This Christmas Parade Float is All-the-Way Racist, Y’all

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If you are unfamiliar with the Twitter account, @yesyoureracist, you must check it out. The idea behind it is to pick out tweets from various ign’ant ass people, and to reassure them that despite their protestations to the contrary, they are, in fact, racist.

Piggybacking on that idea, I think someone should create a Twitter account “dear media: yes, that’s racist,” [working title] because watching the media attempt to avoid calling racist shit “racist shit” is starting to grate on my last nerve. There are certain things that are blatantly in-your-face racist, and when those things happen, they should be called blatantly in-your-face racist or holy-shit-that’s-racist, and not “some-call-it-racist,” or “some-say-it’s-racist” or other mealy-mouthed nonsense.

For example, when a radio station’s Christmas Parade float consists of dragging a black guy behind a tow truck while some asshole shock jock cracks jokes about a black Christmas fairy turning “crackers” into Beyonce, for the love of blog, call it racist:

G-105 apologizes for parade float that some called racist

Neither the G105 “Showgram” nor its host, Bob Dumas, are strangers to controversy. The popular local morning radio show is known for a range of stunts over the years that follow a familiar pattern: the hosts enrage some of the local citizenry, Showgram fans rally to their defense, the station gets free publicity and then apologizes.

This week, the Showgram is under fire for its float in last Saturday’s Raleigh WRAL Christmas Parade. The entry featured a black man dressed in a skirt with fairy wings, strapped to a harness that was suspended from the back of a tow truck. Dumas, riding on the float, described the scene to parade goers as “Tyrone the Black Christmas Fairy” who was going to turn “crackers” into Beyonce.

Many people watching the parade or reading accounts of it later called the image inappropriate and took to Facebook and Twitter.

“I cannot believe that this happened,” Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane wrote on Facebook to a concerned citizen. “Raleigh will not tolerate racism or anything that comes remotely close. This parade is a Raleigh tradition that includes everyone and should be treated as such.”

Michael “Breeze” Rackoff, who up until late last week was the director of the Showgram, said he questioned the concept of the Christmas fairy when Dumas first proposed it in a staff meeting. The man suspended from the truck, Tyrone Dunston, is not a Showgram employee but is a longtime fan of the show.

Rackoff thought the show’s parade entry should have had a different motif.

“It was originally going to be a military theme, up until the very last week,” Rackoff said Wednesday. “There was also that idea of Tyrone hanging from a tow truck as a Christmas fairy, and I specifically remember looking at several people and saying, ‘Ah, isn’t that kind of racially insensitive to drag a black man behind a tow truck, be it in good spirits or not?’

“Obviously, no one thought it was an issue,” he said.

Obviously.

[News & Observer via TPM]

[cross-posted at ABLC]

118 replies
  1. 1
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    As I post this comment, I note that it is the first, and there are no comments yet.

    I am guessing maybe that is because the rest of you are just as *(&&***( speechless at this incident as I am.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    “Obviously, no one thought it was an issue,” he said.

    Privilege. Yer soaking in it.

    @HeartlandLiberal: I confess it took me a minute to even come close to formulating a response. That is just like wow…

  3. 3

    I just need to point out that radio people can be some of the worst pond scum ever to surface out of the media swap. I used to have to cover the Country Radio Seminar which is held in Nashville every year, and you get a bunch of drunk-assed radio programmers, executives, personalities, promotions people, etc. in a room with an open bar and you’re asking for bad behavior.

  4. 4

    “Obviously, no one thought it was an issue,” he said.

    And that, my friend, IS the issue.

  5. 5
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Another BJ thread about alleged racism.

    That’s different.

  6. 6
    Ted & Hellen says:

    How is “suspended from a tow truck hanging in the air” the same thing as being DRAGGED behind a pickup truck on the ground until dead?

    Plus, the fairy guy is a black dude. So…by BJ standards doesn’t that mean that the stunt can’t possibly be racist because he says so?

  7. 7
    Lojasmo says:

    Ted & Helen in 3..2..1..

    Oops.

  8. 8

    @Ted & Hellen:

    And perhaps we should ignore it because it offends your delicate sensibilities? Please retire to your fainting couch and don’t forget to take your scroll button with you. The rest of us have fucking work to do.

  9. 9
    Yutsano says:

    @Lojasmo: According to Special Timmeh if a minority gives you cover for your racist symbol it is totes not racist by default. QED.

  10. 10
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’m almost more impressed by those tweets. ‘I’m not racist but I’m almost positive these black kids are crooks and thugs’? Jesus Christ, lady, INRB isn’t a magic incantation: you can’t just say it and then be completely protected. It would help to not be completely racist right after you say it.

  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    Racist people never think they are racist. Does anyone know someone who admits it?

  12. 12
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The rest of us have fucking work to do.

    hahahahaha…and what great work are you accomplishing by commenting in this thread?

    giggle.

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Just from the standpoint of pure comedy, WTF? How does that premise make any sense?

    (In terms of racially inflammatory iconography, actually I see less “dragged behind a truck” and more “dangling from a high height” from this pic.)

  14. 14

    Okay I just read the story. The radio station in question has a long, long history of doing offensive things and saying offensive things just to be dicks. Such as:

    Other incidents involving Bob Dumas and his morning show on G105 radio:
    1998: Suspended after encouraging people to run naked in downtown Raleigh to win concert tickets.
    1999: Upset Raleigh-Durham International Airport officials by having two people try to board planes with fake names and no boarding passes.
    2000: Strapped a nude man to the top of a vehicle and drove around to protest gas prices.
    2001: Sued for sending someone to steal the garbage of a rival radio host.
    2003: Enraged cyclists by suggesting that motorists should harass them.
    2004: Angered Asian-Americans by saying Asian women are unattractive.
    2004: Criticized for calling “American Idol” winner Fantasio Barrino “ghetto.”
    2004: Staged a “Heterosexual Pride Day” in Chapel Hill, in which people wore T-shirts proclaiming themselves “flaming heterosexuals.”
    2008: Angered Native Americans with comments about Lumbee Indians.

    So what idiot in the parade organizing committee decided it was OK for these people to even participate? Clearly they are doing the radio equivalent of “click-bait” — being intentionally offensive just to get attention and get people upset. People who do this are the trolls of the media and until everyone wakes the fuck up and just says no I ain’t playing that game anymore, it won’t stop.

    Parade organizers: do not let these people have a float in your parade. Station owners: don’t let your paid staff be dicks just for the sake of being dicks. Don’t support hate speech and offensive behavior that divides the community. And now that we all know who and what these people are we can stop listening to their station and visiting their advertisers.

    This shit ain’t hard. It’s common sense. Don’t feed the hate.

  15. 15
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Yutsano:

    According to Special Timmeh if a minority gives you cover for your racist symbol it is totes not racist by default. QED.

    According to Klutz Yutz if a minority makes a blog post accusing someone of being racist it is totes racist no matter what some other minority might say. QED

    So if a “minority” says RACIST and another “minority” says NOT RACIST, how do you know?

  16. 16
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Besides, Yutz, aren’t you white?

    So what the hell do you know?

  17. 17
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Ted & Hellen: So if a “minority” says RACIST and another “minority” says NOT RACIST, how do you know?

    The piefilter knows. The piefilter ALWAYS knows.

  18. 18
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    And if you have a commenter pied, how do you know what they wrote?

    loser.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Is that an argument? My racial background renders me incapable of determining if an act is racist or not? Holy crap you are just thick. But you’re just a contrarian asshole so why do I bother?

  20. 20
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    Never fear, folks. When real racism rears its ugly head, our resident concern troll will let us know, in the same vein that he’s qualified to tell us what liberalism really is, which kind of atheism is the most acceptable, and whether or not any given female is attractive, which is the most valid opinion any (allegedly) gay man can have. He knows the right way to think about any topic and it is only we fools who refuse to see his light.

  21. 21
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Yutsano:

    It has been argued here many, many times that ABL and Zandar have special credibility on race issues because of their…race, which is AA.

    You’re white. Figure it out, genius.

  22. 22
    pat says:

    hell must be sitting next to ted and hellen on a long long flight….

  23. 23
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    Could you explain how me expressing MY opinion is different than any other commenter expressing THEIR opinion? I assume they think they are right or they wouldn’t write what they write…so…what’s your point?

    Oh…I am not generally in synch with the hive mind, ergo that disturbs the force in your universe.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You didn’t answer my question. But I didn’t expect you to. You can’t argue your way out of a wet paper bag. But that’s not your purpose here.

  25. 25
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @pat:

    Hell for the stupid, bliss for the wise.

  26. 26
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    As a NC resident in their ADI, I’m quite familiar with the Showgram. The people calling “troll” are dead-on. They may not even be actual racists at all, they just play them in public for the shock and outrage.

  27. 27
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Yutsano:

    You didn’t answer my question.

    Of course I did, Yutso the Stupid, you are just too dense to comprehend it so let me try again.

    At BJ it is often put forth that AA front pagers have special credibility on race issues because of their race, which is black.

    YOU are white. That is your race. Because at BJ you have to be black to be credible on race issues, you, being white, are excluded from that credibility and should thus shut the fuck up.

    Well, that would assume hive mind intellectual consistency here, and you’re right, that IS a long shot especially coming from you Yutzels.

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @pat: Were you ever as a child on the receiving end of “I’m not touching you” or “Why are you hitting yourself”? Because for some reason that’s where my mind free-associates whenever I see the T&H nym.

  29. 29
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    duh

  30. 30
    scav says:

    ah, the spatz. complaining about another post on racism for once shouting at a mirror instead of an empty chair. like racism, ugly and still with us.

  31. 31
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Ted & Hellen: “Could you explain how me expressing MY opinion is different…” I made it clear in my post, but I’ll be happy to simplify it for you. Your schtick, as I’ve seen it, is to act as if you’ve got the only way to be. Nobody’s liberal if they don’t agree with you; Lena Dunham is an ugly skag and only idiots think otherwise; angry atheists are dumb because what do they have to be angry about, etc. You consistently act like you’ve got it all figured out and anybody who doesn’t see it your way is stupid. Maybe you don’t mean to come across that way. I doubt it.

  32. 32
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Ted & Hellen: “at BJ you have to be black to be credible on race issues,” said nobody but you, ever. Nobody but you is dividing this up into Cartesian dualism, sparky. People with insight will grant that, because they are minorities, Zandar and ABL can speak with more authority on the minority experience in general, but that doesn’t mean one “has to be black to be credible on race issues.” That’s just stupid. Or racist.

  33. 33
    kyle says:

    I specifically remember looking at several people and saying, ‘Ah, isn’t that kind of racially insensitive to drag a black man behind a tow truck, be it in good spirits or not?’

    Best quote of the week.

  34. 34
    pat says:

    I know this is a recurring plea, and I admit that I have been too eager to take an easy shot a couple of times, but people, if ted doesn’t get a response he might finally give up and move on.

    He comes here to annoy and so far he has been too successful. I for one pledge never again to mention him.

  35. 35
    kyle says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth: \

    because they are minorities, Zandar and ABL can speak with more authority on the minority experience in general, but that doesn’t mean one “has to be black to be credible on race issues.”

    I think that nails it. But I must caveat you on the following point:

    Your schtick, as I’ve seen it, is to act as if you’ve got the only way to be…. You consistently act like you’ve got it all figured out and anybody who doesn’t see it your way is stupid.

    Isn’t that the way with everybody here? And by “here” I mean the Internet.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @pat:

    hell must be sitting next to in between ted and hellen on a long long flight….

    The middle seat is always the worst.

  37. 37
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @kyle: “Isn’t that the way with everybody here? And by “here” I mean the Internet.” If that’s true then it’s a matter of degree, innit? Though, generally, I don’t pretend to have a perfect grasp/ideal stance on any subject.

  38. 38
    cmorenc says:

    @Southern Beale: After seeing the long list of offensive things Bob Dumas has done over the years, and now this latest “black fairy” stunt, the following obvious questions should demand answers:
    1) Why does Bob Dumas still have a job at station 105?
    or: 2) If the reason Bob Dumas still has a job at station 105 is because he still has the knowing approval of station management, then why does station 105 still have its license? SOMEONE should challenge the station’s license at its next renewal.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    @kyle: not entirely. there are some that argue and learn and sometimes even manage to change their mind, rather than mindlessly take the if at all possible offensively contrarian position of the ‘hive mind’ in order to ape being an individual of deeper than mere human thought processes. Or are all human personalities and interactions schtick in your mind? There are a lot of poseurs and personal brand-management enthusiasts on the tuubz, but not everyone at all times.

  40. 40
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Southern Beale: And yet progressive radio stations are being replaced with sports radio. As if Portland and Seattle needs any more.

  41. 41
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I liked the one-day appearance of the @yourinAmerica Twitter bot, too.

    Shock jocks are just trolls, and should be treated as such.

  42. 42
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    You consistently act like you’ve got it all figured out and anybody who doesn’t see it your way is stupid.

    That’s your insecurity talking.

    And once again, that is the prominent tone in almost every BJ front pager post, so what the fuck?

    Or do you find FPers here to be generally retiring and shy with their opinions and self righteousness? hahaha

  43. 43
    RSA says:

    Huh. I saw this on TPM. I don’t see much overt racism here in Raleigh, but sometimes…

    I was once buying gas at a nearby station, paying cash (I don’t remember why). The sign said to pay inside before I pumped the gas, so I went in, stood in line behind a couple of guys who were paying for their gas, and when I got to the counter, the guy there said, “You didn’t have to pay in advance.” I went outside before doing a double take, realizing that the I didn’t have to pay because I’m white (half-white, at least) and the other guys in line weren’t.

    I don’t get gas there any more. I should have guessed, actually; there’s a sign posted outside that reads, “This is a FAMILY establishment. Pull up your pants. Turn down your music. NO PROFANITY.”

  44. 44
    Anya says:

    Another much needed Twitter account: “Dear Pundit: what you just said is racist.” This applies to statements like: “Latinos are more self-reliant and hard working,” — usually made when comparing Latino voters with AA voters; and other asinine comments that pundits make without much thought.

    Also, too, the commenter with the two names is really, really obnoxious.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @cathyx:

    Racist people never think they are racist. Does anyone know someone who admits it?

    No, but I’ve read a PJM front-pager once make the sincere argument that obviously if he were racist like Hitler or the KKK, he’d take “racist” as a compliment, so the fact that he didn’t clearly proved he wasn’t racist.

    These people are tone deaf as balls.

  46. 46
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @cmorenc:

    Speaking as one who’s worked in radio (although admittedly not for a long time), I can tell you that radio audiences are highly fragmented by demographic. Bob Dumas has his job because of his ratings among a particular demographic. The people likely to protest the station’s re-licensure don’t listen to the station. In short: they don’t care what black people or white liberals think because they’re not listening to G105.

  47. 47
    Neutron Flux says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Hello, Pancake.

  48. 48
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Neutron Flux:

    Hi there, dumpling.

  49. 49
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Ted & Hellen: :That’s your insecurity talking.” You wish. I have no insecurity about being smarter than a theater major and erstwhile public relations hack.

  50. 50
    kyle says:

    @scav:

    Hey, I was exaggerating in order to make a joke! Yes, there certainly are Internet denizens who don’t act like little popes. But I think we can agree that they’re in the minority.

    … mindlessly take the if at all possible offensively contrarian position of the ‘hive mind’ in order to ape being an individual of deeper than mere human thought processes.

    Actually I wasn’t talking about contrarians per se. I meant anyone who’s dogmatic and full of themselves. Remember, JC said your resident troll acted “as if you’ve got the only way to be.” That’s what my little joke was about: Everybody on the Internet acts like their opinion is the gold standard.(No, wait, not everybody — most.)

    Or are all human personalities and interactions schtick in your mind?

    Wow, that’s actually dead on, if you make the usual change from “all” to “most.” That is indeed how I see people. Don’t know how I tipped you off, but you picked up on it.

  51. 51
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    “I have no insecurity about being smarter than a theater major and erstwhile public relations hack.”

    lol

    and yet you respond, rather…defensively.

  52. 52
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    It’s a Clear Channel station. Anyone surprised?

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Kind of flattered to know you’ve stalked my FB page.

    Want to buy a portrait? :D

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: Well knock me over with a feather and call me Sally!

    (no, not really surprised at all.)

  56. 56
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    1 democrats suck
    2 it might not be bad to rape boys
    3 i am the only liberal here
    4 atheists suck
    5 Racism is a myth

    Random stab based on post topic will usually yeild success.

  57. 57
    jshooper says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    This isn’t racist…because of drones and the drug war !!!

    You people will call anything racist.

    / paultard firebagger

  58. 58
    Humble Lurker says:

    Shorter Ted & Hellen: ‘You’re all mindless sheep because you don’t agree with meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’

    You want to tell us again why Sandusky wasn’t such a bad dude?

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    Ignoring the racial history of lynching deaths, which this harkens back to, how is dragging or hoisting anyone via rope from the back of a truck “in the Christmas spirit”? I had no idea that a black man in fairy wings with a wand “turning crackers into Beyonce” was party of the Nativity. It’s an obvious troll with a level of cultural ignorance that is astounding. the only problem with calling it ridiculous and ignoring it is that people then assume it’s ok.

  60. 60
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @ruemara:

    Ignoring the racial history of lynching deaths, which this harkens back to, how is dragging or hoisting anyone via rope from the back of a truck “in the Christmas spirit”? I had no idea that a black man in fairy wings with a wand “turning crackers into Beyonce” was party of the Nativity. It’s an obvious troll with a level of cultural ignorance that is astounding. the only problem with calling it ridiculous and ignoring it is that people then assume it’s ok.

    Church Lady?

  61. 61
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Waiting for Cole to ban your childish ass again, Timmeh.

    Throw another tantrum now that I’ve said that – I saw your impotent dipshit rage last night and it was hi-goddamn-larious.

  62. 62
    I am not a kook says:

    Ted & Hellen, you obviously don’t like (some) front pagers here. You don’t like (any?) commenters, to the extent that you seem to have formed a generic “BJ commenter” image in your head which lumps everyone together into a strawman of your own creation.

    You never try to argue constructively, you just tell people they are idiots.

    So why are you here? Why dwell in negativity? I don’t get it. What’s your problem?

  63. 63
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @I am not a kook: He’s a troll. A recurring one, who gets banned, changes names, and posts the same racist, stupid crap every time.

  64. 64
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Waiting for Cole to ban your childish ass again, Timmeh.

    You’ll be waiting a long time, maroon. He’s not nearly as tender a flower as you.

  65. 65
    ruemara says:

    @I am not a kook: Why do birds sing? Why do crocs croc? Why do serial killers kill? When you accept that you’re dealing with a sociopath and your choice is to engage or not, you achieve a zen quality. Who cares why he’s here?

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: Scorpion and frog, my dear lady. Scorpion and frog.

  67. 67
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @I am not a kook:

    So why are you here? Why dwell in negativity? I don’t get it. What’s your problem?

    You DO understand there is an entire planet outside this blog, correct? With which I interact on a daily basis, right?

    Mostly I enjoy poking holes in the hive mind’s assumptions and conceits, especially since it became clear to me that establishment Dems are every bit as capable of hive mind orthodoxy as the far right.

    I get plenty of positive affirmation in meat space. I don’t need to seek it out on the Intertrons.

  68. 68
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    posts the same racist, stupid crap every time.

    Please post some RACIST statements I have made.

    Thanks.

  69. 69
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @ruemara:

    Wow. A “sociopath.”

    You’re a tender, wee little special one, aren’t you.

    So delicate yet so defensive of your perceived Internet territory. Insecure much?

  70. 70
    ruemara says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Insecure? Why would you give a damn what I think of you? I certainly don’t matter to you, you and I not only hold different opinions, you have constantly expressed disdain for anyone who thinks contrary to you. You don’t give a damn, my dear, so stop pretending that you’re hurt somehow. Remember, you dislike us intensely and find us lacking. You don’t care. I’m fine with that, because neither do I.

  71. 71
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @ruemara:

    Who’s “us,” Ruemara? Do you speak for all commenters and lurkers at BJ?

    Or is there a certain…clique of commenters you have in mind?

    As for the “disdain” you claim I have…why are you not disturbed by the withering disdain that is expressed in almost ever front page post here and in so many of the Kool Kid comments? I will tell you why: Because you approve of the targets and the message, so you’re cool with it.

    But when I or anyone else states a contra view with the same sort of attitude, you shit yourself.

    Now why would that be?

    Insecure much?

  72. 72
    I am not a kook says:

    @Pinkamena Panic: Yeah, I know :) I’ve been on the internets almost 30 years (holy crap!), I can spot a troll.

    Sometimes innocent questions elicit something useful even from trolls. I think this one does protest too much about not needing validation from the intertrons. It also has a thing about “insecurity”.

  73. 73
    eemom says:

    bored out of my gourd doing work stuff this evening, or I wouldn’t bother….but fer fuck’s sake, y’all. There IS no better illustration of the hive mentality than the same old same old pile ons on T&H every time he shows up, which almost NEVER have anything to do with what he actually said, and everything to do with the collective image of him you’ve built up in your minds.

    ‘Sides, he’s the ONLY thing on this blog these days that isn’t boring as shit, for which I’m particularly grateful when desperate for distraction, like now.

  74. 74
    I am not a kook says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Mostly I enjoy poking holes in the hive mind’s assumptions and conceits, especially since it became clear to me that establishment Dems are every bit as capable of hive mind orthodoxy as the far right.

    I didn’t know Balloon Juice was “establishment Dems”. I’m glad to know I’m in such elevated company.

    Calling people assholes does not poke holes in their arguments. And it won’t change their minds. So, what are you trying to accomplish?

  75. 75
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @I am not a kook:

    I didn’t know Balloon Juice was “establishment Dems”.

    Now I KNOW you’re kidding.

    BJ is a thorougly Obotic blog. (I try to provide some dissenting spice, but I’m one of the few) Obama is the president of the united states and the de facto leader of the Dem party. Questioning of the president’s policies, actions, and motives is frowned on here, to put it gently.

    Up to speed now?

  76. 76
    dslak says:

    It’s nice to see that, in some corners of the Internet, a hungry troll won’t yet go unfed.

  77. 77
    Fax Paladin says:

    STOP FEEDING THE GODDAMNED TROLL.

    That is all.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @dslak: We’re compassionate folks. What can I say?

  79. 79
    mandarama says:

    Mostly I enjoy poking holes in the hive mind’s assumptions and conceits, especially since it became clear to me that establishment Dems are every bit as capable of hive mind orthodoxy as the far right.

    That can’t have been a recent discovery, though, or a surprise to you–human nature being what it is. There must be some semblance of hive mind in a coalition, in fact–I think you’ve said before that Democrats are fairly spineless when it comes to bold action, but most groups act boldly when they feel a collective sense of support from within. As a longtime Democrat, I tend to see us as much more contentious with each other than the Republicans, and we pay for it at times. Which do you think would be preferable? More hive mind, which would be more effective politically but possessing of the conceits you deplore–or rigorous internecine argument, which allows for fracturing opinion but can be self-defeating and paralyzing, which you also deplore? It’s hard to have it both ways. Perhaps the ideal answer would lie in the middle, but our current politics (or media) is unlikely to reward it.

    I don’t post here much, but I’m a longtime reader. I see the gadfly position you take, but I agree with the poster who said that if you want to elevate the discourse, you might offer some subjects or opinions that AREN’T designed to just poke and then gloat when people get upset. I have no idea what you think about much of anything, except your opinions of the people who post here–that’s been crystal clear. Naturally it’s not your job to appeal to or entertain mostly-lurkers like myself, but I’ve been looking for something of interest from you besides your artwork in the perhaps-naive belief that a person with that ability would have more interesting things to say than just teasing to get a reaction. It might be that the BJ community isn’t worthy / is no longer worthy of your ideas in your opinion, but if that’s the case, why ARE you here? Honest inquiry.

  80. 80
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Fax Paladin:

    STOP FEEDING THE GODDAMNED TROLL.

    Could you explain why that is important to you? Especially in a thread you haven’t taken much part in?

    Thank you most kindly.

  81. 81
    mandarama says:

    @Fax Paladin: Sorry. I guess I just don’t really see Ted & Hellen as a troll in the same way that Political Observer was trying to be (sockpuppet or whatever s/he was). And they sure don’t make trolls like B.O.B. anymore, sad to say.

    But I really don’t understand T&H’s motives, or if his methodology is meant to accomplish something more Socratic than his own personal satisfaction in seeing people get riled up. I’d like to know since that methodology appears in almost every thread and I have to try to evaluate it.

  82. 82
    Ash Can says:

    Bigoted attention-whore troll has long since killed the thread, I’m sure. But in the event anyone is still here, I highly recommend the site entitled “Yo, Is This Racist?” (Sorry no link; on the smart phone.) It’s both hilarious and insightful.

  83. 83
    I am not a kook says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I still don’t get how BJ is Establishment, but whatevs.

    Dude, it ain’t what you do, it’s how you do it.

    If you honestly want to be critical of specific policies, namecalling gets you nowhere. Even my 12 year old knows that. You obviously get more mileage out of just being an asshole.

    I hope you go to bed tonight feeling like you’ve accomplished something. You really showed those Obots! I’m done feeding you. HTH, HAND.

  84. 84
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    Yo, is this racist? T&H says “of course not, you idiot.”

  85. 85
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @mandarama:

    But I really don’t understand T&H’s motives, or if his methodology is meant to accomplish something more Socratic than his own personal satisfaction in seeing people get riled up. I’d like to know since that methodology appears in almost every thread and I have to try to evaluate it.

    Seriously, mandarama (and I love your name), when you get my “methodology” figured out, please let me know as I haven’t the slightest idea what it is.

    In general I would say that I mainly ask questions; if you were to go back and look I think that is mostly true. They are pointed questions and usually with attitude, that ask people here to defend their assumptions about Obama, the Dem party, etc. I’m a registered Dem, but there is a shit load of crap wrong with our party and no one is well served by sycophancy. And really, what’s the problem? It’s not as though there aren’t enough Obots here presenting another view…Jesus.

    Which leads me to another thing that fascinates: The general idea that people online so desperately want to have turf where NO ONE can challenge their little hive and its comfortable echo chamber. That just seems so…stupid and lightweight.

  86. 86
    Ash Can says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth: Thanks for posting the link!

  87. 87
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @I am not a kook:

    If you honestly want to be critical of specific policies, namecalling gets you nowhere.

    Go lecture your fellow Obots. 99% of the time, I DO NOT start the name calling; it is started AT me. And there is NO bottom to that barrel, believe me.

    But as is usually the case here, you are only disturbed when I do it in retaliation.

    I look forward to you ignoring me, since you are “done with me.” Thank you.

  88. 88
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Johnny Coelacanth:

    RACIST! is pretty much all you got.

    Got any links or quotes to my racist statements here? I’ll wait…

    Weak.

  89. 89
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @I am not a kook:

    Also and verily: Seriously, what percentage of front page posts here do you figure contain name calling aimed at the target of the post?

    I’m thinking 75 percent at least. What do you think?

    I await your outrage.

  90. 90
    LD50 says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: He has work to do. That black velvet picture of Jimmy Buffett is taking him all week.

  91. 91
    TooManyJens says:

    @dslak:

    It’s nice to see that, in some corners of the Internet, a hungry troll won’t yet go unfed.

    BJ: the Sally Struthers of trolls.

  92. 92
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @LD50:

    I especially like when small people insult my artwork as a means of attacking me because they’ve got nothing else.

    It gives me pleasure.

    Actually, I haven’t done Buffett on velvet yet? Would you like to commission that? It would go well in your single wide, I’m sure of it.

  93. 93
    LD50 says:

    @Ted & Hellen: That’s your insecurity talking.

  94. 94
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @LD50:

    Maybe so.

  95. 95
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Yes, it’s sad.

  96. 96
    I am not a kook says:

    @mandarama: Agreed, that’s why I tried to engage with it. There seems to be a real human in there somewhere. I’ve had the same kind of delusions of negative truth telling. I’ve gotten somewhat better.

    As Buddhists say, we are what we think.

  97. 97
    I am not a kook says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Thanks for the reminder!

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    @ABL:

    Piggybacking on that idea, I think someone should create a Twitter account “dear media: yes, that’s racist,” [working title] because watching the media attempt to avoid calling racist shit “racist shit” is starting to grate on my last nerve.

    With all due respect, I think that it is up to you to do this, if you want. Ultimately, no one is responsible for your last nerve but you.

    And it is not that I necessarily disagree with you about crap that might be racist. I just think that there are bigger fish to fry. I care less about calling out racist in the media, and more about eliminating racist practices in the world that harm people.

    And yes, the two issues are connected, but it’s about priorities.

  99. 99
    mandarama says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I’m a registered Dem, but there is a shit load of crap wrong with our party and no one is well served by sycophancy.

    That’s definitely true. But especially after a tough election year, the Dem sense of solidarity is important and will mean a lot to helping get stuff done. That’s not all sycophancy; there’s a fine line with community support and confidence. I remember the very unified effort here during the HC reform debate, where Tim F. was on us every day about calling Congress–I know I pestered my useless Republican reps until I thought they’d send black helicopters after me–and yet we still had internal debates over the public option, mandate, etc. I don’t think this community is as entirely monolithic as you see it–I learn a lot from watching people here disagree on various issues, especially recently on foreign policy in Gaza.

    The Obot concept has always seemed problematic, because I believe we are naturally more defensive of a President of our own party who is SO vilified and lied about by the opposition. I don’t agree with everything he has done or will do, but I feel that defensiveness about him myself–perhaps because I’m from MS, and most of my FB feed consists of the folks who really do go there, so to speak. They are very sincere in their terror of him as the Other and there’s a lot of allusions to violence as a “solution.” So I’ve no doubt that’s made me much more protective of him as a public figure than I was towards Clinton, for example–and it also has reminded me of things I’d blocked out from back home about how much race really DOES play into so much implicit discourse. I don’t think it’s all ginned up, or I wouldn’t have 3/4 of the people I went to high school with on “hide.” (I’ve only completely deleted one person, but he put up a photo comparing a pic of the FLOTUS to Sasquatch as well as the “Don’t ReNig” image.)

    As far as your methodology, I guess it would be more illuminating to me as a reader (again, not that it’s my right, but we read blogs to learn or enjoy community or ideally both) if you gave more detailed criticism to anyone you took issue with rather than asking a single inflammatory question and then mocking whomever can’t help taking offense at your approach. I might agree with you on lots of things, but I can’t tell because I’m too busy watching threads go off the rails after your question or observation.

    And really, what’s the problem? It’s not as though there aren’t enough Obots here presenting another view…Jesus.

    In earnest, I’d say the problem isn’t that you offer another viewpoint as much as it is that you don’t offer enough of your viewpoint. Sure, your questions might be pointed and have attitude, as you say, but I’ve seen other people dissent here that go on to explain their own position in detail. Many of them are plenty snarky, too. I don’t think disagreement is an issue as much as just saying “you’re wrong, but you must know that, or you’re probably stupid, and I’m amused by it.” It might be entertaining to you, but I can see why people get driven round the bend by it, and there’s no chance of it leading to any actual discussion that would improve whatever you think needs improving.

    Part of the happiness of Balloon Juice to me _is_ a collective sense…that we appreciate John Cole for his very thorough and ongoing self-examination, he’s funny and so are many other writers here, pets are a BFD here, people check on each other and can even come back from pissing matches to a sense of kindness, we have memes that we recognize after some years…yeah, it is a little sycophantic, since Tunch is deservedly a houseblog name and an icon, and it’s groupthinky fun to beat up Jonah Goldberg because he’s a douchebag from any perspective. But I can’t agree that the whole place needs an enema or anything.

    Thanks for your patience in reading this TLDR, if you did.

  100. 100
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @mandarama:

    Is this DougJ? :D

  101. 101
    eemom says:

    @Brachiator:

    Talking priorities to someone who — judging by what gets posted here — spends literally all their time chasing the most out-there shit on the innertoobz and screeding over it, is a waste of time, imo.

    Though I suppose you’d first have to clarify the nature of the “priorities” at issue.

  102. 102
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Xecky FTW!

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @eemom:

    Talking priorities to someone who—judging by what gets posted here—spends literally all their time chasing the most out-there shit on the innertoobz and screeding over it, is a waste of time, imo.

    I disagree here in part. ABL, like any other front pager, can chase whatever she likes. It’s up to me, you, and everyone else to decide whether they want to follow.

    On the other hand, I also recognize that there are fools out there, even here on Balloon Juice, who are actively hostile to women and to people of color, and who think that their views and opinions are not worth considering. Many of these people are ignorant of the long, ugly history of race in America.

    And so in one corner you have a perhaps sometimes misplaced emphasis. In the other, you have hostility and ignorance.

    Just another day at Balloon Juice.

  104. 104
    mandarama says:

    @Ted & Hellen: LOL! Yeah, maybe, if he’s turned into a chubby middle-aged Southern woman with kids and a minivan. But based on the recent meetup photos I’m pretty sure he hasn’t. If I get to trade identities with him, though, it would be kind of nice if he’d hang out here and watch Disney while I go drink in a bar!

  105. 105
    Felonius Monk says:

    “Obviously, no one thought it was an issue,” he said.

    More to the point: Obviously, no one thought!

  106. 106
    ranger3 says:

    Black people are loud. And they talk about sex alot, it wierds me out.

  107. 107
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Link to ONE thread where that was the case, sweetness. Just one.

  108. 108
    sparrow says:

    T&H is obviously an egomaniac. He/She/It reminds me exactly of a very smart narcissist I was unfortunate enough to be friends with a few years ago. Notice how happy the troll was that mandarama tried to figure him out. It glories in other people talking or thinking about it.

  109. 109
    El Cid says:

    “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

  110. 110
    1badbaba3 says:

    And just remember folks, it’s not racist until the racists say it’s racist.

    Much less messy that way.

  111. 111
    lgerard says:

    I laughed out loud when I read this comment in the Post to Jonah latest contribution:

    The Democrats are not racists they promote any person of color who plays by their rule’s.Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson. Louis Frakan.etal. The Republicans have always sought the best in people of any color The list of “Color” Republicans are numerous. Martin luter King Condalisa Rice, Adam West, Herman Cain, Thomas Soul, Clearance Thomas Alan Keys, Charles Payne. The Democrats like their “Color” wrapped in the belief of no responsibility give you a better life. The System does not keep the People of color down it is their lack of want. and belief that the world is not theirs for the working.

    Clearance Thomas!

    Adam West!

  112. 112
    El Cid says:

    @lgerard: “Condalisa”? Condoleezza too foreign for ’em?

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    @lgerard:

    Adam West!

    Yeah, didn’t he star in the old “Blackman” TV show?

  114. 114
    1badbaba3 says:

    @El Cid: Personally, I prefer the Clayton Bigsby malappropism for her. Much more enjoyable, for everyone.

  115. 115
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @1badbaba3:

    And just remember folks, it’s not racist until the racists say it’s racist.

    Links or quotes of my racist statements please.

  116. 116
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Unpossible. I can say with some certainty that you sir are no racist. Truculent? Yes. (More fibre should take care of that) Silly to a fault. But not racist. If you were, our burgeoning love could never be, and I would haz a sad. :-)

  117. 117
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @lgerard: I like “Thomas Soul.” That’s the one that really gives it away as a Poe.

  118. 118
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @1badbaba3:

    omg: Verklempt

Comments are closed.