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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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   201. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4671635)
re-posted.

The idea that we need to be 100% non-judgemental about every bad choice people make is insane. It can only lead to more bad choices. I was talking about this with my wife the other day. We have become so ridiculously tolerant of all behaviours, a lot (and no, I don't have stats) of college students spend their money on partying and then feel no shame in getting up the next afternoon and going to the food bank.

I have no problem being completely judgmental about bad choices. That's not the issue. The issue is being judgmental about bad choices without knowledge of or interest in anything at all that might possibly affect that judgment in a way one would rather not deal with.
   202. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4671653)
If it makes snapper or you feel any better, I have a gig this weekend conducting the choir for a Presbyterian service. I won't be naked.


Flight cancelled.

I have no problem being completely judgmental about bad choices. That's not the issue.


I am more impressed by helping those who have made bad choices than in judging them. But yeah, people will judge and expecting otherwise is foolish.
   203. Swedish Chef Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4671659)
a lot (and no, I don't have stats) of college students spend their money on partying and then feel no shame in getting up the next afternoon and going to the food bank.

There were hard-partying and shameless college students before the US existed. The history of medieval universities are full of drunken student riots.
   204. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4671661)
If it makes snapper or you feel any better, I have a gig this weekend conducting the choir for a Presbyterian service. I won't be naked.
...this time.
   205. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4671665)
The history of medieval universities are full of drunken student riots.

I don't mean to keep laying on the classical music references, but documentation about how some of Bach's music students treated him (breaking windows during class, throwing garbage, setting fires) at a particular - and desired - posting makes all the "KIDS TODAY" arguments sound really hilarious.
   206. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4671668)

I don't mean to keep laying on the classical music references, but documentation about how some of Bach's music students treated him (breaking windows during class, throwing garbage, setting fires) at a particular - and desired - posting makes all the "KIDS TODAY" arguments sound really hilarious.


My favorite site for people complaining about "KIDS TODAY".

Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day. Increasing urban life with its temptations, prematurities, sedentary occupations, and passive stimuli just when an active life is most needed, early emancipation and a lessening sense for both duty and discipline, the haste to know and do all befitting man's estate before its time, the mad rush for sudden wealth and the reckless fashions set by its gilded youth--all these lack some of the regulatives they still have in older lands with more conservative conditions
- Granville Stanley Hall "The Psychology of Adolescence" 1904
   207. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4671669)
a lot (and no, I don't have stats) of college students spend their money on partying and then feel no shame in getting up the next afternoon and going to the food bank.


What is "a lot"?
50%?
25%?
10%?
5%?
1%?

I know you don't have "stats" to back it up, but I'm curious what your instinct thinks is the percentage that would do that sort of thing.

   208. madvillain Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4671676)
I was talking about this with my wife the other day. We have become so ridiculously tolerant of all behaviours, a lot (and no, I don't have stats) of college students spend their money on partying and then feel no shame in getting up the next afternoon and going to the food bank.


Yea, but 20 year olds grow older. It's pretty much accepted science that the brain doesn't fully mature until the mid 20's. Since the dawn of time old people have complained about young people, somehow, civilization has survived.
   209. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4671680)
I seem to remember Jerome K Jerome's 'On the Bummel' including a section about how German college students basically had carte blanche in the 1890s; everyone basically looked the other way while they whored, drank, and duelled their way through town. Of course, the minute they graduated, they were expected to snap into model citizenry.
   210. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4671682)
All I'm saying is that I didn't know, or know of, anyone in my large circle of friends in university who would have had the gall to avail themselves of the resources of a food bank while at the same time blowing their money on non-essentials. It is at least common enough now that students talk about it openly in class (according to my college instructor wife and her colleagues). I'm not saying its a pervasive problem, but it certainly isn't just an anecdote.

Edited for clarity.
   211. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4671688)
I remember in school we'd do things like go to Christian Association talks for a free lunch or something. Not sure anyone I knew ever went to a foodbank...campus was a bit out of the city and wherever the nearest one was, I'm sure it was too far for a lazy Sunday morning.
   212. Swedish Chef Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4671694)
Since the dawn of time old people have complained about young people

I read a couple of books about science and technology in the early 19th century, it wasn't all that unusual coming across serious and stuffy young people bemoaning their libertine elders there. Victorians were strange.
   213. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4671697)
#211 not that you're that old, but the first food bank in Canada didn't even open until 1980.
   214. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4671698)
It is at least common enough now that students talk about it openly in class (according to my college instructor wife and her colleagues). I'm not saying its a pervasive problem, but it certainly isn't just an anecdote.


Probably as pervasive as "the knockout game" and "rainbow parties".
   215. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4671703)
Probably as pervasive as "the knockout game" and "rainbow parties".


Well, when something didn't exist at all in the past, it doesn't take many incidences for it to become notable.
   216. madvillain Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4671704)
All I'm saying is that I didn't know, or know of, anyone in my large circle of friends in university who would have had the gall to avail themselves of the resources of a food bank while at the same time blowing their money on non-essentials. It is at least common enough now that students talk about it openly in class (according to my college instructor wife and her colleagues). I'm not saying its a pervasive problem, but it certainly isn't just an anecdote.


The gall of those students! Boy it's almost like they are financing an entire industry of puffed up admin salaries and the banksters that encourage the lending to make it all happen. Those kids are getting ######, not just ###### up.
   217. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4671707)
I read a couple of books about science and technology in the early 19th century, it wasn't all that unusual coming across serious and stuffy young people bemoaning their libertine elders there. Victorians were strange.

I think a lot can depend on the local context. In the 1610s and 1620s there was a lot of anxiety about the young generation because England had annoyingly been at peace for twenty years and so these young sissies hadn't been bled on the battlefield and thus become men. After the Restoration I think it would have been a bit easier for the younger men to turn the tables on the older and complain about too much dancing and foppery among the older generation.

I think generally there is a tendency to see youths as entitled, unrespectful, ignorant hooligansm, but specific historical circumstance can at times shift the terms of the argument.

As this is a useful segue into a rare opportunity for boasting, I've finally got a publication date for my first journal article, which is on the category of "youth" and its implications for political authority in the parliament of 1626. It'll be in the June issue of The Historical Journal. Huzzah!
   218. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4671709)
#211 not that you're that old, but the first food bank in Canada didn't even open until 1980.

Wow that's actually fairly surprising to me.

Upon looking it up, yeah the Regina foodbank is way on the other side of town from the university. Even on my days of greatest moral weakness, my inherent laziness would not allow that kind of adventure.
   219. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4671717)
What the hell is a rainbow party?
   220. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4671718)
The gall of those students!


You just got done saying you were a millenial, so this opinion doesn't surprise me. Deliberately taking advantage of a charity in this way is not the end of the world or anything, but its morally indefensible.
   221. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4671719)
#219, you probably don't want to know.
   222. formerly dp Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4671722)
Granville Stanley Hall "The Psychology of Adolescence" 1904
Didn't think I'd ever see this guy cited on BTF...nice work!

To cosign on #203, 205 and 206: Getting all condescending toward the behaviors of young people is just about the most trite thing a person can do. Kids make poor decisions. Then they get older and start making better ones. Hopefully. Maybe it is a selective sample or whatever, but I teach primarily 20-22 year-olds and am persistently impressed by how much more mature a lot of them are compared to my peers at that age.

Objectively speaking, they have shitty taste in music and pop culture. Of course.
   223. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4671727)
You just got done saying you were a millenial, so this opinion doesn't surprise me. Deliberately taking advantage of a charity in this way is not the end of the world or anything, but its morally indefensible.
Unless the students are rich kids, supported by their parents and are slumming it, then I would see no problem with students with little money getting food support from a charity.
   224. madvillain Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4671729)
You just got done saying you were a millenial, so this opinion doesn't surprise me. Deliberately taking advantage of a charity in this way is not the end of the world or anything, but its morally indefensible.


GMAFB. Your anecdote was a joke, numerous people called you out on it, and instead of admitting you have no idea what you're talking about you doubled down on it.

Yea, I'm a millenial which means I graduated college in 2006 just in time for the worst economy since the great depression. I have cool privileges like being white and middle class and male and educated that I've used to hang onto middle class living through starting a business after I couldn't find a decent job after graduating from a top 50 national liberal arts school. I've managed to escape my parents' basement.

Many millenials without he opportunities I've had are part of a "lost generation". This stuff is real, when millenials complain it's not without reason. Kids spending money on booze and then going to the food bank is like reason #494949239020 the world is going to hell in a handbag. We got bigger fish to fry, man.
   225. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4671730)
Lassus, I'm more talking about the long line of female performers who are obvious role models for young people - Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Beyonce, etc. They all act like whores.


So, uh, how much does Beyonce charge? I'm asking for a friend.
   226. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4671737)
So, uh, how much does Beyonce charge? I'm asking for a friend.

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
   227. formerly dp Posted: March 14, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4671744)
This stuff is real, when millenials complain it's not without reason.
One of the things I've seen, both with my students and with my younger sibling (also a millenial) is an expectation that they'll work at least one professional-level job out of college without pay. It's ####### exploitative, it's unfair to those whose pockets aren't deep enough to afford the opportunity, and, as a class, they're virtually powerless to stop it. The unpaid internship was definitely a thing when I was an undergrad/fresh out, but having one (or more!) wasn't a requirement for getting a paid job post-graduation. And the insane hoops they have to jump through to get these jobs just add insult to injury (Facebook checks where the student is literally asked to give the employers their login info, WTH?).
   228. Swedish Chef Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4671781)
They can always join the new ruling class and go into software development.
   229. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4671788)
We got bigger fish to fry, man.


No arguments there. I'm really, truly glad I wasn't born 10 years later. I don't have any problem with the concept of finding yourself in need and going to a food bank, but when you go and blow $100 at the bar and then go to the food bank the next day, you have ethical problems.
   230. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4671802)
And yet how many singers of the past decided to perform naked or semi-naked, or simulate sex acts on stage? That's modern, lowest common-denominator, marketing pure and simple. It has nothing to do with music.

The video and live performance are an important part of how people consume music and while it's not important to you or me, it's undoubtedly important to others or else people wouldn't pay for those tickets and wouldn't watch the videos. I don't know that what Rihanna or Beyonce do on stage today is fundamentally different from what Madonna was doing 30 years ago, along with countless others along the way. Not to mention what many male performers have done on stage since the advent of popular music, whether it was Mick Jagger or L.L. Cool J. or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Girls went crazy for the way that Elvis shook his hips in the 50s, and that was no more fundamental to the music than Miley Cyrus twerking today.

It seems to me like Madonna/Beyonce/Rihanna are in control of their image and understand how they're using it. When the performer is really young or we know they're on drugs or whatever, it seems exploitative and I can understand the discomfort. But I think we need to avoid grouping all women who use their sexuality on stage together, and we should examine whether we're displaying a double standard for men and women (or white women and black women) who are fundamentally doing the same thing.
   231. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4671811)
I'm 43 now and still close with about half a dozen guys I grew up with. A number of them like to ##### about the immaturity of "kids today" and that just kills me. This is a group of guys that spent large portions of weekends drunk and sleeping around, driving like maniacs and occasionally availing ourselves of a five finger discount for late night snacks.

The specifics are different but the generalities are the same. Young people are stupid, they grow up and for the most part stop being stupid. There are things I see from the millenials that baffle me but they are not going to destroy society. I see Miley Cyrus getting mentioned and the same people condemning her are the same people who thought it was artistic genius when Madonna wore a belt buckle that said "Boy Toy" while performing "Like A Virgin."
   232. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4671822)
I have a gig this weekend conducting the choir for a Presbyterian service. I won't be naked.

Saving it for the Unitarians?
   233. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4671879)
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.

I don't see how this is any sort of rebuttal to the comment it purports to refute, which was:

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.

It's quite a leap from "Warthen makes rude comment" to "Warthen bullies/intimidates subordinates into silence."

The idea that Cutler needed a third party to notify the Mets on his behalf is rather silly. I doubt The Wall Street Journal, a "large-scale organization" much larger than the New York Mets, has third-party observers hanging out in its newsroom to make sure staffers don't make rude comments to one another.

Don't making racial/ethnic jokes at work. It's a simple formula, really. Not sure why anyone would have a beef with it.

I never endorsed Warthen's behavior. I said it was none of Stu Woo's business, which it wasn't. It's not like he witnessed Piniella and Dibble rolling around on the floor. Woo overheard an apology for a joke he didn't even hear.
   234. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4671880)
One of the things I've seen, both with my students and with my younger sibling (also a millenial) is an expectation that they'll work at least one professional-level job out of college without pay. It's ####### exploitative, it's unfair to those whose pockets aren't deep enough to afford the opportunity, and, as a class, they're virtually powerless to stop it.

It's almost like the U.S. has a massive labor surplus in a lot of sectors. And yet, liberals want to amnesty ~11 million illegal immigrants and then double existing levels of legal immigration.

Very strange, that.

(I can already sense Bitter Mouse furiously typing away, talking about "bending the demand curve" and other such silliness.)
   235. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4671896)
The idea that Cutler needed a third party to notify the Mets on his behalf is rather silly. I doubt The Wall Street Journal, a "large-scale organization" much larger than the New York Mets, has third-party observers hanging out in its newsroom to make sure staffers don't make rude comments to one another.

They probably do in fact have policies similar to the one I described at my firm, where a third party (as in, someone who is not the target of the offensive behavior) who observes such behavior is obligated to report it. It's not like News Corp. has been immune to allegations of discrimination in the workplace.
   236. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4671902)
I never endorsed Warthen's behavior. I said it was none of Stu Woo's business, which it wasn't. It's not like he witnessed Piniella and Dibble rolling around on the floor. Woo overheard an apology for a joke he didn't even hear.

Maybe, but the Mets had an opportunity to explain to Woo that this wasn't a big deal, that it was just good-natured joking among colleagues, that "Chinaman" isn't an offensive term, or whatever the favored explanation is. Instead they told him to show up for a meeting and then chose not to issue a statement when he did.

When they did finally issue a statement, they said that the remarks “were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting”. They're big boys and they're not trying to defend the comments, so I'm not sure why you feel the need to carry their water for them.
   237. formerly dp Posted: March 14, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4671903)
It's quite a leap from "Warthen makes rude comment" to "Warthen bullies/intimidates subordinates into silence."
This is what working in a large-scale organization would bring you. Warthan's position doesn't require him to bully or intimidate his subordinate into silence. That's sort of how these things work. I don't know that Cutler felt he could or couldn't speak up about the situation; I don't know how it became an issue, and I also don't know if there will be consequences for Cutler for his response to it. But Woo writing about it is completely appropriate-- though the comment doesn't make Warthen a bigot or a horrible person who should have his children taken away, it does accurately portray him as (obviously) the kind of person who directs ethnic slurs at subordinates in the workplace. If you don't find that troublesome, there's nothing to see here. But Woo obviously finds it bothersome-- and I love how you just can't understand why Woo, a Chinese-American journalist talking to Cutler about "Asian communities in America," might want to stick up for someone who has had racial slurs directed his way in the workplace. The nerve!

I never endorsed Warthen's behavior.
The first time I posted that comment ("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."), your response was:
Sure, if we want to turn the entirety of America into one big liberal faculty lounge (sorry for the redundancy).
That sounds like an endorsement to me. You're walking it back; that's surprisingly thoughtful of you.
==
It's almost like the U.S. has a massive labor surplus in a lot of sectors. And yet, liberals want to amnesty ~11 million illegal immigrants and then double existing levels of legal immigration.
I know 'BUT LIBRULS LIKE IMMIGRATION!!' is your default response to everything, but it's not particularly germane to this conversation. In this circumstance, enforcing the regulations about what sorts of labor can be done by interns, and creating an environment where interns felt comfortable coming forward and reporting employer abuses, would both go a long way towards addressing the problem. It would also be helpful if educators did a better job educating students in this area.
   238. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4671963)
I have a gig this weekend conducting the choir for a Presbyterian service. I won't be naked.

Saving it for the Unitarians?


That would be the most interesting thing to happen in a Unitarian church in at least 100 years.
   239. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 15, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4672005)
(I can already sense Bitter Mouse furiously typing away, talking about "bending the demand curve" and other such silliness.)


Go to college. Take a course in econ. I will tutor you. It will be good times.
   240. Sunday silence Posted: March 15, 2014 at 04:13 AM (#4672012)
It is at least common enough now that students talk about it openly in class (according to my college instructor wife and her colleagues). I'm not saying its a pervasive problem, but it certainly isn't just an anecdote.


Isnt relating stories your wife told you really "just an anecdote?"
   241. Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4672051)
Yes, if we clamped down on illegal immigration none of those recent college grads would have to take jobs as unpaid interns in order to break into their chosen fields. They could get paid jobs cleaning the bathrooms in the offices occupied by the firms they hoped to work for.
   242. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4672102)
Probably as pervasive as "the knockout game" and "rainbow parties".


Well, when something didn't exist at all in the past, it doesn't take many incidences for it to become notable.


Rants, you do realize 'rainbow parties' are just an urban legend, right?
   243. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 15, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4672107)
So was Jesus raising the dead, but when they pass the plate on Easter Sunday all that money is real.
   244. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4672341)
Two things. One, I love that the people with the most paternalistic bullshit arguments about Nickel back are the purported libertarians and other hands off government folks. And two, I love that it's a bunch of straight white men arguing that simply implying that women might like giving blow jobs are inherently submissive. Giving a blow job isn't inherently submissive at all, so obviously some people are projecting a bit by indulging in this lovely slice of slut shaming. As horrible as Kroeger is at making music, simply talking about wanting a girl who gives him blowjobs and likes it hardly is the same thing as calling women whores or #######.

As one of the biggest rap fans on this site, I've learned to just deal with the fact that my favorite music pushes some of my least favorite ideas about social progress and welfare. Lots of the alternatives are the same or worse...The Rolling Stones hated women just as much as Kendrick Lamar, if not more. And at least rap music is so bombastic about the whole thing that it almost becomes satire, as opposed to the eight millionth song about how women have left men because they are whores or just dont appreciate their flannel collection.

####### auto correct destroyed some of my sentence structure. My apologies.
   245. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4672351)
Two things. One, I love that the people with the most paternalistic ######## arguments about Nickel back are the purported libertarians and other hands off government folks. And two, I love that it's a bunch of straight white men arguing that simply implying that women might like giving blow jobs are inherently submissive. Giving a blow job isn't inherently submissive at all, so obviously some people are projecting a bit by indulging in this lovely slice of slut shaming. As horrible as Kroeger is at making music, simply talking about wanting a girl who gives him blowjobs and likes it hardly is the same thing as calling women whores or #######.


Well, as one of the straight, white men who was critical of this little ditty, I'll summarize my position for you:

I'm not anything close to resembling a libertarian.

I don't deny that some folks, men or women, enjoy fellatio. I salute them.

My impression of the song, then and now, is that Kroeger (or at least the character Kroeger is inhabiting in the song), doesn't give a #### whether the woman likes blowing him. That down on her knees in front of him is the only trait in the female persuasion that matters to him. That's the attitude I found, and find, repulsive. And I truly doubt that Bitter Mouse would disagree with this, or find this attitude "loathsome."

I've admitted that this is simply my impression from listening to the song, and that I could very well be wrong. And if I am in fact wrong, and that Kroeger is writing about a more healthy, respectful situation where both partners are equals (and equally satisfied), then I apologize to Kroeger, plus the rest of the members of Nickelback, Chad's lovely bride Avril Lavigne and his previous sexual partners and all of Canada (with the obvious exception of anyone from Newfoundland and Labrador) for my flawed takeaway of a song that, in essence, still truly ####### sucks.

Hope that clears things up, and that you and BM can understand that no "slut shaming" was intended, or accomplished, in the making of this post.
   246. Lassus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4672357)
For anyone concerned or interested, there were no arrests or smitings during the Presbyterian service I was helping to run this morning.
   247. Swedish Chef Posted: March 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4672361)
For anyone concerned or interested, there were no arrests or smitings during the Presbyterian service I was helping to run this morning.

Tactfully omitting to mention whether there were nudity.
   248. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4672367)
My impression of the song, then and now, is that Kroeger (or at least the character Kroeger is inhabiting in the song), doesn't give a #### whether the woman likes blowing him. That down on her knees in front of him is the only trait in the female persuasion that matters to him. That's the attitude I found, and find, repulsive.

This. It's not the blow job, it's the implicit presumption of entitlement. Nobody would give a #### about the song if that attitude weren't part of the package.
   249. Morty Causa Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4672384)
I find that offensive, too, but exactly what is our objection? That he feels that way, or that he has the audacity to express himself authentically. What's the rumpus about really? It's always the enigma when male/female sex matters come into play. And a lot of us cutting edge types all of a sudden become old-fashion Puritans.
   250. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4672388)
Isnt relating stories your wife told you really "just an anecdote?"


It's actually not even an anecdote. Look at the chain of communication. He has never seen this happen. He has the story from his wife, who has also never seen it happen. His wife says that kids in class talk about it happening, which is only evidence that it's a story going around.

This is a "Friend of a Friend" story, which is one of the classic signs of an urban legend.
   251. Guapo Posted: March 16, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4672401)
I'm on my phone so can't use the quote tools, but below is an excerpt from an interview explaining the "on your knees" song:

MH: Well take a song like "Figured You Out." There's a part in there about choking a lover. "While you're passed out on the deck/I love my hands around your ."

CK: That's not autobiographic. I've never had my hands wrapped around someone's neck while they're passed out.

MH: So it's fiction?

CK: Entirely fiction. And it's one of those songs that even the fans don't always understand. I've had people say to me, "Oh that's so sexy." And I'm like, "Really? That's ###### up. It's not sexy at all." It's about not knowing who you're with, entering a relationship with somebody and then realizing they're addicted to substances and they're into things that you're not into. And you realize you don't like anything about them. You don't like their friends, you don't like anything. Towards the end of the song, I start saying "And I hate the places that we go/ And I hate the people that you know/ I hate the powder on your nose."

MH: You've never been in a relationship like that?

CK: Well yeah, sure, I think everybody has. Not specifically that, but in a way, yeah. It's a very descriptive and exaggerated tale of a situation I've found myself in.
   252. Sunday silence Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4672411)
even if the anecdote was true, so what? Hunger is not a path dependent property, it matters not how you got there, if you're hungry you have to eat. Wasting money is of course wasteful, and if you believe in certain religions you can call it gluttony or whatever. So it's not a good thing to do. But people who eff up still have to eat.
   253. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4672879)
This is what working in a large-scale organization would bring you. Warthan's position doesn't require him to bully or intimidate his subordinate into silence. That's sort of how these things work. I don't know that Cutler felt he could or couldn't speak up about the situation; I don't know how it became an issue, and I also don't know if there will be consequences for Cutler for his response to it. But Woo writing about it is completely appropriate-- though the comment doesn't make Warthen a bigot or a horrible person who should have his children taken away, it does accurately portray him as (obviously) the kind of person who directs ethnic slurs at subordinates in the workplace. If you don't find that troublesome, there's nothing to see here. But Woo obviously finds it bothersome-- and I love how you just can't understand why Woo, a Chinese-American journalist talking to Cutler about "Asian communities in America," might want to stick up for someone who has had racial slurs directed his way in the workplace. The nerve!

There's no evidence whatsoever that Cutler was offended by the joke, that he wanted the matter to go beyond Warthen's overheard apology, or that Sandy Alderson or the Mets' HR department wouldn't have been open and sympathetic to a complaint.

As I recall, you work for quite a large organization yourself. Does your organization have third-party monitors hanging out in the faculty lounge and offices to make sure everyone maintains full P.C. compliance at all times?

No? That's what I thought.

If Dan Warthen had half as much power over Jeff Cutler as you seem to believe, or if Warthen was confident he (or the nature of the organization) had intimidated such “subordinates” into silence, it never would have crossed Warthen’s mind to apologize on Wednesday for a joke he told on Tuesday.

The first time I posted that comment ("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."), your response was:
Sure, if we want to turn the entirety of America into one big liberal faculty lounge (sorry for the redundancy).
That sounds like an endorsement to me. You're walking it back; that's surprisingly thoughtful of you.

You have multiple advanced degrees but don't know what "endorsement" means? I guess Peter Thiel is right about college.
   254. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4672884)
When they did finally issue a statement, they said that the remarks “were a poor attempt at humor but were wrong and inappropriate in any setting”. They're big boys and they're not trying to defend the comments, so I'm not sure why you feel the need to carry their water for them.

The Mets, as per the SOP for p.r. these days, issued a perfunctory apology in an effort to put the matter behind them. That's it.
   255. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4672890)
As I recall, you work for quite a large organization yourself. Does your organization have third-party monitors hanging out in the faculty lounge and offices to make sure everyone maintains full P.C. compliance at all times? No? That's what I thought.

Don't give him ideas.
   256. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4672958)
There's no evidence whatsoever that Cutler was offended by the joke, that he wanted the matter to go beyond Warthen's overheard apology, or that Sandy Alderson or the Mets' HR department wouldn't have been open and sympathetic to a complaint.

As I recall, you work for quite a large organization yourself. Does your organization have third-party monitors hanging out in the faculty lounge and offices to make sure everyone maintains full P.C. compliance at all times?


As I wrote in #235, which you have ignored, my large company (and I suspect most others) has a policy that a third party who observes inappropriate behavior is obligated to report it. And that's because the victims of such behavior often feel like they can't report it, due to fear of retribution (often justified by past incidences of actual retribution in large corporations).

There's no evidence that Cutler was offended by the joke, but there's not really meaningful evidence he wasn't offended, other than that he didn't want to tell a reporter that he was offended. The Mets seem to realize that such jokes are inappropriate in the workplace, so once again I do not understand why you feel obligated to defend them.

If Dan Warthen had half as much power over Jeff Cutler as you seem to believe, or if Warthen was confident he (or the nature of the organization) had intimidated such “subordinates” into silence, it never would have crossed Warthen’s mind to apologize on Wednesday for a joke he told on Tuesday.

Not to go too far down the rabbit hole here, but based on the quote in the article, Warthen apologized because Cutler isn't Chinese. There's no indication that he realized that it would be inappropriate to tell the same joke to a person who was actually of Chinese descent. Again, maybe that's a misinterpretation of what Warthen said, but when given the opportunity to clarify, Warthen and the Mets chose not to do so.
   257. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4673001)
As I wrote in #235, which you have ignored, my large company (and I suspect most others) has a policy that a third party who observes inappropriate behavior is obligated to report it. And that's because the victims of such behavior often feel like they can't report it, due to fear of retribution (often justified by past incidences of actual retribution in large corporations).

I ignored it because I don't see how it's relevant. Stu Woo isn't employed by the Mets and, thus, isn't remotely bound by or subject to the Mets' company policies.

There's no evidence that Cutler was offended by the joke, but there's not really meaningful evidence he wasn't offended, other than that he didn't want to tell a reporter that he was offended.

No evidence, except for Cutler laughing it off, agreeing with Warthen that it was a "funny joke," and then essentially telling the reporter to buzz off?

Once upon a time, 8-year-olds were able to handle these sorts of incidents among themselves. The idea that 30-year-olds now need HR departments and third-party monitors is rather silly, as is the idea — based on zero evidence — that 30-year-old Cutler needed Uncle Stu to ride to his rescue.

Beyond all of that, it's a stretch to claim that Cutler is likely to feel intimidated by Warthen. Cutler's not some low-level career Mets employee; he's a translator who's likely to be with the Mets only as long as Matsuzaka is there (which probably won't be long). If anyone's in a position to tell a guy like Warthen off or blow him in, it's a short-termer like Cutler.

The Mets seem to realize that such jokes are inappropriate in the workplace, so once again I do not understand why you feel obligated to defend them.

You seem to have very poor reading skills. Nothing I've said has been a defense of Warthen's "Chinaman" joke. My comments have been in regards to Woo's decision to turn this into a national story.
   258. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4673009)
BBTF - come for the baseball, stay for the exegesis of Nickleback songs.
   259. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4673039)
I ignored it because I don't see how it's relevant. Stu Woo isn't employed by the Mets and, thus, isn't remotely bound by or subject to the Mets' company policies.

You asked whether other companies have outside parties monitor their employees for appropriate behavior, under the premise that such an idea would be silly because you can always trust the employees in question to handle the situation on their own. You have also stated numerous times that the fact that Cutler did not tell the reporter that he was bothered by the situation, that must mean he wasn't bothered by it (and that, in fact, that the whole concept of HR departments monitoring this sort of thing is silly):

The idea that 30-year-olds now need HR departments and third-party monitors is rather silly, as is the idea — based on zero evidence — that 30-year-old Cutler needed Uncle Stu to ride to his rescue.

My point is that while most companies do not have outside parties monitor their employees' behavior (although many companies do, in fact, monitor employees phone calls and emails for a variety of things), they do have policies that require people who observe inappropriate behavior to report it. Why do they have such policies? Because the people who are the targets of inappropriate behavior often aren't able to object to it or report it.

You seem to have very poor reading skills. Nothing I've said has been a defense of Warthen's "Chinaman" joke. My comments have been in regards to Woo's decision to turn this into a national story.

Right, you're not defending Warthen's comments, you're just attacking the guy who reported on them. Do you think such jokes are appropriate in the workplace?
   260. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4673057)
My point is that while most companies do not have outside parties monitor their employees' behavior (although many companies do, in fact, monitor employees phone calls and emails for a variety of things), they do have policies that require people who observe inappropriate behavior to report it. Why do they have such policies? Because the people who are the targets of inappropriate behavior often aren't able to object to it or report it.

Those sorts of policies seem more like a CYA effort on the part of big, deep-pocketed companies than evidence that such companies truly believe the average adult needs a third party to stick up for him if/when an inappropriate comment is made. I'd also guess that the vast majority of inappropriate behavior occurs in one-on-one settings, and policies like the above obviously do little or no good in such situations.

Right, you're not defending Warthen's comments, you're just attacking the guy who reported on them. Do you think such jokes are appropriate in the workplace?

"Attacking" is a bit of an oversell. Regardless, I believe companies should discourage/prohibit staffers from harassing each other and from otherwise engaging in inappropriate or offensive behavior. I also believe people will occasionally screw up and make flippant/offensive comments, and that, if such episodes are isolated incidents rather than a pattern, such staffers shouldn't be dragged before the HR department or subject to national news stories that imply that they're awful racist bullies.

Dan Warthen is 61 years old and he's had a 42-year baseball career. It's fairly ludicrous that "dan warthen slur" is now the top suggestion for him at Google, all because some reporter overheard a clubhouse mea culpa.
   261. formerly dp Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4673186)
Does your organization have third-party monitors hanging out in the faculty lounge and offices to make sure everyone maintains full P.C. compliance at all times?
Woo was a reporter. He was not there as a "third-party monitor to make sure everyone maintains full PC compliance at all times." But we do have plenty of casual visitors/observers in our work environment (campus tours, constantly!), and you can bet that if someone overheard a slur like this directed at another faculty member, a subordinate, or a student, it would be news in the local paper, especially if the person who heard it worked for that local paper.
You have multiple advanced degrees but don't know what "endorsement" means? I guess Peter Thiel is right about college.
College would have done you quite a bit of good; a decent education would have made you a more precise thinker. Instead, you constantly conflate pot shots at liberals with advancing an actual argument. In response to my suggestion that people not use racial slurs at work, you responded "only if we want to turn America into a lefty faculty lounge"-- now, maybe doing so would be a good thing in your view, but that wasn't the implication in your statement, especially since you castigated Woo repeatedly for reporting on Warthen's comments. If that wasn't meant as an endorsement for Warthen's behavior, you need work on writing for clarity.

I believe companies should discourage/prohibit staffers from harassing each other and from otherwise engaging in inappropriate or offensive behavior. I also believe people will occasionally screw up and make flippant/offensive comments, and that, if such episodes are isolated incidents rather than a pattern, such staffers shouldn't be dragged before the HR department
That's much better-- very clear. But also, where you fall down-- the assumption behind these policies is that without being 'dragged before the HR department" you don't know if there's a pattern there or not. Making jokes about race, gender, disability: these can all be patterns of behavior that aren't identified as patterns until an HR intervention, precisely because some people don't know to identify them as inappropriate. We had harassment training last month, and this exact subject came up: what if it's a really really funny but off-color joke? Tell it or don't tell it? But what if it's really, really, really funny? Some people just can't hold back in that situation (yes, OMG, even at colleges and universities), and Warthen appears to be one of them. Sometimes it takes a small slap on the wrist to make the person think twice before repeating that behavior. And Warthen doesn't have to even agree that using the slur was inappropriate, he just has to not do so in the future.

I'd also guess that the vast majority of inappropriate behavior occurs in one-on-one settings, and policies like the above obviously do little or no good in such situations.
The amount of inappropriate things said very publicly in workplaces is astounding-- organizational culture's a powerful thing and takes a long time to change. Women who go to work in male-dominated fields still encounter casual sexism that fails to register as such, because the org tolerates it and it's invisible to the people responsible for enforcing the policies. Folks with disabilities, transgendered people-- a lot of times the culture isn't intentionally hostile to people with those identities, but people don't know how not make consistently offensive statement. It doesn't make those people Hitler, but it does suggest that they have some learning to do about how to productively inhabit diverse workplaces.

Dan Warthen is 61 years old and he's had a 42-year baseball career. It's fairly ludicrous that "dan warthen slur" is now the top suggestion for him at Google,
Blame Google's algorithm, not Woo's reporting on the incident. And as a consequence of Google spitting out this suggestion, precisely what are the ramifications for Warthen you find so 'ludicrous'? He hasn't been suspended or formally disciplined by his employer, no one on the intertubes is calling for the Mets to dismiss him, at least in response to the comment. If he seeks other employment after this position, it will inevitably come up in a job interview (as it should), and Warthen will explain the incident from his perspective, and say something predictable about what he learned from it. In this thread, *you* were the loudest voice about the actual situation; the story was a story in part because of the anachronistic character of the slur-- without going back to check, at least 10 of the first couple dozen comments here were Lebowski references. Woo's own piece was measured in its tone (which of course you didn't notice because you were busy projecting), and you attacked him for daring to write it.

*You've used this term a few times, and it suggests you have a really poor understanding of what contemporary universities are like as work environments-- I've worked at 5 universities, and none of them have had a 'faculty lounge'. I think that's more of a grade school thing, but others can feel free to correct me. Most faculty have some sort of private office space, and the public spaces are more for students to congregate; the de facto faculty lounge is the closest bar with a cheap happy hour.
   262. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4673200)
That's the attitude I found, and find, repulsive. And I truly doubt that Bitter Mouse would disagree with this, or find this attitude "loathsome."


Well it certainly is not to my taste (the lyrics of the song, I don't know that I would recognize a Nickleback song if it bit me in the ass). I am totally on board with people loathing things they don't like.

Hope that clears things up, and that you and BM can understand that no "slut shaming" was intended, or accomplished, in the making of this post.


I don't think I accused you of anything like that up thread, but if I did, sorry. I have been trying to defend others rights to express themselves (even in loathsome songs) and engage in consensual activity, not dampen what others think or say.
   263. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4673337)

Those sorts of policies seem more like a CYA effort on the part of big, deep-pocketed companies than evidence that such companies truly believe the average adult needs a third party to stick up for him if/when an inappropriate comment is made. I'd also guess that the vast majority of inappropriate behavior occurs in one-on-one settings, and policies like the above obviously do little or no good in such situations.

Since (my understanding is) you've never worked in such a company, I don't know how you've formulated such an opinion.

As someone who has worked in those type of environments (at companies ranging from <200 employees to 10,000+ employees) here's what I've observed:

1. Overt racial/ethnic/religious slurs and jokes are pretty rare, at least out in the open (that's why Warthen's comment--in front of an Asian reporter--was so surprising to me in the first place). Most of the places I've worked have been reasonably diverse in those respects, at least at the middle and junior levels, which is probably one reason why.

2. Most workplaces I've been in have been overwhelmingly male above the entry level positions, and casual sexism is still fairly common.

3. That type of behavior is more common in small organizations that don't have well developed HR departments or policies to deal with it.

4. Men who engage in such behavior often don't realize it, and women who are the victims of such sexism often don't say anything about it. They don't want to be perceived as "thin-skinned" (sound familiar?), they're not convinced that anything positive will come of raising the issue. More likely, they just deal with it and/or leave for a different job. And that sucks for the women as well as for the company that's losing talented employees.

Once I realized #4, I've tried to push back on the attitudes and comments that can perpetuate such an environment when I've heard them in the office. I've never reported someone to HR, but I have argued with colleagues during the hiring process when I felt they weren't evaluating a candidate fairly, and challenged offhand remarks that I've heard. So I can understand where Woo was coming from, feeling like he should do or say something even if he wasn't obligated to do so. (Frankly, his response was more measured than mine would have been if I had heard someone making a Jewish joke).

Regardless, I believe companies should discourage/prohibit staffers from harassing each other and from otherwise engaging in inappropriate or offensive behavior. I also believe people will occasionally screw up and make flippant/offensive comments, and that, if such episodes are isolated incidents rather than a pattern, such staffers shouldn't be dragged before the HR department or subject to national news stories that imply that they're awful racist bullies.

I agree with the first sentence, but the statement overall seems to be at odds with your earlier comment in #22, where you seemed to be ok with Warthen's comment, and not merely as an isolated incident but rather as a pattern of behavior:

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.

Anyway, I'm not sure what you think goes on in HR departments, but having someone in HR or a supervisor talk to Warthen seems like an appropriate response to the situation. I'm not suggesting an Inquisition or that Warthen should be fired, suspended, or financially penalized (which is probably what would happen to me if I did the same thing in front of a reporter), but you know, someone pulling him aside and explaining why "Chinaman" might be offensive and why those kind of jokes aren't appropriate in the workplace would be a good idea.

I also don't think Woo's article implied that Warthen was an "awful racist bully" and I would be surprised if anyone here came away with that impression. He came across to me as a goofy out-of-touch old guy.
   264. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4673727)
Woo was a reporter. He was not there as a "third-party monitor to make sure everyone maintains full PC compliance at all times." But we do have plenty of casual visitors/observers in our work environment (campus tours, constantly!),

A baseball clubhouse is akin to a professor's office or one of those faculty lounges that you claim don't exist.* Are people on college tours routinely allowed to hang out in your office and listen in on your conversations for hours each day?

(* For what it's worth, a few seconds with Google yields all sorts of "faculty lounges" and "faculty centers" at colleges across America.)

College would have done you quite a bit of good; a decent education would have made you a more precise thinker. Instead, you constantly conflate pot shots at liberals with advancing an actual argument. In response to my suggestion that people not use racial slurs at work, you responded "only if we want to turn America into a lefty faculty lounge"-- now, maybe doing so would be a good thing in your view, but that wasn't the implication in your statement, especially since you castigated Woo repeatedly for reporting on Warthen's comments. If that wasn't meant as an endorsement for Warthen's behavior, you need work on writing for clarity.

Nice try. Not bashing something isn't remotely the same thing as endorsing it. I made clear from my earliest comment on this topic that my problem was with Woo making a national story out of something that wasn't his business and, even if it was his business, should have been handled privately.

From what Woo reported, he never even tried to interview Warthen before he published his story. I know an early-morning meeting was missed or skipped, but it's not like Warthen went into hiding. Despite Warthen being easily found at Mets camp, Woo apparently didn't even get a "no comment" directly from Warthen (rather than from Horwitz) before running his story.

That's much better-- very clear. But also, where you fall down-- the assumption behind these policies is that without being 'dragged before the HR department" you don't know if there's a pattern there or not.

You don't know if there's a pattern? There can't be more than 50 people who work in the Mets clubhouse on a regular basis, and that estimate is probably on the high side. There's almost no way that Warthen could have been harassing people on a constant basis without everyone knowing about it.

Some people just can't hold back in that situation (yes, OMG, even at colleges and universities), and Warthen appears to be one of them.

He does? From what we know, he told a joke last Monday, apparently felt at least a little bad about it, and then made a point of clearing the air a day later. That doesn't sound to me like an unrepentant serial harasser.

The amount of inappropriate things said very publicly in workplaces is astounding-- organizational culture's a powerful thing and takes a long time to change.

If this is true, it's hard to believe the Warthen thing — an overheard apology — was even a story.

Blame Google's algorithm, not Woo's reporting on the incident. And as a consequence of Google spitting out this suggestion, precisely what are the ramifications for Warthen you find so 'ludicrous'?

This is funny. A couple years ago, when I mentioned that I knew who you were and jokingly threatened to collect and post some of your greatest BBTF hits (many of which are way nastier than anything Warthen is alleged to have said), you disappeared from the politics threads for months. But now you're claiming that a public shaming is no big deal? You seemed to think it was a very big deal back then.

Woo's own piece was measured in its tone (which of course you didn't notice because you were busy projecting), and you attacked him for daring to write it.

Measured in tone? It was a whiny piece of attention-getting in which Woo made himself the central character. And now, almost a week after Warthen's (second) apology, Woo still hasn't said if he accepted the apology. Hell, it appears Woo hasn't said anything anywhere. Woo didn't even report on the apology he demanded (and received) from Warthen; rather, The Wall Street Journal simply ran the AP's story about it. Perhaps Woo is still too traumatized to comment — or perhaps the silence from his media brethren was deafening, and Woo realizes he stepped in it by making a federal case out of something the average 10-year-old knows how to deal with.
   265. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4673730)
Since (my understanding is) you've never worked in such a company, I don't know how you've formulated such an opinion.

I've never been on the moon, either, but I'm quite sure it isn't made of cheese.

(EDIT: That probably comes across snarkier than I meant it. Point is, I know dozens if not hundreds of people who work at large companies, and they're constantly taking about all of the CYA that goes on for fear of lawsuits, EEOC complaints, etc., etc.)

As someone who has worked in those type of environments (at companies ranging from <200 employees to 10,000+ employees) here's what I've observed:

1. Overt racial/ethnic/religious slurs and jokes are pretty rare, at least out in the open (that's why Warthen's comment--in front of an Asian reporter--was so surprising to me in the first place). Most of the places I've worked have been reasonably diverse in those respects, at least at the middle and junior levels, which is probably one reason why.

I believe that's probably true, but 'formerly dp' just said, "The amount of inappropriate things said very publicly in workplaces is astounding." Who to believe?

2. Most workplaces I've been in have been overwhelmingly male above the entry level positions, and casual sexism is still fairly common.

3. That type of behavior is more common in small organizations that don't have well developed HR departments or policies to deal with it.

4. Men who engage in such behavior often don't realize it, and women who are the victims of such sexism often don't say anything about it. They don't want to be perceived as "thin-skinned" (sound familiar?), they're not convinced that anything positive will come of raising the issue. More likely, they just deal with it and/or leave for a different job. And that sucks for the women as well as for the company that's losing talented employees.

Once I realized #4, I've tried to push back on the attitudes and comments that can perpetuate such an environment when I've heard them in the office. I've never reported someone to HR, but I have argued with colleagues during the hiring process when I felt they weren't evaluating a candidate fairly, and challenged offhand remarks that I've heard. So I can understand where Woo was coming from, feeling like he should do or say something even if he wasn't obligated to do so. (Frankly, his response was more measured than mine would have been if I had heard someone making a Jewish joke).

Even if all of this is true, how does it relate to Warthen? The guy cracked a joke, apparently felt bad enough about it to make a point of apologizing, and then got in trouble for repeating the offending word in his apology. That doesn't sound to me like a guy who's trying to oppress or intimidate anyone, and there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Jeff Cutler feels that he was being oppressed or intimidated.

I agree with the first sentence, but the statement overall seems to be at odds with your earlier comment in #22, where you seemed to be ok with Warthen's comment, and not merely as an isolated incident but rather as a pattern of behavior:

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.

I'm not sure how you got from A to B. It's possible to believe that Warthen was out of line to say "Chinaman" while also seeing humor in "Chinaman" becoming a recurring inside joke in light of Warthen's public shaming. Hell, I've seen "Chinaman" used in multiple threads here over the past week, and I haven't seen any of BBTF's many, many liberals complain about it.

I also don't think Woo's article implied that Warthen was an "awful racist bully" and I would be surprised if anyone here came away with that impression. He came across to me as a goofy out-of-touch old guy.

This is charitable almost to the point of being unbelievable. I doubt a single other reader of that article would say that "goofy" was the way Stu Woo was trying to depict Warthen.
   266. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:53 AM (#4673747)
Shorter Joe K: The Real Victim is the guy who used the slur. The real enemy - liberals and the media.
   267. BrianBrianson Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4673850)
Some people WERE claiming that Chinaman is completely innocuous.


Most of us are under the age of a hundred and thirty, so have never heard it used as a slur. My mother in law refers to herself as a Chinaman in what appears to be a totally innocuous way. Ditto my wife, actually, and probably other members of her family. Should I correct them?
   268. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4673861)
when I mentioned that I knew who you were and jokingly threatened to collect and post some of your greatest BBTF hits


You were violating the Terms of Service of the site? You were threatening a fellow member of this forum under the guise of joking? You were being super unfunny? You were being a horrible human being?

What exactly do you think you were doing by "jokingly" threatening to out someone? Not funny. Not a joke. Not amusing. Way way over the line, in my opinion.

Honestly dude don't go there. Make fun of, LOL, and disparage other people all you want (within the TOS, of course). It is a discussion website, we are supposed to discuss, and almost anything is fair game in my opinion, right up until you get to real life consequences and then you need to back off.

You sound proud of yourself that you intimidated someone into leaving. Really? That is something to be proud of? Congratulations, you bullied someone. I hear that makes you more of a man. We should get together and you can beat me up, I am a small guy I bet you would be able, and then you will feel like King of the World. Sheesh.
   269. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4673866)
Should I correct them?


No one is asking you or yours to be offended. Tolerance of others is a good quality to have. Personally I am not offended by slurs regarding short people or the Irish (I am both). However you should respect it if someone else finds it offensive, even if you don't find it so.
   270. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4673872)
when I mentioned that I knew who you were and jokingly threatened to collect and post some of your greatest BBTF hits

You were violating the Terms of Service of the site? You were threatening a fellow member of this forum under the guise of joking? You were being super unfunny? You were being a horrible human being?


Say Joe, have you ever "jokingly" threatened any other members of this board similarly or was your "joking" comment to BitterMouse just an offhand throwaway comment?
   271. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4673873)
Personally I am not offended by slurs regarding short people or the Irish (I am both).


It's easy to be aloof when you have a pot of gold.
   272. robinred Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4673935)
Say Joe, have you ever "jokingly" threatened any other members of this board similarly or was your "joking" comment to BitterMouse just an offhand throwaway comment?

--

Kehoskie basically threatened to dox someone else (not Mouse) a couple of years ago, the only such threat, joking or not, that I have seen on BTF. It was way over the line and, of course, not analogous to the Woo/Warthen thing.
   273. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4673940)
Talking about BDSM and naked conducting was a lot more entertaining than this.

Although this is an improvement on the Unitarians.
   274. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4673965)
someone else (not Mouse)


Yeah not me. If I was threatened I would use my rodent leprechaun powers (for good, not evil, of course). I was just being a busybody and applying peer pressure at what I believe to be bad behavior. And somewhat unusual behavior, normally JoeK just makes fun of his opponent (which I am totally onboard with).
   275. BrianBrianson Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4673981)
Except, of course, there's no term that ain't gonna offend somebody. I'm not sure I'm fit enough to constantly run on the euphemism treadmill. Community standards or something like that is all that's left. Language is decided by convention.
   276. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4673994)
From what Woo reported, he never even tried to interview Warthen before he published his story. I know an early-morning meeting was missed or skipped, but it's not like Warthen went into hiding. Despite Warthen being easily found at Mets camp, Woo apparently didn't even get a "no comment" directly from Warthen (rather than from Horwitz) before running his story.

It's hard to believe you're not defending Warthen or attacking Woo when you go to such lengths to misrepresent the facts of the situation. Woo "never even tried to interview Warthen", except for, you know, showing up for a pre-arranged interview. It's far more accurate to say that the Mets/Warthen never even tried to explain themselves to Woo (who is likewise easy to find--his email address is listed at the end of all of his articles).

From what we know, he told a joke last Monday, apparently felt at least a little bad about it, and then made a point of clearing the air a day later. That doesn't sound to me like an unrepentant serial harasser.

Once again, not to be pedantic, but he originally apologized because Cutler isn't Chinese, not because the joke would have been offensive in any context. But I agree, it doesn't sound to me like he's an "unrepentant serial harrasser" either. I think in your immediate rush to defend Warthen, you're missing the point. The focus shouldn't be on whether Warthen is an "awful racist bully" or an "unrepentant serial harrasser" -- but rather do the Mets run a workplace where everyone has equal opportunity and is free from harrassment? They are probably closer to being there today because of Woo's article.

It was a whiny piece of attention-getting in which Woo made himself the central character. And now, almost a week after Warthen's (second) apology, Woo still hasn't said if he accepted the apology. Hell, it appears Woo hasn't said anything anywhere. Woo didn't even report on the apology he demanded (and received) from Warthen; rather, The Wall Street Journal simply ran the AP's story about it. Perhaps Woo is still too traumatized to comment — or perhaps the silence from his media brethren was deafening, and Woo realizes he stepped in it by making a federal case out of something the average 10-year-old knows how to deal with.

Once again, it's hard to take your claim that you're not attacking Woo seriously when you misrepresent the facts like this. First of all, Woo never "demanded" an apology in the first place, and the apology was not directed specifically at Woo, so the idea that he has some sort of obligation to publicly accept it is misplaced (and ironic considering you that have repeatedly accused him of making himself the center of the story). Second, Woo reported the apology in the very article linked from this thread.

I believe that's probably true, but 'formerly dp' just said, "The amount of inappropriate things said very publicly in workplaces is astounding." Who to believe?

Like I said, my comments were only based on my experience and what I've heard from others in the industry. But it would not surprise me if there's more inappropriate stuff said in academia than in finance these days, "liberal faculty lounges" notwithstanding.

This is charitable almost to the point of being unbelievable. I doubt a single other reader of that article would say that "goofy" was the way Stu Woo was trying to depict Warthen.

I don't know how Stu Woo was trying to depict Warthen. "Goofy out-of-touch old guy" was the impression I came away with after reading the article, but I speak only for myself. But the fact that the story died 5 days ago, and we're the only ones still talking about it, likely means that nobody came away with the impression that Warthen was an "awful racist bully" or an "unrepentant serial harrasser". The situation got about as much press as it deserved, the Mets and Warthen effectively diffused it by apologizing, and you're the only one still pounding the table in their defense.
   277. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4674113)
You were violating the Terms of Service of the site? You were threatening a fellow member of this forum under the guise of joking? You were being super unfunny? You were being a horrible human being?

LOL.

I said something to make a point, which I made. (Again, I said it jokingly, and the fact people didn't take it that way proved my point all the more.)

Beyond that, if someone wants anonymity, it's up to them to maintain it. If it takes less than 2 minutes to figure out someone's identity — which is roughly how long it took me to figure out who 'formerly dp' is — because they've provided so much information about themselves, then that's on them.

Also, "Terms of Service"? Really? Multiple people on this site have told me they wished I was dead. I didn't see anyone invoking the "Terms of Service" then.

What exactly do you think you were doing by "jokingly" threatening to out someone? Not funny. Not a joke. Not amusing. Way way over the line, in my opinion.

Honestly dude don't go there. Make fun of, LOL, and disparage other people all you want (within the TOS, of course). It is a discussion website, we are supposed to discuss, and almost anything is fair game in my opinion, right up until you get to real life consequences and then you need to back off.

You sound proud of yourself that you intimidated someone into leaving. Really? That is something to be proud of? Congratulations, you bullied someone. I hear that makes you more of a man. We should get together and you can beat me up, I am a small guy I bet you would be able, and then you will feel like King of the World. Sheesh.

Still LOL, only louder. You're killing me, man.

If Dan Warthen walked around the Mets clubhouse wearing a mask and calling people "Chinaman" (or issuing death wishes), would that have been totally cool since he was acting anonymously?

Vile anonymous speech and actions are far more problematic and threatening than vile attributed speech or actions, and if such speech or actions are so beyond the pale in modern American society, then people should be cheered for identifying the actors involved. "Oh, I called you a 'n!gger' while acting anonymously, so it's totally cool, dude!" No one older than 3 believes that makes any sense. Grow up.
   278. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4674115)
Most of us are under the age of a hundred and thirty, so have never heard it used as a slur. My mother in law refers to herself as a Chinaman in what appears to be a totally innocuous way. Ditto my wife, actually, and probably other members of her family. Should I correct them?

No kidding. I can get on board with "Chinaman" being archaic and impolite, but "slur" is doing a lot of heavy lifting. I've only heard the word about 20 times in my life, and in none of them was the word operating as a slur, at least not as "slur" is commonly understood. It's usually, "Hey, look at me! I'm using a word that hasn't been used since before our grandparents were potty trained."

Anyway, I heard roughly a zillion Polack jokes by the end of 3rd grade and somehow lived to tell the tale, so maybe I'm immune to this sort of silliness. I'm all for being a kinder, gentler, more inclusive society and all that, but I don't think that requires legions of people like Stu Woo spending all day, every day, on constant red alert for things over which they can display self-righteous indignation.

***
Kehoskie basically threatened to dox someone else (not Mouse) a couple of years ago, the only such threat, joking or not, that I have seen on BTF. It was way over the line and, of course, not analogous to the Woo/Warthen thing.

I had to Google "dox." It was a cool word in an otherwise idiotic paragraph.

I'll refer you to my last two paragraphs of #277, not that I expect it to make any sense to you.
   279. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4674160)
It's hard to believe you're not defending Warthen or attacking Woo when you go to such lengths to misrepresent the facts of the situation. Woo "never even tried to interview Warthen", except for, you know, showing up for a pre-arranged interview.

Again, you seem to have very poor reading and/or vocabulary skills. I didn't "misrepresent" anything. I mentioned that missed meeting right in the paragraph to which you replied. Since when is being blown off by a p.r. flak an attempt to interview someone, when the "someone" in question is easily found? It probably would have taken Woo 5 minutes or less to find Warthen at the Mets complex. Warthen isn't in Afghanistan or protected by a cadre of armed guards; he spends his days roaming from pitcher's mound to pitcher's mound at the Mets' spr. tr. complex.

It's far more accurate to say that the Mets/Warthen never even tried to explain themselves to Woo (who is likewise easy to find--his email address is listed at the end of all of his articles).

No, it isn't. One of the principals — Jeff Cutler — essentially told Woo to buzz off, making it clear that it was none of Woo's business.

Once again, not to be pedantic, but he originally apologized because Cutler isn't Chinese, not because the joke would have been offensive in any context. But I agree, it doesn't sound to me like he's an "unrepentant serial harrasser" either. I think in your immediate rush to defend Warthen, you're missing the point. The focus shouldn't be on whether Warthen is an "awful racist bully" or an "unrepentant serial harrasser" -- but rather do the Mets run a workplace where everyone has equal opportunity and is free from harrassment? They are probably closer to being there today because of Woo's article.

This assumes all sorts of facts not in evidence. The idea that this was an exercise by Stu Woo to improve the Mets' workplace environment is a huge leap. This was much more likely to have been a piece of attention-getting than some altruistic endeavor on Woo's part. Beyond that, as far as the Mets being "closer to being there today" with regards to a harassment-free workplace, there's little or no evidence that anyone was being "harassed" before Woo's article last week. Cutler certainly didn't give that impression.

Once again, it's hard to take your claim that you're not attacking Woo seriously when you misrepresent the facts like this. First of all, Woo never "demanded" an apology in the first place, and the apology was not directed specifically at Woo, so the idea that he has some sort of obligation to publicly accept it is misplaced (and ironic considering you that have repeatedly accused him of making himself the center of the story). Second, Woo reported the apology in the very article linked from this thread.

You might be the new clubhouse leader for the BBTF Pedant of the Year award. Woo didn't demand an apology? Seriously? What was the point of his first-person article last week — and his request/demand for a private meeting with Warthen — if not to tell the world just how "startled" and "offended" Stu Woo was by Warthen's use of such a "derogatory" word? There are really only two explanations for Woo wanting/demanding the private meeting with Warthen: He wanted a personal apology and/or he wanted to ensure other reporters weren't around to help protect the big exclusive he was working on. In either case, it was all about Stu Woo.
   280. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4674179)
Anyway, I heard roughly a zillion Polack jokes by the end of 3rd grade and somehow lived to tell the tale


But what if they had been Polandman jokes instead?

What then?
   281. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4674181)

Ha ha. Years and years of PTSD counseling, probably.
   282. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4674191)
I mentioned that missed meeting right in the paragraph to which you replied.

Right, which is why it is so bizarre that you would say that Woo made no effort to interview Warthen. He did, Warthen didn't show up.

Since when is being blown off by a p.r. flak an attempt to interview someone, when the "someone" in question is easily found?

He wasn't blown off by Horwitz. Warthen didn't show up to the meeting and Horwitz told Woo that Warthen wouldn't comment. If Warthen wasn't aware of the meeting and the "no comment" statement, then he has Horwitz to blame, not Woo. Of course, he's not blaming Woo, you are. Once again, hard to imagine why.

The idea that this was an exercise by Stu Woo to improve the Mets' workplace environment is a huge leap.

Based on Woo's article, it doesn't seem like a leap at all: "And he did so in a casual way in a work environment -– one where he holds a position of power. I didn’t want to be complicit in tolerating the use of a slur that should have been retired long ago."

What was the point of his first-person article last week — and his request/demand for a private meeting with Warthen

Once again, you're simply making stuff up. There's no evidence that Woo requested or demanded a private meeting with Warthen. Horwitz is the one who asked for the meeting, according to the article.

For what it's worth, your attitude here is a great example of why victims of workplace harrassment often don't complain about it -- when they do, they are accused of being thin skinned, unable to take a joke, wanting to be the center of attention, or having ulterior motives. Sure, Woo wasn't the direct target of the joke here, but I have little doubt that if Cutler had complained about it, you'd be attacking him the same way.
   283. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4674193)
Right, which is why it is so bizarre that you would say that Woo made no effort to interview Warthen. He did, Warthen didn't show up.

LOL. Afghanistan, the bullpens at St. Lucie Sports Complex — all the same. Like finding a needle in a haystack.

Based on Woo's article, it doesn't seem like a leap at all: "And he did so in a casual way in a work environment -– one where he holds a position of power. I didn’t want to be complicit in tolerating the use of a slur that should have been retired long ago."

Woo "didn't want to be complicit." Woo apparently also didn't feel like walking 50 yards to the pitcher's mounds. I guess one can only expect so much from a solitary hero.

Once again, you're simply making stuff up. There's no evidence that Woo requested or demanded a private meeting with Warthen. Horwitz is the one who asked for the meeting, according to the article.

So Woo didn't want the meeting, but subsequently published his first-person article in a huff when they didn't appear for the meeting Woo didn't want? How does that make any sense?

Woo apparently said nothing to Warthen when he overheard Warthen speaking to Cutler, and then Woo made no real effort to speak to Warthen before publishing his piece.

Given that the Mets issued an apology right after Woo published his article, it seems unlikely the Mets knew for sure that Woo was planning to write anything. Otherwise, Horwitz appears to be incompetent.

For what it's worth, your attitude here is a great example of why victims of workplace harrassment often don't complain about it -- when they do, they are accused of being thin skinned, unable to take a joke, wanting to be the center of attention, or having ulterior motives. Sure, Woo wasn't the direct target of the joke here, but I have little doubt that if Cutler had complained about it, you'd be attacking him the same way.

I knew this was coming; I'm surprised it took so long.

Unless this was a pattern of behavior on Warthen's part and the Mets did nothing to address the situation after repeated complaints, this had no business being a national story, whether with Woo as the central character or Cutler. That was my point initially, and that remains my point now.
   284. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4674194)
Also, "Terms of Service"? Really? Multiple people on this site have told me they wished I was dead. I didn't see anyone invoking the "Terms of Service" then.


So because other people did something bad it is OK for you to do something bad? Are you in third grade? You threatening someone is wrong. Full stop. Other people threatening you is wrong. Full stop.

Vile anonymous speech and actions are far more problematic and threatening than vile attributed speech or actions, and if such speech or actions are so beyond the pale in modern American society, then people should be cheered for identifying the actors involved.


And again, vile anonymous speech does not make vile attributed speech OK. Both are wrong.

The fact that you have the moral compass of an eight year old is not surprising I suppose, but it is disappointing.

When I see someone acting poorly (as you did) I mention it. I have done so with those that agree with me and those that do not - I have even spoken up for you on occasion (in between calling you an idiot and an eight year old). I value this site, partly because people tend to behave well (especially compared to much of the web). The reason is because we are a community, we know each other, care about each other (even when we fight) and we do some self policing.

However it is not my site, I can't control how you act here (or elsewhere for that matter), so you are going to do what you do. But I am disappointed.
   285. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4674195)
So because other people did something bad it is OK for you to do something bad? Are you in third grade? You threatening someone is wrong. Full stop. Other people threatening you is wrong. Full stop.

I didn't do anything bad. Full stop.

And again, vile anonymous speech does not make vile attributed speech OK. Both are wrong.

The fact that you have the moral compass of an eight year old is not surprising I suppose, but it is disappointing.

When I see someone acting poorly (as you did) I mention it. I have done so with those that agree with me and those that do not - I have even spoken up for you on occasion (in between calling you an idiot and an eight year old). I value this site, partly because people tend to behave well (especially compared to much of the web). The reason is because we are a community, we know each other, care about each other (even when we fight) and we do some self policing.

However it is not my site, I can't control how you act here (or elsewhere for that matter), so you are going to do what you do. But I am disappointed.

Ah, the old "Bitter Mouse can't come up with a merits-based rebuttal, so he's stomping his little feet" routine.

Always good for some laughs, but that's about it.
   286. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4674211)
I didn't do anything bad. Full stop.


What did you do?
   287. zenbitz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4674213)
Man, I thought we were still talking about that Nickelback song. If it's generally offensive to women (i.e., obviously it will specifically offend a selection of people) - so are all those romance novels. Read by women.
   288. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4674303)
Also, "Terms of Service"? Really? Multiple people on this site have told me they wished I was dead. I didn't see anyone invoking the "Terms of Service" then.

Told you on one of these threads? Who and when was that? The only time I ever wished that on anyone I got a 30 day boot, so I'd be surprised if anyone who said that to you on BTF would've gotten off without any sort of penalty.
   289. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4674401)
I knew there was a way to send Kehoskie into a time out period. (smile)
   290. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4674433)
Andy:

Re: #288, Sam and another semi-regular OTP poster who seems to change his handle regularly, both within the past year. Neither of the occurrences bothered me; my comment above was simply in reply to the "Terms of Service" being invoked — very selectively — above.

Re: #289, not sure what you mean. I've never had a "time out" here.
   291. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4674555)
Re: #289, not sure what you mean. I've never had a "time out" here.


I'm guessing that you logged off and went to bed between posts...

   292. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4674566)
Having read the article... sheesh Woo is a whiny piece of work...
   293. formerly dp Posted: March 21, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4674735)
Joe, there are major differences between 1) speech in an internet forum and speech in the workplace, 2) anonymous and pseudonymous speech, and 3) jokes and threats. Maybe some patient soul will explain these to you.

I don't expect you to understand how seriously I take what I do for a living, but if you had doxed me, it could have had real repercussions for my ability to do my job effectively. I could explain the particulars-- and they're not what you think-- but I don't owe it to you to do so. I don't care that you know who I am-- if I did I wouldn't volunteer *any* biographical details-- but I do care that a member of the BTF community threatened to take active steps intended to harm my career and my livelihood, in an effort to bully me into altering the way I express myself on BTF. That you're patting yourself on the back for it, and congratulating yourself as some sort noble vigilante, rather than hanging your head in shame over the behavior, speaks volumes about your character. My thinking at the time was precisely this: I value what I do too much to put it at risk over an argument with an internet troll, and if posting to BTF is going to expose me to the sorts of people willing to take direct action to harm me, better to just not do so.

So the fact that you don't see what you did as crossing a line is extremely troubling. I read your initial post in 2012 several times, because in over ten years here I had never seen another community member make an actionable threat against another-- and there was no other way to interpret it. Others in this thread obviously agree with that interpretation now, and expressed to me then that they felt similarly. After giving it some time, I was content to let the issue slide, and assume that you regretted the behavior. But that's apparently not the case. So congrats on being an internet bully incapable of simply responding to speech with speech. And congrats on being the second poster in 10 years to make my ignore list.

I would prefer it if you would take a similar action-- it's really easy-- and we'll just agree to not interact with each other on this site again.
   294. Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4674740)
Just to be clear..."outing" someone on the site will get you permanently banned.

Having said that, some of the arguments on this site are incredibly silly. Nobody should be proud of the current ongoing exchange.

   295. Lassus Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4674838)
I think there's a popular song from "Frozen" that applies here at this point.
   296. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4674839)
It's spring, who wants to build a snowman now?
   297. Greg K Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4674884)
It's spring, who wants to build a snowman now?

Always the snide remarks with you.

He clearly means "Reindeer are Better Than People".
   298. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4674887)
He's obviously talking about his wish to return to productive baseball discourse on the site, and thus, "For the First Time in Forever."
   299. Morty Causa Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4674888)
Okay, now, of all things, we got to be proud of what we post. It's one damn thing after another. If it's not this, it's that, if it's not one thing, it's another. It's always something.
   300. Greg K Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4674889)
Perhaps "The Trolls"?
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