Re: In Which I Evince Fear Of The Message And Do Not Offer A Substantive Argument Against It

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Wow. That's so pathetically lame.

There was some campaign flunky sent in to arrange the child's pajamas just so, such that... that what? That people will be thinking of anti-black slurs when they see Hillary's face five seconds later? Will they think the child is Obama? Will they... what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:32 PM
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Oh dear.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:34 PM
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I'm afraid to look at anything from Althouse these days. It just makes me sad for her.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:39 PM
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I wonder if she saves the crazy for the Internet and presents normally at work, or if she's like this in class. If the latter, class has got to be a hoot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 4:52 PM
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or if she's like this in class

Clues.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:02 PM
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I further note that the other letters on the child's pajamas appear to spell "ogged"... upside down!

What're you trying to pull?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:03 PM
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I can't go over there and read the comments. Has anyone made the suggestion yet that the child might be wearing jammies with some sort of "Good Night" print on the fabric?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:04 PM
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Has anyone made the suggestion yet that the child might be wearing jammies with some sort of "Good Night" print on the fabric?

I think Althouse says that herself, but it's what's visible that matters. Duh.

It's easy to miss, now that the post has some updates, that her original post was basically free of argument; it just set up the analogy with the RATS ad from a few years ago and pretended that every charge that might have been true of that could be true of this, nevermind that they're not closely analogous at all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:07 PM
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You know, I'll just repeat what I said over there about the bit she raised from the comments that she thinks defends her position. Mind you, I've taken one class in neuroscience ... as an undergraduate ... in a linguistics department ... and even I could cut through that shit-mist. So, yes:

If Mortimer Brezny is going to trot out pseudo-neuroscientific explanations, they could at least be minimally informed. For example, he writes:

The way the mind makes closure is by filling in the blanks. You don't need to see an entire face to envision what the other half of it looks like. That is not a conscious activity of the brain, it is neurological, like seeing the color red.

It's neurological? Well, that explains a lot -- no, wait, it doesn't. Anyone who'd actually done a little reading in cog sci would know that the face/word comparison is ludicrous. For one, facial recognition is governed by the fusiform face area, whereas language is controlled by the perisylvan cortex in combination with Broca and Wernicke's areas. So no, Mortimer, your just-so story about symmetry wouldn't hold the water on Ann's brain.

Second, Mortimer claims:

NIG is quite obviously in the same area of the brain as NIGGER, just as both words are nearby in the dictionary.

The "is quite obviously" should've compelled Ann to recognize the thinness of this claim. If that didn't do it, then the explicit comparison of the human brain to a dictionary should've. Neither cut it. I don't have time to outline all the extant models of how language is produced by the brain, but I can say this: you don't access words by flipping the pages of a mental dictionary. Words are stored by association, so "salt" will be stored by "pepper" because they are often used in conjunction. Verbs are stored differently, and in a different location, than nouns and adjectives. Given the context of the commercial, the most any respectable neuroscientific type would say is that the letters "n-i-g-" on the pajamas of a sleeping child would activate the part of the brain associated with the act of sleep, as would "g-o-o-," such that the words your brain would "see" would be "night" and "good," given that they're associated with sleep.

So if Mortimer is correct and the campaigns keep up with the latest in neuroscientific trends, they wouldn't apply the folk-model of human cognition Ann and Mortimer are selling here.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:07 PM
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6: Actually, Tweety, I thought it was "God" upside down...with the subliminal message being that God is a black man, from which the implication is clear: God wants you to vote for Obama.

Some people have been saying that this ad doesn't help Clinton at all, but actually helps Obama. Now you know why.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:08 PM
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Mortimer rules. In any case I've figured out what's really going on, and it's terrifying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:10 PM
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I watched the ad and pretty sure I saw a naked woman in a martini in one of Clinton's eyeglass lenses.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:15 PM
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I watched the ad and now have an inexplicable urge to play solitaire.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:17 PM
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how does she feel about there being a whole country named Niger?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:18 PM
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how does she feel about there being a whole country named Niger?

Depends. Did Bill name it before or after Monica went down on him?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:20 PM
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What kills me about Althouse is that substantively, I kind of agree with her about Clinton and feminism. I just seem to disagree with the insanity that she derives from that.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:24 PM
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It's saying "O God" so that you'll be even more scared and want Hillary to answer that phone.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:28 PM
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About the ad, it should also be noted that the Clinton campaign has come around to Bill Kristol's way of thinking.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:31 PM
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NIG is quite obviously in the same area of the brain as NIGGER, just as both words are nearby in the dictionary.

Arrrrrrrrgh! (gnawing fingers)

Thank you, SEK.


Posted by: iamnotcommentinggoddammit | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:33 PM
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About the ad, it should also be noted that the Clinton campaign has come around to Bill Kristol's way of thinking.

Given that all of his ideological compatriots had previously endorsed her, you could see that coming.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:34 PM
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Here's an exhaustive list of the rest of the words stored in the "NIG" area of the brain:

* niggard
* niggarded
* niggarding
* niggardliness
* niggardlinesses
* niggardly
* niggards
* nigger
* niggers
* niggle
* niggled
* niggler
* nigglers
* niggles
* niggling
* nigglingly
* nigglings
* nigh
* nighed
* nigher
* nighest
* nighing
* nighness
* nighnesses
* nighs
* night
* nightcap
* nightcaps
* nightclothes
* nightclub
* nightclubbed
* nightclubber
* nightclubbers
* nightclubbing
* nightclubs
* nightdress
* nightdresses
* nightfall
* nightfalls
* nightglow
* nightglows
* nightgown
* nightgowns
* nighthawk
* nighthawks
* nightie
* nighties
* nightingale
* nightingales
* nightjar
* nightjars
* nightless
* nightlife
* nightlifes
* nightlong
* nightly
* nightmare
* nightmares
* nightmarish
* nightmarishly
* nights
* nightscope
* nightscopes
* nightshade
* nightshades
* nightshirt
* nightshirts
* nightside
* nightsides
* nightspot
* nightspots
* nightstand
* nightstands
* nightstick
* nightsticks
* nighttime
* nighttimes
* nightwalker
* nightwalkers
* nightwear
* nighty
* nigrified
* nigrifies
* nigrify
* nigrifying
* nigrosin
* nigrosins
Each and every one of these words is a dog-whistle. Don't let anyone tell you any differently.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:45 PM
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SEK you're forgetting the words that have "nig" somewhere in the middle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:53 PM
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And words that end in -ing, for the dyslexics.

If a reference to ginger comes up in a Clinton ad, I'll know she's going for the racist anagram-lover vote.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:57 PM
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Plus if you happen to catch the ad in the mirror you'll be drawn back to the succor of demon gin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:58 PM
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Nightclubbing? Nightstick? Nightspot? Nightmare? How can the Clintons be so clever as to evoke all those stereotypes at once?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 5:59 PM
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It's an enigma.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:02 PM
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Enigma? Denigrate? Pfennig? Midnight? What does it mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:03 PM
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Wow, pwned by somebody sitting in the same room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:03 PM
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Ha ha, Tweety.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:04 PM
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Obama is the nightwalker.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:04 PM
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Obama: America's Sniglet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:05 PM
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It's not even nig, though. It's nic.

Therefore, saying that Obama is "nice" is RACIST.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:07 PM
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31 is totally racist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:07 PM
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Therefore, saying that Obama is "nice" is RACIST.

Kinda like "articulate".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:07 PM
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32: "Nic" short for Nicotine: the man is a smoker. That's way worse than being black.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:08 PM
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Smoking is just his way to signal that he's not a Nazi.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:14 PM
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Y'all will kill me if I list all the words containing "nig" in the middle. So I shall provide a link instead ... only I can't. So, go here and search for *nig*.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:23 PM
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AIEEE! Obama is benign!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:34 PM
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the racist anagram-lover vote

This is just the kind of microtrend analysis that earns Penn the big bucks.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:35 PM
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38: And denigrated enigmatically fortnightly, postmidnight weeknights. We should check and see if that fits in with Althouse's schedule.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:44 PM
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Shorter Althouse: "I call shenanigans!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:47 PM
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41: accenting the third syllable, of course.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:48 PM
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OMFG.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:56 PM
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Will someone please remind me of what happens when I argue on the Internet? Because this Mortimer person's making me think, "Casper? Casper who?"


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 6:58 PM
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SEK, just think of what it looks like from outside when you argue on the internet.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:22 PM
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I think this is my favorite review from Ogged's link in 5.

She is like an emu. She writes and talks like a flightless bird who does not understand copyright laws.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:24 PM
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SEK, just think of what it looks like from outside when you argue on the internet.

And with that, I go to cook dinner ... with flaky, grippable sea salt, in case anyone's wondering.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 7:47 PM
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And what can you spell with the words "dinner", "grippable", and an extra g taken from some other nearby phrase?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:02 PM
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48: grin, nipple badger.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 8:06 PM
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I'm away for half a day, and I see that you have all gone completely crazy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 9:43 PM
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the image of an adorable, sleeping black child is cunningly chosen by the Clinton campaign: what could SEEM less fearful than a cute, sleeping child? surely such an image cannot be chosen to play on racist anxieties. but wait! the true racist knows all too well that EVEN WHEN SLEEPING and years from puberty young black children are ALREADY PLOTTING to ravish white women and abduct them from their beds--the VERY BEDS that are depicted in this insidious commerical that so cleverly appeals to racist fantasies....as soon as this this commercial concludes, this young black child will no doubt go from bed to bed, committing the most HORRIFIC CRIMES upon the INNOCENT PERSONS of those other adorable racially diverse children depicted in the commercial. how DARE the Clinton campaign so cynically invoke the figure of the cute black rapist child? for SHAME, Clinton campaign--for SHAME!


Posted by: nick l | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:03 PM
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It's funny that Ann often dithers around for fun to mass appeal, but when she writes a post that clearly demonstrates she's a genius, the claws come out.

Mortimer Brezny


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 10:36 PM
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Has anyone made the suggestion yet that the child might be wearing jammies with some sort of "Good Night" print on the fabric?

Yeah, Catherine, Ann Althouse, if you'd bothered to read what she wrote.

I just made fun of Althouse to my girlfriend on the phone. It doesn't change the fact that your comment was lazily stupid.


Posted by: Christoph | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:18 PM
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Chrisoph, unfogged policy is that if you present an email address, it has to be a real one, and moreover, have the appearance of being a real one. You're banned until you shape up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:22 PM
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Chrisoph you idiot, she specifically said she couldn't go over to the post in question.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-08 11:26 PM
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And Chrisoph was paying 1.99/minute for the phone call to his girlfriend, so you know he was serious.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 2-08 10:06 AM
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Chrisoph's 'bout four Ts short of a warm reception round these parts, ain't he.

No wonder the lad needs a phone girlfriend.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 2-08 10:13 AM
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But if, with me, you maintain a strict policy of reading only the contributions of Sir Archy to her comments threads, you'll see that Althouse is a bloggerly miracle. (Bookmark that link, then return once a week or so.)


Posted by: Ted H. | Link to this comment | 03- 2-08 11:49 AM
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Ted!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 2-08 12:17 PM
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"If a reference to ginger comes up in a Clinton ad, I'll know she's going for the racist anagram-lover vote."

Well she's got my vote, then.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-08 5:13 AM
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