Re: Pittsburgh Canvassing

1

Dude, you have no idea. That left, that left. Even when that left will kill you.

Which little suburban town?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:46 PM
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Elizabeth, oddly enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:51 PM
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Ha.

My contribution to the election today was helping my sister figure out where her polling place was. Which was easy. I then found out I'm still registered in PA.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:53 PM
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Pittsburgh-only signs: "Left turn yield on green".

That totally isn't just a Pittsburgh thing. I've seen those all over the place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:57 PM
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(Generally you see them at lights that also have a green arrow.)

(Also people do the "Pittsburgh left" thing in Boston, too.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:57 PM
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3: wait, which sister? Who's she voting for?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:58 PM
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Huh. Why would they be necessary anyplace else, given that the default rule is left turn always yields? I'd just never noticed them before, and assumed it was about the Pittsburgh left.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:58 PM
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Oh, 5 kind of answers 7.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:59 PM
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So ... what's the Pittsburgh left?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:02 PM
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How about that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:03 PM
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11

RTFA, Ben.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:04 PM
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5: I suspect they're children of Pittsburghers. We're everywhere.

6: Not the wingnut. This one is leaning Obama, but then realized she doesn't know about the issues, and would be voting a straight Democratic ticket just because she's a Democrat, and that 'would be unfair' (to McCain, presumably), so I pointed out that there were, like, campaign websites and she said 'IM SO LAZY.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:05 PM
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Just ask, they'll probably just give it to you. I grew up in a Sheetmetal Workers hall and currently work for a labor union with great election gear. We love to give the stuff away so don't be shy.


Posted by: Steve Balboni | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:13 PM
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I'm a United Auto Worker. I should get some sort of autoworkers for Obama t-shirt.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:20 PM
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I loved volunteering with the union in 2004. Teamsters are totally badass.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:26 PM
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As weary as I am of this campaign, I'll miss the colorful characters it has introduced me to, such as the meanest lady in America.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:51 PM
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Misc. Barack Obama-related program activies: I'm on some "NeighborhoodTeam" listserv, which seems to be dedicated to distributing local organizing info. This morning, a message came across the list from some girl who was encouraging us to "screw midterms" and come to some coffee house to make some calls for a few hours. I presume she somehow thought that the listserv contained the addresses of her and her friends alone, but it turned out to actually contain ~20,500 addresses.

So you can probably guess what happened. First we get a couple emails from the girl's friends talking about meeting up, and then someone chimes in to state that she is "way too old for midterms, or something" but that she'll already be downtown working today. After that, the "PLEASE REMOVE ME I DID NOT ASK TO BE ON THIS LIST" emails ensue, and they go on and on and on. Someone chimes in objecting to candy corn as a Halloween treat, many people point out that each email contains an "unsubscribe" link, but the "please unsubscribe" emails continue. How, in 2008, do people still not understand how listservs work?

The emails went on from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 130 in all. I'm guessing someone finally restricted posting to moderators. Fortunately this is not a swing state.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:03 PM
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Listservs are the devil.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:07 PM
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16 is unbelieveable. I hope the kids egged the hell out of her house.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:22 PM
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Seriously, though, screw midterms.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:29 PM
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Obama seemed to be having real fun ragging on McC today over the Dick Cheney endorsement.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:34 PM
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I heard the entire steel industry's gay. You've really got to get one of those shirts.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:36 PM
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21: The thing is


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:55 PM
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Okay... I typed a full sentence. Where'd it go??

(re: cheney must know his endorsement hurts mccain. no?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:57 PM
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"John McCain worked hard for that endorsement"

"The economic policy of George W. Bush and the foreign policy of Dick Cheney"

"No, you don't have to boo, you just have to vote"


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:59 PM
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"No, you don't have to boo, you just have to vote"

BHO has been saying this a lot, and wisely, I think. Most footage of McCain's rallies ends up looking like a guy smiling broadly while people boo him, even if they're theoretically booing BHO. It's been creeping me out since Green Screen speech night, and it's an image Obama does well to avoid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:06 AM
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It wasn't an endorsement, exactly. Cheney was back in Wyoming to vote, and gave an interview there.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:07 AM
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And yeah, Di, an endorsement from Cheney is like an endorsement of Bin Laden. It's so hard to figure out how aware the endorsing person might be of the negative impact of the endorsement that one wonders how many layers, exactly, of jiu-jitsu are going on.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:07 AM
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And yeah, Di, an endorsement from Cheney is like an endorsement [from] Bin Laden.

It's not that I disagree, but can we just step back for a minute and notice, again, what an utterly, utterly insane world we're living in that this obtains?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:18 AM
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Yes, from.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:21 AM
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Apparently the plumber's union is giving out "the REAL Joe the Plumber for Obama" yard signs to members.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:22 AM
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I'm phonebanking tomorrow from a union hall. If they have cool union tshirts I'm totally asking for one.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:25 AM
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I need to vent about people who refuse to vote early. "It will be great to be there with my neighbors! I don't mind standing in line for 4 (6, 8) hours!" Good for you. So vote early, and then go hang out at your precinct for those 4 hours and work as an election judge or poll watcher; help voters who aren't sure if they're in the right place; bring water to people who are standing in line; distract their bored kids; wave an Obama sign; or just stand around and talk with your neighbors. You can even save your "I voted" sticker and wear it that day.

By insisting on voting on Election Day, you're wasting candidates' (and ballot measure campaigns') time and money that would be better spent on, say, winning.* You're making the wait longer for parents with little kids in tow or a babysitter at home or the people who have trouble standing because of diabetes or a bad back. You're keeping people standing outside in the cold/sleet/sun. You're making it tougher for election officials to resolve ballot problems. You're giving Republicans more time to suppress votes.

I know I'm being strident, but I just put in 14 hours at the campaign office and now have insomnia, so I don't think I'm capable of dialing it down at the moment.

Winning elections and saving the country: Even more fun than voting on Election Day!

*Folks who haven't worked on campaigns may not realize that each day's list of who's voted is public information, which the campaigns use to update their targeted lists. So every phone call, robocall, doorknock, and mailer you get after the 1st day of early voting is a complete waste of money, staff time, and volunteers.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 1:58 AM
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Shorter me: People who don't vote early are even meaner than the lady in 16.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 1:59 AM
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I spent a few hours phonebanking from some lawyer's office today. They had all sorts of union stuff hanging on the walls... the weirdest one was a vintage ad for toilet paper that read, "Is your bathroom breeding Bolsheviks? Workers lose respect for a company that doesn't provide quality sanitary supplies."

Sigh... I'm not really a people person, but I'll probably do a couple more hours tomorrow, if only to spite one exceptionally arrogant McCain supporter from Indiana.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:09 AM
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You might find:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/us_elections_2008/7704636.stm

interesting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:20 AM
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Sigh. I can't vote early, Sir Kraab.

Cala, Are you going to be able to get to Pennsylvania to vote or are you also registered in your current state? (Not intentionally, of course).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 3:14 AM
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Yeah, but you can marry a woman any old time you want.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 3:31 AM
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36: Cupcake is great! I wish they'd said where he's from.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 3:34 AM
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re: 39

Florida. The video was originally from the reporter blogging the McCain campaign.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/matthewprice/2008/11/breaking_stereotypes_with_cupc.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 4:06 AM
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We went to NH yesterday to volunteer, it was pretty lame. We did lit drops, not canvassing, and the lit drops were just straight-ticket Dem sample ballots and a flyer for a local state rep I've never heard of. They told the group of ~30 of us that our job was not to talk to voters, but to send the local Republican party a message about the manpower the Dems have in this election by sending a volunteer to every single house in town. Playing postman strikes me as less than useful.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 5:27 AM
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Are you going to be able to get to Pennsylvania to vote or are you also registered in your current state? (Not intentionally, of course).

I've been registered in my current state since 2006.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 5:56 AM
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They had all sorts of union stuff hanging on the walls... the weirdest one was a vintage ad for toilet paper that read, "Is your bathroom breeding Bolsheviks? Workers lose respect for a company that doesn't provide quality sanitary supplies."

Sadly, this one isn't really vintage.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 6:29 AM
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I've vote any goddamn time I like, Sir Kraab. I am not a cog in your election strategy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 6:35 AM
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45

I voted last week, and the robocalls have kept coming. Not that I actually mind.

So we're canvassing in Butte today. Butte, America.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 6:38 AM
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46

JMM on BHO on JSM's BFF.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 6:58 AM
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I was paired with a woman (from Chicago!) and her two boys, ages 10 & 12. They boys were high energy, but respectful and smart, and while they mostly argued over who would ring the doorbell, they were great to have around as McIdiot repellents.

We walked around a newish neighborhood, went to 32 houses, talked to 6 people (everyone else wasn't home). We gave more info to 1 person, found out 3 had already voted for Obama, and 2 said they planned to vote on election day but wouldn't say for whom. One person asked "who is it?" and then wouldn't answer the door when we said we were from the Obama campaign. Maybe they were expecting a candygram and couldn't stand the disappointment.

Many people in the neighborhood had signs and bumper stickers for Obama. Notably, one house had BOTH Obama and McCain signs in the yard, and both stickers on the same car. I'm glad we didn't have to ring that bell; I have a feeling it would have been hard to unring my ears afterward.


Posted by: wrenae | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:40 AM
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Sadly, this one isn't really vintage.

It's a reproduction, but it's really an ad from the 1930s. Whaddya want, buddy?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:41 AM
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Oh god, I read 46 as meaning "John Stuart Mill's BFF" and referring to Harriet Taylor. Kill me.

What amazes me about canvassing is how futile it seems. Almost all my door knocking fell into these categories: not home, definitely going to vote Obama and fully intending to vote, or "go away." Sadly, the people who might be in need of our information about polling locations, the right to vote if you get there by 8, etc., are also the people who we have a hard time reaching because they don't own homes. Apartment dwellers move all the time, and even if the address is right it's sometimes hard to reach them from the lobby. And so on.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:42 AM
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snarkout is an antiques dealer.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:43 AM
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Charlie, give my very best to the Butte Pirates.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:43 AM
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A girlfriend of mine just called to report back from York, PA. (Her husband promised a relaxing weekend out of town but was secretly angling to make her protest a Palin rally with him. I suggested divorce, as usual.) It turns out rumors of wild Mc-P rallies in PA are far overstated. It wasn't hostile; it was barely happening. 300 people or so in a sad little indoor-hockey venue. No one was allowed to have homemade signs, so even the normal, on-message ones were taken away. Palin did what my friend called "basically a Democratic stump speech, all about health care and infrastructure," which shows that only one message is really working right now in PA, and it's not their own.

My friends accidentally found themselves at the same diner with the Palin staffers afterward, and my friend reports "Their table sounded like a bunch of turkeys from the other side of the room, 'obamaobamaobamaobama.'" They were really depressed-looking and low-spirited until they saw that (it being Halloween) there was a bowl of candy out for trick-or-treaters. One staffer got up, took the bowl of candy, and began handing it out to the diners, telling them to vote for McCain-Palin as he gave away candy the diner bought for kids.

This thing's over, dudes. I'm not saying don't work your butts off. I just need to be able to sleep and calm down a little these next few days. The anxiety is awful. What I think we're seeing is the news people trying to capitalize on a final few days, as if it's close, when it's not. We all knew this would happen, but I didn't realize how much erosion of my esophageal lining would happen because of it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:02 AM
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I don't think these British papers really understand how offensive "redneck" is. They're usually pretty careful about putting things in quotation marks.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:05 AM
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(Cupcake is great, and we need to see more of people like him, but I'm kind of disgusted with the BBC that they're all "OMG, but we thought you were a racist stupid retard, not an Obama voter." Have they been following the news at all? Obama's always been great with rural whites.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:07 AM
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Can't vote early in Pennsylvania, Kraab.

I am actually visiting outside Pgh until Monday night. But said I would volunteer on election day, whatever that entails.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:20 AM
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re: 53

That's the BBC, not a paper, and yeah, I thought the same thing. The BBC is normally fierce about the use of quotation marks in that context. I suspect it slipped through because its a blog post by one of the campaign journalists rather than an 'authored' post.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:24 AM
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I just figured some of those offensive self-descriptors may not code as slurs in the same way outside the community in which they're used. If a guy like that calls himself a redneck, it's cool, but it's not cool if I call him a redneck. Same with "chicano," "queer," "nigga," etc. It's hard to imagine a news organization saying "A local queer canvassed today against Prop 8" or whatever, even if the guy self-identified. International news reporting must be difficult that way.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:29 AM
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Is the word "Chicano" used as a slur? I've only ever known it as a term with positive and political connotations.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:33 AM
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"Chicano" is a slur? I thought it meant "Mexican-American".


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:37 AM
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Yeah, it's a reclaimed word meaning, basically, ignorant Mexican rural person. In the US, it usually gets used by and for Mex-Am pride, but it is derived from a slur. (I was informed in my studies that it's like "queer" in that it's OK for academics to use--chicano lit, queer theory, etc.--but not OK to go around referring to people with, when you're not Mexican yourself.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:37 AM
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the weirdest one was a vintage ad for toilet paper that read, "Is your bathroom breeding Bolsheviks? Workers lose respect for a company that doesn't provide quality sanitary supplies."

I have that poster on my bathroom wall!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:39 AM
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Most rednecks I know don't mind the title, are even proud of it and wouldn't find it an insult. It may be somewhat classist, but it's not the same as race-based insults; it's more behavior-based than anything else. That is, it's easy to opt out of "redneckiness" if you want to, even if you're a rural white.


Posted by: wrenae | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:56 AM
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but I'm kind of disgusted with the BBC that they're all "OMG, but we thought you were a racist stupid retard, not an Obama voter." Have they been following the news at all? Obama's always been great with rural whites.

Hang on - Cupcake has a confederate flag tattoo and says that most of his friends are not voting for Obama because he's black. It's not a stretch to be surprised that Cuppy's breaking out of the cupcake wrapper.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:00 AM
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Most rednecks I know don't mind the title, are even proud of it and wouldn't find it an insult.

It depends who's applying the term, no? A redneck gets it when they're being called 'redneck' as shorthand for ignorant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:01 AM
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Jeff-Foxworthy-type comedy isn't very old, w/r/t the redneck thing, so maybe in the past 15 years or so it's become more a marker of pride, but when I was a kid, it was a forbidden word, as was "white trash" (and not for the reason that it's racist to assume that you need to add "white" to specify). Both my parents were raised as poor Southern whites who were trying to be respectable in the middle class midwest, and both worked really hard to stifle their accents, lest they be taken for "rednecks." Of late, I've noticed my father has stopped trying to hide his redneckiness as the people around him come to embrace it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:02 AM
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re: 63

Yeah, I think this was the point. The BBC aren't exactly going to be surprised that working class white voters are voting for Obama.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:15 AM
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It depends who's applying the term, no? A redneck gets it when they're being called 'redneck' as shorthand for ignorant.

I think this is right. It's a context- and speaker- informed term. shiv will cheerfully refer to himself as a redneck sometimes. I will refer to him teasingly as a redneck when he's doing something that drives me crazy, or when he's done something that particularly deserves the term, like setting his shirt on fire accidently. He might refer to a guy he works with as a "total redneck" if he is making the point about how the guy has John Deere socks and an IQ of about 75.

There would be contexts in which I'd take the term directed towards him as an insult, though, but it would be the attitude and the context more than the term.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:16 AM
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This is for John Emerson. Scarlett Johansson was at the Obama office in Lakewood, and I asked her to give you a video shout out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:25 AM
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OMFG, you are rad, Rob.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:28 AM
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68 is crazy awesome. Shame you couldn't get one for your buddy "ogged", too.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:28 AM
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I thought about ogged, but I'm punishing him for abandoning the blog.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:29 AM
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Which is just and proper.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:30 AM
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It pains me that she didn't ask who wants to sex Mutombo, but that was pretty fucking fabulous.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:31 AM
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So did she commit to attend (host?) UnfoggedCon III?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:33 AM
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That is so great! Can I elevate it to it's own post?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:36 AM
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It deserves it! A shout-out to Emerson is a shout-out to all of us!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:37 AM
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I wold be honored if it were promoted. I'm now uploading the short speech she gave to the canvassers. Its less personal, but you do get to see the nice boots she was wearing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:41 AM
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Sometimes I can't figure out who's internet friend John Emerson is, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:43 AM
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Thank you Rob. I'll keep the video close to my heart forever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:48 AM
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Everybody but me knows what she said. "Hi, Dirty Old Disgruntled Leftist Man!"?

I have ITunes on one computer, but not an internet connection usually. Atcually Tomorrow I can listen to it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:54 AM
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John, the transcript is:

S-JO: Hi, my internet friend, no, -your- internet friend, John Emerson!
RH-CHA: There you go! Thank you very much.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:56 AM
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Did you mention the Monica Goodling woman-in-prison script I have, with the love triangle between her, Natalie Portman, and the tough old lesbian Winona Ryder?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:58 AM
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I don't think Chicano is offensive to anyone in the United States anymore. It's had a weird history as a word, and isn't in wide circulation right now, but I don't think anyone would hear it as an epithet.

It has a more politicized cast than Latino or Hispanic. It emerged as an alternative to Hispanic, which privileges Spanish origins at the expense of mesoamerican roots. Latino, of later ascension, has a similar problem but doesn't have the same associations, and has a broader reach than Chicano, which doesn't include Latin America south of Mexico.

So it would be perfectly appropriate to call someone, say, "an old Chicano activist" or refer to L.A. Chicano painters, but it would be less appropriate to say "Chicanos supported Hillary Clinton in the election". At this point, it has as much cultural specificity as ethnic.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:02 AM
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I think in my Spanish textbooks Chicano was presented as the name of a movement/subculture more than a name of a ethnicity.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:05 AM
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RH-CHA

robhelpy-chalkhelpsamerica?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:08 AM
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82: John, I figured the less she knew about you, the more likely she was to actually say something friendly to you.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:13 AM
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Story of my life. On the other hand, Woody Allen isn't exactly a Clean Old Man.

Somehow I think that that movie isn't going to get made.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:14 AM
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It's so hard to figure out how aware the endorsing person might be of the negative impact of the endorsement that one wonders how many layers, exactly, of jiu-jitsu are going on.

We were talking about this earlier and I told Rah I'm pretty sure this is Cheney lifting a wing, extending the middle flight-feather and doing the Penguin waaaaah wah wah laugh in McCain's face.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:29 PM
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49 - In my (one) day of going door-to-door, it was about 85% "not home", 10% "moved", and 4% "already voted/going to vote", but we did get one guy who needed to vote early and didn't have the info yet.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 11:58 AM
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