Respectful Insolence

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Regular readers know that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia, so much so that I even have a category devoted to it. For those not familiar with the concept, pareidolia is nothing more than seeing patterns in things. One of the most famous examples is seeing faces, animals, or other objects in clouds. Among the religious, a particularly common strain of pareidolia is to see Jesus or Mary in patterns on anything from pancakes, to sheet metal, to windows, to trees, to doors, to MRIs. Even Ikea isn’t immune. I’ve even seen a story of Satan appearing on a bathroom tile and wondered if it was the lamest pareidolia ever. No, perhaps Jesus’ recent appearance on a toilet was. Or maybe the Virgin Mary’s appearance in a Lava lamp.

Or maybe it’s this:

Many Christians believe Jesus can be found anywhere. In southern Lenoir County, he may be found on a utility pole.

The pole, about a mile south of Kinston, has attracted attention of some area residents. Some say the kudzu-covered post bears a striking resemblance to Jesus’ crucifixion.

The pole, which is the only one nearby covered in “the vine that ate the South,” is at the northwest corner of Tyree Road and U.S. 258 S., in the Jackson Heights neighborhood.

Kent Hardison, who runs Ma’s Hotdog House less than a half mile from the pareidolia, rides by the Christ-resembling post each day. He said when he first saw the kudzu growing he almost sprayed it with herbicide.

“I glanced at it, and it looks like Jesus,” Hardison said. “I thought, ‘You can’t spray Jesus with Roundup.’ “

No. No, I guess you can’t. Who can argue with logic like that?

Naturally, believers take it as a sign from God:

Michelle Davis, who lives in Sandy Bottom, said she first noticed the pole last Thursday, after her husband told her about it.

She called the kudzu Jesus “ironic,” considering crime levels throughout the county.

“Maybe it’s a sign of the times,” she said while picking up lunch at Ma’s. “There’s been a lot going on in this area.”

Hardison agreed, “Maybe he’s looking out for us.”

You know, this kind of reminds me of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where a peasant tells King Arthur, “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.” The difference is that I’d say that Jesus, if he exists, must surely be able to come up with a better way of looking after his followers than showing up as a bunch of kudzu hanging from a telephone pole in a shape that only vaguely resembles his crucifixion.

Comments

  1. #1 SC (Salty Current)
    July 1, 2011

    “I glanced at it, and it looks like Jesus,” Hardison said. “I thought, ‘You can’t spray Jesus with Roundup.’ ”

    Who can argue with logic like that?

    Rick Relyea? :)

  2. #2 jim
    July 1, 2011

    So basically, there’s a cross-shaped object that, through the Power of Jesus(tm), has magically been made to look like … A CROSS! Well, I’m converted.

    Surely a cross isn’t a particularly remarkable shape? You get an upright, you put a bar across it, you’ve got a cross. I can see about a dozen of them from my desk. Do these people really walk around everywhere going “Wow, look, Jesus! Wow, look, Jesus! Wow, look, Jesus”?

    … actually, they might …

  3. #3 DLC
    July 1, 2011

    and to think they imported Kudzu as a ground cover to prevent erosion.

  4. #4 John Pieret
    July 1, 2011

    Other appearances in a cinnamon bun and a dog’s … um … buns:

    http://dododreams.blogspot.com/2008/11/greg-laden-at-his-fiendishly-cleverly.html

  5. #5 James Sweet
    July 1, 2011

    Heh, therethere’s a town called Sandy Bottom. Nice.

  6. #6 Krebiozen
    July 1, 2011

    Monsanto introduces ‘Roundup Ready Jesus’, the genetically engineered Messiah for the 21st century.

  7. #7 Kate from Iowa
    July 1, 2011

    So um…Jesus wants us to eat at Ma’s Hotdog House?

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    July 1, 2011

    If they want Kudzu Jesus to keep looking that way, they’ll have to spray the arms pretty soon. Knowing kudzu’s explosive growing habits, it will outspread its current shape in no time.

  9. #9 MikeS
    July 1, 2011

    I’m curious what they mean about “considering crime levels throughout the county”, considering that crime levels are at the lowest level in half a century.

  10. #10 Jojo
    July 1, 2011

    I suspect that the next sign they get from Jesus will be a power outage. I feel bad for the electric co employee who is going to have to clean up that mess when they need to restore power.

  11. #11 sunnystrobe
    July 1, 2011

    Gee….
    was ‘Jesus’ a SHE?
    Looks like a girl to me,
    bosom, frilly sleeves,
    frizzy hairdo…
    a she or a he, whatever I see
    will do for me!
    It’s all in the eye of the beholder, see?

  12. #12 René Najera
    July 1, 2011

    He looks like he’s smiling.

    Slightly off topic… Best bumper sticker I’ve seen in a while: “Would you follow Jesus THIS close?” (In small print.)

  13. #13 J
    July 1, 2011

    I think it looks more like Mr. Hanky than Jesus.

  14. #14 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Gee, how weak is their faith? If it is a sign from Jesus, they should be able to nuke it with as much Round-up or even Finale and it would come back – resurrection dontchaknow?

  15. #15 rob
    July 1, 2011

    looks more phallic to me.

  16. #16 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    So what happens when birds and other critters make their home on the kudzu, and somehow cause a short in the utility lines. Would they accept loss of power, phone, or cable as divined by Christ?

  17. #17 Party Cactus
    July 1, 2011

    Looks more like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz to me. You’d have thought those people would have seen enough kudzu vines to know how they grow by now. Vine growing up a cross takes the shape of a cross; how could that possibly be a surprise?

  18. #18 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 1, 2011

    Chris – if you’d ever worked with kudzu, you’d know resurrection is one of their key attributes.

  19. #19 jake
    July 1, 2011

    That’s not Jesus. It’s Brian. Not these people’s fault, the two sometimes get confused.

  20. #20 Left_Wing_Fox
    July 1, 2011

    Always grow to the bright side of life.
    (It’s where… we get all of our sun!)
    Always grow to the light side of life.
    (’cause pho-tosynthesis is fun!)
    Life is full of $#!+,
    let’s soak our roots in it.
    We’ll climb the cross-shaped pole to reach the rays!
    If we spread out then I’ll barter,
    we’ll look just like a martyr,
    And we can fool the rubes with Roundup sprays!
    So, Always grow to the bright side of life…

  21. #21 Terrie
    July 1, 2011

    My favorite over all example of pareidolia? Rudolph in a blood vessel.

  22. #22 Lynn Wilhelm
    July 1, 2011

    Another sad story from NC.
    I’m pretty sure there was a story like this in the last year or so.
    It looks just like a scarecrow to me though, one in particular from a great Japanese children’s movie called Howl’s Moving Castle

    By the way, I’m not sure that’s Kudzu. Kudzu has much larger leaves and I don’t think that pole is bigger than it looks. I think it’s another vine, probably Campsis radicans.

  23. #23 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    Hahaha. Nice. A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Christians. Just what the blog needed to liven things up. And how bout those Jews in their funny hats? They totally crack me up! I’m getting into the spirit here!

    Oh wait, did I cross some sort of arbitrary line??? (Isabel mysteriously disappears from Orac’s site for ever after for crossing the unspoken line).

    Bigots.

  24. #24 Craig
    July 1, 2011

    Oh but if I went ’round sayin’ I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away.

  25. #25 Carolw
    July 1, 2011

    I have the definition of pareidolia saved in a word file for handy copy-and-pasting into the comments sections of stories like this. Just about every day CNN has a story of someone seeing jesus or the virgin mary in a tree or an oil stain or something.
    Oh, and Isabel? Go cry yourself to sleep on your huge pillow.

  26. #26 The Panic Man
    July 1, 2011

    @#22: Do shut up. You know nothing of actual oppression, you spoiled, privileged brat.

  27. #27 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    Yeah, the jews are so oppressed! They are oppressed by the Christians! I just don’t know how the Jews manage. It’s no wonder they need to vent, and mock their Christian overlords. Those goofy Christians! They are the gift that keeps giving aren’t they? hahaha.

    “ou know nothing of actual oppression, you spoiled, privileged brat.”

    On a serious note, aren’t you making a few assumptions here?

  28. #28 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel – I’m confused. Are you saying that it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that a vine growing up a pole is a heavenly sign?

  29. #29 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    “Oh, and Isabel? Go cry yourself to sleep on your huge pillow.”

    My “huge pillow”?

    What does that mean? Is it code for something? You lost me there.

  30. #30 Matthew Cline
    July 1, 2011

    @Isabel:

    A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Christians.

    It’s not mocking Christians in general, but mocking the specific subset of Christians who think that the miracles performed by an ineffable God will include arranging kudzu in a specific manner.

  31. #31 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 1, 2011

    Yeah, the jews are so oppressed! They are oppressed by the Christians!

    Well, yes, at various times in various places Jews have been oppressed by Christians, Muslims, and various other groups. They have also oppressed other people in some times and places. What of it?

  32. #32 Venna
    July 1, 2011

    Funny how Christians find God or Christ or Mary in common, every day objects like this and then when the news gets out they will flock to it in droves to stand around gazing at it and crying over the ‘miracle’ of it all. Yet they forget the two first commandments given by God:

    1. You shall have no other gods before me
    and
    2. You shall not worship any graven image

    And yet that’s exactly what this would be. People are worshiping an idol. Perhaps not hand formed by man, but still it is an idol, not God, therefore by doing so, they are breaking the first two commandments and that being the case, not really living up to the whole theme of being Christian.

    I’ve also noticed how you don’t find Jewish people or Muslims or Buddhists or any other sect really, finding images of God in common things, at least it isn’t in the news like it is with these situations. This appears to be a phenomenon associated only with Christians and/or Catholics. What is missing from a person’s spiritual life if they have to see God/Christ/Mary in things around them? What about that whole ‘feeling God’s love in your heart’ thing? I thought that’s what it was all about, but then again, I’ve not ‘practiced’ a religion in quite a few years so maybe I forgot how it’s supposed to work.

  33. #33 The Panic Man
    July 1, 2011

    So, you’re projecting, then, Isabel? Calling others bigots when you’re starting to make overtures towards anti-Semitism?

    Go fall face down into dogshit.

  34. #34 Promethus
    July 1, 2011

    One quick (and possibly irrelevant) point: RoundUp (TM) isn’t a first-line herbicide for controlling kudzu – it requires years of RoundUp application to kill the plant.

    I mention this in case someone does spray this “Kudzu Jesus” with RoundUp and then claims “It’s a miracle! The RoundUp couldn’t kill it!”.

    For people who think this looks like Jesus on the cross, I should point out that most rural roads in the US Southeast would look, to them, like an endless row of crucifixions, because almost every utility pole is so adorned.

    Prometheus

  35. #35 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    July 1, 2011

    @The Panic Man – really? Is that necessary?

  36. #36 Dangerous Bacon
    July 1, 2011

    “Hahaha. Nice. A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Christians.”

    It’s not at all random. In fact, pareidolia has been mocked here on many other occasions.

    Check them out, have a blast.

    (I think there may be a correlation between the appearance of “hahaha” in a post and, well, something – but I’m too nice to speculate about it further. :)

  37. #37 Krebiozen
    July 1, 2011

    Pareidolia, claims of anti-Semitism… Would a house that looks like Hitler help at all?

  38. #38 nice_marmot
    July 1, 2011

    It looks to me like Jesus came back as The Shroud of Turin, then The Shroud Jesus came back in the form of a Stevie Nicks dress, then Stevie Nicks Jesus came back as a kudzu poll in North Carolina.

    You’re welcome.

  39. #39 carolw
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel @ 28
    I was quoting “So I Married an Ax Murderer.”
    It’s a funny movie. You should watch it.

  40. #40 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    I’m not making overtures Panic Man, I believe I crossed the line pretty solidly by most leftist (and totally hypocritical, unreasonable) standards. In fact, that was WAY over the line I believe.

    Certain groups are simply off-limits when it comes to mockery I guess. Certain (quite powerful) groups should never even be mentioned by those outside the group. I believe that is closer to the current definition of “anti-semitism”.

    “Go fall face down into dogshit.”

    Nice guy.

    Yeah all other religions are so rational and classy, only the Christians are wacky & tacky enough to mock.

    Thanks for clearing them up.

  41. #41 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    I mean “clearing that up” – interesting typo though;)

  42. #42 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel, perhaps you would prefer Lenin in a shower curtain?

    Pareidolia is a fairly common topic here and on other blogs. One cannot help but be flummoxed as to those who attach so much value in our brains tendency to form images, and even go so far as to spend serious money on an old grilled cheese sandwich.

    So please stop clutching your pearls.

  43. #43 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel, do yourself a favor: Go to the top of this article. Look at the list of words under the title. Click on the one that says “Pareidolia.”

    And seriously, do you think this is something to get upset about? Several years ago the Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait, saw Lenin in his shower curtain. Would the offend you?

  44. #44 Dangerous Bacon
    July 1, 2011

    Even better, Isabel, from the drop-down list of blogs in the upper right hand corner, select Pharyngula.

    The resulting burst of indignation might be enough to power a spaceship to another galaxy.

  45. #45 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    Damn, I was hoping to get banned for being an anti-semite on a post that was mocking Christians. It would have been so deliciously ironic!

    “This appears to be a phenomenon associated only with Christians and/or Catholics.”

    AND it happens to be one of Orac’s favorite things to mock. What a coincidence!

  46. #46 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel:

    Damn, I was hoping to get banned for being an anti-semite on a post that was mocking Christians. It would have been so deliciously ironic!

    You must be new here, Orac very seldom bans anyone. You must think you are on Pharyngula.

    AND it happens to be one of Orac’s favorite things to mock. What a coincidence!

    You really are a newbie, or think you are at Pharyngula! I believe that there are other things that get more mocking by Orac and those who comment here, mostly to do with alternative medicine. Have you ever heard of “Tong Ren”? Or other things that have qualified for Friday Dose of Woo?

  47. #47 Mel
    July 1, 2011

    Just seeing the picture and the title, I thought, “Man, whoever is responsible for cutting that planet to look like Jesus sure did a sloppy job.” To find out that not only did people come up with that idea of this resemblance on their own, but hold to it like it’s an actual divine occurrence, baffles me.

  48. #48 Isabel
    July 1, 2011

    “You must be new here, Orac very seldom bans anyone. You must think you are on Pharyngula.”

    Oh, I’ve been around the block a few times, including stopping by here from time to time, and I’ve been banned by CPP, Ed Brayton, IBTP, Isis and Greg Laden. Pretty much the only well-known blog where controversial issue are discussed and where I often comment that I haven’t been banned from is Drugmonkey. In fact I was banned from Physioprof’s blog the very first time I mentioned the taboo topic discussed above. He later scrambled the thread by deciding at that very moment to disable threaded comments.

    Pharyngula is boring; I don’t know why that site is so popular.

    By the way I think the kudzu cross is kind of beautiful, and I love seeing patterns in things. Everybody does it, like looking at clouds when you’re a kid and seeing eagles or bunnies, or naming the constellations in the sky after mythical figures. Stop being such arrogant stick-in-the-muds!

  49. #49 daedalus2u
    July 1, 2011

    To me it looks more like Kermit. He is behind it, kind of leaning on it his head is at the top and he has a sad face. His right eye is open and his left eye isn’t to be seen. It makes me sad to look at him. :(

  50. #50 The Christian Cynic
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel:

    Everybody does it, like looking at clouds when you’re a kid and seeing eagles or bunnies, or naming the constellations in the sky after mythical figures.

    But not everyone claims that what they see is a sign from an omnipotent deity. That’s the part that’s crazy about pareidolia, and it would be crazy coming from Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, etc. And as a Christian, I don’t find this to be persecution of Christians in the least: it’s mockery of a belief that merits mockery. It says more about your mindset that you want to see it as persecution than it does about Orac or anyone who commented here.

    Damn, I was hoping to get banned

    Wait, you came in deliberately trying to get banned, and now you’re whinging about how you get banned everywhere you go? Having seen your posting habits over at Dispatches, I can say with confidence that you get banned because you’re a freaking troll.

    Get over yourself.

  51. #51 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    Isabel:

    Everybody does it, like looking at clouds when you’re a kid and seeing eagles or bunnies, or naming the constellations in the sky after mythical figures.

    Yes, we know. Those are also pareidolia.

  52. #52 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    The Christian Cynic:

    I can say with confidence that you get banned because you’re a freaking troll.

    But is she a match for the resident trolls here? Have you met Little Augie and Th1Th2?

  53. #53 The Christian Cynic
    July 1, 2011

    Whole different type of troll, Chris, but as a matter of degree I’d say that Isabel is relatively benign in comparison to Augie and Thingy.

  54. #54 Chris
    July 1, 2011

    So we can just ignore her. Thanks!

  55. #55 triskelethecat
    July 1, 2011

    Anyone who comes on here HOPING to be banned obviously does not read RI. Orac so rarely bans people, that her little whinge wouldn’t even blip on his circuits.

  56. #56 Rilke's Granddaughter
    July 2, 2011

    Isabel, trying to get banned is equally boring, if not more so. Do you actually have anything to say? ’cause if you’re just trying to get banned, you’re going about it the wrong way.

    Makes you look kinda stupid, ya know?

  57. #57 Isabel
    July 2, 2011

    “find this to be persecution of Christians”

    um, who said anything about persecution? I definitely did not.

    “{Wait, you came in deliberately trying to get banned, and now you’re whinging about how you get banned everywhere you go?”

    Oh lighten up. I was joking, and I have been here for a while now contributing to the discussion about coconut oil and other vitally important matters. I would say my comments on this particular thread have been no more trollish than the post itself.

    “Having seen your posting habits over at Dispatches,”

    yes, that was some dust up over at dispatches wasn’t it? I just had to speak up though; I can’t believe he was mocking that poor West Virginian kid, implying (falsely) that there was “banjo music” and “bestiality” involved in the news story involving the teenager, and then publishing the boy’s picture.

    “But not everyone claims that what they see is a sign from an omnipotent deity.”
    People see ‘signs’ all the time. I am not saying it isn’t wacky, but there is a lot of wacky shit going on in the world.

    “Do you actually have anything to say?”

    Actually, I made a really interesting, valid point, while you have contributed nothing but some mean spirited swiping.

    “Vine growing up a cross takes the shape of a cross; how could that possibly be a surprise?”

    @17: great comment, Party Cactus, and name:)

    “Whole different type of troll, Chris, but as a matter of degree I’d say that Isabel is relatively benign in comparison to Augie and Thingy.

    Christian Cynic, I am not a “different kind of troll”; I am simply not a troll. Seriously, what is your definition of troll? As I understand it, a troll is someone who is insincere and just trying to get a rise out of people for kicks. I hardly fit that definition. I obviously care deeply about the subjects I post about. Furthermore, I spend a most of my time on the science blogs posting non-controversially and peacefully.

  58. #58 Chris
    July 2, 2011

    Whatever you are, it is really quite boring. But stay around, we like fodder like you. Because you are easy to rile up.

  59. #59 Forbidden Snowflake
    July 2, 2011

    People see ‘signs’ all the time. I am not saying it isn’t wacky, but there is a lot of wacky shit going on in the world.

    So… You apparently agree that it’s wacky, but also claim that people who mock this wackiness are “bigots” (your word!).

    It seems to me that you are trying to have it both ways: parading your righteous indignation all over the place, calling people bigots for poking harmless fun at a silly claim, while not actually disagreeing with the mockery, because that would require you to defend an unpopular position.

    Looks to me like it all comes down to “It’s true, but you shouldn’t say that”; and you accuse others of hypocrisy?

  60. #60 80
    July 2, 2011

    This has been foretold – see the Gospel of John 15:1

    Jebus announces “I am the true vine…”

  61. #61 stripey_cat
    July 2, 2011

    Prometheus @33

    For people who think this looks like Jesus on the cross, I should point out that most rural roads in the US Southeast would look, to them, like an endless row of crucifixions, because almost every utility pole is so adorned.

    Clearly it’s a sign that the slave revolt will be suppressed.

  62. #62 Prometheus
    July 2, 2011

    Stripey_cat,

    Yes, I was thinking of the closing scene in Spartacus. After reading this post, I drove down a country highway with serious kudzu overgrowth and that was the image that came to my mind.

    Prometheus

  63. #63 Isabel
    July 2, 2011

    “Clearly it’s a sign that the slave revolt will be suppressed. ”

    What is this slur supposed to mean now? So we’ve moved on to insulting southern people now? I can see why I was the only person to object to Brayton’s bigotry.

  64. #64 Chris
    July 2, 2011

    Boring Isabel is boring.

  65. #65 Orac
    July 2, 2011

    Indeed. She’s also apparently never seen “Spartacus” either.

  66. #66 Delurked lurker
    July 2, 2011

    Thats one strange looking jesus….looks nothing like the plastic jesus riding on the dashboard of my car.

  67. #67 Isabel
    July 2, 2011

    Orac, would it be okay then if I wrote a blog post about things Jews do that are really goofy? Or that really annoy me? As long as they are true? I just want to be sure it’s a level playing field.

    Chris you are paying an awful lot of attention, here and on the other thread, to someone you find ‘boring.’ I think the word you are looking for is ‘fascinating.’ I won that coconut argument after you slunk away, btw.

    I saw Spartacus on the big screen in NYC – I forget the name of the theater; it was one of the last full size screens. It was celebrating a reissue restoring originally censored scenes or something. But that over a decade ago, at least, and I don’t remember that scene.

  68. #68 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 2, 2011

    Isabel is no less noxious a troll than Thingy or Little Augie—her debut on Dispatches was as a slavery apologist, quoting all sorts of Barton-esque revisionist historians to the effect that indentured servitude was exactly the same as slavery, maybe worse, and that more white people had been enslaved in America than black people. She also accused everyone there of having been “brainwashed” to ignore all the outrages committed against “our own”.

    Well, right-wing lunatics are a dime a dozen on the internet, but her periodic insincere firebagger purity trolling makes her one of the most annoying trolls I’ve ever seen. Call her on it, though, and the teabagger venom will eventually begin to flow.

  69. #69 Composer99
    July 2, 2011

    Left_Wing_Fox wins the thread.

  70. #70 Militant Agnostic
    July 2, 2011

    Isabel – maybe this will get you to lighten up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8_aJcul6kk

  71. #71 Dangerous Bacon
    July 2, 2011

    To really convince us that Kudzu Jesus is a miracle, someone needs to snip it at the base. All the top growth will die – but then, presto, regrowth from the stub.

    It’s RESURRECTION TIME!!!!

    Isabel: “Orac, would it be okay then if I wrote a blog post about things Jews do that are really goofy? Or that really annoy me? As long as they are true?”

    1) Orac isn’t Jewish. 2) Blog away. But Annoying Things Jews Do is a well-worn meme, not least among Jewish comedians.

    You’re going to have to exude a lot more slime to even remotely get considered for banning here, I’m afraid. Lots of the venomous crazy have made the attempt, and you’re not in their league by a long shot.

  72. #72 The Christian Cynic
    July 2, 2011

    Isabel: No, it would absolutely not be bigoted to take something wacky that is essentially Jewish and mock that, provided that the reasoning for mockery is that it is absurd and not that it is Jewish.

    Here’s a great example: the Orthodox Jewish notion of eruv. (Full disclosure: I learned about this practice from The Daily Show. Take that how you will.) I wouldn’t blink an eye if Orac or any other skeptic pointed out how ridiculous this practice is (although I do think that it is of somewhat a different nature than pareidolia — but that is somewhat tangential). Absurd beliefs are absurd regardless of whether or not they’re religious, and as a religious person myself, I think it’s absolutely inappropriate to make overwrought accusations of bigotry for criticizing such beliefs.

    By the way, if you wanted to have any shot at feigning sincerity, you lost it when you took a totally innocuous comment and tried to cry bigotry again.

    Troll.

  73. #73 novalox
    July 2, 2011

    I see that isabel is trying to play the martyr card.

    Pathetic, but at the same time, unintentionally funny at her pratfalls.

  74. #74 Isabel
    July 2, 2011

    “2) Blog away. But Annoying Things Jews Do is a well-worn meme, not least among Jewish comedians.”

    Can you give me an example of someone who is not Jewish who expresses this meme?

    Also, can we admit that the Jews run Hollywood at least?

    “to the effect that indentured servitude was exactly the same as slaver”

    This is an oft-repeated lie. Why do you need to lie? That says a lot about you. There is no evidence for me saying that. Let’s not go over it again. You need to see a therapist asap.

    “and that more white people had been enslaved in America than black people”

    hahahaha yeah, I said that, right. Hahahahaha. You are incredibly deranged. Why would I say something so obviously untrue?

    “took a totally innocuous comment and tried to cry bigotry again.”

    yeah I should have known the association between crosses and the south was a movie reference. It still reeks of bigotry. Anyway, how can you defend what brayton did to that kid? No one even seriously tried to, yet now you demonize me. And for speaking up, I am not even allowed to read the blog, lol.

    Novalox, thanks, it is funny isn’t it;) I am trying to be a light-hearted messenger here. We need to be prepared for trying times ahead.

  75. #75 Isabel
    July 2, 2011

    “She also accused everyone there of having been “brainwashed” to ignore all the outrages committed against “our own”.

    Well, right-wing lunatics are a dime a dozen on the internet, but her periodic insincere firebagger purity trolling makes her one of the most annoying trolls I’ve ever seen. Call her on it, though, and the teabagger venom will eventually begin to flow.”

    This is a complete pack of lies. I am not even close to right wing, or teabagger. I never used any of the above phrasing. This is outrageous. I demand a retraction!

    I rarely do this, but you jackals who follow people around spreading lies need to be stopped.

    I repeat – I never said any of the above, and I am not even remotely a member of any of the stated groups. There is no evidence at all that I am, and I have posted frequently on feminist and other issues that would certainly contradict that.

    Lying scumbags like battleaxe are the lowest, sickest bottom feeders on the internet.

  76. #76 Prometheus
    July 2, 2011

    I think that Isabel can’t see the difference between laughing at people who see Jesus in a clump of kudzu (and see something miraculous in that) and laughing at Christianity. Unless there is something in Christianity that tells its believers to look for the “Second Coming” in the form of invasive plants, I see nothing anti-Christian about laughing at this nonsense.

    Of course, we can also laugh at people who are so sensitive about religion that they are offended when we laugh at the “Kudzu Jesus”. Lighten up a bit, Isabel.

    Prometheus

  77. #77 Isabel
    July 3, 2011

    Okay fair enough Prometheus. So what your saying is, if we did a study on instances of religious mockery on Science Blogs all the world’s religions will be equally represented? If we surveyed instances of ethnic or racial bigotry, like Brayton’s, all races and ethnic groups will be equally represented?

    You are suggesting that it is your belief that all ethnic groups, races, religions are equally respected/disrespected on the science/academic blogs. I somehow doubt it.

    Or is what you are saying is that my perception is true but I’m just taking it the wrong way; practitioners of certain specific religions or ethnic groups are just especially funny? Because that in itself is pretty bigoted. Which kind of bigot are you?

  78. #78 Ox Eye Daisy
    July 3, 2011

    Hahaha. Nice. A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Invasive Species. Just what the blog needed to liven things up. And how bout those Farmers in their funny hats? They totally crack me up! I’m getting into the spirit here!

    Oh wait, did I cross some sort of arbitrary line??? (Ox Eye Daisy mysteriously disappears from Orac’s site in a cloud of Roundup for ever after for crossing the Big Farmer Shills).

    Bigots

  79. #79 The Christian Cynic
    July 3, 2011

    Isabel:

    1) It is entirely your very subjective (and biased) opinion that the slave revolt comment “smacks of bigotry.”
    2) I did in fact defend Ed’s post in comments there, but I have zero desire to rehash that with you. You’ve now got a very well-established record of jumping to conclusions and generally being uncharitable based on your own prejudices.
    3) Enough with the victim mentality. No one is “demonizing” you here. We have merely pointed out your horrible track record and the flaws in your criticisms in this very thread. No one is buying it, so you might as well give up.

  80. #80 Narad
    July 3, 2011

    So, the idea is that it’s a professional sad sack?

  81. #81 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 3, 2011

    This is a complete pack of lies…..This is outrageous. I demand a retraction!

    I rarely do this, but you jackals who follow people around spreading lies need to be stopped.

    I repeat – I never said any of the above….

    Lying scumbags like battleaxe are the lowest, sickest bottom feeders on the internet.

    You septic pimple! You think just saying “I never said that” works on the internet, do you?

    Here’s your debut on the issue at Dispatches. Don’t stop reading there, everybody—it gets worse.

    Isabel—pineapples, rusty chainsaws, you fill in the rest.

  82. #82 Forbidden Snowflake
    July 3, 2011

    So what your saying is, if we did a study on instances of religious mockery on Science Blogs all the world’s religions will be equally represented?

    Yes, we would see all of the world’s religions equally represented, since most of the writers on SciB are US-American and all of the world’s religions are equally represented in the USA. What’s that you say? The USA is actually 70% Christian? In that case, what distribution of religions we would expect to see in the jukes of SciB writers, who are mostly from the USA? Hmmm… Help me out here.

    Also, to whomever said that Muslims don’t engage in such silliness: Muslims may find the idea of their god having a visage blasphemous, but they make up for it in other ways.

    The Christian Cynic: Eruv, like most purity-related traditions, smacks of OCD.

  83. #83 Scottynuke
    July 3, 2011

    And Isabel smacks of coconut.

    The most run-of-the-mill contrarian troll kind of coconut, but anyway…

  84. #84 RAJ
    July 3, 2011

    Last summer I spent a week at my brother-in-laws home nestled in a valley in the Rocky Mountains near Denver. We walked the trails near his home and were discussing the history of the Rocky Mountains and in particlular the Ute Indian tribes that populated the area for thousands of years. The Ute Indian tribes lived in what is now the US states of Utah (hence the name) and western Colorado.

    The Ute indians believed that the red rocks that jut throughout the Rocky Mountains represented the dead and the red rocks were where the spirit of the dead lived eternally. I saw a number of these rocks that resembled indian features of narrow eyes and lips and Romanesque’ noses.

    One of the most famous of the Red Rocks can be viewed in athe following link:

    http://astro.wsu.edu/worthey/astro/html/im-indian-heads/indian.html

  85. #85 triskelethecat
    July 3, 2011

    @Isabel: your martyr card is filled, so go cash it in and go home, please.

    You say you read RI so
    1)why is this the first posting on pareidolia you have complained about?
    2)why don’t you seem to know Orac is himself Christian and
    3)why are you jumping to conclusions like you are? For heavens’ sakes, I have never seen Spartacus, but since I read and know history, I understood they were talking about the mass crucifixions that the Romans were so fond of. They are NOT talking about slavery, nor the south.

    And you obviously DON’T read much of Sciblogs. Many other religions have been discussed in negative terms regarding their beliefs (Islam, various forms of eastern religions that use faith healing). Try using Google before accusing Orac of religious bigotry.

    MI Dawn

  86. #86 Emily
    July 3, 2011

    I think it looks kinda like a Eurypterid.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haeckel_Eurypterus_tetragonophthalmus.jpg
    All hail our prehistoric sea scorpion overlords!

    But seriously, as Jesus pareidolia goes, this one is a bit of a stretch. You might as well say that anything with bilateral symmetry is Jesus.

  87. #87 augustine
    July 3, 2011

    The perfect scienceblogs religion = atheism

    The next best scienceblogs religion = one that does not interfere with government* ideology and one that does not interfere with scientific ideology(scientism). A religion that shuts up, sits down and knows what’s good for it.

    *SBM government and scientific ideology would be one in the same. A purpose not for liberty but the pursuit of science

    “Trust your government folks! Just get your damn vaccines (swine flu)!”

  88. #88 Scott Cunningham
    July 3, 2011

    Holy guacamole, I would not have expected an article about a vine growing up a telephone pole to have brought out this much angry trolling.

    The next best scienceblogs religion = one that does not interfere with government reading comprehension and basic reasoning skills.

    Fixed that for you.

    The respected commenters are not all atheists. They do however cite evidence and refrain from engaging in logical fallacies and wild conspiracy theories.

    Battleaxe, that link was cringe worthy. Point made.

  89. #89 augustine
    July 3, 2011

    The respected commenters are not all atheists.

    Just mostly atheists. The rest are contradictory theists with suspended belief systems.

    One such “respected commenter” defended the coagulation of atheists to scienceblogs is because most scientists are atheists, albeit he didn’t provide scientific reference.

  90. #90 Gray Falcon
    July 3, 2011

    Augustine, do you have any evidence for your accusations? Ever? What “suspended belief systems” do I have? Who was that “respected commenter”, and when did he make that statement?

  91. #91 Lawrence
    July 3, 2011

    Just ignore boring troll – posting here is its desperate cry for attention.

  92. #92 Prometheus
    July 3, 2011

    Isabel whinges:

    “You are suggesting that it is your belief that all ethnic groups, races, religions are equally respected/disrespected on the science/academic blogs. I somehow doubt it.”

    Not at all. However, I think that Isabel goes too far when she claims that laughing at religious pareidolias is equivalent to laughing at Christianity. I don’t claim to be a religious expert, but I can’t recall anything in Christian scripture that supports the claims that “images” of Christ seen (or imagined) in kudzu, water stains or toast are “miracles”. Of course, Isabel might be able to enlighten me, as I’m not “up” on scripture.

    Of course, we won’t see many Muslim pareidolias, since they hold that images of the Prophet (not to mention God) are blasphemous. I’m not aware of any religious images in Judaism, so pareidolias should be pretty rare in that religion, too. I also haven’t heard of any Buddhist or Hindu pareidolias, but I can’t claim to have done a thorough search for them.

    Isabel continues:

    “Or is what you are saying is that my perception is true but I’m just taking it the wrong way; practitioners of certain specific religions or ethnic groups are just especially funny? Because that in itself is pretty bigoted. Which kind of bigot are you?”

    Nice “straw-man” there, Isabel. If your particular version of Christianity sees divinity in images of Christ wrought from kudzu, then I suppose your religion is especially funny.

    Am I to assume from your comment that religion is exempted from any sort of critique? If we can’t laugh at religious practises, then are we not allowed to be offended, upset or outraged by them?

    If a kudzu Jesus is a legitimate part of Christianity, then laughing at it would be laughing at Christianity. However, unless Isabel can point to the scripture or other religious authority supporting the “miracle of the kudzu”, I’m going to assume that the two are NOT congruent.

    Prometheus

  93. #93 Krebiozen
    July 3, 2011

    I don’t think it is true to say that Christianity gets more then its fair share of mockery for odd beliefs of this kind. I do think that Christianity is a more fertile source of dubious miracles than most other religions. Walking (winking, crying, bleeding) statues of the BVM spring to mind.

    There are frequently claims of pareidolias in Islam, usually something that resembles either the name of Allah in Arabic script or the Muslim declaration, again in Arabic script. Chapatis, eggplants, tomatoes… there are often stories in the UK tabloids.

    I have also seen a claim of a potato that resembled Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, and I did come across a Jewish pareidolia a year or two ago. Googling “pareidolia” + the religion of your choice will find a number of hits for most religions.

    It wasn’t a pareidolia, but some years ago there was a global outbreak of statues of Ganesh allegedly drinking milk. One of my Hindu colleagues was adamant that a statue of Ganesh in her home was drinking milk (what do you say to that?!). As I recall there was considerable sceptical mockery of this at the time.

  94. #94 Chris
    July 3, 2011

    So Isabel the coconut troll? Hmmm, I guess we should just ignore or mock Issy the Coconut depending on our mood.

  95. #95 Isabel
    July 3, 2011

    “Judaism, so pareidolias should be pretty rare in that religion, too. I also haven’t heard of any Buddhist or Hindu pareidolias, but I can’t claim to have done a thorough search for them.”

    http://www.discoveryon.info/2011/06/mahatma-gandhis-face-seen-on-mars.html

    “I don’t think it is true to say that Christianity gets more then its fair share of mockery for odd beliefs of this kind.”

    I was clearly referring to mockery in general. Nice “editing” of my statements again.

    “why don’t you seem to know Orac is himself Christian”

    how is Orac’s religion in any way relevant? I certainly know *nothing* about his personal beliefs and find the subject irrelevant to this discussion. My guess would have been atheist.

    “I did in fact defend Ed’s post in comments there”

    @CC How could anyone defend a post mocking an obviously poor West Virginan teenager that posted his picture along with sterotypical pejorative (false) insinuations about bestiality and banjo music? You should be ashamed of yourself for defending it.

    “seen Spartacus, but since I read and know history, I understood they were talking about the mass crucifixions that the Romans were so fond of. They are NOT talking about slavery, nor the south.”

    Funny that I jumped to such an unreasonable conclusion when I saw the following exchange, lol.

    ” For people who think this looks like Jesus on the cross, I should point out that most rural roads in the US Southeast would look, to them, like an endless row of crucifixions, because almost every utility pole is so adorned.

    Clearly it’s a sign that the slave revolt will be suppressed. ”

  96. #96 The Christian Cynic
    July 3, 2011

    Isabel: You are obviously immune to reason if you think there is no reasonable way to defend that, and I couldn’t care less what an ignorant troll thinks of me. Also, you are absolutely mischaracterizing what Ed in fact did, but as I said, you haven’t shown yourself to be charitable enough to be worth bothering with.

  97. #97 Isabel
    July 3, 2011

    The “*only* defense that was offered was that I was imagining the stereotypical aspects, which is ridiculous. That was the whole reason the “news story” was considered funny, and the reason it was posted. The post was so short, mainly a link to the story, and it included the added comment by Ed “banjo music was playing in the background” so, um yeah, he was going for the stereotype.

    A few people then opined that the obviously dysfunctional nineteen year old, who may have done nothing illegal, and whose privacy had clearly been violated by his neighbors (the source of most of the info) despite his protestations, deserved it for being such a fuck-up.

    If not buying those excuses makes me “uncharitable” and “immune to reason” so be it.

  98. #98 jim
    July 4, 2011

    Prometheus:

    Nice “straw-man” there, Isabel. If your particular version of Christianity sees divinity in images of Christ wrought from kudzu, then I suppose your religion is especially funny.

    On reflection, I’m not sure that holds in the general case. A version of Christianity that saw divinity in everything might be something we could respect. Like the section in Rejoice in the Lamb about the cat Geoffrey, describing the way the cat worships God by, essentially, being a cat.

    If these people were saying something along the lines of “see how even a noxious weed can take on the form of something divine, thus illustrating some profound insight or other into how all things reflect the Godhead”, I think we could respect that point of view while still agreeing that the actual weed in question should be rooted up and wiped out.

    On the other hand, if, as seems to be the case here, people are simply being dumbasses, then we have little recourse but to mock them.

  99. #99 NJ
    July 6, 2011

    ♪ I don’t care if it rains or freezes ♪
    ♪ ‘long as I got my kudzu Jesus ♪

  100. #100 Isabel
    July 6, 2011

    Wow what a coincidence. Bigot Brayton has a post up about goofy christians seeing things in inanimate objects. And it made the top five. Total coincidence of course.

    Well at least we’ve agreed that the jews run Hollywood. I guess that’s progress.

  101. #101 Lawrence
    July 6, 2011

    Hey, would you look at that – Gébé Tremblay has at least one fan around here.

  102. #102 The Christian Cynic
    July 6, 2011

    Isabel, you continue to misrepresent the way things happened. For the record, here is part of one of my replies to you from that thread as evidence that I did in fact address your concern about stereotyping:

    I’ll repeat my impression of this story: 1) the events themselves are very out of the ordinary, and 2) the story reads like someone wrote a scenario out based on the worst stereotypes of rednecks, yet the story is absolutely real, which adds to the surreality of the situation. Racism or bigotry need not enter the equation at all.

    All Ed did was to post what seemed like the real life re-enactment of a stereotype (an instance of truth being stranger than fiction, at least at first glance), and he added one more piece, as if to say, “This couldn’t possibly be more surreal.” You took it as evidence of bigotry and racism – quelle surprise, look at this thread – which was entirely unwarranted.

    And if you want to defend the sanity of people who see the Virgin Mary in the defecation of birds, go ahead – I’m sure it will do wonders for your already soaring credibility.

  103. #103 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 6, 2011

    Notice Isabel didn’t have the guts to comment over at Ed’s place. I guess she couldn’t decide whether to insult these loons because they were Hispanic, being the racist PoS she is, or defend them because they’re Christian. She had to come over here to dump one of her faux-concern-troll “I’m-so-much-more-doctrinally-pure-than-you-loony-left-ideologues-how-dare-you-make-fun-of-anybody-and-Hispanics-too-I-win-Ha-Ha!” passive-aggressive turds-in-the-punchbowl because everyone over there’s so familiar with them.

  104. #104 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    “Notice Isabel didn’t have the guts to comment over at Ed’s place.”

    I’m banned asshole. BECAUSE I have the guts to stand up to Bigot Brayton.

    “being the racist PoS she is”

    The only piece of evidence you have that I am a “racist PoS” is that I disagree with anti-white racism.

    Hmm, standing up to racism=racist.

  105. #105 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    “All Ed did was to post what seemed like the real life re-enactment of a stereotype (an instance of truth being stranger than fiction, at least at first glance), and he added one more piece, as if to say, “This couldn’t possibly be more surreal.” You took it as evidence of bigotry and racism – quelle surprise, look at this thread – which was entirely unwarranted.

    This comment is such a remarkable example of self-deceptive hypocrisy that I saved it to deconstruct on the blog I’ve (finally) decided to start up. Though probably not til after summer research travel craziness. The working title is “Banned in the Blog’o’sphere”. I saved Brayton’s thread also.

    Here CC has rationalized the all-but-admitted bigotry of the post. Yes it’s an ugly stereotype. Yes, Brayton added an entirely made up stereotypical flourish (about a real-life nineteen year old whose picture he published on the blog). And yes the main stereotypical element of the “true” story was 100% innuendo (the bestiality part). No information was offered in the “news” story to support this claim.

    The adolescent male who was the amusing subject of this “news story” that your hero picked up (to his readers’ apparent delight) was caught dressing up in womens’ clothing. This was part of the comedy, simply an ingredient, like the fact that he lived in West Virginia, in the bestiality implication.

    This information, along with a report of >gasp< pornography in this nineteen year old’s bedroom, was obtained by his neighbors, who admit that they entered *his bedroom* despite his protestations that he was not dressed. He was high on drugs at the time.

    He is likely from a religious family, and has been completely humiliated if not ostracized from family and community. He is a laughing stock, partly because he was exploring his sexuality when his neighbors barged in.

    I suggest people check it out. As I pointed out in the thread, a similar “surreal” story about a young, low-income person of any other race/ethnic/religious group whose privacy had been violated would never fly and if it did it would be immediately denounced and retracted.

    Of course, no one could understand what the hell I was talking about, since as everybody knows, poor, dysfunctional, marginalized hillbillies are lording it over all the people of color of the world, plus they’re all fuck ups anyway, so they don’t deserve to be respected like other ethnic groups do.

    Did I miss anything in this grand, surreal comedy you speak of CC?

  106. #106 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    I have a comment in moderation in which I stated that Ed Brayton published the West Virginian boy’s picture, but I think he actually only published a *link* to the photo. Not much better, but still wanted to correct the inaccuracy.

  107. #107 triskelethecat
    July 7, 2011

    Gee, Isabel. Banned by Ed? I wonder why, reading all your posts here. (/sarcasm)

    And you really expected Orac to ban you with your initial comment as you stated:
    “Hahaha. Nice. A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Christians. Just what the blog needed to liven things up. And how bout those Jews in their funny hats? They totally crack me up! I’m getting into the spirit here!

    Oh wait, did I cross some sort of arbitrary line??? (Isabel mysteriously disappears from Orac’s site for ever after for crossing the unspoken line).”

    A completely random, gratuitous post mocking Christians. Just what the blog needed to liven things up.

    As has been pointed out to you many times, the post is mocking pareidolia. NOT Christians. Not Jews. Not Muslims. People, who, in this case HAPPEN to be Christians, who see Jesus in a telephone pole covered with kudzu. Nothing more. Orac often mocks those who see religious symbols or people in inamimate objects. If you would bother to quit being lazy and search for his other posts on pareidolia, you would know that.

    Now, get off your high horse, quit calling people bigots, and go home. You’ve gone past obnoxious into boring.

  108. #108 Militant Agnostic
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel

    I’m a banned asshole.

    Fixed that for you.

  109. #109 NJ
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel @ 100:

    Bigot Brayton has a post up…

    followed by, (two sentences later):

    …at least we’ve agreed that the jews run Hollywood.

    Epic FAIL.

  110. #110 The Christian Cynic
    July 7, 2011

    Yes, you missed a lot, Isabel.

    1) The boy was crossdressing inside a house with an animal long included in the stereotype of bestiality in rural areas (I noted in the other thread that it could have been a sheep and been equally stereotypical). He was also high on bath salts, and the goat belonged to a neighbor’s four-year-old grandson. (Funny how those last two things don’t exactly elicit much sympathy…)
    2) You’re assuming that someone who finds the situation amusing is reinforcing the stereotype, but as I noted, it is because the situation so perfectly met up with the stereotype – which doesn’t often happen in real life (i.e. the stereotype is not accurate) – that the situation was in fact humorous. If Ed had posted about a situation in West Virginia that had no insinuation of anything stereotypical but inserted his own unprompted, then I think you might have a case.
    3) You keep coming back to empathy, but laughing at the absurdity of the situation doesn’t preclude empathy. I think you’re right that the kid will take a lot of heat for the incident, but most of that is due to the nature of the situation. If he had been crossdressing and that was it, it wouldn’t have been that bad and would have seen less publicity, but other elements (like the goat with the stab wound) added to it. Unfortunate for the boy, and I do think he needs some help (if nothing else for the bath salts – I have personal experience with someone who’s done them, and that’s bad stuff), but he did put himself in the situation.

  111. #111 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    ” …at least we’ve agreed that the jews run Hollywood.

    Epic FAIL.”
    That was a joke, based on the absurd situation that pointing out the fact is considered anti-semitic if it is done by a non-Jew, even though it is perfectly true and rather remarkable (and a valid concern in a diverse nation). In fact, to point it out is considered by many (apparently even someone on this thread) to be equivalent to holocaust denial.

    CC go back to the thread and re-read my made-up “inner city black” version of a news story that though hilariously stereotype full-filling, would tragic for the individuals involved. How likely would Ed be to publish that story, adding a little extra flourish? It would never happen. It would be instantly recognizable as racist. You keep missing the point.

    You also missed the point that there was NO bestiality involved in the actual news item. We don’t even know that it was in the country, it sounds like suburbs if the neighbors house was so close. The kid was out of his mind on drugs. The escaped goat was wandering around. It may have wandered into his bedroom and terrified him. Who knows? But you got bestiality out of that? why? There was cross dressing and there was a goat. YOU made the connection. Note you said “cross dressing WITH a goat”. Yes a goat that was lying dead on the floor.

    Yes I GET how it’s a funny story;it is funny because it is bigoted. You are implying there was actual bestiality involved and Ed only added the part about the banjo music. How sick is that? And we don’t know at all that he brought all this on himself. All we know about is a tragic story involving a cross-dressing kid and a goat that was wandering around a neighborhood and was killed.

    Did it ever occur to you to examine why these offensive stereotypes come so easily to mind, and why it is socially acceptable to laugh at this particular population, identified by race and class? Hmmm, I wonder how kind Hollywood has been to poor rural Americans, Appalachians in particular?

  112. #112 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    My post #105 was mangled; I think I accidentally added some html. The 4th paragraph should read:

    “This information, along with a report of *gasp* pornography in this nineteen year old’s bedroom, was obtained by his neighbors, who admit that they entered *his bedroom* despite his protestations that he was not dressed. He was high on drugs at the time.”

  113. #113 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel, you’re badly needed over on this thread. Gébé Tremblay can’t hold the fort against all of the politically correct Jew-loving Nazi haters all by himself. Your special brand of whiny obtuseness is just what the doctor ordered..

  114. #114 JayK
    July 7, 2011

    Did it ever occur to you to examine why these offensive stereotypes come so easily to mind, and why it is socially acceptable to laugh at this particular population, identified by race and class? Hmmm, I wonder how kind Hollywood has been to poor rural Americans, Appalachians in particular?

    Are you familiar with “black humor”, or are you too sheltered? The majority identifiable group does not have the social protection afforded to minorities, especially minorities that have been violently subjugated, at times, by the majority. In fact, such ingroup humor is probably a social construct developed to issue warnings to members of said ingroup, that such behavior will be noticed and you will be humiliated.

    Humor – International Journal of Humor Research. Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 1–22, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: 10.1515/humr.2005.18.1.1, April 2005

  115. #115 The Christian Cynic
    July 7, 2011

    No, Isabel, I didn’t say there was bestiality, only that the situation implied it; it’s not exactly much of a stretch given all of the circumstances (including the pornographic magazine, as you noted). Is that fair? No, but as I said, the kid did put himself in the situation.

    And yet again:

    Yes I GET how it’s a funny story;it is funny because it is bigoted.

    you ignore what I actually say and insert what you expect I think. Go back and re-read what I said at #2 above.

    By the way, you continue to call Ed a bigot because of this one contentious incident. Any evidence that he shows any evidence of bigotry otherwise? The pareidolia, as we’ve already noted extensively in this thread, is not mockery of religious ideas but of absurd religious ideas, so that won’t do, either.

  116. #116 Heliantus
    July 7, 2011

    @ JayK

    Humor – International Journal of Humor Research. Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 1–22, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: 10.1515/humr.2005.18.1.1, April 2005

    No way! A scientific journal dedicated to humor?

    /google search/

    Yeah, that’s right! Well, why not, it’s an important human emotion, but I never…

    Sir, you made my day.

  117. #117 JayK
    July 7, 2011

    Yeah, it isn’t a journal I’m familiar with, and the topic is serious enough it should have been published somewhere more prestigious (my opinion). I at least figure that the citations it uses will point back to a ton of cognitive research journals under the APA or Elsevier.

    It has been a pet theme of mine (humor as social control of ingroups) and I’d like to look into the evolutionary aspects of its development. There might even be some animal comparison research out there, or it could be an interesting grad project for someone.

  118. #118 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    Battleaxe, what do I have in common with him? I am not interested in the subject so I won’t bother. Read Joel Stein’s LA Times article on the subject. Orac implied it was okay to discuss here anyway. If it is off-limits I will respect that but I think that it’s a little weird.

    My point is that we are selective in WHICH stereotypes we indulge in, WHICH groups we are allowed to mock (and which we are not allowed to ever mention if we are a non-member even if it’s a relatively powerful group)and so on.

    :? The majority identifiable group”

    Appalachians???? The story was funny because it was about West Virginia, you fool.

    “especially minorities that have been violently subjugated, at times, by the majority”

    Which would include the West Virginians. Why isn’t West Virginia a rich state, with all that coal? Why are its residents drinking black water due to mountaintop removal and suffering from black lung disease while Hollywood and Science Blogs laugh at them?

    Yes the Appalacians and other **constantly mocked** rural white Americans subjugated the Jews, so therefore the Jews can mock them all they want, and conveniently they run Hollywood and much of the other media in the US. It is a warning system you say? Cross dressing near a goat will be noticed and you will be humiliated! You have some pretty bizarre ideas. I’m not sure I even want to read that reference.

    How about we don’t stereotype and make fun of any groups? How about we attempt to diversify Hollywood? How about we make a few movies by Christians that make fun of Jews. It would be healthy. I believe the Holocaust occurred and nothing like it should ever happen again. But I don’t think that is a good reason for dis-allowing making fun of the Jews once in a while. Or acknowledging their incredible power, their influence over the American popular culture, (probably more than any other group). Yet it’s the one group that is completely off-limits. I think that in itself is a bit of a powder keg, don’t you? We could use a little humor *all around* to diffuse the situation.

    “No, but as I said, the kid did put himself in the situation.”

    Your brain put the pieces together.

  119. #119 NJ
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel @ 111:

    That was a joke, based on the absurd situation that pointing out the fact is considered anti-semitic if it is done by a non-Jew, even though it is perfectly true and rather remarkable (and a valid concern in a diverse nation).

    Hole. Digging. Stop.

  120. #120 Lawrence
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel – your rantings might have a place in 1950’s WASP culture, but certainly are a bit passe in today’s 21st Century World.

    Your views are maybe just a bit to the left of a full-blown White Supremacist, but definitely toe the line. Seriously, Jews & Hollywood, Jews & Popular Culture?

    Have fun with that.

  121. #121 JayK
    July 7, 2011

    I’m not sure I even want to read that reference.

    You mean an article about how humor is used by ingroups as a method to enforce social rules without violence? Afraid you won’t understand it?

    West Virginian people are white and American, that sets one of their major ingroups and allows for the usage of humor, at their expense, to discourage certain behaviors. Christians find themselves in the same situation.

    But maybe that’s too difficult for an uptight white girl like yourself? Or maybe I’m just a Jew with a penchant for making fun of uptight white christianist girls.

  122. #122 ArtK
    July 7, 2011

    I can’t believe that someone would think that this was divinely inspired. Anyone who’s had to deal with kudzu would know that the stuff is satanic.

    Nice(?) to see Isabel back giving her righteous indignation a good workout.

  123. #123 Militant Agnostic
    July 7, 2011

    How about we take up a collection to give Isabel a subscription to the International Journal of Humor Research.

    I think she could benefit from it.

  124. #124 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    “Seriously, Jews & Hollywood, Jews & Popular Culture?”

    I don’t want to send a comment with a link into moderation.

    Google Joel Stein & Jews in Hollywood LA Times. Why is me saying what he is saying equivalent to Holocaust denial? Is Joel Stein therefore a Holocaust denialer? Are you denying that the assertion is true? Really? Or just saying it’s wrong to talk about? I just want to be clear on *why* it’s anti-semitic to bring up.

    “but definitely toe the line. ”

    Exactly where is the line?

    “You mean an article about how humor is used by ingroups as a method to enforce social rules without violence? Afraid you won’t understand it? ”

    How does that apply to the Brayton discussion?

    “West Virginian people are white and American, that sets one of their major ingroups and allows for the usage of humor, at their expense, to discourage certain behaviors. Christians find themselves in the same situation.”

    Could you elaborate? I’m totally confused. I mean, Jews are white and American also, but we can’t make fun of them.

    “But maybe that’s too difficult for an uptight white girl like yourself?”

    Uptight white girl? What does that even mean? That I don’t enjoy humor at my expense, enjoyed by people with more power than me who I am not allowed to EVER laugh at? Or so much as mention (exhibit A: see above comments).

    “Or maybe I’m just a Jew with a penchant for making fun of uptight white christianist girls.”

    I would love to respond in kind, but I am not allowed to, even as a joke. Does it feel good to mock someone knowing their life or career could be destroyed if they mocked you back? I’m curious. I’ve never had that kind of power.

    Sorry you’re so thin-skinned that you can’t take a joke at *your* expense once in a while.

  125. #125 Lawrence
    July 7, 2011

    Isabel – please articulate to us the problem you have with jewish people. Is there any particular reason you find it necessary to make jokes at their expense?

    I do find it humorous when people (whether Christians or not) point to “images” of divinity in ordinary items or food & claim it to be some kind of miracle. The ridiculous nature of that belief does open up numerous opportunites for humor.

    Making jokes or poking fun at a person or even a group of people, for no other reason then their religion beliefs, skin color, sexual persuasion, etc. is an extremely negative trait & should not be encouraged – making it okay to make fun of Jewish people just because you happen to believe they “control” Hollywood is racist, no ifs ands or butts.

  126. #126 JayK
    July 7, 2011

    @Isabel: Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had in awhile. To be honest, I recognize it as schadenfreude, which is cheap and tawdry at times, but I’ll enjoy it nevertheless.

    You complain, in a Monty Python sketch-like way, that you’re repressed, that you can’t talk about those horrible dirty jews because of some unwritten rule. In a complete act of unawareness, you post a citation to a major publication article that talks about the Jewish influence in Hollywood. On top of it all, no one has censored you, or told you to stop maligning jews, they’ve only pointed out that you’re pretty anti-Semitic.

    On top of all of this, you make some paranoid remark about how your career/life could be destroyed if you say anything bad, which you’ve already done, and you seem unable to recognize that you’re basically anonymous here.

    And you think I can’t take a joke? What joke would that have been? Hell, I could claim I’m a black homosexual jew with a penchant for furries, and I have. What I am is nothing more than another anonymous commenter that has set up his credibility here through the usage of scientific citations and hopefully insightful and humorous remarks. What joke could you tell that would actually hurt me in any way or that I would find offensive? I spend most of my days researching domestic terrorist groups that are typically formed through racial identities. I read some accounts of some real bigots, so when I find some pearl-clutching twit accusing average people of bigotry with little foundation, I just can’t help but enjoy myself.

  127. #127 Emily
    July 7, 2011

    @Isabel: I mean, Jews are white and American also, but we can’t make fun of them.
    Oh dear, I guess someone forgot to tell Ed. Will he soon be banned from his own blog?:
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/07/roadwork_ruins_ridiculous_reli.php

  128. #128 Isabel
    July 7, 2011

    “Making jokes or poking fun at a person or even a group of people… is an extremely negative trait & should not be encouraged”
    That is exactly what I am arguing here! It IS allowed if you are discussing certain groups. No one is willing to explain why.

    “you happen to believe they “control” Hollywood”
    I “happen to believe” it? What does that mean?

    “In a complete act of unawareness, you post a citation to a major publication article that talks about the Jewish influence in Hollywood”

    A complete act of self-awareness? I already explained that he was able to talk about it because he is a Jew. It also completely backs up my assertion regarding the statistics. He is allowed to talk about it and say “Go us!”. A non-Jew is not allowed to question this near-monopoly by an ethnic group that represents a tiny percent of the population. Look at all the hyperbolic accusations that immediately start flying around when someone even brings up the subject.

    “On top of it all, no one has censored you, or told you to stop maligning jews, they’ve only pointed out that you’re pretty anti-Semitic. ”

    That right there is both false and intimidating. Some people here do know who I am. And I have not said one word that is anti Jewish! You have just proven that simply talking about Jews is considered anti-semitic, and you well know what charges of anti-semitism can do to a person’s career.

    “those horrible dirty jews ”

    **YOUR** ugly words. I would never say (and have never said) anything of the kind about any group. A large proportion of my friends and acquaintances are Jewish. I’m a fan of many Jewish authors, filmmakers, and comedians. A large proportion of my new academic colleagues are also Jewish and I’m not aware of any negative feelings towards them.

    I’m pointing out that the rules are different and it definitely is a strictly enforced situation; in fact, I’ve probably already said too much and should leave the blogosphere for a while.

    “be destroyed if you say anything bad, which you’ve already done, and you seem unable to recognize that you’re basically anonymous here.”

    No I’m backing out because just discussing this and reading the accusatory comments is making me pretty uncomfortable. I’m a veteran of the entertainment industry so I know what can happen.

    Soon you will be able to go back to openly mocking people who drink black water and die from black lung disease, safe in the knowledge that you are 100% unlikely to stumble across them laughing at you on Science Blogs or in any mainstream media. Criticism of your group is securely off-limits and considered the realm of white-supremacists; and anyway they’re too poor to own media companies.

    Yeah, they’re the ones in power, the group we need to keep our eyes on. The hillbillies.

    “What joke would that have been?”

    Like I am going to give you an example here? Not likely. I simply made a factual statement, which you admit is true, and look what I’ve been called. Here’s a vague hypothetical: What if I did like Brayton did, and used a news story about a Jewish person that was just so stereotypical that it was “surreal”, and added a little extra stereotypical flourish? How do you think that would go over?

    Unlike Stein who gets away with straight talk on the subject, I probably shouldn’t put it so bluntly, so that no one thinks I believe in a cabal or illuminati or whatever. Honestly, it’s ludicrous and unfair to insist that only Jewish people can discuss the situation. What if that article had *not* been written by Joel Stein?

  129. #129 democommie
    July 7, 2011

    In the interest of helping out the readers/commenters here who don’t spend time over at “Dispatches” I would like to explain, as precisely as possible, just what Isabel is.

    I think I can best accomplish this by doing the same sort of ad that is done for pre-owned Beemers–except DizzyIzzy is “pre-pwned”.

    Izziot is, before anything else, the ultimate clueless fucking moran.

  130. #130 JayK
    July 7, 2011

    That was one of the finest orchestrated paranoid meltdowns I’ve seen in awhile. Thanks Isabel, you’re one groovy anti-Semitic pearl-clutching chick. I wonder if there is a supplement for a lack of humor?

  131. #131 Militant Agnostic
    July 7, 2011

    JayK

    I wonder if there is a supplement for a lack of humor?

    No, but as you have shown us, there is a scholarly journal for it.

  132. #132 stripey_cat
    July 8, 2011

    Dropping back in to see if I can’t stir up Izzy into a tizzy some more.

    1) I’ve never seen Spartacus, although I’ve read most of the contemporary source material that I’m aware of.
    2) The slave revolt comment was indeed intended as gallows humour. I’ve met a fair few people (UK and US) who seem that they’d secretly rather like to be able to go back to Roman SOPs for dealing with troublemaking elements in society (a category I fall into from time to time). Most of them are also keener-than-average god-botherers, and not too hot on the old rational thought in other respects. Some folks, the only thing you can do is laugh at them from a safe distance.
    3) It was not particularly intended as a slur on the South (most of the Americans I’ve met, nasty, nice and in between, have been from New England); is kudzu only a problem in hot climates or something?
    3) I doubt even a couple of legions could put down kudzu.

  133. #133 Isabel
    July 8, 2011

    “I wonder if there is a supplement for a lack of humor?”

    You didn’t answer the question, Jay? I’ll repeat it:

    What if I did like Brayton did (just substituted Jews) would you still be laughing?

    And what would happen to someone who worked in the entertainment industry who cracked such a joke on their blog? It would be “paranoid” to worry about repercussions? Again I’m not saying I want to do that, I am pointing out that it would be taboo, while criticism of other white groups would be allowed, even encouraged.

    I’m pretty convinced that it is a contributor to the polarized situation in this country. It’s always going to create tension if the rules don’t apply across the board; so my suggestion is we decide whether we want a society where 1)everybody (and every group) can criticise and mock each other OR 2) all groups are protected and all respect each other.

    The most realistic solution is (2) which is what I promote.

    It’s the kindest and the most moral choice also. The perfectly lovely, charming people of Appalachia, like rural and southern whites in general, have been portrayed over and over in a most unkind, demeaning way by those in the mainstream US media, especially the entertainment industry. When you (Jay, CC and others over at Brayton’s) say they “deserve it” maybe you are the ones digging yourselves deeper into a hole.

  134. #134 JayK
    July 8, 2011

    @Isabel: Didn’t you say you were going to leave the internets?

    Let me see what Jewish stereotypes I can come up with: pennypinching, big nosed, inbred (rarely), in control of Hollywood, bankers, state sponsored terrorists, fois gras eaters, nagging adult women, kvetching fathers, etc etc…. How long would it take me to find a blog with a Jewish joke?

    Ah, under 30 seconds.

    Son: A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he’s been given a part in the school play.

    Mother: “Wonderful. What part is it?”

    Son: The boy says,”I play the part of the Jewish husband.”

    Mother: The mother scowls and says, “Go back and tell the teacher you want a speaking part.”

    Or I can tell the one asking how many Jews it takes to change a mother-in-law’s light bulb.

    Answer: What, you want me to sit here in the dark and go blind?

    Haha, see, it’s funny because it is a humorous poke at a stereotype! Was it slightly insensitive? Nope, it is part of this discussion and has relevancy, and most intelligent people would recognize that, rather than take it out of context and run around crying to those that actually get the point of Brayton’s post.

    The part that identifies you as an anti-Semetic is that you brought up the topic and won’t let it go, and you’ve added the Hollywood stereotype into a discussion in which it was totally unnecessary. Add on top of that your high level of paranoia and inabilities to understand the science of humor in cultural contexts and you appear to be little more than a boorish ninny.

    Your solution (2) is ignorant of human behavior and reality. I attempted to point out how humor is a consistent part of human relations and is unconsciously and consciously used as a method for addressing social mores in a non-violent and non-confrontational method. It serves as a warning to others that certain behaviors will be mocked. I would go out and find more studies, but I don’t think you’ll read them, nor would you be able to get much out of them. If someone else would like some citations to psychological research on humor in cultural morals, I’ll be happy to go chase some down.

  135. #135 The Christian Cynic
    July 8, 2011

    When you (Jay, CC and others over at Brayton’s) say they “deserve it” maybe you are the ones digging yourselves deeper into a hole.

    I dare you to demonstrate that I ever said anything like this. I won’t claim that others didn’t, but I certainly never did. This is just more evidence of your utter lack of charity, I’m afraid.

    Honestly, I think you just have no sense of humor and assume that anyone who laughs at a joke that builds on a stereotype is obviously bigoted against that group, which is absolutely false. I’ve lived in the rural Midwest my whole life; I don’t have anything against people living in Appalachia, and I have great sympathy for the lives they live. Nonetheless, however, I can laugh at the stereotype while recognizing that a stereotype is never enough information to judge a whole group or individual members of that group.

  136. #136 The Christian Cynic
    July 8, 2011

    I hasten to add here:

    I don’t have anything against people living in Appalachia, and I have great sympathy for the lives they live.

    This statement, of course, is directed at the poorest and most vulnerable individuals of the region, not everyone; that would be a silly generalization to make.

  137. #137 The Archive
    July 8, 2011

    The Christian Cynic,

    Seriously, don’t worry about it. I’ve just laughed harder than I have in weeks. I doubt anyone here takes her seriously, even the other troll(S).

    I rarely comment on anything, anywhere but I have only one thing to say about Isabel.

    Someone needs to check her irony level. She may need a pill.

  138. #138 The Christian Cynic
    July 8, 2011

    @137: No worries, I’m not driving my blood pressure up over a troll like Isabel. :D

  139. #139 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 8, 2011

    It may be cruel, and unjustified, and all that, but my animus against the rank-and-file in Appalachia is not based on their poverty and suffering, which is quite real and inexcusable, but by their consistently voting for the lapdogs of the plutocrats who are inflicting it on them, and biting the hand that’s trying to help them.

    Their ancestors in the mountain counties of Virginia actualy seceded from the state, and the people of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama were forcibly held in a Confederacy that they knew good and well represented the antithesis of what was good for them. What happened in the ensuing 150 years? I can’t make them see reason, but I can mock them for being unable to see why they’re so economically depressed and deprived, and why they’re drinking coal dust and breathing poison.

  140. #140 Heliantus
    July 8, 2011

    @JayK

    Let me see what Jewish stereotypes I can come up with: [...] fois gras eaters

    Nitpicking*, but it’s “foie gras”. “foie” is “liver”, “fois” means “time(s)” as in “once upon a time” or “manytimes”.

    And, really? I didn’t know this one. Well, stereotypes are culture-related, obviously.
    I guess that in my country, foie gras is not just for the upper rich. Or that we are aware that not all rich people are Jews (must be a miracle, because the other stereotypes are still alive and well, unfortunately)
    This, or I’m simply not that curious about racial stereotypes.

    nagging adult women

    Come on, this one applies to the adult women of all Mediterranean countries.

    * another one I regularly have to nitpick about**: “coup de grace”, which is pronounced like “grass”, not [gra]. The latter is the way one should pronounce “gras” (“fat”). To give a “coup de gras” is to hit someone with a slab of bacon***.

    ** I took a vow: to teach Americans to pronounce French-borrowed words correctly. Um, I gonna reinforce the stereotype of Frenchmen being nitpickers – oh well, cannot stop myself.****

    *** although for people who don’t like pork for religious reasons, this could be a coup de grace as well. See the novel Ivanhoe, from Walter Scott (the incident between the fool and the usurer in the tournament)

    **** Now, if only I could learn to pronounce English words correctly. A task at which I’m not as good. Let’s keep trying…

  141. #141 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 8, 2011

    @ Helainthus:

    While we’re indulging in pet peeves, one of mine is things like: “That’s not my for-TAY.”

    Now to begin with, “forte” just means “strength”, and we already have a perfectly good English word that means “strength”—”strength”. But my main problem is, it’s French, not Italian (and if it were Italian, it’d be “forza”, anyway). It’s pronounced “fort”, not “for-TAY”.

    On the opposite tack, I find pronouncing the word “homage” “oh-MAAZH” to be desperately pretentious. This word has been naturalized in English since the Norman Conquest. Pronouncing it as if it were a foreign word just makes you sound like a douchenozzle.

  142. #142 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 8, 2011

    Aaand—in a pedantic post like that, I make TWO misspellings in your one-word nick. Yay, me!

  143. #143 Heliantus
    July 8, 2011

    @ Very Reverend Battleaxe

    Isn’t ‘forte’ a musical term, more Latin (or dog-Latin) than French/Italian?

    As for misspelling my name, don’t worry. Then I selected my acronym, I did unwittingly misspell the Latin word I wanted to use. Since I started using it, I kept it this way. You almost put it back as it should have been :-)

  144. #144 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 8, 2011

    You could be right about the dog-Latin, but then I’d have to mention the founders of Quantum Physics perpetuating the dog-Latin habit of using “quantum” to mean “tantum”.

    Yeah, I was less ashamed of re-inserting the “h” than in switching the “a” and “i” around.

  145. #145 The Christian Cynic
    July 8, 2011

    Now to begin with, “forte” just means “strength”, and we already have a perfectly good English word that means “strength”—”strength”.

    I find this objection unconvincing for two reasons: 1) Having a word that means the same thing as another is not sufficient reason to use the former word; part of the delight of English is its flexibility in having multiple words that can be used in similar situations (like big and large, which are Anglo-Saxon and Latinate in origin [respectively]); and 2) “strength” doesn’t carry the same rhetorical weight as “forte,” which means something more like “[one's] strong suit.” (I’m grateful for you bringing up the subject, though, since my own musical education had led me to connect forte with the Italian term, and you are correct that the word is French-derived but with the added e to make the word seem more Italian. Still, I’ll stick with the two-syllable pronunciation for communicative purposes.)

    P.S. I fully approve of the co-option of this thread for pedantry. That is a far less tedious subject than what has been discussed previously. ;D

  146. #146 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 8, 2011

    P.S. I fully approve of the co-option of this thread for pedantry. That is a far less tedious subject than what has been discussed previously. ;D

    Oh, you don’t want to encourage me. If you get me started on names that should have a “the” in front of them which people keep leaving out, we’ll be here all night.

    (I’ve been “fatigued into compliance” on most of them, but my lines in the sand are The Ukraine and The Sudan.)

  147. #147 JayK
    July 9, 2011

    Meh, I’m just remembering stereotypes from my limited time in Israel. Foie Gras (thank you for the pedantic correction), seems to be a very favored delicacy in Israel in which they have “wink wink nudge nudge” banned the practice of force feeding the geese to get the large tender livers, but look the other way for the large amount of imports from neighboring countries. I assumed it was a stereotype, since it is a more common delicacy there than anywhere I’ve been throughout Europe. I threw a lot of nonsense in my post just to keep myself entertained and to be an indicator that I’m less than serious about this thread.

    I do love what you guys have done with it, though. I’d like to mention the word “paradigm”. With two of them and a nickle I can have a quarter!

  148. #148 Emily
    July 9, 2011

    @Battleaxe: Aaand—in a pedantic post like that, I make TWO misspellings in your one-word nick. Yay, me!

    Ah, Muphry’s Law strikes again!

    @Heliantus, your post was most amusing.

  149. #149 Isabel
    July 9, 2011

    Jay@134: your examples were interesting but ultimately non-informative because you did not identify the source. Furthermore they are rather lighthearted examples compared to the commonly heard (about Southerners and Appalachian peoples) accusations of bestiality, inbreeding, etc!

    A better example would include humiliation of an actual, real-life, Jewish nineteen-year-old as part of the story, and evidence that the words had come from a non-Jew. Along with a gratuitous flourish (equivalent to the banjo reference).

    @CC:”I dare you to demonstrate that I ever said anything like this. I won’t claim that others didn’t, but I certainly never did. This is just more evidence of your utter lack of charity, I’m afraid.

    Didn’t you say he “put himself in that situation”?

    And where do you think stereotypes come from in the first place?

    “Nonetheless, however, I can laugh at the stereotype while recognizing that a stereotype is never enough information to judge a whole group or individual members of that group.”

    Where did the stereotype come from in the first place, CV? And are you saying you can laugh at ALL stereotypes? Are you absolutely sure about that? Again your Jewish joke example was rather gentle and tame.

    “Haha, see, it’s funny because it is a humorous poke at a stereotype! ”

    FAIL. It’s not a “news story” about a real, marginaized young person. Try again.

    “It serves as a warning to others that certain behaviors will be mocked.”

    I am fascinated by this. I would love to hear more, CC.

    “Honestly, I think you just have no sense of humor and assume that anyone who laughs at a joke that builds on a stereotype is obviously bigoted against that group, which is absolutely false.”

    I’m not sure I said this, CC. I said it wasn’t fair that some groups can be the brunt of jokes but other groups are off limits. I suggested that such a situation might breed resentment.

    “I can mock them for being unable to see why they’re so economically depressed and deprived, and why they’re drinking coal dust and breathing poison.”

    Wow. I’d love to hear you pontificate about blacks in the inner cities sometime. I mean, what the fuck IS their problem??

    “assume that anyone who laughs at a joke that builds on a stereotype is obviously bigoted against that group’

    actually I don’t believe this at all!

    “Someone needs to check her irony level. She may need a pill.”

    Bear in mind that a lot of what I have been saying recently has been directed at the situation with Brayton, not Orac.

  150. #150 jeremy
    July 9, 2011

    John’s comment got me thinking about a project – photographing cats’ assholes until you find one that resembles the virgin Mary. I’d say it’s at least do-able in principle and would make for an interesting storyline.

    “You do *what* for a living?!”

    Sorry, been a dodgy Saturday already.

  151. #151 Isabel
    July 9, 2011

    “pennypinching, big nosed, inbred (rarely)”

    right. rarely. Even though there is probably some truth to it. I’ve certainly *never* come across that reference to Jews anywhere in the MSM. And yet what not-particularly-inbred* group gets it rather frequently?

    *there is no evidence for this stereotype regarding West Virginians, mountain people or Southerners. Go ahead and try to find some; I’ve already looked in to it.

    “Your solution (2) is ignorant of human behavior and reality.”

    Not really. The problem is that (1), which you apparently want to go with, in fact you actually think we are already there, will never happen because there are too many powerful protections in place for certain groups (and ultimately all groups except one). Well, I shouldn’t say never, and I do think it would be the healthier solution. I agree with you there.

    I’m familiar with the type of ugly, stereotypical material you refer to above. I’ve seen the cartoons, read anti-semitic rants: IN HISTORICAL MATERIAL. *Never* (and this time I really mean never) in the MSM. Same with blacks and other racial and ethnic groups. All the really vile, ugly, truly hateful stereotyping has been completely swept off the MSM. EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF ONE GROUP. Which Brayton’s posting and your defense of it prove.

    “I attempted to point out how humor is a consistent part of human relations and is unconsciously and consciously used as a method for addressing social mores in a non-violent and non-confrontational method. It serves as a warning to others that certain behaviors will be mocked. ”

    How does this assertion apply to the current situation? Why, for example, do we need a warning about what some poor dysfunctional kid in Appalachia did? Or why does he need a “warning” from us? (whichever you are saying). Who needs a warning, and why?

    It sounds like you are saying it is a form of control. Interesting. Again, you are digging yourself deeper with every comment.

  152. #152 nsib
    July 9, 2011

    I do love what you guys have done with it, though. I’d like to mention the word “paradigm”. With two of them and a nickle I can have a quarter!

    Pedantic, but wouldn’t two paradigms and a nickle give you 45 cents? If not, I may have been overcharging for my own.

  153. #153 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 9, 2011

    God damn, Isabel, you are a boneheaded, relentlessly stupid shitweasel, aren’t you? Yes, yes, the poor white folks is soooo oppressed! How dare people post stories about…what actualy happened?

    Of course you saw nothing wrong when all those Welfare Queens™ driving Cadillacs and all those Strapping Young Bucks™ buying t-bone steaks were exposed for the parasites they were—’cause that was true, wasn’t it sweetie?

    “I can mock them for being unable to see why they’re so economically depressed and deprived, and why they’re drinking coal dust and breathing poison.”

    Wow. I’d love to hear you pontificate about blacks in the inner cities sometime. I mean, what the fuck IS their problem??

    When blacks in the inner city start voting for the party that’s inflicting their misery on them, and carrying signs advocating “Second Amendment solutions” for the election of a Democratic president, I’ll deal with that, you waste of meat. As it is, those downtrodden Appalachian goat-rapers you’re sooooo concerned about are doing just that.

    P.S.: notice the magic trick I performed to make it possible to read my quote of your quote? If you expect anyone to read your whining, disingenuous, passive-aggressive, lying walls of apologia for white privilege, look into HTML, will ya, Cupcake?

    <blockquote>text</blockquote>

    You can even nest them, like I just did:

    <blockquote>
    <blockquote>Quote</blockquote>

    Reply</blockquote>

  154. #154 The Christian Cynic
    July 9, 2011

    Didn’t you say he “put himself in that situation”?

    How is that to say that he deserved it? I was indicating his responsibility in the perception of the situation, not his moral status or prescribed guilt.

    I won’t be responding to most of the rest of what seems to be addressed to me (some of which is addressed to “CV” and some of which isn’t even my words) because it is simply too confused and irrelevant. I know what stereotypes are and how they develop, and I’ve explained my reasoning about jokes built on stereotypes enough not to want to repeat myself.

  155. #155 Isabel
    July 10, 2011

    “his responsibility in the perception of the situation”

    I cannot agree that your twisted perceptions are his responsibility, sorry.

    “which is addressed to “CV””

    a single obvious typo. But, it’s true, I’m tired also and making a lot of typos. And I may also have mixed up you and Jay at some point on my last reply, sorry. The distinction is getting blurred as you are both similarly challenging me but skirting the real issue.

    But you’re right about one thing: we’ll probably never resolve this conversation. We all have careers to consider. Therefore, I’m off to change my name and keep a low profile for a while;)

  156. #156 Anonymous
    July 10, 2011

    we decide whether we want a society where 1)everybody (and every group) can criticise and mock each other OR 2) all groups are protected and all respect each other.

    The most realistic solution is (2) which is what I promote.

    Hey that’s the same thing the Scientologists want: a world where everyone respects everyone else’s beliefs and lifestyles, even the stuff about auditing body thetans.

    But funny shit remains funny. The lulz keep coming, even when it ain’t right to laugh.

    Speaking of the Jews in Hollywood, I heard their in talks with the Scientologists about a merger and consolidation resulting in a New Age Kaballah franchise that promotes re-branded LRH tech and alt med, particularly the purif or ritual toxin detox package. The Simon Wiesenthal award to Tom Cruise probably means the deal went through.

  157. #157 The Christian Cynic
    July 10, 2011

    I cannot agree that your twisted perceptions are his responsibility, sorry.

    Who said I was talking about my perception alone? The fact is that the average person would get the same impression from the circumstances, regardless of whether that perception is fair.

  158. #158 Isabel
    July 10, 2011

    Sorry kids, -I know I shouldn’t go back to a thread when I’m finished and I really will stop reading after this. I’m heading out to the field for several weeks tomorrow anyway and will have limited on-line access. But after posting last night I reread the entire thread and Jay’s article, and had something to say to him anyway.

    “But funny shit remains funny. The lulz keep coming, even when it ain’t right to laugh.”

    Anon, I totally agree, and I agreed with Jay (see above) that solution (1) would be healthier. I just don’t think we will ever be able to return to those days. It’s not realistic. There are way too many strong taboos and legal restrictions in place for most groups. Therefore the only decent alternative is (2) for all groups to be off-limits. Remember, our larger goal is to diffuse an extremely polarized, volatile political situation in the US.

    Like virtually every respondent to me on this thread, you are avoiding the real issue which is the unfair double standards currently in place.

    CC, I was not just talking about you specifically, of course.

    “The fact is that the average person would get the same impression from the circumstances”

    Right, the average person who lives in a city, who has never been anywhere Appalachia, somehow “knows” the people there are stupid, ignorant, barefoot, pig-fucking, inbred, toothless deranged criminals. The average American is extremely familiar with the stereotype while knowing next to nothing about the real people themselves.

    I hope after this conversation you will give some serious thought to exactly how everybody just “knows” this. Please look into the specifics of this particular stereotype.

    Jay, I reread the whole thread last night which reminded me to finally read your “reference”. Ha, it has nothing to do with “ingroups” mocking “outgroups”. It is all about joking within a group where all the participants know each other. Not relevant to the present discussion at all.

    Okay, I have to starting packing. See you all *next time* we revisit this theme. Hopefully you will have done some homework by then so we can have a more fruitful, in-depth conversation.:)

  159. #159 The Christian Cynic
    July 10, 2011

    No, Isabel, the average person who lives anywhere. (I will mention here that I don’t live in a city of any size – pop. 2000, as of the 2000 census, but lower now – and was born in a rural township of maybe 250 people where the only real landmark was a Baptist church. To insinuate that I am entirely unfamiliar with rural stereotypes is asinine.)

    You keep trying to make this about bigotry, but you have zero proof of it. And I will say again: I recognize that the stereotype is incorrect as a broad generalization, but that doesn’t mean that a stereotype can never apply to individuals. I know, for instance, that the stereotype of the “dumb blonde” is false, but it would be absurd to say that there are no “dumb blondes” in existence (i.e. people with blond hair who are absentminded, ditsy, etc.). And you’re not even arguing the specifics of the West Virginia case, so I don’t see what basis you have for saying that this one example doesn’t match up to the stereotype.

  160. #160 JayK
    July 11, 2011

    Wow, Isabel doesn’t understand the usage of studies that look at small group interactions and extrapolating that to larger group dynamics, usually done to restrict confounding factors and at least set up a baseline for the hypothesis, which is what I presented. So lets see what other studies I can find which support my presented hypothesis that indicate that stereotype humor is used to change and enforce social norms:

    Oh, look!

    Our theory identifies
    disparagement humor as an important medium, naturally operating in the social environment, through
    which changes in social norms occur. Our theory delineates the processes by which disparagement humor
    creates a normative climate of tolerance of discrimination—the social conditions that encourage the expression of prejudice—as well as variables that accentuate
    and attenuate its effects. (p.79)

    Ford, T. E., & Ferguson, M. A. (January 01, 2004). Social Consequences of Disparagement Humor: A Prejudiced Norm Theory. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 1, 79-94.

    Actually a very interesting paper that is a definitive addition to my EndNote library, it builds on current knowledge of prejudice, which is all about ingroups and outgroups (Allport, 1954).

    Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge, Mass: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.

    Allport’s book is considered the historical basis for the psychology of prejudice, and I have always thought it was pretty well written.

    As well, there is the dark side to humor, in which the ingroup uses stereotype humor to set itself above the outgroup in order to establish and benefit group cohesiveness, in which there are both positive and negative aspects. This would seemingly be an attempt to indicate a slippery slope where the ingroup’s hostility towards the outgroup would be accentuated, yet Olsen, Maio and Hobden (1999) indicate that that is not what actually happens.

    Olson, J., Maio, G.R., & Hobden, K.L. (January 01, 1999). The (null) effects of exposure to disparagement humor on stereotypes and attitudes. Humor, 12, 2, 195-220.

    In the end, I think all we have is a paranoid anti-Semitic tsk-tsking bloggers for encouraging stereotypes, while remaining utterly incapable of understanding irony. What did this whole thing teach us? Well it taught me that I can really bring out the worst in people, which can provide a few joyous hours of cheap entertainment while I peruse the scientific literature for interesting studies to back up my claims.

  161. #161 Barrayaran
    July 12, 2011

    Isabel @118: “Jews…run Hollywood and much of the other media in the US.”

    Rupert Murdoch is Jewish? I never knew.

  162. #162 Isabel
    July 16, 2011

    “Yes, yes, the poor white folks is soooo oppressed! How dare people post stories about…what actualy happened?”

    Yes, battleaxe, what did actually happen in West Virginia?

    http://oae.sagepub.com/content/12/2/163.refs

    Hmmm, who owns WV’s coal mines anyway? Yes, let’s discuss West Virginia more often. I’m all for it.

    For the rest of you, I throw up my hands in disgust. Over and over you miss the point. Sure there are dumb blondes, CC, but do you see science bloggers making dumb blonde jokes when a blonde says something stupid? Do you?? NO!!!!

  163. #163 Isabel
    July 16, 2011

    And meanwhile, over at Adventures in Ethics and Science over at Scientopia, FrauTech is now blaming the education budget crisis in California on Guess Who? Yep, poor southerners. Surprise, surprise. It never ends.

  164. #164 NJ
    July 16, 2011

    Isabel @ 162:

    do you see science bloggers making dumb blonde jokes when a blonde says something stupid? Do you?

    You wouldn’t happen to be blonde would you?

  165. #165 Isabel
    July 16, 2011

    Sure NJ, join the pile-on. That is such a clever, important contribution to the conversation. Besides making zero sense and completely missing the point. (getting desparate eh?)

    Why don’t you sit yourself down, make yourself a cup of tea, and read the article I linked to in #162.

    Then, defend calling West Virginians “pig-fucking, inbred, racists who deserve their situation” which appears to be the default “enlightened, progressive” opinion of the *snobs* on the science and academic blogs.

  166. #166 JayK
    July 16, 2011

    Oh look, the anti-Semetic “actress” is back, despite her promise that she was leaving. It looks like lying is just part of her personality.

  167. #167 NJ
    July 16, 2011

    Isabel says stupid things and rants about blonde jokes.

    NJ asks if Isabel is blonde, thereby not-so-subtly implying Isabel has been doing stupid things.

    Isabel replies about NJ:

    making zero sense and completely missing the point

    creating a textbook example of projection, then drags in a rant about an old post on a different blog entirely.

    It’s not that we’re snobs, cupcake, it’s just that you are too dim to be entrusted with anything sharper than childproof scissors. At least when Steve Martin was playing Ruprect in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, he was acting!

    Now run along with your Barbies, dear. The grownups are talking.

  168. #168 Isabel
    July 17, 2011

    Did you read the article I linked to? Lying, Jay? What lies? You have yet to name a single one, nor can you name a single “anti-semitic” statement. Perhaps you could start by defining the term. You seem more than a little confused. Besides being typically thin-skinned and paranoid.

    It is incredibly inappropriate to joke around after reading about such a devastating situation. Either you both did not read the article I linked to at #162, or you are both sociopaths.

    I’ve made an excellent case to back up my charge of bigotry on your (and Brayton’s) part, but you have yet to make any case at all for mine, just a long boring string of racist, sexist jokes and ad hominems.

    “actress”

    ?

    Don’t worry, Jay, I am sticking around for the long haul. Oh, and yeah, the personal threats have already begun. But I refuse to be intimidated, as I have done absolutely nothing wrong.

  169. #169 Krebiozen
    July 17, 2011

    Isabel,

    FYI that article is behind a paywall.

    BTW I’m British, and know nothing of your confusing American regional stereotypes. You all look the same to me.

  170. #170 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 17, 2011

    I have seen some really disgusting specimens online, Isabel, but you take the absolute fu¢king prize. You oozing chancre! I’ve read diatribes from real Stormfront-type Nazis, and I’ll take any honest nastiness like that over your purity-trolling, slavery-apologizing, Jew-baiting, “just sticking up against “anti-white racism” crap any day of the year.

    How do you manage to look at yourself in the mirror, you rancid piece of filth? Saying that centuries of institutionalized slavery was no worse than a few of your ancestors coming over here with indenture papers for seven years? Implying you think that Teh J00z are going to come and get you because you bravely revealed that they “run Hollywood”?

    Well, you’re right,Isabel: We tipped them off! They’re coming for you! Better run off to that Aryan Nations compound you spend your weekends at and hide away for a while.

    Oh, and I’m not going to pay $32 to read your article, but it doesn’t say anything I don’t already know. How about some of these stupid a$$holes stop voting for the party that glories in inflicting this kind of thing on them and start voting for their own interests for a while? Oh, and maybe California’s budget crisis wouldn’t be so bad if they got back more than 60-some cents for every dollar they pay to the federal government, or if some red state hellholes like Alabama got less than two dollars back for every dollar, whining about taxes and the eebil gummint all the g0ddamn time—how about that?

    And I hate these cutesie-pie orthographic tricks, but every bad word gets you moderated on this blog, and Isabel just brings them out of me!

  171. #171 Scottynuke
    July 17, 2011

    One could certainly argue Isabel’s done wrong in wasting copious amounts of our time with her version of reality, but why waste any more time?

  172. #172 JayK
    July 17, 2011

    Actually, Isabell-troll, I did read it. I have access to a good scholarly library. I also know how to properly cite things:

    Fox, J. (December 01, 2000). Mountaintop removal in West Virginia: an environmental sacrifice zone. Peace Research Abstracts, 37, 6. doi: 10.1177/1086026699122002

    The article is a review of how the practices of capitalism has resulted in a region in which the EPA and other environmental protections have been ignored in order to facilitate a high volume of low-sulfur coal for electricity generation. This has resulted in an isolated community/social structure that is kept in economic thrall to energy concerns.

    So what? This has been largely recognized for a long time, and it was pointed out above that the people in those states keep electing politicians that promise to do nothing about the situation.

    Perhaps you think whining about it is helpful? Or maybe you just don’t understand irony because you’re too busy whining and clutching your pearls?

    You said you were leaving. You didn’t. That makes you a liar on top of your anti-Semitism, paranoia and absolute inability to understand irony. Go away.

  173. #173 Isabel
    July 17, 2011

    “You said you were leaving. You didn’t.”

    Haha. So that’s why I am labeled a “liar” haha.

    “top of your anti-Semitism”

    You are the liar here. I have said *nothing* that I have ever seen classified as anti-semitic. What are you talking about? And you are still blaming victims. If the West Virginians just voted for the right people, all their problems would disappear? Do you have any evidence for this constantly repeated statement?

    It’s hilarious that you think that pointing out the overwhelming Jewish influence in the media in the US, especially Hollywood, is “anti-semitic” even though Jews themselves admit (and brag about) it; yet, at the same time, you insist it would be totally cool if I took a “news” story that emphasizes one of the uglier Jewish stereotypes you mentioned above (big nose, inbred, etc), a story that was centered around a vulnerable Jewish teen, and added a stereotypic flourish of my own and published it. You swear you would simply chuckle along with me. Sure you would, Jay, sure you would.

    Krebiozen: Sorry about the paywall, I’ll post the abstract later.

    “stop voting for the party that glories in inflicting this kind of thing on them”

    Who owns the coal mines? When did the problem start? It’s all because they voted for the wrong party? When was this? Citations please.

    “red state hellholes like Alabama”

    No bigotry there: none at all. The poorest Americans=the most hated. How did that happen? When did it happen? Who is responsible for spreading this idea?

  174. #174 Isabel
    July 17, 2011

    Krebiozen: I meant to add that I’ll quote some relevant parts of the article later as well. But you can probably get a good idea by just googling terms like mountain top removal, ownership of west Virginian coal mines, Appalachian poverty, etc.

    Here’s an entertaining early 20th century example of the depiction of the stereotype (this will probably send me in to moderation but here goes).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRnQLDPKx1A&feature=player_embedded#at=251

  175. #175 Denice Walter
    July 17, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: That’s a very good point about how CA ( *and* NY, NJ, MA, and CN) fundamentally support red states. And they still hate us. And the federal government.

    @ JayK: May I commend you on the point about folks not voting in their own economic best interests? Then they whine about godless liberals, blaming them for their woes.

    Both of you gentlemen illustrate the general value of trolls (II):

    Troll Value Theory

    I. Value of Specific Troll Incidents
    While trolls are not traded on the commodities exchange, *specific* trolls nevertheless have value which varies by incident according to:
    1. Level of obsession *vis a vis* their pet topic x
    2. 1/Level of current activity on the blog they troll x
    3. Level of entertainment/annoyance they provide.

    Values are tallied from independent trained observers and divided by # observers.(t)
    Each troll can work up a cumulative score (T) over time.

    II. General Value of Trolls

    The general value of trolls is a function of respondents’
    writing ability x grasp of information x propensity to sarcasm. Trolls give respondents the opportunity to educate and entertain onlookers( commenters, lurkers, and newbies) This value is estimated: you don’t grade your friends.(r)

    Conjointly I and II are considered : a low value troll can still provide a high value response. A high value troll doesn’t guarantee a high total score. ( t r)

  176. #176 Denice Walter
    July 17, 2011

    @ Krebiozen:
    US politics boiled down into two sentences ( I won’t touch the stereotypes):
    “Blue”= Northeast & West Coast= Labour and Liberal Party ( US Democrats) They’d vote for Mr Blair
    “Red”= Southeast, Mountain West, Midwest= Conservative Party( US Republican, Libertarian) They wouldn’t vote for Blair.

  177. #177 The Christian Cynic
    July 17, 2011

    For the rest of you, I throw up my hands in disgust. Over and over you miss the point. Sure there are dumb blondes, CC, but do you see science bloggers making dumb blonde jokes when a blonde says something stupid? Do you?? NO!!!!

    Actually, have you ever seen Ed post about Victoria Jackson? The running joke about her is that her ditsy “dumb blonde” SNL persona might not have been a persona after all.

    But even so, that’s irrelevant. You’re suggesting that there is some sort of pernicious bigotry being perpetrated against Southerners, based on one post by Ed (which you haven’t established as bigotry) and one post (which I haven’t looked at closely) on a totally different blog network. You know what they say about extraordinary claims, and you’ve shown an extraordinary lack of evidence.

    Also, it’s clear that you don’t understand the meaning of bigotry when you say that the comment “red state hellholes like Alabama” is evidence of it. There is nothing in that statement that condemns the people of Alabama, only the place itself. I’m currently in Springfield, MO, visiting family of mine, and I was able to comment that I would hate to live here in the Ozarks without my family assuming that I hate hillbillies. It is absolutely possible to divorce your criticism of a place from the inhabitants of that place. Hell, I hate how red my area of otherwise blue Illinois is, and I don’t hate my neighbors. You’re just grasping at straws here to prop up the idea that you’re some noble crusaders against Southern bigotry when really you’re just an ignorant troll.

  178. #178 JayK
    July 17, 2011

    @Dizzybell:

    By asserting that “the Jews run Hollywood” and obsessing over it, you’ve shown that you hold a grudge against it. You haven’t actually proven that there is anything bad or wrong with an abundance of Jewish people owning marketable and profitable shares in the movie making business of Hollywood. You implied, assertively, that there is something bad about “Jews running Hollywood”. Therefore your comments are anti-Semitic. I don’t care if Jews run Hollywood, I don’t care if Muslims own that awesome Kabab stand down the street, I don’t care if there is a Muslim community center a couple of blocks from where the WTC towers stood. Obsession over those minor things shows a bigotry, not the ironic posting of a stereotypical image that indicates that American culture and society has improve.

    http://onlineathens.com/stories/071611/oco_857876345.shtml

    Take a look at that, if that isn’t a stereotypical portrayal of a Southern man with all sorts of iconic stereotypical imagery, I don’t know what is. I found the article quaint and someone entertaining, the part about how the ladies find his camouflage overalls was particularly funny.

    Go clutch your pearls and be paranoid about the “Joos” somewhere else, please.

  179. #179 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 17, 2011

    Aside from all that, suppose the Jews do “run Hollywood”. Now I suspect that if it were possible (it’s not) to suss out who the real Big Money Boys were, the results would be counterintuitive, but never mind that. Jewish people from New York created Hollywood. They created the American film industry in Queens and then moved out to La-La land in search of year-round filming weather. Los Angeles would probably still be a backwater today if it weren’t for them. So if they retain a predominant influence in the entertainment industry (who knows?) more power to them—they earned it. And by creating something, not moving money from column A to column B like our current lords and masters do. (And yes, I know “Wall Street” is another euphemism for “The Jooz”.)

  180. #180 Krebiozen
    July 17, 2011

    @Isabel,
    Sorry, I thought the, “you all look the same to me”, comment made it clear I was being a bit flippant. Like most Brits I was reared on US TV like ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’, so I do have an idea of the sorts of stereotypes mentioned, also from watching movies like ‘Deliverance’. More recently I watched ‘Justified’ (excellent IMHO) set in rural Kentucky, which is full of moonshine, pot farmers and intellectually challenged, tobacco-chewing, gun-toting people in dungarees. Exploitation of the locals by a large mining company is a major plot-line in the 2nd season.

    I probably shouldn’t express any opinion based on fictional representations of a situation I know little about. In general I think a lack of resources and a poor education often lead people to make poor choices, which make their situation worse, and that attracts blame from others – a vicious cycle. More education and opportunities might help, but where the resources for that come from in the current economic climate, I don’t know. I would have thought people making fun of them on the internet is the least of their problems.

    @Denice Walter
    Thanks for the explanation. As I explained to Isabel I do know a little more about the US than I let on, but the politics confuses me still, even though I’m married to an American.

  181. #181 Isabel
    July 18, 2011

    “By asserting that “the Jews run Hollywood” and obsessing over it”

    Actually it is true; I am not personally “asserting” it. Everyone seems to know it except you. And I am not “obsessed; I am making a point, which I will keep making, i.e. there is a double standard. Particularly until you answer the question:

    Would it be acceptable if I took a “news” story that emphasizes one of the uglier Jewish stereotypes you mentioned above (big nose, inbred, financial exploitation, etc), and that centered around a real life vulnerable Jewish teen, and added a stereotypic flourish of my own and published it for the sake of some light humor on my blog? would you simply chuckle along, since your “irony meter” is working so swimmingly?

    Come on Jay, answer the question.

    “I don’t care if Jews run Hollywood, I don’t care if Muslims own that awesome Kabab stand down the street”

    Right. Practically the same thing. Totally equivalent.

    “Obsession over those minor things shows a bigotry”

    Minor things?

    “Go clutch your pearls and be paranoid about the “Joos” somewhere else, please.”

    Sorry you are the pearl-clutching paranoid here. Why can’t we discuss the fact that a tiny, powerful minority controls much of the media and entertainment industry in the US? It would seem a normal thing to discuss in a democracy where the citizens are guaranteed free speech – why is the discussion taboo? The point is not that I want to discuss that subject right here,right now, it is that I couldn’t if wanted to. Without be called a lot of potentially damaging names that is.

    “Los Angeles would probably still be a backwater today if it weren’t for them.”

    A backwater, huh; Is this related to Physioprof’s assertion that “pig-ignorant” lower class white Americans should be thanking him that they are no longer living in mud huts?

    “I don’t know. I would have thought people making fun of them on the internet is the least of their problems.”

    Again, not one person has gotten the point. So I will soldier on. The point is not that there was a direct harm from the post. The point was that all other groups are exempt from such vicious, daily ridicule. And that the stereotype did not come out of nowhere.

    The Jews are an extremely powerful ethnic group in the US: in the media, publishing, politics and academia, and finance (and 40% of the billionaires while only 2% of the population) but other Americans are not allowed to acknowledge that fact let alone mock them (as southerners are mocked). Is it healthy for the society that powerful groups go uncriticized while the poorest, relatively powerless groups are relentlessly ridiculed? Shouldn’t it be the opposite? You mention Deliverance: would a similarly ugly movie about blacks or Jews be made and become popular and constantly referenced quite openly by liberal progessives?

    Call me obsessed but I will keep repeating the question until it is answered (and answered honestly).

    btw the cartoon I linked to was posted to my Fb recently by a NY hipster ‘friend’ with the single word status “inbreds”. The same week a colleague announced an upcoming trip to a similar region which was, of course, immediately followed by a comment reference to Deliverance and then a reference to banjo music. Haha. The hilarity never ends. They are the laughing stock of the country. But we can never laugh at Jews, blacks or any other group. Especially not vile references to bestiality and inbreeding. Well, why not?

  182. #182 Denice Walter
    July 18, 2011

    @ Isabel; You’re partially right about one thing- “A tiny, powerful minority controls much” of everything- they’re called *rich people*- the top 1% or top 5% who earn/ own most of the country- real estate, stocks, bonds, savings, companies, et al. I truly doubt that they’re primarily Jewish ( who are not such a high percentage by themselves). In fact, most of them are *like me*: acceptable white bread. They usually avoid the conspicuous businesses you cite for quieter entrepreneurship and stock accumulation. Recently, they acquired enabling tax policy as well.

  183. #183 lilady
    July 18, 2011

    Hmm, seems like Isabel has been visiting Jew Watch, which is a known notorious white supremacist group. It is a repository of anti-Jewish propaganda, stereotypes and literature including the Elders of Zion and has close ties to David Duke (former Grand Wizard of the KKK).

    Featured prominently on their site is their fixation on Jewish control of the media, finance and banking. Could you be making an unfair assumption that educated people (Jews among them) do have an unfair advantage over high school dropouts? Educated people will always be at the heads of industry because they value their education, worked hard to finance their education and took the hard way to achieve success. They deferred satisfaction, viewing instead their long-term goals of the “good life”.

    As Denice Walter has stated succinctly, we liberals are downright puzzled by groups of far-to-the right Republicans, Libertarians and Tea Baggers, who continually vote against their own interests…the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy…because they lap up the Kool-Aid of Trickle-Down Economics. When implemented during the Bush administration, the regressive tax cuts were supposed to create jobs…never happened…the wealthy pocketed their tax cuts and the wealthy who control corporate finance axed hundreds of thousands of workers, sent jobs offshore, while returning record breaking dividends to their investors.

    Just imagine Isabel, where the supporters of Bush’s ill conceived “privatizing” of social security would be now…on bread lines I would imagine, once the stock market went south.

    This white christian lady finds your stereotypical remarks about Jews very distressing and I think you owe us an apology for interjecting your prejudices into the discussion.

  184. #184 Isabel
    July 20, 2011

    “I truly doubt that they’re primarily Jewish (who are not such a high percentage by themselves).”

    Do you have some stats? I just said they are 40% of the billionaires, if that is the population you consider ultimately powerful. I lost the reference, but I got most of those stats from a Jewish website (I think it’s referenced on the other thread where I brought this up over at CPP’s, but he scrambled the thread by removing tags afterward so it’s too much of a headache for me to find now). I just googled ‘statistics Jews’ or something similar and found many links by Jews or Jewish organizations. I figured those would be the most trustworthy. These statistics are no secret. If the 40% figure is incorrect please do correct me (with an actual correct figure). I did read some mainstream news sites and some of Kevin Macdonald’s (at CSULB) work on the Jewish diaspora, in the interest of full disclosure. His Culture of Critique is pretty interesting.

    And please read the article on Hollywood I referenced above by Joel Stein, also a proud Jew. Of course it’s true that all the Hollywood studios are not ‘owned’ by Jews or even by individuals or Americans for that matter, but we are talking here about running them. Do you really think that will have no effect whatever on what the studios produce? Sounds like a naive position to me. I thought we valued diverse views?

    “I truly doubt that they’re primarily Jewish ( who are not such a high percentage by themselves). In fact, most of them are *like me*: acceptable white bread.”

    Again, please provide some evidence. You doubt? I wonder why you are so moved to doubt that you post this comment. And what is “acceptable” white bread? Who said anyone was unacceptable?

    “Just imagine Isabel, where the supporters of Bush’s ill conceived “privatizing” of social security would be now…on bread lines I would imagine, once the stock market went south.”

    What are you talking about? I have no clue. Bush? Privatizing of Social Security? I can only conclude that you are completely deranged. You are meanwhile dismissing any possibility of commentary or discussion of the dominance of a particular tiny minority group in many facets of American finance, governance, media and education by labeling such commentary discriminatory in itself. At the same time you throw in your own opinion on the subject by admitting the power but explaining it; they are not lazy and uneducated like the rest of Americans apparently.

    “your stereotypical remarks about Jews”

    What stereotypical remarks? You find it distressing when someone points out that there is a double standard at play? You are not offended by the constant stereotyping of long abused and exploited Appalachians as (falsely) “inbred”, bestiality-loving, toothless, barefoot, ignorant, racists; yet you agree all mentions of Jewish power are “anti-semitic”? If I hadn’t been attacked for standing up for Appalachians and kicked off Brayton’s website the subject probably would never even have come up over here as I might not have felt so irritated by this post itself. (incidentally, someone else brought the Brayton thread up on in this thread, not me). But that really pissed me off, as does the double standard in general on the academic blogs.

    Instead of rambling about Social Security lilady, perhaps you could answer the question I have repeatedly been posing on the thread. The one Jay couldn’t answer.

    “But we can never laugh at Jews, blacks or any other group. Especially not vile references to bestiality and inbreeding. Well, why not? Why only white southerners, or West Virgians?”

    Really, it is only because you don’t like their supposed voting patterns since 1980?

    “we liberals ”

    do you have a scrap of evidence that I am not also a liberal? One teeny tiny scrap?

    “who continually vote against their own interests”

    maybe they feel that some of the reasons they (notice I didn’t say we- just a clue) vote for such candidates are in their interests. Maybe they are being manipulated to some degree, which would put them squarely in the camp of the vast majority of human beings on the planet (as in the ones we are so careful not to stereotype). But maybe not. what did eight years of Clinton do for them? Why don’t they own the coal mines in the first place? Where are the posts about mountain top removal on science blogs?

    “When implemented during the Bush administration, the regressive tax cuts were supposed to create jobs…n”

    You are displaying your own prejudice and ignorance when you assert, like most people seem to do here, that working white American’s problems started with Bush tax cuts.

    “Featured prominently on their site is their fixation on Jewish control of the media, finance and banking. ”

    Right. The only place Isabel could have possibly gotten this information is some wacky site lilady has somehow uncovered in her impressive investigation. Like I said above, this information is easily available by just googling and going to Jewish websites (several available on the first page that comes up). And I maintain that a group that does have a lot of power should be available for commentary and even mockery by the less powerful, don’t you think? Even the kings of old had the court jesters. Your reply only illustrates the censorship that is in place. If you feel I have received erroneous information (on Jewish websites) please inform me (with correct stats that is, not some rambling reply about Social Security. Jeez seems like you’ve been drinking cool aid.)

    “Could you be making an unfair assumption that educated people (Jews among them) do have an unfair advantage over high school dropouts? ”

    I am not sure what your point is here in your potentially offensive remark; this sentence doesn’t make grammatical sense. And I am not making any claims about how fair the amassing of positions of power is, I am discussing the fact that it is not fair that the subject cannot be discussed by those with less power, while those in the media and entertainment industries feel free to mock and criticize those who are relatively powerless, and who don’t have a comparable forum to mock those in power.

    “I think you owe us an apology for interjecting your prejudices into the discussion”

    Hahaha. Keep waiting. I am still waiting for an apology from Brayton and his bigoted commenters.

  185. #185 lilady
    July 21, 2011

    Isabel, you need some serious therapy along with some heavy duty anti-psychotic medication…get some help before you post here again.

    Your recurrent theme about Jewish control of the media and movies is evidence of your prejudices which you not-so-cleverly try to mask by your phony support of Southerners, blacks and country folk.

    Sure the Jews control the media and movies…it must be so because you read an article in a Los Angeles newspaper and all those Jews such as Henry Luce, W.R. Hearst and Katherine Graham have controlled the media for years. Uptight lady, do you really think that “control” of the movies has any impact on the National discourse? Educated people go to the movies for their entertainment value…not to decide their personal value system.

    Just what is your agenda here? Your attempts to paint Orac and posters here in broad strokes as being prejudiced, is symptomatic of your pathological paranoia.

    Yes, I did state that you might be getting your information from Jew Watch, based on your numerous antisemitic rants. And, nothing you have posted here has disabused me of that notion.

    If you cannot see the humor in people imagining the face of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich and the selling of this religious “icon” on E-Bay or Kudzu growing on a utility pole being regarded as a sign from God, that’s just an indication of your sorrowful mental status.

    Why don’t you just go away now, you are so utterly boring.

  186. #186 Isabel
    July 21, 2011

    “Your recurrent theme about Jewish control of the media and movies is evidence of your prejudices ”

    Two threads over 2+ years is a “recurrent” theme only by your strange definitions apparently.

    “it must be so because you read an article ”

    Actually I worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. Again, it is thoroughly documented; a few exceptions only prove the rule.

    “Uptight lady, do you really think that “control” of the movies has any impact on the National discourse? ”

    Of course it does.

    “Educated people go to the movies for their entertainment value…not to decide their personal value system.”

    This comment leaves me speechless.

    “your phony support of Southerners”

    I have two nephews growing up in West Virginia. I’m willing to risk my career so that they don’t grow up listening to these offensive and bigoted lies.

    “your numerous antisemitic rants.”

    Meanwhile, you haven’t documented even one!

    “Just what is your agenda here? ”

    I *just* stated it in my last comment.

    “you are so utterly boring”

    Haha I thought I was being anti-semitic? Now it’s boring?

    p.s. Revealing, like Jay and all others on this thread, you did not answer my question.

  187. #187 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 21, 2011

    Jesus H. Fu¢king Christ on a pogo stick, you piece of Nazi filth—

    If you expect anybody to read the crap you learned from Der Stürmer interspersed with quotes from people you’re lying about, for fu¢k’s sake USE BLOCKQUOTE!!!!!!!

    Again, for the millionth time:

    quoted material

  188. #188 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 21, 2011

    Damn preview!

    <blockquote>quoted material</blockquote>

  189. #189 Isabel
    July 21, 2011

    What is wrong with quotation marks? What do they look like to you? You are the first person to ever complain about this.

  190. #190 herr doktor bimler
    July 21, 2011

    Haha I thought I was being anti-semitic? Now it’s boring?

    Evidently with a little bit of effort it is possible to be both at once.

  191. #191 Isabel
    July 21, 2011

    Well, I agree it *is* boring when people keep beating around the bush and avoiding answering the real question at the core of this dispute (the issue of unfair double standards) and instead keep repeating the same old accusations and ad hominems.

    Perhaps you would like to inject some needed life into the conversation by actually (and honestly) addressing the unequal treatment in question, as apparently no one else is capable of doing so. I can pretty much guarantee that that would liven things up quite a bit and that as a result the readers of this thread would not be nearly so bored.

  192. #192 lilady
    July 22, 2011

    Isabel, simple “solution” to your “problems”. If you don’t want to be thought of a as a racist Jew-hating Troll, try to write some coherent sentences and by all means figure out how your incoherence is interpreted by posters.

    Posters here are very tolerant of other peoples views, but will not contend with hypocritical masquerades. Clean up your act lady, or accept the criticism that your remarks elicit.

  193. #193 Isabel
    July 22, 2011

    “racist Jew-hating Troll”

    Again, you have provided no evidence for this at all. Hate? I wasn’t the one who claimed that members of particular groups are stupid, barefoot, inbred pig-fuckers.

    “Clean up your act lady, or accept the criticism that your remarks elicit.”

    wtf? What does this even mean? Lilady couldn’t answer a simple question either, apparently. Criticism? What criticism? Name-calling? That’s criticism?

    “clean up your act lady?”

    Sorry, you are going to have to do better than that in your defense of the cruel and unfair treatment of certain populations of Americans.

    What ever happened to looking in the mirror and realizing that you’re a racist who has been called out?

    Try again.

  194. #194 lilady
    July 22, 2011

    Isabel: Why don’t you have a discussion with your two West Virginian nephews…whom you have risked your job for????

    Also explain to them why Auntie feels so threatened by the Jewish-controlled media…and do a better “job” of it than your sorrowful indecipherable rantings here.

    Me thinks Isabel used the opportunity of a silly blog that we all were having fun with, to vent her spleen about the Jews using the not-so-clever defensive ruse of blacks, Southerners and country folk. Get a grip Isabel, you’ve been busted.

  195. #195 Isabel
    July 24, 2011

    My conversations with family members are hardly your business. What’s your point? Your attacks (and battleaxe’s) really cross the line. I can see what you mean about Orac’s unusual tolerance for offensive commenters.

    “sorrowful indecipherable rantings….blah blah…you’ve been busted.”

    I asked a simple question and you were unable to answer it. or perhaps too cowardly, because we both know the answer; no, the scenario outlined above (the “silly blog” you refer to) would NOT be acceptable if any other demographic was substituted. In all other cases it WOULD be considered bigotry.

    Jay disingenuously called it ingroup joshing, when we all know these pathetic hillbillies are viewed as an outgroup; a group we are looking down on as we chuckle. Who do not have anything close to an equal forum for striking back. Ultimately, Jay couldn’t answer the question either.

    It wasn’t me who was busted.

  196. #196 Isabel
    July 24, 2011

    And if you mean this post (the West Virginian comments refer to another post that everyone was “having fun with”, that someone else brought into this thread, not me) I already explained why it annoyed me right on the heels of the other. Why is it so hard to understand why people would tire of the double standard?

    While not remotely as offensive as Brayton’s, I think posts like this one are part of a climate that is clearly anti-christian. I think we all have a responsibility to not contribute to the polarized climate. I mean come on, it was a total coincidence that *two* science blogs top-five posts are simultaneously, and apparently pointlessly, making fun of quirky Christians?

  197. #197 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 25, 2011

    My “attacks” cross the line?! Your calling us all race traitors because we don’t believe that just as many white people as black people were enslaved in this country and they probably had it worse didn’t cross the line? Your implying you think your life or job are in danger because you revealed the secret that “Teh eebul J00z run Hollywood!” didn’t cross the line?!!

    Take your disgusting crap back to StormFront where you got it, and then die in a fire you Nazi waste of meat!

  198. #198 Isabel
    July 26, 2011

    I claimed that my life was in danger? I complained that the Jews are “evil”? I am a Nazi? I should go die in a fire? More lies and sick, threatening, personal attacks. Along with another string of fabricated, complete lies about things I supposedly said, but never did? Do I have to deny them, with evidence, every time a weirdo like you feels the need to spew your sick hatred? Yes, your comments, which are despicable, totally cross the line.

    The only negative thing I even said about Jews was that they were thin-skinned and, as this very thread illustrates, over-controlling of what others say about them. That it’s not fair that other, less powerful, groups are offered no such protections.

    For this, you claim I am a Nazi who should fall face first in dog shit and then **die in a fire**. I can’t imagine how you would react if I actually said something mean and nasty, something comparable to the disgusting stereotypical comments you all find acceptable when discussing white Christian groups.

  199. #199 Yoga Teacher Training
    July 28, 2011

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    July 28, 2011

    Are all yoga teachers as stupid as this spammer?

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  204. #204 lilady
    December 20, 2011

    Ugh…who opened the cans of spam?

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  206. #206 baju anak import
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  208. #208 web designing company
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