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Nice posts, but extremely aggravating titles.
February 12, 2003 2:12 AM   Subscribe

Nice posts, but extremely aggravating titles.
posted by hama7 to Bugs at 2:12 AM (94 comments total)

They were probably just meant to be funny, but they're not.
posted by hama7 at 2:13 AM on February 12, 2003


ewwww. absolutely. (i didn't understand at first, but look at the browser title bar).
posted by andrew cooke at 2:57 AM on February 12, 2003


That's not very nice, jonson.

I am so restraining myself from suggesting your punishment.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:20 AM on February 12, 2003


(incidentally, wolfdaddy, your profile page is priceless)
posted by hama7 at 3:27 AM on February 12, 2003


*looks at the title bars, finally gets what this thread is about, laughs out loud*

Not to, like, condone making fun of generic Asian accents or anything, of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 AM on February 12, 2003


Heheh.
posted by mischief at 4:18 AM on February 12, 2003


hama7, did you look at jonson's profile page? I think you have a fan.

Why can I see some title bars but not these?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:19 AM on February 12, 2003


Hee.
posted by padraigin at 4:31 AM on February 12, 2003


Oh God, did I say that out loud?
posted by padraigin at 4:32 AM on February 12, 2003


didn't jonson (after the first post) say "I already sent Matt a note and asked him to delete the title tag, it was (in my head) a parody of racist cliches, but in print, it's just flat out stupid, and racist."

I don't care either way, i thought it was fairly funny, just curious as to why he went ahead and did it a second time. (which i still found funny, damn you)
posted by kev23f at 4:57 AM on February 12, 2003


Why can I see some title bars but not these?

ok, I found them, kept forgetting to mouse-over the task bar not just the text.

On preview, kev23f, same thought.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:01 AM on February 12, 2003


so, is engrish.com a caucasian plot to hold asians up to ridicule too? it's so nice to know hama7 cruises old posts to find things to meta about. "rit's a rousy rob rut romeones rotta roo rit."
brought to you by the scooby doo anti-defamation league
posted by quonsar at 5:33 AM on February 12, 2003


it boggles my mind to think people who live in browsers most of the day don't know the location of a window's title bar and think they have to mouseover something. look up! look up!
posted by quonsar at 5:35 AM on February 12, 2003


Funny you should say that, quonsar, as MeFi titles don't work in Mac/Opera if you're using a nightly SQL-based build and random access XML for your feeds. And, yes, I have deleted all my cookies and e-mailed Mena. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:40 AM on February 12, 2003


ok, i'll be helpful instead of smug (what a concept!)

title bar: the topmost part of a window, the part that has the sizing controls (minimize, maximize, close). the title of a page appears here, and is determined by the contents of the <title> tag in the <head> section of the source.
<title>
look up here!
</title>

link title: that which appears when one hovers over a link. this is controlled by the title= attribute of the <a> (anchor) tag which makes links.
<a href="http://address.of.page/" title="hover to see me!">link text - what you click on</a>

on preview: this info probably only consistently applies to IE. until they change it.
posted by quonsar at 5:45 AM on February 12, 2003


Could someone pass hama7 a slice of life please? I mean come on, those were funny, if completely unoriginal and stereotypical. Sheesh, lighten up willya?
posted by dg at 5:47 AM on February 12, 2003


I thoroughly dislike the ridicule of "engrish", and find it insulting, chauvinist, and condescending.

I love "konglish" (Korean English) and "japlish" (Japanese English) because people whose first language is not English can make fascinating, imaginative, and funny uses and associations of the English language and apply it to their own non-English speaking culture, and it's not English at all.

Ignorant stereotypes are a horse of a different color. At least get the syllables right.
posted by hama7 at 5:58 AM on February 12, 2003


Jesus Christ jonson, how many times do I have to tell you the Japanese would never say "carve" - they would say something more like ka-ru-fu.
posted by vito90 at 6:13 AM on February 12, 2003


MetaTalk: Jesus Christ jonson
posted by rocketman at 6:45 AM on February 12, 2003


DING DANG DONG!!!!!!
posted by Stan Chin at 6:45 AM on February 12, 2003


Ding Dang Dong was the name of a Korean Noraebang (Karaoke) place around the corner from where I used to live in Sydney, 'Stralia. No, really.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2003


Let me see if I get that right: since it's "funny" to insult asians, then from now on I can liberally use stereotypes and racist allusions whenever I mention blacks (niggers), caucasians (crackers), jews (kikes), hispanics (melon farmers) etc etc?
Shaquille O'Neal was harshly criticized for much less than that. Just as an aside note, even the ogrish.com message board has forbidden racist remarks of any kind.
posted by 111 at 7:30 AM on February 12, 2003


Well 111, you are bringing up a good point. However there is a distinction to be made between making a racial slur like in your example and making fun of the way a person speaks a foreign language. And there is some acceptance of mocking other's dialect, whether it's Ebonics, Japanese Engrish, or Valley Girl.
posted by vito90 at 7:39 AM on February 12, 2003


The only thing more irritating than racist jokes is someone who tells me to "lighten up" about it. I have a great sense of humor. Racism isn't funny.
posted by frykitty at 7:44 AM on February 12, 2003


Shame, shame on jonson. Bad jonson. Actually, I really honestly did email Matt and ask him to kill the first title, but then when the second Japanese post came up, I don't know what came over me. The opportunity to post a continuity gag across multiple FPPs in the title tag overcame my fear that thousands of strangers would condemn me as racist based on HTML Title Tags. Racism isn't words, people, it's intent. Text on a screen is a difficult medium for conveying subtleties, and I'm sure it wouldn't matter if I told you all the I live on the Pacific coast, and several of my friends and co-workers are Asian, etc, etc.

So, in short, no harm was meant, I apologize to those that think I'm wicked, as I really don't intend to be so.
posted by jonson at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2003


Just a joke, like that time I put pee-pee in jonson's coke.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:17 AM on February 12, 2003


" Racism isn't words, people, it's intent."

Exactly. Just because words are poking fun at someone's race doesn't mean anything. And jokes involving race are especially not racist.

"several of my friends and co- workers are Asian"

[blink blink]

"I apologize to those that think I'm wicked"

I don't think wicked is the adjective I'd use.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:53 AM on February 12, 2003


There's no such thing as race.

Hispanics - not a race. Jews -not a race (though I did bubble the "other" column in the 2000 US census and write "Jewish," but that's a story for another day). Blacks - not a race.

Making fun of accents is making fun of groups of people. Making fun of US "suth'ners" or valley girls or any other group might be mean and it might be stereotypical. But it's not racism.
posted by zpousman at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2003


I'm sure it wouldn't matter if I told you all the I live on the Pacific coast, and several of my friends and co-workers are Asian, etc, etc.

No, it wouldn't, that would mean you should know better. I live in DC and have many african american friends, hell I even took a black girl to my prom, does that mean I have Carte Blanche to say whatever stereotyping statements I want about black people because "some of my best friends are black."

Racism isn't words, people, it's intent.

Your intent was to be humorous at another's expense, not a specific person's expense, but rather a group of people who you stereotyped. Pointing out a racial, ethnic or cultural stereotype for ridicule is bigotry. Sometimes words are used to convey a racist meaning. By using words to tease Asian people for not being "fortunate" enough to have had English as a first language, your words have conveyed a racist intent.

Here's what really gets me though: Actually, I really honestly did email Matt and ask him to kill the first title

That means you saw your error the first time, so you obviously knew it was wrong, so your intent on the second round could be nothing but malice. If racism is something you have no intention of expressing, I would think long and hard about what sort of message you are sending by making statements like the ones in your titles. Its all fun and games until somebody gets an eye put out. Remember this simple rule: Bends=Funny; Breaks=Not Funny
posted by Pollomacho at 9:26 AM on February 12, 2003


Would it help if I told you I owned a pair of Chinese pugs? C'mon people, I love the yellow man!
posted by jonson at 9:29 AM on February 12, 2003


Do we all get to spank our jonson now?

Yeah, that was restraint you just saw flying past...
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:40 AM on February 12, 2003


Okay jonson, that last bit was funny. But I agree with Pollomacho in a milder sense. You knew it was a bad idea the first time, but you did it again. Consider yourself spanked.
posted by ungratefulninja at 10:00 AM on February 12, 2003


Racism isn't funny.
nor is obsessive PC'ness. sameness isn't funny. difference is. try not to choke on your outrage.

Making fun of US "suth'ners" or valley girls or any other group might be mean and it might be stereotypical. But it's not racism.
fo shizzle.
posted by quonsar at 10:25 AM on February 12, 2003


C'mon people, I love the yellow man!

[ceases spanking, looks around for bat]
posted by lazaruslong at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2003


Funny to one, clever to a few, annoying to many? Think three times before that thing is emblazoned on the masthead of Metafilter.

Spanking our jonson being the exception which makes the rule, of course.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2003


I'm assuming that "obsessive PCness" was supposed to be aimed at people that wrote in admonishing jonson's comments, like me. Obviously someone got their toes trod upon by jonson's racial stereotype based humor. I don't think that watching who you may be offending in your very public statements is "obsessive" nor is it even "PC" its just a civil and nice thing to do. It may sound like I'm choking on my outrage to you, but I'd just not prefer MeFi to be the kind of place where someone can drop some insensitive statements and not get called out for it. The posts were actually interesting, even somewhat humorous and brought diversity to the site, but the titles were unnecessary and they hurt at least one person's feelings, that's just not good manners. Like I said: Bends=Funny; Breaks=Not Funny. Some times things can be taken a step too far. I don't think jonson is wicked, I just think his comments were a little over the line and they hurt someone, that's not cool, if he's sorry, he apologizes and learns his lesson, then hey, we're all the better for learning where the line is drawn. If he (or anyone else) does it a third time, then we know we've got a real problem, no?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:15 AM on February 12, 2003


...but rather a group of people who you stereotyped.

Uhmmm... no. Asians who can't speak perfect english SOUND LIKE THAT. It's not a stereotype just because you think it's somehow mean. It's a fucking fact. I'm tired of listening to some of you people constantly hiding TRUTHS behind terms like racism and sterotypes. Your awareness level is off the friggin' chart to the point where you aren't making sense anymore.

Guess what. Indians (as in, those people from India) who can't speak perfect english with the "proper" accent" ALL SOUNDS THE SAME TOO. How is that a stereotype? It's a goddamn fact. I can't make fun of that for some reason. Bullshit.

It's ok to make fun of lawyers, but not Jews or blacks, whites or Koreans. Gimme a break. This crap is so tiresome and old.

I guess blonde jokes out too?
posted by Witty at 11:15 AM on February 12, 2003


I guess blonde jokes out too?

I can maybe see what you're saying before that, but you seriously feel there's an inherent truth of some kind behind blonde jokes?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:23 AM on February 12, 2003


Um, witty, um.

Ster e o type - n.

1. A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.

2.One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.


How about this, why don't we just not make "humor" at the expense of what we think is a "fucking fact" about a large group or race of people that are things beyond their ability or control. Most people here, I would think, are bright enough to know where the line between offcolor remark and teasing jest is. If you want to stay civil and not hurt people's feelings, you don't make rude comments, if you don't care then you're just an asshole and that's that. I don't think jonson is an asshole, he apparently never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, so I think he understands that its not really OK to ridicule anyone for how they talk, or the color of their skin, or whatever they aren't able to help, its just rude. Chill out a little and try to control the knee jerk reaction you will realize that this is what I'm saying and not some "PC" crusade against all humor, maybe some of this will make some sense to you.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2003


Witty: Is the difference that people choose to be a lawyer? (Except that tribe of lawyers in DC that use baby-stealing to bring in new blood.)

Stereotyping is always an attempt to distill a complex person down to a level that allows you to feel superior.

Generally, those who make fun of accents are trying to demean. Why else would you ridicule someone else for something they can't help?

(on preview: this is in addition to agreeing with Pollomacho's remarks.)
posted by ?! at 11:43 AM on February 12, 2003


PinkStainlessTail: Ok, I see your point. It was a poor example. This kind of nitpicking is relentless (not you, but the topic of the thread itself). Making fun of the way a group of people mispronounce words of another language is NOT racism. It does not mean that the joker thinks the people are somehow a lesser being and should die a violent death because of it. The joke wouldn't exist if it weren't true.

Is it super-duper funny? No. And that's why an entire standup comedian act based on that joke wouldn't be a good idea. But a teeny title in an obscure place of one webpage on the whole internet is perfect for that kind of joke.

I wonder if I fit into any stereotypes when it comes to my japanese pronounciation. I bet I do.
posted by Witty at 11:46 AM on February 12, 2003


Jonson - I am laughing so hard right now I can barely contain myself... If they only knew...
posted by widdershins at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2003


I don't think jonson is an asshole, he apparently never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, so I think he understands that its not really OK to ridicule anyone for how they talk, or the color of their skin, or whatever they aren't able to help, its just rude.

Then why are we here?

Stereotyping is always an attempt to distill a complex person down to a level that allows you to feel superior.

It is? Not according the definition provided by Pollomacho. You've just come to THINK that it is.

Generally, those who make fun of accents are trying to demean. Why else would you ridicule someone else for something they can't help?

Really? That's absurd. There isn't a comedy routine out there that doesn't have some kind of accent driven joke in it.

Is the difference that people choose to be a lawyer?

So what? What difference does it make that Asian, or whoever, don't get to choose? They still can't say "little" properly. And I can't get that rolling 'R 'in spanish to save my life... me and most english speaking people for that matter.

"They don't get to choose to be Asian or not"

Give me a break. So let's feel sorry for them instead.
posted by Witty at 11:56 AM on February 12, 2003


Johnson you said you live in Cali, and you have Asian friends.

I will say this as I grew up in So. Cal. All the slurs, jokes or just plain rude comments were taught to me by my many-different-Asian firends about each other. You have large Asian communties throught out So. Cal. and the young ones will try to seperate themselves by making remarks to make you laugh...I can go on.

So he may not have known he is offending when he is just joking around like how he see's it in an prominent Asian community. Again his west coast excuse threw me until I recalled how folks talk about each other in gerneral. In college my classes were 65%+ Asian if not higher.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:21 PM on February 12, 2003


So let's feel sorry for them instead.

You're missing the point, you don't have to feel sorry for them, (for what anyway?) you just don't make fun of them for talking a little differently or having a different appearance or religion or food or whatever.

Then why are we here?

We're here because people keep defending those kinds of actions.

There isn't a comedy routine out there that doesn't have some kind of accent driven joke in it.

So that justifies it then? They also call women bitches and hos in a lot of rap songs too, so I guess that means women don't mind it when I call them that to their face? Which leads to:

And I can't get that rolling 'R 'in spanish to save my life... me and most english speaking people for that matter.

So that makes it OK for a Latino website to post ridiculing comments about Anglos? Not ALL English speaking people have those problems when speaking Spanish, not even most, its a stereotype, just like what you think is a "fact" about ALL Asians having the same problems with English. Yes, sometimes people fuck up when they are learning a new language, sometimes its humorous, great laugh with them, but lumping them into a group and saying ALL the X people do Y and making jokes about it is not justified because its common, its just rude, particularly when you are in a public forum that has many people of that group that could take offense. Apparently that is hard to grasp for some people.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2003


PS, I make no excuses but what do you do when in Rome?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2003


Funny: Margaret Cho doing an extremely spot-on impersonation of her mother, who does "talk like that" when speaking English.

Not Funny: thinking and proselytizing that all Koreans are somehow lesser or inferior because they speak Engrish or have epicanthic folds or ... whatever makes Koreans different from you.

The distinction isn't that hard to make, jonson's obviously capable of making it, he's been mildly rebuked for not exercising a little discretion, and I think everyone's getting a little bunched up over this.

Aside: I embrace the pejorative. This doesn't mean all homosexuals do. There's nothing wrong with this dichotomy. Move along.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:27 PM on February 12, 2003


Bends=Funny; Breaks=Not Funny

So if I tell you to get bent, that would be pretty funny.
posted by rocketman at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2003


Okay people, break it up.
posted by yhbc at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2003


just like what you think is a "fact" about ALL Asians having the same problems with English.

See... you're twisting my words. I didn't say that ALL Asians have problems with english. But the ones that do (which are the ones that we're talking about) have the same problem with it. It is also safe to say that the majority of Asians have those problems with english... as do most Americans (or English speaking people) have similar problems with whatever other language in question.

So that makes it OK for a Latino website to post ridiculing comments about Anglos?

What you call ridicule, I call harmless jokes. I wouldn't be offended by such a website, because I wouldn't even understand it. Engrish.com isn't offensive to the Asians it targets. How can it be? They didn't know english well enough to make a correct english sign, how would they understand what was funny about posting a picture of it?

Maybe I'm the only one who knows how to take a joke I guess. If you think hearing a joke about Koreans speaking engrish is an attempt to make them lesser or inferior, then that's your problem. I think it's about making fun of how they mispronounce an english word, nothing more. To me, that harmless. If it somehow caused others to rise up and blindly start murdering Koreans, then I would say it is harmful. But it doesn't.

What about people who LOOK like me, but talk differently? Say, people from Boston, Texas, or London? Can I make fun of those accents? Can Japanese-Americans make fun of Vietnamese-Americans accents?
posted by Witty at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2003


Next thing you'll tell me is that all black people don't talk like Snoop Dogg and find Russel Simmons' Def Comedy Jam absolutely "snap snap" hilarious.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:55 PM on February 12, 2003


Okay people, break it up.

Why commish, do I detect an accent of authority?;P
posted by thomcatspike at 1:01 PM on February 12, 2003


zpousman had the right idea, and everyone pretty much ignored it in their rush to declare something racist.

Next time anyone here does a fake French accent, or a fake German accent, or a fake Scottish brogue, or even just says "y'all", I want everybody to jump on them for cultural insensitivity and/or racism, ok?

Because acknowledging that people who are native speakers of a particular language or regional dialect make predictable pronounciation errors when attempting Standard American English is fucking RACIST! It's the same thing as saying they're stupid! Really, it is!
posted by Hildago at 1:03 PM on February 12, 2003


Do those of who are upset by what jonson typed also hate Apu Nahasapeemapetilan and the fact that he owns a Qwik-E-Mart?
posted by vito90 at 1:16 PM on February 12, 2003


pollomacho: chill. the obsessive PC'ness was under a direct quote from frykitty. it was a counter to her remark. you might have noted that had you been less poised for attack.

difference is to be celebrated. cherished. in difference lies a rich, fertile vein of humor. the ultimate in political correctness would be to gouge your eyes out (lest you distinguish skin tone), destroy your eardrums (lest you detect accent) and annihilate all traces of your genitalia (lest those pesky hormones attract you unfairly to one or the other gender.)
posted by quonsar at 1:23 PM on February 12, 2003


Asians who can't speak perfect english SOUND LIKE THAT.

Indians (as in, those people from India) who can't speak perfect english with the "proper" accent" ALL SOUNDS THE SAME TOO.

It is also safe to say that the majority of Asians have those problems with english... as do most Americans (or English speaking people) have similar problems with whatever other language in question.


Sorry, wasn't trying to "twist your words." A stereotype is a stereotype is a stereotype, they are all equally ignorant.

They didn't know english well enough to make a correct english sign, how would they understand what was funny about posting a picture of it?

So I guess that its OK to make fun of a retarded person because they don't know they are being made fun of? The site that jonson linked was written by Japanese people, I don't recall the word "rook" being used on those sites. The titles and the engrish.com sites and so forth may not bother those that can't understand them, but they do bother those that can.

Look, I'm sick of being bated into making statements so you can call me out as some sort of PC language cop. Jonson's titles hurt someone's feelings, as do the "engrish" sites, that automatically puts them out of the category of "harmless" Someone was harmed. It doesn't matter who made the comments (even if they do or don't look alike), that they didn't mean to hurt someone, they just did. I'm sure hama is not sobbing into his pillow right now, I'm sure jonson is sorry that he made a silly mistake and he'll think carefully about making comments like that in the future, life goes on. I can take a joke, I like jokes, I don't even mind light hearted ribbing at my expense (yes rocketman, it would be funny) but I find it VERY rude when people just make assumptions about other people based on what group they lump them into, whether that's a religion (i.e. all Muslims support terrorism), or an ethnic group (i.e. all Asians that learn English make the same mistakes and sound the same way) or whatever (i.e. all southerners are stupid, all Jews are greedy, all black people are good athletes, all liberals hate America, all Republicans hate the poor, you know the drill), those are stereotypes. Stereotypes lead to prejudice because when you believe in a stereotype you make judgements based on that group (i.e. we could never have a Korean immigrant as a receptionist, she'd never be able to answer the phone). Makeing jokes based on stereotypes perpetuates and reinforces those stereotypes. Not only that its just not very nice to make fun of people for some stereotype, you want to keep doing it, great, that's fine, but expect me to call you a jerk for doing it, you don't mean to hurt people, great, then there's something you can work on. Tease people, celebrate the things that make us different, but just don't ridicule people for stereotypes.

By the way, why does an accent indicate a value judgement? An accent is very different than making fun of someone's ignorance of a proper way of speaking. "Y'all"=bends, "shore got a pretty mouth, ain't he?"=breaks.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:46 PM on February 12, 2003


What about people who LOOK like me, but talk differently? Say, people from Boston, Texas, or London? Can I make fun of those accents? Can Japanese-Americans make fun of Vietnamese-Americans accents?
Yes, you can. Why would you not be able to? They will make fun of you every chance they get and it is no different to making fun of bald people, blondes, etc. Some people here need to get some of their PC gland removed before it chokes them. It was a JOKE, it did not demean anyone either in particular or in general. I deal with Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese people every day at work and we joke together about their pronunciation as they laugh hilariously at my attempts to pronounce words in their language. It is JOKING, get it? No-one got hurt and the only Asian that I am aware of who is commenting in this thread is saying the same thing.

Also, what quonsar said.
posted by dg at 1:56 PM on February 12, 2003


all black people are good athletes

How come you picked a basically positive sterotype for Blacks? Is that white guilt? Next thing you know you're gonna be saying all the Black men have huge dongs, too.
posted by vito90 at 2:02 PM on February 12, 2003


excuses but what do you do when in Rome?

I go see my Roman friends, and try to eat at least once during my stay at Da Fortunato, right in front of the Pantheon
posted by matteo at 2:08 PM on February 12, 2003


Pollomacho: {swear to god, this is my last post on this}

Stereotypes, without any basis whatsoever, I would agree are ignorant... ignorant in it's true definition. Not ignorant in the often used insult, meaning "fucking stupid". Although, I guess that would apply as well.

However, there is no stereotype in saying that Chinese people who do NOT have a firm grasp on the proper pronounciation of english words (read: not ALL Chinese people) do INDEED share the exact same problems with the language.

I'm not a linguist. But I'm pretty sure that the reason they ALL (read: the Chinese people who CAN'T pronounce some english words correctly) have a problem pronoucing the letter L is because they don't have that same sound (or whatever you call it) in their own native tongue. Therefore, without the lifetime of practice, they find it difficult to pull it off without error.

This isn't a stereotype, it's fact. The same goes for Indians, Hispanics,etc.... although the problems are usually different and unique to that group. The results of which are often funny. I'm sorry that some people are wound up so friggin' tight that they can't handle it.

I'm off to watch Jamie Foxx make fun of white people. That shit is funny yo! Peace~
posted by Witty at 2:12 PM on February 12, 2003


I deal with Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese people every day at work and we joke together about their pronunciation as they laugh hilariously at my attempts to pronounce words in their language.

Note, they are not posting to a public forum saying that ALL Anglos make the same mistakes. You are in a select group, the line may be different in different contexts. Someone WAS bothered in this case and you are dealing with a much broader audience thus the line is set differently.

Is that white guilt?

[aside] Damn they're on to me! Better cover my tracks.

Please substitute the phrase "all black people sell crack" for "all black people are good athletes," thank you.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2003


A foreigner who quoted something wouldn't have it written phonetically. Writing "rook" instead of "look" is, even if unintentional, a throwback to a racial stereotype image of the buck-toothed "Ah so" asian cartoonish character by specifically indicating a stereotypical action when unnecessary. It's the verbal equivalent of giving the person who quoted it a triangular hat and wooden sandals.

I'm more annoyed that everyone's going out of their way to apply the "hey, let's respond to someone's complaint by writing EXACTLY what they're complaining about" paradigm... only this time, it's got the added zing of "racism is funny!" Whoopie.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:30 PM on February 12, 2003


This isn't a stereotype, it's fact

I'm not a linguist. But I'm pretty sure

These two statements summarize everything. It is NOT a fact, it is a STEREOTYPE you picked up on the street somewhere. One of the panda bears given to the US by China back in the 70's was named Ling-Ling, a pretty stupid name if you can't even pronounce it in your language, don't you think? Regardless, jonson's sites were about JAPANESE people, but it seems you to notice that, even though I talked about it a minute ago. It is somewhat true that Japanese doesn't distinguish between r and l sounds (any linguists or Japanese speakers want to back that statement up, I could be very wrong), so some times some Japanese speakers have trouble with those sounds until they get better at English, that is a far cry from "Asians who can't speak perfect english SOUND LIKE THAT." Statements like that are not based in fact but in perpetuated stereotypes, that's what makes them ignorant. Some people with speech impediments can't pronounce certain words in English, so let's be sure to make fun of them for that too.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:33 PM on February 12, 2003


metafilter : you can't even blink without offending some MF'er.
posted by crunchland at 2:37 PM on February 12, 2003


God, you people need to get a life....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2003


Japanese, Chinese... whatever. Same thing.
posted by Witty at 2:40 PM on February 12, 2003


God, you people need to get a life....

By having to express your disdain for an argument beneath you, I would suggest that for you as well. If you ain't helping to resolve this, why say anything, hhhmmmm?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:49 PM on February 12, 2003


Americans, French... whatever. Same thing.
posted by timeistight at 2:54 PM on February 12, 2003


got 'em
posted by Witty at 2:57 PM on February 12, 2003


Do we all at least agree that my pugs are adorable? C'mon people, in these divisive times, let's stand together. Lord knows I'm responsible for a great number of wicked things, and as pollomacho says, If I offended someone (and it appears I did), I'm probably sorry (I am). That wasn't my intent, and those who know me by more than just my title tags (say from #mefi, or from real life in widdershins case) would find this a little laughable. I mean no harm, and since I have caused harm, I apologize.
I will say this: It won't happen again, unless the JPAF (Jonson Personal Amusement Factor) is just through the roof. Then I make no guarantees. As should be clear to all by now, I'm easily amused.
posted by jonson at 3:17 PM on February 12, 2003


You could cut the righteous indignation with a knife right now. People taking offense on behalf of other people, the third-grade social studies lessons (racism is hurtful? shit, let me write that down Pollomacho), the pretense that if we let that if we let Jonson step out of line, pretty soon metafilter turns into the Jim Crow south.

Yeah, ok. As a fun game, let's pretend I'm a Kurdish woman. You tell me that I shouldn't speak in funny accents because it makes people cry, and I tell you about how I was raped in front of my children, and my 30 million fellow Kurds don't have a country. Then my friend the Rwandan refugee arrives by bicycle and we sing a song about genocide. We have a lot of fun, sure, but one thing we don't laugh about is how people in Japan speak English with an accent, because that's just a dirty, racist lie.
posted by Hildago at 3:31 PM on February 12, 2003


one thing we don't laugh about is how people in Japan speak English with an accent

Calling an ignorant stereotype "racist" is a mistake. The titles were not racist, but rather simply: sand-poundingly stupid.

The audacity and rudeness of introducing a Japanese website (written in English!!) with stupid, inane, inaccurate nonsense is astounding.

Is this how you'd introduce the site's creator to your friends?
posted by hama7 at 3:44 PM on February 12, 2003


hama7: jonson made a poor choice, and apologized. what should happen next? maybe we can teach him cultural sensitivity through forced ritualistic suicide? jeez.

Please substitute the phrase "all black people sell crack" for "all black people are good athletes," thank you.... way better out of context.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:19 PM on February 12, 2003


through forced ritualistic suicide?

I'm not sure how the Japanese pronounce that but I believe it's "hawi-kiwi"
posted by vito90 at 4:42 PM on February 12, 2003


Ah, the social minefield that is ethnic humor. I find Engrish.com funny. I find jonson's two titles offensive. Why? Is it because I found about Engrish.com from two Canadians of Korean descent? Is it because they show actual signs in actual places? Is it because jonson's titles are not so grounded in specific instances of language errors, but are a framing device that points a finger at the people carving pencils and making invisible cloaks and says, "Look! Those people are Japanese! They're not like us!" (which: a. is totally unnecessary and has nothing to do with the content of the links; b. assumes that "we" are all not Japanese; c. loses all ironic meaning in the cold, cruel world of text)? Maybe all three, I don't know.

What I do know is that jonson basically knows know that this isn't kosher (if he didn't before), but that he may find it funny to do it again if he thinks we won't all consider him a racist jerk. Of course, after this, I think it highly unlikely that we wouldn't, so my advice to jonson is: Just Say NO!
posted by skoosh at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2003


Well said skoosh.

Also maybe next time (oh, no) the tags [inside joke] could be added for more reason to question the very existence of the titles.

I know they're about RSS feeds or something, but who could possibly use the titles in the two posts above?
posted by hama7 at 4:59 PM on February 12, 2003


In China they might say, me love this thread LONG TIME!

vito90: For some reason I think it's called hari-kari. A Google search would confirm, but I'm lazy :-)
posted by wackybrit at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2003


wackbrit - you are exactly right, I was doing a little ethnic humor meself (say it the way I typed it with a pronounced American lisp and you'll see what I was trying to accomplish).

It's also known as seppuku, and if it was the only way angst-filled teens could kill themselves then I suspect you'd see a dramatic drop in the suicide rate.
posted by vito90 at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2003


Hairy kiwi?
posted by timeistight at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2003


Is this how you'd introduce the site's creator to your friends?

Of course not, because the title (the "controversial" part of it anyway) didn't actually refer to the site, but to another post Jonson got in trouble for prior to this.

... But then again, if someone introduced the site's creator to me that way, I sure as fuck wouldn't get pedantic about it and start lecturing the guy on how to be a responsible global villager. It's not a hate crime, for God's sake, and he's a grown-up, so if he wants to make marginally insensitive remarks, there's not really a lot anyone can do about it.

Do you think he should be kicked off the site? If not, then isn't this whole post just about being holier-than-thou and giving him a stern talking to?
posted by Hildago at 7:21 PM on February 12, 2003


hara-kiri. have a kiwi first, though.
posted by casarkos at 8:32 PM on February 12, 2003


So, what does a blonde wear to keep her ankles warm?
posted by mischief at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2003


Socks?
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:41 PM on February 12, 2003


Panties.

Disclaimer: No offence towards those of a blonde persuasion was intended by the above remark, nor towards anyone who happens to think that blondes are the smartest thing to roam the plant since it cooled. Please do not start another MeTa thread about this or I will be forced to commit Hairy Kiwi all over you :-)
posted by dg at 9:37 PM on February 12, 2003


Nuke-u-lar

Hahahahahaha.

Combusts. Burns in hell.
posted by The God Complex at 9:40 PM on February 12, 2003


Really...this became less about jonson's titles and more about Witty's defending a sense of "humor." Of course, in such an environment as Mefi someone threw out the buzzwords "politically correct" when people like Pollomacho and I didn't laugh along.

Why do I speak up when I hear or read statements like Wittys? I grew up in an area of the US where making fun of stereotypes on race was considered "good humor." I was told "It's true." They really are that ignorant....lazy....etc.

To quote Penn: "Bullshit." I couldn't care less about those making such comments. They've proved their ignorance. However, others who might be offended, but afraid or bullied into laughing, are part of the reason I don't pretend. The only way to change ignorance is to challenge it.

Witty, you are still stereotyping. I still don't find it funny. I doubt you'll ever agree with me. And, god knows, you could never lecture me on comedy with absurd comments such as: "There isn't a comedy routine out there that doesn't have some kind of accent driven joke in it."

As for the definition of stereotyping: "A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image"

Yes, that's what it is. I still believe people do it to feel superior.
posted by ?! at 6:50 AM on February 13, 2003


Huh. I did it because the juxtaposition of (in the case of the carvings) artisinal skill at a level I can't begin to comprehend with an outdated wildly politically incorrect stereotype struck me as shockingly funny. I think it's obvious from the tone of reverence for the work that I don't in any way feel superior to the people I linked to. Again, I'm easily amused, and title tags aren't the best medium for ironic juxtaposition .
posted by jonson at 7:08 AM on February 13, 2003


Let me just set the record strait here, I really don't give a fuck. I don't think that jonson's mistake was a mortal sin, or really even that big of a deal. I don't think that its going to lead to a resurgence of lynching. I don't think jonson is wicked, I don't think he's a jerk, I think he was trying to make a joke using ironic juxtaposition, somebody didn't get it and got hurt. I think we could have left it at that along time ago, but that's not the way things went here. What happened was that some people decided to have some fun at other's expense, and boy, you sure "got" me, because I called out some idiotic statements. I was continuously baited into defending my position that I found that his statements were insensitive. I don't know why someone would want to do that, it could be that its how some people get amusement or I suppose because some people wanted to feel superior by telling me I needed to "chill out" or "get a life" or call me some sort of PC reactionary because I don't like racism. Well, here's a little tip, yes, if you make asinine statements in a forum with however many thousand people reading it and being able to react, chances are one jackass out there is going to take your bait.

I'm not sure why I feel like I need to justify myself and my actions to the people on this site, after all I'm not even willing to put my e-mail out for your use, but I do (on preview it seems ?! was having a similar feeling). I grew up in the south. I had a lot of black friends growing up. I got tired as a kid of hearing my friends called "nigger." I got tired of people calling me a "nigger lover" because I had black friends and because I dated a beautiful, cool girl who happened to be black for a while (she was always black, I just dated her for a while). I got tired of people calling my black roommate in college and leaving him insulting, demeaning and even threatening messages on his phone (or to his face) because he lived with a white guy or hung out with white people (on a side note, the most insulting and threatening messages came from other black people). I lived in Mexico for a while. I became very good friends with many Mexicans, some of whom now work and live in some HORRIBLE conditions just to feed their families back home. I know a guy who built his family a beautiful house with his bare hands, at night because he had to work in the market selling herbs so he could afford food and one more bag of cement, to add a little more to the house. I got really tired of listening to people call Mexicans "lazy" or "dirty" or "spick." I get annoyed when people make fun of people of other races, tonicities, religions, disabilities or whatever (jonson's comments weren't even at this level). I get angry when people make racist, sexist, whatever, insulting statements. Is it because I think that people can't defend themselves? No. Is it because I feel sorry for them? No. Is it because I saw first hand how the words grate under your skin, no matter how thick it is, until you want to scream or fight or riot, but you can't because then you give in to the baiting and justify the suspicions and the anger, so you want to run away, but you can't do that because there is nowhere to run that's safe? Yeah, that's more like it. Call it "righteous indignation," tell me to "get a life," do whatever you want, I don't give a fuck, I don't know any of you (and I don't really care to if that is your attitude anyway) but this is something that I am very passionate about and I will not yield one inch on this issue to some idiot on the internet because they find it amusing to test me on it. Baiting me on this for amusement is frankly the kind of humor derived from torturing animals and I'm not going to be the one who's made to feel wrong because of your problems.

I think skoosh and xqu... pretty much summed up better than I did, anything I might have been trying to say. Now that I've vented, I'm not going to write more on this thread, so if you want to do anymore race baiting, you'll just have to find another patsy. I'm sure this comes as a great relief to most of you. Have a nice day.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:25 AM on February 13, 2003


Um, that's ethnicity, not tonicity, damn spell check!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:30 AM on February 13, 2003


Why is it that you feel so vicitmized in this thread? You (and others) are arguing your side and I (and others) are arguing our side. There's no baiting going on. We simply disagree.

(jonson's comments weren't even at this level)

Exactly... and that's the point. It doesn't even compare to your anecdote.

As for the definition of stereotyping: "A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image"

I don't dispute that. What I DO dispute is that a stereotype is ALWAYS wrong, is ALWAYS insulting, is ALWAYS racist, is ALWAYS based on untruths.

To use Pollomacho's example... "all Mexicans are lazy" is a potentially harmful stereotype (of which I've never heard of). To promote that would be wrong. It could directly affect whether a person could get a job, for example.

"Japanese people that can't speak perfect english have a hard time pronouncing look, more often than not". Where is the harm there?

Pitbulls are stereotypically aggressive dogs. Are they all? Of course not. Did someone just make that up? I doubt it. Is it completely false? No.

Perhaps jonson was doing an impression on an actual person he knows and y'all are just assuming he is using some kind of evil stereotype.
posted by Witty at 10:47 AM on February 13, 2003


"all Mexicans are lazy"
feh! you got any idea how much work it is to maintain a pickup truck?
posted by quonsar at 11:41 AM on February 13, 2003


Witty: As for the definition of stereotyping: "A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image"

"I don't dispute that. What I DO dispute is that a stereotype is ALWAYS wrong, is ALWAYS insulting, is ALWAYS racist, is ALWAYS based on untruths." (Witty)

Of course, no one argued that. I, for one, was being specific about your stereotype. Like, Pollomacho, I've grown weary of discussing this with you.

Check here for a better understanding of my response to your argument: biased sample; Hasty Generalization; and Straw Man. I'm sure you can fit those to the proper places in your comment above.

And, yes, I still believe people make the kind of stereotypes you made in an effort to feel superior.

jonson: I apologize for allowing my comments to drift from discussion of your title tags to Witty's remarks. Like most Mefi comments this one drifted from the original intent to a general discussion. And I helped. It is so easy to do.

Pollomacho: Yes, I believe we were responding from similar life experience.
posted by ?! at 12:03 PM on February 13, 2003


...I've grown weary of discussing this with you.

Then don't. But you don't have to dish out the last word as if you're somehow better than I am... like "I don't get it" or something. As far as I'm concerned, YOU don't get it. That's the point of a debate. If you don't like the conversation, then don't participate in it. And who cares where the thread has gone, from where it started.

Both of you come from some sort of attitude that only YOU know better.... only YOU know what's "really goin' on out there". As if the rest of us have never experienced prejudice or racism? I live in D.C. You think I don't understand what it means to live in a diverse community? The college I went to had as many foreign students as domestic. I've dated other nationalities, roomed with other races, and worked with other religions. You're not unique just because YOU've witnessed it first hand. So have the rest of us. Big deal.

The links you offer do as much to argue my point as they do yours. You're trying to suggest that "my" stereotypes are based on those types of flawed arguments. Fine. But I think your argument about ALL stereotypes being harmful is just as flawed for the exact same reasons.
posted by Witty at 3:01 PM on February 13, 2003


Witty:

(a) I wasn't looking for the last word. My name isn't Rome. And just because I'm weary doesn't mean you can goad me into silence.

(b) Saying what I have experienced does not preclude your experiencing anything similar. Explaining a historical basis for my opinions is only an attempt to give a partial explanation how my opinions were formed. On my part I explained why stereotypical humor was a red flag issue for me. I don't know about you. You could have grown up the "son of a poor black sharecropper" with a penchant for ballroom music for all I knew. Thanks for explaining a bit how you developed your sense of humor.

(c) Finally, where did I say "ALL stereotypes are harmful"? I'll wait. Can't find it? I did say: "Stereotyping is always an attempt to distill a complex person down to a level that allows you to feel superior."

I still believe the stereotypical humor you typed has that as its goal.

Finally, I have a suggestion since this has dwindled to me and you. As a matter of community manners, I'd like to suggest you use my email for further comments. I'll gladly respond in that forum.
posted by ?! at 6:16 PM on February 13, 2003


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