Re: PSA

1

Could you describe the mishap? I never quite understand how this sort of thing actually happens.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:23 AM
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Cigarette ember falls on an upholstered ottoman, a shirt is inadvertently tossed on top, the ottoman smolders undetected for some time until we notice a burning smell and scour the apartment for its source.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:26 AM
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"the ottoman smolders undetected for some time"

ah, yes--great power politics in the 19th century.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:36 AM
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It was caught because there were still a bunch of people in the apartment. Had this happened later in the night and the tenant gone to bed, that ottoman would have likely gone from slow burn to flames overnight. By the time it was caught, there was a good 6" hole already burnt.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:43 AM
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Becks's nanny state is oppressing my smoldering butts.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:58 AM
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That's alarming; I'm glad that the fire was caught!

Most notorious cigarette-fire experience in recent memory: person at our co-op burned out an entire basement when he fell asleep (read: passed out) with a lit cigarette. The firefighters told him that the only reason he survived was because one of the fire sprinklers happened to be directly above him. Bonus points for the fact that this is California & it's illegal to smoke inside anyway.


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:00 AM
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Bave, your butt isn't smoldering. It's smokin'.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:02 AM
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You see, bitzer, 3 was funny. Good job!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:05 AM
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Every one is giving me homework! I've got to finish pulling up the carpet on the stairs, grade 40 paper outlines and two online discussion forums, and finish pulling the carpet off the stairs before Molly and the kids get home. Now I've got to install these smoke detectors, too.

I suppose it is for the best. When we moved in we bought a hundred dollars worth of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to scatter around our large and crumbling abode. I gather we don't really get our money's worth, though, if they just sit unopened in a cabinet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:10 AM
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How about: "Mentally ill man and woman move into dorm laundry room, take to burning holes in the couch with their cigarettes, fall asleep drunk".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:13 AM
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I also need to prepare a class on the Daodejing, and how the sage, by doing nothing, leaves nothing undone.

Perhaps I should walk in to class tomorrow and say "I did not grade your papers or make a lesson plan, because the sage, by doing nothing leaves nothing undone. In doing this, am I properly following the advice of the Daodejing?"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:14 AM
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Bitzer gets the rare unconditional biscuit from w-lfs-n, and a pat on the head too!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:15 AM
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Rob - my mom gave me some fancy smoke detectors for Christmas last year, where if the one goes off in the living room it will wirelessly set off the one in the bedroom, etc., and they've been sitting on my dresser for a year.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:15 AM
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"the rare unconditional biscuit"

and here's a conditional biscuit for you, ben, if you'd like one.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:17 AM
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Rob, Daodejing is my schtick, you know. I've actually published in legit, refereed publications. Part of my doomed simulacrum of a career.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:17 AM
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More at my URL.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:20 AM
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15--
perhaps by doing something you did nothing?

don't ask me--i got nothin.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:20 AM
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I was caught in a hotel fire once, in Turkey. It was an extremely disorienting experience to be woken up at 3am or so, be very tired, but unaware for about two minutes that you are also very groggy because you have been breathing smoke for some period of time. It's easy to see how a lot of people can die fast in such circumstances.

Emerson may be disappointed to hear that a good chunk of American analytic philosophers might have been wiped out at a meeting last year if it weren't for the presence of automatic sprinklers in hotels.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:23 AM
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John, those look really nice. I'll check them out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:25 AM
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Human beings are disposed reliably to respond differentially in the presence of carbon monoxide by either dying or staying alive, and can thus be thought of as carbon monoxide detectors.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:29 AM
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Stop, drop, and roll!

or

Stop, drop and roll!

you be the judge.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:33 AM
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stop, drop...
ponder punctuation...
and burn to death!


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:34 AM
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It's not just punctuation, it's meter. Which could affect your rolling.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:35 AM
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Smoke detectors are also infallibly warn you about unhealthy fried foods.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:37 AM
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The second one is actually a command issued to drop and roll to knock it off.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:40 AM
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The other alternative is not to smoke cigarettes indoors, of course.

I generally am quite good about pulling down smoke detectors and forgetting about them when their batteries need to be changed.

Smoking weed in bed is, if anything, more dangerous than smoking cigarettes in bed. Funner, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:50 AM
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Stop rock 'n' roll.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:01 AM
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The second one is actually a command issued to drop and roll to knock it off.

Whereas the first is a command issued to drop to knock it off and start rolling.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:02 AM
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Are there any philosophers who can answer a dumb, naive question about Plato. (My undergraduate degree is in Classics, but the only complete work of Plato that I've read is The Symposium. I've read bits of other things, but I'm really ignorant of Plato's philosophy.) I know that Ancient philosophy isn't where it's at for non-Classicists and because it's an "history of" kind of thing, but here goes.

There are a few sentences in Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception where he talks about Plato. Maybe Huxley's interpretation of Plato is off, but I'm too ignorant to know.

* "Is it agreeable?" somebody asked.

"Neither agreeable nor disagreeable," I answered. "it just is." Istigkeit - wasn't that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? "Is-ness." The Being of Platonic philosophy - except that Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming and identifying it with the mathematical abstraction of the Idea. He could never, poor fellow, have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged; could never have perceived that what rose and iris and carnation so intensely signified was nothing more, and nothing less, than what they were - a transience that was yet eternal life, a perpetual perishing that was at the same time pure Being, a bundle of minute, unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, was to be seen the divine source of all existence. (page 4-5)

To what is Huxley referring when he says that "Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming"?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:04 AM
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28: precisely, slol. Your acumen in these matters is not to be underestimated, I see.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:07 AM
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In college I lived in a big group house, and we had a grow room in the attic. With a hydro section, and a light that automatically moved back and forth on this track mounted to the ceiling, and all these bells and whistles.

Anyway, one day my roommate came home and smelled smoke, and went up to the attic. Someone had turned the attic light, a naked lightbulb, on by mistake, and it was too close to the black-out curtains, and was just beginning to light them on fire. He put it out and we were all saved the horrible alternative of getting busted while our house burnt down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:08 AM
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29: all I know is that starting fires in a cave is very, very dangerous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:08 AM
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Human beings are disposed reliably to respond differentially in the presence of carbon monoxide by either dying or staying alive, and can thus be thought of as carbon monoxide detectors.

We are but canaries in a coal mine.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:09 AM
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31: it would have been worth it to see all the firefighters getting high from the smoke, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:09 AM
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My comment was prompted by Gonerill's comment about the analytic philosophers. I don't expect analytic philosophers to be able to answer my question, but maybe Emerson knows the answer to my question, or somebody who isn't working in analytic philosophy. Do we have any metaphysicians?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:10 AM
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To what is Huxley referring when he says that "Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming"?

to the fact that the huxley method of curing bad vision doesn't work and he really should wear his glasses instead?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:16 AM
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Huxley is referring to some version of Plato's doctrine of the Forms, which are, like, really really real. Here is a link to a presumably informative discussion of Plato's central doctrines.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:23 AM
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They monitor grow rooms with infrared sensors mounted on helicopters. Cops love pot growers because they go to jail so much more peacefully than speed cooks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:24 AM
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Inspired by We are but canaries in a coal mine.

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the house is gone
All my life, passed 'before my eyes, a curiosity
Ash in the wind, all I am is ash in the wind.
Same old song, not a drop of water in the nick of time
All I own, crumbles to the ground, though I cannot see

I didn't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slipt away, take your money and a smoke alarm do buy.

Ash in the wind, all I am is ash in the wind
Ash in the wind, everything is ash in the wind.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:39 AM
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Plato separated the realm of becoming, which is the realm of things that change, from the realm of being, which is the realm of what's really real. The grotesque error is that of thinking that things that change aren't really real.

In the Symposium, a version of this doctrine comes out in Diotima's claim that the true object of erotic desire isn't beautiful bodies, but the form of beauty itself.


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:40 AM
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38 - John Emerson with the subtle thread merge from Crooked Timber


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:43 AM
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40: Damn, the one bit of Plato with which I was actually familiar held the key to the answer.

Thanks for the link, B-Wo.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:44 AM
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Huxley, Ben and Zippy are all giving the simplified version of the doctrine of the forms taught to most undergraduates. I know I feel happy when my students can talk about forms in this way. The forms (the realm of being)

1. are ideas of sensory things (the realm of becoming)

2. are "more real" than sensory things

3. give reality to the sensory things, which "participate" in them.

4. allow us to recognize and classify sensory things.

5. Are timeless and unchanging (hence "being" rather than the progressive "becoming")

Julia Annas has a reading of Plato on the forms which somehow says that the forms are not actually in a separate realm of existence at all, but I could never figure out what the fuck she was talking about.

I'm more interested these days in zen ideas like Huxley's that don't separate being and becoming, which seem even more mysterious than Plato's separation of them. One thing seems clear is that in merging being and becoming, becoming wins out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:53 AM
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43: this blog is making you a Heideggerian, rob. Watch out.

Julia Annas has a reading of Plato on the forms which somehow says that the forms are not actually in a separate realm of existence at all, but I could never figure out what the fuck she was talking about.

Regression to the mean! Plato was a statistician!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:58 AM
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29:have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged

I have seen this. It was groovy.

Not-separating Being from becoming, or existence from essence, or whatever is also really groovy, but I don't think you can usefully talk about IT, whatever IT remains in a Zen experience, after abandoning the Ideas, Categories, or dichotomies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:02 PM
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"One thing seems clear is that in merging being and becoming, becoming wins out."

rob, rob: this talk of "winning", this competition and conflict. that is not the dao. the dao that is the real dao does not "win out".

it doesn't even play until the second to last round, when lao tsu kicks confucius' butt in the semi-finals.

only then does becoming come to be.
whereas being is: for it cannot not be.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:02 PM
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although its not Plato himself, it might be helpful to think of the Aristotelian causes.

also, 31 has already happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_f0e2aljnE


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:02 PM
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43:becoming wins out.

Heraclitus was a fool. Being wins out, of course.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:04 PM
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hm, julia annas sounds a lot like some philosopher between the neoplatonics and descartes, who i can't think of right now.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:04 PM
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While being was becoming becoming becoming came. I know which side my bread is being buttered on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:09 PM
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50--
oh sure, becoming came.
but *what* did it come?
it came *to be*!

(here it's crucial to do the wiggly fingers just right).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:11 PM
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51: oh sure, becoming came.
but
upon *what* did it come?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:12 PM
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it came upon a midnight clear, of course.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:17 PM
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53: dirty!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:18 PM
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I really don't feel up for a conversation about Being today. My goodwill toward the industrialized state is at a low ebb with my blood pressure. Donating blood takes a great deal out of one, so to speak; the act is charitable, the process industrial. Archer Daniels Midland would be proud of the impersonal harvest: it is what visiting the DMV would be if the DMV took its pound of flesh literally.

In unrelated news, a local gym is advertising a yoga class for children called "Tao Tweens." I leave it to the informed to disparage this in an informed fashion, as to my ignorant eye it seems only hilarious.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:20 PM
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53: glorious!

so is there really a philosopher named julia ananas, and do people call her julia the pineapple?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:21 PM
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55: I just wonder if it's more appropriately pronounced "Dweens"? Because that is hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:22 PM
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The original post makes me remember the times when I make a mistake and then don't have to pay for it with death or serious injury or car wreckage, and then feel a bit shaken afterwards. I think I have a good approach to these situations, as yesterday when I zoomed while turning right out of a driveway into traffic, looking at the oncoming traffic but not looking at the lane I was turning into, which contained another car that was entering traffic at the same time I was, and would have been crashed into by me if I had continued to drive much much faster than somebody trying to turn into traffic usually does.

So anyway, after that I thought "In those few seconds, my chances of causing a traffic accident went from the usual 1/10000 to 1/5!"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:39 PM
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58: "In those few seconds, my chances of causing a traffic accident went from the usual 1/10000 to 1/5!"

See, I just assume the Sifu-caused-catastrophe function asymptotically approaches one. That way, everything counts as harmless fun!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:43 PM
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Kolmogorov and I have proven that everything is either inevitable or impossible, so no sweat.

We disagree about the dividing line, but in general, most things are inevitable.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:47 PM
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58: I've got too many of those to list but the one at the top of that list is:

1) Take bike apart in garage
2) Make adjustments, replace stuff, etc.
3) Put bike together
4) Sit on bike
5) Start bike, blip throttle, listen for rattles, etc.
6) After a time notice smell of gasoline
7) Look down to see gasoline dripping over heating engine and surrounding me in a widening pool.
8) Turn bike off, close gas valve and get the hell away
9) Shake

I had forgotten to re-attach the gas tank hose. I'll even admit to doing it twice in thirty-something years.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 12:56 PM
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There was just a piece on Air America about all the various interest groups who have a stake in daylight savings time.

The whole "change your batteries when you change your clocks" thing was apparently a specific marketing blitz by Energizer a few years back when sales were dropping. They really only need to be changed every couple of years.

Pretty cool story overall. It was Rachel Maddow's show if anyone's interested in tracking it down.


Posted by: orangatan | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:54 PM
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I've always wondered about the Energizer thing, because most smoke alarms have that horrible low-battery chirp anyway to let you know when it wants changing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:56 PM
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I've never heard the "change your batteries" thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:57 PM
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Also, DST has always struck me as a totally useless and inefficient nuisance. For once, Arizona has the right idea.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:58 PM
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63: you can fix that pretty easy by taking the battery out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 5:58 PM
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I'm always shocked that we can coordinate an entire nation (minus Arizona) to switch their clocks twice a year. I mean, sometimes you feel like this country can't wipe its own ass.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:00 PM
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63: you can fix that pretty easy by taking the battery out.

And then putting a new one in. That's what "change the batteries" means, Amelia Bedelia.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:00 PM
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67: that's a big damn ass, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:01 PM
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68: yeah but then it'll just beep again soon enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:01 PM
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that's a big damn ass, though

How uncouth, Sifu! I have it on good authority that heebie has a pert, shapely ass.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:02 PM
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71: heebie's ass is delightful. America's ass shows the effects of a few too many amber waves of grain, if you follow me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:03 PM
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My ass makes a good impression.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:05 PM
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71 was heebie?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:08 PM
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71 was not meebie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:08 PM
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I love Daylight Saving Time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:10 PM
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I've got the lowdown from Lake Wobegon one more goddamn time. Sorry, folks.

There are no more amber waves of grain. Wheat has been bred to be about ankle height, and doesn't wave any more. That's just the way it is.

But there are yellow fields of rape. There's a rape field right around the corner here. Rape is sort of a turnip and sort of a mustard, with mustardlike yellow flowers.

This is what the Republicans have done to American women. Ever day millions of American women unknowingly use rape oil (deceptively name "canola oil") in cooking, thus perpetuating their bondage.

A felony? Sure. But Big Oil always wins. Oil is rape.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:16 PM
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Wheat has been bred to be about ankle height, and doesn't wave any more.

It only has room to shoot finger-guns off. pew-pew!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:30 PM
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They don't have DST in the USVI. Yesterday at this time, it was the same time in Cleveland. Now it's an hour later. It's not as bad as Indiana, though: when you are setting up a conference call with Hoosiers of different cities -- say North Bend -- half the time is spent trying to figure out what time it is.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:31 PM
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Didn't Indiana just institute DST for the whole state?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:32 PM
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I love rape. Rape is tasty, especially with capellini.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:33 PM
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"North" Bend?

It was bizarre, though. Half the year the X-files was on at 8 and half at 9!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:35 PM
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Obviously, AWB, you'd obviously be the rape-lovin' lady around here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:36 PM
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71 was me, if anyone cares


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:36 PM
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I care, Knyecht.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:37 PM
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I like to say your name with an extra "y", btw.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:37 PM
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You know, if you told ashole guys that rape was a kind of turnip, maybe rape would lose its glamor. Maybe they'd switch over to frottage or something sexy like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:38 PM
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It has been said before.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:38 PM
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Oddly enough, "frottage" sounds like a sort of green too. A rape-frottage salad might be tasty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:39 PM
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Rapeseed fields grow in central Alberta, and from the plane window it looks like someone colored the land bright yellow in blocks. It smell a little off up close, though.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:40 PM
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I blame the rum. And distaste for all things South. And the Pope. And Ken Kesey.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:40 PM
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Hungarians really seem to be into rape. I hadn't been aware of that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:41 PM
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You'll forget the sun, and his jealous sky, as we rape in fields of rape.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:41 PM
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I couldn't tell whether those were guy Hungarians or lady Hungarians, what with the Hungarian names and shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:42 PM
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I can't tell guy and lady shit apart either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:43 PM
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. . . and the Danes. Yeah, the Danes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:43 PM
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Man, Sting could really be awful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:44 PM
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In a foreign town
In a foreign land
Reaping time had come
In fields of swaying rape
It could not happen here
Pushed to one side with the flick of a wrist
Out of sight
And out of mind
Fallng back in fields of rape
In yellow heads of blossom
Mothers babies bleeding
You stand there laughing
Unquestioning unconfronting
Poetic lines on the art of dying
Falling back in fields of rape
That was the way
Those were the horrors
As daddy went a-reaping
In nodding heads of rape
No mark on your spotless conscience
No blemish on your immaculate body
Untouched by sight or sound of misery
Close the eyes
Shift the responsibility
It was not you
It was not you
Falling back in fields of rape
My children
Falling back in fields of rape
It could not happen here
Pushed to one side with a flick of the wrist
Out of sight
And out of mind
Falling back in fields of rape
Poetic lines on the art of dying
Falling back in fields of rape
That was the way
And those were the horrors
As daddy went a-reaping
In nodding heads of rape
No mark on your spotless conscience
No blemish on your immaculate body
Untouched by sight or sound of misery
Close the eyes
Shift the responsibility
It wasn't you
Falling back in fields of rape
My children
Falling back in fields of rape

Here we go round the mulberry bush
The mulberry bush
The mulberry bush
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning

In a foreign town
In a foreign land
Reaping time had come
Falling back in fields of rape
My love
And that was the way
And those were the horrors
As daddy went a-reaping
Falling back in fields of rape
My children
Crushed, crushed, crushed
In mud and wars
Mother children bleeding
You stand there laughing
Falling back in fields of rape

Never eating
Bags of bones dying quietly
Homeless
Drinking foul water
Sorting garbage
With flies in heat
Raped
Axed
Burned with acid
Locked away for thirty years
Thrown out of a helicopter
Forced to labour endlessly
Castrated
Burned alive
Killed so easily by firing squads

In a foreign town
In a foreign land
Reaping time has come
They're falling back
In fields of rape
In fields of rape
They're falling back
In fields of rape
My love
And this is our way
And these are the horrors
As we go a-reaping
They're falling back
In fields of rape
In fields of rape
They're falling back
In fields of rape
My darling
And crushed, crushed, crushed
In mud and wars
Still you stand there laughing
They're falling back in fields of rape
In fields of rape they're falling back
My lovers

In fields of rape the ravens
Descend. the yellow beak slashes
Corn, the sickles are sharpened
And the cattle bleed, and reaping
Time has come, our voices grow
Shriller, and our eyes glitter, but
In this last summer the Rapture
Descends, and father's mask has
Turned to grey, and mother's
Breasts are leper white, and
Children's laughter cracks, and
Reaping time has come, body and
Blood, body and blood, body and
Blood, body and mud, body and
Blood, body and mud, and
Christ's eyes, I am weary, and
Christ's eyes, I want to melt
Bleeding Jesus, be quick, be quick

(And what would you do, my gentlest
One...?)

Falling back in fields of rape...


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:44 PM
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If it has berries in it it's guy shit. Or maybe bear shit. Check Andrew Sullivan's shit for berries and get back to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:45 PM
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Hungarians...Danes...rape

A quirk of the EU Common Agricultural Policy is that the subsidies are particularly lucrative for oilseeds, which is why half of Central Europe is now given over to the cultivation of rape. It does make for some pretty stunning landscapes, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:46 PM
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Damn, I thought my joke was original.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:48 PM
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Check Andrew Sullivan's shit

Conveniently readable at andrewsullivan.com


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:49 PM
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Also, DST has always struck me as a totally useless and inefficient nuisance. For once, Arizona has the right idea.

You aren't getting out enough. Having that extra daylight in the summer to fish, barbecue, etc. is great.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:49 PM
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Different cultures view rape differently.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:49 PM
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Skip to 5:54. Yay!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 6:53 PM
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It's Grizzly Man!

Some fresh rape sounds better than being eaten by a bear.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:00 PM
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Kotsko has it exactly right re: DST.

Once riding a train from London to Dover, I looked out at vast field of yellow flowers. I asked some local teenagers on the train what it was. "Ripe!" they said. "Excuse me?" "Ripe!" "Huh?" "Rayp! You know, they make oil out of it."


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:04 PM
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It's sad when you read a post about how a cigarette could have burnt a house down and your first thought is, "I wish I had a cigarette."

Filthy habit, boys and girls. Filthy, addictive habit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:08 PM
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108: Yeah, but extraordinarily easy to break after that first little stroke IMX.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:14 PM
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extraordinarily easy to break after that first little stroke

Bad times. My dad says that's how my grandfather stopped Except that rather than a stroke, he had some kind of asthmatic type attack where he couldn't breath, and had to go tot he hospital to be put on oxygen.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:19 PM
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Filthy, addictive habit

Everyone I know who has tried to quit both claims that dipping snuff is a harder addiction to break than smoking.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:20 PM
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Further to 111, I should add that approximately 97% of the males in my high school dipped Skoal, and most of the remaining 3% dipped Copenhagen.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:21 PM
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Which did you?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:22 PM
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111: filthier, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:25 PM
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113: I dipped snuff experimentally a few times in junior high school, begining with Hawken (the Coors Light of snuff) and working up to Skoal. I also chewed a bit of Red Man chewing tabacco (my dad's brand, the one with the Native American on the package) when no one was looking.

Some of my friends were so addicted to the stuff that they would sureptitiously dip at school, which was an offense punishable by suspension. Because you couldn't reliably spit in class, they would train themselves to *swallow* the spit. The thought turns my stomach even today.

One day when I was about 14, one of the farm hands at my uncle's farm gave me some "green snuff", i.e. very fresh stuff where the date stamp was from the previous week or thereabouts. I started to get lightheaded, then dizzy, then I turned green and puked my guts out. For the rest of the day and most of the next day I was sleeping off the effects of nictotine poisoning. After that, I was never tempted to try the stuff again.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:29 PM
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Navajos love Skoal.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:40 PM
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Look, no java slaves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:45 PM
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Norse too. The Lake Wobegon of Lake Wobegon is called Snoose Valley. (= "sniff valley".)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 7:50 PM
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Jason loves a Val, ok?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:07 PM
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Lo! Lass Ova. Joke? Van.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:12 PM
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Jove, Solon sank lava.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 8:18 PM
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77 & etc.: Hey, you know what? Jokes about rape are never funny.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:46 PM
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122--
as a descriptive claim, there may be exceptions to this, but as a rule of behavior it is a really sensible one.
no joke can ever be as funny to people who appreciate it, as a rape joke is unfunny to someone who does not.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:49 PM
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Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape Rape

Bwahahahahahah.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 9:59 PM
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well, good thing you didn't make a joke about it.
but--honestly, swift. have you ever been raped, or dealt directly with the aftermath of rape in a loved one's life?
really not so funny.
it's a big world out there. tons of funny to be had for free.
i'd look elsewhere.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:02 PM
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People made a few plays on words with a common plant. Fuck off already.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:08 PM
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yeah, i hear you.
next you're going to scold me for scolding you.
we all know that scolding is the unforgivable sin--the one sin which invites legitimate scolding.
nobody likes being told they did something in bad taste,
and so a natural reaction is to defiantly ratchet up the bad taste, in order to raise the stakes.
sure, i've been there myself before.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:12 PM
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Thanks for the backup, kid b.

no joke can ever be as funny to people who appreciate it, as a rape joke is unfunny to someone who does not.

Well put.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:22 PM
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Yes, many people make jokes involving real world ills like eating disorders and pedophilia. By all means, go run around telling everyone what they should or shouldn't find funny.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:23 PM
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Oops, that was me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:24 PM
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I apologize for 93. I knew at the time that it wasn't brilliant enough to be worth posting.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:28 PM
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129--
i would, but pursuant to your suggestion in 126 i've fucked off already.

no, look--if there's a sensible rule of behaviour in this area, it does not take the form:
"thou shalt not find xyz funny".
what one finds funny is seldom a matter for voluntary control.
but i think there are sensible rules of the form:
"thou shalt not propound or propagate jokes about xyz".
especially if the rule is relativized to time and place, i.e. "...when in circumstances pqr."
and sometimes the scope of pqr is so broad that the wisest rule is just: avoid jokes on that topic.
look, i'm not telling you anything you don't know already, or anything you haven't said to other people in other situations (like the time your nephew tried that joke over lunch with the vicar right after his grandma's funeral).
it's just a psa post, okay?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:31 PM
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and so a natural reaction is to defiantly ratchet up the bad taste, in order to raise the stakes.
sure, i've been there myself before.

Don't be stupid, bitzer. We joke about lots of things here that might, in any given instance, make some people uncomfortable. You could also tell me how unfunny cancer jokes are. But, whaddya know, they're pretty funny. No one made fun of a rape victim, or of rape; they used the word in a way that played with its two very different meanings. Pretty funny.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:35 PM
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I do admit my 81 was unnecessarily glib. I was, of course, referring to broccoli rape, not the rape from which one extracts cooking oils.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:40 PM
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don't call me stupid, ogged. we don't have a track-record that allows that to work between us.
i know how it works here; it's not that hard to figure out.
i agree that this is a context in which jokes that would not fly with the vicar are allowed to fly by common consent.
but, you know, even here there are some jokes that are tasteless, and that's what sir kraab told you.
you create one kind of tone by what you post; your posters modify that tone by their reactions. that's why it's a community.
nobody owns the tone; it gets crafted by input from a hundred directions.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:43 PM
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Upon investigation I determine that I am the only one to be deplored here, as my 93 is the only one that uses "rape" undeniably as a verb rather than as a noun, thus removing the ambiguity.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:43 PM
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I wasn't trying to forge a bond with you, kid, I was trying to get you not to be stupid.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:47 PM
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I'm deeply offended that you all had an argument about whether or not rape jokes are funny without me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:49 PM
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It's not over yet, B. Fire away.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:50 PM
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I'm deeply offended that you all had an argument about whether or not rape jokes are funny without me.

We can't answer the positive question, but the comparative probably gets the affirmative.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:52 PM
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fuck you, ogged. it would take someone a lot smarter than you to reduce my stupidity.
look--you clearly feel contempt for me. fair enough. i reciprocate. that's why i don't engage with you.
i'd just as soon return to that status quo. but what don't feel like doing is hearing your whiny bitching about how bad old scolds don't let you tell dirty jokes when you feel like it.
you're acting like a spoiled frat-boy. grow up.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:53 PM
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And the finger wagging continues.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:54 PM
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it's something old people do, swift. you know about that.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:56 PM
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Ned, I appreciate your willingness to be thoughtful about this. (Sorry if that comes off as condescending, like I'm the absolution fairy; I don't mean it to be.)

I still deplore you, of course.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:57 PM
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I still deplore you, of course.

Sir Kraab : Cryptic Ned :: Stanley : me


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:58 PM
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Normally, I'd be with the finger-waggers on this, but I think this is a clear case of somewhat-queasy punning on the absurdity of the word "rape" as a name for a common plant.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 10:59 PM
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That is, I don't see where anyone was making light of the idea of sexual assault as a practice, which is a common enough source of heinously unfunny jokes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:00 PM
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we could always make fun of the marketroid who came up with `canola'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:01 PM
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147--
this is true, and if you go back and look at 122 and 123 you'll see they are consistent with it.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:02 PM
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No, we couldn't. It's been an amazingly successful word.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:03 PM
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We're not running into each other on the street, bitzer. You're on my blog, and I don't care what you'd rather return to. You've proven incapable of judging the tone around here. Ben has been hinting at it lately, and I've mentioned it before. This time you've decided that some wordplay is deeply offensive, and as I almost always do in these situations, I tell the humorless scolds to go fuck themselves, because I don't share your conception of a good blog.

And now I'm going offline for the evening. I delegate my rape-defending activities to B.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:03 PM
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150: I didn't say it would be funny.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:03 PM
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148--
as i understand it, it was coined by the canadian board of oil-seed producers or the like, so the "can-" part comes from "canada".
another topic on which it's generally better to avoid jokes.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:04 PM
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150 to 148.

But anyway, we've had multiple threads making light of aperape, and no cries for civility were heard. I call this speciesism.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:04 PM
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Ben has been hinting at it lately, and I've mentioned it before.

Let's not make too much of my claim that one of bitzer's comments was an abject failure on any reasonable measure, o-man.

The ottoman line still stands up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:04 PM
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153: yes, it's from canada.

see? not funny.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:05 PM
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There's always "Dasani."


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:05 PM
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Canada, unlike Chris Kors/gaard, is objectively funny.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:05 PM
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Early adverts referred to Dasani as "bottled spunk" or featured the tagline "can't live without spunk."

Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:06 PM
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123 was beyond the pale because it was intended to needle. Gswift does this in every thread, but I don't think he's the norm AFA humor-limitations go here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:08 PM
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158: Canadians are objectively funny, but there isn't anything funny about how canola actually got it's name. You have to have something to work with.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:09 PM
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Defending rape is no fun without Ogged.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:11 PM
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it's name. You have to have something to work with.

You mean like MISUSED APOSTROPHES???

Always funny! Am I right or am I right?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:13 PM
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123 was beyond the pale because it was intended to needle. Gswift does this in every thread,

Don't be absurd. I take vacactions you know. Days go by without any needling.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:13 PM
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151--
no, ogged, i'm actually extremely good at judging tone. i get it right pretty much all the time.
and sometimes, after i have accurately judged what the tone is, i decide to try to alter the tone in one direction or another.
it's what all commenters do, all the time. by our inputs, we modify the tone in various directions.
your whining about my incapacity to judge the tone is just another way of saying "whaaa! i wanted to be funny, and he was serious! whaaa! i wanted to be serious, and he was funny!" get over yourself--people disagree about all kinds of things, and which way the tone should go is only one of them.

you have proven yourself incapable of *reading* if you think i said that the jokes above were "deeply offensive". i never said that. they just struck me as tasteless, and as potentially hurtful--and has unlikely to produce any mirth commensurate with that potential. i wasn't deeply offended--i just offered some rule of thumb advice, as a public service, and in order to back up sir kraab.

you know, none of the stuff above was terribly offensive to me. the person being humorless here is you, in fact, because you can't stand sharing your playhouse with anyone less compliant than your pathetic mini-me, w-lfs-n.

so go fuck yourself, yourself. i do desire we may be better strangers.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:14 PM
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163: knew I could count on you, ben


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:15 PM
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160--
awb, did you mean 123, by me, or 124, by gswift?
my 123 was certainly not meant to needle.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:17 PM
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because you can't stand sharing your playhouse with anyone less compliant than your pathetic mini-me, w-lfs-n.

Hilarity!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:18 PM
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Don't be absurd. I take vacactions you know. Days go by without any needling.

you aren't taking enough vacactions, then. I assume that's a misspelling for "vaccinations".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:19 PM
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AWB, I know folks were just riffing on the plant name and didn't mean any harm, but I do believe it's thoughtless. All black humor is not the same. Lots of people who have or have had cancer joke about it. IMX (and I'd be stunned if anyone here's had a different experience), rape survivors don't, even if it's just wordplay.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:19 PM
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i'm actually extremely good at judging tone. i get it right pretty much all the time.
...your pathetic mini-me, w-lfs-n.

Wow.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:21 PM
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171--
was that inconsistent with the tone of two people telling each other to fuck off?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:22 PM
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I assume that's a misspelling for "vaccinations".

I don't have to take this mocking from you, rape joker.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:22 PM
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You know what is funny? Murder!

Haha! Stabby stabby!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:22 PM
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172: Arguably it was kind of uncool to drag poor little w-lfs-n in by his heels. *He* wasn't telling anyone to fuck off.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:24 PM
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was that inconsistent with the tone of two people telling each other to fuck off?

I'm highly enjoying the juxtaposition of "I'm right about tone all the time" and "w-lfs-n is a mini Ogged."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:24 PM
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You know what is funny? Murder!

Yep, hilarious. Now come here a minute.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:26 PM
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175--
arguably, calling him "poor little w-lfs-n" is harsher than anything i said.
but, yes: in fact that was uncool of me, in the collateral damage sense.
it was ogged who brought him in as human shield in 151, but i should have been more careful to avoid hitting him.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:26 PM
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arguably, calling him "poor little w-lfs-n" is harsher than anything i said.

I was doing that thing I do where I'm ostensibly saying one thing while foolishly making some kind of malapropism. I.e., "mini-me" = "poor little w-lfs-n." It was a joke.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:28 PM
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Where have you gone, Standpipe Bridgeplate's blog / a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

I guarantee I just double-posted while trying to fix that misplaced apostrophe. Guar-an-tee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:29 PM
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Guess not. Just kidding!

Hey, rape!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:30 PM
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182

Wrong again, Tweety.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:30 PM
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183

Those comments aren't about rape, they're about homonyms.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:30 PM
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184

180--
the jokes here all skate on thin ice. it's invigorating. when they fall through, it's frigid.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:30 PM
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arguably, calling him "poor little w-lfs-n" is harsher than anything i said.

It's not a matter of harshness, bitzer, it's a matter of what gswift said. Your assertion about tone would have been implausible enough on its own. B's wrong, anyway, since ogged's the one who dragged me in.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:31 PM
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170: fwiw, I do have a different (not personal) experience.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:31 PM
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B's wrong, anyway

You just never, ever tire of that, do you?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:32 PM
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U GONNA GET REDACTED


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:32 PM
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184: also, analogies are banned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:33 PM
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183: Thank you.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:33 PM
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183: true. But would you joke about that particular homonym in front of someone you knew had been raped?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:34 PM
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185--
the general assertion about tone may have been implausible; how does my insult to you cast any particular doubt on it?
(i.e., what tone was there at that moment, what brooding omnipresence in the sky, such that it made that insult inconsistent in tone, such that my using it demonstrated my inability to judge tone?)
and how soon is the word "tone" going to start sounding like a mere phoneme, devoid of sense?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:34 PM
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186: Me too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:34 PM
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and how soon is the word "tone" going to start sounding like a mere phoneme, devoid of sense?

Not that soon, I'd wager, since it contains (allophones of) three phonemes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:36 PM
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191 is a weird equivalence. I wouldn't joke pointlessly about being fired or pissed on or clubbed with a bat in front of somebody who'd suffered any of those reversals, but that does not mean I won't ever make stupid wordplays about those things. Do we need everybody to list the traumas of their lives so that we can then excise those words utterly from the blog? Won't that be lovely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:37 PM
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194--
excellent point. revise to "a mere concatenation of phonemes".


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:38 PM
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Do we need everybody to list the traumas of their lives so that we can then excise those words utterly from the blog? Won't that be lovely.

I was rejected by multiple girls in high school and college, contributing to my already shy shyness. Let's see this blog survive without that topic!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:39 PM
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Do we need everybody to list the traumas of their lives so that we can then excise those words utterly from the blog?

I'll start! A friend of mine in high school beat his dad to death with a bat. Shame on you for joking about bats AND murder in the same thread.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:41 PM
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Those comments aren't about rape, they're about homonyms.

sounds deliberately obtuse. Is the choice of homonym supposed to be completely incidental to the humor?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:41 PM
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200

I was rejected by multiple girls in high school and college, contributing to my already shy shyness

You know, basically the same as being raped, trauma-wise.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:41 PM
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199 sounds deliberately obtuse.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:42 PM
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198--
but it's okay, so long as sifu wasn't talking about the winged mammal.
it's the homonym part that is shame-inducing.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:42 PM
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200 --- well, we know Ned is very sensitive.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:43 PM
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201: Humor me.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:43 PM
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Oy. I really didn't mean to start a war. A skirmish, maybe. And I didn't pick the best thread to make my original comment, since there are plenty of threads where the jokes are directly about rape. Those jokes generally aren't ill intentioned either, but I think plenty of them cross the line.

Next time I want to get (someone else) called a humorless scold, I'll try one of those.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:44 PM
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201: Humor me.

So this pirate walks into a bar, right? And the bartender says, "please be more careful of the bar. It's very delicate and bruises easily.".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:45 PM
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Sigh. Look, rape jokes aren't comparable to "girls were mean to me" jokes, and the whole "oh, if we have to be sensitive about that it's a slippery slope" thing is tiresome and silly.

That said, I don't think the rape plant joke was offensive, myself; just weird. Then again, I haven't been raped (but people very close to me have).

Is what's being said here "rape jokes bug me, so please lay off" or is it "as a matter of principle, rape jokes are always wrong"? I suspect the former, phrased as the latter. And I don't actually care about the argument except that if we're going to talk about rape as an abstraction, people *are* going to extrapolate silly (and genuinely offensive) parallels about having been rejected in high school and oh-no-now-we-can't-say-anything. They shouldn't, but they will.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:45 PM
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Aaaaand I see that as usual I'm reigniting the thing just as it's died down. Le sigh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:47 PM
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And I didn't pick the best thread to make my original comment, since there are plenty of threads where the jokes are directly about rape. Those jokes generally aren't ill intentioned either, but I think plenty of them cross the line.

But those threads are about men getting raped by bears, not intrahuman violence.

Thanks for reminding us, though. We don't know who's reading here, so we shouldn't assume that not-really-humorous dark humor will be interpreted as amusing and innocuous. Because why should it be?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:47 PM
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Is what's being said here "rape jokes bug me, so please lay off" or is it "as a matter of principle, rape jokes are always wrong"? I suspect the former, phrased as the latter.

If so, that's fucking retarded (another word I shouldn't use!) and I can't imagine why anybody would be expected to know that. Even if true: really boring thing to say in reference to what was -- let's face it -- remarkably anodyne wordplay about a plant and an act (which, in specific, is almost unmatched in it's horror) mentioned only in utterly abstract contexts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:49 PM
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207: It's not like rape is unique this way. There is probably a more useful general discussion about `the limits' and what that actually means. I don't think you can go down a `never shall there be jokes about X' road without ending up in a rathole, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:49 PM
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210: It's fucking retarded? Presumably one wouldn't be expected to know, but surely once someone's said something, one could infer, no?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:51 PM
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Really, though? Murder? Lots 'o laffs. I was listening to this radio thing earlier tonight about this dude who saw his mother get shot in the head by burglars. He got all into security, building these ridiculous weapons and putting extra locks on the doors and believing he could train rats to help him. Wacky! What a nutjob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:51 PM
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207--
Is what's being said here "rape jokes bug me, so please lay off" or is it "as a matter of principle, rape jokes are always wrong"?

lots has been said here, but if you're asking me, then what i was saying all along was not "rape jokes are always wrong", but "rape jokes are always a bad bargain; too little funny for too high a chance of hurt".

so, not "wrong", not "deeply offensive to me", just: ill-advised. something it is sensible to avoid.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:52 PM
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I dunno, rats are pretty smart.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:52 PM
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212: once someone's said something one could infer that it wasn't what they meant and then glean what they actually meant from the ether?

Not so much, no.

Or you mean, now that you've given you're spin on what they actually said it's easy enough for everybody to say "oh! People meant to say what B said they meant to say. That's that, then."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:53 PM
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195: I was wondering when someone was going to haul out that argument. I have many insightful things to say in response, but I have *got* to go to sleep, so it's the tenterhooks for you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:55 PM
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As usual, I think this is a problem of rhetoric. If there's one thing that's true on the internet (and on listservs), it's that telling someone "That's offensive to X group; please don't do it" is never effective, even when it's totally called for. "It bugs me personally when you say stuff like that, and I'm not the only one" sometimes does work. Setting up standards only invites total destruction of those standards.

We're having this problem on my school's student listserv where a couple of people have gone totally off the deep end with personally insulting, jabbing public emails, and the head of the student group wants me to kick people off the listserv or become the discussion moderator. No fucking way would I do it, and no fucking way would it ever work. Standards cannot be applied to communities like that. I've been on the receiving end of some unbelievably vicious stuff, personally threatening to me, all under real names, and the last thing that would ever have gotten it to stop is by saying "This behavior is an injustice and symptomatic of general things that must be prevented in all cases." C'est l'internets, dude. I told the people I would appreciate it stopping, because I was hurt, and they stopped. But no general principles can be invoked.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:56 PM
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216--
i think the idea is that if someone manifested a disproportionate discomfort about some topic, then even if they phrased it as a general and abstract disapproval, one might come to think that their disapproval was motivated by some more personal discomfort.

e.g., if kaus started saying "look, i just think all talk of goats is off-limits. as a matter of principle. and this has nothing to do with me!"
then pretty soon you'd start suspecting something personal to do with him.

is that roughly it, b?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:56 PM
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Well, of course that's what I always mean.

But no, what I mean straight up is that Sir K is generally a good egg, and occasionally she'll say something sensibly serious about x or y topic being kinda offensive. She doesn't get pissy or personal about it, and I *think* she's generally got the good will of virtually the entire assembled body of commenters.

So she says rape jokes are offensive, I'd think she'd get the benefit of the doubt and people would think, "okay, Sir K is offended, we like Sir K, let's not offend her." At least, I would.

Then again I don't see why this whole thing got so suddenly pissy at all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:57 PM
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217: you can save them. I'm sure I'll get back to holding the ol' tongue again soon enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:58 PM
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218--
"Standards cannot be applied to communities like that."

there's some truth to this. and yet at the same time, communities do tend to settle on an equilibrium-set of standards that are shared pretty much by all members.
but they probably cannot be applied by fiat, or top-down (except by massive, red-state-style bannings).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 4-07 11:59 PM
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Also yes, 219 is roughly what I was thinking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:00 AM
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But by all means be sure to propose them and argue them at pointless length amongst a community that is otherwise generally able to understand that nobody means any harm. I'm sure it'll stick at some point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:01 AM
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210: And if you ask me, kid bitzer retracted the objection in principle by revealing in 165 that "none of the stuff above was terribly offensive to me" and the whole concern was over comments being "potentially hurtful".


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:03 AM
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224--
"I'm sure it'll stick at some point." and be fun getting there, in the bargain!

"a community that is otherwise generally able to understand that nobody means any harm"
but look: if nobody means any harm, then people will also want to know when they are causing inadvertent harm. without that feedback, i run the risk of doing harm i don't mean to do.

and if someone suggests that inadvertent harm is being caused, then if nobody means any harm, they will all take that under advisement, in a good-humored way.

what they will *not* do is start getting all shrill and pissy about how people are scolding them and not letting them be as tasteless as they wanna be. that would just be disproportionate.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:06 AM
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225: which, right, means the whole thing was arguing over potential offense to hypothetical people in imagined situations which: so, so boring. But on the other hand, it's sure to run on endlessly.

What? Yes, of course I'm part of the problem. Whatcha want to make of it, canola?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:06 AM
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225--
you wanta tell me about "retracted"?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:07 AM
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225: Look, I dunno and I don't wanna dwell on either SK or KB's personal lives or whether either of them have been raped. I'm just saying, eh, I think the original wordplay was innocuous myself, but is the right to joke about x, y, or z really *that* important a principle that it's worth arguing about if someone who's generally pretty easy to get along with lets you know it bugs them?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:07 AM
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And then we can all link arms and share together in a mutually reinforcing circle of welcoming acceptance.

Goddamit I want to see some dead baby pictures, now!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:07 AM
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you make me laugh, sifu. i'm always grateful for that.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:08 AM
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229: fuck yeah. Offensive speech saved my dead baby's life!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:09 AM
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what they will *not* do is start getting all shrill and pissy about how people are scolding them and not letting them be as tasteless as they wanna be. that would just be disproportionate.

FWIW, I don't think Ogged was being particularly either, and I'm not sure why you jumped on him. Which I say out of a weird spirit of evenhandedness that's somehow descended upon me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:09 AM
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That damn needling Sifu. He does this in every thread.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:10 AM
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233--
well, you reread the damned thread, and decide who jumped on whom.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:11 AM
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Fuck you, Tweety, here I am trying to earnestly pour oil on the water and you show me up with your dead baby jokes.

Bastard.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:11 AM
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234: I'm sorry I exaggerated, gswift. I thought you took pride in your ability to respond to joke-banning with exactly those jokes and would feel flattered.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:13 AM
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canola oil!


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:13 AM
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Fuck you, Tweety, here I am trying to earnestly pour oil on the water fire and you show me up with your dead baby jokes. lust.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:14 AM
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Quit lusting after dead babies, you perv.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:16 AM
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No, his baby-lust is dead. Poor childless Tweety!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:17 AM
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If he ever gets his ass back to the proper coast, he can babysit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:18 AM
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Mmmm so decompose-y. "Look, ma! It's like I'm palming a green basketball -- with my crotch!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:18 AM
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Okay, that's totally gross.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:20 AM
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I'm sorry I exaggerated, gswift.

I'm really very tender. Almost as tender as ...wait for it...a dead baby.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:21 AM
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Lots of people who have or have had cancer joke about it. IMX (and I'd be stunned if anyone here's had a different experience), rape survivors don't, even if it's just wordplay.

Actually, that's not true. I know someone who makes exactly those jokes [and significantly more tasteless ones, too] and who was raped.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:26 AM
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228: That's the impression I got, yeah. You said that you weren't offended but also say that the jokes are "shame inducing".

229: Of course I like Sir K very much and would go far out of my way to avoid causing her discomfort and don't need at all to know whether or not she has any specific reasons to feel uncomfortable with humor about rape. Full stop.

But with all due respect I still disagree that those jokes were about sexual assault—the jokes were all borrowing on the word's other meaning and, sure, they were off color, but I think those jokes can only be construed as hurtful via personal experience that the rest of us can't be expected to know about. She asked me above and I'd say in response, no—I wouldn't make even a very text-y joke about rape if I knew someone in the room had that experience. But Unfogged is very different from an IRL conversation with a totally different, and bizarre, and sometimes seemingly insensitive, etiquette that nevertheless works for the place and helps to sustain it as what it is.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:27 AM
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246--
not so fast, ttam. to find out whether "that's not true", it's not sufficient for you to come up with a different experience.
you have to wait and see whether sir kraab is *stunned* by it or not.
if she's not stunned, then i think we can judge her claim false.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:28 AM
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247, agreed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:29 AM
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247 is way too reasonable and well-put.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:30 AM
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247.1--
oh for chrissakes: i said "shame inducing" in comment 202, in a blatant joke, after cryptic ned had been on about not getting dates in high school. comment 202 is your evidence that i had already retracted something in 165?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:31 AM
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oh--second half of 247 seems about right.
i'd just add that the bizarre, unseemly etc. etiquette is largely the result of input from viewers just like you, who should feel free to modify it on the fly.
the equilibrium is set by sir kraab as much as by tweety (discounting for posting frequency).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:34 AM
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The etiquette was here before I got here, before 'Smasher, before Kraab. Gonna be here after we all get bored and move on to 12-step, 2 step, or politics. Arguably, it's endemic to every successful internet community ever anywhere. But wait! Yes! Let us renegotiate. That cannot fail but make things funner.

Dead baby, dead baby, dead baby.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:38 AM
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the equilibrium is set by sir kraab as much as by tweety (discounting for posting frequency).

You realize that this is a descriptive claim, right?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:39 AM
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And that "discounting for posting frequency" renders it nearly meaningless?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:39 AM
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Strike 255, which is false, and substitute merely that "discounting for posting frequency" renders it much harder to understand.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:40 AM
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253--
"Arguably, it's endemic to every successful internet community ever anywhere"

sure, but that's the interesting thing: not every one has the same etiquette. there are lots of different stable configurations.
things evolve. groups have set-points.
you keep talking about negotiating as though that's what's required. it isn't. all that's needed is for people to add their input. when you show up, the blog gets funnier and more whimsical.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:41 AM
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Here, have a look at my dead baby. Never mind the smell, she's gone all rotten in the diaper. Give her a kiss, now: I call her "Whimsy."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:44 AM
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not every one has the same etiquette. there are lots of different stable configurations.

Not true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:45 AM
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250: Well, then. I didn't understand what you were talking about in that specific instance. But your comments read as very exercised for someone who went on to say that the jokes didn't offend you at all.

I'd say that I'm a second-wave or third-wave commenter at Unfogged and I've watched at least two conflagrations here, and it seems to me lately that newer commenters are inventing wildly different visions for what Unfogged ought to be than from what it is or ever has been. The suggestion that people should mentally weight the humor of a comment against the possibility of insensitivity—that's not ever been in the bylaws. I mean, check yourself before you wreck yourself, sure, and good on Sir Kraab for saying when something bothers her. Realistically, though, it's hard enough keeping genders with all the names, and now I'm supposed to know everyone's nightmares before I comment?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:52 AM
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260: I've always been quite terrified of art.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 12:54 AM
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260--
my comments, prior to ogged's jumping in, read as "very exercised"?

i'm afraid you're not doing very good job of judging tone.

reread my 123, 125 and 127, and see if those sound 'very exercised'.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 1:02 AM
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For the record, I never said nor meant that jokes that I find offensive should be banned. It bugged me, I said I was bugged, life goes on.

Also, I think kid b has gotten some shabby treatment in this thread. Her first comment, at 123, was quite measured and essentially said only "you might want to think twice." Plenty of commenters found ways to disagree with that (and with me) in constructive ways. It was gswift's response that turned this thing hostile. And before you jump all over me, ogged, I know you have issues with kid's posts generally and could point out examples where you think she been hostile or tone-deaf or whatever; I'm just talking about the start of this particular argument.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 8:56 AM
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I really think this thread has run its course. I don't think more debate and finger pointing about who was being hostile or snippy when, where, and who started what is going to be very productive.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 9:00 AM
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i agree with becks. i appreciate the support, kraab, but it was a late night, and it's over. let's archive this sucker or delete it or just forget about it.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 9:02 AM
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Here, have a look at my dead baby. Never mind the smell, she's gone all rotten in the diaper. Give her a kiss, now: I call her "Whimsy."

Above the door of my library I nail a dead baby, named "Whim".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 9:04 AM
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I really think this thread has run its course.

Fair enough, though I was just about to post this. AWB & ttaM, discuss or ignore, as you will:

AWB and ttaM, I'm interested in the people you know who joke about being raped. Do they do that only in front of friends who already know what happened to them or also in front of people who don't? I was thinking more of the latter, and even super-public forums, like stand-up routines about having cancer a la Julia Sweeney & lots of others.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 9:09 AM
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and even super-public forums, like stand-up routines

There's Sarah Silverman's version of the Aristocrats joke, although of course that was in a medium and in front of an audience where the whole point is to be more tasteless than everyone else.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 10:22 AM
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re: 267

The one person I know, I don't think it really occurred to her [then or since]. The joke wasn't connected to her own experience(s), she was just making a joke.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-07 10:30 AM
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