Pharyngula

Poll: Should comedians be rude?

Catherine Deveny seems to have hit a nerve. She made a remark about a child star over twitter — “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid” — which triggered the “Think of the children!” reflex and got her fired from her job writing for the Melbourne Age newspaper.

This subject might be a bit contentious, since people are already wrangling over it in the endless thread. I’m going to have to side with the people who say it was out of line, it was incredibly rude, and…it’s exactly what a comedian should be doing, pushing the boundaries and making people uncomfortable. I felt a bit torn when I read it, too, but this was at an awards show, where women (and in this case, a girl) are tarted up and expected to parade about in fancy fashion in a role that the men are not. It was a very edgy remark since it made the sexualization of an 11 year old blatant, but that was the point!

And it got Deveny fired. I guess The Age wanted a bland, safe, unchallenging comedian.

I am wondering, though, how a comedian can be fired, but Cardinal Pell gets to keep his job. If Australians were so concerned about Protecting The Children, shouldn’t the old idjit been kicked out of the country long ago? Maybe it’s because he wasn’t even trying to be funny.

Anyway, there’s a poll. I don’t expect it to get pharyngulated in the usual way, since the godless vote will be split.

Were Catherine Deveny’s Logies Tweets out of line?

Yes, she picked on a little girl

60%
No, that’s her style of humour

40%

Comments

  1. #1 KingUber
    May 5, 2010

    I first read the title as “Should Canadians be rude”

  2. #2 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    I’d definitely call that comment out of line.

    It’s as out of line as the SNL skit with Tina Fey and Justin Beiber–the mop head boy start.
    I was just as shocked that they’d do something like that. I have no problem with comedic edginess regarding adults, but messing with kids and sexuality goes beyond the pale.

  3. #3 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Should preview. Read that as “the mop-head boy star

  4. #4 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Yeah, it’s always a question how best to call attention to the many ways we sexualize as object underage and even pre-pubescent girls in our society.

    And yeah, there’s a lot of crap specifically whenever one tries and call attention to this by people on all sides owing to how that blatant confrontation makes them feel about all the “borderline” stuff they’ve been cheering.

    “Kick-Ass” got the same sort of hand-wringing about young girls with all the gore and costume while missing the point of “Hit Girl” and the comments it was making about our desensitization to violence (when done by boys and young men) and the fetishization of superheroines and young girls in society.

    I also remember “Little Miss Sunshine” getting similar flak for its incredible in-your-face takedown of the children’s beauty pageant industry including its just above child porn line-walking as being unnecessarily rude and exploitative, blah blah blah. (It was also in my opinion the only good part of the movie, with the rest being yet another “dysfunctional family is dysfunctional, but doesn’t need to change or doing anything edgy like find feminism or find a better familial model” type movie riding along with stellar individual acting performances).

    I agree that some jokes can be counterproductive, seeking out edge to attack the less powerful because repeating sexism/racism/homophobia is “edgy” against the “PC Elites”, blah blah blah. But there is also a sad history that any commentary on problems regarding any cultural fetishization of young girls seems to enlist this sort of “oh, think of the children, you’re the real enemy” backlash, especially if they try and go for exaggeration for the purpose of satire.

    So on that note, I guess I come on the side of supporting her, though I reserve the right to revoke that support if she turns out to be one of those “I have no clue what edgy means” douchebags.

  5. #5 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    Crossposted, then.

    It’s true that comedy is subjective, and given just about anything, there’s someone who finds it funny.

    It’s also true that if you find Dane Cook funny, you’re a moron.

    It is possible to make really hilarious jokes at the expense of gay folks, people of color, fat kids, immigrants in prison camps, Holocaust victims, whoever.

    But it’s so difficult that most comedians and comedy writers will never have the skill to succeed at it.

    One of the difficulties is that because “jokes” are usually used only to hurt these people, appealing to no more creative sentiment than “lol I hate those people too,” and such bullying is so incredibly popular, we’ve all heard the common jokes a hundred times by the time we finish primary school.

    An adult who laughs at “I hope X gets laid” is a moron, no matter who X is. That a young girl is the target is even more routine and boring, but the basic form of the joke could hardly have been less interesting no matter the target.

  6. #6 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Well the offensiveness has to be in direct correlation with wittiness. Carlin can have his list of “people who ought to be killed” and it’s fine. Dane Cook says “Hello,…” and I’m immediately offended.

  7. #7 Lars
    May 5, 2010

    Personally, I like comedians who hold a mirror up to people’s faces. I believe they’re called “cynics”. Go Deveny!

  8. #8 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    but messing with kids and sexuality goes beyond the pale.

    Well the joke was lame.

    However if she was intending to point out how overly sexualized our society (or in this specific case, that event) presents famous children (and the effect on everyday children) then I thinks it’s “appropriate”.

    She just sucked at pulling it off.

  9. #9 Timaahy
    May 5, 2010

    Deveny is tops… so I’d be interested in hearing what she actually meant by it. I haven’t heard her defence of the comment yet, but is it not possible (and in fact, likely) that she was actually attacking the sexualisation of children? That is, highlighting the absurdity of an 11-year-old girl getting tarted up for an awards show?

    But as I said… I haven’t yet heard her explanation for what she meant.

    A side issue is… why the frick does The Logies exist in the first place? It’s a national embarrassment. More embarrassing than Pauline Hanson, Cardinal Pell and Senator Fielding put together.

  10. #10 Gus Snarp
    May 5, 2010

    I think some comedians should be rude, but I’m not so sure about this particular case. It sounds out of line, but if it was clear that she was commenting on how tarted up the girl looked at a public event, then it’s perhaps a little less out of line, and it’s whoever’s dressed her like a strumpet who’s out of line. But I really can’t form an opinion one way or the other because I don’t know how she was dressed, I don’t know the full context of the remark (problem with Twitter – there is no context), and I don’t know who either of these people are, other than being able to figure out the girl is Steve Irwin’s kid.

  11. #11 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    It wasn’t just the Bindi Irwin comment. She also said she hoped Rove McManus’ new wife doesn’t die like his first wife did. I think firing her is completely over the top. There is a real lynch mob mentality in Australian media. I don’t like all of any Catherine’s jokes, but to sack her for this is absurd. Thanks for posting the poll, PZ! :)

  12. #12 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    I was just thinking that I’d like the context for the joke before fully grasping it was on Twitter and that just got me thinking that Twitter may be the single worst medium for snarky communication ever.

    I mean, it seems like a nice fit, snappy short-burst medium fits well a sarcastic quip style of communication.

    But, then, you get to remembering that sarcasm and quips almost universally rely on contextual clues to deliver their punch. Linking to or quoting a piece of someone doing a straight version of what you’re criticizing and then topping it, responding to someone else’s quip to build on it, a well-known topic or some sort of build-up noting the cultural problem the one-liner is in reference to.

    And twitter is like detergents to the bacterial colonies of context. It’s almost impossible to follow a twitter conversation and it’s doubly hard to provide any context for why you are saying what you are saying and even harder to explain that context if you do get misinterpreted or to better try and explain what you mean or minimize damage if you slip up.

    So, her biggest problem isn’t really bad jokes, “pointless edginess”, or anything else, but rather thinking twitter would be at all the medium needed to best deliver the type of very subtle joke she was aiming at (which required so much in the way of context to be even remotely coherent).

    I do believe that in general though, she definitely flunked the joke. It’s very hard to see and understand the point from the quip itself and it’s definitely not the best way to make the point or even to adequately cover it.

    And that’s before noting the problems that this area of humor or social commentary has faced.

  13. #13 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Timaahy, you hit the nail on the head: that’s exactly what the Bindi Irwin joke was supposed to draw attention to.

    Catherine Deveny has been writing an excellent column in The Age for years: please don’t let her be hung to dry just for two jokes that failed out of hundreds that worked. She’s a real asset. Vote in her support!

  14. #14 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    I’ve linked to the audio (Comedian Catherine Deveny talks about getting sacked from The Age) on the Thread, here’s a link to the page it’s embedded in: Columnist sacked over Logies Twitter ‘jokes’.

  15. #15 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    I just had to get some more info on this story.
    Found a pic of Bindi dressed for the Logies–didn’t know much about this award show. Check the link to see her outfit:
    http://au.tv.yahoo.com/the-logie-awards/galleries/article/-/article/7147126/image/5/logies-fashion/
    There is no way this child is dressed innappropiately for her age. That’s a tasteful dress. What should she wear, sackcloth?
    I know this child has been put in the spotlight for many years, but that’s not her fault.

    I stand behind my comments that the comedian was way out of line.

  16. #16 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    *OUT to dry

  17. #17 Michelle R
    May 5, 2010

    Bindi Irwin.. the kid that got popular cuz her dad was popular when he died?

    It’s a weird comment but to get bitched for it… Come on. It’s TWITTER.

  18. #18 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    But Lynn, the point is: does she deserve to get fired?

  19. #19 Great Waves
    May 5, 2010

    Deveny is the last person you want to see advocating atheism. She’s not clever or funny or interesting, and certainly not articulate. In this case anyway I didn’t think her comment on Bindi Irwin was particularly offensive, just dumb, so was her defense (“I wasn’t being X, It was social commentary on how everyone else is X”). Her ‘joke’ about Rove’s dead wife was the genuinely horrible thing. I hadn’t heard of her before this year, and I’d be glad if she disappeared for a while, or at least stops talking about atheism.

  20. #20 Rogue Medic
    May 5, 2010

    We should never make fun of people for dressing their children up as prostitutes. That is the parents’ right.

    We need to accommodate these pimp parents.

  21. #21 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    If you’re hired to be funny, and you suck at being funny, then you should be fired.

    If you’re offending your employer’s audience and spooking the advertisers, then you should be fired immediately.

    Don’t blame The Age. They’re behaving as capitalism require them to behave.

    Besides, I don’t know why we’re even having this conversation. Everyone knows Australians aren’t funny.

  22. #22 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    Besides, I don’t know why we’re even having this conversation. Everyone knows Australians aren’t funny.

    Well, you do have a point.

  23. #23 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    By the way, while I think Deveny was wrong to make those comments, I don’t think she should have been fired.
    She should however make some major apologies for her comments.
    If she really thought she was commenting on the exploitation of children, she needs to change her tack.

  24. #24 robertnlee
    May 5, 2010

    You know how you can tell somebody has *zero* sense of humor? When they begin sentences, ever, with “I’ve got a great sense of humor, but…”

    No, you don’t. You don’t have to tell people that, if you do. It’s like “I’m a good person” or “I’m handsome” or “I’m courageous.” You don’t say that and expect anybody to take the next words out of your mouth seriously.

    Anyway, I see the people with great senses of humor, really, have already started showing up to wring hands. Whee.

  25. #25 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    @Rogue Medic #20

    See the link I posted at #15 to see what Bindi was wearing.
    If that outfit makes her look like a prostitute then all our tweens do too.

  26. #26 treehuggerish
    May 5, 2010

    Hmm… as far as I can see this was a joke made by an adult, to an adult audience, about a child. What is the problem? I mean.. is this joke, bad or good, the problem, or is the continued expectation of the female sex to utterly tart itself up to be considered “appropriate” even at ridiculously low ages the problem?

    I guess my answer is pretty obvious from my utterly biased way of phrasing the question :)

  27. #27 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Strange gods before me, how many columns of Deveny’s have you actually read? She’s really funny (at least, I find her funny – humour IS subjective), partly because she crosses lines as part of her MO. She says many things I’d love to say in public. That’s why The Age hired her in the first place. Her columns were regularly in the “most read” list online. I don’t know why you’ve joined the lynch mob baying for her blood when you obviously know nothing about her.

  28. #28 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Australians aren’t funny? Two words: The Cha… Well, maybe an explanation in song form is better.

  29. #29 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Just in case nobody has ever read any of my comments here, I’ll start off by saying I’m a huge Bill Hicks fan. Huge. He was probably the single funniest person in America during the 80s and early 90s. His humor was often brutal — for instance, he once announced his new reality TV show on ABC: “Hunt and Kill Billy Ray Cyrus.”

    He had this one bit that made me really, really uncomfortable. It included Tiffany and Debbie Gibson locked in a 69, and Jimi Hendrix attacking them with a chainsaw dick, which ends with Tiffany crying, “Mommy! Mommy! I don’t want to be a rock star any more.”

    I find it hard to laugh at that bit. It does let you know exactly how he felt about the pop music of the mid-80s, though.

    I have to say, no matter how offensive (and funny!) Bill Hicks could get, he was never as offensive as those clips that came out of Jonbenet Ramsey. You know the ones, where she was strutting around like a 5-year-old prostitute on stage, during her beauty pageants? Those made my physically ill.

    I suspect this was the context in which Deveney made her joke. I think it was funny, and not nearly as uncomfortable as Bill Hicks’s bit about Tiffany and Hendrix.

    I’m with Cerberus, though — Twitter was probably not the best place. (Hell, Twitter is damned near useless at the best of times, let alone something as subtle as social humor.)

    Also, it was done better in Little Miss Sunshine, though it took two hours to get there.

  30. #30 sirchristophermiller
    May 5, 2010

    I don’t care how offensive a comedian is, they also need to be funny. ‘I hope this 11 year old girl has sex’ isn’t funny. Just eye-roll dumb. I would have fired her as well, but not for offending but instead for being boring.

  31. #31 Great Waves
    May 5, 2010

    As for Australians not being funny, with a few Tim Minchin songs open in other tabs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXfmjMlPEic), respectfully disagree.

  32. #32 Moira Manion
    May 5, 2010

    Speaking as a former editorial/political cartoonist and public radio Commentator, who sometimes upset people, I believe ANYTHING is fair game. Jesus, Mohammed, my dead mother, a little girl who’s being turned into a marketing device after her father died from one of the dangerous animals he told cameras were oh so dangerous. (I worked in a toy store which sold Irwin talking dolls and plush stingrays. After his death, I once had an Irwin doll embracing a plush stingray. If you pressed the doll’s shirt pocket, he said “Danger danger danger!” That was considered Bad Taste.)

    The Age obviously hired Deveny because she’s a comedian. Did they set guidelines when they hired her? Does their contract with her say “You can pick on such and such, but if you joke about so and so you’re terminated?” Or “We’ll accept Bad Taste up to level 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, but anything above 6 will lead to termination. The definition of Bad Taste will be up to the sole discretion of The Age?”

    If you’re a comedian, you’ve gotta know that if you Go There, wherever There might be, the people who sign your check may consider you to be biting the hand that feeds you. So, do you chicken out? Do you tiptoe? Or do you remain true to yourself?

    I hope Deveny challenges her temination. If not, or if she does and it doesn’t succeed, I hope she uses this as publicity, and takes her act on the road, and says what she really wants to say.

  33. #33 Walton
    May 5, 2010

    I disagree wiht the way Professor Myers has framed this debate. The answer to the question “Should comedians be rude?” is clearly “Yes, in some circumstances”. But the answer to the question “Should comedians bully and belittle 11-year-old children in order to get a cheap laugh?” is, I would hope, a resounding No.

  34. #34 MoonShark
    May 5, 2010

    Q. Should comedians deliberately NOT be rude?
    A. No, that’s fucking boring.

    Why is there more to discuss? I’m not saying rudeness is a requirement in humor, but I see absolutely no reason why it should be stricken from the repertoire. Plus, you know, both lie significantly in the eye of the beholder.

  35. #35 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    Strange gods before me, how many columns of Deveny’s have you actually read?

    None, see: Australian.

    I don’t know why you’ve joined the lynch mob baying for her blood when you obviously know nothing about her.

    It’s no skin off my nose whether she has a job or not. What I take issue with is are the complaints about The Age making a rational business decision. It’s like blaming the leopard for being a predator.

  36. #36 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn @15

    Yeah…The problem goes way deeper than “the tarting up of minors” or the quality of joke about it with so many people apparently buying that that is even in the same ballpark as “tarted up”.

    That’s a conservative dress, by most any standards. We can have a debate about women’s versus men’s fashions, especially formal fashions. We can discuss how the tendency to view all women as potential sex objects first manifests itself in the sexualization of everyone no matter what they were as women. We can talk about the tendency to blame all women for their outfits and assume they are worn primarily to attract no matter what. We can even have a good old fashioned row about the madonna/whore complex and how it can manifest in subtle ways such as viewing the baring of childish legs is the same as some wanton display of child-like enticement (the latter bit is snark by the way).

    But seriously, this particular conversation about her particular comment really has no place here. She’s not “tarted up” by even the loosest standards of tarting up. I’m all down on the critiques of how our culture rather fetishistically sexualizes little girls behind plausible deniability like “beauty pageants” and “they’re emerging puberty unlocks dangerous lolita enticement” bullshit, but seriously, guys?

    This is “a woman can’t wear anything remotely feminine without being accused of being a whore” territory.

    Yeah, I’m afraid I’m going to have to switch to Team Brain-fart on this one. It doesn’t matter the context, because there’s no context to justify it being noted, no trigger outside either something she overheard, or a negative cultural assumption she placed on the event (and which would explain the victim-blaming oddity of the joke in question).

    Good people can fuck up like that, the consequences of living in the society we do. I hope she lands on her feet and I’m not entirely sure firing was the right way to handle it (I think something along the lines of a suspension would have been more than adequate), but seriously, major brain-fart and I hope she learns from this to check her own implicit biases and grow rather than blaming it all on “people having no sense of humor”.

  37. #37 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    None, see: Australian.

    hahaha

  38. #38 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    I don’t think joking about children and sex is ever funny.
    The SNL skit, the Deveny comment and dressing kids like JonBenet Ramsey to parade around with makeup to be judged (officially) on their attractiveness are not funny things IMO.

    Did anyone look at Bindi’s outfit for the Logies?

    What is inappropriate about that? Her mother didn’t send her out looking like a prostitute, she’s not even wearing noticeable makeup.

    Besides, no matter what a female wears, the clothing should not be connected to her having sex. That’s no different than the comments that inspired Boobquake.

  39. #39 Poggy
    May 5, 2010

    People seem to get quite touchy over jokes about Bindi. Remember when Fiona O’Loughlin made fun of Bindi on Spicks and Specks and people went nuts?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tHeTzZsx1U

    I don’t see the dress as tarting Bindi up, but I don’t think Catherine should have been fired.

    BTW, her joke may have also been because 1) Bindi is hideously ugly, or 2) She was not in her usual Khaki pants, or 3) all of the above.

  40. #40 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM, if you know nothing about her or Australian media, than how do you know The Age is making a “rational business decision?” She’s actually very very popular . . . and deeply hated by her detractors. People either love her or hate her. But she certainly sells papers.

  41. #41 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn, please listen (I’ll type slowly): the joke was not at the expense of Bindi Irwin, the 11-year-old girl. It was aimed at the media industry, which objectifies and commodifies little girls. Get it now?

  42. #42 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Building on myself (soon, I will grow not only a super-ego but a Super Ego), I fucking hate formalwear.

    Not only is it uncomfortable to wear (in either sex), horrendously unflattering to non-standard physiques, and apes the worst in our aristocracy, status-obsessed cultures, but it’s also unbelievably sexist.

    And it’s stark about it. Men are expected to wear as much as possible in formal wear, no skin save the hands and the face exposed with the chest doubly or triply covered by fabrics of often somber dark tones. And women are expected to wear as little as possible often in brightly colored fabrics that draw as much attention to them as possible, with cuts that minimize movements.

    Worse yet, women’s outfits are deliberately designed to limit movement in this get-up, with cuts severely limiting available range of motion with shoes (i.e. high heels) that actively hurt the feet and severely limit any ability to run or even walk without great effort exerted.

    And this setup is done so as to set a deliberate sexist notion in stark focus. Men are there to be the people, to be the audience and watchers, to blend in and mingle, uncomfortable, but important. Women are there to be decorations, to be objects to be ogled and beheld, only worthwhile as accessories to men.

    And this strict gender-segregation is heavily policed which is why people freak out over women in tuxes and more critically, men in dresses a huge amount and someone who defies the roles (by say wearing a dress that maximizes motion and minimizes its objectification aspects or a “suit” that bears as much flesh as the average dress) are almost criticized as harshly as those who “switch”.

    Overall, the whole concept of “formal” clothes is an institution I’d gladly see crumble. Let us adopt “adornment” into our daily lives if we want an excuse to “look pretty”, instead of propping up such a hideously sexist habit.

  43. #43 Givesgoodemail
    May 5, 2010

    Good comedians must offend in some way; that’s what gets people to thinking about the human condition and how it could be bettered.

    George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor were all masters of the technique.

  44. #44 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    May 5, 2010

    Humor is a way of focusing our attention on things that make us uncomfortable–and at its best, it can provide real insight into those issues. The idea of an 11-year old girl being sexually active or even sexually aware is and ought to be disturbing. OK, so why do we let parents tart them up as if they were sexual objects? It’s not just Bindi Irwin. There’s Miley Cyrus, and before her Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and on and on. What does it say about us and our celebrity-obsessed culture and the objectification of women and even little girls.

    Now maybe a 144 character tweet isn’t the best forum for such a debate. But, when I see this much vitriol focused on the messenger, it makes me wonder if maybe the message she was sending might be important. After all, the purpose of a journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It would appear the Deveny achieved the latter–perhaps at the expense of the former. It is hard to expect too much more from 144 characters.

  45. #45 Ing
    May 5, 2010

    “Lynn, please listen (I’ll type slowly): the joke was not at the expense of Bindi Irwin, the 11-year-old girl. It was aimed at the media industry, which objectifies and commodifies little girls. Get it now?”

    I’m actually going to side with the “joke wasn’t formed right to get its point across” people.

    I’m mixed on this. On one hand it’s not nearly the most offensive thing people say. Rush, Beck, Coulter all say things intentionally nasty and beyond this and are fine with their jobs. So by precedent this isn’t a firing offense

    On the other hand, if we slapped down the three fucktards back in the day when they started it maybe they wouldn’t have the precedent of free reign to be bigoted assholes under the guise of “I’m just joking or” “I’m just the guy (read Hutt) asking the questions”.

  46. #46 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    It’s not just Bindi Irwin. There’s Miley Cyrus, and before her Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and on and on. What does it say about us and our celebrity-obsessed culture and the objectification of women and even little girls.

    Don’t forget kids like Jon Benet Ramsey

    /shiver

  47. #47 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Emily @41

    Except there is no good trigger. I’d agree that it would be a much needed commentary if she was commenting on say some other “gala reporter” fetishistically cooing and going on about every aspect of her dress and the curves of her body, etc… or even if it was clear that she was being pushed out there as a sex-symbol by her handlers.

    But she’s just wearing a conservative dress, doing the bare minimum that is unfortunately required by women and girls at formal functions.

    There’s no real trigger from which the comment should have sprung, because there’s no real reason that she should have felt she “needed” to make the commentary unless the person she was commenting to was her own damn self and what she was projecting on that little girl.

    I mean, even in the other “okay” version, I think she should have worked on her medium and joke, but this was a sexist brain-fart and it’s okay because we all have them and I’m not sure she should have been fired, but she is definitely deserving of criticism as a teachable moment.

    Because she’s the “media figure” the “joke” ends up being about.

  48. #48 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM, if you know nothing about her or Australian media, than how do you know The Age is making a “rational business decision?”

    Do you work at The Age? Do you know whether any advertisers complained about her? Do you know whether they threatened to pull ads?

    If you’re better at this than The Age’s current management, perhaps you should put in an application.

    Companies can make tactical mistakes while acting rationally. It’s impossible to accurately weigh all factors; rationality necessitates guessing. It’s hard to believe that they didn’t spend whatever time they thought they could afford to spend weighing the probable effects on their bottom line.

    If you’re upset with The Age, you’re misdirecting. You should be upset with an economic system that forces media organizations to make decisions based on profit instead of utility to society.

  49. #49 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Listen, Emily77 (I’ll type slowly too). The joke read not as any type of commentary against the media’s objectification and sexualization of girls. Especially since there is no obvious sexualization of Bindi’s appearance at the Logies.

    “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid” sure was aimed at the girl whether it was meant to or not. If Deveny’s target was the media, she should have worded it much much better. She named Bindi. She referred to her hope that a specific child has sex.
    It simple.

    She’s vicitmizing this girl as much as the media are.

  50. #50 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Cerberus, which planet do you live on? Here on Earth, we have Barbie magazines with 6-year-olds wearing lipstick, beauty pageants, Bratz dolls, pink tight fluffy clothes for the under 10 set, Nicki Webster, Britney Spears doing what she was doing at 15, etc . . .

    Bindi Irwin is actually refreshingly presented as not so genderised and not sexualised: hence the joke. It was tongue in cheek, ironic . . . but I’ve heard they don’t get irony in the US. That could probably explain some of the confused comments here.

  51. #51 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “it’s exactly what a comedian should be doing, pushing the boundaries and making people uncomfortable. ”

    I 100% disagree. A comedian should be attempting to make people laugh.

    This ‘edgy’ crap (which is just code for “callous bigotry”), does nothing to challenge people, or make them think it merely causes further suffering to victims and gives psycho bigots justification for their hatred.

    I’ve watched Family Guy send rape victims into serious episodes of PTSD. What this woman is doing is no different, no better and entirely ineffective in attaining what we are assuming was her goal.

  52. #52 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Lynne, “her hope that a specific child has sex”? hahahahahaha. Please see above response to Cerberus re “irony” and “tongue in cheek.” Are you, perchance, American?

  53. #53 Bobber
    May 5, 2010

    Emily 77 said:

    Lynn, please listen (I’ll type slowly): the joke was not at the expense of Bindi Irwin, the 11-year-old girl. It was aimed at the media industry, which objectifies and commodifies little girls. Get it now?

    And Givesgoodemail said:

    Good comedians must offend in some way; that’s what gets people to thinking about the human condition and how it could be bettered.

    George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor were all masters of the technique.

    George Carlin said you can make a joke about anything; what the comedian has to be careful to do is make certain the focus is in the right place (as Carlin said, “it depends on what the exaggeration is”).

    In this case, the joke should have clearly been at the expense of those who promote and exploit a child celebrity. If it wasn’t understood as such, if most reasonably sophisticated people interpreted it as a shot at the child herself, then I suggest the problem lies with the comedian, and not the audience.

  54. #54 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Givesgoodemail @43

    Good humor, great humor, is when it offends up. Afflicting the powerful, shattering the status-quo, questioning the taboo, and attacking institutional discriminations are points where not only does humor often work, but often work perfectly. Better yet when the snarky point it adds to the flavor makes one think or even introduces a much needed idea. Sure, making fun of the nature of english is great as well (Carlin’s bit on airplanes is possibly one of the greatest segments in the history of stand-up), but for the most part this is the pattern that is the most raw and good.

    Humor that bombs, humor that fails, humor that has little to offer tends to be humor that offends down. Attacking the disadvantaged, propping up hierarchies like sexism, racism, homophobia, miring the joke in stereotypes, nasty jokes meant to stop thought, exploration, or questioning of the hierarchy and meant to punish those seen as “detractors” (such as “I bet the Dixie Chicks will cry less about censorship when I’m jamming my dick down their throat, bet that’ll shut you up”).

    It’s also why right-wingers tend to be so bad at comedy while left-wingers and liberals tend to be better at it. It’s also because humor is a great defense mechanism for minorities because straight up resistance can be dangerous.

    Where “edgy for the sake of edgy” comedians falter is mistaking “good humor is often offensive to the powerful” as “good humor is that which is offensive to someone, period” and thinking offending down is just as good humor-wise as offending up. They are almost always wrong.

    a-ray-in-dilbert-space @44

    I was on that side of the fence at the start of the thread, but Lynn’s picture of the “instigating outfit” shows that the problem is far closer to the comedian for thinking it prompted that social critique. Which is ironically, a social problem aching for the exact sort of snarky commentary she tried (and failed) to deliver.

    I agree that firing is harsh, but she definitely had a fuck-up. They happen to us all because it’s impossible for anyone, even politically active minorities, to sort through all the garbage society sells to us.

  55. #55 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “the joke was not at the expense of Bindi Irwin, the 11-year-old girl. It was aimed at the media industry, which objectifies and commodifies little girls. Get it now?”

    The joke humiliated an 11-year-old girl to take aim at the media industry. When you what you say is indistinguishable from what you’re trying to mock you’ve totally failed. Get it now?

  56. #56 Carlie
    May 5, 2010

    Argh, and it’s finals, can’t get into it too much today.

    I’ll cross-post with the thread – I don’t think that particular comment was all that bad, honestly. But as a general rule, I do believe that children should be off-limits. If they’re in the media spotlight, it’s because their parents have put them there. We have 16-21 as ages of informed consent to everything for a reason; because we understand that children simply don’t have the perspective to understand the consequences of their decisions and to cope with the potential fallout thereof. Kids are a very vulnerable group, and making fun of vulnerable groups is not ok. It’s not edgy, it’s picking on the already marginalized and powerless. It’s bullying.

    And as for her getting fired, tough. There’s no right for comedians to be able to say whatever the hell they want and keep their job with whoever is currently sponsoring them. If the sponsor doesn’t want that to be their public face, they have every right to say “no thanks”. The comedian isn’t a victim here. One of her sponsors doesn’t like the kinds of jokes she makes, so they don’t want to employ her any more. She can go find another sponsor who does like her type of humor.

  57. #57 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM, I’m not “upset at The Age.” This is not about business. This is about social convention, social niceties, political correctness, etc. I bet they’d sell a lot of papers if certain other provocateurs were given columns: but they won’t because, like most papers, they have a political niche. They obviously decided Deveny no longer fits that niche. She’s been “offending” people for quite a while now. Her last show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival was called “God Is Bullshit.” That’s probably a good summation of her style.

    Incidentally, I have a sneaking suspicion if she was male, there wouldn’t be such a problem. Most of the comments in the article and poll which PZ has linked to are supportive of her, but have a look at the ones that aren’t, and notice the sexist language: “harradan,” “mouthy,” etc.

  58. #58 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    Cerebus @54 – perfection. Thank you for saying so clearly what I utterly failed to articulate.

  59. #59 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Emily, I may be American, but I do get irony and understand tongue in cheek comments.

    The comedian’s words were poorly chosen if her target was as you describe. I think she really was attacking Bindi, because she’s been the butt of jokes for years. This was just another opportunity for a new joke.

    If the comedian’s history really denies this–is she particularly outspoken regarding the sexualization of children in society/media? Did this tweet follow such a discusstion?. Please show such history and I may reconsider my opinion of her tweet.

  60. #60 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Oh, come on. I see two things here that are highly annoying. First is the “think of the children” sacred cow, as mentioned in the OP. Whatever. Shocker: I personally don’t see why we should avoid humor that includes sex and children. Sure, it may be in incredibly poor taste, sure, not everyone will like it, but if it has its audience, then why the hell not.

    Another annoying theme is how “evil media” or whatever sexualizes children. We sexualize, and not just children, but pretty much everything — the media simply reflects that.

    Sure, we don’t always look at something and think, “mmmm, I wanna have sex with it”, but sexual attraction is one of our strongest drives, whether you choose to agree with Freud’s musings. A child dressed up as an adult becomes an object of sexual attraction — worst of all, we don’t really get to decide whether it does or not. Now, I know that this might sound like some fundies in the Middle East (children are dressing immodestly, ZOMG!!11), but really, I simply wish to point out that there is nothing horrifying in this phenomenon, and rather than go orbital about it, perhaps we need to learn to deal with it in a mature, civil manner.

  61. #61 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    Ah, PZ, you just had to didnt you…;)

    And, what strange gods said @ 5.

  62. #62 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Emily @50

    Still a damn odd comment to have instigated. I mean, a response of “oh good, she’s not being whored out, hmm, I should make a comment about little girls being whored out” is a bit of a funny one to have. Yes, that response is something worth commenting on and her comment ends up being a self-comment because she would be part of those being criticized against because her response to seeing a famous kid “not tarted up” is that they “aren’t tarted up”.

    Given the origin, it’s no wonder the execution is muddled in both target and point. I like subtle humor and tongue and cheek, but it can be a tricky weapon to wield (which is probably why the Brits and Canucks have found surrealism such a wonderful tool to pair with it). I use it myself and you got to be careful for when you are mistaken for the real thing.

    I think she messed up, had that response, tried to make a muddled subtle joke about it, but was too muddled to give a subtle satire that zing that cuts truth to power, a problem further exasperated by the limits to satire of the medium she was employing.

    I agree that a firing was overly harsh and at worst she should have gotten a suspension or a “don’t do that again” talk, but this really isn’t a very successful joke and too much of the context needed to be hunted for and put together after the fact and generally assumed.

    It’s no wonder she’s ended up getting as extensive of an outcry as she’s done. By being so muddled and leaving so much of the contextual work to the audience, the possibility for bad offense (i.e. offense that was unintended and suffered by the people the joke was meant to elicit laughter from) was maximized.

  63. #63 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    “…if most reasonably sophisticated people interpreted it as a shot at the child herself…”

    No, no they didn’t. A few right-wing tabloids who already have it in for Deveny because of her outspoken left-wing atheist feminist writings and shows completely and deliberately misrepresented her to whip up a lynch mob. And it worked.

    Anyone who reads Deveny knows what she meant. And do you think Bindi Irwin would have even known about one tweet if it wasn’t thrown in her face by the very tabloids claiming to be on her side? The opportunistic hypocrisy in this scenario is vile.

  64. #64 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Emily, I do think it would be a shame if the backlash (including firing) against Deveny is greater because she is female.

    In a perfect world the offender’s gender would make no difference.

    My comments about her tweet had nothing to do with her femaleness. They would have been the same for a man.

  65. #65 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM, I’m not “upset at The Age.”

    Then I misunderstood you. You appeared to be upset about her firing, and I assumed it was The Age’s action in this regard that upset you.

    This is not about business. This is about social convention, social niceties, political correctness, etc. I bet they’d sell a lot of papers if certain other provocateurs were given columns: but they won’t because, like most papers, they have a political niche. They obviously decided Deveny no longer fits that niche.

    Then it is about business. Like any business, they have a target demographic, and they’ve judged that this product is not appealing to that demographic. Whether or not they’re correct in that assessment is a legitimate question, but that’s for stockholders to deal with later.

    Incidentally, I have a sneaking suspicion if she was male, there wouldn’t be such a problem. Most of the comments in the article and poll which PZ has linked to are supportive of her, but have a look at the ones that aren’t, and notice the sexist language: “harradan,” “mouthy,” etc.

    You’re probably right.

  66. #66 Benjamin Geiger
    May 5, 2010

    I pretty much have to add my voice to the chorus.

    Yes, the joke, as presented, was tasteless.

    Yes, it could have been presented better in a longer-form medium. It could have been much better in a standup routine, for instance.

    Yes, comedians should be allowed to be ‘rude’ without being hassled by the government.

    Yes, their employers should be allowed to fire them if their acts (as a public face of that employer) don’t reflect well on the employer.

  67. #67 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Endor, you said “when you what you say is indistinguishable from what you’re trying to mock you’ve totally failed.” No no no. It might look like that to an outsider looking in, just like how Mooney and Kirshenbaum framed PZ to look like the bad guy in Crackergate.

    Like I said above, this is about the right-wing religious apologists doing a hatchet job on Deveny, more so than about Deveny.

  68. #68 Benjamin Geiger
    May 5, 2010

    And regarding the “they wouldn’t be reacting if Deveny were male” thing… I’m sure they would be. Except instead of calling for her firing, they’d be calling for her (him) to be thrown in jail or be forcibly separated from his genitals.

  69. #69 MATTIR
    May 5, 2010

    The comments on the Endless Thread started out with a theme of “Deveny is condoning child sexual abuse.” That’s patently ridiculous, at least in part since getting laid generally requires consent, and Bindi Irwin is below the age of consent. I think the joke failed, but the context may well have been “All the women at the event are dressed like tarts, but Bindi Irwin is nicer than the rest – I hope she gets the prize that all the others are seeking, since she deserves good things more.” If that’s the case, then the joke is about how the way other attendees are dressing makes it quite clear that getting laid is the unofficial prize, and it points out how shocking it should be that a nice 11 year old kid is at an event where that’s the prize.

    The problem is that twitter is inherently unfunny. (Why anyone uses twitter to convey messages more than “SOMEONE SEND HELP” is sort of beyond me.) Like other text-based communication methods, it doesn’t allow any non-verbal cues that might have made this joke funny, and it doesn’t allow enough space to convey whatever would have been conveyed by the non-verbal cues. Comedians should give up on twitter and just do live blogging – they’ll type more, but at least they’ll be able to get the humor across somewhat more effectively.

    I agree that comedy focusing on out-groups is often problematic, but I think the biggest problem here is that Deveny did not have enough room to actually convey what her joke was. So perhaps she was fired for deciding that twitter was an appropriate distribution method for her humor.

  70. #70 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    @ nightgoblin #60

    Oh, come on. I see two things here that are highly annoying. First is the “think of the children” sacred cow, as mentioned in the OP. Whatever. Shocker: I personally don’t see why we should avoid humor that includes sex and children. Sure, it may be in incredibly poor taste, sure, not everyone will like it, but if it has its audience, then why the hell not.

    OK so there’s an audience for child porn too.

    Our society does draw certain lines. I’d say any time children are associated with sex is one of those. Child beauty pageants–like Jonbenet’s type–obviously cross it, comments like Deveny’s do, kids dressing in formal dresses for awards shows really doesn’t.

  71. #71 Ing
    May 5, 2010

    “I’ve watched Family Guy send rape victims into serious episodes of PTSD. What this woman is doing is no different, no better and entirely ineffective in attaining what we are assuming was her goal.”

    Quagmire?

  72. #72 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    This ‘edgy’ crap (which is just code for “callous bigotry”), does nothing to challenge people, or make them think it merely causes further suffering to victims and gives psycho bigots justification for their hatred.

    In what way was Deveny being bigoted? Callous, I can see. She was definitely callous. Perhaps even stupidly so. Offensive, also — many of those with iron constitutions here are running for the fainting couch.

    But bigoted? I don’t see that at all.

  73. #73 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn, I didn’t think you were misogynist. But I think it possible PZ wouldn’t have even had to bring this to your attention if misogyny weren’t a player in this drama, because I think perhaps there wouldn’t have been such a drama if Deveny were a man.

  74. #74 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    You assholes making jokes about Australians should shut up. It’s offensive.

  75. #75 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Emily @57

    Sadly, yes, women and other minorities get far fewer “fuck ups” than privileged parties like white men get and get far greater pushback for said fuck-ups because those hurt honestly always assume that “they should know better” and those exploiting offense do so because they want to see those different culled from the ranks.

    She’d also get far laxer rope if she was a right-wing psycho, because we culturally don’t expect humanity from conservatives.

    Emily @63

    And again, sadly, yes. Those with those gunning for them also end up getting fewer “fuck up” privileges because their enemies are more than willing to attack them, even on manufactured evidence because they want them gone for other reasons and right-wing types often have deep pockets and authoritarian followers that make their demands have greater noise weight.

    Sadly, to all of these things, while it does mean that she’s being unfairly punished and that such actions have been used to punish groups that have done absolutely nothing wrong (like ACORN or the Global Warming emails), it doesn’t mean that she didn’t genuinely fuck up.

    I mean, we’re all human, prone to all sorts of cultural garbage and making a garbled hash of a joke on the hideous medium of twitter is the sort of human mistake we can all easily fall into and probably have (I’m certain I’m not the only person who has had to apologize and explain for what they were trying to say on a previous post). And I think her being fired for it is a bit of a “what the fuck”, but it doesn’t retroactively make it a great joke. It was still a fuck-up, it just probably shouldn’t have been a fuck-up that cost her her job.

    And I hope she learns the real lesson rather than let the right-wing who had it out for her define the game and assume that it was just because she was too “edgy” for the “prudes”.

  76. #76 Darren Garrison
    May 5, 2010

    Looked at the “offending” dress– thought that it did look a little bit “off”, but couldn’t quite place why. Then it came to me– the color. Black looks just too somber on a child, looks completely out of place.

  77. #77 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    MATTIR @69

    Ha, yeah.

    She shouldn’t be fired for having a casual-sexism triggered minor fuck up, she should be fired for thinking twitter is at all a medium even close to that needed to convey such a subtle and nuanced joke as was intended.

    Learn your tools better, comedians, LiveBlog exists for a reason other than following football matches and legislature debates, y’know. You can even promote it…on twitter.

  78. #78 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn Wilhelm #70,

    Yes, there is. The main problem with child porn is that it depends on child abuse and suffering. I know that most people find it gross and immoral, but, then again, some people find gay porn just as gross.

  79. #79 Bobber
    May 5, 2010

    Emily77 said:

    No, no they didn’t. A few right-wing tabloids who already have it in for Deveny because of her outspoken left-wing atheist feminist writings and shows completely and deliberately misrepresented her to whip up a lynch mob. And it worked.

    Oh, so it WASN’T due to misunderstanding amongst reasonably sophisticated people, it was due to a flame-up started by a narrow-minded puritanical clique that already had it out for her.

    We are quite familiar with that here in the States. Ask Lani Guinier or Joycelyn Elders.

  80. #80 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Darren @76

    It’s because black is somber, serious, and blending in…aspects meant for men in formal wear coding, highlighted by the fact that the dress appears comfortable and allows her to retain full range of motion and isn’t intended to highlight herself as decoration and with her being mostly covered, her skin can’t serve as the natural eye-catching color of the female outfit.

    And not being for decoration is a female formalwear no no and thus looks “odd” as you note.

    Which would be another point in favor of my earlier rant of why I fucking hate the “tradition” of formalwear.

    Hideous, uncomfortable, sexist tradition.

  81. #81 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Look, I never said I liked the joke, or that it worked. But there is a lynching happening here, a genuine character assassination, a mountain being made out of a mole-hill in order to scalp a political opponent. The joke is not the point. It’s the reaction to the joke, the history behind the reaction, the history behind the joke, etc. It’s a skirmish in the culture war, and Deveny is a valuable asset. She deserves our support.

  82. #82 broboxley OT
    May 5, 2010

    wrong wording on the poll, comedians are supposed to be funny whether rude or not. Having heard the lady in question she shared a thought that struck her fancy, a mental image that verbally would take a while to setup on a stage show. Unfortunately twitter is not the medium to do so. It came off a little stiff and cost her a job.

  83. #83 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    “it was due to a flame-up started by a narrow-minded puritanical clique that already had it out for her.” Yes. Very well-said.

    So it’s not that I’m “upset with The Age,” it’s that I’m pissed off with the politics it reveals.

  84. #84 Cerberus
    May 5, 2010

    Emily @81

    Fully agree.

    It was a fuck up, but it shouldn’t be a fuck up that ends her career and it certainly shouldn’t be the incident by which she is defined. Maybe I’m wrong and she has a history of misogynist comments, but it sounds like she doesn’t and this was a one-time screw-up that should have served as a lesson on the paucity of twitter and the wisdom of sorting out one’s thoughts before attempting a complex joke.

    It shouldn’t have gotten her fired and I hope she bounces back, but learns the correct lessons, rather than use it as an excuse to get lazy and assume that there was nothing wrong with her joke despite the viciousness of those using it to try and “punish her” for other reasons.

  85. #85 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    I just went to Deveny’s twitter page. Had to scroll down a bit to find the original tweet. http://twitter.com/catherinedeveny

    Don’t see any indication that she’s making any special social commentary regarding sexualization of young girls. There’s no indication she’s saying anything about the “prize” due women parading at awards ceremonies (a la MATTIR #69). Her comments about other celebs are just as typical as I’ve seen about many awards shows.

    Oh, and MATTIR, she had lots of room to make her point (if it was other than literal)–she only used 34 characters!

  86. #86 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    “Comedians are supposed to be funny . . .” Comedy is art. Art is neither good nor bad, it’s only popular or unpopular. It’s completely subjective. I wish people would stop talking about Deveny’s tweets as though there was some objective measure as to their “funniness.” There isn’t.

  87. #87 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    But there is a lynching happening here, a genuine character assassination, a mountain being made out of a mole-hill in order to scalp a political opponent.

    It is a business decision made by a company who have determined that one of their employees is not helping their sales or shares.That’s what it boils down to, there’s no conspiracy.
    Maybe they were waiting for an opportunity to get rid of her, it’s possible, and she finally gave it to them.
    The Age is a journalistically bancrupt garbage tabloid anyway, I’m sure CD will cope.And she will learn from this, that making unfunny jokes in the wrong medium can cost you.

  88. #88 Propadanda
    May 5, 2010

    I’m an Australian and have a fairly broad sense of humour (as in I’ve been desensitised by the Internet), but I thought her jokes were in pretty bad taste. Not so much the Bindi one, although I can understand why some would find that offensive, but the jab at Rove and Tasma was low, made even worse by her weak defence of her actions, “I honestly hope she doesn’t die because they are so cute together!!!”

    Aw, isn’t that sweet?

    I’m guessing she had a couple too many drinks and got twittering thinking (as you do) that it was a good/funny idea at the time. I don’t understand why she’d make such a unnecessary quip about her “friend” who’s quoted “on the cover of [her] book” if she was sober. Maybe she just has a shit sense of humour, probably why she isn’t a top Australian comic.

    As for the poll, stupid wording. I don’t think it’s the fact that “she picked on a young girl” that offended people, more the fact that she made a joke about an 11 year old getting laid, which obviously a lot of people would object to.

    Horrified to read in the comments section here that she is a voice for atheism. I’m not a Melbournian so I’m not familiar with her columns, but if they reflect the level of judgment she shows here I’d fear the worst. Now that she’s blurted out crap like this it’s going to be easy for some (idiots) to make the negative association between atheism and…morality/attitude/whatever they would to run a negative campaign.

  89. #89 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    I find it an interesting quirk of our society, that we will protect to the death a person’s right to say anything they like on almost every topic, with the exception of children/sex.
    It’s as if a switch goes off in our heads that says, ‘Wait, no, you’re not allowed to joke about that. That’s off limits.’
    Since when did ANYTHING become sacred? As long as she’s not actually getting the kid laid, why should we worry what she says about it?
    Seriously, we need to get some perspective.

  90. #90 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Youngie #89:

    Exactly one of my points.

  91. #91 Brownian, OM
    May 5, 2010

    And she will learn from this, that making unfunny jokes in the wrong medium can cost you.

    It’s a good thing that writing jokes (especially on the fly) is like following a recipe.

    The Perfect Never-Fail Joke

    1 cup current events
    1 1/2 challenging social norms
    1 tbsp ‘edgy’
    profanity to taste

    Simmer for 12 seconds.

    Serves audiences from 10–45 across the political spectrum.

  92. #92 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn, I’ve been reading Catherine’s writing for a couple of years now. You can’t just look at one tweet, or series of tweets, you need to look at her context, MO, etc. Go to The Age website and read her previous artciles, or go to her blog.

  93. #93 ambulocetacean
    May 5, 2010

    Er, Rorschach, The Age is a broadsheet, not a tabloid. It’s not as good as it used to be but at least it’s not brain-meltingly stupid like the Herald Sun.

  94. #94 Kraid
    May 5, 2010

    Don’t see any indication that she’s making any special social commentary regarding sexualization of young girls. There’s no indication she’s saying anything about the “prize” due women parading at awards ceremonies (a la MATTIR #69).

    Most comedians don’t bother explaining their jokes, probably because it generally kills the humor.

    It was edgy, and it wasn’t the best joke I’ve ever heard. But firing her for it seems like a Puritanical over-reaction. I prefer comics who aren’t afraid to push the envelope a little, because otherwise you end up with insipid Garfield-level humor.

  95. #95 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    People, people. All this bickering. How are we going to live up to our echo chamber label when everyone is sniping.

    Can we all at least agree that this statement is correct and get along?

    It’s also true that if you find Dane Cook funny, you’re a moron.

  96. #96 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    the sexualization of an 11 year old

    Since when did 11 year-olds become entirely desexualized, and why?

  97. #97 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Rorchach, no of course no conspiracy. Just the business of politics as usual, not the politics of business as usual.

  98. #98 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    I find it an interesting quirk of our society, that we will protect to the death a person’s right to say anything they like on almost every topic, with the exception of children/sex.

    There is a reason for that, which seems to have passed you by.
    Children are neither physically nor emotionally equipped to deal with objectification or exploitation, and be it only for some cheap joke.

    Since when did ANYTHING become sacred?

    Probably since we as a society decided that fucking our younglings is wrong.Unless you’re a catholic, they’re mostly cool with that.

    Seriously, we need to get some perspective.

    You certainly do.

  99. #99 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Emily, I will.
    I’m sure she can be very funny. I don’t think joking about Bindi was bad, just the particular joke she tried to make. I don’t think she should have been fired. I think if she was fired because she is female, has nothing to do with her comment about Bindi.

    I still would like to have seen an apology about the comment–didn’t see any on her twitter page.
    But she does have a right to say what she likes, she just has to accept the consequences.

    I do think it’s a shame that one little tweet has been blown up into what it has, but only because of the effect it might have on an 11 year old girl thrown into the spotlight by her celebrity father.

    I think the fact that it’s probably right-wingers after Deveny is no different than PZ calling out a wingnut on something one said. Say something stupid, get caught.
    What’s good for the goose….
    Are we the goose, or the gander?

  100. #100 DeusExNihilum
    May 5, 2010

    Everyone should be able to say and joke about pretty much everything, It is not for one person, or a million people, to say “This sequence of sounds and syllables cannot be uttered one after the other” or “This subject matter may NEVER be discussed other than to express distaste” any more than it is sane to say “Thou shalt not form lines and pixels into an image and say that its the prophet Muhammed”

    “Freedom” itself comes with limits, “Freedom of speech” does not.

    I say feel free to condemn the joke as unfunny, or out-of-taste, or offensive…but crying out for censorship is, in my opinion, tyrannical, moronic and for people who love sand in their gaping vaginas.

  101. #101 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Rorschach #98:

    Children are neither physically nor emotionally equipped to deal with objectification or exploitation, and be it only for some cheap joke.

    Neither are mentally retarded people. Yet, retard jokes are considered, albeit bad taste, nowhere near pedophile jokes.

  102. #102 danielm
    May 5, 2010

    hmm, I’d have to know what the comment was meant to be in context. I mean it’s rather odd as it stands…everyone gets laid eventually, right?

    firing her for it? definitely wrong, although I’d give her a talking to for it, Bindi’s had enough in her life already…

    but saying it? er, it’s kinda weird. I don’t think it’s especially picking on Bindi…is it? It all sounds rather “wtf, mate?” to me…

  103. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    I say feel free to condemn the joke as unfunny, or out-of-taste, or offensive…but crying out for censorship is, in my opinion, tyrannical, moronic and for people who love sand in their gaping vaginas.

    How long is that poking stick you’re using?

  104. #104 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Jeez, it’s not like nobody here’s ever read Lolita or anything.

    The sexualisation of pre-teens is art. And don’t you forget it!

  105. #105 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    I don’t think this is so much about being funny as it is pointing out someone’s central hypocrisy. It’s only funny to the people who realize that those offended are the very same ones who wouldn’t be offended by the reverse behavior – completely desexualizing a young girl and asserting the affirmation of women during the show. That the acceptance of the reverse behavior is hypocritical is completely beyond those who were offended, and no matter how many times it’s pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, those same people will insist that they agree on the color of his robe.

    People who were offended by this are the butt of the joke. That young girl is on display, whether she should be or not. Let her be offended by the remark and deal with it, as is appropriate for someone on display. But the audience is only demonstrating that being offended for someone else is usually a sign of hypocrisy, and that is funny to watch.

  106. #106 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    nightgoblin

    Yeah, I looked back over both your comments and mine. Not really the same point (if I read yours correctly). I almost certainly failed to make mine clear, for which I apologise.
    My problem is the way otherwise rational people seem to completely shut down their reason when it comes to the child/sex area.
    The very idea that Catherine has ‘crossed a line’ is ludicrous. There is no line, and there should not be, no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter makes us. In fact, if it makes us uncomfortable then it probably needs to be discussed more. And one of the most effective ways I know of to promote discussion, is through comedy.
    Yes, we all regard the sexualisation of children to be an anathema, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be discussing it. Quite the opposite. So, hats off to you Catherine, for promoting discussion in an area that we try to ignore.

    As to the comments suggesting that her firing was justified, for business reasons. You have missed the real point. Yes, The Age did the right thing financially, but the problem isn’t with The Age. The problem is the hordes of ‘morally outraged’ who called for her sacking.
    On the other hand, why does The Age care what these people think? They clearly all read the Herald Sun anyway.

  107. #107 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    deriamis #105:

    That made me think. Would that — offending a whole bunch of people and laugh as they spout nonsense and act butt-hurt — be a kind of meta-comedy? Or maybe I’m analyzing it too much :)

  108. #108 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    I just wrote and deleted a long response to you, Lynn, because it’s nearly 2am here in Australia and I’m so tired I couldn’t tell if I was making sense anymore. I’m going to bed.

    I just hope the people on the other side of the world who are just getting up and going about their day understand the motivations behind those attacking Deveny, as compared to the motivations behind Deveny, and help sway this poll a bit more in her favour, regardless of what they think of one or two particular jokes.

    Cheers everyone. =)

  109. #109 davita22
    May 5, 2010

    Nightgoblin #78

    The main problem with child porn is that it depends on child abuse and suffering. I know that most people find it gross and immoral, but, then again, some people find gay porn just as gross.

    Am I the only one who sees this post as a subtle condonning of child porn?

  110. #110 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Hey, wasn’t the “virgin” Mary like 12 when she was gang-raped by the 3-in-1 (well, 2-in-1 at the time)?

  111. #111 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    Neither are mentally retarded people. Yet, retard jokes are considered, albeit bad taste, nowhere near pedophile jokes.

    Can you not see the difference here?

  112. #112 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    Jeez, it’s not like nobody here’s ever read Lolita or anything.

    non-sequitur of the day ?

    Let her be offended by the remark and deal with it, as is appropriate for someone on display. But the audience is only demonstrating that being offended for someone else is usually a sign of hypocrisy, and that is funny to watch.

    The point is, that an 11yo does not have the emotional or intellectual equipment to “deal with it”.

    Yet, retard jokes are considered, albeit bad taste, nowhere near pedophile jokes.

    I am not sure what you mean by retard.To me that is a derogatory term in itself.

  113. #113 jojame
    May 5, 2010

    Why put up the poll if it’s won’t be messed with. I thought online polls were useless.

  114. #114 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Youngie #106:

    Ah, I see. Sorry, I jumped the gun there, you do make a different point. I completely agree, though. Just because we disagree, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said. Just like Phelps & Co. should not be silenced and censored, just like KKK demonstrations should not be dispersed by police, just like pig-headed Taliban fundies calling for death of infidels should be allowed to speak. Laugh at them, ridicule them, make them look stupid, but don’t shut them up: by slaughtering the dragon one becomes the dragon.

  115. #115 Ing
    May 5, 2010

    “Lynn, I’ve been reading Catherine’s writing for a couple of years now. You can’t just look at one tweet, or series of tweets, you need to look at her context, MO, etc. Go to The Age website and read her previous artciles, or go to her blog.”

    Careful this is the excuse Rush fans give. Apparently according to them nothing Rush ever says is in context

  116. #116 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Yeah, Andyo.
    That means 12 yos should get laid. And we should all make comments supporting same.
    It’s “art” after all.
    Maybe the same for 12 yo boys too.

  117. #117 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Emily, the poll was badly worded too. (it’s an internet poll)
    If it had asked if the comment should have led to her sacking, I would have answered differently. By the way, I didn’t do anything to the poll until I learned more about the origin of the comment. G’night Emily.

  118. #118 Emily 77
    May 5, 2010

    Rorschach, the irony is that the 11-year-old would probably never have seen or heard the comments if it weren’t for the tabloid media making a mountain out of the molehill, splashing the comments everywhere, while posturing hypocritically as the outraged party.

    OK, really going to bed now. You will all just have to be wrong on the internet without me.

  119. #119 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    at #116
    Should have added a “sarcasm” note to that comment.

  120. #120 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    Damn you nightgoblin #114. I was all ready to dismiss you based on your comment that seemed to equate child-porn with gay-porn. Now you go and get all reasonable again.

    Rorschach #98, really? Did you forget the difference between joking about something and actually doing it? Nobody is, for a second, suggesting that such behaviour is in any way acceptable. But, joking about it? Sure, in bad taste, but really shouldn’t be an issue.

  121. #121 geoffmovies
    May 5, 2010

    Canadian Comedian Kelly Oxford tweeted after seeing Bieber perform on an awards show “Justin Bieber looks like he’d be really bad at sex.”

    Now that’s funny.

  122. #122 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Youngie #120 && davita22 #109:

    Ah, yes. The sweet smell of successful trolling, don’t you smell it? :) Just kidding.

    Seriously, though. I didn’t mean to equate gay porn with child porn (and I already explained what, in my opinion is wrong with the latter), but we can’t just go and base our judgment solely on emotions, which seem to be over the top when the topic goes into the taboo underage sex area.

  123. #123 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    geoffmovies
    I don’t see any difference between the Bieber comment (or the SNL skit I mentioned at #2) and Deveny’s comment.

  124. #124 Kagehi
    May 5, 2010

    You know.. For people who are fans of biology, evolution, and just flat out logic, there are an awful lot of, “Kids have a magic switch that turns on at X age, when they ***should be*** thinking about sex. Its horrible to suggest that a kid at age X would even grasp the concept!” Pretty much the same idiot thinking that brought us, “Abstinence Education”. Just saying…

  125. #125 geoffmovies
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn,
    I hope you see a difference between an eleven year old girl and a 16 year old boy.

    No, I don’t think making jokes about their sexuality is equivalent.

  126. #126 kiyaroru
    May 5, 2010

    Has there been any indication that Bindi felt hurt, bullied, belittled, etc. by this comment? Did someone need to explain to her what “get laid” means? And why she should care what some old lady said about her on twitter?

    At 11 years Bindi is old enough to understand that if you are a “celebrity”, you are a target. Not just for admiration but also for vilification and everything in between. If she is going to continue to be a celebrity she will need to grow some very thick skin.

    If Deveny had made the Bindi comment (and the Rove comment) during a stand-up routine she would have received the appropriate feed-back: booing AND heckling AND groaning AND laughter.

  127. #127 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    nightgoblin #122: Ah, yes. The sweet smell of successful trolling, don’t you smell it? :) Just kidding.
    Got me, nice one. And I think that on at least one point we are in complete agreement. We cannot allow our emotions to override our reason. Especially when our emotions are so strong.

  128. #128 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    At 11 years Bindi is old enough to understand that if you are a “celebrity”, you are a target. Not just for admiration but also for vilification and everything in between

    Oh really, are you her nanny or something?

  129. #129 SteveM
    May 5, 2010

    re 76:

    Looked at the “offending” dress– thought that it did look a little bit “off”, but couldn’t quite place why. Then it came to me– the color. Black looks just too somber on a child, looks completely out of place.

    Are we looking at the same dress? All the pictures I’ve seen of Bindi at the Logies are a pink dress. Terry is in a black dress. (or is that the joke? maybe I haven’t had enough coffee yet)

    And, after looking at those pictures, I can’t see how Deveny’s comment could possibly be construed as some kind of social commentary about the sexualisation of women and girls’ fashion. No, it was clearly an insult directed squarely at Bindi. I don’t think she meant she hoped Bindi would get laid soon, but ever. And it might not necessarily be about Bindi’s looks either. One set of comments on the news story about the Logies had quite a few comments about how serious and adult Bindi is. Maybe Deveny was commenting on Bindi’s personality being too “focused”. How many times have you heard people being described as needing to get laid because they are too serious or focused on one subject? I don’t know much of the context so I am wildly speculating, take it for what its worth (and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee).

  130. #130 SteveM
    May 5, 2010

    re 129:

    oops, got the wrong year. Okay, 2010 she wore a black dress. Still, pretty plain, age appropriate, dress in my opinion, hardly “tarted up”.

  131. #131 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    Rorschach #112:

    I am not sure what you mean by retard.To me that is a derogatory term in itself.

    I mean mentally retarded people. More specifically, jokes about them. Yes, “retard” can be a derogatory term, and most such jokes are not politically correct, either.

    Rev. BigDumbChimp #111:

    Can you not see the difference here?

    I can certainly see the difference. One is about mentally retarded people, and the other is about children and sex. Is that it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that child abuse is okay. I’m not saying it is necessarily a good subject to joke about, either. I’m simply making a point that “they cannot defend themselves” applies equally to children and mentally retarded people.

  132. #132 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Sorry to disagree, geoffmovies, there is not really a difference.
    I’m no prude in other things, but don’t mess with kids.

    I was date-raped at 16 and blamed for the resulting pregnancy (for the sex too). Blamed myself as well. Adults, who should have known better, made jokes about the situation. Why, because people think it’s OK to joke about stuff like this. Because it was nearly 20 years ago and I was much less worldly, I’m sure I was much less mature than these kids are.

    I think I was vulnerable to both (the rape and the jokes) because I had been raised to not discuss sex and only heard it discussed in joking terms. When those jokes have children as the target, it makes potential victims more vulnerable.

    I didn’t relay the info above to indicate that I have a kneejerk reaction to Deveny’s comment. My dismay at the comment was well considered.

  133. #133 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    Thread reached breaking point of misogyny at #100. Please stop.

  134. #134 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Posted by:
    Lynn Wilhelm Author Profile Page |
    May 5, 2010 11:34 AM

    Yeah, Andyo.

    That means 12 yos should get laid. And we should all make comments supporting same.
    It’s “art” after all.
    Maybe the same for 12 yo boys too.

    Interesting that that’s what you thought I meant.

  135. #135 aratina cage
    May 5, 2010

    I’ve heard and read “jokes” that were nothing but underhanded hate speech, and those are where I draw the line. Deveny’s joke wasn’t even close to hate speech.

    Judging by what Great Waves #19 quoted, Deveny was chastising the girl’s guardians, who allowed her to wear that dress, by making a sarcastic remark about the dress being appropriate not for a child but for an adult hoping to hook up that night (and after seeing the dress I do not agree with Deveny). So it puzzles me how it got turned around on Deveny. Voted “no”.

  136. #136 Copyleft
    May 5, 2010

    “Should comedians be rude?”

    Only if necessary and if it adds to the humor.

    “Should comedians use Twitter to try out potential gags at the moment the idea strikes?”

    Obviously not.

  137. #137 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn #132

    When those jokes have children as the target, it makes potential victims more vulnerable.

    Please, explain how. Seriously, I am interested in how this can be, I do not actually see how jokes can make a potential victim more vulnerable.

    SGBM #133
    Please, enlighten me, how did this thread break the misogyny barrier? Because I read #100. That comment, I assume you were only referring to the last sentence, was made in jest. You do remember what that is don’t you? I realise that humour can be lost in the fog of righteous indignation, but we really should try to avoid that theist trap.
    Just saying.

  138. #138 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    No difference whatsoever between an 11 year-old girl and a 16 year-old boy? What about 17? 18? At what age is there a difference, and why that age?

  139. #139 shonny
    May 5, 2010

    Cath didn’t really say when she hoped Bindi will get laid.
    And since she (Bindi) is little goody two-shoes the ‘off’ comment meant for a grown-up audience was just a quip, so tell ‘em to build a bridge and get over it!

    And to the concern troll and prudes: Get laid (as in ‘fucked’) too. The kid will survive.
    Fortunately the long suffering wild animals got the better of her dickwad father, the diagonally opposite of David Attenborough.

  140. #140 Carlie
    May 5, 2010

    But there is a lynching happening here, a genuine character assassination, a mountain being made out of a mole-hill in order to scalp a political opponent.

    Wow, that’s some hyperbole you got there. Really, someone losing a single job (out of several ways she currently makes money) is like a lynching? I’m tempted to link to pictures of an actual lynching, but I’m restraining myself. Also scalping. Even “character assassination” is pretty far-fetched – it’s being called a stupid joke, and a really shitty thing to do, but character assassination?

    It’s a skirmish in the culture war, and Deveny is a valuable asset. She deserves our support.

    NOBODY deserves uncritical support. Nobody. If she does a dumbass thing, it’s ok to call her on it and say she was a dumbass. If her sponsor gets squicked out by her making sex jokes about a 10 year old in a modest dress, it’s ok for them to sever their sponsorship.

  141. #141 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010
    Jeez, it’s not like nobody here’s ever read Lolita or anything.

    non-sequitur of the day ?

    How’s it a non sequitur? One of the several threads going on here concerns the impropriety of sexualising pre-teens. It seems to make several people here swoon.

    Here’s an example:

    Since when did ANYTHING become sacred?

    Probably since we as a society decided that fucking our younglings is wrong.Unless you’re a catholic, they’re mostly cool with that.

    It’s hard to tell if there’s irony in the penultimate sentence here. Assuming no irony, this statement is exactly what I’m talkin’ about. Lolita is a book that is all about the sexualisation of a 12-year-old. That’s more-or-less the same age as Bindi is right now.

    The comment wasn’t directed at the concerns expressed about the effect on Bindi herself. It’s directed over the statements that conflate real sexual abuse of children with the fiction of a pre-teen having sex. There is the real world, in which I don’t think Deveny wishes Bindi to experience sex at her young age. Then there is the world of fiction, which includes both the rather insensitive joke, and Nabakov’s book.

  142. #142 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    jest ? misogyny >

  143. #143 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “In what way was Deveny being bigoted? Callous, I can see. She was definitely callous. Perhaps even stupidly so. Offensive, also — many of those with iron constitutions here are running for the fainting couch.

    But bigoted? I don’t see that at all.”

    Apologies for being unclear. I wasn’t intending to call this woman a bigot. I was speaking specifically about “edgy” humor, which is virtually always about giving the cluelessly privileged and/or bigots a way to say something cruel, callous, and deliberately hateful and cover it up with the cowardly “hey, it was just a joke!”.

  144. #144 aratina cage
    May 5, 2010

    SteveM,

    All the pictures I’ve seen of Bindi at the Logies are a pink dress. Terry is in a black dress.

    Lynn Wilhelm linked to a photo of Bindi Irwin at the 2010 Logies in #15. The pink dress photo on the Intertubes appears to be from the 2007 Logies.

  145. #145 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM #142
    You’re going to have to clarify that for me. It’s late and I’m more than a little tired, and so can’t really deal with mathematically themed arguments right now.
    Thanks.

  146. #146 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    RE: #71: “Quagmire?”

    That is merely one of the myriad of sociopathic problems with that show.

  147. #147 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    aratina cage #135
    I don’t think there’s any question that Deveny was just making a joke, no real social commentary there–I read all her Tweets from that night. She’s just making a sexual joke at the expense of a kid.

    Youngie #137
    Because kids are immature, and may take comments seriously (of course adults can do that too). The potential victim, seeing or hearing something similar to Deveny’s comment could start to believe that such things are meant to be. It’s probably not one comment, but over time, they’d add up. The potential victim becomes victim to those who would exploit such feelings.

    But even so, haven’t you ever taken one comment to heart (especially as a kid) that changed your whole attitude about yourself? Maybe I was more vulnerable than you.

    I don’t think I’m explaining myself well here, but I’ll keep trying.

    And Andyo, what was your point?

  148. #148 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    Jest does not exclude misogyny. That joke relies on an association of complaint and womanhood. It is about as old as the thread topic.

  149. #149 aratina cage
    May 5, 2010

    SteveM,

    I don’t know how I missed your follow-up to #129 in #130. Anyway, I agree. Deveny is just plain wrong about the dress being inappropriate.

  150. #150 SteveM
    May 5, 2010

    re 144:

    Lynn Wilhelm linked to a photo of Bindi Irwin at the 2010 Logies in #15. The pink dress photo on the Intertubes appears to be from the 2007 Logies.

    My workplace nannywall wouldn’t go to Lynn’s link so I did my own search and just looked at the first “logies” hit without noticing the date. I caught my self in #130.

  151. #151 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “But, joking about it? Sure, in bad taste, but really shouldn’t be an issue.”

    Wow. How comfy clueless privilege must be. How is shields one from realizing how they come off to other people.

  152. #152 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    SGBM #148
    Forgive me, I may not be looking hard enough, but I can still not find any real misogyny in the comment. Please, if it is there spell it out for me. This really could be a learning experience for me. (Yes, I know that sounded sarcastic, but it was not meant to be. I meant what I said. I look forward to a possible education)

    Lynn #147
    I really think you are reaching. Yes, a child in a societal vacuum MAY take such a comment that way, but it’s not exactly likely.
    Besides, we can not, or at least should not, censor comedians based on how some people might interpret their act. That way totalitarianism lies.

  153. #153 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    @Youngie

    The comment suggests that if somebody is complaining about something, that somebody must have a vagina. ie, women are “bitchy”.

  154. #154 aratina cage
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn Wilhelm,

    She’s just making a sexual joke at the expense of a kid.

    The tweet was really too ambiguous to say that for sure. I think, based on Deveny’s later quotes, that the kid’s guardians were supposed to be at the receiving end of that joke. But even if she were directing it at the kid (which is a little hard to accept seeing as how it isn’t tweeted at the kid), saying that an 11-year-old needed to be laid (really, that doesn’t make any sense) or that the 11-year-old we see here tonight is going to have a hard time finding a lover in the future, it still doesn’t warrant Deveny losing her job.

  155. #155 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    Wow. How comfy clueless privilege must be. How is shields one from realizing how they come off to other people.
    Wow, how easily some people assume privilege. What the hell is wrong with pointing out that words are in actuality different to actions?
    It was a joke.
    Yes, in bad taste. So what? Only an idiot would assume that she was really suggesting the child should have sex now.
    Yes, yes, I know, there are many idiots out there. But we cannot legislate against stupidity, we just have to live with it.

  156. #156 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    The target of the joke is complaint, there’s a lot of directions to go from there, a woman’s sexual body part is chosen out of all those directions.

    Here is the joke: “complainers are women.”

    It’s an old joke. I saw it on Nick at Nite.

  157. #157 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    The comment suggests that if somebody is complaining about something, that somebody must have a vagina. ie, women are “bitchy”.
    Are we both talking about comment #100? If so, I think I CAN see where that final comment is sexist. When first reading it I didn’t make the gender distinction, just as when someone is called a dick, but upon a re-read I think you may all be right. My apologies. It seems I do need to be more aware of these sort of things. Thanks, to both yourself and SGBM for pointing it out to me.
    I think I should probably withdraw from commenting for a while.
    At least until I can distinguish misogyny from comedy.

  158. #158 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    Also, it seems, how to blockquote properly.

  159. #159 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    Besides, we can not, or at least should not, censor comedians based on how some people might interpret their act. That way totalitarianism lies.

    Hang on. “We” are out of the loop. The Age has already made its decision.

    Is being fired by your employer censorship?

    If yes, would you also say that being banned by a blog is censorship?

    Do you think that media companies should not be allowed to make business decisions regarding personalities and advertisers?

    Should readers of the paper get voting rights?

  160. #160 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Youngie, maybe I was just a little more sensitive as a child. Maybe I was in a societal vacuum. But that’s my only perspective as a child.

    The old sticks and stones saying is bullshit–words do hurt, especially to children. Would you say that all children are now raised with such high self esteem that comments don’t hurt them.
    I know, I know that Deveny’s comments were not directed at children (not even Bindi), but we all know how stuff spreads on the internets. If something I said like that was called to public attention, you’d better believe I’d be apologizing all over it.

    To others, we can’t know what Deveny was really thinking when she made that comment. I really think she wasn’t.

    I have said that I don’t think she should have been fired over the comment. I do think she should have apologized.

    I also don’t know the actual cutoff when children become “adults” emotionally. Do any of us? Personally, I think mine was just a few years ago, maybe yesterday? (I’m 44)
    Just kidding.

  161. #161 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “Wow, how easily some people assume privilege.”

    When someone admonishes those objecting with a variant of the tired “you’re all just too sensitive” fallacy, there’s no need to assume privilege.

    “What the hell is wrong with pointing out that words are in actuality different to actions? It was a joke. Yes, in bad taste. So what?”

    Tell it to the butt of the joke, the victims triggered by the joke, etc ad nauseum.

    But hey, I get it – free speech is a one way street. The callous joker can say whatever they want, but no one is allowed to do anything but nod in agreement.

    “Only an idiot would assume that she was really suggesting the child should have sex now.”

    This completely and entirely misses the point. I never once said she was actually condoning this child have sex.

    The point is that we live in a world where a rape case involving a 10-year-old victim is thrown out of court because of what the victim was wearing. In such a world, where REAL crimes against REAL children are dismissed because of misogynistic myths and victim-blaming, this sort of joke feeds into and supports the entire continuum.

    THAT’s why non-jokes like this are beyond the pale. Like I said above, when you are indistinguishable from the problem you’re trying to attack, you’ve totally failed.

    Now, I’m not saying that this is what this woman deliberately sought to do. She screwed up, and I don’t think it was at all a firing-worthy offense.

    But, having worked with sexual assault victims for so long, it drives me up the fucking wall when people blow all this off as if it’s nothing, just a joke, blah blah blah. As if it doesn’t do any harm. It does. I’ve seen it personally.

  162. #162 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    I will make this one exception tonight.

    SGBM #159

    In that comment, I was decrying the reaction of the general populace. I think that ‘The Age’ did what they did because of that reaction. I understand why ‘The Age’ fired her, I would argue with the people of Melbourne.

    To answer your questions specifically;
    1. Being fired by your employer for public comment is censorship indeed. It need not follow that it is unfair censorship (at least on their part).
    2. The same applies to the blog question.
    3. I have no problem with the decision of the company, I have a problem with what provoked it.
    4. I think you’ll find that most readers of newspapers already have the right to vote. This being Australia and all. But you were referring to their ability to ‘vote with their feet’ in a manner of speaking. Of course they do. And if the powers-that-be at ‘The Age’ had waited until those had ‘spoken’, they would have more to justify themselves with. But, again, I don’t blame the powers at ‘The Age’, rather the hysterical reactionaries.

  163. #163 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    Also Youngie, I never said we should be censoring such stupid comments by comedians. If I implied it, I didn’t mean to.

    I think commentors should practice some self censorship. And if comments are called out for inappropriateness, apologize.

  164. #164 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    Okay, I’ll make one more exception.

    Endor #161
    Take a fucking step back.
    I partly understand, you work with abuse victims. That really must be horrible. I feel for them and you, I do.
    However, the fact that such abuse goes on should not stop humankind from discussing it. And if some of that discussion goes on in the form of comedy, so be it.
    Should we stop discussing wealth because some people steal? Should we stop discussing politics because some assholes commit terrorist acts? Should we stop discussing sex because some monsters commit rape?
    No.
    Discussion, and this includes comedic acts, should not stop because there exist monsters.

  165. #165 PennyBright
    May 5, 2010

    When I was 11 my stepfather had been fucking me for three years.

    The school counselor I told about it didn’t help get me out.

    The cop who picked me up when I ran away when I was 13 didn’t help get me out.

    The shrink they took me to when I was 14 to find out why I was trying to kill myself didn’t help get me out.

    DO NOT FUCKING JOKE ABOUT LITTLE KIDS NEEDING TO GET LAID.

    Because there are already enough bastards out there who don’t take it seriously.

  166. #166 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    All right. You are identifying a feature of capitalism as the road to totalitarianism.

    I think that comedy clubs for instance have the right to tell comics, either don’t do these jokes here or don’t come here. But that’s because they have a profit requirement.

    I meant vote in the governance of the news company.

    We don’t have to have a system where fear of losing advertisers is the driver of content.

  167. #167 DeusExNihilum
    May 5, 2010

    Wow, reading misogyny in the final line of my comment, well paint me tickled if you didn’t prove my point.

    The phrase “have you got sand in your vagina?” is to mean “Why are you so god damn irritated?”, after all, sand in a vagina would be very irritating. Now that you’ve been brought up to date on the original phrase here’s a clarification of my version and usage.

    “crying out for censorship is…for people who love sand in their gaping vaginas” is to mean “crying out for censorship is…for people who love Being extremely Irritated“.

    The clue that I was not singling out a single gender is in the words I used, Note i said “People who love” and not “Women who love”. Because it’s a metaphor, a euphemism.

    Claiming that using that I used it to mean “All women are complainers”, if anything, shows where your mind goes. How Quaint.

  168. #168 PennyBright
    May 5, 2010

    That being said, I don’t think the comedienne should have been sacked over it.

  169. #169 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Why does 11-12-13-year old kids “getting laid” equals rape? The sex drive is already certainly there for many. Now, I do think it’s a bad idea that kids that young go on and fool around, but it’s no grounds for it being a taboo subject either.

  170. #170 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    I’d fire her.

    Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. Simple really. There’s no moral high ground in what amounts to slander.

  171. #171 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    There’s no moral high ground in what amounts to slander.

    I don’t think you understand what slander means, because these jokes are not an example of it.

  172. #172 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. Simple really. There’s no moral high ground in what amounts to slander.

    Uhm… it’s slander if you say it. It’s libel if you print it. I believe a Tweet would be libel.

    But in either case, it has to be untrue, and intended to harm a reputation. Since she expressed a wish, and not an untruth, it would be neither.

  173. #173 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    All right. You are identifying a feature of capitalism as the road to totalitarianism.

    I think that comedy clubs for instance have the right to tell comics, either don’t do these jokes here or don’t come here. But that’s because they have a profit requirement.

    I meant vote in the governance of the news company.

    We don’t have to have a system where fear of losing advertisers is the driver of content.
    STBM #166
    I think we are arguing at cross purposes here.
    You are absolutely correct in saying that any business has the right to refuse an applicant if that applicant will hurt their income.
    My beef is with a society that condemns someone for making inappropriate jokes.
    Businesses can and should protect their bottom line. Humanity should have a little more leeway with its comedians. They are there, after all, to push the boundaries while making us laugh.

  174. #174 Youngie
    May 5, 2010

    All right. You are identifying a feature of capitalism as the road to totalitarianism.

    I think that comedy clubs for instance have the right to tell comics, either don’t do these jokes here or don’t come here. But that’s because they have a profit requirement.
    I meant vote in the governance of the news company.

    We don’t have to have a system where fear of losing advertisers is the driver of content.

    STBM #166

    I think we are arguing at cross purposes here.
    You are absolutely correct in saying that any business has the right to
    refuse an applicant if that applicant will hurt their income.
    My beef is with a society that condemns someone for making inappropriate jokes.
    Businesses can and should protect their bottom line. Humanity should have a little more leeway with its comedians. They are there, after all, to push the boundaries while making us laugh.

    See, I’m learning.

  175. #175 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    “There’s no moral high ground in what amounts to slander.

    I don’t think you understand what slander means, because these jokes are not an example of it. ”

    Some people would be offended by the implication of them being loose, slatternly or whorish.

    Maybe not you after years of exposure to moral relativism vis a vie moral rigidity. Even I’m pretty dull to it now. But thirteen year old me, with a fairly simple sense of right and wrong, would want to smack that woman for the insult.

  176. #176 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    The clue that I was not singling out a single gender is in the words I used, Note i said “People who love” and not “Women who love”.

    You know what “people” with vaginas are called?

  177. #177 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    Some people would be offended by the implication of them being loose, slatternly or whorish.

    That’s not what the joke was implying. In fact, quite the opposite.

  178. #178 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Bah, I’m assuming you guys have some experience with the matter- so it’s neither slander nor libel- though I’d argue that one can construe it as an attack on one’s character.

    Still, wishing statutory rape on someone who’s never even spoken to you, because she wore a frock to an awards ceremony, seems immensely insulting.

    Suppose I’m employed by a small company.
    Suppose I get fired for expressing a wish that my boss’s preteen daughter gets fucked.
    Suppose I get fired for the same.

    Would you stick up for me?

    .

    .

    .

    .

    If you thought ‘yes’- what the hell is wrong with you?

  179. #179 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Some people would be offended by the implication of them being loose, slatternly or whorish.

    Offending people is not slander.

  180. #180 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    Still, wishing statutory rape on someone who’s never even spoken to you,

    Oh, come on. You know that isn’t true. Are you from The Intersection?

  181. #181 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    ^Nice to know.

    Being fired isn’t illegal either.

    Also in my previous firing scenario- my defence is that ‘it was just a joke’ I still get fired.

  182. #182 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Are you really using ‘she didn’t really mean it’ as defence?

  183. #183 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 5, 2010

    Still, wishing statutory rape on someone who’s never even spoken to you, because she wore a frock to an awards ceremony, seems immensely insulting.

  184. #184 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Are you really using ‘she didn’t really mean it’ as a valid defence?

    What if she did-? You’re supposed to defend that with equal fervor right?

  185. #185 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    Are you really using ‘she didn’t really mean it’ as a valid defence?

    You cannot discriminate between a ribald joke and an actual wish or exhortation for a child to be harmed? Really?

  186. #186 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Incorrect.

    If I’d thought that, I’d be asking why the woman wasn’t jailed.

  187. #187 DeusExNihilum
    May 5, 2010

    #176

    So any metaphor, euphemism or insult that involves a part of the female anatomy, regardless of the gender its aimed at, regardless of the context or meaning said euphemism…it’s instantly sexist? Don’t be ridiculous. So is calling someone a dick sexist? Am i, when I call someone a dick because they’re annoying, actually saying “All things with dicks are annoying?”. Perhaps it wouldn’t of been sexist if i’d said “sand under the foreskin”?

    Or, in future, should I make sure all euphemisms are equal opportunities euphemisms? Just in case some idiot decides they want to read too much into a simple phrase? Would that please the Fuhrers of Phrases?“

    The phrase is meant, and is USED, to imply that someone is very irritated. The fact a metaphorical vagina is involved is inconsequential, it just HAPPENS to be the choice of body part whoever came up with the phrase chose to roll with.

    But I shouldn’t be surprised this has happened in a thread pretty much centred around the subject of “People who can’t understand jokes” and “People who make mountains out of molehills”

  188. #188 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    If I’d thought that, I’d be asking why the woman wasn’t jailed.

    You lost me there. If Deveny seriously called for somebody to have sex with Irwin, I’m pretty sure she still wouldn’t have done anything illegal. But, I am not an Australian lawyer. Unless you’re saying that it would be classified as inciting violence.

    Actually, I am having trouble understanding what your argument is. I’m taking it to be that the Age was right in firing her because people should be fired for saying inappropriate things. Is that correct?

  189. #189 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    … people should be fired for saying inappropriate things.

    Damn, if only that were true. I’d have everyone at my place of business fired for saying inappropriate things. Things like:

    “nigel, stop slackin’ and get crackin’!”

    “Your output is sub-par, nigel. If things don’t improve, I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go.”

    “What do you mean, Folgers sucks? nigel, it sounds like you don’t have a good attitude.”

    “No more drinking on the job, nigel! The nuclear plant can’t have any more ‘accidents.'”

    and

    “Oh, it looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays!”

    I’d fire them all.

  190. #190 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    @188
    It is not.

    To answer your first question- Yes, incitement to violence would be the crime she could be charged with. It’s a fairly commonly applicable crime here in India (though not evoked nearly as often as it needs to.)

    My argument is fairly simple- it’s not whether she deserved to get fired or not.
    It’s simply that non-violent boycott, withdrawal of financial support and indeed, firing, are legitimate means of protest (there’s no law being broken here right- so no ambiguity on that front either).

    She’s perfectly free to propagate the joke on twitter. Her employer simply does not want to be associated with it, (myopinion: and be seen bankrolling this trash)

    If I were her boss, in charge of distributing the newspaper to a nation with widely differing views and trying to have some respect for most of them, I would have given her a warning- tell her that the newspaper would cut her off because it thought she crossed a line.

    But I’m not. They fired her. It’s their choice, not mine. Not yours.

    I won’t give a shit if someone making homophobic or misogynistic jokes was fired from a corporate job because he made his colleagues uncomfortable.

    I won’t give a shit here.

    If you want to support her, give her a job. Don’t go off on a strange diagonal diatribe about comedy, free-speech, expression, satire, how unfair the whole thing is, blah blah blah, while ignoring the right to protest.

  191. #191 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    To nigel-

    Your boss fires you, not the other way around, sadly.

  192. #192 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    torvoraptor,

    Well, we partly agree. I don’t think what she said could in any way be construed as a crime, even if she meant it. But I do agree that it was the employer’s right to fire her if they don’t like her brand of humor. My own view is that free speech does not include a guaranteed choice of platform.

  193. #193 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “Take a fucking step back.”

    Grow up.

    “I partly understand, you work with abuse victims. That really must be horrible. I feel for them and you, I do.”

    No, you really don’t.

    “However, the fact that such abuse goes on should not stop humankind from discussing it.”

    Please point to where I said we should be prevented from discussing it.

    “And if some of that discussion goes on in the form of comedy, so be it.”

    Says captain callous privilege. I mean, if those victims of horrible crimes that you pretend to care about are revictimized by your “humor” fuck them, amirite? It’s just a joke! And no one should be held accountable for anything except speaking out against “edgy” non-humor.

    “Discussion, and this includes comedic acts, should not stop because there exist monsters.”

    Boy you sure do love jacking off those strawmen, don’t you.

    When you’re ready to discuss what I actually wrote, get back to me.

  194. #194 KOPD
    May 5, 2010

    So any metaphor, euphemism or insult that involves a race, regardless of the race its aimed at, regardless of the context or meaning said euphemism…it’s instantly racist? Don’t be ridiculous. So is calling someone a nigger racist? Am i, when I call someone a nigger because they’re a criminal, actually saying “All niggers are criminals?”.

    A little word substitution to illustrate the point. But anyway, the answer to your question is yes. Whether it’s your intention to be a misogynist or not, using language in that way is sexist and derogatory.

    The phrase is meant, and is USED, to imply that someone is very irritated.

    Oh, gee, that makes it better then, doesn’t it? Calling somebody a cunt is USED to mean they are despicable. Does that mean it’s not sexist?

    it just HAPPENS to be the choice of body part whoever came up with the phrase chose to roll with.

    You think it’s purely a coincidence that whoever came up with an expression about being irritable chose a distinctly female body part? Perhaps you really are that naive, but it’s hardly anything new to associate irritability with being female (eg, “bitching”). The expression “sand in one’s vagina” is just a more recent example.

    I’m willing to accept that you didn’t mean to intentionally disparage women and that you were naive about the origin of the expression and used it unthinkingly. But to refuse to see the connection that phrase has with misogyny is just being stubborn.

  195. #195 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Your boss fires you, not the other way around, sadly.

    Sigh.

    Too true. Too true.

  196. #196 Endor
    May 5, 2010

    “Why does 11-12-13-year old kids “getting laid” equals rape? ”
    Are you fucking kidding me?

    ********************
    “The phrase “have you got sand in your vagina?” is to mean “Why are you so god damn irritated?”, after all, sand in a vagina would be very irritating. Now that you’ve been brought up to date on the original phrase here’s a clarification of my version and usage.”

    That you use misogynistic slurs and then whine about being called on it. We get it.

    The actual origins of “sand in the vagina” comes from what Native American women used to do to themselves to prevent white settlers from raping them.

    but sure, nothing at all gendered contained in there at all. Nah.

    Epic failure.

  197. #197 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    She’s not an influential person, so no, she would not be arrested.
    My knee-jerk response was to the spokesgay dude who seemed to really enjoy simplifying my viewpoint.

    I’ve got no law training whatsoever but I think that she could still be charged and tried. (In which case she’d retract the intent, not get convicted, and the whole thing would end up an exercise in futility)

    The law itself is designed for punishing people who have the potential to incite mobs, politicians, de-recognized politicians, religious fundamentalist leaders, hate group leaders etc. A blogger wouldn’t register.
    But incitement to violence is still a crime, I can’t think of any reason not to consider it such (we are, in this case, assuming, as spokesgay said- that there is an actual exhortation for violence to be done to a child)

  198. #198 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    My knee-jerk response was to the spokesgay dude who seemed to really enjoy simplifying my viewpoint.

    I wasn’t trying to simplify your viewpoint – it really, honestly read to me that you meant to say Deveny was wishing/calling for a kid to be abused. (Even if she had, it’s doubtful that would be considered illegal, though it would be beyond tasteless). If you didn’t mean that, OK, but can you see why my take is a reasonable reading of:

    Still, wishing statutory rape on someone who’s never even spoken to you

    ?

  199. #199 MATTIR
    May 5, 2010

    Several people have invoked their personal experiences as justification for outrage about Deveny’s tweet. Having a sexual abuse history does not give one a special magical right to decide that a quip is or is not offensive. It gives one perspective, but it is worth stating that there are certainly many Pharyngulistas who have experienced sexual abuse, deal with ongoing PTSD symptoms, and yet do not assume that tasteless humor about sex and 11 year olds is per se wrong. Sexually assaulting 11 year olds is wrong. Joking about it is not wrong, and especially not in this case, when the meaning and context of the joke are so unclear.

    People who have been sexually abused are a very diverse group and do not necessarily agree on how society, let alone comedians, should discuss the topic. (There has got to be a name from the fallacy that personal experience gives one special status from which to judge an issue – I was thinking argument from anecdotal evidence, but that doesn’t quite capture the personal experience aspect of it.)

    For people who are fans of biology, evolution, and just flat out logic, there are an awful lot of, “Kids have a magic switch that turns on at X age, when they ***should be*** thinking about sex. Its horrible to suggest that a kid at age X would even grasp the concept!” Pretty much the same idiot thinking that brought us, “Abstinence Education”. Just saying…

    QFT. Many 11 year olds are well into the hormonal changes that increase interest in sex. They don’t have the emotional or cognitive resources to put stupid sexual jokes into context, and they certainly have an absolute right to privacy and protection from predators, but neither of these mean that they’re not intensely sexual beings.

  200. #200 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    To answer your first question- Yes, incitement to violence would be the crime she could be charged with.

    What violence? I’ve always understood “get laid” to be active, like “get some action.”* Consensual sex between an 11-year-old and a 12- or 13-year old would arguably be stupid, and neither one would probably be able to consent in the full sense of the term, but I don’t see how this stupid joke could possibly be seen as an incitement to violence. (Even if she had meant it, which she clearly didn’t.) I don’t think we do children any favors by leading them to think of sex itself as coercive and impure. Children who are sexually abused by older people are victims because of the nature of the relationship, not because it involves sex. Human beings are sexual, long before what we’ve defined as adulthood. (By the way, I just read something online that said that the age of consent in the UK was originally 12, raised to 13 in 1875, and then to 16 in 1885.)

    It was a jackass move by Deveny in many ways (and she comes off sounding strangely puritanical in her response to that dress), but this suggestion is over the top.

    For people who are fans of biology, evolution, and just flat out logic, there are an awful lot of, “Kids have a magic switch that turns on at X age, when they ***should be*** thinking about sex. Its horrible to suggest that a kid at age X would even grasp the concept!” Pretty much the same idiot thinking that brought us, “Abstinence Education”. Just saying…

    Yup – that’s what I was getting at @ #96.

    *I first learned what it meant when I was around this girl’s age, IIRC. I was at my best friend’s house and we found a Playboy of her father’s. According to my hazy memory, it had a cartoon of a father standing in the doorway of his teenage daughter’s room where she’s reading a book or magazine, and he’s saying “Why aren’t you out getting laid like all the other kids?” I had to ask my friend what that meant. Finding out helped, except that sheltered kid that I was I still didn’t really know what sex entailed. That didn’t make me pure – just ignorant. Fortunately, no harm resulted.

  201. #201 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    I saw no humor in the joke, and even after trying I could not read it in context.

    So I took a literal reading of it- and found it was fairly offensive. I was using the literal reading of the joke as a forceful (and I assumed, effective) suggestion of just how crude this humour actually was, and how much it could potentially offend people (even though it may not count as libel or slander). (As opposed to say ‘I hope she’d get a nice boyfriend soon’)

    Worst case scenario
    If that was my daughter being spoken about- or that I was a parent of an 11 year old girl, THAT, is how badly I would feel insulted. It wouldn’t just be a misunderstood joke, or ‘joke in bad taste’, I’d find it sickening if I realized that this woman, just to make a fucking joke, talked of my daughter’s rape, and was too callous to even realize it, I would be furious.
    If I’m a parent, consensual or not makes no difference to me, if it’s my 11 year old- it’s rape.

    Now I’ve detracted. It does not really matter.

    The best case interpretation is just ‘aw she goofed up, lets not get too worked up on it. Obviously she didn’t mean anything by it’

    The extreme is an example of just how badly offensive this joke can be to some people.

    I don’t know if I could have portrayed it in another, less sarcastic way that didn’t make you think that I believed she actually meant it.

  202. #202 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    Endor,

    Boy you sure do love jacking off those strawmen, don’t you.

    You might want to be a little more careful with your metaphors yourself if you’re going to accuse people of sexism.

    Just sayin’.

  203. #203 Steve LaBonne
    May 5, 2010

    Whether it’s your intention to be a misogynist or not, using language in that way is sexist and derogatory.

    Don’t be such a dick.

  204. #204 tutone21
    May 5, 2010

    I am siding with SGBM on this. The Age is a business and “they” made a business decision. “They” have a target audience and if that audience is offended then “they” have to weigh the options. I am sure this isn’t the first time this comedian has crossed the line (in The Age’s opinion), and if she were doing well then she would probably get something other than fired. It sounds like her working there isn’t a good fit. If she was wrtiting for the New Times here in Phoneix then she would have probably gotten a raise for her tweet. I wouldn’t have fired her…but then I don’t work for The Age.

  205. #205 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    I’d find it sickening if I realized that this woman, just to make a fucking joke, talked of my daughter’s rape,

    You keep saying that, but repeating it doesn’t make it reasonable. It’s way, way over the top. You’re trying to portray Deveny’s comment in the most sinister possible light in order to make it conform to your deep emotional reaction. You have every right to be disgusted and to say so, but you’re characterizing the comment dishonestly.

  206. #206 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    @200

    In making that statement, my initial assumption was that there was indeed “actual wish or exhortation for a child to be harmed”

    Construing consensual sex between 11 year olds as rape is debateable- and not one I wanted to get into. (If I remember correctly, I don’t even think I’d matured enough to have sex till 12 and a half or 13+) Even so, it’s entirely possible the 13 year old could be using his age and relative maturity against his partner’s immaturity as a coercive factor (the same reason we have statutory rape laws). Then again it’s entirely possible that this is not true.

    I tried to avoid the issue entirely by taking a fairly noncontroversial ‘harm’ aiming to encompass all kinds of ‘harm’ one could inflict on a child.

  207. #207 Steve LaBonne
    May 5, 2010

    I’ll be less polite than Josh. Anybody who hears “getting laid” and immediately thinks of rape and abuse has some serious issues that need to be dealt with by therapy, not by commenting on blogs. I feel bad for you if those issues are the result of abuse that happened to you, but the point still stands.

  208. #208 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    That’s the worst way of looking at it. I’m not sure why a militant interpretation is ‘dishonest’, I’m sure there are others who may have been similarly offended. Some have even posted in this thread.

    Calling the comment harmless is simply making it conform to your lack of emotional reaction to it right?

    Why am I even arguing. I don’t even care.

    My issue was with people thinking that the newspaper had no right to fire her. She did enough to offend people, and once offended, people stop giving you money.

  209. #209 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    Anybody who hears “getting laid” and immediately thinks of rape and abuse has some serious issues that need to be dealt with by therapy, not by commenting on blogs.

    Exactly. If the joke was about “getting fucked” they might have a point. “Getting laid” implies consent, unless the English language has changed significantly since I woke up this morning.

  210. #210 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Some people would be offended by the implication of them being loose, slatternly or whorish.

    If that was my daughter being spoken about- or that I was a parent of an 11 year old girl, THAT, is how badly I would feel insulted. It wouldn’t just be a misunderstood joke, or ‘joke in bad taste’, I’d find it sickening if I realized that this woman, just to make a fucking joke, talked of my daughter’s rape, and was too callous to even realize it, I would be furious.

    Maybe not you after years of exposure to moral relativism vis a vie moral rigidity. Even I’m pretty dull to it now. But thirteen year old me, with a fairly simple sense of right and wrong, would want to smack that woman for the insult.

    Make up your fucking mind. Should people be offended that she’s being called a whore (slatternly? seriously?) or that someone is calling for her to be attacked? Because those are the only two options you appear to accept, and they’re contradictory.

    for people who love sand in their gaping vaginas

    This doesn’t even make sense. The more gaping they are, the less irritating it would be. Gosh, I can’t imagine why “gaping” was so gratuitously included, but I guess Rorschach should get his gaper checked out.

  211. #211 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    “I’ll be less polite than Josh. Anybody who hears “getting laid” and immediately thinks of rape and abuse has some serious issues that need to be dealt with by therapy, not by commenting on blogs. I feel bad for you if those issues are the result of abuse that happened to you, but the point still stands.”

    correction : 11 year old getting laid. I do think of rape. 11 year-olds are tiny kids to me. I still remember playing pokemon.

    And no, it has mostly to do with my own sexual frustration.

    Since I don’t intend to wax eloquently as you did:
    Fuck off.

  212. #212 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    Calling the comment harmless is simply making it conform to your lack of emotional reaction to it right?

    False equivalency. Your repeated insistence that Deveny’s comments were alluding to/calling for rape really is an extraordinary claim. It really is over the top. It’s aggressively dishonest.

    This whole issue is a perfect example of how it’s nigh-on impossible, even among smart, articulate people, to have a rational conversation whenever an allusion to sex occurs in the same county with the word “child.”

  213. #213 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    The more gaping they are, the less irritating it would be.

    Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  214. #214 Steve LaBonne
    May 5, 2010

    correction : 11 year old getting laid. I do think of rape. 11 year-olds are tiny kids to me. I still remember playing pokemon.

    Well, you’ve led a very sheltered life. I hate to be the first one to break this to you, but a lot of kids in that age range have fooled around with one another. Again, your thinking immediately of rape is troubling.

  215. #215 Escherichia coli
    May 5, 2010

    Would it make any difference if she was not a comedian by profession?

  216. #216 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    My issue was with people thinking that the newspaper had no right to fire her.

    Well, there’s a difference between having a right and being right. This will allow anyone to be fired if enough people are offended. Or pretend to be offended. Or are lied about what was intended sufficiently to be offended. Or are paid to pretend to be offended.

    Not that any of the latter ones is necessarily occurring here. It’s pretty much impossible to prove conclusively if outrage is genuine. Which is exactly why precedents such as this one can create an environment where anyone can be astro-turfed out of their job, and that does impinge on free speech a bit.

  217. #217 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    The blockquote in my previous post should have read:

    Some people would be offended by the implication of them being loose, slatternly or whorish.

    Maybe not you after years of exposure to moral relativism vis a vie moral rigidity. Even I’m pretty dull to it now. But thirteen year old me, with a fairly simple sense of right and wrong, would want to smack that woman for the insult.

    If that was my daughter being spoken about- or that I was a parent of an 11 year old girl, THAT, is how badly I would feel insulted. It wouldn’t just be a misunderstood joke, or ‘joke in bad taste’, I’d find it sickening if I realized that this woman, just to make a fucking joke, talked of my daughter’s rape, and was too callous to even realize it, I would be furious.

    ***

    …Then again it’s entirely possible that this is not true.

    Which effectively blows your whole case out of the water. Of course, the years of exposure to moral relativism that have led me not to call people (including, but not limited to, 11-year-old girls) whores might be fogging my judgment.

    Anybody who hears “getting laid” and immediately thinks of rape and abuse has some serious issues that need to be dealt with by therapy, not by commenting on blogs.

    Yup.

    ***

    SGBM, your exchanges on this thread are cracking me up.

  218. #218 Steve LaBonne
    May 5, 2010

    In general, I’m heartily sick of people using think-of-the-children rhetoric as an excuse to project their own fucked-uppedness onto the rest of the universe. If you can’t deal with sexuality rationally, I humbly suggest that you may be on the wrong blog.

  219. #219 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Certainly true. I’m a conservative when it comes child-sex and I’m always thinking of the worst that’s possible in the world. I’ll stop saying the word ‘rape’ if you think it’s that unfair.

    So can you stop beating around the fucking bush now-

    Do you think that the comment was capable of offending anyone? the little girl, her parents, anyone who could relate to either of them? people who would like to pretend to relate to them?

    Is firing a legitimate avenue to voice that grievance- if not- why not?

    My personal views on how comfortable I am with 11 year olds having sex have remarkably little to do with the core argument.

  220. #220 Al B. Quirky
    May 5, 2010

    More PZ pedophile hypocrisy; sacking an Atheist who hopes a child “gets laid” is described as triggering the “Think of the children!” reflex, but Australians should run a Catholic (who made no such suggestion) out of the country.
    BTW, I thought comedians were supposed to be funny.

  221. #221 Steve LaBonne
    May 5, 2010

    My personal views on how comfortable I am with 11 year olds having sex have remarkably little to do with the core argument.

    On the contrary, it clearly constitutes the entirety of your “argument”.

    Look, newspapers are entitled to employ or not employ whomever they wish. But pretending that comedy isn’t supposed to “offend” anybody is all kinds of idiotic. That’s what comedy has mostly been fucking ABOUT for, oh, the last few thousand years or so.

  222. #222 Timaahy
    May 5, 2010

    What do you call a gigolo for donkeys?

    A heeee whoooooore!

    Now that’s funny. :-)

  223. #223 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    Do you think that the comment was capable of offending anyone? the little girl, her parents, anyone who could relate to either of them? people who would like to pretend to relate to them?

    Stop moving the goalposts. No one said – no one even hinted – that the comment wasn’t capable of offending anyone. That’s just obviously stupid, since clearly many people are offended.

    I’m talking about your overheated, unfair, and over-the-top injection of rape into a comedian’s comment.

  224. #224 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    In general, I’m heartily sick of people using think-of-the-children rhetoric as an excuse to project their own fucked-uppedness onto the rest of the universe. If you can’t deal with sexuality rationally, I humbly suggest that you may be on the wrong blog.
    ————–

    And I’m sick of people living in the first world having no idea no idea what a mix of backwardness, ignorance, and centuries general sexual repression are capable of doing to a populace. Your perspective makes you incapable of even understanding a somewhat conservative viewpoint belonging to someone on the other side of the world actually means. I humbly suggest you not even try to understand me, and focus on the things you CAN.

    Funnily/Ironically enough, I was in Australia when I was 12. Huh.

  225. #225 Glenn G
    May 5, 2010

    Children should not even be on the Internet. Also, free speech, etc.

  226. #226 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    Your perspective makes you incapable of even understanding a somewhat conservative viewpoint belonging to someone on the other side of the world actually means. I humbly suggest you not even try to understand me, and focus on the things you CAN.

    Nonsense. Don’t play the “blinded Westerner” card. Your viewpoint is not what I’d call “conservative.” I find it (to the extent that you automatically and repeatedly mischaracterize Deveny’s comment as being about rape) irrational.

    Are there reasons you might default there emotionally? Of course. But that doesn’t make it a fair or rational statement. Are you interested at all in backing off a little and asking whether your personal background is causing you to go unreasonably far, and that maybe you don’t need to be as upset?

  227. #227 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Do you think that the comment was capable of offending anyone? the little girl, her parents, anyone who could relate to either of them? people who would like to pretend to relate to them?

    If people got fired every time they offended someone, almost every person in the world would be collecting unemployment (where available). You can’t say anything without it offending someone, somewhere.

    Hell, I’ve been offended. Many times. And I think I’m hard to offend. Y’know what I do when I get offended? I say to myself, “Get over yourself, nigel. They are complete asswipes anyway.”

    And when I say that, I usually offend someone. I guess I should stop yelling that in grocery stores.

    Is firing a legitimate avenue to voice that grievance- if not- why not?

    “Legitimate,” meaning lawful, sure. “Legitimate,” meaning, “Showing a complete and utter lack of balls,” absolutely.

    (Allow me to apologize in advance for the use of the sexist word “balls” in the previous paragraph. No other word seemed as funny. Forgive me if I’ve offended you.)

  228. #228 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    Josh, disregard that part of my argument entirely then. It’s not needed, it’s subjective, it’s speculative, it’s incendiary, designed precisely to evoke some sort of emotional response to the issue.

    I’m going to stop replying to your posts if your only goal is to nit pick without advancing the topic any further.
    ——————–
    On the contrary, it clearly constitutes the entirety of your “argument”.
    —————————–
    ‘clearly’?
    logic please, not assumptions.

    ————————————-
    Look, newspapers are entitled to employ or not employ whomever they wish. But pretending that comedy isn’t supposed to “offend” anybody is all kinds of idiotic. That’s what comedy has mostly been fucking ABOUT for, oh, the last few thousand years or so.
    ————————————–

    Who cares if a comedian gets fired? How does it break the right to free speech in any way?

    Comedy is supposed to offend, sure, but who said that it’s supposed to offend without responsibility or repurcussion? assuming that is rather unfounded- huh?

    Anyway, bye guys. I hope you actually discuss the core issue further.

  229. #229 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    I hate to be the first one to break this to you, but a lot of kids in that age range have fooled around with one another.

    When I was around her age, I got a pen pal through World magazine (now National Geographic Kids). She was in rural Alabama. At the age that I was French kissing, she was having sex with her boyfriend. It was consensual and seemed to be the norm there (as I think was marrying young).

  230. #230 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    designed precisely to evoke some sort of emotional response to the issue.

    I’m going to stop replying to your posts if your only goal is to nit pick without advancing the topic any further.

    Then what, pray tell, is your argument? Honestly, I’m not trying to be stubborn, but what in the world is your point, since you keep shifting the goalposts?

    Oh, and by the way, throwing out a comment and admitting it’s incendiary and designed to be provocative is the very definition of trolling. You don’t get to be mad at other commenters – the communication problem is on your end.

  231. #231 MATTIR
    May 5, 2010

    Oh, good, Al B Quirky has shown up.

  232. #232 torvoraptor
    May 5, 2010

    To Josh-

    I take ‘get laid’ as a negative sentiment. That’s all. I find it reprehensible that an adult said it to a child she did not personally know.

    I’m trying to edit my ‘irrationality’ and personal opinions out of the argument to make it more coherent. I’ve stopped talking about rape. It’s everyone else’s turn now.

  233. #233 MadScientist
    May 5, 2010

    Comedians tend to be rude. Some aren’t even funny – just one bag of vulgarity for losers to laugh along with. Some even have moments when they’re very funny and not rude (though of course that doesn’t mean half the audience isn’t offended). It’s pretty hard when a comedienne loses a job over a single joke gone bad – or as the Australians like to say (and who the hell knows where they got that from): “died in the arse”.

  234. #234 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    Who cares if a comedian gets fired? How does it break the right to free speech in any way?

    I answered that @ 216. That you ignored me is deeply offensive to me. Could I have the name and address of your employer, please?

  235. #235 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 5, 2010

    I find it reprehensible that an adult said it to a child she did not personally know.

    But she didn’t. She said it on twitter to the general public. You keep implying that poor little Bindi was actively targeted, that she felt like Deveny was speaking personally to her, and that she must be in all sorts of woe over it. I see no evidence for that.

    So you find it offensive. OK. I do too – and that’s why I find it funny. I like my humor provocative and naughty. You don’t, and that’s fine.

    Was there something else?

  236. #236 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Hee. I just found my old pen pal online. May have to get in touch…

    I take ‘get laid’ as a negative sentiment.

    On what basis?

    That’s all. I find it reprehensible that an adult said it to a child she did not personally know.

    She didn’t “say it” to her.

    I’ve stopped talking about rape. It’s everyone else’s turn now.

    Turn to what? You haven’t made any other argument. People have noted various reasons they find her remark obnoxious and stupid, so anything you come up with in this vein is a strawman. Madonna/whore’s all you’ve got.

  237. #237 eMel
    May 5, 2010

    That’s bad? Just imagine if it had been Sarah Silverman. People down there would be losing their minds.

  238. #238 tutone21
    May 5, 2010

    @JOS #230

    THANK YOU!!!! For fuck sake that was a lot of rampling and incoherence

  239. #239 Knockgoats
    May 5, 2010

    Oh, good, Al B Quirky has shown up.

    Indeed. He’ll soon set everyone straight with his homespun wisdom!

  240. #240 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    Oh, good, Al B Quirky has shown up.

    Dropping the average IQ of the posters by 20 points due to his miniscule contribution. Which went back up again when he ceased posting…

  241. #241 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Here’s how to tell a joke about a kid (OK, this one was actually funny), get fired, and make the most of it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frC_JEGg4Ew

  242. #242 BluntSpoon
    May 5, 2010

    @SC OM #229

    At age 11 I was fooling around with another boy the same age. I don’t believe it did me any harm then or now, it was very enjoyable at the time. It’s not uncommon.

  243. #243 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    @SC OM #241,

    Here’s how to tell a joke about a kid (OK, this one was actually funny), get fired, and make the most of it:

    I’ll have you know, I deal with 11-year-old drug-addicted alcoholics every day, and that shit is not funny!

  244. #244 Cath the Canberra Cook
    May 5, 2010

    Hang on, what’s so absolutely wrong about joking about child sex? We make child sex jokes all the time right here on this blog. You all know the one about the priest on locum, in the confessional, who asks the local altar boy about the usual penance standards. “What does Father Tony usually give for a blow job?” “A couple of snickers bars and a Coke.”

    I’ll grant the joke fell flat, but it’s not some magical line that must never be crossed.

  245. #245 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    I’ll have you know, I deal with 11-year-old drug-addicted alcoholics every day,

    Send them to Promises!

    Nestled in the picturesque Santa Monica Mountains with a gorgeous panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Promises Malibu offers an unparalleled recovery experience, uncommon luxury and is the rehab facility of choice for anyone wanting the finest quality surroundings while experiencing the highest quality addiction treatment program. Located on two family estates in the hills of Malibu, the Promises Malibu facility offers breathtaking views in a peaceful, secluded environment.

    What’s stopping you?

    P.S. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were pop stars.

  246. #246 tutone21
    May 5, 2010

    @Cath the Canberra Cook #244

    I don’t think the issue is the content of the joke. The issue is whether it was fair for her to get fired for tweeting it, and why someone is holding that position. There seems to be a disagreement on whether tweeting something that is controversialy offensive is a fireable action.

  247. #247 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    My sweet FSM, I managed to get off work and get a nap, and this is only getting better. Looks like instead of making a funny joke about a funny situation, the comedian in question created a funny situation — bunch of people taking everything too seriously and acting butt-hurt — and, therefore, lulz. Good job. The misogyny discussion was a bonus, thank you.

    Is there really no difference between saying “yeah, I hope she gets laid” and “someone rape that kid!”? Suppose 10 years from now the age of consent is raised to 21 years. Will we be making the same fuss over this being said about a 16-year old? Why, they would be way, way under the “limit”!

    Ah, never mind me. I’m just an observer. This thread is too funny.

  248. #248 nigelTheBold
    May 5, 2010

    Shit. I want to go to Promises. Beats the fuck out of Ohio any day.

    P.S. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were pop stars.

    *sigh*

    Yeah, I know. There’s no way in hell Tiffany could’ve ever been mistaken for rock. Or talented.

  249. #249 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    @ nightgoblin #107:

    That made me think. Would that — offending a whole bunch of people and laugh as they spout nonsense and act butt-hurt — be a kind of meta-comedy? Or maybe I’m analyzing it too much :)

    Well, I’ve done it a few times here. I know I was laughing my ass off at some overly-sensitive whiners when I deliberately shot their sacred cows because it’s funny when people say they have respect for others’ ideas and really have as little as anyone else.

    It makes me giggle uncontrollably when the best response someone can think of to is to try offending me in return, as if I weren’t thick-skinned in the first place to discard their thoughts and feelings so callously as to deliberately offend them. And I start on a belly laugh when the very next thing out of them is how nice they really are and I should be too and how respectful they are of others’ ideas but would they mind if I just stopped offending people and they really want reasoned debate but fuck-you-shut-up-you-asshole.

    Maybe I just have a sick sense of humor, but I am never without laughter if I find human behavior to be funny, especially when those humans try to get beyond it and fail. It’s meta-schadenfreude.

  250. #250 nightgoblin
    May 5, 2010

    deriamis #249:

    I thought about it, and… isn’t it also called trolling? Yeah, been there, on both sides of the issue. Trolling someone can be hilarious, getting trolled — not so much, but usually it becomes funny afterwards. If you are capable of laughing at yourself, that is.

    it’s funny when people say they have respect for others’ ideas and really have as little as anyone else.

    Hypocrisy is not the funniest thing out there, but — I agree — what is a better way to combat it but by laughing at it?

  251. #251 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Well, I’ve done it a few times here. I know I was laughing my ass off at some overly-sensitive whiners when I deliberately shot their sacred cows because it’s funny when people say they have respect for others’ ideas and really have as little as anyone else.

    Fuck but you’re a simpleton.

    (Is this the same asshole who couldn’t defend his claims of hypocrisy on a recent thread?)

  252. #252 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    @Rorschach #112:

    The point is, that an 11yo does not have the emotional or intellectual equipment to “deal with it”.

    Then why is she on display in such a public forum? The real world sucks like this. Either her parents are irresponsible for allowing it or she really is capable of “dealing with it” and you’re pre-judging her based on her age. Either way, the responsibility is not on others to feel sorry for her when someone else says something nasty. I can both laugh at the joke and the effect it has on its sensitive audience while at the same time being angry at her parents for being irresponsible if she’s not capable of handling it.

    In any case, how do you expect a young girl to learn how to “deal with it” if she’s never exposed to the true nastiness of the world? Should we all just shut up and be nice when we have something to talk about that others don’t want to hear?

    Josh, Official SpokesGay #230:

    Oh, and by the way, throwing out a comment and admitting it’s incendiary and designed to be provocative is the very definition of trolling. You don’t get to be mad at other commenters – the communication problem is on your end.

    Not to nit-pick…oh, all right, I mean to nit-pick here. This is not the definition of being a troll. A troll would not admit anything. Someone who says something and then admits it’s incendiary and provocative is a provocateur who is pointing out the scary things in the dark that nobody wants to talk about. A troll just tries to actively disrupt a conversation with irrelevant offensiveness.

  253. #253 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    OOoh… a whole thread for this now!

    I made my comment late and in the wrong thread, sorry!

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/episode_liv_this_might_be_how.php#comment-2491239

    Then why is she on display in such a public forum?

    WTF? Both the parent and the comic are assholes here.

  254. #254 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    (Is this the same asshole who couldn’t defend his claims of hypocrisy on a recent thread?)

    Oh, and your first reaction is to say something irrelevantly offensive without addressing my reasoning but I’m the troll? Wait, did I not just get done saying something about people who act offended when their sacred cow gets shot but they constantly claim there was no sacred cow in the first place? Look up the definition of hypocrite, my dear. You’ll find it in the dictionary next to your picture.

    The emperor has no clothes. Please stop trying to tell me what color his robe is.

  255. #255 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    So any metaphor, euphemism or insult that involves a part of the female anatomy, regardless of the gender its aimed at, regardless of the context or meaning said euphemism…it’s instantly sexist?

    Yes.

    Next question?

  256. #256 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Then why is she on display in such a public forum?

    So anyone “on display” is fair game? What an ass.

    The real world sucks like this.

    No, you do.

    Either her parents are irresponsible for allowing it or she really is capable of “dealing with it” and you’re pre-judging her based on her age. Either way, the responsibility is not on others to feel sorry for her when someone else says something nasty.

    You’re an idiot. If her parents are irresponsible for bringing it about, it’s wrong to compound the situation of exposing a child by contributing to it. It isn’t the girl’s fault if she has irresponsible or nave parents (one of whom, by the way, is dead).

    the effect it has on its sensitive audience

    What effect? What audience?

    Someone who says something and then admits it’s incendiary and provocative is a provocateur

    Someone who says something in a blog comment thread and then admits it was intended to be incendiary and provocative is a troll. A stupid troll. Like you.

  257. #257 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    WTF? Both the parent and the comic are assholes here.

    I emphatically agree. But at least the comic has a valid point to make. The parents are just irresponsible and have no redeeming value in this situation. The young lady who was the subject of the joke is just caught in the middle of a cruel world that doesn’t care a bit about her and it’s a shame she was allowed (by her parents) to be in her position if she can’t handle it. Laughing at the joke does not negate any of the above.

  258. #258 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Oh, and your first reaction is to say something irrelevantly offensive without addressing my reasoning

    You have no reasoning. If you’re the same assclam, I asked you specific substantive questions on the previous thread and you didn’t answer them.

    but I’m the troll?

    If you’re the person I’m thinking of, you’ve admitted to trolling here.

    Wait, did I not just get done saying something about people who act offended when their sacred cow gets shot but they constantly claim there was no sacred cow in the first place? Look up the definition of hypocrite, my dear. You’ll find it in the dictionary next to your picture.

    Answer my questions from the earlier thread. You don’t know what a hypocrite is.

  259. #259 eMel
    May 5, 2010

    @Rorschach #112:

    Maybe you should give her a bit more credit. I have yet to hear about her falling apart after the rape scene in Hounddog, for instance.

  260. #260 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    Laughing at the joke does not negate any of the above.

    But I’m not obliged to laugh. I don’t find it funny. Not only do I not have to laugh, I’m perfectly in my rights to say “what a shitty thing to say” and that’s exactly what I am saying.

    I guess this is my position:

    Should comedians feel free to be rude? Sure.

    Should comedians be protected from any consequence of what they might say or any criticism?

    Fuck no.

    That is not what free speech means.

  261. #261 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    SC,

    Gosh, I can’t imagine why “gaping” was so gratuitously included, but I guess Rorschach should get his gaper checked out.

    Say what?
    Is that some in-joke I’m supposed to be getting lol?
    Last time I checked my gaper worked just fine, I have you know…

    (that “gaping” comment wasn’t mine btw)

  262. #262 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    The young lady who was the subject of the joke is just caught in the middle of a cruel world that doesn’t care a bit about her and it’s a shame she was allowed (by her parents) to be in her position if she can’t handle it. Laughing at the joke does not negate any of the above.

    Shorter assclam: Victims deserve to be the butt of humor.

    (And “a cruel world that doesn’t care a bit about her” is fairly telling about your attitude.)

  263. #263 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    May 5, 2010

    Here’s how to tell a joke about a kid (OK, this one was actually funny), get fired, and make the most of it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frC_JEGg4Ew

    HAH!

    But count that bleeping is annoying.

  264. #264 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Say what?
    Is that some in-joke I’m supposed to be getting lol?
    Last time I checked my gaper worked just fine, I have you know…

    (that “gaping” comment wasn’t mine btw)

    I was pointing out (not that it made a difference) that the split between those who were criticizing Deveny and those who were defending her wasn’t along gender lines as the sand comment implied.

  265. #265 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    The young lady who was the subject of the joke is just caught in the middle of a cruel world that doesn’t care a bit about her and it’s a shame she was allowed (by her parents) to be in her position if she can’t handle it

    I just can’t get my head around this. Since in the other thread more serious thing were brought up I’m going to try and understand it by moving the situation. I’m not trying to build a strawman here.

    But…

    So let’s say some parent locks their 10 year old out at night and she’s on the street. Some one comes by, seeing that this has happened, they take the girl and give her a good beating. A police officer comes by and arrests the passer by for beating the child.

    And a proper defense for that passer by is… well the parents locked her out? So it’s not really the passer by’s fault because if the parent’s hadn’t locked the kid out then there would have been no one there to beat?

    Because it’s just a cruel world?

    I agree the world is not fair or kind, it’s completely indifferent and not a single one of our lives is really significant to anything or anyone but whoever happens to care.

    And if that’s nobody then our lives are worthless and hopefully maybe quite short.

    But how on earth is that an excuse for anything?

  266. #266 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 5, 2010

    See, that’s why you should try to make all your offensive sexual references anal in nature.

  267. #267 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    You’re an idiot. If her parents are irresponsible for bringing it about, it’s wrong to compound the situation of exposing a child by contributing to it. It isn’t the girl’s fault if she has irresponsible or nave parents (one of whom, by the way, is dead).

    Look at you. Telling me what’s right and wrong and saying that I am stupid for not agreeing with your assessment. I didn’t say the girl was at fault for anything. She’s a victim, but it’s of the situation, not the comic. There is no need for me to be offended for her. She can do that just fine on her own. If you’re worried about her being exploited for humor, then a more appropriate question to ask is of why she’s out on public display.

    Someone who says something in a blog comment thread and then admits it was intended to be incendiary and provocative is a troll. A stupid troll. Like you.

    So, anyone who says something intentionally offensive is a troll? What if I were to start a serious conversation on a subject I knew some people around me found offensive? By your definition, I would be a troll, even if the subject were something reasonably unoffensive to most. In that case, I would have to defer to the most offended of the group, even if I had a valid point to make, even if the entire point of being offensive was to get people out of their comfort zone.

    I suppose you’re trying to say (though I could be wrong) that I should never say something offensive, deliberately or otherwise. I should always be considerate of opinions I think are unfounded and avoid offending others, deliberately or otherwise, because it’s more important that I be nice than ever be offensive to someone else. And I should never be deliberately offensive because that shows a lack of respect for people I think take a good idea way too far.

    But what’s really getting me here is that all you have done is make a tautological statement and then call me names, yet you think it’s a valid rebuttal of my commentary. Now that is funny.

  268. #268 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    See, that’s why you should try to make all your offensive sexual references anal in nature.

    lol

    Maybe I shouldn’t say asshole? I dunno?

    I’ve always liked asshole, because assholes aren’t always awful but sometimes they’re full of shit?

  269. #269 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    To be clear, I haven’t seen evidence that anyone put her out there in a sexual way that would warrant this as an attack on them, either (as a comment about her, it’s shitty and ridiculous, of course). (This is the first I’ve heard of her, so I may be wrong. From what I’ve seen, though, seems like her public presence is that of a kid.)

  270. #270 Rorschach
    May 5, 2010

    I’ve always liked asshole, because assholes aren’t always awful but sometimes they’re full of shit?

    QFT.

    :P

  271. #271 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    I just don’t understand why it’s ok to pick on Bindi for being “out there” but not ok to pick on the comic’s joke which the comic also put “out there” at all.

    This position makes no sense to me.

  272. #272 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Look at you. Telling me what’s right and wrong and saying that I am stupid for not agreeing with your assessment. I didn’t say the girl was at fault for anything. She’s a victim, but it’s of the situation, not the comic. There is no need for me to be offended for her. She can do that just fine on her own. If you’re worried about her being exploited for humor, then a more appropriate question to ask is of why she’s out on public display.

    You’re so stupid! If the criticism is of people putting her “out on display” (which to you is evidently a window in Amsterdam, and anyone in that situation deserves no respect), then it should be made – humorously or otherwise – of them. More clearly than was done here.

    Someone who says something in a blog comment thread and then admits it was intended to be incendiary and provocative is a troll. A stupid troll. Like you.

    So, anyone who says something intentionally offensive is a troll?

    I’ll leave that stupidity as it stands.

    Trolling:

    “Making comments intended only to disrupt a thread and incite flames and confusion.”

    You were very close to – if not over – the line on the other thread, in my opinion (this isn’t my blog, so that makes no difference, but I encourage you to keep it up).

  273. #273 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    SC, see Bindi Irwin, also Bindi the Jungle Girl.

    She is a precocious, media-savvy child celebrity.

    Very wholesome, probably has a wonderful life, seems to love what she does, and is unashamedly used to promote the family business, Australia Zoo (which is not just about money-making, but about encouraging conservation and ecological awareness).

  274. #274 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    But I’m not obliged to laugh. I don’t find it funny. Not only do I not have to laugh, I’m perfectly in my rights to say “what a shitty thing to say” and that’s exactly what I am saying.

    I didn’t say you were obliged to laugh, and I agree that it was a shitty thing to say. But trying to shut someone up doesn’t render a comment unsaid and a valid point unmade. I can appreciate the intended humor of an offensive joke even if I am offended by it because I can laugh at myself.

    Should comedians be protected from any consequence of what they might say or any criticism?
    Fuck no.

    And I am not offended by criticism of the comedian, either. She said something shitty and should be criticized for it. What she said was also funny and her point needed to be made. Agreeing with the message but not the messenger isn’t a self-contradictory position, contrary to popular belief.

    Shorter assclam: Victims deserve to be the butt of humor.

    Even shorter reply: strawman. I didn’t say it, it’s not the most accessible meaning to my comment, and you’re putting words in my mouth. This is why I didn’t respond to you on a previous thread: your tendency to rewrite what other people say isn’t conducive to a reasoned conversation. Now that you’re doing it again, I will again cease responding to you.

    So let’s say some parent locks their 10 year old out at night and she’s on the street. Some one comes by, seeing that this has happened, they take the girl and give her a good beating. A police officer comes by and arrests the passer by for beating the child.

    In what way does this resemble a beating? It would be quite different if the comedian had written a long screed about how stupid the girl was and what an oversexed tart she is and the like. Besides which, a beating would be physical harm that could result in permanent disability or death. Words are not capable of such a thing unless someone becomes offended by them and begins physically beating someone else.

    And a proper defense for that passer by is… well the parents locked her out? So it’s not really the passer by’s fault because if the parent’s hadn’t locked the kid out then there would have been no one there to beat?

    Are you suggesting that I would defend the person who beat a kid? No, I wouldn’t. The persons in the wrong in the situation you illustrate are the parents and the passer-by. This, however, is quite different from the current scenario. What the comedian said was shitty, but it wasn’t meant to be a beating of the young woman as much as it was a slap in the face to the public who exploit her. What’s funny is that those in the audience aren’t seeing how they and the comic were exploiting the girl.

  275. #275 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    SC, see Bindi Irwin, also Bindi the Jungle Girl.

    Thanks. Yeah, I googled her a few hours ago. The site itself keeps shouting at me, and I can’t seem to get to the blog (page shouts at me, then doesn’t open).

  276. #276 Andyo
    May 5, 2010

    Posted by:
    Endor Author Profile Page |
    May 5, 2010 3:23 PM

    “Why does 11-12-13-year old kids “getting laid” equals rape? “
    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Nope, and it’s telling how you picked just that sentence from my whole post. It wasn’t very long. Others have already dealt with the answer.

  277. #277 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    I’m not trying to compare the comment to a beating, but only the relationship of culpability you seem to be setting up with your argument.

  278. #278 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    I just don’t understand why it’s ok to pick on Bindi for being “out there” but not ok to pick on the comic’s joke which the comic also put “out there” at all.
    This position makes no sense to me.

    Good, because that’s not what I am saying. The point of the joke is that the public exploits the girl as much as the joke did. The joke was funny in the respect that it elicited the hypocritical outraged reaction it was intended to. That it was also shitty commentary about a young girl who probably can’t defend herself is beside the point and wasn’t the direct intent. I can criticize the comedian for being shitty to a young woman while also appreciating what was said for its intent. What I won’t do is demand that the comic apologize and retract what was said, as if that would fix anything.

  279. #279 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    But trying to shut someone up

    Who here did that, specifically?

    What she said was also funny and her point needed to be made.

    What point, about these people specifically? How was it funny in this specific context?

    Even shorter reply: strawman. I didn’t say it, it’s not the most accessible meaning to my comment, and you’re putting words in my mouth. This is why I didn’t respond to you on a previous thread: your tendency to rewrite what other people say isn’t conducive to a reasoned conversation. Now that you’re doing it again, I will again cease responding to you.

    Dishonest garbage. First, it is what you were saying. Second, on the other thread I quoted your words back to you and asked you to support them with evidence. (Can anyone link to the other thread? I can’t remember which it was.)

  280. #280 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    but it wasn’t meant to be a beating of the young woman as much as it was a slap in the face to the public who exploit her.

    But she didn’t say anything about the public. If she had actually managed to criticize society in that way it would have been a better joke.

    Hers was both mean and lame. Mean is what we’ve been focusing on, but it was also trite.

    I mean really?

    Needs to get laid?

    If I didn’t know better I’d think the person who made that joke was the same age as Bindi.

  281. #281 John Morales
    May 5, 2010
  282. #282 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    The joke was funny in the respect that it elicited the hypocritical outraged reaction it was intended to. That it was also shitty commentary about a young girl who probably can’t defend herself is beside the point and wasn’t the direct intent. I can criticize the comedian for being shitty to a young woman while also appreciating what was said for its intent.

    Hmmmm. I guess the main difference here is that I really don’t think the comedian in this case was being that clever, or knew in advance just what kind of reaction she would get.

    I’ve heard Bindi jokes for years. So it’s hardly new material.

    Your read on it is more interesting and challenging, but I don’t think the comic deserves credit for that.

  283. #283 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    The point of the joke is that the public exploits the girl as much as the joke did.

    So now it’s not the parents but the public? How does the public exploit her? How does the joke address and challenge this alleged exploitation? Please explain specifically.

    The joke was funny in the respect that it elicited the hypocritical outraged reaction it was intended to.

    Explain what you mean here. Whose reaction? Whose hypocrisy, and what is its nature?

  284. #284 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    I’m not trying to compare the comment to a beating, but only the relationship of culpability you seem to be setting up with your argument.

    I knew what you were trying to say. It was just also a bad analogy and I had to point that out while I was agreeing with you.

    The comic said something unkind and that’s between her and the young girl; we needn’t get ourselves involved in that. I think the comic should apologize privately to the girl for it. I don’t need an apology from the comic because she made a valid point, even if it was offensive and shocking to the conscience. In fact, it would be a disservice to her very valid point if she were to apologize. I don’t have to like her for what she said and how, but I can appreciate her intentions.

  285. #285 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    I haven’t said anything here to date, but I did think the joke was rather tasteless. Blini may have been “tarted up” compared to her regular khakis, but I didn’t find her dress and make-up anything other than age appropriate. Bad joke? Yes. Fire-able in its own right? No. My two cents, which I won’t defend, as it is mere opinion.

  286. #286 DominEditrix
    May 5, 2010

    Poggy @39

    BTW, her joke may have also been because 1) Bindi is hideously ugly

    Aside from the fact that the child is not, as you put it “hideously ugly” – so little girls should be judged on their looks, and if found wanting by some arbitrary beauty standard, randomly made fun of? By what rationale, other than deep misogyny, is this desireable?

    *****

    It would have been an effective comment on the sexualisation of young girls had the tweet been something on the line of ‘What’s wrong with Bindi’s mum? How can the girl be a real star if she isn’t dressed up like a tart?’ What Deveny did tweet was ineffective and tasteless.

    That said, it was mean. Being mean to the mean – e.g. Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh is one thing; being mean to those who lack age and opportunity to fight back is just being mean.

    I wouldn’t have sacked her, but I would certainly have suggested that apologising privately to the kid was in order. And perhaps thinking before she tweeted.

  287. #287 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    I knew what you were trying to say. It was just also a bad analogy

    No, it was a fine analogy, if you include the element that the person doing the beating intended it to be a lesson to the parents. Ot the public, for allowing the throwing-out to happen.

    SC, yeah, I think it was National Day of Prayer needs more abolishin?.

    Gracias, John. Yes, I was referring to my comments @ #99 and #109 (not that I did the heavy lifting on that thread).

  288. #288 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    I don’t need an apology from the comic because she made a valid point, even if it was offensive and shocking to the conscience.

    I just don’t think she actually made that valid point. You seem to be making it for her.

    The fact that an event or statement can generate interesting conversation or interpretation does not make that statement positive.

  289. #289 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    Nerd, I linked to where Catherine Deveny talks about this @14.

    Deveny explains her intent was to joke about the celebrity culture and the objectification of women’s bodies; i.e. about the way women are portrayed in these type of media ceremonies, and how Bindi was exemplifying that paradigm.
    It wasn’t a claim that the girl was “sexed-up”, as many seem to think.

    Clearly, what she said was poorly-expressed and her intention was not achieved (assuming she is being truthful, and not employing a post hoc justification).

    Again, clearly, the newspaper was within its rights to sack her as a columnist, but note that this was not made in the context of her newspaper columns, but in her private capacity.

    Presumably, therefore, any time a columnist makes a public gaffe, it’s just as justifiable for the newspaper where their columns appear to be sacked for it, and those who support it in this instance should (to be consistent) support it in other cases.

  290. #290 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    *headdesk*
    #285 Blindi, not Blini.
    *note to self: quit posting while eating*

  291. #291 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    Dishonest garbage. First, it is what you were saying. Second, on the other thread I quoted your words back to you and asked you to support them with evidence. (Can anyone link to the other thread? I can’t remember which it was.)

    All right, this will be the first and last time I will address you directly on this. I think you are an uptight little git and won’t understand what I say next, so it’s more for the benefit of others here and not you. I will be pleasantly surprised if my evaluation of you is wrong, though.

    You didn’t so much quote my words back at me as quote me and then put words in my mouth by “translating” them. You were effectively equating my words with your interpretation of them as if everyone else should see things the way you do. You have a pattern of doing this, and it makes me think you are narcissistic in the extreme. Just because you don’t like someone for what they say doesn’t mean you get to interpret what they say for everyone else.

    I don’t want to have anything to do with you because you seem incapable of addressing me on any point on mutual terms. Everything from you so far has been about what you think something means and would I be so kind as to address that and never mind what I might have actually meant. I won’t play your mind games where you try to get people on your side by demonizing me for what you think I said.

    And because I have a strong intuition that the next words that fly from your fingers are going to be something like “well, you would say that because you really can’t defend yourself”, I would ask why you are so insecure that you constantly attempt to discredit me rather than address my point. Or don’t and just continue to spew your biases like someone should care. It’s up to you.

  292. #292 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    we needn’t get ourselves involved in that

    Nope, can’t agree. The comic made “us” involved because she’s talking to us.

    If the comic made the comment in private that would be one thing.

    She made it to the public, and so we can’t just then say it doesn’t involve us.

    If we should not have been involved then why did the comic say anything to us at all?

  293. #293 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    I just don’t think she actually made that valid point. You seem to be making it for her.
    The fact that an event or statement can generate interesting conversation or interpretation does not make that statement positive.

    No, I am stating my opinion. I can’t really say what she thought of her own joke, but I have a strong intuition that the offense was intended. From that, I conclude (optimistically) that the social commentary elicited by the joke was intended as well. If the commentary was indeed not intended, then she is a very, very bad comedienne.

    I think you are right that not every event or statement is justifiable by its resulting social benefits, but I also think you are discounting intent. The difference between me and most other people I meet is that I try to assume the best or at worst neutral intentions in others. It takes quite a lot for me to conclude that someone is evil; Falwell, Robertson, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck are all examples of people who have left me no option but to make that conclusion.

  294. #294 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    and how respectful they are of others’ ideas but would they mind if I just stopped offending people and they really want reasoned debate but fuck-you-shut-up-you-asshole.

    You appear to be lost, dumbfuck. Being respectful of others’ ideas is an insult here — accommodationism — and I’ll bet you’re lying when you claim people here have claimed that of themselves.

    So where are your quotes, deriamis? It should be easy to prove me wrong.

  295. #295 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    May 5, 2010

    John, I still miss the joke. If it has to be explained it is a bad joke. But then, my taste in comedy is George Carlin and Rita Rudner. And I don’t advocate Catherine being fired. From the discussion upthread, I almost gather the paper was looking for an excuse to fire her and found one with her comments. Anyway, I don’t want to get into a long discussion now, as I need to turn in early (with some wind-down). Pick it up tomorrow morning (CT) maybe?

  296. #296 Ol'Greg
    May 5, 2010

    Well, IMO, if that was the comic’s intent she fell very short of it.

    *shrugs*

    I honestly don’t know that there’s much more to say beyond that?

  297. #297 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010
  298. #298 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Deveny explains her intent was to joke about the celebrity culture and the objectification of women’s bodies; i.e. about the way women are portrayed in these type of media ceremonies, and how Bindi was exemplifying that paradigm.

    It wasn’t a claim that the girl was “sexed-up”, as many seem to think.

    Then I really have to work to get it, I think I’m reading a joke into it, and it was extremely stupid of her to use such a comment to get that (hardly original) point across. Sounds more like a post hoc justification for a dumb comment to me.

    I think you are an uptight

    Yeah, my comments on this thread reveal me as incredibly uptight.

    You didn’t so much quote my words back at me as quote me and then put words in my mouth by “translating” them. You were effectively equating my words with your interpretation of them as if everyone else should see things the way you do.

    I quoted your exact words honestly, and asked you to defend them. People can read that thread and easily determine if I was misrepresenting you. It’s ridiculous – in one of those comments all I did was quote you and ask questions!

    I don’t want to have anything to do with you because you seem incapable of addressing me on any point on mutual terms.

    Look, schmo, you have no point. If you had a point you would make it. And be able to defend it.

  299. #299 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    #297 harrr, wrong thread.

  300. #300 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    You appear to be lost, dumbfuck. Being respectful of others’ ideas is an insult here — accommodationism — and I’ll bet you’re lying when you claim people here have claimed that of themselves.

    You aren’t paying attention. I didn’t say people were making that claim of themselves. I said that it was the central hypocrisy of quite a few people around here. I am as anti-accomodationist as anyone could claim around here, but I also practice what I preach. I don’t see anything wrong whatsoever with saying something offensive, intentionally or otherwise.

    I would never ask someone to apologize for what they said around here, and I would also never immediately discount someone’s role in a conversation because I am offended by what they said. It’s just not who I am. What’s funny to me is that lots of people appear to make the same claims that I do and react badly when someone shoots their sacred cow.

    What I think people aren’t getting around here is that flaming a person who says something offensive for the sole reason that what was said is offensive is the same thing as demanding niceness from someone or else. Disagree all you want with what was said and how, but if your immediate response is to flame and not to rationally address what was intended, you are a hypocrite. And you are a special kind of hypocrite when you try to use group behavior against that person.

  301. #301 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    Yeah, my comments on this thread reveal me as incredibly uptight.

    I’m glad you can admit this. Your stance on women’s rights are incredibly inflexible and anyone who attempts to discuss them is immediately flamed by you.

    I quoted your exact words honestly, and asked you to defend them. People can read that thread and easily determine if I was misrepresenting you. It’s ridiculous – in one of those comments all I did was quote you and ask questions!

    No, you quoted me and then asked me questions which assumed a particular intent to my words. The only way for me to answer the question would have been to defend myself against a ridiculous claim.

    It’s similar to me asking why you are a baby rapist. Could you answer that question for me? If you can then you know you are a baby rapist; if you can’t then you are just being defensive.

    Look, schmo, you have no point. If you had a point you would make it. And be able to defend it.

    In response, I will quote myself for you:

    “well, you would say that because you really can’t defend yourself”

  302. #302 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    You aren’t paying attention. I didn’t say people were making that claim of themselves.

    !:

    And I start on a belly laugh when the very next thing out of them is how nice they really are and I should be too and how respectful they are of others’ ideas

    ***

    I said that it was the central hypocrisy of quite a few people around here.

    Did a large object fall on your head?

  303. #303 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    Did a large object fall on your head?

    Not recently. Are you trying to say you aren’t a nice person? Because what I wrote is that people like to think they are nice – a fact which is confirmed by psychological studies. That isn’t the same as people saying they are accommodationist. Maybe you are mistaken here and the large object fell on your head, and your narcissistic streak made you think it also happened to someone else as well.

  304. #304 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    You aren’t paying attention. I didn’t say people were making that claim of themselves. I said that it was the central hypocrisy of quite a few people around here.

    Dumbfuck, if you’re going to claim that their central hypocrisy is that they hold themselves out to be respectful of others’ ideas, then you’d better produce some quotes showing that they hold themselves to be respectful of others’ ideas.

    Otherwise you are just making up bullshit.

    I would never ask someone to apologize for what they said around here

    Skimming the thread, it appears no one has asked you to apologize, deriamis, so just what is the context of your diversion?

    What I think people aren’t getting around here is that flaming a person who says something offensive for the sole reason that what was said is offensive is the same thing as demanding niceness from someone or else.

    No one is demanding niceness. Be an asshole, and people will judge you to be an asshole, and call you an asshole.

    Say misogynistic shit, and people will judge you to be a misogynist. Say racist shit, and people will judge you to be a racist. And so on. That’s life.

    No one is threatening you with jail. No one is threatening to beat you up. There is no “or else,” so you can drop your whining.

    Disagree all you want with what was said and how, but if your immediate response is to flame and not to rationally address what was intended, you are a hypocrite.

    No, that’s a non sequitur. Hypocrisy is to say one thing and do another. You would have to show that people here have said flame-first is not an appropriate response.

    One rational response to something stupid like creationism is to mock it rather than engaging at all. It is unclear that either method is more effective.

    One rational response to anti-woman comments is to immediately make clear that anti-woman comments are not acceptable. We aren’t obliged to first have yet another a discussion about whether the anti-woman position is really correct; that has been discussed already to most people’s satisfaction.

  305. #305 mobyseven
    May 5, 2010

    Maybe I’m wrong and she has a history of misogynist comments

    Various permutations of this have come up in the comments — the answer is a resounding ‘no’. As in, “No, this extremely prominent feminist does not tend to make misogynistic comments, why do you ask?”

    Also, @Endor in #196:

    “Why does 11-12-13-year old kids “getting laid” equals rape? ”
    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Ah…no, no one is fucking kidding you at all. Perfectly legal for an 11 year old (or in fact a 10 year old) to ‘get laid’, provided the person they are having sex with is (a) over the age of 10 themselves and (b) within 2 years age of the person.

  306. #306 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    I’m glad you can admit this.

    Moron.

    Your stance on women’s rights are incredibly inflexible and anyone who attempts to discuss them is immediately flamed by you.

    A: Bizarre.
    B: Irrelevant.

    In response, I will quote myself for you:
    “well, you would say that because you really can’t defend yourself”

    This is one of the dumbest rhetorical strategies I’ve ever seen (but very amusing). “I expect you to demolish my argument and demand substantiation. I won’t address this, because it’s just so predictable. Your constancy in intellectual honesty disqualifies you and renders my claims valid.”

  307. #307 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    [meta]

    deriamis, to me, you’re the one who comes across as stuck-up and self-defensive, not to mention hypocritical.

    You’re just cluttering up the thread with your off-topic justifications and your self-righteous umbrage and your feeble accusations of “group behavior”. Bah.

  308. #308 Cath the Canberra Cook
    May 5, 2010

    @tutone21: some people earlier on the thread did actually say that you should never make jokes about children and sex. I disagree. Thread’s moving way too fast for context to be apparent, sorry!

  309. #309 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    I’m glad you can admit this.

    There’s a lot going on that’s over your head, isn’t there? That SC advocates we consider young teenagers’ rights to be sexual suggests against her alleged uptightness.

    Your stance on women’s rights are incredibly inflexible and anyone who attempts to discuss them is immediately flamed by you.

    Yes, it would be a great thing if women had fewer rights. We haven’t had that discussion enough over the last 120 years. Good idea, deriamis.

  310. #310 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Not recently. Are you trying to say you aren’t a nice person?

    Totally irrelevant.

    Because what I wrote is that people like to think they are nice – a fact which is confirmed by psychological studies. That isn’t the same as people saying they are accommodationist.

    What you wrote is what sgbm and I quoted.

    ***

    Hypocrisy is to say one thing and do another.

    I really don’t know if deriamis gets this. Seems to be “You can’t cause offense and also be offended,” but deriamis doesn’t get that this is an absurdly thin foundation for a charge of hypocrisy.

  311. #311 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    I really don’t know if deriamis gets this. Seems to be “You can’t cause offense and also be offended,”

    Oh shit, I think you’ve got it. How embarrassing for deriamis.

  312. #312 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    Dumbfuck, if you’re going to claim that their central hypocrisy is that they hold themselves out to be respectful of others’ ideas, then you’d better produce some quotes showing that they hold themselves to be respectful of others’ ideas.

    You still are not paying attention. What you are defining isn’t accommodationism but a prerequisite for reasoned debate. I know that isn’t what’s happening around here and I didn’t make the claim that it was. Accommodationism is attributing a positive value to others’ ideas because they are different from your own. The central hypocrisy I identified is the claim that anti-acommodationism is the same as disrespect for an idea. I have made anti-accommodationist statements about ideas here and they were interpreted as disrespectful and then those same people here also made the claim that they were willing to listen to other ideas.

    The rest of what you say follows from this simple misunderstanding. Just because someone comes off as an asshole doesn’t mean that they disrespect your ideas. They just might not be attributing the same positive value to them that you do.

    Moron.

    What’s this? An offensive term for the mentally retarded? How could you?!

    A: Bizarre.
    B: Irrelevant.

    How is it bizarre that I identify your actions for what I believe them to be? And how is it irrelevant to this discussion that I do so?

    This is one of the dumbest rhetorical strategies I’ve ever seen (but very amusing). “I expect you to demolish my argument and demand substantiation. I won’t address this, because it’s just so predictable. Your constancy in intellectual honesty disqualifies you and renders my claims valid.”

    So, you don’t get the irony behind me quoting myself on a false quotation by you in the same manner as what I already identified as a behavior in yourself? It was predictable, but just because you call it “intellectual honesty” doesn’t mean I do. That’s the narcissistic streak I was talking about, and you keep demonstrating it while claiming the contrary.

  313. #313 SC OM
    May 5, 2010
    Yeah, my comments on this thread reveal me as incredibly uptight.

    I’m glad you can admit this. Your stance on women’s rights are incredibly inflexible and anyone who attempts to discuss them is immediately flamed by you.

    I’m still laughing at this. Being a strong supporter of women’s rights makes me uptight. That makes perfect sense.

  314. #314 mobyseven
    May 5, 2010

    Also, for those talking about this being a good business decision — guess what? Catherine Deveny sells papers. She’s controversial, some love her, some hate her, and that sells.

    The Age, presumably (not knowing the details of her contract) has the ability to legitimately fire her. But that doesn’t make that course of action either smart or right.

    No one is going to start reading The Age because of this, and it’s likely that a number will stop reading either as a form of protest, or because they only really bought it for Deveny anyway. With print media going the way it’s going, that’s something they should probably take notice of.

    (Alternately, the editor might get blasted on live radio by Deveny fans again. That’d step things up a notch, I’m sure…)

  315. #315 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    The central hypocrisy I identified is the claim that anti-acommodationism is the same as disrespect for an idea.

    “anti-accommodationism is the same as disrespect for an idea”

    Okay. That’s not quite how I’d put it, but it’s a reasonable interpretation. Now, how is that “the central hypocrisy” of anyone here? Quotes, please.

    I have made anti-accommodationist statements about ideas here and they were interpreted as disrespectful

    When? I don’t remember other threads with you posting, so please point them out.

    and then those same people here also made the claim that they were willing to listen to other ideas.

    Again, quotes please.

    The rest of what you say follows from this simple misunderstanding. Just because someone comes off as an asshole doesn’t mean that they disrespect your ideas. They just might not be attributing the same positive value to them that you do.

    I don’t understand why you’re talking about respecting people’s ideas. I’m not really interested in respecting people’s ideas. Can you explain why you’re bringing this up?

    Whether you respect anyone’s ideas is irrelevant to me. What interests me here is the peculiar stupidity that leads you to say things like “flaming a person who says something offensive for the sole reason that what was said is offensive is the same thing as demanding niceness from someone or else.”

  316. #316 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    John #289
    I didn’t see such comments in the link at #14–somehow I missed it earlier. Deveny’s comments were exeedingly vague regarding the “context” of her comment.

    By the way, everyone: The girl wasn’t tarted up at the Logies unless you are some fundie who thinks any skin showing is immodest (and causes earthquakes). I posted a link to her pic at #15. Her dress is modest, she’s wearing only natural makeup–I assume she has some on for the lights. She looks like one of my freckle-faced nieces. Not even too different from my 6 yo in a fancy dress.

  317. #317 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    You still are not paying attention. What you are defining isn’t accommodationism but a prerequisite for reasoned debate. I know that isn’t what’s happening around here and I didn’t make the claim that it was. Accommodationism is attributing a positive value to others’ ideas because they are different from your own. The central hypocrisy I identified is the claim that anti-acommodationism is the same as disrespect for an idea. I have made anti-accommodationist statements about ideas here and they were interpreted as disrespectful and then those same people here also made the claim that they were willing to listen to other ideas.

    WTF?

    What’s this? An offensive term for the mentally retarded? How could you?!

    This is the level deriamis has sunk to. (Of course, he didn’t have far to sink.)

    How is it bizarre that I identify your actions for what I believe them to be?

    Because we’re talking about a thread on which my actions (comments) have shown precisely the contrary. So your belief is baseless and bizarre.

    And how is it irrelevant to this discussion that I do so?

    See above.

    So, you don’t get the irony behind me quoting myself on a false quotation by you in the same manner as what I already identified as a behavior in yourself?

    Again, WTF? It was a real quotation. What is wrong with your brain?

    If you have a point, make it and defend it. Oh, that’s right, you’re trolling. Keep it up.

  318. #318 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    You’re just cluttering up the thread with your off-topic justifications and your self-righteous umbrage and your feeble accusations of “group behavior”. Bah.

    I am talking about the same behavior that is working against the comedienne in the original post. It is directly relevant. Please do not distract the issue into supposed claims of “justifications” and “self-rigteous umbrage” because it is quite irrelevant to the issue.

    There’s a lot going on that’s over your head, isn’t there? That SC advocates we consider young teenagers’ rights to be sexual suggests against her alleged uptightness.

    No, it doesn’t. Lots of people have permissive social beliefs but are quite strict against atheism. That’s still being uptight, as is SC’s total ban on reasonable discussion about feminism.

    Totally irrelevant.Yes. It was also funny because that was the indirect interpretation of what you said – a thing you seem to excel in extracting.

    What you wrote is what sgbm and I quoted.

    Did I say it wasn’t? I just said you didn’t read it for comprehension and then I stated why I believed that to be so. If quoting a thing and then mistranslating its meaning for others should be the same thing as a “direct quote”, then I have been confused about what a primary source is for many years.

    I really don’t know if deriamis gets this. Seems to be “You can’t cause offense and also be offended,” but deriamis doesn’t get that this is an absurdly thin foundation for a charge of hypocrisy.

    Are you totally not reading what I write? I said that the hypocrisy around here was that people don’t care about offending others and think it’s “anti-accommodationist” to do so, but that belief goes out the window when someone shoots their sacred cow.

    You are confusing the message with your own interpretations of it. It’s also not completely relevant to this issue, since the problem I have identified in the people who are offended by the joke referred to in the OP is that they are offended by an exploitative joke and don’t seem to understand their own role in the girl’s exploitation. You are making this about our previous encounters, not me. I’m just going along and trying to make it relevant.

    Yes, it would be a great thing if women had fewer rights. We haven’t had that discussion enough over the last 120 years. Good idea, deriamis.

    Remember what I said about people who “translate” for me? I didn’t say any of this, but you are trying to make it look like I did. Since when does “discuss” mean “totally disagree with the entire basis of”? I said I thought SC’s stance was incredibly inflexible and that I thought it went too far. I did not say I wanted fewer rights for women, and you are dishonest to suggest it.

  319. #319 deriamis
    May 5, 2010

    @SC: Nah, I give up on you. I tried, I really did. I think it’s obvious, though, that you are intent on making this thread all about yourself, so in the interest of preventing a threadjacking, I’ll just have to stop talking about this with you. I’m still laughing at your complete inability to distinguish between semi-serious commentary about your apparent mental state and the actual topic of discussion, though.

    Anyway, back to the actual topic, I am wondering why we (the general public) are demanding any sort of apology from this comedienne. Isn’t this like an apology from any other celebrity? It would only be insincere or at the very best given for the wrong reason.

  320. #320 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn, her interview is on the sidebar of the page I link to @14: Audio: Comedian Catherine Deveny talks about getting sacked from The Age (ABC News).

    BTW, that page also links to images of the Logies, without the clutter in your own link.

    OTOH, your link highlights the theme Deveny referred to (possibly post hoc):
    “TV personality Bindi Irwin, who was mobbed by reporters when she arrived, swapped her khakis for a cute black dress.”

    The category was “fashion”.

    (Don’t get me started on fashion!
    I think it an utterly shallow stupidity, never bought into it, even as a child.)

  321. #321 SC OM
    May 5, 2010

    Deriamis the Troll:

    No, it doesn’t. Lots of people have permissive social beliefs but are quite strict against atheism. That’s still being uptight,

    Here’s a hint, dillweed: Words have meanings.

    as is SC’s total ban on reasonable discussion about feminism.

    *spurt*

    Does PZ know about this?

    In order to sustain a charge of hypocrisy, you need to:

    1. accurately demonstrate particular statements or actions of specific people, with evidence

    2. accurately demonstrate other statements or actions of the same individuals, with evidence

    2. make a case clearly and logically equating the two, specifically, and show how they’re inconsistent

    You’ve done none of these.

  322. #322 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    deriamis #319
    At this point an apology would be just as you describe.

    When her very bad taste was pointed out, was the time for apologies.

    I truly believe Deveny didn’t think about what she was saying, she was popping out the tweets every couple of minutes or so. Cute comments about folks (my guess on the red carpet?), just this one was out of line.

  323. #323 strange gods before me ?
    May 5, 2010

    That’s still being uptight, as is SC’s total ban on reasonable discussion about feminism.

    Quotes. You are making remarkable claims, so you need quotes as evidence to support them.

    Where has this alleged ban been implemented? Thread and comment numbers, or links, whatever you prefer.

    I said that the hypocrisy around here was that people don’t care about offending others and think it’s “anti-accommodationist” to do so, but that belief goes out the window when someone shoots their sacred cow.

    Please give actual examples and quotes of what you are talking about.

    You are being so vague that I am left to wonder what these alleged sacred cows are.

    Generally people who make complaints like yours are complaining that when they made racist or misogynist or homophobic comments, someone noticed they were racist or misogynist or homophobic.

    I’m sure that’s not what you mean — I’m sure you’re smart enough to understand that insulting someone for their skin color or gender, qualities they cannot change, is different from insulting someone for a religion which they can change — and I’m sure you’re smart enough to understand that “offense” is a separate question from what is racism or sexism — but you give no other hint as to what you could possibly be talking about.

    Remember what I said about people who “translate” for me? I didn’t say any of this, but you are trying to make it look like I did. Since when does “discuss” mean “totally disagree with the entire basis of”?

    Well, what the fuck does it mean, deriamis? See, you are being deliberately vague and evasive, and then complaining when people don’t read your mind.

    When you complain that a person like SC, who wants women to have the rights they have today, is being “inflexible”, then what the fuck are we supposed to guess that you mean except that women should have fewer rights than they do, fewer rights than SC wants them to?

    Seriously, what is your point? This is your chance to start making some sense for once.

    I said I thought SC’s stance was incredibly inflexible and that I thought it went too far. I did not say I wanted fewer rights for women, and you are dishonest to suggest it.

    This from the proven liar who will not produce the quotes for several claims now, like people here demanding niceness, hold themselves to be respectful of others’ ideas, asking you to apologize.

  324. #324 John Morales
    May 5, 2010

    deriamis [to SC]:
    @274: This is why I didn’t respond to you on a previous thread: your tendency to rewrite what other people say isn’t conducive to a reasoned conversation. Now that you’re doing it again, I will again cease responding to you.

    @291: All right, this will be the first and last time I will address you directly on this.

    Then come #301, 303, 312…

    Now, @319: @SC: Nah, I give up on you. I tried, I really did.

    Heh.

    [on-topic] [!]

    Anyway, back to the actual topic, I am wondering why we (the general public) are demanding any sort of apology from this comedienne.

    Interesting assertion.
    Some have, some haven’t (and some have even defended her).
    When did some people become “the general public”?

  325. #325 DominEditrix
    May 5, 2010

    Lynn @316:

    By the way, everyone: The girl wasn’t tarted up at the Logies

    And hence the “joke” fails so deeply, both as humour and social commentary. The explanation Deveny gives falls short; it, unlike her tweet, is laughable.

  326. #326 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    John, I’ll look more closely.

    I don’t think you are comparing the tag on the photo in my link with what Deveny said in her tweet during the Logies. You aren’t, are you? Those comments were made, post hoc, as you said, when she’d found time to explain herself. Still doesn’t excuse her crappy choice of words in the tweet.

    This has been an interesting discussion, but now it’s my bedtime. I don’t know if I’ll have time to come back tomorrow.
    Bye, all.

  327. #327 Lynn Wilhelm
    May 5, 2010

    I agree DominEdtrix, been saying that all along.

  328. #328 Bride of Shrek OM
    May 5, 2010

    John Morales

    Deveny explains her intent was to joke about the celebrity culture and the objectification of women’s bodies; i.e. about the way women are portrayed in these type of media ceremonies

    ..if you read her tweets she actually said an almost identical thing about one of the males there so if this is indeed her explanation for ths Bindi comment then I’m afraid it’s not ringing true but sounding increasingly like a retrospective attempt at some form of justification. In which case I would have less repsect for it all. If she said it in poor taste then fair cop, don’t make shit up afterwards to try and sweeten it.

    I’m also trying to make some sort of sense out of why she felt the need to make an overt sexual crack at KD Lang in her tweets. For a person who people here are claiming is a feminist it had an awfully misogynistic whiff about it.

    At any rate I’d never heard of the woman prior to the GAC and I suspect most of non SE-centric Australia haven’t either. My world will keep on turning despite whatever she says and I suspect, so will Bindi Irwin’s. The kid lost her (to most reports, very close and loving)father at a vulnerable age, I’m sure she’ll think any comedian’s comments a pretty minor hiccup in her life compared to that.

  329. #329 Timaahy
    May 5, 2010

    Does anyone else see an inconcistency in the initial reactions to her tweets? (i.e. as opposed to what people think now, after hearing her responses and the opinions of others)

    It seems like, on the one hand, she said she hoped Bindi got laid, and people were offended (initially) because they took her literally. On the other hand, she said she hoped Rove’s partner didn’t die like his last one, and people were offended (initially) because they assumed she was being sarcastic.

    Anywho… I think intent matters a great deal in this instance. She has stated her intented meaning, and I believe her, and I agree with her stated intention. Her execution, in hindsight, could have been better given the controversy that has ensued… but we’ve all said stupid things when drunk, haven’t we? (I assume she was drunk… it’s the only way anyone could sit through the Logies.)

    To lose her job is, I think, unfair. She has written something like 600 articles for The Age. Presumably they were happy with her work or they wouldn’t have employed her for so long, but they have sacked her for a few tweets while drunk. It just smacks of the now-common knee jerk reaction to accommodate whoever is screaming loudest at the time. Whatever happened to second chances?

  330. #330 Bride of Shrek OM
    May 5, 2010

    She has stated her intented meaning, and I believe her, and I agree with her stated intention.

    ..but in light of the fact she said an almost identical thing about a MAN how COULD her explanation about women’s obejectification blah blah be true?

  331. #331 Timaahy
    May 5, 2010

    @Bride of Shrek

    You had to quote one of my spelling mistakes, didn’t you? :-)

    As for your question… Ray Meagher is in no danger of being sexualised by the society and the media!

  332. #332 Bride of Shrek OM
    May 5, 2010

    Flamin’ mongrels, a typo in the blockquote. Struth, I nearly missed that, you drongo. :-)

    (Jeez my grandad would be proud of that comment)

  333. #333 Timaahy
    May 5, 2010

    Hahaaaaaaaaa… it makes you wonder… if they ever have Alf die on the show, what will his last words be…?

    “Ah flamin’ ‘ell… seriously… I can see flamin’ ‘ell!”

    Anyways… lunch break over… back to work :-)

  334. #334 ambulocetacean
    May 6, 2010

    Bride of Shrek,

    Oh yeh, Deveny’s kd lang tweet was horrible. WTF was that about? I don’t even know why kd was at the Logies. She’s far too good for that. Her doing Hallelujah was real pearls-before-swine stuff.

    mobyseven says:

    No one is going to start reading The Age because of this, and it’s likely that a number will stop reading either as a form of protest, or because they only really bought it for Deveny anyway

    Yeah, absolutely. Although plenty of Age readers couldn’t stand Deveny they kept reading her columns just to complain about them in the comments on the website.

    The people who really went beserk were the mouth-breathing Herald Sun readers. Those are the very people who see nothing wrong with blackface acts on variety shows or with Sam Newman repeatedly, mean-spiritedly, unfunnily and unrepentantly denigrating women, immigrants and the mentally handicapped.

    BTW, Deveny didn’t have any contract with the age, just a regular arrangement to supply a couple of columns a week. She wasn’t tweeting on behalf of the Age; that was her own thing.

  335. #335 echidna
    May 6, 2010

    I was listening to Deveny explain about the tweets, and twitter last night on the radio. She stressed, many times, that Twitter was like passing notes in class, not permanent, not intended as a message for Bindi. The word ephemeral would fit, but she didn’t use it.

    The real problem with this incident, I think, is that Twitter is very public, and not ephemeral at all, and a stupid, nasty-to-be-funny, throwaway remark got a life of its own. The social commentary justification doesn’t really fly as an explanation.

  336. #336 deriamis
    May 6, 2010

    @John Morales #324: Yeah, I know. One of my very many failings is that I have too much faith in people sometimes. Anyway, back on topic…

    Interesting assertion.
    Some have, some haven’t (and some have even defended her).
    When did some people become “the general public”?

    Well, we are. We are commenting right here and right now. Even some of the people I have seen defend her (not just here) have been saying she should apologize to make things better.

    But more to the point, where does this taste for blood come from? I am not understanding why we have to be offended for the young lady and not let the two of them work it out themselves. Sure, the joke was in poor taste, but everyone has a bad day and I would rather laugh at something than get offended by it.

  337. #337 Rorschach
    May 6, 2010

    When did some people become “the general public”?

    deriamis dodging :

    Well, we are. We are commenting right here and right now.

    Some dudes commenting on a blog hardly makes up the general public.

    But more to the point, where does this taste for blood come from?

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about, people are talking about her failed joke and she got sacked for that and the Rove tweet by a newspaper.Taste for blood, hyperbole much?

    That’s still being uptight, as is SC’s total ban on reasonable discussion about feminism.

    and

    Your stance on women’s rights are incredibly inflexible and anyone who attempts to discuss them is immediately flamed by you.

    I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of those assertions wrt the discussion, and have trouble seeing them as anything other than attempts to poison the well, especially since they are not backed up by and citations or evidence.

  338. #338 skeptifem
    May 6, 2010

    I’ll be less polite than Josh. Anybody who hears “getting laid” and immediately thinks of rape and abuse has some serious issues that need to be dealt with by therapy, not by commenting on blogs. I feel bad for you if those issues are the result of abuse that happened to you, but the point still stands.

    Uh yeah, maybe you should check the dominant culture out and see how often rape is called ‘having sex’ with an attacker. PROTIP: it happens all the time. We live in a really sick culture where rape is normalized to the point where it isn’t even called rape most of the time. I don’t know how anyone can get mad at people for being offended considering the current way that rape exists in society. It is almost never reported, and when it is it isn’t prosecuted very often, and when that happens there is almost never a conviction. Women are raped at a rate that makes it a global humanitarian crisis, but you don’t hear that on the news. Women are still blamed for their rape, and controlled socially by looking out for an attacker in the bushes or parking garage when the vast majority of the time we are raped by men we know. Rape kits sit around untested until they expire, and you get charged for your own rape kit depending on insurance/state law. Being raped by a man you know means there basically isn’t any recourse. Having a drink before you are raped results in the same. Increasingly younger girls are blamed for rape by being “tempting”. I could go on and on, it is just a really shitty environment to deal with for women. The situation is really fucking serious, and so I can’t really blame anyone who feels offended. I like off color jokes, but not when the topic is happening all around me. Then it is just kinda sad.

  339. #339 John Morales
    May 6, 2010

    deriamis, neither you nor I are demanding (or even suggesting) an apology, so whence this “we”?

    I put it to you that the proportion of people suggesting (never mind “demanding”) an apology is in the minority, and that it’s demagogic rhetoric to suggest that it constitutes the view of “the general public”.

  340. #340 Rorschach
    May 6, 2010

    I like off color jokes, but not when the topic is happening all around me. Then it is just kinda sad.

    Don’t we all, and wasn’t that the point being made all along, which the freedom of comedy brigade just chose to miss.QED.
    Well said skeptifem.Very well said indeed.

    *belief in mankind somewhat restored*

  341. #341 IanK
    May 6, 2010

    Is the title of this post ‘poisoning the well’ or a ‘straw man’? cause the issue here is most certainly not rudness.

    The value of humour lies in the delivery and there isn’t any delivery or context in a tweet. Also she fell flat joking about a cancer victim.

    Pell and Deveny should both be fired.

  342. #342 ambulocetacean
    May 6, 2010

    Jebus. Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but British agony uncle Danny Dyer advised a reader to cut up his ex-girlfriend’s face so that nobody else would want her.

  343. #343 IanK
    May 6, 2010

    PZ this time you missed. Next time spend the 20 seconds it takes to research your point.

    ” but this was at an awards show, where women (and in this case, a girl) are tarted up “

    Here is a link to the girl in question on the night (in black) – you judge

    link

  344. #344 Rorschach
    May 6, 2010

    Is the title of this post ‘poisoning the well’ or a ‘straw man’?

    The titel of the post is “Should comedians be rude”.
    Do us a favor and look up those terms before you embarrass yourself and bore everyone else.

  345. #345 Lars
    May 6, 2010

    “Some forms of reality are so horrible we refuse to face them, unless we are trapped into it by comedy. To label any subject unsuitable for comedy is to admit defeat.” – Peter Sellers

  346. #347 echidna
    May 6, 2010

    Carlie@346: exactly.

  347. #348 Ol'Greg
    May 6, 2010

    Being a strong supporter of women’s rights makes me uptight.

    Oh SC, you just need to get laid.

    *roll eyes*

  348. #349 Rorschach
    May 6, 2010

    Oh SC, you just need to get laid.

    *faints*

  349. #350 Walton
    May 6, 2010

    Jebus. Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but British agony uncle Danny Dyer advised a reader to cut up his ex-girlfriend’s face so that nobody else would want her.

    That’s horrible. But I’m not particularly surprised. I’ve always loathed Zoo and the other “lads’ mags”; the vicious misogyny, and the exploitation of women’s bodies for profit, is revolting. I don’t know how any man who has any self-respect, or respect for women, can read those things.

    I also think those magazines are bad for men, too. They encourage negative, harmful ideas of how men are supposed to feel and behave towards women. The magazines deserve a share of the blame for contributing to a culture in which rape and violence against women are so widespread, and in which so many people grow up with unhealthy and harmful ideas about sex and relationships. This “joke” may be an extreme example, but it’s emblematic of the way the “lad’s mag” industry, along with the porn industry, drivesv people to think.

  350. #351 SQB
    May 6, 2010

    … the “Think of the children!” reflex …

    The only proper response to that is, in as lewd a voice as possible, “I am”.

  351. #352 ambulocetacean
    May 6, 2010

    Hi Walton,

    For a few years up until, say, 10 years ago I quite liked Loaded. I thought it was by far the funniest of the lads’ mags. I’d occasionally buy FHM or Maxim as well but at some stage they all just started boring me. Never got further into Nuts or Zoo than shaking my head at the stupid covers in the 7-Eleven.

    I like the way Ron Jeremy has an ethical filth policy. He says he has never/would never appear in a film with the words “bitch” “slut” or “whore” in the title.

  352. #353 Ol'Greg
    May 6, 2010

    . I’ve always loathed Zoo and the other “lads’ mags”; the vicious misogyny, and the exploitation of women’s bodies for profit, is revolting.

    Hmmm. I used to read Maxim because some of the action photography they put in there is really good.

    I think the overt misogyny is fine so long as we can talk about it and call it out.

    What I don’t like is things like what happens at some relatives house of mine.

    The man likes these, the woman says oh well it’s just man things, and no one says anything about the fact that he’s always subtly calling her stupid so much that her own child talks down to her.

    Raising the next generations of misogynists, or at least trying to.

    Which is what sucks, when no one will talk about it because they’re firmly convinced it’s “normal” and that I do not like.

    Do the magazines make it so? No, I actually don’t think so. But the lack of a clear voice for opposing them makes their view implicitly dominant.

  353. #354 SC OM
    May 6, 2010
    Oh SC, you just need to get laid.

    *faints*

    Aw. Too bad. ;P

    ***

    What amazes me about deriamis is how wrong he can be, consistently, about pretty much everything. It’s quite a feat.

    Sure, the joke was in poor taste, but everyone has a bad day and I would rather laugh at something than get offended by it.

    Quoted for inanity.

  354. #355 Rorschach
    May 6, 2010

    What amazes me about deriamis is how wrong he can be, consistently, about pretty much everything. It’s quite a feat.

    Rather boring, that one.

    Then again, he got me to defend you, which has to be a first in this decade…:-)

  355. #356 Cath the Canberra Cook
    May 6, 2010

    Huh. Well, my take on it is that in theory, the joke really ought to be funny. That’s in the same way that staged photos of a baby with a cigar and a bottle of whisky are funny – it’s so utterly age-inappropriate that it can’t be taken seriously. Or like asking a six year old to drive you to the shops. (Kids love that joke, in my experience). Or at the other end of the scale, like Hell’s Grannies – the incongruity *is* the joke.

    All the adults at the Logies are there to ponce around showing off, getting drunk and getting laid, so hey, that must be why the kid is there too. Let’s wish good luck to her! And of course she isn’t, and couldn’t possibly be, and everybody knows it, so ha ha ha, there is the incongruity humour. In theory.

    But in practice, we’re soaking in rape culture. It’s not so impossible a statement as to be harmlessly incongruous. It really ought to be, and I wish it were, but it isn’t. My judgement: joke fail, not malicious.

  356. #357 IanK
    May 6, 2010

    The titel (sic) of the post is “Should comedians be rude”.
    Do us a favor and look up those terms before you embarrass yourself and bore everyone else.

    #Rorschach let me be less subtle. No-one accused Deveny of being “rude” (kind of sick in a faintly peddy fashion and abusive to the child but certainly not anything as wishy washy as being “rude”). PZ asks in his title “Should Comedians be rude?” This is setting up a false context to the story and an argument simple to knock over. Now what would I call that logical fallacy … ?

    It may also have been appropriate for PZ to point out that Deveny was a performer at the recent Melbourne Atheists Convention and thus his opinion is not entirely uncoloured.

    Look I’m on the team but I don’t like sloppy posts and brain dead comments. I can’t work out if you simply missed my point or were too used to thinking in neutral, in fact I don’t really care.

    But I do care when PZ does a catholic and looks for excuses to minimise a really shitty action that no respectable newspaper would want to be associated with.

    btw did you bother to look at the “tarted” up 11 year old in question – or is real engagement too bothersome? In case you do want to engage with evidence I will resupply it.

    link,

  357. #358 IanK
    May 6, 2010

    Damn you html!

    link,

  358. #359 SC OM
    May 6, 2010

    btw did you bother to look at the “tarted” up 11 year old in question – or is real engagement too bothersome?

    For you, evidently. If you had bothered to read the thread before posting you would have seen that a link to the image had been posted @ #15 and discussed thereafter.

  359. #360 spunmunkey
    May 7, 2010

    Interesting piece on the apparent hypocrisy by the Australian media in regards to jokes that go wrong

  360. #361 spunmunkey
    May 10, 2010

    Deveny employs a legion of strawmen, hyperbole & some very poor explanations to defend her lack of judgement

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