reappropriate

Friday, December 02, 2005

Lesser Idiots

So, 24 junk mails later in my "blog" inbox, I stumbled across this email, that was dated a few days ago.

I am a fellow member of Technocrati, and I would love to swap links with your site. Please review mine, and if acceptable let me know. Sincerely, david whitley Aka Gisher http://lessidiots.blogspot.com/
So, I took the time to peruse the blog. I can't quite get a bead on this blog -- but what really caught my eye was Gisher's two-part "series" on offensive material (Parts 1 & 2). In it, Gisher lists twenty plus racialized and/or "Other"-ized off-colour humour that induces a laugh only at the expensive of another group of people. Gisher than asks commentors to respond to the post based on which jokes they found funny and why. I'm sure it's not hard for you guys to imagine that I found all of them offensive (after all, I didn't earn my "bleeding-heart liberal" badge lightly). But, what really interests and bothers me is that Gisher's wording in these posts (particularly the first one) suggests that most people will only find certain aspects of the list offensive. He says:

If you feel that one of the items is offensive in any way to you, or you feel it should be offensive to someone else, please enter the comment box below the post. Then if you would, please tell me which item you feel was offensive, and provide me with the reason you found it to be offensive. There is no particular answer I expect, just your opinion.

If you read the list and find nothing to be offensive, please enter the comment box, and explain to me why you think you may not have found anything offensive.

By Gisher's wording, he suggests that no one could possibly find all twenty entries in the list offensive. And certainly, the majority of commentors seem to verify this assumption. One commentor in Gisher's "Offensive Material" part 2 post wrote (partly in jest though nonetheless potent):
Personally, you have yet to hit a group I identify with, so fire away!
Here is where I lament modern day political correctness: the reason these jokes are offensive are not merely because they make you (or someone you know) feel bad. It's like people who don't want to be racist in the same room as Kwame, their black friend, or don't want to make "bitch" jokes when the neighbourhood feminist is in the room. Those in the majority seem to imagine that the only reason to not mock other cultures is because someone they know will get hurt, insulted, or tear them a new one. Think again; the reason why off-colour jokes are offensive is because you're not only degrading the butt of the joke by laughing, but you're degrading yourself by making the joke in the first place. Why is someone else's identity worth laughing about? What do white people gain by arguing that they have comedic license to imply that all Puerto Ricans, blacks, women, or gays are one way or another? The problem is that with the "PC" movement came a sanctioned misunderstanding of identity politics. Suddenly, people think racism only exists when someone gets lynched, that being offensive only happens to those who use the 'n-word'. Asiaphilia is achieved only wearing one's genuine, bonafide, earned in three years Kara-teh black belt, whirling one's fake replicate samurai sword, taping one's eyes back, humming the tune to Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and orgasming into a ripe young Asian (but not Asian American) girl. They scoff at the glass ceiling, mock the statistics on mental health and drug addiction, argue that we minorities are responsible for our own economic achievements and educational failures, but if Bonnie the bus driver calls her gardener a "wetback", she (and she alone) deserves the death penalty. Humour has always been a tricky one for me. As much as I think it's important for insiders of a community to use comedy to help delineate our identity and experience for ourselves, like Dave Chappelle realized, too often, that insider humour is mis-used for white gain. And, those who have benefitted most from the "PC" movement have been whites -- now, they no longer have to care how they're being bigotted or who they are dehumanizing, they can always hide behind the accusation that those who have protested are humourless, hyper-PC academics. What we really need is for "PC" to stop being the kind of term that is bandied about by the educational elites who "know better" than to make a "n*gga joke". Somehow, we or they or everyone needs to drop the "PC" stuff and foster an environment of actually understanding why it is undesirable to be offensive, rather than to simply be afraid of offending the wrong person. As always, self-education is, in my book, the better answer. So, all that being said, my question for Gisher would have to be why he, and by he, I am of course putting him on the spot as a representative for all of the White mainstream (and perhaps I simply misunderstand his reasoning for posting about offensive material in the first place), feel the need and demand the right to make fun of people of other cultures, backgrounds and identities. No longer are we to be enslaved so suddenly we need to be made the buffoon? Which all gets me back to the original email. Ordinarily, I link to offer link swaps with anyone who emails me (which is like... one person? two?). Also, Gisher doesn't seem totally off-his-rocker -- after all, he's a New Yorker and has also pointed out the often-times hypocrisy of the Northeastern liberal (as he talks about in another post). However, in this case, I simply don't know what to make of Gisher and his blog. Another linked blog, a super-duper-uber right-wing gun-blog called The Smallest Minority, (which, incidentally offers anyone in Tucson, AZ an invitation to go shooting with him; should I take him up on the offer?) says of Gisher's blog, "The Rev. Billy, from what reading I've done at his site, is somewhat pretty far Left of where I stand, but has some interesting things to say." Left? Right? Partisan? Not? Ass? Enlightened? I'm not sure. I actually wanted to know what you (my, like, three readers left since I took my unofficial blogging sabbatical in order to, y'know, not fail out of school) think. Should Gisher be linked or not? Am I just lacking in a sense of humour?

49 Comments:

Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

" Gisher than asks commentors to respond to the post based on which jokes they found funny and why."

though dost do a dan rather on me. i ask you follow the series all the way through to the sunday sermon. i am making a point in long form. you may not agree with what i finally wind up saying about all of this but, i cannot control you. don't want to. want you to think outside the box and avoid knee-jerking this. i do love everyone. but i think what i will talk about on sunday, will explain what i view as one of our biggest problems with communicating with each other. i am proud of you for speaking up though, so many have seen these posts and felt the way you did, but said nothing. i will talk about this and mention you personally in the sunday simulcast. keep an open mind and stay with me. i expect a BIG discussion after the sunday sermon. BIG.

I NEVER EVER ASKED PEOPLE TO TELL ME WHAT THEY FOUND FUNNY AND MISQUOTING WILL GET US ALL KILLED ONE DAY.

12/02/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"a super-duper-uber right-wing gun-blog"

Well, that's the first time it's been called that in print. That I know of.

Right-wing? Certainly. Gun blog? Absolutely. "Super-duper-uber"? There's a lot of people WELL to the right of me. Granted, there's a lot more the LEFT.

If you drop by Tucson any time in the future, the offer to go shooting is most definitely open.

I got the same email. Peruse "Rev. Gisher's" site in more detail. There's more there than initially meets the eye. Though if you found EVERYTHING on those lists offensive (and didn't crack a grin on any of them) you might be far too uptight to meet his criteria.

Thanks for the link, anyway. I'm doing what I can to get more women interested in shooting and self-defense, regardless of their political leanings.

12/02/2005 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

This site was just.... confused. It's not funny or poignant. Just ... confused.

I wouldn't link to this stuff.

It's just bizarre.

Further, don't go out somewhere shooting guns with people you neither know nor don't trust with your life (and my sanity) in any and all circumstances. My friend went deer hunting with his girlfriend's family not too long ago, only to learn that he was the deer.

This site wasn't enlightened or cute. It was just ... confused. And there are better sites from clear-thinking people out there in the blogosphere.

12/02/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

i don't think jokes and teasing and stuff like that is so bad. i think it often sort of helps.

if it was up to me i'd say don't link him. just cause he's white. not because of any jokes. isn't that funny?

i'm a asian dude by the way.

12/02/2005 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

James:

I have over two years worth of posts up at my site. I use my own name, not a pseudonym. I have an email address posted so that I can be contacted directly. I have comments open if the writer would rather retain more distance. Short of meeting me in person, there's no better way I can think of for someone to get to know me.

You're right - it is all about trust. I trust most of my fellow humans, but I know that some of them, a really tiny percentage, are untrustworthy. That's why I'm an advocate for firearms ownership and responsible useage, and why I reach out to others. It's our job to keep that small percentage in check, but most people don't realize it.

If you'd care to discuss this further, feel free to drop me a line at gunrights@comcast.net (Yes, really.)

If it makes you feel any better, my wife is Okinawan (been here since she was nine, hasn't been naturalized.) While not an enthusiast, she knows which end of the gun the speedy bit comes out of, and is able to hit a target.

12/02/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

"It's our job to keep that small percentage in check". i totally agree! there's this small percentage of the world that's like totally bullying and dominating everyone else.

they're called "white people".

that's very interesting about your wife. please tell her hello from a fellow asian.

12/02/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"don't link him. just cause he's white."

And this isn't racist, because...?

I haven't bullied or dominated you. I haven't even met you. But I'm white, so I'm the enemy?

And this isn't racist, because...?

Tough world you inhabit.

12/02/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

beautiful night tonight. i feel like stretching out a bit.

kevin says: "Tough world you inhabit."

i says: i'm lying in bed in my underwear. things could be worse. i wasn't trying to get personal with you. i was just talking about the world, y'know? the world you mentioned... where some people, "a really tiny percentage, are untrustworthy".

i agree. a tiny percentage is bullying and dominating the world and we gotta stop them.

i didn't call you a racist but you had to call me one. that's sad. you sound real sensitive. you probably had some hard times in life, right? i'm sorry.

and as far as personal stuff between you and me, all i mentioned was that i say hello to your wife from a fellow asian. tell her already, and stop inventing some fight with me. relax.

don't stress so much. the USA is getting less and less white. and you don't even have to shoot people to make it so. people like your wife are feeling more and more at home here. isn't that fuckin rad?

... oh wait....

... did you say you were WHITE?! oh geez my mistake... sorry dude. okay i get it now. you feel like i was being racist aginst you, right? i get it. hey man sorry what can i say i'm not the smartest guy in the world. haha - i don't call myself dumbguy2 for nothing. but seriously dude some of my best friends are white, fer real. this blond lady from maryland gives me a lot of computer help. she's real nice. oh and i really like Sonic Youth. that's some teutonic aesthetics, man. you can't get much more white than names like 'Thurston Moore' or his woman's last name - 'Gordon'. that's pretty white, right? and i dig it man, i really do. that stuff is some crazed blonde nordic mad pagan scientist stuff. that's some real white people culture right there. you know all about that, right? or that Syd Barrett guy. that guy was practically a one-man cultural nationalist revolution. listen to the guitar solo from Astronomy Domine. that dude was soaring. he was playing his own people's harmonies, not faking african american harmony. he was real, not some fake whiteboy blues like the rest of those classic rockers. or these so-called country acts with their bastardized generic blues beat, wtf is with that? why can't they be real white people, like Shane McGowan or Brian Warner? i'm sure you could hip us non-white folks to some real great european stuff, right? not that dumb schoolboy Nietzsche ego crap. i'm sure you know all about the real stuff - the freaking Hawkwind, John Lydon, Sonic Youth type stuff.. do that. i love that shit. post it on your site. yeah!

hey i know some french and some russian too. i even went to germany once. and prague too!


p.s. sorry to go on so much about euro stuff on a site that's trying to get more deep into the asian thing. maybe if kevin would invite his wife to join the discussion we could get into more asian stuff.

duhhh,

dumb guy 2

12/03/2005 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@Gisher:

I don't doubt that the posts are going to a point. Just, having perused the site, I have no idea what the point is. I don't think I "Dan Rather"-ed you (and, God, I hate that, since Rather is/was/and always shall be a great journalist) -- I included a quote asking for input in this post. You asked what people found offensive in the list... the alternative way to look at that is to ask what people did not find offensive, i.e., what they found funny (these all being jokes, and thus they exist only to humour).

If you look through your comments, that is what a good slice of people actually responded to. They responded to which jokes they found funny and "not offensive".

I did not misquote you, and in fact, took care to ensure that I included your exact wording as to the intention of the posts in order to avoid any confusion.

Either way, I certainly don't think that takes away from my overall point which is that racial / genderized / discriminatory / etc... jokes are inherently offensive if they are used by an outsider against a community. The very act of mocking one group based on stereotypes, preconceived notions and outright bigotry is offensive. And it certainly doesn't argue against my conclusion that, given that you didn't indicate what your point was going to be, I could only guess at why you might be posting offensive material and asking for input.

That being said, I look forward to reading what you have to say in your Sunday Sermon.

@ Kevin:

Thanks for dropping by! I was being coy with the "super-duper-uber" but I will admit that I don't often read right-wing gunblogs, so, from the peak atop the Leftist side of the canyon, you look pretty Right to me.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The reason why your invite caught my eye is because I actually live in Tucson (I'm attending grad school at the U of A) so I thought it pretty funny that it was totally feasible.

Then again, I've always been about gun control. I can't even take a stroll through Wal-Mart; the sight of guns unnerves me (particularly handguns) since they exist only to slaughter.

12/03/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

"the sight of guns unnerves me (particularly handguns) since they exist only to slaughter"

As the saying goes, then all of mine must be defective (with the possible exception of a 1943 manufactured M1 Garand rifle).

Slaughter: transitive verb, to kill (animals) for food.

OK, some of mine would be suitable for that, though I myself do not hunt.

to kill in a bloody or violent manner

Killing tends to be that. Even blunt-force trauma is "violent."

to kill in large numbers, massacre

Again, mine must be defective, or your premise is in error.

Firearms are tools to amplify and project individual power. How that power is used is the question, and it's a question not based on the tool, but on the user.

You say that you've "always been about gun control." I suggest that is because you don't really understand what it is you're trying to control. You're trying to control slaughter - but slaughter has occurred throughout human history, from long before guns ever existed.

You said you don't often read "right-wing gunblogs." I can certainly understand that. I don't often read on the Left side of the 'sphere myself. There is one post at my site, however, that I'd like you to read (actually, there are several, but for right now, just one.) It's entitled Those Without Swords Can Still Die Upon Them.

The Leftist movement has been, as I understand it, one of greater individual freedom and autonomy. Why "gun control" has been a shibboleth of the Left has always puzzled me.

And since you're doing graduate work at the U, the invitation is most definitely open. Think of it as an educational experience. You are unnerved by inanimate objects. Shouldn't that be something to overcome?

12/03/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous tekanji said...

Am I just lacking in a sense of humour?

Come on, Jen, after that inspired rant about how "PC" needs to stop being the joke of the majority and offensivenes needs to be recognized - even if it doesn't offend you in particular - that question seems kind of like back peddling. Unless I was missing some sarcasm, but the rest of your post seemed pretty serious so...

The only way those kinds of jokes are "funny" is when they're used to expose them for the kind of bigoted garbage they are. And anyone who thinks that it's "harmless fun" to actually insult a minority group may have a great sense of humor, but they're lacking in a sense of decency.

Should Gisher be linked or not?

Well, I think it depends on what kinds of links you want on your blog. I tried to link someone decently far right of me once, but after a few months I couldn't stand by the number of prejudiced comments she would make so I un-linked her (not that she cared, but I did).

Is Gisher someone you'll keep reading? Do you think that he has already made some good points here and there? Even if he is outside of your general ideology, does he uphold the ideals you find to be most important in life? Would you want your readers reading him?

Answer those and you might have a better idea of whether or not his link belongs on your blog. If you want my personal opinion, I'd say that I'm not interested in linking him on my blog, not so much because he's offensive but rather I didn't see anything on his front page that really struck a chord with me.

12/03/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous tekanji said...

I knew there was something else I wanted to say, Jenn...

I can't even take a stroll through Wal-Mart; the sight of guns unnerves me (particularly handguns) since they exist only to slaughter.

Guns are the least of the reasons for shunning Wal*Mart.

12/03/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

“This site wasn't enlightened or cute. It was just ... confused. And there are better sites from clear-thinking people out there in the blogosphere.”

I have read his site thoroughly and it was not confusing at all, it was stuff you have never seen and that is your problem, not his. If you are talking about mine, same deal.


"It's our job to keep that small percentage in check". i totally agree! there's this small percentage of the world that's like totally bullying and dominating everyone else. they're called "white people". “

Geez, you did not get upset about the above non PC comment? DID YOU? AND WHO IS KEEPING THIS GUY IN CHECK? OH I FORGOT “WHITE PEOPLE” YOUR LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT THEM. TALK ABOUT STEREOTYPING.


“I don't think I "Dan Rather"-ed you (and, God, I hate that, since Rather is/was/and always shall be a great journalist) I did not misquote you, and in fact, took care to ensure that I included your exact wording as to the intention of the posts in order to avoid any confusion.”

EXACT WORDING? OH REALLY WHAT THE HECK IS THIS REMARK? By the way, I lifted the following from your post:

“Gisher than asks commentors to respond to the post based on which jokes they found funny and why.”

NOW GO AND FIND THAT COMMENT FROM ME ON MY SITE MR.RATHER. Great journalist?
EDWARD MURROW WAS A GREAT JOURNALIST RATHER WAS A CRAZED TILTED HACK WHO HEARD VOICES “KENNETH WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?”

“Either way, I certainly don't think that takes away from my overall point which is that racial / genderized / discriminatory / etc... jokes are inherently offensive if they are used by an outsider against a community. The very act of mocking one group based on stereotypes, preconceived notions and outright bigotry is offensive. And it certainly doesn't argue against my conclusion that, given that you didn't indicate what your point was going to be, I could only guess at why you might be posting offensive material and asking for input.’

In other words you knee jerked. I am afraid you won’t get the point of my Sunday sermon, because I am afraid (NOTE: NOT POSITIVE BUT AFRAID) you have been hurt too much and are too angry to open your mind and heart up. I hope I am wrong.

“Answer those and you might have a better idea of whether or not his link belongs on your blog. If you want my personal opinion, I'd say that I'm not interested in linking him on my blog, not so much because he's offensive but rather I didn't see anything on his front page that really struck a chord with me. ‘

As for you, are you dead already or did you spend more than five minutes there? Some things take time to put out. I think the biggest problem here is sound bite mentality, another thing your hero Dan Rather (by the way I am more lefty than anything, but I hate labels, and gosh they seem to be popular here) another thing DANO brought us with his quality work. HAH!

12/03/2005 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Uhm... point of clarification.

"This site was just.... confused. It's not funny or poignant. Just ... confused.

I wouldn't link to this stuff.

It's just bizarre.
- James

That all referred to the Gisher's site. Really sorry for any misconception or offense caused by my quick typing and lack of proper nouns.

"Further, don't go out somewhere shooting guns with people you neither know nor don't trust with your life (and my sanity) in any and all circumstances. My friend went deer hunting with his girlfriend's family not too long ago, only to learn that he was the deer." - James

This referred to the general question about going shooting with someone you don't know. Not meant as a commentary on anyone posting here.

"This site wasn't enlightened or cute. It was just ... confused. And there are better sites from clear-thinking people out there in the blogosphere." - James

Again, this was about the Gisher's site.

So, I'll try to be more direct next time. I noticed that my earlier post was within five minutes of Kevin's, and since his appeared first, some misunderstanding may have happened. Sorry about that. I'm using dial-up.

12/03/2005 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

"This site wasn't enlightened or cute. It was just ... confused. And there are better sites from clear-thinking people out there in the blogosphere."

are you alive? do you want to die because of stupidity like the above comment. read the damn site, all of the "dust bunnies" and front page, then come tell me it's not relevant to you. LAZY! JESUS!

12/03/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

"If it makes you feel any better, my wife is Okinawan (been here since she was nine, hasn't been naturalized.) While not an enthusiast, she knows which end of the gun the speedy bit comes out of, and is able to hit a target." - Kevin

While I respect your healthy and open-minded respect for guns and gun-ownership Kevin, I don't understand what this comment was supposed to mean. Why would your wife's national origins have any bearing on her effectiveness with firearms?

Further, Jenn, as a guy operating on simple self-interest, who's grown up around guns all his life, I'd repeat my objection to going out and shooting with anyone, much less someone you don't know. To be honest, I don't believe a civilized society has much use for firearms, especially the types commonly associated with American sportsmen, hunters, and criminals.

A society respective of individual rights and minority presence should not offer projections of individual power through violence as carelessly as the U.S.A. allows with the firearm industry. Regulating slaughter or violence is not the goal, but the entire concept of gun ownership as an inalienable right for American citizens should be re-examined, in my opinion.

And, Tekanji, Wal-Mart is the tenth level of Hell. My sister sent me there four different times on Thanksgiving Day. Hell. But level two is the gun section.

12/03/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous tekanji said...

My sister sent me there four different times on Thanksgiving Day.

I'm sorry, James. I feel for you x.x Hopefully she won't do it for the winter holiday season...

12/03/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger phillyjay said...

Ok, I got a question jen.What if it was minorities poking fun at other minorities?Like say you get a group of latinos blacks and asians throwing racial jokes at each other.One minority outsider group against another.Same situation or different?I've seen it done plenty of times, and white people were never around when it happened.

12/03/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

James: (Not trying to hijack the comments, but this was directed at me)

"While I respect your healthy and open-minded respect for guns and gun-ownership Kevin, I don't understand what this comment was supposed to mean. Why would your wife's national origins have any bearing on her effectiveness with firearms?"

That's because you're trying to draw a connection that isn't there. The proprietor of this site is Chinese and writes about Asian issues. My wife is Asian. That's relevant (I believe) in the context of this comment thread. The proprietor is "unnerved" by firearms. My wife is not. She is not a "gun nut" but also not unfamiliar with firearms. Also relevant, but not connected with her Asian heritage. Her national origins are irrelevant to the latter portion of the comment. Her being female and married to me is relevant. Perhaps I worded it badly, but this is a comment thread, not an essay.

"Further, Jenn, as a guy operating on simple self-interest, who's grown up around guns all his life, I'd repeat my objection to going out and shooting with anyone, much less someone you don't know."

Anyone? Including you? You don't trust anybody?

"To be honest, I don't believe a civilized society has much use for firearms, especially the types commonly associated with American sportsmen, hunters, and criminals."

However, they're out there and they aren't going to go away. Period. The most you can do is disarm the people you don't need to worry about. So losing the fear of inanimate objects seems to me to be a desireable thing. I'm not trying to make people "gun nuts," I'm trying to make people informed rather than ignorant and (therefore) irrationally fearful. (It's rational to be afraid if someone is armed and behaving like a yahoo around you. It's not rational to be "unnerved" by rifles and shotguns in a case at WalMart.)

"A society respective of individual rights and minority presence should not offer projections of individual power through violence as carelessly as the U.S.A. allows with the firearm industry."

You didn't read Those Without Swords..., did you? We could spend hours on this topic.

"Regulating slaughter or violence is not the goal, but the entire concept of gun ownership as an inalienable right for American citizens should be re-examined, in my opinion."

Regulating violence isn't the goal of gun control? I've been saying that for years. Tell me, then, what you think it is. As to re-examining the concept of gun ownership as an inalienable right, there's an amendment process written into the Constitution suitable for just that purpose. But until enough of the population becomes converted to your thinking on the subject, the inalienable right - enumerated into that Constitution - stands. Except, of course, in the 9th Circuit, which Arizona is a part of.

Personally, I think the right is there for a very good reason that most people have forgotten due to two centuries of relative ease and plenty, but that's just me.

Sorry again, Jenn, for hijacking the comments.

12/03/2005 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

articulate gun nut isn't he?
he's a human being. period. gun nut is no different than any other slur. i don't like slurs any more than the author of this site does. what i am saying is similar to what kevin is saying. if you got mud, make mud pies. hope i see you in church sunday.

12/04/2005 12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

i said: there's this small percentage of the world that's like totally bullying and dominating everyone else. they're called "white people". “

billy bob said: Geez, you did not get upset about the above non PC comment? DID YOU? AND WHO IS KEEPING THIS GUY IN CHECK? OH I FORGOT “WHITE PEOPLE” YOUR LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT THEM. TALK ABOUT STEREOTYPING.

i say: pipe down billy bob. there's a lot of us out here who aren't in denial about white global domination. billions of us. there are very few of you, relatively speaking. but yes, you have a lot more guns and such. you don't gotta shout in all caps and get all crazy. i already know white people are the best at drama. and black people are the smartest and asian people have the best rhythm. you don't have to prove it all over again with every post.

and stop crying about being stereotyped please. i swear to you i really do dig your white culture and people. in fact i bet i'm more hip to it than you are. you seem sort of like a crazy self-hater. maybe you should go back to europe for a while and get back in touch with your roots.

i'm not a racist, man. don't be so sensitive. some of my best experiences in life have been with white women. so many of my first experiences were with white girls. i can't hate 'em. but you know... it's messed up that i gotta console your poor persecuted white feelings over here at 'reappropriate'. if you're gonna cry about that stuff, at least go do it in europe or something.


and kevin, don't forget to tell your wife hello from a fellow asian. tell her i'm a bit worried. better yet invite her to join the discussion already. i want to know what she thinks about all this. don't be scared to tell her about all this. okay?

peace

12/04/2005 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@tekanji
Come on, Jen, after that inspired rant about how "PC" needs to stop being the joke of the majority and offensivenes needs to be recognized - even if it doesn't offend you in particular - that question seems kind of like back peddling.

Well, I was being semi-facetious. I mean, it always seems to me that I talk about how much I hate offensive jokes and I end up being told I merely lack in the requisite sense of humour it takes to "understand" when it's "okay" to kid.

So, sarcastic in that sense, only.

Your other points are also true: Wal-Mart is evil for other reasons, but I don't think one should ignore the fact that this is one of the few stores out there where you can actually buy guns, ammunition and beer all at once.

And, I don't know if I'll continue to read Gisher's blog. I'm actually hoping this much promised Sunday sermon sways me. As I said, I ended up being confused more than anything else -- I want to think there's more to the blog than what I read, but I honestly can't tell right now.

12/04/2005 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@phillyjay

Ok, I got a question jen.What if it was minorities poking fun at other minorities?Like say you get a group of latinos blacks and asians throwing racial jokes at each other.One minority outsider group against another.Same situation or different?I've seen it done plenty of times, and white people were never around when it happened.

I will never understand two things about this question:

1) Why anyone would think anyone would say that one minority group mocking another is any better than Whites mocking minorities...

and

2) Why people feel the need to point out that minorities do it too. Is this some way of trying to make Whites feel better by saying "hey, look, minorities can be racist fuckheads, too?" I almost feel like it's an appeasement tool to make Whites feel less bad about how fucked up it is, in general to make such jokes, by saying that minorities do it too.

I said in my post above that it's about recognizing how wrong it is to be offensive, not worrying about who you're offending. So yes, that means that, as long as you are an outsider, and you're making jokes against another community, I think you're fucked up. Doesn't matter what colour you are, it's wrong, in my book.

But that also doesn't mean that I need to make a point of specifically including minorities into this statement in order to negate the inevitable White guilt that arises when I make such a statement.

12/04/2005 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@kevin

No problems, you're not hijacking. Personally, I'm intrigued by this discussion and would love to watch you and James go at it about the gun issue.

That's because you're trying to draw a connection that isn't there. The proprietor of this site is Chinese and writes about Asian issues. My wife is Asian. That's relevant (I believe) in the context of this comment thread. The proprietor is "unnerved" by firearms. My wife is not.

Just to put it out there, I also failed to see any connection between your wife and me. My fear of guns has zero to do with my ethnicity. It has something to do with my general bleeding-heart liberalism (the apparent Word of the Day) and a fair amount to do with my being Canadian, where we place comparatively less emphasis on hand-gun ownership (compared to hunting rifles). I didn't grow up in a society where you could go to a Wal-mart and see a gun, and in fact, the first time I saw a real gun was when I was 19 (with James holding my hand because I saw it, at Wal-mart, and yelped, all buggy-eyed).

To be honest, I was a little perturbed by the connection that seemed to be drawn. Yes I am Chinese, but why I should care in any way that you have an Asian wife who isn't afraid of handguns?
In the quote above, you contradict yourself: on the one hand you say that your wife's Asian ethnicity compared to my own is relevant in the context of this thread, and yet, in the next sentence, you argue that her being Asian and her being not being afraid of guns is not connected. I'm afraid I simply fail to see the relevance beyond "You're Asian. She's Asian. She isn't afraid of guns. Why aren't you?", so I'd appreciate a clarification (since I'm sure that is not your intended point).

Anyone? Including you? You don't trust anybody?

Shit, I wouldn't trust James with a gun. I've made that point a number of times with him already.

It's not that James is gonna go all homicidal, it's that there's still this problem of one end of the thing being oh-so-highly lethal. Accidents do happen. James' father has a small collection of firearms, and I trust his father implicitly to know how to handle them... I would still run for the hills if he cracked that case open, because in the end, it's the weapon that terrifies me (and all the killing power it represents), not necessarily the person.

When it comes right down to it, you're still placing an awful lot of trust in a person to stand within range of someone who could kill you with a slight muscle spasm of the finger.

Besides, if power corrupts, then absolute killing power corrupts yada-yada-yada.

It's not rational to be "unnerved" by rifles and shotguns in a case at WalMart.

No, I agree, it's not rational. But fears rarely are intended to be.

I fear the concentrated killing potential. As silly as it sounds, I'm enough of a bleeding-heart-liberal to actually see a gun and perceive it as a physical manifestation of humanity's enthusiasm and ability to kill and destroy one another. After all, handguns are good for nothing more than killing our fellow man -- the fact that it exists, that it could be imagined out of the human psyche and continue to be in demand is terrifying. Are we really so animalistic as to still desire an object that can do nothing but kill?

(Incidentally, I feel similarly about most other weapons, although few are quite as deadly as guns, which require comparatively less skill and are able to kill far more efficiently than, say, a battle mace).

Sorry again, Jenn, for hijacking the comments.

Again, I'm cool with it as long as you're game to keep this up. You bring up several good points, and my hat's off to you for that.

12/04/2005 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

"i'm not a racist, man. don't be so sensitive. some of my best experiences in life have been with white women. so many of my first experiences were with white girls. i can't hate 'em. but you know... it's messed up that i gotta console your poor persecuted white feelings over here at 'reappropriate'. if you're gonna cry about that stuff, at least go do it in europe or something."


lazy lazy lazy, you miss the point again, i am mad because you are lazy, and you don't use your brain and you are so god awfully self-centered. this ain't about me, i am doing this blog for you. i am not going to be alive when the crap hits the fan you will be. i am fighting for you. i am trying to make you think but you have grown up in a world where dan rather told you what to think. i am not telling you what to think, i am asking you to use your brain, fight your knee-jerk tendancies, and think. i am working all of this stuff out for you and you still sleep and enjoy the silence. i poop on you.

12/04/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

oh and pardon me you self-loathing racist, screwing someone does not prove you don't hate them ask most of the women you porked about that.
it proves that A) you get your jolly from taboos, or b) you inflate your self worth by screwing them.

if you would wake up your mind, you would not need anybody's vaildation.

12/04/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Jenn:

(*sigh*) OK. I did word it badly.

"My fear of guns has zero to do with my ethnicity. It has something to do with my general bleeding-heart liberalism (the apparent Word of the Day) and a fair amount to do with my being Canadian, where we place comparatively less emphasis on hand-gun ownership (compared to hunting rifles). I didn't grow up in a society where you could go to a Wal-mart and see a gun, and in fact, the first time I saw a real gun was when I was 19 (with James holding my hand because I saw it, at Wal-mart, and yelped, all buggy-eyed)."

Point 1) My wife is Asian. Does that have any relevance to this discussion? Well, there's a lot of discussion of racism, particularly against Asians, so I thought so.

Point 2) (And here's the part I worded badly because I left out seriously pertinient information) Does her lack of fear of firearms have any relevance to the discussion? Yes, because she used to be afraid as well.

Your fear of guns is not caused by your "bleeding heart liberalism," it's caused by ignorance - you said it yourself - you haven't been exposed to them. Now, your "bleeding heart liberalism" has contributed to your fear because the only exposure you have had is through media stories and (I'd assume) anti-gun-group propaganda. (That's not to say that pro-gun groups do not also have propaganda, but after more than ten years of studying the subject in deep detail, I know which side lies bigger, more often, and most shamelessly.)

"It's not that James is gonna go all homicidal, it's that there's still this problem of one end of the thing being oh-so-highly lethal. Accidents do happen."

Yes they do. However, they are in actuality extremely rare. This is an example of the irrationality of your fear. If you're worried about being injured or killed accidentally, guns are FAR down the list of things you ought to be concerned about. However, you've been convinced by decades of propaganda that guns are so dangerous, so lethal, and so evil that no one should be allowed to own them.

That's the thinking I'm trying to overcome, because it's irrational. Again, you said it yourself: "...it's the weapon that terrifies me (and all the killing power it represents), not necessarily the person."

"When it comes right down to it, you're still placing an awful lot of trust in a person to stand within range of someone who could kill you with a slight muscle spasm of the finger."

Yes, you are. However, our system of government is based on trust. No government of free people can be based on anything else. I trust you not to not drive recklessly. I trust the people at the gas company to properly regulate the gas pressure in the line going to my house. I trust the people at the service station to keep their pumps in proper repair. I trust everybody every day - and so do you. You just don't trust them with guns. I do.

"As silly as it sounds, I'm enough of a bleeding-heart-liberal to actually see a gun and perceive it as a physical manifestation of humanity's enthusiasm and ability to kill and destroy one another. After all, handguns are good for nothing more than killing our fellow man -- the fact that it exists, that it could be imagined out of the human psyche and continue to be in demand is terrifying."

I quite agree that this is the root of your problem. I'm glad that you recognize that your fear is irrational. Yes, firearms are primarily designed to kill. Yes, humanity is still ready, able, and willing to use lethal violence. Your fear of weapons, however, affects that not at all. What it does is make you a better victim should you ever encounter part of that tiny minority of people in this society willing to use violence against you.

What you exhibit is an inability to distinguish between "violent and predatory" and "violent but protective." You see only violent. This is my biggest problem with the "bleeding heart left" - a system of beliefs based on irrationality. Unless you can ovecome that, I can't reach you.

So, a question: A violent serial rapist is stalking UofA students. (It's happened.) He's picked you. Is it OK for a police officer to shoot and kill this rapist if he is caught in the act of attacking you? Why or why not?

12/04/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

"The proprietor of this site is Chinese and writes about Asian issues. My wife is Asian. That's relevant (I believe) in the context of this comment thread. The proprietor is "unnerved" by firearms. My wife is not. She is not a "gun nut" but also not unfamiliar with firearms. Also relevant, but not connected with her Asian heritage." - Kevin

"Point 1) My wife is Asian. Does that have any relevance to this discussion? Well, there's a lot of discussion of racism, particularly against Asians, so I thought so.

Point 2) (And here's the part I worded badly because I left out seriously pertinient information) Does her lack of fear of firearms have any relevance to the discussion? Yes, because she used to be afraid as well. - Kevin

I still don't see the connection.

"It's not rational to be "unnerved" by rifles and shotguns in a case at WalMart." - Kevin

Yes, it is. I'm from Virginia, where the people who purchase guns from Wal-Mart often publicly express anti-Black prejudice to dangerous degrees. Further, let's be honest, at the end of the day, much of the pro-gun ownership rhetoric revolves around a fatalistic domestic outlook - "they're out there and they aren't going to go away." So is the concept of individually secured abortion, but that doesn't stop the conservative Christian Right from trying to limit reproductive choice in our country.

I am unnerved by guns and rifles in Wal-Mart, because that corporation distributes easy, unskilled death to the poor and middle-class, under the guise of sportsmanship. I find it uncivilized, and dangerous.

"Your fear of guns is not caused by your "bleeding heart liberalism," it's caused by ignorance - you said it yourself - you haven't been exposed to them." - Kevin

I totally don't buy this argument. Guns kill. All the dogma on personal responsibility and sensible gun handling means quite little whenever statistics on inner-city violent crime emerge. Guns make lethal violence too easy to enact, and whenever gun lobbyists and gun manufacturers discuss that product, they should recall how many innocent bystanders and other victims have suffered and died because of someone's easy mishandling or criminal use of a firearm. Being exposed to guns can get one killed.

"What you exhibit is an inability to distinguish between "violent and predatory" and "violent but protective." You see only violent." - Kevin

Here's my example of a racial interjection: whenever White police officers break up an altercation between African American men, I do not believe they, generally speaking, distinguish between 'violent and predatory' and 'violent but protective'. They just see violence, and act with greater degrees of violence. Whenever I encounter White policemen, armed with guns, the sudden fear I feel and struggle to control revolves around my complete inability to believe that they will only become violent in order to 'protect' me. Cops are violent predators, in my opinion, and I'd rather not be shot because I trusted my life to a flimsy difference that does not exist.

And no, the use of lethal force is not something to be justified in any circumstances. It's not about justification when a person, even acting in the name of preserving public order, enacts lethal force against another. It's a policy decision, and searching for a moral justification in that hypothetical would be too self-interested to provide meaning.

12/04/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

what could i say that james hasn't already said?

A violent rapist is stalking U of A. I still would not condone lethal force. There are several, equally effective non-lethal means for a police officer to take down a violent criminal, including taser guns, rubber bullets, pepper spray, etc.

I do not believe in killing as sanctioned by the government, whether it's by allowing guns to exist amongst the populace, capital punishment, or war. I simply think that's a line neither we nor the government should be allowed to cross. As I was telling James the other day (or rather, he observed of me), I simply do not think there is any crime that is worth execution.

Guns do not make you safer.

12/04/2005 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

kevin said: If it makes you feel any better, my wife is Okinawan (been here since she was nine, hasn't been naturalized.) While not an enthusiast, she knows which end of the gun the speedy bit comes out of, and is able to hit a target.

kevin said: The proprietor of this site is Chinese and writes about Asian issues. My wife is Asian. That's relevant (I believe) in the context of this comment thread.

kevin said: Her being female and married to me is relevant.

kevin said: Point 1) My wife is Asian. Does that have any relevance to this discussion? Well, there's a lot of discussion of racism, particularly against Asians, so I thought so.

billybob said: oh and pardon me you self-loathing racist, screwing someone does not prove you don't hate them ask most of the women you porked about that.
it proves that A) you get your jolly from taboos, or b) you inflate your self worth by screwing them... if you would wake up your mind, you would not need anybody's vaildation.


yeeeehaaaww!!

12/04/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

well he could actually care about her too, my ommission, but his cocky jerk-butt statement deserved that response. i don't care who he has slept with, i care that he gets over his anger, anger which is legitimate. but he has got to get over it, and move on and grow. there are millions of women in this world who sleep with their husbands and hate them. screwing someone does not prove you are not a racist. and misquoting me to paint me as one proves only that you are a dan rather, so attached to your agenda that you will compromise truth to throw your darts. notice she has not made one single attempt to retract this remark:

"Gisher than asks commentors to respond to the post based on which jokes they found funny and why."

that statement does not appear on my site. and if you actually read sundays post, finally the instant gratification crowd can see where i was going this week. but i am losing faith in these two, and i have got to move on to try and reach people who can let go of their anger, and help me try and see to it, that these two poor creatures who truly have been wronged by ignorance, can safely stomp around fifty years from now and be emotionally stunted.

god help you two, because I clearly cannot reach you guys. sorry you have been hurt so much. sorry you will not get over it. hope there are less of you than i think.

12/04/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

In re: my wife - OK, fine. Perhaps it's not relevant after all. Mea culpa.

James, it's not rational - and Jenn admitted as much.

The "the people who purchase guns from Wal-Mart often publicly express anti-Black prejudice to dangerous degrees" can buy guns anywhere, both through licensed dealers and private parties. Being afraid of rifles and shotguns in a rack is not rational. Being afraid of people who "publicly express anti-Black prejudice to dangerous degrees" is not irrational.

"I am unnerved by guns and rifles in Wal-Mart, because that corporation distributes easy, unskilled death to the poor and middle-class, under the guise of sportsmanship."

Just like every other federally-licensed gun dealer in the nation? But you're only worried about WalMart?

"I totally don't buy this argument. Guns kill."

No sir. Someone has to buy it, load it, aim it, and pull the trigger. It is the intent behind those actions that should concern you. Because even without guns, that intent is what's lethal.

"All the dogma on personal responsibility and sensible gun handling means quite little whenever statistics on inner-city violent crime emerge. Guns make lethal violence too easy to enact, and whenever gun lobbyists and gun manufacturers discuss that product, they should recall how many innocent bystanders and other victims have suffered and died because of someone's easy mishandling or criminal use of a firearm. Being exposed to guns can get one killed."

Here's where I get called racist. You note the problem with "inner city violent crime" which is a euphemism for black-on-black violent crime. Homicide among young black males is their leading cause of death. In 1999 a total of 4,998 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (inclusive) died from homicide. Of those, 2,453 were black males - 49%. But black males between the ages of 15 and 24 (inclusive) represent only 7.6% of the population of the US of that age. Read that again - 7.6% of all Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 provide 49% of the victims of homicide by all methods for that age group.

Now are guns the problem, or is it something else? The solution, we are told, is to control guns - but the overwhelming majority of gun violence is perpetrated by, and on, a very small, identifiable segment of the population. Not white-on-black violence, but black-on-black violence. Instead of trying to affect the disproportional violence of inner-city black male youth, gun control forces are attempting to disarm the entire population - and they can't. The most they can do is disarm the law-abiding. (Ask the English.) They're wasting a great deal of effort and not helping solve the problem.

"Being exposed to guns can get one killed."

No, being exposed to violent criminals can get you killed. You're so focused on racism, you fail to see anything else.

"Cops are violent predators, in my opinion, and I'd rather not be shot because I trusted my life to a flimsy difference that does not exist."

Some are, certainly. The power being a police officer brings is often corrupting, and attracts the already corrupt. But if you don't even trust police officers, to maintain societal order, then what's keeping us from descending into anarchy? This guy said it well:

I was reading an article the other day, in the local newspaper, about an elderly Korean gentleman who has moved into town and opened a martial arts studio. He chastened the reporter who had come to interview him not to suggest that the martial arts were 'all about fighting.' "No!" he said. "The purpose is social harmony."

That is exactly right. The secret of social harmony is simple: Old men must be dangerous.

Very nearly all the violence that plagues, rather than protects, society is the work of young males between the ages of fourteen and thirty. A substantial amount of the violence that protects rather than plagues society is performed by other members of the same group. The reasons for this predisposition are generally rooted in biology, which is to say that they are not going anywhere, in spite of the current fashion that suggests doping half the young with Ritalin.

The question is how to move these young men from the first group (violent and predatory) into the second (violent, but protective). This is to ask: what is the difference between a street gang and the Marine Corps, or a thug and a policeman? In every case, we see that the good youths are guided and disciplined by old men. This is half the answer to the problem.

But do we not try to discipline and guide the others? If we catch them at their menace, don't we put them into prisons or programs where they are monitored, disciplined, and exposed to "rehabilitation"? The rates of recidivism are such that we can't say that these programs are successful at all, unless the person being "rehabilitated" wants and chooses to be. And this is the other half of the answer: the discipline and guidance must be voluntarily accepted. The Marine enlists; the criminal must likewise choose to accept what is offered.

The Eastern martial arts provide an experience very much like that of Boot Camp. The Master, like the Drill Instructor, is a disciplined man of great personal prowess. He is an exemplar. He asks nothing of you he can't, or won't, do himself--and there are very many things he can and will do that are beyond you, though you have all the help of youth and strength. It is on this ground that acceptance of discipline is won. It is the ground of admiration, and what wins the admiration of these young men is martial prowess.

Everyone who was once a young man will understand what I mean. Who could look forward, at the age of sixteen or eighteen, to a life of obedience, dressed in suits or uniforms, sitting or standing behind a desk? How were you to respect or care about the laws, or the wishes, of men who had accepted such a life? The difficulty is compounded in poor communities, where the jobs undertaken are often menial. How can you respect your father if your father is a servant? Would you not be accepting a place twice as low as his? Would you not rather take up the sword, and cut yourself a new place? Meekness in the old men of the community unmakes the social order: it encourages rebellion from the young.


Read the whole thing.

"...the use of lethal force is not something to be justified in any circumstances."

And this is where we disagree most profoundly. The use of lethal force is justified for the protection of my life, the lives of my wife and family, or the lives of other innocents. Else we might all just as well put on our chains and submit to those who kill without a qualm. Because they're out there, and all the wishing in the world won't make them go away.

"...searching for a moral justification in that hypothetical would be too self-interested to provide meaning."

And that is psychobabble. Do you have a right to live? Do you or do you not have a right to your own life? If offered the option of "submit or die," is a lethal response immoral? That's the key question. Your answer was "yes." Mine is "no."

12/04/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous dumb guy 2 said...

aahh... what a beatiful day today is.

y'all are so smart i'm sure someone can explain to me why we can have our own private guns but we can't have our own private nukes. i'm confused on this.

near as i can tell the logic you gun nuts use to justify guns could work just as well for grenade launchers (here's a sweet one) or pretty much anything else (like this, for example).

something tells me kevin doesn't think i should have the right to have one of these.

i mean.... what if i need to kill some really dangerous criminal ?

duuuhhh,

dumb guy 2

12/04/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

"Here's where I get called racist. You note the problem with "inner city violent crime" which is a euphemism for black-on-black violent crime." - Kevin

Kevin, no one called you a racist. I don't understand why you feel that way. I did not intend that offense.

Further, inner-city violent crime refers to inner-city violent crime. I was not writing a euphemism for anything, especially the phantom doublespeak "black-on-black crime". Crime is crime, and I don't agree with racializing crime in order to mentally exile our domestic compassion for crime victims who may not physically resemble the political majority. With all your statistics on so-called "black-on-black crime", I read nothing in your comment about stopping such violence. Pro-gun speakers who leave the issue of high violent crime levels with the pronouncement Don't blame my beloved guns! and nothing else ignore the plight of all who live and work and play in poor urban neighborhoods - Black, Asian, Latino, White, and everyone else.

But let's continue this without hyperbole. I do not believe anyone here is a racist.

12/04/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

James:

Generally when someone points out that homicide and violent crime is disproportionate in the young, urban, black, male demographic the knee-jerk reaction is "RACIST!" I've been involved in the topic of gun control and violent crime for over a decade. No one called me a racist prior to my posting "all (my) statistics on so-called 'black-on-black crime' " but that usually follows closely. Trust me, I've seen it over and over again, and it's not hyperbole. It's more like a corollary to Godwin's Law.

You said, "I read nothing in your comment about stopping such violence." Did you read the part where I said that no one comments about stopping such violence? They're all too busy pushing gun control as the solution. I believe a few posts up you yourself said "Regulating slaughter or violence is not the goal." I asked you what you thought the goal was. You haven't answered.

You said, "Crime is crime, and I don't agree with racializing crime in order to mentally exile our domestic compassion for crime victims who may not physically resemble the political majority." Neither do I, but I DO believe that recognizing that a very small and identifiable portion of the population commits a significantly higher portion of the violent crime in this nation is not "racializing crime." It's recognizing a useful fact. It allows you to ask the question "Why?" and try to find an answer for it. That question has been avoided because the answer is (apparently) too painful, and demonizing guns and gun owners is far easier and more socially acceptable. Not to mention the fact that gun control appears to be an easy single solution, and there is most definitely no easy single solution to the problem of "inner-city violent crime."

Am I saying "Don't blame my beloved guns!"? Certainly, in part. But what you're not hearing is "Try looking for the RIGHT solution, not this counterproductive waste of time that you call 'gun control'." My "domestic compassion for crime victims" tends to be pushed to the side when I'm being blamed for the actions of others simply because I defend the right to arms.

12/04/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Chico Mahalo said...

satire [ sá tir ] (plural satires)

1. use of wit to criticize behavior: the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to criticize faults

[Early 16th century. Directly or via French < Latin satira "poetic medley, satire"]

The real issue here, in my view, is whether you’re willing to buy into Mr. Gisher’s brand of satire. George S. Kaufman said, “Satire is what closes on Saturday night.” Because not everybody “Gets It.” (Or wants to get it). I’m one of the rare individuals who actually enjoys satire. I try to sneak it into my own writing every now and then. (Not always successfully). It’s an acquired taste, not unlike dating outside of one’s race. I agreed to include The Rev’s site on my blogroll, not only because he appeared to take time to carefully craft his posts, I also happened to appreciate his Message, which is, stop being so apathetic, take up a cause, any cause, make it your own, write about it, fight for it, bleed for it, die for it, marry for it...Do I agree with everything that comes from his pen? No. Do I believe he’s a racist? No. Am I being paid to say this? Hell no. Do I believe he has an agenda? Of course. We all have an agenda. And since everybody in this room seems to be waving their ethnic flags for all to see, let me just unfurl mine for a quick minute: see that star? It’s a star of David. I am a decedent of the Semitic race. I assume I’m Jewish. A lot of Jews who think they’re Jews, are really not. They’re really switched babies. The minute I see any blatant (or even subtle) bigotry and/or racism creeping into Reverend Gisher’s writing, is the day I drop him like it’s hot from my meager site. So, include the link to his site, or don’t include it. But read him thoroughly before you make your decision.
And while you’re at it, read mine, too...I could use the publicity. Thanks for your time. Stay tuned and stay sober.

12/04/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

James, Jenn:

I won't be able to post for a few days. I'm having some work done on my home that will leave my computer disconnected, but I can periodically check for updates while at work. (Just can't post from there.)

I don't mean to abandon the field at this point, but circumstances prevent, you understand.

12/04/2005 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lingo Slinger said...

Hey Katz!
Rather than sit here and quote the many many contradictions i've just read and and judge everybody based on their particular beliefs... I will just say that this post, this very post is an example of what is wrong with us (us meaning the human collective)! We are so good at pointing the finger at others, judging them, repremanding them for thinking & speaking freely or having different beliefs than we do, that we are limiting our very own potential as humans and causing further division among us. How is our human race supposed to evolve and advance when this is going on? Right, Left, Black, White, Asian... Who gives a fuck?!

We're all humans. Don't be a victim, don't sit there and point out what's wrong with the world and the people in it if you are not doing anything to make it a better place. Judging people based on their beliefs, their right to freedom of speech, or the colour of their skin is so not helping the human condition. There are lots of cooler and more productive things you can do with your life.

Don't live your life as a victim.

12/05/2005 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@ Lingo Slinger:

The very fact that you would say that indicates how deeply set within your own privilege (whatever it may be) you are. To suggest that the only reason anyone talks about their experiences as a minority is because we want to "play the victim" indicates just how little you know what it's like to be in the shoes of the marginalized.

If you took the time to understand what the marginalized experience, you would know that no one in their right mind would choose to be a victim.

12/05/2005 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger phillyjay said...

"We're all humans. Don't be a victim, don't sit there and point out what's wrong with the world and the people in it if you are not doing anything to make it a better place. Judging people based on their beliefs, their right to freedom of speech, or the colour of their skin is so not helping the human condition. There are lots of cooler and more productive things you can do with your life.

Don't live your life as a victim."

Translation: Stop playing the victim/bitching and quit your complaining.Especially if you're a minority....whining minorites :)

12/05/2005 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Lingo Slinger said...

I also happen to live in Canada and interestingly enough, I too am "a minority" in certain areas... including the area that I happen to live! I am not suggesting that the only reason anyone talks about their experiences as a minority is to complain about them or play the victim, you are putting words in my mouth! I am just saying (to anyone) that living your life playing the victim is a waste, there are far more productive things to do with your life! Frankly some "minorities" do play the race card and live their life as victims, there are also lots of whites who live their life as victims in other ways.

I don't define myself based on where I was born, I define myself based on my character and my abilities as a human. If I have any priveledges or opportunities, it's because I have created them for myself and worked hard to get them, not because I am white... The fact that I am White does not work in my favour in the area that I live.

If you are offended by the Rev, it's very simple... Don't read his site! I just don't think that you are really understanding what he's all about. The Rev is an intelligent guy who sees the world for what it really is and wants it to be a better place. If you don't understand his brand of satire, that's okay, but don't try to tear him a new asshole just because you don't understand him.

Imagine what a boring world we'd live in if everyone thought EXACTLY like you! By nature, we are different, but we should be embracing it and learning from each other, not judging and repremanding those who have differing beliefs than us.

K, I'm bored of this topic now... See ya!

12/05/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

"I don't define myself based on where I was born, I define myself based on my character and my abilities as a human. If I have any priveledges or opportunities, it's because I have created them for myself and worked hard to get them, not because I am white... The fact that I am White does not work in my favour in the area that I live." - Lingo Slinger

Lingo Slinger, congrats on all your hard work and success. You've transcended Whiteness. I salute you.

You've climbed that mountaintop, worked long hours, just to get to that promised land where skin-color benefits you can't control no longer work in your favor! Tell us, o great Melaninologist, how did you do it? What's the anti-Great White Hope secret? How did you turn your back on all that behind-the-scenes institutional support and interpersonal majority love that White people enjoy like breathing air or drinking water in the West? Was burnt cork involved, or did you just satiate your Jungle Fever and bang a Black man?

Did you apply for a ghetto pass in a poor Detroit neighborhood with average rhyme skills and a violent, impoverished, single-parent trailer park upbringing a la 8 Mile? Or perhaps you work in some halfway house/ inner city school/ homeless shelter/ record company, and play "Window Shopper" from the Get Rich or Die Tryin' movie soundtrack on your I-pod during lunch, so you really know Black people! I have to ask, because a twenty-dollar contribution to the Red Cross' Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund does not mean your pasty, pale White ass just turned transparent.

Inquiring minds want to know, Lingo Slinger. Do you create the lingo you sling, or just steal hip jargon from creative Black people like most Whites? How do you get crunk, Ms. Self-Made Woman? Inquiring minds want to know.

....

No, not really. This one doesn't care. I'm bored of you, Lingo. Goodbye and good riddance.

12/05/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

@ phillyjay

Translation: Stop playing the victim/bitching and quit your complaining.Especially if you're a minority....whining minorites :)

I <3 you, phillyjay.

Cuz, god, you know us minorities ain't got shit to bitch about. We're such fuckin' drama queens. Especially those strange fruit like Sheppherd, Byrd, Diallou, V. Chin, and of course, all those lazy welfare queens from New Orleans.

12/05/2005 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Lingo Slinger said...

James: Wow, interestingly WHITE name you have there for such a Honky Hater... That's gotta suck for you huh?!

Slavery is over... has been over for a long time... GET OVER IT!!!

Nice generalizations by the way... words spoken from a true intellectual. Yo mama must be proud!

*Yawn*

12/05/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

geez, lingo slinger. for one who claims to sling lingo, you sure are quite inarticulate. i'm impressed by the sheer lameness of that response.

12/11/2005 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Sorry about the huge delay, but I just got my computer hooked up again yesterday.

Since "DumbGuy2" wrote: "don't forget to tell your wife hello from a fellow asian. tell her i'm a bit worried. better yet invite her to join the discussion already. i want to know what she thinks about all this. don't be scared to tell her about all this. okay?" I printed out the comment thread before I took down my computer (it missed a few of the more recent posts) and gave it to my wife to read.

She did something she's never done. She wrote a reply. She did it longhand, so I just got it typed up and reviewed by her, and I'll be posting it at my site as well. It's a little long, but here goes:

Dear Asian Son and Asian Daughter:

My birth name is Hanashiro Kaoru. Hanashiro in both Japanese and Okinawan means "flower castle."

I do not have high respect for people who hide behind a computer screen and argue and degrade each other in blog comments. I prefer face-to-face conversations. But then that's me.

Life is so precious and so short... I'd rather live life. So this will be the first and last article I will ever post on any site. My time is precious. I have grandchildren to love and teach (just like all the Asian grandmothers before me.)

I am writing this not on my husband's behalf. He is too narrow and close-minded when it comes to the Second Amendment. I'm certain that idea comes from his environment. NO! I do not agree with everything he believes. This article is directed mostly to you, "DumbGuy2," who, by the way, requested my comments.

I have read many print-outs my husband has given me in the past ten years. Mostly they bored me. Into a coma. But your comments awakened something within myself that I thought "familiar." The teachings of my grandmother and all the elders who thought that all Americans (Hakujin - whites) are bad. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo. Battles fought in Okinawa. American occupation of Okinawa. So on and so on. Our history!

When I was nine years old I wore the band around my head and joined my fellow Okinawans in a demonstration against Americans, yelling in the loudest voice I could find, "Yankees go home!" How rad, huh? My Asian son, that year my mother remarried.

I was raised by my ancient Asian grandmother. I still remember most of her sayings: "We are from the Lord's house. It is in our blood and in our name." (Some of our ancestors used to work for the King of Ryuku - the Okinawan islands. So she said.) If you left a grain of rice in the bowl, you were yelled at for being ungrateful to the farmers who worked so hard to harvest the rice. Or worse, you were told that all those Chinese gods my grandmother prayed to would be mad, and SLAP!

Jenn, Okinawans from my grandmother's generation lived by the Chinese calendar. Our ways are the same. Jenn you are young and intelligent. I'd like to give you an important (life saving) bit of advice. From an Asian mother to an Asian daughter, DO NOT MEET ANYONE YOU KNOW ONLY FROM THE INTERNET. James is so right. It is not that my husband is dangerous. He asked me to come if you agree to go shooting. (Too cold! I'm not going.) My husband is naive, but believes in his cause. I would not let my daughter do what he is asking of you. To meet a stranger with guns. Are you crazy?!

Jenn, go live life. Meet people face to face. Travel and meet and see and experience different cultures and their people.

Let's go back to my Asian son, DumbGuy2. Hate is non-productive and that mindset will blind you from what is so good and beautiful about life. I know... I've done it myself.

I had a job that taught me the Greatest Lessons of Life. I was a language operator for MCI. We provided I think around 17 different languages for our customers. We were better than the UN. I worked alongside operators from all around the world. We worked beside the English operators - locals. There I learned, no matter where you are from we loved, we cried, we laughed. We all had the same human emotions. When we were physically hurt we all bled red blood. Asians, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Arabs, Africans, American Indians, African-Americans, whites, Jews, we are all a human race. I teach my grandchildren (whites) who are raised by their Asian grandmother this: "There is only one race on this planet. A Human Race. Don't ever forget it."

My Asian son, the greatest man who saved me from this race-hatred that was taught to me ever since I can remember was an Irish-American white man. He is my father - my step-father. I never called him step-dad because he is the only father I've known and need. He is my saint and I love and respect him always. But because of all my teachings by the Elders, my father paid for it. Hate is a bad thing.

When my mother got remarried to an American, I was determined to revenge the shame that my mother had placed on my family. (I was only nine years old.) I was bad! My father never gave up on me. He never wavered, had all the patience of all the saints combined. He was always there for me. He taught me the true meaning of family and paternal love. I am writing this article on his behalf. Not all white people are bad. Some are great! My father, George Washington, Einstein, and so on.

So, my Asian son, don't hate so much. Life is not about us being Asians. Life is about how we all live our lives. But due to my grandmother's teaching, there are two promises I made that I can't seem to break:

1) Never forget our language - I just know basic Japanese.

2) Never become an American. Funny, even though I've lived here 37 years I still see my grandmother's face every time I tried to fill out the citizenship papers. So, I am still Japanese. But before my father passes away, I think my love for this great white man will prevail and someday I will become a citizen.

I will end here. No comments please. I'd rather be with people I truly love. Life's short.

P.S.: Why didn't the Elders ever mention Pearl Harbor, or the killings in Nanking when I was young?

Kaoru


Regardless of my wife's advice, the invitation is still open! ;-)

12/15/2005 08:18:00 PM  
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