Author Topic: Hey, I DO like these things!  (Read 3259 times)

fern hill

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2008, 11:05:11 PM »
The blog is caricature. And clever. And funny.

Gigi

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 11:07:15 PM »
I'm with arborman.

It isn't attacking everyone, just the poseurs.

deBeauxOs

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2008, 12:34:33 AM »
What a strange thread.  Satirical writing does not tickle everyone's funny bone the same way.  No need to defend or attack this type of humour.  Is it vicious?  Does it reinforce stereotypes that are harmful and degrading?  Does it deprive members of a specific group of their rights to safety and security?  Does it make them vulnerable to the expression of hatred and violent acts?  

Either people finds these pieces amusing or they don't - it's really not that big a deal.  :?

fern hill

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2008, 12:39:39 AM »
People find it amusing or they don't. OK. But getting all politically correct about it? Definitely humourless.

vmichel

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 06:02:47 AM »
I'm not wild about it either. Yes, it's attacking the poseurs. But to do so suggests that "non-white" people have some innate authenticity about them, some quality of "realness" for lack of a better word, that is just as reductive.

(Insert your own keeping-it-real joke here, I know, I know)

I think it's funny. I laughed. I'll read more. But while appreciating the humor I'll also recognize the problems underneath it...

lagatta

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 07:14:52 AM »
I laughed at it at first as well, but then, "j'ai ri jaune", because while it was attacking poseurs, it is also a tangent one constantly gets from right-wingers in the face of environmental campaigns. I don't want to ban this or much of anything except for outright hate literature, but I think anti-environmentalism is just as harmful as sexism and racism, for example. People on this board know what is going on in terms of environmental devastation, no need to remind. There are lots of fake feminists and fake anti-racists, for that matter.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Catchfire

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2008, 07:38:36 AM »
I understand the aversion to ironic racism, but I'm not sure that's at work here.  I also don't think that the criticism of recycling is of a type with the right-wing anti-environmentalist crap.  It seems to me that the recycling satire is grounded in the moral inertia of the North American bourgeoisie (who are predominantly white).  As for the cycling, it's not cycling as such that is "white" but the way middle classers use bikes--not as simple transportation, but as a commodity.  So, indie kids buy "authentic" fixed gear cruisers, young professionals buy mountain bikes to foster the impression of an active lifestyle and green living, and hyper-professional road bikes that carry their own cliques and pretension.  People who buy the kind of bike that is useful to them and within their budget so that they can get to work or out on weekends are of a different feather altogether.

As for the reference to "bling"and the like, I think it's more lampooning white people's perception of black people--ibalooning the racial stereotypes held and employed by whites in order to reveal their absurdity.  It's a strategy consonant with great African-American writers like Chester Himes and Ralph Ellison.  There's a difference, I think, between this kind of satire and the ironic racism that serves to reaffirm white hegemony.

There is an itch, however, in the white=lame black=cool dynamic that structures the satire.  Sometimes this dichotomy is set up uncritically, or at least lazily.  So in that regard, lagatta, I agree with you.

deBeauxOs

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2008, 10:56:40 AM »
Well said, Catchfire.  :applause:

arborman

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 11:21:26 AM »
I see it as focusing a satirical lens on a sub-culture that is much in need of satirization - my own.  As one of the commenters in one of the posts said - I had no idea I was such a stereotype.  

I think that paying too much attention to the one post - about bicycles - without looking at the site as a whole, does a discredit to the reader and the overall satirical direction of the site.  I've been a strict commuter cyclist for ten years, and haven't owned a car since 1998 - I loved, flat out loved, the satirization of the North American urban cyclist.  My partner worked in a cycling advocacy non-profit for most of the last ten years, and the caricatures are cutting but brilliant.  

The bit about a cultural fixation with owning a piece of property close to a body of water in order to read books in proximity to water is pure brilliance.  Expensive sandwiches?  Breakfast restaurants?  Renovation of a 'character home' being a major life milestone?  Working in anodyne non-profits as a status marker?  Organic food co-ops?  Alternative medicines?
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

Croghan27

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Re: Hey, I DO like these things!
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2008, 06:13:02 PM »
Sometimes it is hard to tell when something is intended to be ironic and when it is real. Satire often uses stereotypes to set up it's straw man to knock down.  

The Broadsheet column of Salon today had, what I initially thought, was a satire.  :shock:  ("Go to Yo mama is so green')

I think it shows the truth of arborman's comment:
Quote
I see it as focusing a satirical lens on a sub-culture that is much in need of satirization - my own. As one of the commenters in one of the posts said - I had no idea I was such a stereotype.

The article begins speaking of a NY Times piece about:
Quote
......a group of well-to-do women in Marin County, Calif., getting together to swap tips on biodegradable detergent and compact fluorescent bulbs. Think a modern-day version of a Tupperware party with nothing to buy. On their Web site, called the EcoMom Alliance, aspiring ecomoms finds a to-do list that includes 10 first steps. Among them: carpool, don't idle your car when dropping off and picking up the kids, use cold water whenever possible when doing the laundry.

even the Times cannot help feeling some indignation:
Quote
" It's easy to have fun poking holes in these moms' eco-cred, as the New York Times reporter does, noting the SUV in the driveway at the party. Even the photo accompanying the article shows a bottle of San Pellegrino being served at the gathering. Hasn't the hostess heard about the environmental crimes of bottled water, especially the stuff imported from halfway around the globe?

Like drawing room socialists of old, they are what they condemn most. Katharine Mieszkowski, who wrote the piece, is kinder to them than either the Times or I am, and hopes they take some time to write letters to the congressperson.

"Let them eat cake." was apparently said in all seriousness, but the ironic implication of it are with us still.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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