Win Ben Stein’s Scalp

“The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities… As I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job.” [American Spectator, via ThinkProgress]


I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work.

I see Ben’s been looking in the mirror again.

Right, they all should have been cooperative and moved to the PRC where all the jobs go when Wall Street has gamed a company and known that after Wall Street got done with the US, the only jobs left would be in the financial district of Manhattan. Assholes.

Someone needs to tear out this guy’s fucking heart and eat it in front of him. Would fit on a fucking Ritz cracker.

I saw this a couple of days ago and while no one despises this turd more than what I do this quote is truly taken out of context and, while not good, is not what TP makes it.

I’m becoming increasingly impatient with these scare headlines at lefty blogs that, when clicked through, don’t really quite mean what we’re told they do. C&L has become so hysterical and childish I don’t bother with it since its disgusting piece on Polanski. I find AmericaBlog to be entirely beyond the pale and now TP seems to be going down that road. What blogs do you all read?

@Benedick: TFLN. The most informative blog of all.

@flippin eck: I couldn’t agree more. I find it endlessly fascinating. I had no idea our youth drank so much, gave quite as much head, or went in for buttsecks quite so wholeheartedly. It gives one hope.

In “good” times, yes. I’d agree.

In bad times. Nope.

In fact, the only people I know who have “overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work” tend to be folks of Ben Stein’s ilk, RWers. Throw in an inability to admit personal failure and presto.

The two I know personally have never admitted that their combined 30+ firings (I shit you not) was because of them. It’s always “politics.”*

*I have been fired twice in my life. First time, I made a mistake and I was fired for it. Second time, I finally had it with my idiot employer and exploded. Tore a strip off half the senior management and basically called out the big boss as an imbecile. I was escorted out two days later, but I didn’t care.

@Benedick: No.

I linked to the original, not TP’s excerpt. And I read the original before linking.

Yes, he is empathetic to “people near me”. And most of his suggestions reflect common sense. And he allows for “exceptions”.

But dude, he’s following the GOP meme: Bash the Unemployed. It’s their fault. Like I said a few weeks back, they’ve gone beyond “welfare queens” to “jobless jerks”.

This is not an isolated incident. This is a very deliberate trend.


Only the 2nd most important blog on Earth after Stinque.

What blogs do you all read?

@Benedick: And to the broader question, my regular daytime sources are (in order of checking) Memeorandum, Political Wire, TPM, TP, Raw Story, and Sully, plus Daring Fireball and TechMeme for geek news, and Kottke if it’s slow and I’m looking for Light Amusement.

I’ll also stretch to Political Correction and Media Matters if I’m desperate, plus yet another handful of sites (Salon, Wired, McClatchy, Washington Monthly, Plum Line, Ezra) for the evening rounds when I’m contemplating the Morning Blather.

Oh, and Twitter. Some stuff turns up there first.


I’ve always wanted to be dragged off the job kicking and screaming like Mink Stole.

I read nothing, and comment only from the depths of my ignorance.

@Original Andrew: Me, too! And let’s not forget TLo/Project Rungay.

I came across the following paragraph in a book review by Jesse Kornbluth, and it makes an excellent companion to Stein’s statement:

We are a crueler nation today. I think compassion still exists — on the personal level. But in politics and in corporations, I have never seen less compassion for people who are struggling. Even worse: When successful people talk about the victims of downsizing and a bum economy, there’s a kind of glee, like America is some kind of meritocracy and if you don’t have anything, you don’t deserve anything. Jimmy Breslin once told me that “The poor can never be made to suffer enough.” I thought he was just being clever. Not so.

@Original Andrew:
I didn’t go kicking and screaming.

When they told me that they fired me, I asked if I could “resign.” They said yes (because they were cheap and stupid–no severance. If they wanted to fuck me over, they would have fired me as resigning was easier to explain than firing.) I immediately handed them a resignation letter I had printed 20 minutes earlier (it’s not like I didn’t see this coming.) I smiled at them and said “Be seein’ you” and walked out the door with my head held high. I was told later by a coworker that my bosses couldn’t understand why I was so damn happy I got shitcanned.

@Mistress Cynica:
One of my earliest jobs was as junior hatchet man. I had to give people their walking papers. I really really hated that. I don’t know why folks would take glee in that.

The only time I ever felt something akin to glee was recently when they shitcanned a bunch of folks in a rival dept at my old work. The only reason was that they had spent the some 3 years trying to wipe out my dept and replace us with their buddies. I (and others) wasted a lot of time and energy to stop them. The fact that it seemed their only purpose was to knock out other depts and fuck up the work was what made me laugh, a little. It was personal. Otherwise, anyone else made me feel glum about it.

I didn’t know you worked for Microsoft

@ManchuCandidate: The only reason was that they had spent the some 3 years trying to wipe out my dept and replace us with their buddies. I (and others) wasted a lot of time and energy to stop them. The fact that it seemed their only purpose was to knock out other depts and fuck up the work




@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I thought I was the only one who did that…

TJ/Jr is enjoying broccoli for the first time in his life! Huzzah! It basically tastes like Pecorrino (sp? fuckit) Romano, garlic and sweet Italian sausage, but I think this is the first green thing he’s eaten that he enjoys for like 17 years. Oh, and he made it. Trufax.

Carry on.

ADD: Oh, and Jr actually reads the posts here instead of skimming and heading for the comments — the true money shots…


I’ve always enjoyed patiently explaining to bosses and clients–who make 10 times as much as I do–how to do their mutherfrakking jobs. Yes, there’s truly nothing more rewarding.

@Original Andrew: There are blogs other than Stinque???

Just kidding, sort of. Other than nerdy work blogs and one really abstruse Grateful Dead blog, this is it for me. I dabbled in Brand W way back in Ana Marie’s day, but it never really caught me.

Fascinating how he can shift directly from noticing that even “his people” are losing their jobs and houses, and then without missing a beat claim that anyone who is “unemployed and can’t find work” is a shiftless deadbeat.

Does that mean that his friends who lost their houses (a condition typically requiring an *extended* period of unemployment, given the lag between missed payments and foreclosure) are all deadbeats with unpleasant personalities? Does that mean that 5 out of the 6 Americans per job opening are automatically worthless? More importantly, what does that claim say about the fucksticks who apparently HIRED all these craptastical pseudo-workers when times were better?

Or does it just mean that, like most of his colleagues, his RW talking points don’t require actual connection with observed reality? (see also Raygun reducing the deficit, tax cuts creating jobs, “we could have won in Vietnam”, etc etc etc)

@Mistress Cynica:
I suspect that the whole “Prosperity Gospel” thing is at least a part of that. Once you’ve got people convinced that Jeebus makes good people rich, it’s not hard to get them to believe that poor people are that way because Jeebus *wants* them to be. From there, it’s a smooth slide to “fuck you, I’ve got mine!”

@Original Andrew:
I really enjoy explaining to execs how *their* business works; it’s amazing how much one learns when trying to turn a vaguely documented process into a computer program…

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: @Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Is it wrong that I suddenly want to have your puppies?

@JNOV: He’s young. Adult ADD still hasn’t set in.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: We should probably adopt first. I have a fear of those glowing red eyes of yours.

@Nabisco: You are LIT! My God!

I want to have Tomm’s puppies, too! Three way?

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: He and Ma Nabisco both.

@JNOV: No amount of coffee, apparently, will remove these cobwebs. Limoncello burps!

@Nabisco: Shit. Orgy time! The more the merrier…

@JNOV: I sincerely hope that has something to do with either potassium levels or rehydration.

@Nabisco: Oh, Grasshopper. Snatch this pebble from my snatch hand, and I will teach you all.

@JNOV: Oh, and to be technically correct we’d be having Tomm’s kittens, such as, for the kittehs in The Iraq that don’t have maps.

@Nabisco: So is Ma Nabisco going to have to come to LotusLandia and get all Croatian* on your sexual harasser?

*I can’t remember which part of the former Yugoslavia she is – I know not Slovenian – but just as well since nationalism was the root of their troubles?

@Nabisco: Serious medical advice — coffee will make your hangover/still drunk worse. It’ll dehydrate you more. H20! H20!

Carry on.

/Legal disclaimer: I’m not a doctor IRL. I just played one in the Navy.

@Original Andrew: This is what lawyers do. Advise people with 10, 100 times more money than you, how to keep it and make more. Lawyers are kinda well paid, not as much as people think, and lawyers, like all professionals, are wage slaves, its a high hourly rate, but the income depends entirely on the hours worked. The higher your hourly rate gets, the more extreme the pressure to work more hours, each and every hour you take off for yourself, your life, your family, you are throwing $500 an hour out the window. You could earn another $50 if you skip brushing your teeth, a vacation, thats thousands and thousands. I don’t get paid at that rate, or by the hour, so I don’t have that pressure, but the ones who do, thats their life.

lawyers are the servants to the people with the big money, like their gardeners and nannies, they just make a better hourly wage.

@Promnight: Trufax for the non-public-interest ones. And firms are HUGE pyramid schemes.

@SanFranLefty: She’ll have me in detention at home soon enough. Oh and, no, tampoco Hrvaska. And if you go with the other major ethnic group indicted in genocidal activities in the motherland, there’ll be a hellfire aimed at the Castro in 3, 2, 1….

/kidding. Although she has known to lurque/

@JNOV: I downed a litre ™ of the stuff last night, despite the risk of inducing hypovolemic shock. Plus, it tastes so goooood.

@Nabisco: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia!

Carry on.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: @SanFranLefty: My immediate response to your comment was to just say “I love you,” and thats before SFL obvs had exactly the exact same reaction.

I know that when I mount my soapbox and sermonize, my tone can come across as if I beleive I am absolutely right and all disagreement is from ignorance. But thats not it, thats me, I know completely and totally that I am a fool like the billions of other fools on earth muddling through the only life we get and trying to make sense of it all, and all opinions I might have at any moment are always subject to revision and reversal, on recieving more information, on being opened to different perspectives, and on whim.

@Nabisco: He’s young. Adult ADD still hasn’t set in.
My ex- actually suggested I get tested for it once.
( ಠ益ಠ)

@JNOVjr: STOP IT WITH THE JAPANESE! God! ::sigh:: I love you. Just send me the therapy bills when it all starts to register, mmmkay? I’ll always be in your corner. Unless you do something douchey. I’ll call you on it, but I’ll always be in your corner. Trufax. (Bet you’re sorry you taught me that! I need a new phrase. Help your momma out.)

ADD: Okay. WTF is that blue sweaty guy?

@JNOV: (ΘεΘ;) It’s an emoticon. Those are universal.

@JNOVjr: Um. Okay. It may very well be an emoticon, BUT IT’S IN JAPANESE! Jesus!

@JNOVjr: Seriously, I don’t even know what that Greek shit is, either.

@JNOVjr: Oh, WTF? You’re giving me agita! What’s up with your avatar (LOLJAMESCAMERONISADICK) anyway?

@JNOV: Σ(゚Д゚ ) Actually, a lot of the characters used in 2chan (not to be confused with 4chan) emoticons are, in fact, not Japanese. Oh, and to answer your question, the “blue guy” is a squirtle. See this and this. They’re short. You have no excuse not to watch them. Stop putting my stuff off indefinitely, especially since you always bug me until I click/watch whatever you send me.

@JNOVjr: Christ. I feel a million link comment coming on. amirite?


1. I soooo KNOW you, Link Boy

2. Clicking right now. Fair is fair.

@JNOVjr: Wait. A Pokemon Squirtle? I thought he was a turtle thing. Hey — go get me a beer. (yeah, I know, but it’s the first time I’ve asked you — don’t spill it when you open it, ‘Kay? And dinner is delish. You did a really awesome job! Thank you! Now go get me that beer!)


Not to give dumb, flip, fortune-cookie observations, but there is a reason that the fool is considered the wisest card in the tarot deck. Think about it.

@JNOVjr: LOLZ! Apparently you know me, too. I SO AM that blue guy with antennae. ::going to your next link::

@JNOVjr: HAHAHAHAHA! Okay. WTF is that antennae thing? What’s his(?) name?

@JNOV: 20 or more links, and the comment goes into purgatory.

Used to be ten until a week ago. Jr. forced my hand with his last opus.

@JNOV: It’s Shigsy. It’s actually supposed to be animated, but gravatar is retarded. I actually put that last pic together, myself.

You probably have no idea who those two guys are, so…Shigeru Miyamoto is the developer/producer responsible for Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Star Fox, Pikmin (which you’d probably like), and a bunch of other stuff. He’s probably the single most famous person in the vidya industry. The other dude is Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, hence the Wii that “prints money.”

@nojo: See? This is my LIFE. Well, until September. ::sad panda::

@JNOVjr: Dude! Bring me a beer, and I’ll click on your links…

@JNOV: The little antenna things are called woopers. I’ve never really used one (probably because I prefer the 1st generation pokemon better), but they’re not terrible. I mean, it’s not like they’re magikarp or anything.

@JNOVjr: ::sigh:: You’re writing in English, but it might as well be Japanese. Go on with your bad self, Darling. I’m about to click all your links…

And don’t freak out about the link, but Cloris is GOD

ADD: Philly connection!

@JNOV: Link’s borked. I think it’s time for drunkface to go sleepface.

@nojo: I did kinda scan it but it seemed clear that he was writing about a particular cadre of DC lawyers, lobbyists, etc. A talent pool that is judged solely by performance of a specific type and whose weaker and less voracious members are always the first to go. You could write about Hollywood producers or talent agents in much the same way. By isolating the quote it looks like he’s writing about fired schoolteachers. The piece is repulsive enough for its smugness but I don’t think he’s writing about the ‘little people’. I don’t think he knows we exist.

@JNOV: yes, but caffeine is good for headaches, constricts the bulging capillaries in your brain that bring those pulsing waves of pain.

best hangover cure is a tall glass off water and a couple of aspirin right before bed the night before. Make it two glasses of water. Alka-Seltzer, the old fashioned “plop plop fizz fizz oh what a releif it is” the night before is also perfect. Some bicarb for the stomach, some aspirin, and you have to drink a bunch of water, its a drink, not just a pill. there’s a reason they call it “Alka” seltzer, it was designed for hangovers, but its politically incorrect to openly market a hangover cure these days.

Coca Cola, the original recipe, also helps greatly in the morning, Coca Cola also was designed to be a patent medicine, not a beverage.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Make the moment joyous, gather your friends to you, take comfort in love and affection and care and humor and laughter, be silly and laugh, as often as possible. Be a fool, you will always always more fondly remember your most foolish moments, than your serious, angry, angsty, morally outraged moments.

@Promnight: Best cure for a hangover is a bolus of Lactated Ringers with a potassium boost if you can get it. Trufax.

Caffeine is only good for headaches if you’re addicted to caffeine. Otherwise, it makes matters worse. Remember, I play a doctor (DO, natch) on this board.

@JNOVjr: ZOMG! I’m so killing you! Lemme fix it…

@JNOVjr: FIXED! Imma come give you flurrbles if you keep giving me shit.

@JNOVjr: Ho! Ho! Whose got the borked links NOW! Heh.


1. Shigsy link blocked

2. Your animated version — um, creepy cool

3. Love Animal Crossing! Will click on other links now…


Okay — I’m about to go all Annoying Parent on you.

Little people in a video game commercial is funny? Really? I mean, I’m always happy to see people of all sizes get work, but really? C’mon!

@Benedick: Okay, I’ll allow a Reasonable People Disagree on his meaning.

Generally, I’ll agree that TP can be quick on the trigger, or short of that, just dull cheerleaders. But they’re still good for turning up Vile Shit I might not see elsewhere on my rounds.

C&L, well, they do us a solid on occasion when Chainsaw posts a stemwinder. But I don’t frequent them, because I don’t like to be downstream from blogs that do something similar to what I’m doing.

That’s also the reason I avoid Wonkette and The Awl: I want to make my own judgments.

@Mistress Cynica: Cyn, I mention this a lot, this hard-hearted, mean, nasty, selfish idea of “morality” that has taken over society. I think its a backlash against the sociological movement that began in the 19-teens and 1920s, that all human misbehavior and trouble is the result of environment and genetics, and therefore, all criminality must be treated as illness, all social ills are the result of society, not the individual. Yes, that idea, taken too far, is false, but the pendulum has swung outrageously too far in the other direction, the last 20, 30 years. I also think that the general level of prosperity in the US, the fact that Americans have not suffered any true society-wide catastrophe since the Great Depression, has resulted in too few people ever experiencing bad times on the level that unites people in their shared misfortune. And there is racism, and conservative demogaguery which has for 40 years now equated all social programs, even the very idea of collective, government efforts to alleviate poverty and misfortune, with “welfare for the shiftless blacks.”

Whatever the reasons, the result is ugly, an amazingly widespread, nasty, selfish, mean-spirited, cold-hearted attitude that pervades society. I have told this story a thousand times, my father, who grew up in the midst of the depression, when we would see a “bum,” as he called them, but without judgment, he would say, softly, with compassion, “the poor lost soul.” Not “the lazy bastard.” Thats the divide. You can respond to human suffering two ways, one is “there but for the luck of the draw, go I,” or you can congratulate yourself because you think you are more fortunate solely because you are better, and condemn them to their fate because they deserve it. Which is the libertarian attitude, which is why I hate libertarians, and Randians most of all.

@JNOV: You talking about the “Mini Kiss” commercial? What I find hilarious about it is what it says about Kiss, they are not enough of an entity to get an endorsment deal on their own, they were only hired to accompany the Mini-Kiss, which has been a Vegas act for 10 years now.

@Promnight: No, I’m talking about Jr’s Pimkin link. Little People (adults) are being infantalized and objectified — they’re supposed to represent tiny video game characters. That’s bullshit.

@JNOVjr: Well, but that’s really not okay not matter what the size of the video game characters. I dunno. Have you seen Freaks? I think if you watch it, you’ll get it. You’ve got people living on the margins because of no fault of their own (think of genetics and how we’re judged based on something TOTALLY out of our control — know whaddImean?), and think about the work that is available for little people. Circuses. Dwarf tossing. Stuff like that. SOOOO NOT COOL. So here you have this commercial, and Little People are not seen as PEOPLE but as tiny video game characters. I call bullshit on that and don’t find it funny. I find it sad. I mean, yeah, everyone needs to earn a buck to feed themselves, but it’s the symbolism, it’s what they represent, it’s people thinking this is funny that gets in my craw.

@JNOVjr: So, does that make 2chan Half Japanese? I suspect OA, and probably Prom, will enjoy that reference.

@JNOV: Who’s lit now, chica?

@nojo: I forget the thread where you did Keef’s countdown, but before I left the house this AM Coop360 was doing his best Sincere Reporter standup about the whole Racist Breitbart dealio. Could this be the shifting sands, or are we just waiting for another hurricane/baby down the well story to break?

@Nabisco: I imagine Coop is concerned. Which doesn’t pack near the entertainment value of Keef pissed.

@Benedick: I dunno, man. I’m all on-board with the whole “people need to tone down the rhetorical bullshit” angle (in fact, that’s the main reason I really only get my news from PBS and Comedy Central. At least on the Daily Show, they’re being overtly facetious), but I’m not really sure that applies to Ben Stein’s little rant.

What makes me think this is largely the part that Nojo quoted. Here it is again, but in full, and with some emphasis added:

The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say “generally” because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along — not always easy.

For me, “general” is the operative word that makes it so I just can’t give Stein the benefit of the doubt. If he’d said, “In my workplace,” or “Among the people nearest me,” I’d agree with you completely. Use of the word “general,” though, makes it sound as if he’s talking about eeeeverybody.

Oh, and then there’s this:

This brings to mind an idea I have long had: that high schools and colleges should have a course on “how to get along” and “how to do a day’s work.” This would include showing up in clean clothes, smelling well, having had a good breakfast, dressed in a businesslike way, calling the other employees “sir” or “ma’am” and not talking back. This would include a teaching of the fact that the employee is not there for amusement, but to help the employer make money and to get a job done. It would include the idea that once you are at work, you are not at play. It is an idea whose time has come.

That has nothing to do with my previous argument. I just wanted to bring it up because I thought it was fucking stupid. Learning how to function around other people, meet deadlines and integrate into society is the entire fucking point of school. After 3rd grade, it’s not meant to teach you the academic shit you’ll actually be using later in life until you hit college and start preparing for your career. Sure, it’s arguable that studying hard in high school lends towards finding a better career later, but that’s really only because it helps you get into a better college so you can then study up to be some jackass economist.

@JNOV: I think you’re reading too much into this. That commercial was way different than Wee Man dressing up as an Oompa Loompa and skateboarding down the street, or being chased around town by a half-naked fat guy. The latter examples are purely for comedic effect resulting from the fact that those two things aren’t sights you’d normally see every day. In the commercial, however, the comedy didn’t derive from the fact that the “pikmin” were really little people, but the fact that they were really people. The commercial would have been just the same if they’d used kids instead. The same is not true of the jackass skits. The Oompa Loompa bit would’ve made no sense and the underwear chase scene would’ve just been creepy.

Sometimes, it’s kind of hard to figure out where to draw the line with stuff like this. Take those Old Spice commercials, for instance. Are they racist because the guy on screen, spouting nonsensical jibberish is black? I don’t think so. Buuut, I also don’t think they would’ve been as amusing if another actor had been used. Then again, that’s probably more to do with the fact that the guy just does a good job than anything else… Aaaaaand then you’ve got stuff like this.

@Nabisco: To your broader point: All this will be forgotten the moment Drudge Jr. posts his next smear. Rachel notes the Southern Strategy remains in effect, and someone else pointed out that we did this dance over and over during the Bubba Years.

So, no, at long last, no shame to be had.

@JNOVjr: Thank you for writing the Long Version for me. It really does feel like he inserted those remarks from somewhere else.

@Promnight: I thought they just make sure there are 140-729 hours in every day.

@nojo: No prob. I feel bad for tag-teaming Benedick, though. Especially since he was just trying to cut Stein a break. I’m totally behind the sentiment, but I don’t agree with the argument.

@Nabisco: Totally missed the ref, sorry to say. For the uninitiated, 2chan is actually the fully Japanese predecessor of 4chan. King Moot decided the English speaking “netizens” needed their own version of the image board, and the rest is history. I guess you could say that it’s everyone else who is turning Japanese. Oh, yes. I went there.

@JNOVjr: Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention about Shigeru Miyamoto: he’s also largely responsible for Pokemon. Two guys named Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori were the ones that came up with the idea for the games, but when they first pitched them to Nintendo, they were rejected. Thanks to Miyamoto, though, they finally got the OK. Not only that, but you know how there’s always two versions? Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, Ruby and Sapphire, etc., etc.? That was Miyamoto’s idea. More fun facts: the Japanese names for the protagonist (Ash Ketchum) and his rival (Gary Oak) are “Satoshi” and “Shigeru,” respectively.

@JNOVjr: I hear what you’re saying, and it’s quite obvious that I tend to have that knee-jerk thing going on. Please forgive me, but I’m also going to play the Age Card on you.

You are incredibly bright. You are incredibly insightful. You surprise the hell out of me on a daily basis, and I’m very, very proud of you.

But you gotta also pay attention to history — to the struggle people have been through. I see the distinction you’re trying to make between “Wee Man” and your Pimkin thing, but I’m not sure it holds water.

I would have preferred they use kids, because there isn’t the same type of stigma attached to being a kid as there is to being a little person or just being different in general. There’s something more going on, and really, if you don’t know the history of the shit these folks had to go through, your mind isn’t going to make the connection from the present to the past and realize that not a whole lot has changed.

I’ve done my best to protect you from racism, but I know you’ve seen it in fits and starts. Until this whole Adkisson Brigades bullsthit started, I bet you felt like you kind of lived in a race-neutral world. You see that’s not the case now, don’t you?

Do you know why I let you grow your first little fro and why you have locks? When you were about seven, we were at the pool and you asked, “Why does Tommy’s hair go flat when it’s wet, why does your hair go flat when it’s wet, and why doesn’t mine? And why is my hair so short?”

Okay. So, you were starting to notice differences at that age, and different doesn’t mean good or bad — it just means different. Totally value neutral. BUT you were expressing a concern that YOU WERE DIFFERENT, especially from me, and I didn’t want that to fuck you up.

So, I let you grow the fro that tuned into locks that are now halfway down your back, and they are beautiful. I don’t think you realize that you hair is also a political statement. So, yeah. You know what it’s like to be different now, but you don’t know what it’s like to grow up with overt racism. I didn’t want that for you.

So, imagine you’re less than 5 feet tall. Imagine what THAT life might be like. Imagine what type of job you might get — Hollywood calls.

I dunno, kid. Just think about it some, and if you still disagree, we’ll talk about it more. Challenging authority is a good thing. It makes me rethink my positions. And it makes me proud to see you do it. Even if we disagree.

@FlyingChainSaw: Apparently if you have two different thoughts within 6 minutes, you can double bill two clients for the same 0.1 hour. Given my adult ADHD gives me the attention span of a gnat and that I’ve always done my best working on five things at once (my best tips as a waitress were when I was quadruple seated and the 8-top wanted separate checks, etc., etc.) I thrive on that shit. If I worked at a law firm, I’d make my 2,500 hours a year minimum billing requirement in three months by billing 0.1 hour 15 times over for the 10:12 am to 10:18 am window span. Oh, and I’d probably toast a bagel and take a leak in that six minute window. I’m not bragging, that’s just how the law firms want to bill – if you have a passing thought on a client matter while taking a shit, you should bill the client.

Thank the FSM I don’t work at a law firm. Thankfully for me and for them, because I’d probably bill a month’s worth of time for one morning of my ADHD. .1, .1, .1, .1, .1 at a time.

@SanFranLefty: I used to bill for time I spent sitting on the toilet if I was thinking about an issue.

@JNOV: Us gummint lawyers are mostly spared the time counting shit. We substitute mind numbing bureaucratic process. Still, I count myself lucky.

I have seen private attorneys in a meeting about Case 1, on a Crackberry about Case 2, taking a cell phone call about Case 3; then, upon coming up for air, bragging about triple billing.

@JNOV: It’s bedtime, darling. You and Jr. are staying up too late these days. Nighty-night.

@JNOV: Challenging authority is a good thing. It makes me rethink my positions. And it makes me proud to see you do it. Even if we disagree.
I love disagreeing with people, because I feel that it helps me understand them better. I think that’s the reason I’m so argumentative.

But you gotta also pay attention to history — to the struggle people have been through.
I certainly agree, and I think that’s a great point, but at the same time, I think that if you always look at things through that lens, you start to see bigotry where it may not necessarily be. And I’m not talking about the people who say, “I’m not a racist, but…” and think that means they’re allowed to say whatever fucked up shit they like. I mean in the cases where someone with a disability, or of a non-white skin color, or of a non-Christian religion does something that is genuinely funny and would still be funny if they were the perfect Aryan stereotype.

I know South Park likes to fly off the handle with their preachy bullshit, but this whole thing makes me think of Timmy. Yeah, sure, in the context of South Park as a show, Timmy’s role is basically “he’s crippled and that’s ‘different,’ therefore, he is funny,” but if you think about it in the context of the setting in which the show takes place, it makes a lot of sense. Throughout the whole episode, Timmy’s just doing his thing, having a good time. Then, other people befriend him and start having a good time, too. Eventually, though, someone else comes by, sees the other people laughing and smiling, and then assumes that they must be laughing at Timmy because he’s crippled.

This brings me to another point:
I would have preferred they use kids, because there isn’t the same type of stigma attached to being a kid as there is to being a little person or just being different in general.
Only problem with that is that it makes it even harder for the little people to get a job in the acting world. After a certain point, striving to be politically correct starts to backfire and works to the detriment of the person you’re trying to protect. The problem isn’t just the stigma associated with being a little person (I really wish I knew a better term, because that sounds just as demeaning as “midget,” and “dwarf” just makes them sound like some kind of mythical creature), but also the fact that they are constantly viewed as people with handicaps that need to be protected. By acknowledging the difference and focusing on it, you can end up tipping the scale too far in the opposite direction.

Until this whole Adkisson Brigades bullsthit started, I bet you felt like you kind lived in a race-neutral world.
Not really. Like you said, I’d seen it before. Do you remember when Jimmy DeCarlo called me “blackie”? I do. It didn’t scar me for life or anything, but it’s served as a reminder that racism still exists.

I don’t think you realize that you hair is also a political statement.
How could I not? You tell me every chance you get :P

In summation: I don’t think you’re wrong to question the commercial (don’t just challenge authority; challenge everything), but I think that we need to keep the notion of mitigation in mind, because nothing is absolute.

@Walking Still: All this talk of lawyers makes me think of Birdman. Whooo’s the man in the suuuuuit? Whoooo’s that cat with the beaaaaak?

@JNOVjr: Dude. I’m kinda drunk, and Lefty has told us to go to bed.

I can’t go point by point down the line, but I’ll leave you with a few thoughts.

Little People chose that name for themselves because they didn’t want to be called midgets or dwarves. Look at the language. “People” is the operative word. It reminds us that they’re people who just happen to be little.

Yes, it’s great when people get work in their chosen profession, BUT, if your choices are LIMITED because of some sort of genetic difference, it really isn’t a choice. Back in the day, Filipino members of the USN could only be cooks or corpsmen. Blacks could only be cooks. Those rules had changed when I was in, but the institutional racism remained. Most Filipinos were cooks or corpsmen.

Ugh. Headache. I understand what you’re saying, and I’ll think about it a lot, but I think you’re looking at the world we’d like to live in rather than the world in which we live. And that’s fine. (Sorry) but you are kinda young still, and I’m looking forward to you having these wonderful experiences outside the confines of my “control.” No, I’ve never thought I could control you. Influence you? Yes. Control you? No.

And I don’t want to burst your bubble — we are looking at life through different lenses because we are different people, even though we’re very similar in many ways. ::sigh:: I want you to create the world in which you want to live, but I also want you to see the world as it is. Make sense?

Drunkface loves you. Drunkface thinks the most important thing to keep in mind is that as much as we know, there’s so much more that we don’t, and learning is one of the beauties of life. And changing your mind is cool, but that comes from experience and exposure to stuff that, quite frankly, Honey, you haven’t had yet.

But you will. And maybe you’ll be more firm in your convictions or maybe your world will turn upside down. That’s cool, too.

Still not on the same page with you on this one, but I’m glad we’re talking. :-* I’m coming to drunken flurrble you! Beware!

@JNOVjr: I guess there’s more…

Yes, I remember when Jimmy called you “Blackie,” and I remember how your friends reacted — they rallied around you and made Jimmy know in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that his behavior WAS NOT COOL. That’s one of the things that kept me from going apeshit on his parents, cuz you know I’m like that.

And when I saw Jimmy’s dad humiliate him at the pool, my heart broke for that kid. I wasn’t cool with how he treated you, but I sensed that things at home weren’t so great for him. I’m not making excuses for his behavior; his behavior was unacceptable. BUT I understood that he had his own ration of shit to deal with, and it made me less aggro w/r/t how he treated you.

You know how I react to people who fuck you over. You know that even though I’ve never been in a fight in my life, I’d kick someone’s ass for you, ANYONE’S ass for you if I thought it would benefit you in some way. You know this.

But also know that people threw bricks at your granddad when he tried to go to school. Know that he and his brother were separated in a Texas restaurant because they thought Granddad was white and your great uncle was black, and your G Uncle was forced to eat in the kitchen because he was black. Your GDad feels guilt over that to this day — that he didn’t go into the kitchen with his brother — that he passed.

Honey, THIS is YOUR history — maybe not your personal history, but your grandmom’s father was threatened with lynching because he married a white woman.

These things didn’t happen to me. These thing didn’t happen to you, but they affect us. We’re connected to these people, and their experiences are part of who we are.

I dunno. Don’t mean to ramble, and I’m not trying to minimize the shock and hurt you felt when Jimmy called you that name. BUT I still tried to shield you. When people treated you badly for WHATEVER reason, I got in their faces and told them it wasn’t cool.

So, when you see these little people, think about getting in the faces of people who fuck THEM over. Do you see what I’m getting at? The details might be different, but the feelings are the same.

@JNOV: Little People chose that name for themselves because they didn’t want to be called midgets or dwarves. Look at the language. “People” is the operative word. It reminds us that they’re people who just happen to be little.
I guess the problem is that, because the qualifier has to do with size, that gives it a different connotation, in my mind. I think “little” and I associate that with “less,” which is typically negative in terms of both quality and quantity. The same is not true of calling someone an “Indian person” or a “brown person.”

Yes, it’s great when people get work in their chosen profession, BUT, if your choices are LIMITED because of some sort of genetic difference, it really isn’t a choice.
That is what we call a “Hobson’s choice.” Wikipedia is fun.

I want you to create the world in which you want to live, but I also want you to see the world as it is.
Well, that’s what I’m doing. Whether the commercial (or anything, really) is offensive or not is largely subjective. This whole conversation has been about perception (and maybe a little bit about intention). As such, the only way we can move past the stigma of being a little person in America is to get everyone to start viewing and treating said people just like everyone else. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, with some things, you need to start living in the world you envision first, and let everything else follow.

Okay, I’m tired and rambling. I think Lefty had the right idea. time for bed.


That is what we call a “Hobson’s choice.” Wikipedia is fun.

Seriously. If you ever tell me that you don’t think you’re smart — if you ever shrug your shoulders and act like you’re dumb, I’m seriously flurrbling you in front of ALL YOUR FRIENDS! You hear me? I WILL FLURRBLE YOU! PUBLICLY! I’m coming to say good night. :-*

I have a Dilbert strip taped to my inbox. Catbert the HR director is asking the pointy-haired boss “do you want to lay off the highly skilled, whiny jerk who is toxic to the workplace, or the pleasant but incompetent guy who will lead us to ruination?” Catbert further notes “this got harder after we fired all of the unskilled whiny jerks.” Pointy-haired boss responds by asking “which one is uglier?”

@FlyingChainSaw: ::squints – the light — it burns!::

No, a flurrble is when you put your mouth on usually you kid’s belly and blow air really fast. It sound like a fart, and it tickles a lot.

I flurrble his arm now — him being all growed up and stuff.

@JNOVjr: It doesn’t matter what you think of the name they’ve given themselves — not your choice. BUT it’s your decision to decide whether you want to respect their choice about something very personal (identity) and to refer to them as they would like you to…

Okay — that makes no sense. It’s good you’re thinking about whether the name makes sense, BUT you also have to realize that this is kind of a “group label” they chose for themselves in response to OTHERS labeling them. So then YOU gotta decide if you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea to HONOR how someone chooses to identify.

er. water. banana bag. ugh.

@Prommie: I have a Dilbert strip taped to my inbox. I nearly had a “from the peeps of the US of A” sticker affixed to my butt, on a dare, but I think that wasn’t your point.

@JNOV: Kharma is a bitch, Doc. Hydrate, QED.

Funny Nabisco rejoinder at last night’s dinner party?

Boss: “What is the biggest transmitter in the world?”

Nabisco: “HIV/AIDS?”

Not accurate, but it came out so fast that everyone laughed before there was a chance to go all Science-y on me.

BTW, why has this fooking dog been following me around all day?

@Prommie: Oh, hey. You’re right caffeine is good for most headaches (Excedrin has caffeine in it), it’s just not good for hangovers cuz of the dehydration, but yeah — you’re right about the other stuff. and now I’m about to drink some coffee… ;-)

@Nabisco: Ahem. Study up on the diff types of karma while you’re out there. Instant Karma — great album, dumb concept. Sort of. I’ve got thoughts on that.

Coffee and cigarette lure me with their siren song…maybe when I can see with both eyes open. Searching for sunglasses now.





@Prommie: This is hanging on the wall of my office.

@Nabisco: BWHAHAHAHAHAHA! Maybe if yoo didn’t try to fook her with yoor foot she woodnt be foooloowing yooo arooooond.


Fucking LANDSCAPERS! If they’re gonna make such a fooking racket, they could at least be shirtless. ZOMG! and my neighbor just rolled up on his brand new hog! Gorge but I’m fucking hungover PEOPLE!

Seriously? The garbage doods, too?

I’m about to go set off the smoke detector in jr’s room. He burned toast a fucking 4:30 AM. Yeah, it was last week or whatever but Fair is fair.. How do you fucking burn toast anyway?

@JNOV: Ah, this sounds like a Torsophone concerto. Flurrble must be the PA analog to this noble instrument.

@Nabisco: Ahhhh! Video wouldn’t load on my phone. Nice. ::smiling:: I just guessed about the Instant Karma thing. Vulcan mind meld and shit.

@FlyingChainSaw: Heh. Yeah. I think I picked the word up from the (LOLBILLCOSBYISASELFRIGHTEOUSPRICK) show. So, yeah — there’s another Philly connection.

@FlyingChainSaw: Flurrble must be the IPA analog to this noble instrument.

Following JNOV on these pages all these years, I believe that is fixed.


I nearly had a “from the peeps of the US of A” sticker affixed to my butt, on a dare…

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades…

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