Is this weird, funny, or sad?


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

75 Responses

  1. Avatar zic says:


    There’s a whole subset of twitter talk waiting to hatch.

    Twitterpate, already a fine word, redefined to twitter love.
    Twitterrazi — the stalking of celebrity twitter streams for dead tree celebrity rags.
    Twitterlution — twitter-fed revolution.
    Twitterversion — the assumptions that are necessary to give meaning and context to 144-character thoughts.
    Twitterism — twitter/hash tag humor.
    Twitterant — twitter rants.
    Twitterfy — expressing complex ideas in short, concise ways (144 characters or less, of course)
    Twitterditch — ending a relationship on twitter.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Satire is dead and most people seem to fall for Poe’s law everyday.

    I think this is what glyph meant by twitter making everything smaller. The internet seems to unleash feelings of malice and assumptions that everyone is malicious and trolling. There is no room for honest mistakes or waiting thinking. You have to be correct all the time or suffer the consequences.

    Wiegel at Slate called this hashtag activism. Which is apparently a thing.

    The Internet is a great engine of outrage and outrage all the time. I call it the all-troll economy.Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    The internet seems to be for people who like to be angry all the time.Report

  4. Avatar zic says:

    Did anyone here every read Hyperion by Dan Simmons?

    It’s the single best envisioning of the internet that I encountered pre-internet (or I should say pre public-access internet; the military and university systems were in place). Things are constantly decided by the constant polling citizens do on the net.Report

  5. Avatar Glyph says:

    Further reading on the brouhaha, for anyone so inclined:

    (Useful for those, like me, who don’t do Twitter, since it explains in part the dynamics that drive Twitter “debate”):

    (Money quote: “Responding through Twitter, also strangely enough, has not provided a sensible end to this dialogue, which remains ongoing and on the Internet.”):

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Glyph says:

      The puns at that AV Club piece are good. Their comments threads are usually good. Twitter on the other hand really does seem like gasoline and a match for a certain overly heated, quick to respond yet slow to think type of person.Report

  6. Avatar veronica dire says:

    I’m not going to dig into Colbert’s style of humor, except to say that no one seems to care much when he says shitty things about trans women. So there is that.

    But yeah, there is a sizable contingent of folks out there who believe a white-cis-het guy saying shitty thing about them is wrong, even when he is “playing a role.” You can disagree, from your safe white bread world; that’s your right.

    But maybe you’re wrong. Try walking in our shoes for a few miserable years.

    On “hashtag activism,” it’s a thing, and I would humbly submit that if you haven’t participated in it, but are getting your ideas of it from some sketchy article with a few cherry-picked examples, then maybe you need to dig deeper.

    This type of activism is, at its core, marginalized people for the first time able to reach one other, talk to one another, talk back to the power structures, on and on. Doesn’t mean you have to agree, but the “Twitter outrage” over Piers Morgan (for instance) was completely on target. Fuck that guy. Glad he lost his job.

    Yeah, there is a lot of noise, a lot of churn, some badly chosen targets, all mixed with quite a bit of self examination. That stuff is real.

    But on the other hand, people outside of this space will form judgements made in ignorance, and from their perspective, not ours, and they will not have easy access to our own internal discourse about this.

    This is our tool, our first little bit of power. We’re figuring it out slowly. (You wanna watch the process, maybe start here:

    Seems to me that the people quickest to bemoan Twitter activism are exactly the people likely to be its targets and seldom the people likely to employ it.

    Funny how that works.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:


      Just imagine hashtags back in the day; how’d they be used by the civil rights activist or suffragettes. And how they would have been received by the folks threatened by the activism.

      +1 @veronica-direReport

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to zic says:

        Thing is, there is a very complicated dynamic going on here, and there are problems to be found in the Twittersphere. No denying that.

        On the other hand, we’re doing the best we can with the only tools we have. That is all.Report

    • I don’t understand the “self-examination” but, @veronica-dire . I’ve seen but trivially small amounts of self-examination on twitter.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @burt-likko — Well, Twitter is a small part of the space, which includes Tumblr and quite a few blogs. Plus face to face stuff you don’t see.

        I have an example. Recently I participated in a very lengthy discussion, only small bits of can be seen publicly, debating how drag culture should be viewed from the perspective of trans women. The situation is this: recently RuPaul has been saying shitty things about us, and there has been some Twitter-rage against him, and from that an indictment against all things drag.

        On the other side (which I occupy) is the understanding that trans and drag overlap, and that drag has a pretty even mix of trans folks and cis folks, and it has a long history in the trans movement. Plus you shouldn’t judge the entirety of drag according to what Ru-fucking-Paul does.

        Anyway, my point is, you don’t see the conversation. I mean, I can provide links, but unless you are part of the culture, you won’t find them on your own.

        Short version: saying “I don’t see self examination on Twitter” tells us more about you than about us.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        It seems like you just made the point that self-examination doesn’t happen on twitter. It might happen all sorts of other places that are better venues likes blogs and comments sections. That i a good thing, a very good thing. But 140 characters is not a forum designed for deep thoughts. Twitter has certain advantages and seems to have been put to great use by various protest movements around the world to announce things like where and when they are meeting and current events. But that doesn’t take the place of a conversation with all the time and explanation and back and forth that implies.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @greginak — Well, if you mean literally only the words that appear in actual tweets, and do not count the links from the tweets to other conversations, nor the connections made, nor anything else in the ecosystem, then yes, the point stands.

        But methinks this misses the point of “Twitter activism.”Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @veronica-dire Connections to like minded people and to fuller spaces to have conversations are great. More power to them. In this particular case I don’t think we’re seeing that though.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @greginak — Are you saying this broader conversation is not happening, or just that you are not personally seeing it.

        On the latter point, I will easily agree. On the former point, I am saying you are wrong.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @veronica-dire Specifically regarding the twitter versy over Colbert’s satire i think it shows the worst of twitter: all heated pile on and signaling without any understanding. I read a lot of places on the web where i don’t comment including blogs from many oppressed/minority/ under represented peoples. I don’t doubt there is the positive side to twitter you mention because i’ve seen the positives. On the whole i don’t think much of twitter though because i see a lot more furious pile ons and shallow mud slinging.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

        What’s on your blogroll?Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @greginak — Your entitled to your opinion, I suppose.

        That said, I’m not Asian, and in cases like this I usually like to stand back and let the dust settle before I charge in with my opinion.

        You’ll notice perhaps that I haven’t said what *I* think about Colbert. The fact is, I’m not sure. On the whole I think he means to be an ally, and (I assure you) everyone understands this is satire. It’s really obvious. But that is the debate: is it okay for a man such as he to play these games?

        I’m pretty sure I know what the general opinion on this site will be. Myself, I’m happy to let the discourse play out. Colbert can defend himself.

        As far as your dismissal of the anger of marginalized people, characterizing it as “shallow mud slinging,” I can only suggest you critique your own perspective. I think you are very wrong and putting yourself on the wrong side of things. That’s all I’ll say on that.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko says:

        “You’ll notice perhaps that I haven’t said what *I* think about Colbert.”

        If that was the intention, I think you communicated that poorly.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @tod-kelly — Fair enough. But who among us is perfect at communication? And why do conversations happen and clarification get made? And, for yourself, When you see a need to clarify, what do you do?

        And is your comment meant to be helpful in some way, or did you just see an opportunity to stick in a knife?Report

      • “On the whole I think he means to be an ally, and (I assure you) everyone understands this is satire.”

        In the twitterverse I travel, there is zero chance everyone understands it was satire…or they don’t understand what the word “satire” even means.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Not so much a knife as a pin. When I see you go into (what I see as) detail about why Colbert is wrong and his critics are right, and then say a few comments later that you’re going to “stand back and let the dust settle before I charge in with my opinion,” I’m unsure if I’m bing trolled or if I’m missing something important that you’re not communicating.

        Could I have asked in a different way? Yeah, and perhaps I should have. I do, however, make it a kind of rule to mirror people in tone here, because it seems to make people more comfortable/happier that way. This doesn’t seem to be the case with you, though, so I apologize and will try to adjust going forward.Report

      • I’m not at all certain that a lot of people understood what the satire was addressing even if they understood implicitly that it was satire.

        Especially with satire and comedy, you generally need to have the full context before you can start criticizing it. With twitter, by the time context becomes apparent to the majority of folks, they’ve already made up their minds.

        How many people going after this particular tweet knew at the time they added their voices to the campaign either – much less both – that (a) this was part of a gag that’s been going on for 10 years and about which no one has ever previously raised any objections, and (b) the specific context of the satire is Dan Snyder’s ridiculous “Washington Redskins Original Americans Fund.”

        In this particular case, the parody of Snyder’s “fund” is obvious to the point that it’s almost impossible to do without doing pretty much exactly what Colbert did here. Yet, the suggestion that only members of particular groups may perform this type of satire makes satirizing this act almost impossible – one would need to be both an American Indian and of Asian descent. And yet even then, it would fail, because the satire here works only because Colbert is a white male. His enitre act, in fact, works only because he’s a privileged white cis male doing a parody of a privileged white cis male.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @veronica-dire To be clear i wasn’t’ referring to the anger of marginalized people as shallow mud slinging. I think Twitter in general is full of shallow mud slinging; that included celeb’s who are pissed at something, pols offended by critical coverage etc etc. That are plenty of petty fights on Twitter that i see falling under petty mud slinging. I’m sure you know there is far more to Twitter then activists for causes.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        When did this ally-thing happen? I’m in my thirties but for most of life, I remember that a man who believed in feminism could refer to himself as a feminist rather than a feminist-ally. A heterosexual person could support LGBT rights but would simply say that they support said rights rather than see themselves as an auxiliary in the LGBT movement. All of the sudden it seems that everybody who isn’t directly in whatever group is an ally or auxiliary rather than part of the movement.

        I understand the reasoning behind it. Obviously each group wants to be the hero of its own struggle and desires to avoid being co-opted, which can occur a lot. At the same time, the entire ally-thing seems prone to some very counter-productive results. Groups don’t like being co-opted but people don’t like being put in auxiliary status either. I see the entire ally-thing causing groups to loose support rather than gain it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Friggin’ millennials. Everything has to come with a certificate of participation.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @leeesq — It’s pretty simple, really. The ally thing comes from the experience of being talked over in our own struggles. Part of the goal here is to decenter the privileged voice. See, when a privileged person shows up to run your meeting, write your books, form your theories, and otherwise control the discourse, we find again and again that the privileged person conveniently centers their own concerns, not ours.

        This happens again and again and again.

        So it isn’t about being a “hero” in our struggle (and what a crass way to put it). It is about our struggle being actually about us.

        That said, there is a danger that the ally conversation morphs into a “reverse discourse,” which generally proves to be very unproductive.

        I don’t have an easy answer.Report

      • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Burt Likko says:

        “You’ll notice perhaps that I haven’t said what *I* think about Colbert.”
        If that was the intention, I think you communicated that poorly.

        For what it’s worth, I thought she was clear.Report

      • @mark-thompson

        You’re right that so many people didn’t get that it was satire or what that really meant. I saw so many tweets claiming that we could only judge the joke from the perspective of the people targeted.

        So… we could only judge it by Dan Snyder’s perspective? Weird.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @jonathan-mcleod — I think a better way to put it is this, if a largish number of people are offended by a joke, it is not enough for the not-targets of the joke to say, “Oh, that didn’t offend me at all,” since there is a long history of white folks telling minorities what is or is not a valid form of offense, and likewise for men telling women, and for straights telling queers, and for cissies telling we honking enormous tranny dykes, and so on. (That last example might have been overly specific.)

        Look, I don’t want to kill anyone’s good time. But there is this thing that happens, where white liberals tell minorities (or women or queers or whatever) to sit down and shut up and just hang on because we’re (the white-and-or-straight-and-or-male-and-or-cis-etc. people) are working to “empower” you.

        But in practice we are silenced.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Burt Likko says:

        That’s a fair point, Veronica.

        I don’t know how useful it is to analyze comedy in this way, though. Offense at public policy, offense at general speech, offense at social conditions, yes.Report

      • @veronica-dire

        It’s late, so I don’t want to get in too deep, lest I embarrass myself, but what you wrote seems reasonable. My only point was that anyone objecting about other people not being the object of the joke seemed to totally miss the fact that there was only one target of the joke: Dan Snyder.

        Now, maybe Colbert missed the target, that’s a valid discussion, but there’s really no doubt about who the target was.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @patrick — Thing is, I truly don’t how to feel about Colbert. I mean, he’s funny. I laugh. I am sure he means well. And I rather suspect in the end he does more good than harm. But at the same time, he is a white liberal whose job is to make other white liberals feel good about being white liberals.

        Plus to sell shit to white liberals. (More or less.)

        And what good is liberalism if minorities are silenced?

        Because in the end, who gets to decide is a real question, and I don’t believe there is any objective standards of “valid” offense or “proper” comedy.

        The decisions are made by those with power: the network execs, the advertisers, the “target demographic” — groups which are all heavily white and male, etc.

        But if liberalism intends to empower minorities — for realz, not lip service — maybe you have to actually listen to minorities, to take seriously what they say.

        Or not. You can instead dismiss them as angry and irrational.

        About which, as an aside, back in my pre-transition, living-as-a-dude days, I would from time to time encounter a person of color who would say something like this: that they kinda preferred dealing with outright racists rather than white liberals, since with outright racists they at least know where they stand.

        At the time this sounded preposterous to me.

        It no longer sounds preposterous to me. I totally get it.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @veronica-dire This “he is a white liberal whose job is to make other white liberals feel good about being white liberals.” Is pretty off. He is certainly a liberal, no disagreement there, but his goal seems to be to advance liberalism in general. There are plenty of minorities who think he is great and hilarious and maybe even buy stuff because of advertising ( or because his ben and jerry’s flavor is tasty). How is he just there to make WL’s feel good instead of advancing liberalism in general? There is a huge gap there you haven’t explained. He isn’t completely defined by his gender and political label.

        Everybody gets to decided for themselves what to think. There is no official view on any particular issue.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @greginak — Well, I don’t have the demographic numbers of Colbert’s viewership in front of me. But I suspect you do not either. Nor do I know the exact racial and gender composition of his staff. Nor do I know the exact racial and gender composition of the decision-makers among his major advertisers.

        I doubt they are absolutely-100%-full-on white cis males. But what do you suspect the balance is?

        Look, I don’t know shit about you. I don’t actually know if you are white or otherwise, or straight or otherwise. I don’t want to make assumptions.

        That said, you don’t seem to get how white supremacy works, along with male supremacy and cis supremacy, etc.

        Like, Colbert may have a small number of minorities in influential positions. Fine. But those people are still working within the white dominated structure, and have to temper their behavior accordingly. They have to go along to get along. And I don’t blame them for that. I do that myself, in my life.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @veronica-dire “White supremacy” is a ridiculous over statement that does a disservice to all sorts of peoples including actual slaves who lived in a real white supremacist society and spits in the face of minorities who seem to find life now pretty decent. For the many faults of our society now it is easy to lose perspective on what is good now. It is certainly getting better fast for gay citizens and despite the persistent racism in our society we do as well or better then many other countries. Despite our problems, which are numerous, this is still a good place to live for many.

        “Go along to get along” is again spitting in the faces of people you don’t know based on your own interpretation of their motives and beliefs and assuming they cannot have any possible agency themselves.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica dire says:

      Is Colbert only allowed to make fun of people who don’t care anymore?
      I find it rather interesting that most people can’t name the most anti-semitic person on TV,
      even when the stereotyping is blatant and designed for jokes.

      Is a good distinction of “who has made it” that they don’t cry when they’re made fun of, anymore?Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to veronica dire says:

      Yeah, there is a lot of noise, a lot of churn, some badly chosen targets, all mixed with quite a bit of self examination. That stuff is real.

      But on the other hand, people outside of this space will form judgements made in ignorance, and from their perspective, not ours, and they will not have easy access to our own internal discourse about this.

      Veronica, this is not intended as a direct dig, so don’t take it that way. I recognize this is reflective of something real.

      But this phrasing is awfully similar to the actual mansplaining that the Old Boy network used for years (and continues to use) in self-defense when it’s attacked for misogyny.

      (And I say that as someone who hates the term mansplaining)

      There is an aspect of twitterverse dogpiling that is – for lack of a better word – awfully… indulgent… about access to power. I understand the reasons behind it and I’m not trying to downplay at all the lack of access to power through other venues that probably contributes to it.

      It’s still ugly.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Patrick says:

        @patrick — I’d love to find a way to optimize the “dogpiling,” so that we get better effect for the expenditure of effort. But I don’t see any way. The point of this is there is no central authority, for any such authority can be manipulated, controlled, bought off.

        (Which gets discussed here: , which is a decent article if you can get past the jargon.)

        Comparing this to the “old boys network” is preposterous. Actually, it is a bit offensive, if you unpack the comparison and look at who has power over whom, and how that power has been historically used, and what the body count is. Really, this is the sort of broken analogy that leaves me shaking my head, beyond non sequitur territory well into WTF.

        Calling these things “indulgent” is an empty criticism. Our motives and drives are complex and varied. But consider that “legitimate anger” might be a driving force for many.

        Of course, there is long tradition of privileged people telling marginalized people when their anger is legitimate and when it is not. The privileged people know all about that.

        They’re only trying to help. Really. Just ask them.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick says:

        When people use power on badly chosen targets, it’s ugly. It’s ugly if the people using the power come from an entrenched position of privilege, and it’s ugly if they’re underprivileged people exercising power in a new medium.

        Because using power on badly chosen target is ugly.

        That’s all I’m saying.

        Note that this isn’t judgmental in the sense that I’m telling people that they’re terrible people for doing it; again, I recognize where this comes from.

        Calling these things “indulgent” is an empty criticism. Our motives and drives are complex and varied. But consider that “legitimate anger” might be a driving force for many.

        Sure. I never claimed otherwise. Hell, legitimate anger may be a driving force for most of them. Or even all of them.

        But legitimate anger directed at badly chosen targets is still ugly.

        This isn’t said to de-legitimatize that anger. It’s said to de-legitimatize the choice of targets.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica dire says:

      Who gets to determine who is a cis-het-white guy though? You might think this a trivial easy thing to prove but it ends up like trying to find an agreed upon definition of pornography, the only real definition is that “we know one when we see one”. Who gets to be the we that determines this? Is a cis-het-Jewish guy, a cis-het-white guy? Lots of people are probably going to argue yes but is that a fair determination when you consider the entire course of Jewish history?

      The other problem with this hastag activism is that it can start as a way to go after “cis-het-white-guys” and end up as a circular firing squad where one group of trans-woman might go after a trans-woman author for violating some orthodoxy. Who gets to decide what the orthodoxy for a particular group is? Even if its decided within a particular group, you still need a mechnaism for determining group leadership?Report

    • I’m not inquiring about activist movements, just Twitter in particular. Obviously, your tweet list is going to be different than mine. If I’m understanding your response, it’s that the tweeting is part of a broader universe of communications formats, but that the tweeting is a forum where some of that more thoughtful and introspective communication does occur.

      It’s no secret that I consider Twitter to be a largely superficial communications experience in all but rare and extraordinary cases. My own use of Twitter is largely to broadcast or look for links to more interesting, long-form reading, sort of as an ongoing Linky Friday. I’ll occasionally trade quips with friends. But I don’t find much utility in it beyond that.

      So I find it interesting that your Tweeps produce very different sorts of things than that and perhaps that’s not as surprising as I thought at first glance.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to veronica dire says:

      Doesn’t mean you have to agree, but the “Twitter outrage” over Piers Morgan (for instance) was completely on target. Fuck that guy. Glad he lost his job.

      Morgan lost he job because not enough people watched him; it was not because people criticized him (from any angle)Report

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:

      @tod-kelly — What I said about Colbert was this:

      But yeah, there is a sizable contingent of folks out there who believe a white-cis-het guy saying shitty thing about them is wrong, even when he is “playing a role.” You can disagree, from your safe white bread world; that’s your right.

      Notice that “sizable contingent of folks” is not the same thing as “veronica dire.”

      But, yeah, the confusion is easy to see. I get it. Which is why I clarified. And I didn’t need to get tweaked for that.

      Thing is, I feel genuinely ambivalent about Colbert. In other words, I am drawn to both sides of the debate. So if I seem unclear, it is because I am.

      Thing is, it’s actually kind of hard for me to participate here, with so many voices from so many directions. Which is difficult to explain and probably more difficult to understand. I think @zic touches on it, in that other post where she talks about hard hard it is for her as a woman to hear men “debate” reproductive issues. Did you read that?

      For realz.

      I don’t have a uterus, so such issues don’t affect me directly, but I totally get it. There are so many other “debates” where I have a similar experience. So for me on this forum, I can’t be detached. In fact, I think detached and objective debate is itself kind of a broken way to approach things. It vastly favors the already privileged.

      Can you understand that there is a psychological reason marginalized people seek safe communities, which people then callously dismiss as “echo chambers”? Can you see that engaging with the broad culture is literally hurtful to us, and that sometimes rage is the best we can do?

      We fight with the tools we have.

      You once called me out for lacking empathy. Can you see how maybe you had that exactly backward?Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:


        Not long ago, someone here noticed how some of the conservative voices that used to frequent the blog (George, MFarmer, WardSmith) have vanished; and there was supposition that they’d gone to safer, more hospitable niches on the internet.

        So yes, I think most of us reading here recognize the need for havens. Even when we’re big, strong, cis males.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:

        @zic — Thing is, I shouldn’t pretend to understand anyone else’s issues. But it’s hard not to.

        Women like me are in a weird place. It took me forever to figure out the trans stuff, and that whole time I was living more or less as a cis dude.

        I mean, kinda-sorta. It’s a big, complicated conversation about what it is like to be an in-the-closet trans women.

        (And if you want to really understand, read Nevada. Seriously.)

        But to some degree, to first approximation, I was a cis dude. Lots (but not all) of trans women have an experience like this. (Again, long conversation that would take 100,000 words to explain, and then only badly.)

        So I kinda-sorta know what it is like to be A DUDE. And white. And middle class. And straight (and boy was I wrong).

        And then I transitioned. And when I did, I entered a whole different world. Everything shifted. My privilege evaporated. Hard! Real fast. The real hard shit.

        And I see other folks, white cis dudes (or whatever; I don’t mean only white cis dudes, but again, to first approximation: folks with the kind of privilege I used to have, even it if isn’t exactly the same) saying the kinds of shit I used to say and seeing things much as I used to see them.

        And they don’t know shit about shit just like I didn’t know shit about shit and I didn’t begin to see until I walked the walk.

        And I wish I could show this, share this for real, but I cannot. The me-in-the-past wouldn’t have listened any better than folks listen to me now.

        And they can give long, elaborate explanations as to why, and those are more or less the same long, elaborate explanations that old-me would have given in the same circumstances.

        But old-me was an ignorant shit who needed serious schooling. (The world schooled me hard.)

        Anyway, I’m kinda rambling here. I don’t see a solution.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to veronica dire says:


        Some left but others were purged.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:

        @notme, purge is a hard word.

        I don’t think George Turner was purged. MFarmer, either. Certainly not Ward Smith. Tom VanDyke was purged from the FP, but I’ve seen him post occasionally, so he wasn’t forbidden. BlaiseP seems to have vanished, but by his own measure, he was liberal, not a conservative.

        There are commenting standards; failure to adhere to them (after several warnings) is the only thing I’ve seen that causes someone to be banned from this site; so I guess I really struggle with the notion of purges; unless you’re suggesting some sort of liberal ganging up on conservatives?

        If that’s your point, I’d suggest you scroll through my posts comments over the last few weeks; tell me: do I get push back or liberal back scratching? Folks here are not easy on sloppy thinking; and I’m grateful for that. Sometimes it stings; but someone too thinned-skinned to take that will generally purge themselves.Report

  7. Avatar Aaron W says:

    To be fair, the tweet (*sigh*) lacked the crucial context that the segment had to indicate that it was satire of the Red Skins.Report

    • Avatar Aaron W in reply to Aaron W says:

      So it’s understandable why people would be upset about it.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron W says:

      That Colbert is doing satire isn’t exactly news. I get that some people don’t seem to understand satire but his act is pretty darn clear and open.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to greginak says:

        It’s not even just that it’s satire (though it is) but “Stephen Colbert” is also a fictional character who says ludicrous, sometimes-offensive things (the character just happens to be played by Stephen Colbert).

        It’s like getting upset at Kenny Powers – “Stephen Colbert”, like KP, is the butt of the joke, not the racial group he’s seemingly insulting.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Aaron W says:

      1.) Shouldn’t we default-assume that nearly ANY 140-character statement lacks crucial context, almost by definition (unless it’s, say, a road sign)?

      2.) Shouldn’t anyone with even a passing familiarity with Stephen Colbert’s shtick (of being “Stephen Colbert, clueless conservative blowhard and oblivious racist”) default-assume “satire”, even if the specific context is not immediately apparent?Report

  8. Avatar veronica dire says:

    Just some perspective, it is trivial easy to tweet more than 140 characters. Firstly, it is easy to connect Tumblr to Twitter, and quite a few people use the former for their longer posts and it shows up in their Twitter feed (with a preview and a link). If you don’t like Tumblr, TweetLonger provides a similar service. Very easy to set up.

    But even setting those aside, you can break your thoughts up into multiple tweets. In fact, you can actually go quite far with this method. It is a strange way to write. But it actually sorta works.

    For an example, spend some time following Natalie Reed’s feed:

    (Remember you have to kinda read the feed backward.)Report

  9. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    FYI – Post has been updated to include the embedded video, if you want to see it for yourself.Report

  10. Avatar notme says:

    Sorry Todd, liberals can be racists but sadly they insist that only Republicans can be racists. Anyone liberal or consevative can be a racist What is even worse is that folks like you have preverted this into the silly joke that conservatives think that “liberal are the real racists.” Why not be honest and admit that anyone can be a racist?Report

  11. Avatar Mr. Blue says:

    This seems to me like a pretty logical extension of what is discussed around here a fair bit, though not as much as it’s discussed elsewhere.

    Okay. I’ll bite.

    Is it up to us to say that it matters more what Colbert meant than what those objecting to him heard? Maybe they missed the joke. Maybe they did not find the joke funny enough to justify the use of language and depictions they object to. Sure, sure, he’s going after a racist white dude on behalf of Native Americans, but he’s using Asian-Americans to do it. Who are we, as mostly white cishets, to argue that their calculations about what jokes justify what words are wrong? Why is a joke by a white guy for mostly white guys worth the discomfort of non-whites?

    I’m not sure how the answer isn’t “Because we thought it was funny and what it means to us is the important thing here.”Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Mr. Blue says:

      My guess is maybe people other than white guys should be allowed to watch Colbert. That is the snarky of course, but it seems like Colbert is pretty widely popular among all varieties of liberal types, so i think more than white guys watch him. All sorts of people have watched him do the same darn act for like 10 years.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Mr. Blue says:

      Sure, sure, he’s going after a racist white dude on behalf of Native Americans, but he’s using Asian-Americans to do it.

      Not really. He’s using a running gag on his show. He didn’t just invent for that episode ‘Ching-Chong Ding-Dong’, that clip has existed for years.

      In this running gag, he pretends that years ago he was caught making an absurdly racist (And very strangely outdated racism, at that.) mocking Asians when he didn’t realize he was being recorded. I *believe* this was because Rush Limbaugh was caught doing exactly that.

      And every time someone else in the media, he brings this up, and then he ‘apologizes’ about having said those things without actually apologizing, and in fact manages to say things even more racist during his apology.

      This is a fairly long-standing running gag on his show, dating back to, I believe, 2005. The gag, IIRC, is also that each time he brings it up, he has to apologize for what he said *last time*, too, so it keeps getting longer and longer.

      Although until now, he’s had to *invent* complaints about the outrage last time. This time, oddly, people actually and rather surreally *did* complain. So the next time he uses the joke he can talk about how the last time he tried to apologize people tried to get the show cancelled.

      Although it appears that they were outrage by the *tweet*? Really? That is literally astonishing to me. I cannot even conceive of a world where people would get upset about a context-less tweet from a *satirical* account.

      Why is a joke by a white guy for mostly white guys worth the discomfort of non-whites?

      That sentence has a whole lot of assumptions in it.Report

  12. Avatar Damon says:

    Can we not embed videos that auto play? It interupts the music playing and flags me as “surfing the internet at work”. Damn it, I can’t be goofing off on the down low if autoplay is on!

    I think Mark Thompson nailed it. No one appreciates satire anymore. That combined with “people are dumb” and the hyper sensitive nature of the “perpetually aggrieved” leads to this-no slight intended to V. Dire.Report