George Allen’s Bad Luck

It is not just a matter of what Allen says, but very much a matter of how he says it. He has singled out one member of the audience, a 20-year-old volunteer whose ethnicity already distinguishes him in a former bastion of the Confederacy. Allen is smiling. He is enjoying himself. It is exceedingly difficult to see Allen as doing anything other than connecting with the crowd by attempting to humiliate another human being — to make him feel like an outsider, like he doesn’t belong, like he will never belong. “Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here,” the senator crows. “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”–Michael Scherer,

I’ve been following the George Allen controversy with some interest because I’m fascinated about where people draw the line and say, “Okay, yes, that’s racist.”

I mean, what does it take?

Macaque is a French slur against North Africans and Allen’s mother, according to Josh Marshall, is French Tunisian. It’s possible he heard the term all the time and thought it was just an all-purpose nonsense word for people who are out of line. I used to use ‘honyock’ that way.

But I don’t have a history like Allen. I don’t have a “flag collection” of which the Confederate flag is the only one I displayed (until outrage caused him to take it down). I never had a noose hanging from a tree in my office. I can tell you that I didn’t know ‘honyock’ was a slur and you might believe me. (Check out the article “Pin Prick” in The New Republic back on May 8th of this year for more on Allen.)

You might believe me less if you discovered that my mom speaks Hungarian (she doesn’t, as far as I know).

I don’t know. I keep thinking about how Rob Huddleston over at Tennesseans for Allen says, “Which begs the question – is it a slur if people of above-average diction have to consult a dictionary?” and how irritated that makes me.

Is it only a slur if everyone knows it? I mean, I could be wrong, but I don’t guess Huddleston is that fascinated by the trappings of white supremacy. So, there could be ways that white supremacists refer to non-whites that Huddleston doesn’t know. That doesn’t mean they aren’t ugly slurs; it just means that Huddleston isn’t hanging out with white supremacists in order to find out all the latest ways of making sure non-white people know you think they’re closer to monkeys than they are to being human.

But, if he did, he might find that white supremacists here in the U.S. do call non-white people macaques. Over at Original Dissent*, I found N.B. Forrest** using it back in 2003 and no one asks him to clarify when he said–“And the macaque has taken full advantage of this privilege.”

So, as Huddleston sits around trying to decide “to crucify or defend George Allen,” I recommend he think on this. Does he really believe that a man with a French Tunisian mother and a fascination with the ‘fuck you’ side of the Old South had never heard the term ‘macaque’ and had no idea it was a slur against non-white people when he chose it to refer to a non-white person?

It’s just my opinion, but I find it nearly impossible to believe that Allen has such bad luck that, when he looked over at that guy, the first thing that innocently popped into his head was a bunch of gobbledy gook that just happens to also be a term racists love. That’d be some bad luck, indeed.

*I was going to link to this, but y’all, I have enough problems with the white supremacists raising my nephew. I just don’t need to bait them into coming over here. You have Google. Find it your damn self.

**I assume y’all know that the original Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, but in case you don’t, that’s the allusion.

Damn it, Carter, I wanted to be the one with the insightful post about Allen.[

Signs Your Marriage May Not Last

They call it the MTV curse, but I think that’s unfair to MTV (ha, words I thought I’d never type in earnest) because it’s not as if being on MTV is what causes these marriages to fall apart–Nick & Jessica, Dave & Carmen, Travis & Sleeping Beauty, etc.  MTV is merely a symptom.

Here’s the thing.  Unless you’re Ozzy Osbourne, no one gives a shit about how your ordinary life is.  Which means that MTV has to Real World you, where they create for you a little storyline and some drama.  If you’re willing to subject your most ordinary, private moments to contrivance, you have issues.  If you’re willing to subject everyone in your family to pretending to be something slightly different than they are–in other words, if you ask your whole family to be “on” all the time, to be performing all the time–just so that you can have the validation of the camera, you’re only asking for trouble.

 Do you see what I’m saying?  If you want the camera to show you that your life is so great that it’s worth watching, and if the people running the camera need you to perform in order to create a life that is so great it’s worth watching, being on camera isn’t going to make you feel better about your marriage, it’s going to make you feel worse.

Though not as bad as when the cameras turn off. 

Joe Scarborough

Y’all will recall that, since the dawn of Tiny Cat Pants, I have had an enormous crush on Dan Abrams and would, in fact, leave work early in order to get home to watch him.

Yesterday, I came home and turned my TV on at five and sat there entranced at a man who looked a tad Republican-y but together and, if I may say so, somewhat hot.  Okay, quite hot.

And then I realized it was fucking Joe Scarborough!

I feel like I should wash my eyes out with bleach.

Could you stick anyone on MSNBC at five in the evening and find me sitting there like a dog watching a squirrel?

Is there some inexpensive treatment for this?  I should start working later, I think.

It’s Just A Different Life than Mine

The Butcher just came home with five loaves of bread.

“Why do you have five loaves of bread?”

“That’s just how many they gave me.”


“Those guys.”

“Which guys?”

“The guys with the bread, B. The guys with the bread.”