September 09, 2005

The Marvelous, Magical Reappearance of the Post That Went Missing

It's like this:

I get real pissy when someone argues with me by claiming I wrote things I didn't actually write. I'm willing to defend what I write. I'm not willing to get into a pissing match of the form "You said that!" "I did not say that, I said this." "Yes you did say that!" "Where?" "Right here." "That's not what it says here." "Yes it is!"

That's some tedious business right there. No thank you. I'll pass.

I also get real pissy when I try to do something collaborative or cooperative and someone reacts to it with chest-thumping machismo.

"PUSSY! You folded, folded 'cause you're a pussy! I was right and you were wrong!"

No, you're a macho asshole and I'm sick of your dumb shit.

But that's no reason this shouldn't be up for the rest of you to read. So--again thanks to Ms. Lauren, who saved it--here it is.

I realize plenty of bloggers generate over 60 comments per post on most of their posts, every day, seven days a week, but I'm not accustomed to that action. I'm not even certain I like it, as after about comment 30 the ADD kicks in and I can no longer follow what anyone's talking about.

What were you all talking about?

Right--the subject that's perceived as carrying too much weight on the left and too little weight on the right: Race relations. "Those leftist race-baiters play the race card at every opportunity, even when it makes no sense," grouse the conservatives. "Those wingnuts keep trying to sweep the racists in their midst under the rug, but it won't work this time!" holler the progressives. We talk too much about race! We don't talk enough about race! Shut up! Say something!

So the subject that everyone is dying to talk about it or is thoroughly sick of talking about, depending, generated the most comments ever here. You're all lucky I don't declare it Race Relations Week. It's only my terrific laziness that keeps me from becoming a repulsive, opportunistic blog whore.

In the course of talking about what no one wanted to talk about, Ms. Lauren offered to share her personal experiences with racism, partly as explanation, I think, for some of the views she expressed in the comments.

And I jumped on that offer, you better believe. I never write a blog entry that someone else could largely write for me. I hit paydirt, too. I got three articles for the price of one (which is no price, which is the best part of the whole scam right there, but you know what I mean.).

Let me head off one criticism at the outset:

Yes, these are her personal experiences, so could the smartass who jumped out of his seat to object to the inttroduction of "anecdotal evidence" please sit down? Thank you. For one thing, if you ever skimmed the blogroll you'd note that the ratio of personal blogs to political ones is fairly even; obviously, your hostess doesn't get the heebies when people get personal.

For another thing, personal experience (are you sitting down for this?) shapes people, offering a much better explanation for why one person sees race issues where another does not than "because that lying bastard, Jesse Jackson, didn't waste a minute playing the race card," or "because they're all mooooooooooon-bats."

In that spirit, here are Ms. Lauren's three posts:

Life in a Red State, As I Know It

Ms. Lauren currently attends Purdue University in Indiana. Her experiences living there are recounted in response to a particularly poor David Brooks column, in which Mr. Stereotype asks, "why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?" This is her answer.

Rick Santorum and Pitting the Working Mothers Against the "Non-Losers"

This post has nothing to do with race, something to do with class, and everything to do with feminism (and to any of you who may have just vomited at the reappearance of the f-word in this blog: Go get a bucket and clean that up. Now.). It's included also because it demonstrates the kinds of debates that play out in the letters to the editor section of Ms. Lauren's local paper, and how that political climate has affected her view of conservatism.

Whiteness As I Know It

This, I'll let the excerpt speak for itself:

suddenly, the topics strayed from the literary readings and began to focus on the class’s personal experiences of race and racism. the n-word began getting thrown around with surprising freedom (the students maintained that it pertained to the discussion although it made many of us uncomfortable) and one day, a student admitted to having lots of friends in the KKK. “in fact,” he declared one day, “my boy scout troop used to camp on KKK camping ground every year. they were really nice people.” he then added that he did not consider himself racist.
[Emphasis mine.] Because of my age and my own "personal experiences" growing up, the Klan always seemed like a purely historical entity to me--they don't really matter anymore, right? Their numbers have dwindled to the point of irrelevancy, right? No one's actually in the thing besides a bunch of old racists left over from the dark ages, right?

Maybe wrong.

Final thing here--if you visit feministe, please be respectful and not, you know, a raging wingnut asshole. Sometimes it's terrific fun to be a raging wingnut asshole--I know, I know, believe me--but there are plenty other places to do that on the internet, besides the one I'm sending you to because I think what she writes is worth reading. It'd be like if I said, "Go see so-and-so about a car, I think you'll like the model he's driving" and you went over there and pissed on the tires. Why do a thing like that?

Act at least housebroken, is all I'm saying. I think you'll find she can handle disagreement with equanimity.

Posted by Ilyka at September 9, 2005 02:19 PM in hell is other people

Thanks for reposting this, Ilyka.

Posted by: Thad at September 9, 2005 02:28 PM

Let me defend anecdotal evidence for that smartalec of which you spoke, Ilyka. Seeing Lauren's stories helps to frame the debate on racism or bigotry in the church or what not. Many who have seen little bigotry are surprised by those who rail against it and likely vice versa. So in ANY situation where you can find an intelligent person on the internet, an glittering oasis, if you will, who ALSO has a contrary viewpoint to yours, an oasis of sweet, delicious candy for those who seek healthy debate, then it is worth your while to see what THEY see and to tell them what you see to try to realize why each of you feels the way you do. Perhaps a middle ground can be found. And two intelligent people can walk away with a bit more perspective and better prepared to smite the idiots on either side.

Posted by: OHNOES at September 9, 2005 02:59 PM

FYI: There's a paragraph that should be blockquoted. Ilyka, it looks like you said it. :P

Posted by: Lauren at September 9, 2005 04:03 PM

And Ohnoes, thank you for the compliemnt!

Posted by: Lauren at September 9, 2005 04:04 PM

Thanks for the tip. It's what I get for trying to do two things at once. I'll fix it.

Posted by: ilyka at September 9, 2005 04:08 PM

So wait a sec. Do you mean that Bush was trying to kill feminists? It's so hard to keep all this straight.

Posted by: Jim at September 9, 2005 06:28 PM

Do you mean that Bush was trying to kill feminists? It's so hard to keep all this straight.

Huh? 'Splain?

Posted by: ilyka at September 9, 2005 06:39 PM

Thanks for reposting this.

Posted by: Roxanne at September 9, 2005 06:55 PM

Listen, first of all, you guys thanking me really need to thank Lauren for having snagged it in the first place.

Second of all, you're really screwing up the narrative. It's supposed to go like, "Oh NOW you repost it after being CALLED OUT on your obvious partisan BULLSHIT HYPOCRISY."

Let's try to stay on the same page here, people. Remember, there is no "thanks" in T-E-A-M.

Posted by: ilyka at September 9, 2005 07:46 PM

No splainaition possible. I'm just twice as think as you drunk I am.

Posted by: Jim at September 9, 2005 07:54 PM

Damn you! You know I don't do Parrotsphere very well.

Posted by: Roxanne at September 9, 2005 08:08 PM


Posted by: OHNOES at September 9, 2005 10:42 PM