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Judging a thread by its racist title
July 10, 2005 10:07 AM   Subscribe

What's the deal with racist page titles? We went through the exact same thing a couple of years ago.
posted by Saucy Intruder to Etiquette/Policy at 10:07 AM (116 comments total)

It's mild dialect humor, saucy intruder. If you're going to get in a froth over this, you'll have to condemn the non-stop use of "lib'rul" "turr'ists" and "Amurrican," that use a southern accent as shorthand for stupidity. After all if making fun of one accent is bad, making fun of any is bad, right?
posted by jonmc at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2005


Yes, I consider the mocking of southern accents wholly inappropriate (though I think your examples are specific to George Bush, who isn't exactly southern).

Mild or not, such humor is exclusionary and not very funny. Why should it persist?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2005


Mild or not, such humor is exclusionary and not very funny. Why should it persist?

In the interests of keeping our speech free. Censuring offensive (I'll avoid the debate as to whether this particular meme is offensive, since the "Me So [whatever]" joke is more or less firmly embedded in pop culture) speech does little to actually combat the prejudices behind it. When I see it I'm more inclined to investigate the origins of the though behind it, but I'm just strange.

And I'm an absolutist on free speech. And when it comes to humor, I'm of the opinion that a joke can be racist, misogynist, misandrist, homophobic or whatever as long as it's funny. Getting our shorts in a not over minor liguistic mishaps just makes us look petty and didactic.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on July 10, 2005


The article posted was about MSG. The article discussed a product called "Gourmet powder." Miso soup has MSG in it, along with the little bits of seaweed.

I thought it was more a clever play on words than exclusionary/racist.

If you are going to look for racist overtones, you'll often find it where none was intended. It's fair to bring it up, perhaps, but I'd say give it the benefit of the doubt.
posted by ambrosia at 10:40 AM on July 10, 2005


Miso gourmet, then, surely.
posted by nthdegx at 10:55 AM on July 10, 2005


I used to work at a hippy-dippy vegetarian restaurant, and one day the soup was Miso Honey. Good times...good times....
posted by schyler523 at 11:06 AM on July 10, 2005


This is a non-issue.
posted by grouse at 11:10 AM on July 10, 2005


I think Saucy Intruder needs to be loved a long time.
posted by euphorb at 11:15 AM on July 10, 2005


I was always confused. Did the hooker end up being the sniper in the end, or was it two different people?
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:19 AM on July 10, 2005


Two different people.
posted by mlis at 11:22 AM on July 10, 2005


Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?

M-I-C-K-E-Y! M-O-U-S-E!
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on July 10, 2005


I think about 5 people have already said it, but why should I stop myself piling on: Miso (pronounced Mee-So) is common flavour of Ramen noodle soup. That's where the page title comes from.

Nothing to see here - just another politically correct knee-jerk - please move along.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 11:36 AM on July 10, 2005


Barely racist. Also barely funny. Not enough of either to make a difference, though.
posted by ColdChef at 11:36 AM on July 10, 2005


That guy mentioned something that uses the issue of race for its humor! Ban him! Now! ARRRFDVDSKGMZSE$K%YK#%M$KYU
posted by angry modem at 11:42 AM on July 10, 2005


ColdChef wins. (But jonmc's concise explanation of the importance of free speech gets a gold star.)
posted by languagehat at 11:43 AM on July 10, 2005


Don't mean a thing.

-er. fuck. wrong movie.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:44 AM on July 10, 2005


Apparently some people are extremely sensitive to MSG.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:02 PM on July 10, 2005


Saucy Intruder it was completely wrong of you to bandy about the racist accusation like that. You should apologize to Blue Stone. Next time, if you find it offensive or the somesuch just say so and why. These theatrics help nobody.
posted by nixerman at 12:12 PM on July 10, 2005


Absolutely not racist even without the MSG context. tsk tsk, SI!
posted by mischief at 12:13 PM on July 10, 2005


It was a quote from a movie fer chrissakes. I thought the imbedded acronym (Me So Gourmet) was especially clever.
posted by sourwookie at 12:24 PM on July 10, 2005


FieldingGoodney, I can't say that I've ever found miso flavored ramen on any menu. Sure, miso soup is common, and usually has a few tofu cubes mixed in, but I've never seen it mixed with ramen, which usually is served with meat-based broths. I did have a Japanese GF at one point who loved mixing miso into udon in place of the normal flavor packets, but I called her over this one and even she hasn't heard of it elsewhere. I'm not trying to call you out, I'm just insanely curious where you discovered that concoction. If this is actually more common, I might just have to try it myself.
posted by mystyk at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2005


racist is lynching. racist is beating and terrorising. racist is depriving people of livelihoods, or advancements for which they are qualified. this mouse turd you're pole vaulting is not racist. you so silly.
posted by quonsar at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2005


Apparently some people are extremely sensitive to MSG.

Hilarious, but I have to agree with Saucy that the post title is very poorly chosen, if not racist.
posted by Rothko at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2005


Hilarious, but I have to agree with Saucy that the post title is very poorly chosen, if not racist.

I still have to disagree. The acronym and the pun were kind of begging for it. And treating people like delicate Faberge eggs who can't handle mild joshing is racist in it's own way IMHO. YMMV.
posted by jonmc at 12:31 PM on July 10, 2005


and lest you think I'm ignorant of immigrant people and their difficulties I'll point you to this parallell conversation I'm holding here. I just think that the neurotic focus on linguistic mishaps and quirks is one) a way of avoiding confronting the actual issues confronting people and two) an easy way for people to feel superior because they think their fighting injustice when all they're really doing is nitpicking.
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2005


One of my favorite long time ramen places in NYC has a miso variety. Plus, d'oh!
posted by Jack Karaoke at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2005


And treating people like delicate Faberge eggs who can't handle mild joshing is racist in it's own way IMHO.

Hey, whoa, easy there, pal — we're talking about deep-seated racial attitudes here, that's why Kubrick put that scene in Full Metal Jacket. No need to call me a racist just because we disagree, IMHO. :P
posted by Rothko at 12:58 PM on July 10, 2005


I wasn't accusing you personally, just an overriding idea that makes me a little agida, is all. Now, is one of us gonna boom-boom the soul brother or is he just too boocoo?
posted by jonmc at 1:06 PM on July 10, 2005


The best part of this thread is the consistent inability of some users to preview their flames and aggregate them, instead of posting seven thousand times in a row. Boy, those sure are fun to read.
posted by hototogisu at 1:25 PM on July 10, 2005


I think I feel an MSG headache coming on in here too.
posted by caddis at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2005


Me so hungry!
posted by loquacious at 1:43 PM on July 10, 2005


Come in da chiken!
posted by languagehat at 2:21 PM on July 10, 2005


But I hardly know the chiken, nonna!

(that was my actual response)
posted by jonmc at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2005


On the poultry misunderstanding tip: when mrs. jonmc was going for her masters in Miami, most of the students in her freshman comp class were of Cuban descent. Right before Thanksgiving break one of them told her "Every year we have thanksgiving and every year my grandmother chops up the turkey, puts it in a pot with tomatoes and onions. I'm like "Grandma, you're supposed to roast it!" and she waves me off"

My nonna once cooked the thanksgiving turkey upside down and one year she cooked a capon, and every year she made minestrone as an appetizer. This is what makes America a great place as far as I'm concerned. You can call them mistakes, I call them contributions.
posted by jonmc at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2005


that sounds sooo good right now...
posted by hototogisu at 2:36 PM on July 10, 2005


What are you talking about, people? I must be really slow today, but where the hell do you see racism?
posted by c13 at 4:12 PM on July 10, 2005



FieldingGoodney, I can't say that I've ever found miso flavored ramen on any menu. Sure, miso soup is common, and usually has a few tofu cubes mixed in, but I've never seen it mixed with ramen, which usually is served with meat-based broths.


Well I spent 3 years in Japan, and often ate Ramen with a miso-based soup. I know there are variations of Ramen throughout Japan though (I was in Tokyo), so I don't know if you're in another part of the country and have not experienced this type of Ramen. Yes, I'm well aware of Miso soup and make a distinction between Miso soup and Miso Ramen.

A Google Search confirms I didn't just imagine all this up.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:24 PM on July 10, 2005


Jack Karaoke, I just read your post and you linked to the same link I did! I should read the thread first before posting.....
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:28 PM on July 10, 2005


What are you talking about, people? I must be really slow today, but where the hell do you see racism?

I recommend viewing Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, a scene from which is the basis for the contentious title.
posted by Rothko at 4:39 PM on July 10, 2005


And the scen from which the "Me So..." meme is pulled is probably the most nihilistic scene in the whole film, since it manages to stereoype Asians, blacks, and southerners in one fell swoop, mainly because these three seemingly incongrous groups were united in the fact that they were the groups thrust together in that filthy litlle war.
posted by jonmc at 4:43 PM on July 10, 2005


I have to agree with Saucy that the post title is very poorly chosen, if not racist.
Well, the world you live in must be a wonderful place if this is worth getting all panty-bunched about. Sheesh, talk about Political Correctness gone mad.
posted by dg at 4:51 PM on July 10, 2005


Oh. This movie has been recommended to me before..
posted by c13 at 4:56 PM on July 10, 2005


Saucy Intruder: Did you see this little gem? I think it's far more biggoted than the afore-mentioned page title.
posted by puke & cry at 5:01 PM on July 10, 2005


It's a horrible title. That 2 Live Crew song has been playing my head all day. That's a cruel thing to do to someone.
posted by jrossi4r at 5:05 PM on July 10, 2005


I'm pretty sure I can't stand people who think "Me So Gourmet" is racist more than I do actual racists (or racism).

And jonmc, I could possibly have made your point as well as you have. Thanks!

Yes, I consider the mocking of southern accents wholly inappropriate...

Bullshit. There have been countless times for you to call it out. Perhaps, you have. But I doubt it.

...(though I think your examples are specific to George Bush, who isn't exactly southern).

Specific to George Bush? C'mon. You're saying no one has ever used these "terms" to mock Republicans or red-state voters? Stop playing dumb.
posted by Necker at 5:06 PM on July 10, 2005


*couldn't
posted by Necker at 5:07 PM on July 10, 2005



Specific to George Bush? C'mon. You're saying no one has ever used these "terms" to mock Republicans or red-state voters?


Bingo.

This makes me think of that famous 'morans!' picture tthat everybody had such a good time making fun of. The guy in that picture is probably what? a laid off mill-worker? maybe a Wal-Mart employee? But the blue-state/liberal contingent has written off an vocally mocked that constituency*? Why? Because assiating with that demographic just makes them too uncomfortable, so they'll sacrifice getting a better president into office rather than risk discomfort. Sad, really.

*before you ask, the blue state/wal-mart constituency needs to be called out for allowing themselves to be led by the nose by Bush against their own interests. Right now it's a question of who's going to approach which group. I say that the left should do it before the right beats them to it, because once we've got them, we've got the whole country, just ask Bill Clinton.
posted by jonmc at 5:15 PM on July 10, 2005


good job, jonmc ... now this thread's got everything from soup to nuts
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 PM on July 10, 2005


Clinton was the first black president. (nee-ha!)
posted by keswick at 6:04 PM on July 10, 2005


dat's right, bee-yotch.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2005


Sorry. Didn't get the movie reference. You guys can all unclench, or reclench, or the opposite of whatever it is you think I need to do. Interesting that suddenly I'm the one who is racist and need to apologize. No and no, of course.

The "turrist"/"merkin" thing absolutely did begin with GWB, even if it has been extrapolated to others.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:36 PM on July 10, 2005



The "turrist"/"merkin" thing absolutely did begin with GWB, even if it has been extrapolated to others.


But the southern accent=stupid didn't.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on July 10, 2005


I'm heartily in favour of making fun of everyone, whenever it seems like an enjoyable thing to do, but I've also noticed that Asians in America seem to be much more fair game for uncontested ridicule than any other racial group does. My opinion only.

Whether this is true or not, and to what degree, and if it matters, and if that's racist, well, I leave to you to puzzle out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on July 10, 2005


The guy in that picture is probably what? a laid off mill-worker? maybe a Wal-Mart employee? But the blue-state/liberal contingent has written off an vocally mocked that constituency*? Why? Because assiating with that demographic just makes them too uncomfortable, so they'll sacrifice getting a better president into office rather than risk discomfort. Sad, really.

Jonmc: What are you on about? Millions of people in the "blues-state/liberal contingent" voted against their own economic interests in '04 by voting Democrat and they donated time and money to progressive causes and organizations. There were plenty of people who volunteered for Dean in the NYC suburbs who were from white collar backgrounds and yes, they associated with the mill worker set. Sheesh.
posted by mlis at 7:15 PM on July 10, 2005


Millions of people in the "blues-state/liberal contingent" voted against their own economic interests in '04 by voting Democrat

Because, you know, we're racking it in now...

Saucy Intruder, so if it's not about the movie, what exactly is your problem with the title?
posted by c13 at 7:48 PM on July 10, 2005


Well, the world you live in must be a wonderful place if this is worth getting all panty-bunched about. Sheesh, talk about Political Correctness gone mad.

Oh, I'm not getting my panties bunched up about it, dear: all I said was that it is correctly called out as poorly worded, because, if you've seen the film and understand the meaning Kubrick was trying to get across, you know the source of the reference is meant to be quite offensive, for the director was making a point about the dynamics of race and capitalism within the US through its colonial soldiers.

Even if the use here may not be meant to be offensive, the source of the reference is agreed to be offensive. And the person posting should frankly know better.

Of course, if you haven't seen this movie, the meanings will fly right over your head and you won't see anything wrong with its use. And it's entirely possible that kids of this generation haven't seen FMJ to understand and question the reference, although they should, because it's a pretty fucking good movie, what with all the colonial shit going down in Iraq and such.

And it's also possible you've seen the movie and still find the source inoffensive, which is your prerogative, albeit an entirely myopic and factually incorrect one.

Meh. Frankly, it's interesting to see that the so-called "anti-PC" here are the ones frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation. Right or wrong, Saucy sure hit a delicate nerve somewhere. Looks like another ESPN/Limbaugh situation to me. Helpings of MSG-laden kung pao all around, indeed.
posted by Rothko at 8:10 PM on July 10, 2005


c13: You have never seen Full Metal Jacket and obviously have never listened to The Smiths. My god, man! You have some catching up to do.
posted by mlis at 8:19 PM on July 10, 2005


I'm russian, dude. Haven't had enough time to catch up on the pop culture. Plus, I'm really bad with names and titles.
posted by c13 at 8:31 PM on July 10, 2005


Never seen the movie, personally. I will say, after wading all the way through that thread, that there are worse comments within the thread than that thread title, including one member describing another as a retard. I didn't mean to be seen as frothing at the mouth about the call-out, I just felt it was a waste of time. Now I have wasted even more time on it. Bah humbug.
posted by dg at 8:43 PM on July 10, 2005


AlexReynolds wrote:
"Even if the use here may not be meant to be offensive, the source of the reference is agreed to be offensive."

Wrong.

AlexReynolds wrote:
"Of course, if you haven't seen this movie, the meanings will fly right over your head and you won't see anything wrong with its use."

I've seen the movie and I still don't see anything wrong with its use. Rather bleak commentary on the socio-economic realities of the southern Vietnamese during the war is not the same as a racist joke. The line later in the scene, "All niggers must hang," now that was racist. There's a difference between making a light-hearted play on stereotypes that are clearly rooted in ignorance for the sake of irony, and actually earnestly believing those stereotypes or using them to justify hatred of a people group.

You're attempting to appear intelligent and politically correct by overanalyzing to the point of absurdity. There's a difference between being concerned about genuine racism that is genuinely harmful, and running around trying to score more-liberal-than-thou points. What you're doing here is the latter.

And it's also possible you've seen the movie and still find the source inoffensive, which is your prerogative, albeit an entirely myopic and factually incorrect one.

I'd be interested in some - or any - kind of serious argument elaborating on how such a view can be considered objectively incorrect, as opposed to a judgement based on personal context. My guess is that you don't have one that isn't deeply intellectually dishonest.

Meh. Frankly, it's interesting to see that the so-called "anti-PC" here are the ones frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation.

It seems a lot more like annoyance with holier-than-thou attitudes than frothing at the mouth. Of course, given your track record of overreacting I'm hardly surprised to hear you projecting that fault onto others.
posted by Ryvar at 8:45 PM on July 10, 2005


I'd be interested in some - or any - kind of serious argument elaborating on how such a view can be considered objectively incorrect, as opposed to a judgement based on personal context. My guess is that you don't have one that isn't deeply intellectually dishonest.

Well, there are plenty of analyses of Kubrick's oeuvre out there that deal with his critical view of humanity. Including one I pulled up from a book excerpt posted on the web, and another here. I'll point you to read some of Pauline Kael's work, too.

Of course, whether you want to disagree with professional film critics and analysts who've gone into these issues in much greater detail is your problem, not mine. You want objectivity, there it is.

Of course, given your track record of overreacting I'm hardly surprised to hear you projecting that fault onto others.

Wow, nice troll. Since we're dealing with substance of what's written, how's the #mefi irc gang, Ryvar? Still chatting about killing "fags" with AIDS?
posted by Rothko at 9:03 PM on July 10, 2005


Man, that is low, bogue and out of line, Rothko. You should be ashamed.






Boy, I never thought I'd see the day I'd be sticking up for that crew...
posted by y2karl at 9:15 PM on July 10, 2005


holy shit have you been spying on us rothko?

nice save with the "YOU'RE NOT A PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC" though. that was pretty goddamned sweet. do you think your dad could beat up his dad?
posted by fishfucker at 9:18 PM on July 10, 2005


Man, that is low, bogue and out of line, Rothko. You should be ashamed.

What's out of line is trolling a discussion with your grudge-filled bullshit. You're the one who should be ashamed. Take it somewhere else.
posted by Rothko at 9:21 PM on July 10, 2005


nice save with the "YOU'RE NOT A PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC" though. that was pretty goddamned sweet. do you think your dad could beat up his dad?

I was asked to give some kind of objective argument that explains why Kubrick was writing about racism in American culture. I give evidence and that's not good enough, apparently. What would you prefer instead?
posted by Rothko at 9:26 PM on July 10, 2005


Rothko, your evidence was not very good at all. So you can pull up some reviews that point out that Kubrick was critical of humanity, that doesn't mean that the scene in Full Metal Jacket was intentionally racist. In fact, when you think about the scene, it plays as more of an extension of American sensibilities onto vietnam. The woman has taken to using distorted english phrases to whore herself off to men and has adopted american stereotypes (black men are largely endowed) as her own. The question we're arguing is wether or not the phrase "me so horny" in context of the film is racist, and I have to agree with ryvar that it is not.
posted by cyphill at 9:48 PM on July 10, 2005


Rothko, I think Ryvar was asking how someone could have a factually incorrect and myopic prerogative for seeing the movie and not being offended by the use of "Me so horny." At least that's how I read the question.
posted by bugmuncher at 9:48 PM on July 10, 2005


There is no question as to whether Kubrick included commentary on racism, Alex, and a simple reading of my post makes it patently obvious that I was attempting no such thing:

"The line later in the scene, "All niggers must hang," now that was racist."

Rather, what I asked was how could one find the 'source' of the quote - the depiction of the Asian hooker - racist? She clearly was there as a commentary on misogyny within the military and the economic straits of the southern Vietnamese during the war. It is the character of 8-ball, rather, and the slurs flung at him that served the purpose of providing a subject for commentary on racism. Hence my question.

In a broader sense, though, my question was also how you could purport to have the one factual truth as to what that scene represented - in anything as complex as a Kubrick film one would think that a wide variety of interpretations are possible. To paraphrase you, while it's your perogative, it seems myopic to claim to hold the one true intent of a scene. Especially given that you yourself don't come loaded with credentials in film criticism.

As for the rest - Matt doesn't like to see #mefi dragged in here, and so I'm going to simply suggest that perhaps I should be judged on the merits of what I say, rather than the merits of what others around me say. I'm sure there's been a few things said on MetaFilter that you wouldn't want to be considered a party to, and it seems a bit unfair for you to hold me to a standard you wouldn't want to be held to yourself.

As far as having a grudge against you goes - you flatter yourself. I happen to read this site and post frequently, just as you do. It isn't my fault if the specific manner in which you attempt to demonstrate an elitist attitude rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Ryvar at 9:51 PM on July 10, 2005


What would you prefer instead?

well, first I'd like for you to get what the kids would call "TOTALLY SERVED HOLY SHIII" by Ryvar, and then I'd like you, in response, to link to one academic paper that not even loosely makes your argument for you (which, if I'm not dyslexic, is that one cannot hold the view that "the source" is offensive -- which you've somehow now EMBIGGENED to be "RACISM IN AMERICA" rather than "QUOTEABLE QUOTES: THIS QUOTE FROM THE STANLEY KUBRICK MOVIE 'FULL METAL JACKET' PROVIDED THE REFRAIN TO A RATHER POPULAR SONG BY 'TWO LIVE CREW'"), and an article on a website that mentions Full Metal Jacket once. After that you might suggest that one must possess some sort of authority (which i actually have, being that I just wrote "FISHFUCKER: PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC" on the back of a business card and put it in my wallet) in order to question your previous statements, and also go ahead and imply that #mefi is comprised of a bunch of assholes (which, while true, is hardly for you to judge).

Then I'd like for you to get me a beer, fella.

So hey, you're almost there. Budweiser is fine.

but really though, I don't prefer anything, because I don't have a dog in this race (although i MAY have a unicorn). I just like to be all "OOOHH SHIII" when people get "TOTALLY SERVED". So please don't take any offense.
posted by fishfucker at 9:51 PM on July 10, 2005


[slight derail, apologies]

I did this while going through a song parodying phase a few months ago:

Ahh! me so 1337!
Me linky long time!

Sittin’ at home with my laptop on to mock
So I got the del.icio.us for a freak to stalk
Clicked on the adium, then typed in the couple digits,
Said, yo, this frecklefaerie! are you down with it?
I arrived at the site, looked at the pics
Not having no idea of it was to be a night like this
I’m like a dog in heat, a freak without a leash
I have an appetite for props, ’cause me so 1337

Ahh! me so 1337!
Me linky long time!

n00bs always ask me from where my links come
I say can't tell you bitch, how you be so dumb?
’cause you’re the one, and you shouldn’t be mad
I won’t tell your mama if you don’t tell your dad
I know he’ll be disgusted when he sees your browser busted
Won’t your mama be so mad if she knew I got that page?
I’m a freak in heat, a dog without a leash
My appetite is links, ’cause me so 1337

Ahh! me so 1337!
Me linky long time!

You can say I’m desperate, even call me perverted
But you say I’m a dog when I leave you blogged and deserted
I’ll play with your website just like it’s a game
I’ll be blowing your mind while you’re blowing my brains
I’m just like that man they call Cliff Yablonski
Except that I'm a lot more funny
I’m like a dog in heat, a freak without a leash
I have an appetite for links, ’cause me so horny.

Ahh! me so 1337!
Me linky long time!

Ahh! click on this! oh, send it to me!

Ahh! me so 1337!
Me linky long time!

It’s true, you were a virgin until this morning
When I was the first to show you the boingboing
You tell your friends list that you saw this shit
Never via fark, just straight from the internet
You said it yourself, you like it that I do
Enlightening you to all that is cool
I’m a freak in heat, a dog without feet
My appetite is props, ’cause me so 1337


I don't think there's anything racist about my schlock, despite what it's based on.

As a counterexample, the swastika is based on non-racist symbols, but has a racist connotation based on history.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:55 PM on July 10, 2005


frecklefaerie, you have mortally offended me.

Recommendation? Banning, and a thrashing.
posted by cyphill at 9:59 PM on July 10, 2005


If I had photoshop on this jalopy, I would make a "banned for life" gif a la "thug for life" as a response, cyphill.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:06 PM on July 10, 2005


In a broader sense, though, my question was also how you could purport to have the one factual truth as to what that scene represented - in anything as complex as a Kubrick film one would think that a wide variety of interpretations are possible. To paraphrase you, while it's your perogative, it seems myopic to claim to hold the one true intent of a scene. Especially given that you yourself don't come loaded with credentials in film criticism.

No, but I ran a 35mm film theatre for three years back in college, from checking in films to projecting them, and — among many other films — showed nearly all of his work over those years, repeatedly. I'm pretty familiar with his stuff.

No, I don't have a PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC business card, but I've seen and read a lot about his work, and so far I've demonstrated I would be more competent than you to reference film critics who analyse this work for a living.

No, I don't want to turn this into a pissing match, but you started it, so I'm all ears to your credentials.

That scene is pretty well analyzed and understood. Kubrick's intentions with this scene were pretty well analyzed and understood within the context of his body of work.

If you choose not to agree, you're going to have to do a damn sight better than simply saying "wrong", because a lot of people who carefully think about this stuff for a living would simply tell you to do your homework and watch the film again.

You want "intellectual honesty", then get started with your own honest analysis. Reference films, interviews, screenplay rewrites, primary evidence. I'm all ears to what you have to say, if you have something to bring to the table more than your grudged-filled bravado.

As for the rest - Matt doesn't like to see #mefi dragged in here, and so I'm going to simply suggest that perhaps I should be judged on the merits of what I say, rather than the merits of what others around me say. I'm sure there's been a few things said on MetaFilter that you wouldn't want to be considered a party to, and it seems a bit unfair for you to hold me to a standard you wouldn't want to be held to yourself.

You trolled and now you want to back away from what you and your pals have said. Don't bring up the past if you don't want it done right back to you.
posted by Rothko at 10:14 PM on July 10, 2005


Rothko, you miss one small but vital point - any analysis of a media such as film is going to be somewhat subjective and, while I am not going to say that your (or anyone's) analysis of the three words in question is actually wrong, it is no doubt subjective to some extent, based on your experiences with similar information. Watching lots of films is about as valid a credential as writing "Professional Film Critic" on a card, in my opinion - I often disagree, sometimes strongly, with what critics say about films, TV shows, books, music etc. Just because you have watched more films than me does not give you the right to judge for me whether a tiny quote from a film is offensive. I can make that judgement myself, thanks.

I have no problem with you making a statement that something offends you - you have every right to be offended by whatever you want. To make a statement that something is offensive as a matter of fact is what I do have a problem with. Make your own judgements of what offends you and leave everyone else to do the same.

Your credibility completely vanished with your comments about #mefi - you cannot seriously expect anyone to go along with your branding of a whole group of people based on something which you may or may not have seen some unnamed person say. Grow up.
posted by dg at 10:30 PM on July 10, 2005


No, but I ran a 35mm film theatre for three years back in college, from checking in films to projecting them, and — among many other films — showed nearly all of his work over those years, repeatedly. I'm pretty familiar with his stuff.

No, I don't have a PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC business card, but I've seen and read a lot about his work, and so far I've demonstrated I would be more competent than you to reference film critics who analyse this work for a living.

No, I don't want to turn this into a pissing match, but you started it, so I'm all ears to your credentials.


I'm very impressed with your credentials. Running a 35mm film theatre in college certainly qualifies you as an 'expert' on Kubrick. My own credentials are, in the end, no more or less than your own - I've seen all of Kubrick's movies many, many times, and have read extensively on the man himselfas well as his work. Any idiot off the street can do that, and none of them - including you - are qualified to make the kind of blanket statements you've tossed about in this thread.

As several other people in this thread have now noted, neither of the film critics you linked remotely addressed my point - and you've failed to directly address it yourself. The simple fact is that you can't claim to hold the one objective interpretation of a scene even if you could find someone who would back up your statement, which you've completely failed to do so far. It may be possible for you to eventually come up with a professional critic citing the Asian hooker as a racist stereotype, and I wish you all the best in doing so, but even so that is in the end one and only one rather specious analysis of that scene and character.

If you choose not to agree, you're going to have to do a damn sight better than simply saying "wrong", because a lot of people who carefully think about this stuff for a living would simply tell you to do your homework and watch the film again.

You stated that: "Even if the use here may not be meant to be offensive, the source of the reference is agreed to be offensive." without providing any qualifiers of any kind. I disagree, therefore you are wrong - that seems fairly self-evident. More to the point, the rest of my post focused on why I felt that was wrong. I suggest you go back and read it.

You want "intellectual honesty", then get started with your own honest analysis. Reference films, interviews, screenplay rewrites, primary evidence. I'm all ears to what you have to say, if you have something to bring to the table more than your grudged-filled bravado.

You're the one who started out making unqualified assertions regarding analysis of the scene. The burden of proof in this situation rests upon you, not me. So far you've failed to provide any.

You trolled and now you want to back away from what you and your pals have said. Don't bring up the past if you don't want it done right back to you.

Now that's just an outright lie. I said nothing of the kind, ever, to you or anyone else, so I'm certainly not backing away from what I've personally said - feel free to bring up the past and show me where I said that I wanted fags to get AIDS and die, though, because I'm all ears on that one.
posted by Ryvar at 10:32 PM on July 10, 2005


That scene is pretty well analyzed and understood. Kubrick's intentions with this scene were pretty well analyzed and understood within the context of his body of work.

If you choose not to agree, you're going to have to do a damn sight better than simply saying "wrong", because a lot of people who carefully think about this stuff for a living would simply tell you to do your homework and watch the film again.


I'm sorry, maybe I missed your hard proof, I read both your links and didn't actually see the scene get mentioned. If your going to start about how we need to back up all of our arguments with references, then maybe you should find one that actually addresses the issue at hand.
posted by cyphill at 10:46 PM on July 10, 2005


I double-checked both of the linked sites, but I can't find anything about that scene either. As it is, it seems that the logic is that, as both of them indicate that Kubrick depicted racism, and this is a film by Kubrick, that scene is thereby a depiction of racism.

Kinda like saying "I like paperclips" is racist, because David Duke said "I like paperclips", and David Duke is racist.
posted by Bugbread at 11:40 PM on July 10, 2005


THE MONOLITH = RACIST. don't you guys know anything? sheesh.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:43 PM on July 10, 2005


The amusing thing to me about the 'me love you longtime' asian whore 'joke' in America is that American (read 'western') women are prima facie considered to be whores in most Asian countries.

This mirroring is probably universal. Funny sad, you know, more than funny haha.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:59 PM on July 10, 2005


Dude. AIDS kills fags.
Be sensitive.
posted by blacklite at 12:30 AM on July 11, 2005


I will not love you long time
posted by PY at 1:27 AM on July 11, 2005


I'm not going into whether or not this is something that should be universally agreed to be "racist" but personally I would prefer not to see jokes like this on the site. And yes, the same goes for mocking Southern accents which I find equally tiresome, like writing "Microsoft" with a dollar sign. I love the fact that people generally try to do better on Metafilter.
posted by teleskiving at 2:59 AM on July 11, 2005


THE MONOLITH = RACIST. don't you guys know anything? sheesh.

"Then you got the monolith. Blackest brother in the galaxy. Nubian God."
posted by darukaru at 6:20 AM on July 11, 2005


What are you talking about, people? I must be really slow today, but where the hell do you see racism?

I recommend viewing Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, a scene from which is the basis for the contentious title.
posted by Rothko at 4:39 PM PST on July 10 [!]


Would somebody please tell me what everybody is talking about. I don't see any racism here.
posted by darkmatter at 7:34 AM on July 11, 2005


What's the deal with racist page titles?

This thread has got to be MeFi parody. Right?

This is on par with the "drama queen" non-issue, and just as petty. Certain folks should know better.
posted by dhoyt at 7:34 AM on July 11, 2005


What, the pages have titles?
I seldom notice, 'til someone points them out. I like the cleverness pointed out, which I'd have missed entirely.

That being said, I can appreciate some being sensitive to "Engwish", but I'm sorry, it's too funny to simply slap a "racist" label upon it and ban accordingly. But I promise to laugh equally when I hear some good WASP jokes.
posted by Goofyy at 7:45 AM on July 11, 2005


Rothko, you've made yourself look like a complete jackass. But you've provoked comments from Ryvar that have considerably raised my opinion of him, so it's all good.
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on July 11, 2005


Man, that is low, bogue and out of line, Rothko. You should be ashamed.

What's out of line is trolling a discussion with your grudge-filled bullshit.


If you don't know the history between #mefi and I here in the grey, you are clueless in the persistent vegetative state sense. There is no love lost between us. I am about the last person anyone would expect to see sticking up for them. That comment was low, bogus and out of line. The follow up, however, was comedy doofus gold.
posted by y2karl at 7:52 AM on July 11, 2005


And the scen from which the "Me So..." meme is pulled is probably the most nihilistic scene in the whole film, since it manages to stereoype Asians, blacks, and southerners in one fell swoop, mainly because these three seemingly incongrous groups were united in the fact that they were the groups thrust together in that filthy litlle war.

I wasn't going to add to this thread, but I decided that I just couldn't let this one go, not because I disagree with it or anything, it's just that the "Me So Horny" scene and the "Alabama Black Snake" scene are two different scenes. The first takes place when Joker first gets to Vietnam, his friend gets his camera stolen, the other comes after lieutenant Touchdown and Hand Job are killed in the beginning of the Hue City battle.

God, I've seen that movie too many times. I need to get out more. Sorry, thread jack over.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:59 AM on July 11, 2005


I love you all. long time.
posted by jonmc at 8:19 AM on July 11, 2005


RAFTERMAN: Well, at least they died for a good cause.

ANIMAL MOTHER: What cause was that?

RAFTERMAN: Freedom.

ANIMAL MOTHER: Flush out your head gear, new guy. You think we waste gooks for freedom? This is a slaughter. If I'm gonna get my balls blown off for a word ... my word is "poontang."


Sorry, couldn't help it. I just love that movie.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:36 AM on July 11, 2005


SaucyIntruder:

I was going to say this is the most retarded MeTa thread ever, but I forgot about the other one you posted a week ago.
posted by wakko at 11:08 AM on July 11, 2005


Me so hungry! -- loquacious

Me feed you long time...

(Oh, come on, someone had to do it. Hee.)
posted by dejah420 at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2005


What are you talking about, people? I must be really slow today, but where the hell do you see racism?

Well, I've stared at that post until my eyeballs bled and I can't see the slightest thing racist about it whatsoever either. And I've seen Full Metal Jacket, too. What the hell?
posted by Decani at 11:14 AM on July 11, 2005


I tried as hard as I possibly could to be offended, Decani, but it just wasn't happening.

To those offended by the blue page post: What did you have to do to become offended? I really tried but it just didn't work for me. What am I doing wrong?
posted by wakko at 11:50 AM on July 11, 2005


wakko: defocus your eyes, and then you'll see the sailboat.
posted by mosch at 11:52 AM on July 11, 2005


Those damned puzzles never work for me. :(
posted by wakko at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2005


Fuck it. Fark does a better job at being Fark than Metafilter. This used to be a place for intelligent conversation. But if efforts at civility are thwarted because people like being reminded of a movie quote, so be it.

Door, meet ass.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:23 PM on July 11, 2005


A slightly off-color pun and the ensuing defense of said pun after you call it out is enough for you to decide to leave?

Good riddance...
posted by schyler523 at 12:30 PM on July 11, 2005


maybe you should lay off the metatalk posts for a while, saucy.
posted by puke & cry at 12:33 PM on July 11, 2005


Wait, is this a flameout? Goddammit, Saucy Intruder, come back and do it right! I want tears, snot, throwing up in the mouth—we haven't had a good flameout in months!

*gets frankfurters, grill*

Hey jonmc, bring the beer, willya?
posted by languagehat at 12:41 PM on July 11, 2005


I never said I was leaving. I just said that I was hitting my ass with a door.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:51 PM on July 11, 2005


Oh, I'm sure you could understand my honest mistake then. Why would you hit your ass with a door and not leave?
posted by schyler523 at 1:00 PM on July 11, 2005


I usually hit my ass with a door on the way in. I use it to help me keep perspective.

(That, and I need to fix the spring on the damn thing)
posted by wendell at 1:11 PM on July 11, 2005


I never said I was leaving. I just said that I was hitting my ass with a door.

Stop that. You'll hurt the door.
posted by jonmc at 1:18 PM on July 11, 2005


Still no answer as to what the hell is so racist.
posted by darkmatter at 1:42 PM on July 11, 2005


Ok got it. I'll answer my own question. The title bar includes "extra commentary".
posted by darkmatter at 1:44 PM on July 11, 2005


You got it! There is a pop reference to a movie line that tries to simplify a complex emotional situation (such as war) by using proto/stereotypes, which was later sampled for popular music and then parodied continuously in projects such as "Two Live Jew's" "Oy, It's So Humid" and Homer Simpson's line "Me so hungy" on a Simpson's Episode.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:51 PM on July 11, 2005


That thread title isn't racist. Yes, I've seen Full Metal Jacket and listened to 2 Live Crew. No, I haven't analyzed either with a fine tooth comb, and I won't start.

Not every joke which uses race as part of the construct is a racist joke. I don't read "Me So Gourmet" and think that the author is trying to make fun of Asians who haven't mastered English. It's a VERY famous movie reference turned into a pun and a fake acronym. Whatever racist tones were in the movie have been totally removed for this thread title.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:11 PM on July 11, 2005


"I love the over-the-top psycho shit, that's why I read this site."
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:42 PM on July 11, 2005


Wasn't there something about an ass, and a door making contact with it?
posted by dhoyt at 2:56 PM on July 11, 2005


don't know if you're directing that towards 23skidoo, SI, but s/he made the comment ABOVE the one you referenced, which was by the user cedar, who hasn't posted in this thread at all.

JUST FYI YOU KNOW.
posted by fishfucker at 3:58 PM on July 11, 2005


IT SEEMS I HAVE MADE YOU UPSET. MAY I MAKE YOU A POT OF TEA?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:33 PM on July 11, 2005


Me so solly.
posted by keswick at 9:40 PM on July 11, 2005


ooh what kind?

i'm one of those english breakfast asshole types, but I'll take green.
posted by fishfucker at 10:30 AM on July 12, 2005


i wasn't offended, but i didn't think it was particularly funny.
watch out for the green, it's people
posted by philida at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2005


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