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Thursday, March 13, 2014

In the Mets Locker Room, an Old Slur Resurfaces

In the New York Mets locker room Monday morning, I was talking with Jeff Cutler, a 30-year old Japanese American from suburban Boston who serves as the interpreter for Japanese-born pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

We were talking casually about Asian communities in America when we heard a voice behind us.

“Jeff!”

Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.

“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM | 308 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general, mets, new york, new york mets, race in baseball

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   1. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4671035)
Ah, the Mets.
   2. Sunday silence Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4671037)
"Blackguard!" is one of my favorite old slurs. I always wondered what would happen if I made my way into British Parliament and shouted: "Blackguards!"
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4671043)
"Blackguard!" is one of my favorite old slurs. I always wondered what would happen if I made my way into British Parliament and shouted: "Blackguards!"

I prefer mountebank.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4671044)
Please, Dude, Asian-American is the preferred nomenclature.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4671045)

“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”


Egads.
   6. formerly dp Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4671047)
"Met" isn't enough of a slur already?
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4671048)
For those who haven't read TFA, Warthen made these comments in front of a Chinese-American reporter. It's astounding that such a level of stupidity still exists in this day and age. (Making the comments in private would itself be astoundingly stupid and inappropriate, of course. But being the Mets, they took it to the next level.)

At least Warthen and the Mets apologized and didn't try to pull any "sorry that you were offended" b.s.
   8. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4671051)
   9. The District Attorney Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4671058)
Does the Times know that the WSJ is stealing their weird headline grammar?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4671059)
For those who haven't read TFA, Warthen made these comments in front of a Chinese-American reporter. It's astounding that such a level of stupidity still exists in this day and age. (Making the comments in private would itself be astoundingly stupid and inappropriate, of course. But being the Mets, they took it to the next level.)

I think this is an overbid. "Chinaman" is not exactly the most vicious slur out there. It's probably not in the top 100.

It's on the order of magnitude of calling an Italian an "Eye-tie" or an Irishman a "Mick".

It's dumb, but I don't think it brands Warthen as some vicious bigot.
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4671063)
"What I really said was 'Sorry I called you a Chinapen.' Wayne Chinapen. That guy couldn't translate Japanese for crap. Sometimes I pronounce things like a damn drunk Irishman."
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4671065)
Warthen made these comments in front of a Chinese-American reporter


He's not a bigot, just remarkably stupid to use that term (especially if the guy is not Chinese). And the implication is the joke he told was of a racial nature too. I see no reason not to call out his stupidity.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4671067)
I see no reason not to call out his stupidity.

Concur. But there's no reason to treat this as some big deal.

It's very small level stupidity in the grand scheme of things. He said a stupid thing to a colleague, he correctly apologized, WTF cares?

I'm sure things that are 10 times as vicious get said about guys' wives and mothers in locker rooms every day. No one make a big deal of that.
   14. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4671069)

Boo hoo, Stu Woo.

Reporters crucify guys over the silliest things but then complain that athletes and staffers are increasingly boring and/or uncooperative.

That this is "news" — in The Wall Street Journal! — says a lot about the state of modern American journalism.

(By the way, is Repoz in the hospital or something? I figured this would have been on BBTF about 18 hours ago.)
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4671077)
Reporters crucify guys over the silliest things but then complain that athletes and staffers are increasingly boring and/or uncooperative.


Surely there is middle ground between "boring and uncooperative" and "antiquated racial slurs."

   16. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4671089)
Surely there is middle ground between "boring and uncooperative" and "antiquated racial slurs."

Why would there be, if you're a player or staffer and you know that some flippant overheard comment, meant in jest, will get you crucified in the papers?

If you're with the Mets — or elsewhere in MLB, for that matter — are you now going to be more or less inclined to speak in front of, or otherwise cooperate with, Stu Woo? This seems like the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory. Woo got some attention and some page clicks, but now he's the thin-skinned "gotcha" guy. Seems like a bad trade to me, but Woo's not on the Mets beat, so maybe he doesn't care.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4671093)
Why would there be, if you're a player or staffer and you know that some flippant overheard comment, meant in jest, will get you crucified in the papers?


I don't think its that much to expect professional people to be able to have conversations without using racial slurs. If you are suggesting they can't, well that's precisely the reason this needs to be news - so people know this isn't acceptable language, particularly in a workplace environment.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4671096)
Every time I hear that lovely anachronism I think of Eugene "What future is there in being a Chinaman? Let's have a drink" Pallette, in his famous encounter with Warner Oland in Marlene Dietrich's Shanghai Express. Of course this particular "Chinaman" (Oland) was in reality a Swede, but hey, you can't trust a Swede any more than you can trust a wily Oriental.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4671097)
I think this is an overbid. "Chinaman" is not exactly the most vicious slur out there. It's probably not in the top 100.

Yes, as the author acknowledges in the article ("Many of my colleagues have heard worse"). I still think it falls squarely in the category of things that grown men should know not to say (especially in front of reporters).

I think Woo reported on the matter with the appropriate restraint and perspective. Perhaps my calling it "astoundingly stupid" was an overbid, but it was still stupid.

Like I said, the Mets and Warthen gave a real apology. Hopefully he learned from the incident and Woo doesn't suffer any negative consequences. I don't think a whole lot more needs to be said on the topic.

Why would there be, if you're a player or staffer and you know that some flippant overheard comment, meant in jest, will get you crucified in the papers?

If you think this article amounts to a crucifixion, then I would submit that Woo isn't the "thin-skinned" one.
   20. Randy Jones Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4671101)
Of course this particular "Chinaman" (Oland) was in reality a Swede, but hey, you can't trust a Swede any more than you can trust a wily Oriental.


The only Swede I know personally is also a "Chinaman". He was adopted as a baby by a Swedish couple.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4671102)
I think Woo reported on the matter with the appropriate restraint and perspective. Perhaps my calling it "astoundingly stupid" was an overbid, but it was still stupid.

Like I said, the Mets and Warthen gave a real apology. Hopefully he learned from the incident and Woo doesn't suffer any negative consequences. I don't think a whole lot more needs to be said on the topic.


If Woo thought the apology was sincere, this probably shouldn't have been made public at all.
   22. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4671106)
I don't think its that much to expect professional people to be able to have conversations without using racial slurs. If you are suggesting they can't, well that's precisely the reason this needs to be news - so people know this isn't acceptable language, particularly in a workplace environment.

If "Chinaman" is a "racial slur," then "gringo" is a racial slur. I haven't, however, seen any breathless, "look at me!" pieces from Ken Rosenthal or George King discussing how traumatized they were by overhearing "gringo" in the clubhouse.

***
Every time I hear that lovely anachronism I think of Eugene "What future is there in being a Chinaman? Let's have a drink" Pallette,

When I hear it, I think of John Wayne.

***
Like I said, the Mets and Warthen gave a real apology. Hopefully he learned from the incident

They issued a perfunctory apology for p.r. purposes. Behind the scenes, however, "Chinaman" will probably get said a zillion times this season. That's how things work in baseball clubhouses, where people are expected to have thicker skin than the average 5-year-old.
   23. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4671114)
If Woo thought the apology was sincere, this probably shouldn't have been made public at all.

The apology was issued after Woo published his blog article, which he apparently published in a huff because the Mets didn't reply as soon as he wanted.

***
If you think this article amounts to a crucifixion, then I would submit that Woo isn't the "thin-skinned" one.

An article implying Dan Warthen is some sort of anti-Asian racist is now online for all eternity.

As for the hyperbole, you just admitted to the same in #19.
   24. Greg K Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4671119)
I've always wondered if "Portugee" is a pejorative. I don't think I've ever actually heard anyone use it before.
   25. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4671123)
I've always wondered if "Portugee" is a pejorative.


Perhaps Warthen should have said "Chinee."
   26. madvillain Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4671125)
Does the Times know that the WSJ is stealing their weird headline grammar?


I'm really sick of the Times' headlines. In fact, I'm sick of the Times in general. Back when I was in college, if you were anyone that wanted to go anywhere you'd read it cover to cover, or at least check out the op/ed page. Now, with such luminaries as Friedman, Dowd, Kristof and Brooks, you'd be better off picking up the Sunday comics, at least the laughs you get won't be under the guise of measured intellectualism.

An article implying Dan Warthen is some sort of anti-Asian racist is now online for all eternity.


What times we live in where you can't just casually publicly use slurs with no repercussions! Lemme guess, you also think Paula Deen was simply the victim of a left wing media witch hunt?
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4671126)
That wasn't an apology. This is an apology.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4671127)
If "Chinaman" is a "racial slur," then "gringo" is a racial slur. I haven't, however, seen any breathless, "look at me!" pieces from Ken Rosenthal or George King discussing how traumatized they were by overhearing "gringo" in the clubhouse.

Do you really think this is "breathless" and "look at me" journalism? Like I said, it seemed pretty measured to me.

If Ken Rosenthal or George King is offended by the use of "gringo" in the clubhouse, they can write about it. If you've been offended by it, and your attacks on Woo in this thread are a reflection of your own frustrations at not being able to do or say anything about it, I'm sorry, but that's why it's good that Woo wrote about this situation. Maybe after this people will feel more empowered to speak up about other inappropriate comments.

The apology was issued after Woo published his blog article, which he apparently published in a huff because the Mets didn't reply as soon as he wanted.

Again, where's the "huff"?

If I'm understanding the situation correctly, Woo heard the comment in the clubhouse, and asked Mets media director Horwitz about it. Horwitz said to meet him and Warthen at 7:30 the following morning to discuss it, and then when Woo showed up, told him that Warthen actually was not going to comment. That's when Woo published his blog post?

If that is indeed what happened, then I don't think Woo rushed to publish the story as you imply. The Mets were given a chance to respond, and they indicated that they were not planning to do so.
   29. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4671133)
Do you really think this is "breathless" and "look at me" journalism? Like I said, it seemed pretty measured to me.

This is the epitome of "look at me!" journalism. The reporter overheard a comment and then made himself the centerpiece of the story.

If Ken Rosenthal or George King is offended by the use of "gringo" in the clubhouse, they can write about it. If you've been offended by it, and your attacks on Woo in this thread are a reflection of your own frustrations at not being able to do or say anything about it, I'm sorry, but that's why it's good that Woo wrote about this situation.

Armchair psychologist much? I'm not offended by "gringo" at all. I'm having some fun mocking this guy's delicate sensibilities.

All over the world, reporters are being shot at and even killed. This poor guy, on the other hand, overheard the word "Chinaman" in an apology and then made a national story out of it.

Maybe after this people will feel more empowered to speak up about other inappropriate comments.

Oh, one can hope. LOL.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4671139)
Maybe after this people will feel more empowered to speak up about other inappropriate comments.

I think were already maxed out, thanks.

'Chinaman' is no good for an actual Chinese guy? Is Chinese guy ok? What possible difference could there be? It's hard to keep up with all this nonsense.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4671140)

This is the epitome of "look at me!" journalism. The reporter overheard a comment and then made himself the centerpiece of the story.

So would your posting in this thread be the epitome of "look at me" posting?

I'm having some fun mocking this guy's delicate sensibilities.

Yes, and I was having some fun mocking yours.
   32. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4671141)
Perhaps "Chinaperson" is preferred.
   33. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4671144)
So would your posting in this thread be the epitome of "look at me" posting?

Probably not the epitome, no.

Yes, and I was having some fun mocking yours.

Pro tip: The key to good mocking is to include some actual mocking.
   34. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4671145)
“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.

"I didn't realize you were a Jap instead," he continued.
   35. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4671150)

"I apologize for thoughtlessly laughing at post #34. Post #34 was a poor attempt at humor but it was wrong and inappropriate in any setting. I am very sorry."
   36. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4671153)
As always, the real victim is the guy who used the slur.
   37. formerly dp Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4671157)
I don't know who employs Cutler (the org? Dice-K?), but Woo is very right to point out that a senior member of an organization (especially) should not direct racial or ethnic slurs toward another member of the organization, and particularly if they're a subordinate. This isn't a difficult thing to wrap your head around, unless you happen to be JoeK.
   38. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4671159)
I don't know who employs Cutler (the org? Dice-K?), but Woo is very right to point out that a senior member of an organization (especially) should not direct racial or ethnic slurs toward another member of the organization, and particularly if they're a subordinate. This isn't a difficult thing to wrap your head around, unless you happen to be JoeK.

Sure, if we want to turn the entirety of America into one big liberal faculty lounge (sorry for the redundancy).

Jeff Cutler is 30 years old and presumably a big boy. If he had a problem with the jocular comment that was directed at him, I'm sure he knew how to contact Sandy Alderson or the Mets' HR department. But Cutler, per Woo's own reporting, seemed to have no problem whatsoever with Warthen or his comment. Among people who wear big-boy pants, that's where the matter would and should have ended.
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4671167)
'Chinaman' is no good for an actual Chinese guy? Is Chinese guy ok? What possible difference could there be? It's hard to keep up with all this nonsense.

Like many words, the history of past usage influences their meaning today. "Chinaman" has a history of being used as a derogatory term. It's listed in the dictionary as being "often offensive".

Using the word "Chinese" as an adjective to describe someone who is, in fact, Chinese, is ok. Like a lot of things, the context matters, of course. I wouldn't address someone as "Chinese guy" to his face--in part because if I know him well enough to know that he's Chinese, I probably also know his name.
   40. formerly dp Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4671170)
Jeff Cutler is 30 years old and presumably a big boy. If he had a problem with the jocular comment that was directed at him, I'm sure he knew how to contact Sandy Alderson or the Mets' HR department.
Hey look, JoeK continues demonstrate no awareness of what it's like to work in a large-scale organization! Not a shocking revelation, but whatever.

Don't making racial/ethnic jokes at work. It's a simple formula, really. Not sure why anyone would have a beef with it.
   41. Srul Itza Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4671174)
I've always wondered if "Portugee" is a pejorative. I don't think I've ever actually heard anyone use it before


Used out here all the time, only it's pronounced Portagee, with a hard "g". Hard to say if it is pejorative, given the way ethnic terms are slung around here. The best known local comedian, Frank DeLima, always refers to himself as a Portagee and tells Portagee jokes, while also doing impersonations of various other ethnic groups. He does a killer Imelda Marcos.

Then again, until very recently, Moo Shu Pork was called "Chinaman's Hat" here, and there is a small islet off the coast, Mokoli'i, which is called "Chinaman's Hat" by most of the locals.

   42. Srul Itza Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4671177)
Using the word "Chinese" as an adjective to describe someone who is, in fact, Chinese, is ok.


When I was at MIT, I once referred to a guy from California I knew (hislast name Lo) as Chinese. He informed me in no uncertain terms that he was, in fact, American, not Chinese.

So I may refer to a gentleman whose parents came from China as being of Chinese extraction, or Chinese origin -- but I would not refer to him as Chinese.


Again, out here, there is a major distinction between "local Japanese" and "Japan Japanese" and Mainland Japanese (sometimes referred to by local Japanese as Katonks. No, that is not an Asian word -- it is supposedly the sound a coconut, largely hollow, makes when you thump it.

As I said, relationships among ethnic groups out here are both very tolerant and "rough and tumble" at the same time -- think in terms of the barbershop scene in Gran Torino.
   43. madvillain Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4671180)
So I may refer to a gentleman whose parents came from China as being of Chinese extraction, or Chinese origin -- but I would not refer to him as Chinese.


It's actually very simple. Chinese-American would be a child born to Chinese immigrants that was born in America. Ditto any nationality. I ask my customers quite often are you ____ American or just ____. Usually that's a good icebreaker, especially is it's followed by "your accent is very good". Most Asians that live in America take great pride at learning the language, that's been my experience, especially those here for school.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4671190)
For what it's worth, I work in an industry where you're expected to have "thicker skin than the average 5-year-old". If I heard someone at work making a sexist or racist comment today, I'd be required to report it (to a supervisor, not in the press, just to be clear) and could face repurcussions for not doing so. That's because for a long time, people ignored such complaints, or worse, retaliated against the victims. That's why zero tolerance policies exist--not because large companies are all run by hopeless liberals.
   45. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4671224)
"Blackguard!" is one of my favorite old slurs.

"Spartan Dog!" still does it for me
   46. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4671228)
In a strange coincidence, last night's Seinfeld repeat was the episode in which Morty Seinfeld, while discussing the history of the clothing industry, referred to a "Chinaman." He was quickly correctly by Elaine, who informed him that the term was "Asian American."
   47. GregD Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4671231)
Obviously one should respect other people's claims that words are hurtful and either avoid using them or accept that you are intentionally causing hurt. Also, obviously, the effort to avoid hurtful words sometimes leads to comedy. My favorite: Hearing visitors to the Met point to Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja and say, "Look at that striking" pause "African-American."
   48. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4671236)
What's the capital city of Asia?
   49. Walt Davis Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4671238)
Horwitz said to meet him and Warthen at 7:30 the following morning to discuss it, and then when Woo showed up, told him that Warthen actually was not going to comment.

This explains it! Horwitz assumed that like any decent reporter, the guy would be out late the night before and would skip the 7:30 am meeting -- well, like any sane person would whether they'd been out late the night before or not. Excellent try, I bet it works 95% of the time.

Now did he really say "Chinaman" or did he use that other term? Would the joke normally have used that other term and Werthen actually thought he was cleaning it up? Or was the joke related to the baseball slang?

The main problem with "Chinaman" is that nobody except Monty Burns has used that term, even in a derogatory sense, in a contemporary context since the Charlie Chan movies -- which I enjoyed as a kid, largely because of Rochester which is a whole 'nother racial can of worms. Therefore, no, it's not excusable under the "hey, what if it is a man from China?" because for my entire life such a person would be referred, if appropriate to the context, as a Chinese man. The only reason to intentionally use such a term is to evoke that antiquated past ... or make everybody realize you're so out of touch you don't know that term hasn't been used, politely or impolitely, in 50 years. Therefore, it's nearly impossible to build a funny joke around such an antiquated term unless the point of the joke, like Burns, is to make fun of how out-of-touch and old-fashioned the jokester is.

As to the broader, non-ending debate us (predominantly) white males here insist on continuing ... (a) I'm guessing you don't share dirty jokes with your mother, probably not even with your wife. I'm guessing you don't/didn't swear in church or get snarky at funerals. I'm guessing you don't share hilarious stories about how drunk you were last weekend with your boss. Context has always mattered, context will always matter -- you don't tell "Chinaman" jokes to an Asian* ... and, horrors, you shouldn't be telling them to white folks either or in the workplace ... or at church. (b) Racism does not really require malevolent intent. It's why the term "casual racism" exists. To make note of Werthen's casual racism is not to equate him with the KKK or to suggest he hates Cutler, it is to raise awareness that this #### is old and tired and should stop. A "defense" of Werthen here is just a pathetic attempt to distract from the issue by pretending there's some grand libertarian cause at stake.

Werthen was a bit of an ass but at least he wasn't too big of an ass to realize he was a bit of an ass. Some of y'all should take lessons.

*I am sure there are many Japanese jokes much more derogatory towards the Chinese and maybe Werthen should have tried one of those ... but the Japanese-American interpreter may not be familiar with those either. :-)
   50. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4671240)
BTW, according to the article, the reporter overheard the apology, not the use of the word itself. It seems a lot more reasonable to apologize in front of a reporter than to use the word in front of a reporter.

I'm with "this is not a big deal." It's gotta be hard to shake your dialect / humor / jokes to make them less offensive. I'm sure when I'm that age I will be saying things that are stupid or offensive.
   51. Lassus Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4671248)
What's the capital city of Asia?

Phoenix

EDIT: Dear combination of Wikipedia and BTF code: Please die in a fire.
   52. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4671250)
I've always wondered if "Portugee" is a pejorative. I don't think I've ever actually heard anyone use it before.


Up around Glenn County, CA, there's an enclave of Portuguese (and Basque) families that have lived there for decades, and the former have always referred to themselves as "Portugee". In fact, one of the families had a small ranch that bore a sign saying "Portugee Paradise".

They didn't get teased for being Portuguese, they got teased as many of them were sheep ranchers....
   53. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4671261)
What's the capital city of Asia?

Moscow, soon enough.
   54. Lars6788 Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4671267)
#49 always the voice of reason - makes me want to dismiss the other garbage posted on BBTF and this thread.
   55. tgg33 Posted: March 14, 2014 at 04:48 AM (#4671298)
Englishman. Irishman. Frenchman.

Are those offensive?

No? Huh.
   56. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:00 AM (#4671299)
Highwayman?
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:01 AM (#4671303)
Englishman. Irishman. Frenchman.

Are those offensive?

No? Huh.


Who are you calling an Irishman you fathead?
   58. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:32 AM (#4671304)
Englishman. Irishman. Frenchman.

Are those offensive?

No? Huh.


Try calling a Scottish person an 'Englishman', then come back and report on whether they found it offensive or not.
   59. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:40 AM (#4671306)
"That guy in the skirt sure seemed touchy."
   60. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 14, 2014 at 07:06 AM (#4671307)
As I said, relationships among ethnic groups out here are both very tolerant and "rough and tumble" at the same time


Well that sounds wonderful, grown-up, and truly liberal -- as opposed to the middle-class, identity politics-as-a-religion, fakey-squishy liberal status quo that is so powerful that even the WSJ can't resist its allure (but then the WSJ always did enjoy its own version of identity politics-based language policing, cf. the semi-annual columns in it, for over three decades now, from some Pod Person from Commentary discovering, Uncle Leo style, "anti-semitism" where it doesn't exist).

Of course the Holy Grail for the WSJ is to elevate what it calls "class envy" into the equivalent of an ethnic slur or racism or, better, a hate crime. It will eventually happen. And when it does, once again it won't really be the wingnuts' fault for being evil (for what else can they be?); it will be the squishy liberals' fault for giving wingnuts the tools (in this case a creepy Confucius-via-Foucault-with-a-Machiavellian-twist means of controlling language) they couldn't have made on their own and then, in slackjaw fashion, being surprised when those tools are co-opted and used in the cause of monstrosity. But the squishy libs meant well! Compromising with or caving to the wingnuts on the little things like austerity and war -- things which disproportionately affect the actual physical welfare of minorities -- they stood firm where it really mattered, when it came to defending the feelings of the minorities they helped to impoverish and destroy.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4671308)
Punch that hippie! Punch 'em good!
   62. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 14, 2014 at 07:24 AM (#4671309)
#60 wins the award for longest paragraph resembling a run-on sentence without actually being one, but exhausting the reader by its end.

edit: It looks like BTF is still on standard time, or else I'm in Puerto Rico.
   63. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:02 AM (#4671310)

Of course the Holy Grail for the WSJ is to elevate what it calls "class envy" into the equivalent of an ethnic slur or racism or, better, a hate crime. It will eventually happen. And when it does, once again it won't really be the wingnuts' fault for being evil (for what else can they be?); it will be the squishy liberals' fault for giving wingnuts the tools (in this case a creepy Confucius-via-Foucault-with-a-Machiavellian-twist means of controlling language) they couldn't have made on their own and then, in slackjaw fashion, being surprised when those tools are co-opted and used in the cause of monstrosity. But the squishy libs meant well! Compromising with or caving to the wingnuts on the little things like austerity and war -- things which disproportionately affect the actual physical welfare of minorities -- they stood firm where it really mattered, when it came to defending the feelings of the minorities they helped to impoverish and destroy.


"BIG WORDS, RANDOM PHILOSOPHERS, ANGRY KEY SMASHING, RAR!"

   64. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4671311)
Englishman. Irishman. Frenchman.
Are those offensive?
No? Huh.


How about "Stupidman"?
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:08 AM (#4671314)
Well that sounds wonderful, grown-up, and truly liberal

Never heard of Zizek, but I wish that video had been longer. He sounds like my sort of guy.
   66. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4671319)
I am absolutely amazed that some of you dismiss "Chinaman" as 'not really a slur'. It's hard to comprehend.
   67. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4671322)
What's the capital city of Asia?

Phoenix

EDIT: Dear combination of Wikipedia and BTF code: Please die in a fire.

It would only rise from the ashes anew.
   68. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4671327)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as ####### and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:

I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please, while you're looking up at me

   69. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4671328)
I'm sorry "disproportionately", the longest word in that paragraph, is too highfalutin. Confucius, famously, aspired to social engineering through the rectification (if I'm allowed to use _that_ no doubt unseemly, pretentious word) of language. Foucault is at the heart of the gender/identity/ghetto studies peoples' obsession with power structures instead of power sources (and abuses of same). The Machiavelli reference was, I thought, a simple shorthand to describe how the subhumans who run and work for the WSJ would naturally be hard at work at a scheme to take something originally well-meaning (though obviously stupid and short-sighted) like P.C. and twist it into the service of the 1%. Sorry if I was being too abstract; there was nothing random about it; I don't type in all caps; you might want to learn the difference between sarcasm and anger, jackass.

Andy, he's entertaining -- and right most of the time. I even like his wild, meth-addict gesticulations and speech impediment. Google "Zizek and toilets" for the best teacher's metaphor for European political philosophy I've ever heard. He used to describe a similar "dialectical triad" using a pubic hair metaphor, and it's funny, too, but not as good as the other.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4671332)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as ####### and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:

I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please, while you're looking up at me


Excellent point.
   71. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4671335)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as ####### and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:
I don't see how talking about "Chinaman" as a slur implies acceptance of those other two things.
   72. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4671338)
Chad Kroeger starts a song with:

I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please, while you're looking up at me


This took me a 2nd read to realize Chad Kreuter hadn't taken up a post-MLB career in gangsta rap, or whatever this song is... whoever Chad Kroeger is.
   73. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4671340)
Sorry if I was being too abstract; there was nothing random about it; I don't type in all caps; you might want to learn the difference between sarcasm and anger, jackass.


My impression was of a spit-flecked mouth going off on a convoluted, tangential rant. I was wrong, I apologize.
   74. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4671343)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as #######

Well, I'm just me, but that's not A-OK.


and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:
I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please, while you're looking up at me


This may certainly be a decency issue for the listener, but there's no ill-will, slurring, or shaming in that lyric.
   75. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4671344)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as ####### and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:


Huh? What a terrible analogy. First of all I agree with #71. But also I think there is a difference between a conversation and a song. They are very different modes of expression. It would be like equating what someone does in "real life" with the actions of an actor in a movie, not the same thing at all. Even if one ends up not approving of the message in the movie or song, it is still different than not approving of what someone does in their life.

Inability to distinguish between the made up world or song and movie from the real world is an all too common malady in these sorts of discussions. They are not the same thing at all.
   76. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4671345)
I find it funny how people get wound up about Chinaman, buts it A-OK when Jay-Z routinely refers to the opposite sex as ####### and Chad Kroeger starts a song with:


I don't see how talking about "Chinaman" as a slur implies acceptance of those other two things.

I certainly recognize that ####### is a derogatory term, and that what Kroeger is referencing is degrading. And I would submit that both Jay-Z and Kroeger are idiots, just like Warthen.
   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4671346)
EDIT: Dear combination of Wikipedia and BTF code: Please die in a fire.


People with actual relatives or friends who died in fires (of whom I am not one, AFAIK) are outraged at this.

Come to think of it, one of my favorite bands in the Phoenix punk scene some 30 years ago, International Language, had a great song called "Died in a Fire," & in retrospect I am outraged at them. Except that their lead singer, a friend of mine, died in the early '90s (which I hadn't known about until I mentioned him to a Meat Puppet after a Little Rock gig of theirs a couple of years afterward), so I'm outraged all over again at Lassus for bringing it up.
   78. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4671351)
Also, whoever Chad Kroeger is, I will never shop at his family's grocery store chain again.
   79. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4671353)
I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please, while you're looking up at me


There was a radio station that played that song when I had limited options. I never understood how the female DJ didn't just tell her station manager #### You, I'm not playing that ####.

Or the men, for that matter.

But like others, I'm not sure what the hell that has to do with Chinaman.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4671354)
Also, whoever Chad Kroeger is, I will never shop at his family's grocery store chain again.


All the grocery families are riddled with perverts. You should hear the awful rumors about The Wigglys.
   81. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4671356)
I will also continue my practice of no longer subbing to that other guy's Z magazine. (If it still exists. I have my doubts; they were leaning toward an increasingly online presence years ago, & I haven't received any sort of relevant email in probably a half-decade.)
   82. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4671357)
Englishman. Irishman. Frenchman.
Are those offensive?
No? Huh.


Well, see, if those were Englandman, Irelandman, Franceman ...
   83. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4671359)
But like others, I'm not sure what the hell that has to do with Chinaman.

The point is selective outrage. If Warthen had said the guy's wife was a whore, nobody says boo. Even though that's a far worse thing than calling somebody a "Chinaman".
   84. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4671366)
The point is selective outrage. If Warthen had said the guy's wife was a whore, nobody says boo.

OTOH Warthen might have needed a new set of teeth, or wouldn't that be fighting words where you come from?
   85. zonk Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4671367)
Well, I'm just me, but that's not A-OK.


This.

As well, it also continues to confound me why stuff like this gets the sort of defense it gets. People get offended by things - it makes no sense to try to convince someone else they're wrong in taking offense. Unless you're some kind of an #######, simply be contrite, apologize, and stop doing it... It's honestly not that hard.

No one's perfect... As a product of the 80s, I used 'gay' as slur just like all my other classmates... until a dear family member came out and I thought about the times I certainly used it around her. I stopped doing it. In college, I remember 'retarded' was, for a time, my go-to arrow... until I learned one of my best friends had a brother with Downs Syndrome and flinched over the usage. I apologized and stopped doing it (and for the record, yes -- 5 years or so ago when word leaked out that Rahm Emmanuel had called a half dozen progressive activists \"####### retarded" in a private meeting and Sarah Palin denounced him for the language -- I was wholly on her side of that matter).

No one's arguing for prison time or fines... what's the problem with applying social pressures and costs?

It's actually rather liberating -- it makes you think about your insults and slings a bit more deeply, and as such hones them, makes them more specific and ultimately, more creative.
   86. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4671368)
If Warthen had said the guy's wife was a whore, nobody says boo.


Warthen might have gotten punched in the face.
   87. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4671369)
As an actual discussion, I would ask jacksone and SoSH what part of the Kroeger lyric they find degrading. Not "appropriate", which is different. Oral sex? That a woman would ask to perform oral sex? That a man would enjoy oral sex?
   88. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4671371)

The point is selective outrage. If Warthen had said the guy's wife was a whore, nobody says boo. Even though that's a far worse thing than calling somebody a "Chinaman".


I'm going go out on a limb here and say that if a reporter overheard a pitching coach call an interpreter's wife a whore this would be a much larger story. There is a difference between being an ignorant idiot and an #######.
   89. Accent Shallow Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4671373)
So the Chinaman is the issue here?
   90. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4671375)
(and for the record, yes -- 5 years or so ago when word leaked out that Rahm Emmanuel had called a half dozen progressive activists \"####### retarded" in a private meeting and Sarah Palin denounced him for the language -- I was wholly on her side of that matter).


Then she played you for a sucker too. A guy using the term in a private meeting leads to hysterical calls for firing, but a political ally using the same term on a public broadcast heard by thousands of simpletons is dismissed as "satire". The woman doesn't have a sincere bone in her body.
   91. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4671377)
As an actual discussion, I would ask jacksone and SoSH what part of the Kroeger lyric they find degrading. Not "appropriate", which is different. Oral sex? That a woman would ask to perform oral sex? That a man would enjoy oral sex?


Because to me, the song comes across as the only way Kroeger likes his women (or, at least this one) is on her knees for him. That is her sole worth. That's pretty damn degrading.
   92. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4671382)
Well, see, if those were Englandman, Irelandman, Franceman ...


Franceman in particular sounds like a superhero. He could battle ennui, sit in cafes for 12 hours at a stretch, and sleep with his best friend's wife. I'm not a comic book guy, but I'd totally read that comic.

No one's arguing for prison time or fines... what's the problem with applying social pressures and costs?


I'm glad to see you line up behind slut shaming, fat shaming, and other useful forms of social pressures and costs.
   93. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4671384)
As an actual discussion, I would ask jacksone and SoSH what part of the Kroeger lyric they find degrading. Not "appropriate", which is different. Oral sex? That a woman would ask to perform oral sex? That a man would enjoy oral sex?


The 'dirt on your knees' and 'please' part. If that is your thing, then more power to you, I would never judge a woman or man for wanting to be submissive - but it's a personal choice to be made. The fact that this is from a popular band changes it from a personal decision to one where young women could very well feel pressured into it. Where does begging on your knees transition to crying? A light slap? Spitting? Forced choking? Again, I will reiterate, if you are into submissive sex then go for it. I just don't think the prime audience for Nickelback has the sexual maturity to acknowledge that the line between 'on your knees and begging' and sexual degradation is a very, very fine line.
   94. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4671385)

Then she played you for a sucker too. A guy using the term in a private meeting leads to hysterical calls for firing, but a political ally using the same term on a public broadcast heard by thousands of simpletons is dismissed as "satire". The woman doesn't have a sincere bone in her body.


I'd say the real sucker here is the guy who's shocked and appalled that a politician would engage in hypocrisy to further their political ends.
   95. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4671387)
I'm going go out on a limb here and say that if a reporter overheard a pitching coach call an interpreter's wife a whore this would be a much larger story. There is a difference between being an ignorant idiot and an #######.
+1

It is bizarre to think that Warthen wouldn't be in more trouble for calling someone a whore in front of a reporter. I think there'd be press conferences and protests being set up and the team scrambling to defuse it by buying off groups to lead sensitivity training.

   96. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4671392)
Because to me, the song comes across as the only way Kroeger likes his women (or, at least this one) is on her knees for him. That is her sole worth. That's pretty damn degrading.


So what? Whatever his kinks are, they are his, and may he find a partner that also enjoys those kinks. And they enjoy themselves. Whatever consenting adults want to do is their business.

And there is still a difference between a song, an artistic expression, and conversation between people. Does anyone dispute this, or are we just ignoring it because it is inconvenient?

The fact that this is from a popular band changes it from a personal decision to one where young women could very well feel pressured into it.


OK, but are you equally concerned that someone kinky (perhaps a young girl) feels pressured by the relentless onslaught of vanilla love and normal relationships to do things they are not comfortable doing? Why not?
   97. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4671393)
I'd say the real sucker here is the guy who's shocked and appalled that a politician would engage in hypocrisy to further their political ends.

I don't think YR is shocked. That Palin would be hypocritical about this particular issue does seem appalling but she's an appalling person generally so par for the course and all that.
   98. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4671394)
I'd say the real sucker here is the guy who's shocked and appalled that a politician would engage in hypocrisy to further their political ends.


Oh I'd expect as much from the godless hippies but to witness such pusillanimity from an avowed champion of Jesus Christ who praises the works of the Lord with every waking breath? Why that's just too much. I'd expect her to be struck by lightning or be the subject of a Teabagger "non-masturbation" boycott.
   99. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4671398)
Because to me, the song comes across as the only way Kroeger likes his women (or, at least this one) is on her knees for him. That is her sole worth. That's pretty damn degrading.

Understood. I don't see it as "only", not sure where that comes from. Granted I don't know Kroeger, or his work, I'm reading the three-line lyric discretely with no context.


The 'dirt on your knees' and 'please' part. If that is your thing, then more power to you, I would never judge a woman or man for wanting to be submissive - but it's a personal choice to be made. The fact that this is from a popular band changes it from a personal decision to one where young women could very well feel pressured into it. Where does begging on your knees transition to crying? A light slap? Spitting? Forced choking? Again, I will reiterate, if you are into submissive sex then go for it. I just don't think the prime audience for Nickelback has the sexual maturity to acknowledge that the line between 'on your knees and begging' and sexual degradation is a very, very fine line.

Understood as well. (Nickelback? I hadn't a clue. You guys actually know that guy's name? Minus one internet for you both.) I think that's a lot of reading, but again, I was not taking ANY popular context into account, just the lyric, which may color my opinions.


Thanks!
   100. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4671400)

So what? Whatever his kinks are, they are his, and may he find a partner that also enjoys those kinks. And they enjoy themselves. Whatever consenting adults want to do is their business.


I like my women as human beings. Equals really, not simply sperm depositories. And I would find anyone who doesn't see them that way to be fairly repulsive.

YMMV.
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