THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Robert Nason
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:48 pm

Just make sure it's not one of those John Boehner orange Man-Tans.
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Robert Nason
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:50 pm

Correction: Brat spent $200,000 on his campaign, Cantor spent $5.4 million.
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Rick Keeney
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Rick Keeney » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:06 pm

This (political)thread is starting to look like it merits its own specific place in the forums.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:45 am

Hey, Robert - (per your posting in the Pav, straighten me out if I took it in the wrong spirit)

What "political correctness" are we talking about in comics?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL is a right-wing toggle owned by Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation) and is a big funder of American Legislative Exchange Council, the money network for corporate legislation whose support comes from people like the Koch Brothers. So, spin doctoring is alive and well in those pages:

Many, many so-called liberals decry "political correctness" (depending on what you think that is). Bill Maher. Harlan Ellison. Certainly, myself. It's another way right-wingers try to stigmatize progressives.

What other bullshit entity do you give your time to? Forbes? The Weekly Standard? The Washington Times? The Cato Institute?

That brings me to another front: I often ask myself where the line really IS drawn between "political correctness" and suitability. Sometimes I really think the term gets used too loosely. One example, I'll never forget how one film critic dismissed the film DANCES WITH WOLVES as "politically correct". It may lean overtly a bit in one direction, but all-in-all it was true to the human characterization of the native people, and to the historical reality.

Other examples (again using film), showing women abused misogynistically; beaten or tortured. Or showing them as weak and stupid. Or how about the racism of old animated cartoons from the 1930s, which is pretty damn offensive? Unless you're David Duke, you're not going to consider that type of primitive stereotyping condonable.

So, where do we draw the line? What really IS "politically correct" (in the patented derogatory sense) and what is "contextually correct"? I don't consider a movie like DANCES WITH WOLVES politically correct. Nor would I consider movies by Tarantino politically correct even when I think he fires around the word "nigger" more than necessary with there's no point. It's a wide liberal audience out there devoted to everything from ALL IN THE FAMILY to MARRIED WITH CHILDREN (both of which had offended right-wingers launching letter campaigns, particularly with the latter).

So how does each of us distinguish "political incorrectness" from what's genuinely "unsuitable"?

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:49 am

I meant to say I don't consider Tarantino's films "politically INcorrect"...DESPITE...(by example)

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Rick Keeney
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Rick Keeney » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:49 am

I think Harlan's ongoing issues losing huge hunks of word processing text is baffling. But I bet it's fun to watch.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:11 am

Political Correctness is one of those things that comes across, depending of who is doing the talking, as either a point of etiquette or a serious cultural issue. I think a lot of people misunderstand it as little more than an evolving list of terms one ought not use. This is lazy thinking. In reality---at least its intent, way back when---was to prompt people to drop usages that, after due consideration, force people into pigeonholes by dint of simplification and stereotyping. This then extends to more complex treatments, as in film and books, where presentation does not match historical or social reality but rather a prepackaged idea of the thing portrayed.

This requires Thought and honest reflection.

But people are lazy. This is not the indictment it sounds like---read Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow---but a description of the way people interact with their surround. If there's a handy meme already prepared, the mind tends to rely on it until challenged. Depending on how entrenched that meme is, the challenge can be painful and there's pushback.

Poltically Correct has now become a pejorative by some who hate being called on their sloppy thinking.

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Robert Nason
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:58 am

Come on, Rob -- you know what political correctness is. If I have to spell it out for you, you've been living on another planet for the past quarter-century.

Yes, I read The Weekly Standard, among other magazines. And Commentary. Have you ever read an issue of Commentary? Have you read an entire issue of The Weekly Standard, for three or four weeks in a row? Don't just tell me who owns them -- that's not a sufficient response.
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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:35 am

Robert,

That's a cop-out. "Lazy thinking". And missing the basic question.

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Robert Nason
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:11 pm

If you don't know what political correctness is at this late date, you haven't been just lazy, you haven't been thinking at all. I spent much of the 90s arguing about this issue. I don't intend to rehash the definition now.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:27 pm

Robert Nason wrote:Yes, but the Republicans ignored the Tea Party in 2008 and 2012 by nominating McCain and then Romney, and wound up essentially electing Obama.


So are you suggesting that had the party run a further Tea Party candidate against Obama they would have won? I seriously doubt the mainstream moderate voting public would have gone for that, and you likely would have seen an even more lopsided victory. (And you may yet.)

Cantor's pollster is claiming Democrats went to the polls and voted in Brat (and effectively out Cantor).

If true it's a sad commentary on electoral trickery, if false it's a sad commentary on blaming the other guy.

(Yes, Robert, I would condemn such actions by the Dems if it's proven. It's not fraud, but it's pretty lowbrow.)

(On the other hand, if it's proven false can we please dispense with the automatic "it was the Libruhls"?)
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:01 pm

Steve, I'm still trying to learn if it was an open primary or not.-- the media can be very poor at providing basic facts to help one understand a situation. If it was open, the Dems had a perfectly legal right to vote in tbe GOP primary for Brat; it's not nice, but it happens on both sides.

No, I don't think any of the Tea Party candidates would have done better against Obama, but I think Romney would have done better if he'd challenged Obama more forcefully on some issues. Given the widespread anger in the country towards establishment Washington, a Tea Party candidate mught have better luck against Hillary if she runs -- she's been a high-profile fixture of Washington for over twenty years now. But who knows?

Cantor apparently blundered by rarely visiting his district, which understandably pissed them off. But that's the downside of a congressman becoming a national leader.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:45 pm

Yes, the Va 7th district has an open primary. I think all of Va is like that actually. But the 7th is overwhelmingly Republican because of gerrymandering. And the turn out was predictably low as it is in most primaries.I think that did the work instead of some Democratic "plan".

The Republicans are increasingly out of touch. They only reason they hold the sway they do is because of these gerrymandered districts that ensure a Republican representative. And since the Tea Party dominates the local party orgs they wield great influence. Locally. Mainstream candidates who could actually challenge Hillary won't get the nomination because of the Tea Party. The Tea Party folks who can get the nomination can't beat Hillary.

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Robert Nason
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:16 pm

Unfortunately, Ezra, when the gun goes off and Hillary is president, YOU will be the one with smoking wafting from where your head once was.

The Republicans are not out of touch with the majority of Americans who 1) feel that Obama mishandled the Bergdahl release, 2) don't want the NSA collecting information on them, 3) don't like Obamacare, 4) think America has lost its leadership role in the world under Obama, 5) think Obama has not effectively improved the economy, and 6) are freaking out over the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant kids pouring over the border (50,000 since October, 150,000 expected by the end of 2014) with no place to house or feed them and their clever parents using them as catspaws so they can then leave Hobduras and Guatamala under the U.S. law of "family reunification." Poor Americans are especially worried -- try and persuade them that they have nothing to worry about.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:27 pm

Virginia is one of 14 states that hold open primaries. And it's probable that there was some Democrat turnout for the Republican primary (saw at least one Cantor news story talkback where someone claimed to have done just that.) Had there been a Democratic Primary as well, the voter could only choose one to vote in. There was no Democratic Primary - the Dems of the 7th district opted for a caucus to select a candidate in December, 2013; had no one file for the democratic nomination at the convention on May 2; and only got Jack Trammell's paperwork filed on 6/9 - a day before the filing deadline for convention nomination on 6/10.

To be fair, Brat was on the upswing. The WP reported a month ago that he appeared to be picking up steam and high-profile support. And it was Cantor's poll, five days before the election, that created a false sense of security by showing him with a 34 point lead (Daily Caller on the same day with a wider sample put the gap at 9 points.)

But could there have been meaningful Democrat voter sway? I doubt there was widespread or coordinated malfeasance - it's a good day when you can get someone to vote in the key election, never mind taking time for the primary - but certainly, some turned out to bump the table.

But why would this surprise you? This is the political climate into which the nation has devolved, on both sides. Can't beat Obama on message? Say he's a Muslim and play up the Hussein. Can't counter Romney's position effectively? Tar him with the 'out of touch millionaire tax cheat' brush. Bash Hillary for her appearance, bash Boehner for his emotionalism. People don't debate actual issues. They engage in round after round of "My guy is bad, but your guy is worse," and mudslinging and name-calling. They take at face value what the sources they agree with feed them, and reject without investigation what anyone they disagree with has to offer, and no one seeks an objective view of the facts, merely a validation. Hell, people will pass along an outraged 'So-and-So did this' email and, when called on the fact it's a debunked lie, will respond not with the acceptance that the bullshit they're disseminating is wrong, but with the huffy, "Well, it should be true." Civil discourse is as dead as the Founding Fathers. It's about being right at any cost.

So within this climate, could there be people who saw an opportunity to legally stick a knife in Cantor's career - House Majority leader, a public face of his party, the presumed "enemy" - and took it?

Absolutely. Lobbyists do it; spin doctors do it; campaign managers do it; elements within the media do it; advertisers do it; donors with money coming out their assholes do it. Who in their right mind believes Joe Sixpack WOULDN'T do it? That's just gross underestimation of the animal that's been bred.

And sadly, there's no stepping back from this. THIS is the New World Order: tell any lie you want, make it stick, spread it around, deny the inconvenient facts, dance, take advantage. Too many people too highly placed lose too much face if they step away now from how it all works.

Our bed's made. We're just reading comics now until lights out.


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