So there’s this campaign called Think B4 You Speak, which has the aim of reducing the use of gay, fag, and dyke as insults. Not an easy task as anyone who’s been on in high school or on Xbox Live within the last fifteen years (at least). This popped up on a gaming blog I read, with less than encouraging results.
I have to say, this is very true. This sort of scolding is just not going to work and will probably make things worse. You see defenses of the use of gay as an insult running along the lines of “oh, it’s just another word for stupid in that context, so it’s okay.” Which is almost true, in that people aren’t necessarily consciously anti-homosexual, but that doesn’t make it right. It’s rare, but you occasionally see this same sort of defense with the word nigger. I remember in high school a group of kids arguing that nigger wasn’t a racial slur, it was just another word for asshole. In another instance, someone said that I don’t “know the difference between a nigger and a black person.” That’s slightly different, but it’s an attempt to remove a word from its established context. Given that there’s not much of an argument in the ads, that’s probably the reaction you’re going to get.
I don’t have a solution and I’m sympathetic to the campaign, but it’s not going to work. It’s not biting enough to have an impact. And there’s a real risk of going to far in the direction and making the ads look hysterical. I really wish I had a solution, especially because those insults are a pet peeve of mine, but I don’t.
Mark Steyn seems sort of confused, commenting on a letter from an Obama cabinet official:
Why not just break his legs in the Senate parking lot? Kyl “publicly questioned” the stimulus? We can’t have that, can we? The “Dissent Is The Highest Form Of Patriotism” bumper sticker was canceled by executive order on January 20th.
Have I said that I love The Corner? Fantastic stuff.
Moving on, one of the self-anointed guardians of vacuous centrism is angry. Why? Well, the House’s Tri-Committee health care bill apparently makes too much sense. He makes it sound like the Blue Dogs are going to mount a campaign to make the bill cost more and do less. Meanwhile, Ben Nelson believes he’s some sort of automaton, controlled solely by imaginary constituent preferences.
At least Republican craziness is entertaining.
I still have a blog! I forgot! My writing energy keeps getting focused elsewhere.
I heard a Christian shot up a place associated with Judaism because of Muslims.
This is like one of those brain teasers, isn’t it? Some kind of riddle?
The Uighurs are going to Palau. I hadn’t heard of that place until yesterday. But it’s not Cuba and it’s not China so, yay?
Presumably you saw this last week, but George Will penned a column denouncing denim. Denim! Fun quotes:
Seventy-five percent of American “gamers” — people who play video games — are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote.
Presumably Will lost a game of Pong in his younger years and has never quite recovered.
Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy’s catechism of leveling — thou shalt not dress better than society’s most slovenly. To do so would be to commit the sin of lookism — of believing that appearance matters. That heresy leads to denying the universal appropriateness of everything, and then to the elitist assertion that there is good and bad taste.
I wear jeans. I think there’s good and bad taste. I think George Will’s taste is the latter.
This is not complicated. For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule: If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don’t wear it. For women, substitute Grace Kelly.
Ok, Will’s taste is bad and old. Am I supposed to go to work dressed like this?
Look, George. I know how you feel. You couldn’t write a column just to complain about denim. So you had to connect to everything in society that you think is bad. You had to attribute it to a rejection of the idea that appearances matter. The problem is, that’s not true. You’re just old. It’s ok, though. You’ve got a good job. You can lie about global warming without consequence. You have money and probably a family. Surely something can fill the void so you don’t have to inflict your half-baked ramblings on those of us who have real jobs.
Also, this should be read, for the picture and caption.
Andy McCarthy, over at the Corner:
One can always say a robust response to radical Islam’s atrocities helps Hamas, al Qaeda, etc., to recruit. But recruiting is aided at least as much by successful terrorist attacks to which the response is too meek. The people sitting on the fence — the ones who are sympathetic to jihadi aims but ambivalent about jihadi methods — are attracted most of all by the prospect of being with a winner. Sure, a robust response that communicates the resolve to keep fighting until the jihadists are crushed may bring in a lot of new recruits; but it also scares off a lot of prospective recruits while killing off the experienced ranks of a terrorist organization — making the organization, on the whole, a less dangerous killing machine. That’s why it remains the right thing to do.
Uh, no. If you’re weighing an incorrect political calculation against preserving your identity, the latter will win. The latter is how these strikes are viewed by Palestinians. I don’t understand why these people believe Israel can bomb the Palestinians into submission. I guess they feel they’re striking back against evil and feel the need to provide some sort of rational basis for it, but it’s not exactly convincing.
EA is putting its games on Valve’s content platform, Steam, sans game specific DRM. This is, I think, the right way to go. As far as software goes, I’m not inexorable opposed to DRM. DRM on music is another matter, since it limits my ability to play what I paid for when and where I choose, with no benefit to me. Software is different, in that I’m already pretty limited. EA’s chosen DRM makes those limits worse – only allowing a few installs. On the other hand, with Steam, you get a DRM solution that’s less intrusive and gives you the ability to download and install the game anywhere as many times as you want. Plus, the game is integrated into Steam’s community features, which is nice. That’s really the bottom line: with Steam you trade some freedom for some nice benefits. With other solutions, you trade freedom for nothing. Steam isn’t perfect and you may not be willing to make that trade-off, but I am and I think it’s a reasonable compromise.
This is dumb. I can’t even remember the newer TLDs, let alone the gazillion new ones ICANN’s proposal will allow. In related news, I can buy speedkill.com for $2,788. Anyone want to start a fund?
I don’t know, I just don’t think PC culture, Dennis Kucinich, and Russian adventurism are going to be a windfall for Republicans in 2010.
So apparently there’s been some sort of frenzy over McCain’s VP choice. She’s some sort of right-wing religious crazy person, among other things. So we get to make fun of statements like this:
11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.
Bzzt! Thanks for playing, but your vapid fundamentalist bluster is not correct.
Plus, she’s apparently in favor of teaching creationism in public schools. Which has been rejected in all forms by the courts so far.
Now, those two points don’t really matter that much, except for the second one, insofar as it affects what judges would be nominated by a McCain/Palin administration (or a future Palin administration). Still, they’re standard religious right talking points and don’t indicate that she’s done much in the way of critical evaluation.
In any case, convention speeches are controlled enough that Palin will probably do well tonight. The real problems will come when she’s asked actual questions. Which I assume has to happen at some point.
I’m unemployed…for the next five days. Still feels weird, though.
The new Mogwai album is stellar.
I think I’m in danger of losing my political junkie credentials; I haven’t watched hardly any of the convention. I meant to watch Hillary’s speech, but spaced it. Ditto for Biden’s. I like that choice, by the way. Biden’s views are decent and he’s amusing. I probably won’t watch Obama’s speech tonight (I certainly won’t watch all of it). Oddly, I’m looking forward to the debates.
Not content with seeing Jesus on inanimate objects, now we’re dragging moths into our idiocy.
Let’s start with WND. The best article is this one, sub-headlined: “Third-party candidates pulling close to 20% of total vote.” You won’t actually find any data supporting that claim in the article, though. Unless you count the 17% combined undecided and third-party count they have. Which would be a little disingenuous (no, not WND!). Also, Joesph Farah gets an award for awkward sentences: “I don’t want to say there has been a conspiracy among the pollsters and major media to exclude any mention of the alternatives, but, until now, it is a fact, nonetheless.”
At ONN, there’s an article on the absurd Tyson Foods controversy:
Tyson Foods created an uproar when it announced recently that its Shelbyville plant would no longer have Labor Day as a paid holiday, but instead that the 1,000 affected union employees would have October 1 off, which corresponds to the end of the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The move reportedly was aimed at accommodating the 250 Somali Muslim employees who work at the Shelbyville plant. (See earlier article)
Actually, the union there requested the day and overwhelmingly voted in favor of the contract. That’s not the end of stupidity:
Jim Boulet of English First says it is a great victory for the people. “The American people rose up and said, ‘Look, in the United States its time for the immigrants to adapt to our ways — not the other way around.'”
That’s right, he just came out against religious pluralism. How American.
Boulet suggests there would be no mutual respect given if the tables were turned. “[E]specially given that an immigrant to an Islamic country had darn well better adopt Islam — and try to build a church in Saudi Arabia and see how far you get,” he adds. “But the Islamicists come to this country and they use and abuse our legal system in order to impose their religion on the rest of us. Well, for once the people have risen up and said not here, not today. It’s a big victory.”
I stand in awe of that comment. Yes, Saudi Arabia is more oppressive than us. I would think that’s a point in our favor. And seriously, you’re being imposed upon by getting a different day off? I wonder if he knows they employees don’t have to observe the end of Ramadan.