steve Martin apologized, and I explained why I thought it was appropriate. Even if my interpretation is not what was intended, it clearly could be inferred. I'm not calling for him to be boycotted, or anything like that. I also won't pretend that I've never made a similarly stupid comment, but if I'm called on it, I will apologize.

    I think we can move on. Nothing of a serious nature to see in the Steve Martin tweet.

    I do think that it is interesting that African-American names are ridiculed while names like:
    Don't  turn heads.
    Sure they do and plenty of jokes about them, too.  For example: a woman complimenting another for the social consciousness of her daughters' names, Cheyenne and Sierra, only to learn that they were named after the trucks the family owned when they were born. laugh


    Your comment reminded me of this Woody Allen character's mini-rant:


    Oh, come on.  There was nothing offensive about that tweet.  Martin was having fun, making jokes, and, while the joke might have fallen flat, he wasn't out to hurt anybody's widdle feelings

    He was bantering with Twitter followers and turning their grammar questions into jokes when he was asked “is this how you spell lasonia?”

    His response: “It depends. Are you in an African-American restaurant or at an Italian restaurant.”

    Really?  That was enough to cause the Twitterverse to explode?  And for Salon and who knows who else to applaud Steve Martin for apologizing?  For what?  Who on earth did he offend?

    I'm not getting the outrage.  I get the joke.  You don't have to explain it to me again.

    The Twitterverse is a funny thing. I'm on Twitter, for professional reasons, and I was completely unaware of the incident until you mentioned it. Who is suggesting the Twitterverse exploded? Perhaps whoever it is has their Twitter filters set to convert normal responses into an "explosion"? (Just as I have my Twitter filters set so that I get almost no information about what is happening in the Entertainment industry, including professional sports.)

    I didn't read it on Twitter first.  I read it on Salon after seeing a link to it from somewhere else.  But it exploded on Twitter, which is why Salon and all the others picked up on it. That's how it works sometimes.  You don't even have to be on Twitter to know what's going on there. 

    It is indeed a funny thing.

    I'm not on twitter either and read about it on other sites too. It seems to me there's two ways things "explode" on twitter. Someone famous, like Martin, has thousands of followers so when he says something sensational it naturally explodes and spreads as it gets retweeted. Then it gets covered by Salon and others. Its the retweets that mostly cause the explosion. If I follow Martin and retweet something to my 100 followers who don't follow Martin, 10 of which retweet my Martin retweet to each of their 100 followers most of which don't follow Martin, etc.

    But in the Justine Sacco case, she only had a couple of hundred followers. Some how buzzfeed and gawker found out about her tweet and publicized it. In a few hours she had thousands of followers all retweeting and commenting on the retweet and it exploded. If not for buzzfeed and gawker her tweet would likely have been unnoticed.

    I'm not on twitter but  that's how I understand it happening. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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