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The Day I Joined the KKK Was Super Fucking Gay.
November 20, 2002 6:48 PM   Subscribe

The Day I Joined the KKK Was Super Fucking Gay.
posted by holloway (65 comments total)

 
The KKK Took My Baby Away
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:58 PM on November 20, 2002


You see, the KKK is not hard to infiltrate. It is not a secret society. On the contrary, these are people desperate to get new members. The reason they are so pressed for membership is simple: These are the least articulate and charming people you’ve ever come across. They simply don’t understand the concept of spin.

Ha ha! Very amusing article, well written and with a fresh perspective. The extreme right has thankfully been flunking charm school ever since Hitler's downfall. Even in the movies, you don't get the Nazis you used to get, Visconti's The Damned probably being the industry standard.

In fact, bad guys all round (apart from Alan Rickman) seem to be losing it. Cheers, holloway!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:00 PM on November 20, 2002


What? What? That was so weird, I do not know if it was a joke or not. It read like a bad Penthouse letter without a cumshot.
posted by thirteen at 7:01 PM on November 20, 2002


That was better than I expected.
posted by Hackworth at 7:08 PM on November 20, 2002


I agree with Thirteen, I've written better papers in college, drunk, a half hour before class.
And I have to call her on the "super fucking gay" thing. Using "gay" as a synonym for "lame" or "sucky" just isn't acceptable to me anymore. When I started reading about the gay bar I thought she was going to avoid my condemnation, but no... she was really just saying gay, as in lame.
posted by zekinskia at 7:26 PM on November 20, 2002


This was really good. I liked the message about network news - it rings pretty true.

Anyone read a book called "Into the Buzzsaw?"
posted by eraserhed at 7:28 PM on November 20, 2002


Using "gay" as a synonym for "lame" or "sucky" just isn't acceptable to me anymore
Would "lame" or "sucky" have continued the day-kay-hey-hey rhythm?

Don't stop the boogie.
posted by holloway at 7:37 PM on November 20, 2002


When the Republicans (the real KKK) say things like, “Tax dollars aren’t the government’s money—it’s your money,”

And I thought this was just going to be your run-of-the-mill screed, when actually it was a flatulent, interstellar, steaming-pile-of-fun screed.
posted by hama7 at 7:39 PM on November 20, 2002


These people were not the personification of evil, they were the personification of low-IQ rednecks with nothing to do.

Good read, holloway. Thanks. It's nice to hear the story without all the sensationalism of the average news article or hearsay.

I knew the truth. My story was cancelled because TV news was over. 1990 was approaching, and infiltrating the KKK has nothing to do with the new fad diet or the problem with Mondays.
That was my last summer working in corporate television and, as I see it, the last year TV news really meant something.


Depressing, but probably true. *sigh*
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 7:45 PM on November 20, 2002


Good article. Very good. I've been to MLK marches with 20,000 marchers and 19 Klansmen. They're fucking pathetic.

And about the G-word...yeah, it's pathetic, too. I find it strange that teenagers will say "That's so gay!" about a sweater that a gay kid would never wear.

The article was good, though.
posted by kozad at 7:49 PM on November 20, 2002


And I have to call her on the "super fucking gay" thing.
i'm with zekinskia on this.
i like vice magazine and viceland quite a bit, but using 'gay' as a synonym for 'lame' or 'sucky' was never acceptable to me. (with apolgies to zekinski)
i've noticed it popping up in conversation more frequently now than it did a few years ago, and it seems to be used most by my friends from the midwest.
have other folks noticed this, or is it just me revolving more and more rapidly in my little bubble?
that being said, i liked the article. thanks for the fpp holloway
posted by dolface at 7:54 PM on November 20, 2002


Sometime within the last few days, I saw someone online spell it "ghey." Which gives you the freedom to use the word without the connotations. Language is alive, so why not force a mutation, some new growth? You get "gay-happy," "gay-homosexual," and "ghey-lame/sucky" to stretch your vocabulary. Or does that sound ghey?
posted by poseur at 8:06 PM on November 20, 2002


i thought that was a great read. hilarious, even.

I agree with Thirteen, I've written better papers in college, drunk, a half hour before class.

what, so you want a cookie?
posted by donkeyschlong at 8:12 PM on November 20, 2002


Good read, but I don't in any way see how she made the point that her story was rejected because tv news was over. Think she was being sarcastic, just a Hunter Thompson reference. Funny story, though.
posted by son_of_minya at 8:15 PM on November 20, 2002


Using "gay" as a synonym for "lame" or "sucky" just isn't acceptable to me anymore

On behalf of the crippled, I'd like to inform you that your use of the word "lame" as a synonym for "sucky" just isn't acceptable to me anymore.

Can we recurse once more and get the base case?
posted by Space Coyote at 8:19 PM on November 20, 2002


This story angers me.

As an associate producer for the biggest news show on ABC at the time. . .

As we drove by an old black man, everyone threw the monkey money at him and yelled “Here’s your monkey money, monkey, now go back to Africa." . . .

They were not running the piece because they were concerned that I had committed a hate crime by throwing the monkey money and that violated the network’s standards and practices.
. . .


As far as I'm concerned this woman has completely discredited herself as a decent human being, and ABC is guilty too. She basically participated in humiliating, scaring, and possibly, embittering an innocent old black man, and for what? To show that the klan has basically degenerated into an irrelevant , impotent, and defunct social club for an extremely marginal American minority?
This has been well known for quite some time, and I find it outrageous that a leading news figure would be unaware of it.
This shocking obliviousness stems from a paranoid Leftist need for there to be a burgeoning racist Right for them to battle. And when they can't find it. . .

When the Republicans (the real KKK) say things like. . .

. . .they need to invent an enemy by vilifying the decent people of the red American core, and a party who's only agenda concerning race is absolutely indistinguishable from that of the Democratic party of the Civil Rights movement.

No, Mrs. Pauley, the only one here who participates in a modern-day lynching isn't the Republican party. Why don't you look at yourself in the mirror?
posted by dgaicun at 8:25 PM on November 20, 2002


On behalf of all straw-using persons, I'd like to inform you that your use of the work "sucky" as a synonym for "gay" just isn't acceptable to me anymore. Sucking is not pejorative or shameful, but a fun and sanitary way to convey refreshing beverages into the mouth.

Please stop being so gay.
posted by rusty at 8:29 PM on November 20, 2002


It occurred to me that, besides the rhyme, the author might have chosen "gay" specifically to irritate the KKK. Can you imagine how much they'd like to have their, er, ceremonies described that way?

In a way, it might be the same kind of humor as that inane "Gay Hitler" stuff they did (do?) on Saturday Night Live
posted by tss at 8:31 PM on November 20, 2002


"Why don't you look at yourself in the mirror?"

Booooo!!! Boooooo on the party pooper. How gay.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:32 PM on November 20, 2002


(Well, that was a strange way to Godwin the KKK thread...)
posted by tss at 8:33 PM on November 20, 2002


dgaicun this "This shocking obliviousness stems from a paranoid Leftist need for there to be a burgeoning racist Right for them to battle. And when they can't find it. . .

When the Republicans (the real KKK) say things like. . .

. . .they need to invent an enemy by vilifying the decent people of the red American core,
" reads -- to me at least -- a lot like a troll, or am i misunderstanding?
posted by dolface at 8:33 PM on November 20, 2002


doh! forgot the comma.
posted by dolface at 8:35 PM on November 20, 2002


By the way, Vice Magazine was featured on NPR's Marketplace today. They're apparently making a lot of money with "punk rock capitalism." Next week: Situationist Catholicism strikes it rich.
posted by rusty at 8:37 PM on November 20, 2002


that was a strange way to Godwin the KKK thread.

Me?! For pointing out what she confessed to?

reads -- to me at least -- a lot like a troll, or am i misunderstanding

Republicans are often called or implied to be racists, often times by high-profile figures. Is this that inflammatory? Do you disagree.
posted by dgaicun at 8:46 PM on November 20, 2002


Yawn, what a gay/ghey/lame/sucky article.
posted by MikeMc at 9:02 PM on November 20, 2002


good read holloway - thanks. I'm not sure that everyone would agree the Klan is quite as toothless as portrayed though.

...and randy, I've seen some straw men on mefi before, but you take the cake.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:05 PM on November 20, 2002


dgaicun, i am aware that far-right folks are often called, and sometimes are, racists, but wasn't aware that the majority of republicans were lumped in with that group. pauly didn't come across like a paranoid leftist to me (granted, i'm a bleeding-heart liberal), but as someone who tried to do some investigative journalism, get some facts to back up what you claim is common knowledge -- that the kkk is essentially a defunct redneck country club (i didn't know that) -- and then got shut down by abc.
the 'monkey money' thing is appalling, and i agree that abc is as complicit as she is in that despicable act.
so, i think it was a bit inflammatory, but i thank you for your explanation.
posted by dolface at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2002


Kind of on a tangent-this story reminded me of my sophmore year in high school when someone drew a swastika on a girl's locker (no the girl wasn't jewish or of a minority so no one really knows why, or even if, she was specifically selected). I came to school and all these people were crying and whispering. It took me about five minutes to find out what happened. So I went to see the swastika, and there it was. What no one had told me was that whoever drew swastika originally drew the legs going to wrong way and then had to cross them out. I have to admit I had to stifle the impulse to laugh. I mean here are these people trying to make some profound statement about white racial superiority and they can't even draw the damn legs of a swastika the right way? To me , it wasn't even worth getting upset over. Besides I thought it would be more discouraging to potential neo nazis to laugh at their attempt than to get upset by it.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:10 PM on November 20, 2002 [1 favorite]


As for the whole use of "gay" in the title thing, check out the context. It's used for effect to emphasize the banal, white-trash nature of the whole experience. Come on, she also uses the word "fucking" in her title. If there were some imaginary line of journalistic integrity to be crossed in this situation, she certainly jumped all over that son of a bitch before she even got to the word "gay." It's there for emphasis. After all, you only see headlines like "Holy Fucking Shit! Attack on America" in publications like the Onion because they are directly satirizing the medium of news. If you're angry, she made her point.

Oh, and "ghey?" If you're going to use dated, commonly denounced and diluted invectives, you may as well spell them correctly. I personally prefer "fey." It has four or five different definitions, one of them is guaranteed to work in almost any slanderous capacity, and it contains the same strong vowel sound as "gay," thus facilitating easy reprogramming of key neural pathways.
posted by mmcg at 9:12 PM on November 20, 2002


This shocking obliviousness stems from a paranoid Leftist need for there to be a burgeoning racist Right for them to battle.

I believe she claims to have set out to discredit the notion of a rising tide of hate groups.

As far as I'm concerned this woman has completely discredited herself as a decent human being, and ABC is guilty too. She basically participated in humiliating, scaring, and possibly, embittering an innocent old black man, and for what?

You don't know what how much she participated. If she was in the field, and trying to maintain a cover or participant-observer role, I think it's obvious that a "hey guys, this is wrong" statement would have destroyed that. If you buy her context of late eighties media, and if you agree that countering the contention that your "decent people of the red American core" are racist is a reasonable goal, then I think you have to allow her, and ABC, the space to get inside and show what actually goes on at a KKK pow-wow.
posted by claxton6 at 9:14 PM on November 20, 2002


i probably wouldn't have read this hilarious article were it not for the title... i envisioned a group of teenage girls describing and reminiscing a past wasted summer that they had so many expectations for.

gay.
posted by lotsofno at 9:29 PM on November 20, 2002


I think the title would scan better if it was "The Day I Joined the KKK was really wicked fucking gay."

And it's russ-tee. Say it with me here. Feel the sibilance. Think "corroded," not "aroused."
posted by rusty at 9:40 PM on November 20, 2002


oops, mea culpa, rusty - how rude was that? But I think she's got it now.... russ-teee, russss-teeee.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:00 PM on November 20, 2002


claxton6,

There is a context to any situation. If the organization was powerful enough, dangerous enough, and the reporter's job was important enough, I can imagine a situation where this woman could even kill someone (as to not compromise her intelligence gathering goals) and still be ethically pardonable. Unfortunately this situation resembles nothing of the sort. She is by no means the first person to try and infiltrate the ranks of the KKK for that all-important scoop.
The KKK, due to its once powerful status, has long-been one of the most closely watched hate-groups in America, by government and media alike. Their decline and weakness has always been well-documented. This reporter achieved nothing but the gross violation of an innocent man.

so, i think it was a bit inflammatory

dolface, it was offensive to you because I said 'Leftists' and you took it personally. I am not a Republican, and could probably be described as liberal before conservative, and I wasn't trying to say that everyone on the Left demonize Republicans as racists, (Though a significant and vocal portion do), but everyone who believes that Republicans are racist are Leftists. Do you disagree?

pauly didn't come across like a paranoid leftist to me

If she believes the KKK is a powerful enough organization to devote an entire summer of ethically compromising undercover journalism to it, despite all the firm support that its an impotent joke, then she is unreasonably concerned with the far-right. She obviously thinks of even the moderate Right as an overly dangerous enemy.

but wasn't aware that the majority of republicans were lumped in with that group.

You've never heard Republicans called or implied to be a racist party? C'mon? I certainly didn't find that smear in the article atypical. Did you?
posted by dgaicun at 10:10 PM on November 20, 2002


erp. . .yeah, now that I relooky, she did say that the rising nazi tide was 'bullshit'. I'm gay. I still say Republicans=kkk is an extremist statement.
posted by dgaicun at 10:23 PM on November 20, 2002


This reporter achieved nothing but the gross violation of an innocent man.

Perhaps. However, I think you're underplaying the usefulness of the research and overplaying what was done to the man. While certainly her description can't be taken completely at face value, think about it. Have you ever had someone yell at you while they were driving by in a car? Did you understand what they said? Probably not. While what was done wasn't harmless, let's not kid ourselves and presume that it was hugely pain-inducing either.

On preview, ayuh. And with this:

I still say Republicans=kkk is an extremist statement.

I think a lot of that comes from the creeping concept of institutional racism. What starts as something specific (like institutionalizing discriminatory home-loaning practices) begins to open up and swallow up all sorts of other things, like opposing affirmative action and the like.
posted by claxton6 at 10:28 PM on November 20, 2002


Wow! Hating the KKK is SO out-there! What a bold stance.
posted by HTuttle at 10:45 PM on November 20, 2002


It seems odd that people freely bandy about the notion that all Republicans are racist without (a) noticing the irony of such a wildly stereotypical statement, and (b) noticing that it took a Republican administration to appoint the first African-American Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, arguably two of the most important non-elected positions in all of government.
posted by UncleFes at 10:48 PM on November 20, 2002


The moment you believe the republicans aren't the KKK is the moment they've won. You decide however, whether it's the KKK or republicans I'm talking about.

Seriously though. Those of you with the penchant for pointing out the most obvious of non-gotten irony between "The Day I Joined the KKK Was Super Fucking Gay" and the lilt of the story have some serious anal recalibrating to do.

UncleFes: You've gotta be some sort of an -ist or an -ish to be republican. You've gotta be completely unaroused by the plights of fellow human and environment to actually call yourself a republican. Perhaps not in kind, but in degree, the republican is one in the same as the Klukie.
posted by crasspastor at 11:27 PM on November 20, 2002


You've gotta be completely unaroused by the plights of fellow human . . .to actually call yourself a republican.

the republican is one in the same as the Klukie.


Troll.

ok, I didn't mean that at all cp, but I needed to know how it feels to be on the giving end of one of those fer once.
posted by dgaicun at 11:38 PM on November 20, 2002


UncleFes: Good point. But some think Colin Powell doesn't count.
posted by turbodog at 11:38 PM on November 20, 2002


I needed to know how it feels to be on the giving end of one of those fer once

You enjoy it?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:39 PM on November 20, 2002


Nope. Sorry Crasspastor.
posted by dgaicun at 11:49 PM on November 20, 2002


I'm around now. But I won't be in awhile. A troll hangs back and moderates from the point on that he'd originally trolled. I was stating a fact.

I didn't call republicans klansmen. I merely referred to their modus operandi as one that is not concerned with the plights they cause with the choices they make as the often powerful decision makers they are.
posted by crasspastor at 11:50 PM on November 20, 2002


Just imagine - the definition of a word changing thru popular usage?! Un freekin believable.

We wouldn't want to hijack a word now would we, "gay" movement?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:01 AM on November 21, 2002


Hey, uc, that's not the only word "hijacked"...

I'd list them, but last time gaiety came up on this site I got flamed out of existence by a couple of extremists, so I won't bother. I'm sure you can look them all up.
posted by shepd at 12:09 AM on November 21, 2002


The banality of evil.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:35 AM on November 21, 2002


I enjoyed that article. Like the title as well.
posted by Frasermoo at 12:51 AM on November 21, 2002


This article looks misleadingly out of date to me.

Jon Ronson's book Them: Adventures with Extremists has a chapter on the Klan, and these days they're definitely making an effort to use "spin" under leader Thom Robb. He's tried to ban members from using "the N-word", holds interviews talking about "all the wonderful, positive things" the Klan do that don't get on TV, is trying to phase out the white robes... even holds Klan workshops on "Individual Personality Skills".

There's a short article on Ronson's website about it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:08 AM on November 21, 2002


Great link! I love hearing about the Klan's shenanigans. Just a couple of months ago there was a Klan pow-wow at a nearby Mobil gas station. Incredibly, they didn't try to light any crosses on fire--but boy, would that have been a hoot! *chuckle*
You might think I'm kidding, but I'm not. You see, I live in Pennsylvania, which is apparently--according to this article--the hate crimes capital of America. I didn't even know America had a hate crimes capital, let alone that I lived in it. I gotta get the hell out of here...it's only a matter of time until the Klan blows up the whole town.
posted by Zulujines at 2:40 AM on November 21, 2002


i wonder where the love crimes capital is?
stavros, great link !
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:03 AM on November 21, 2002


I still say Republicans=kkk is an extremist statement.

Agreed. There are a limited subset of Republicans that can be somewhat accurately characterized in that manner and they're from the South. Many northern Repubs are quite the opposite.

Further, I say the current popular Republican statement "Nancy Pelosi is a liberal/leftist San Francisco Democrat" is equally extremist and is obviously an intended code statement that attempts to link her to what they consider to be the "dreaded homosexuals" (speaking of gay) and Poppy's "Marin County hot tubbers."

Shame on them.
posted by nofundy at 5:11 AM on November 21, 2002


i've always felt it was pretty gay the way gay was co-opted by those gay gays. and it's totally gay the way gays now complain about it.
posted by quonsar at 5:25 AM on November 21, 2002


I think the title would scan better if it was "The Day I Joined the KKK was really wicked fucking gay.";

Honey, that's cuz you live in Maine. It doesn't scan in the real rest of the country. ;)

FYI, at the big national gay homo meeting last night, we agreed to finally relinquish "gay" from its big gay hostagehood. Now you can all frolick gayly without threat of being cruised by actual gays or, you know, being left to die on a fence in Wyoming.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:56 AM on November 21, 2002


Uh, guys? Reporters generally don't write the headlines; copy editors write headlines.
I thought that fact was widely known.
posted by Holden at 6:08 AM on November 21, 2002


RJ: It would be wicked pissa if it did though, wouldn't it? ;-)
posted by rusty at 6:28 AM on November 21, 2002


Agreed. There are a limited subset of Republicans that can be somewhat accurately characterized in that manner and they're from the South. Many northern Repubs are quite the opposite.

Of course they are.
And in the old (i.e., pre-Civil Rights Act) times those Southern Segregationists were all Democrats.
But thanks to Uncle Dick's Southern Strategy, nowadays all those nice White Christian Southerners are voting Republican (just check out the red/blue states graph)
But, it would be disingenious to argue that at least some of the Southerners who kinda miss the good old times (there must still be some of them, right?) are voting Republican nowadays? They're sure not voting for the Democrats

I also suspect that's one of the reasons why Colin Powell decided not to run -- imagine the Republican primaries in the South. If some people down there consider McCain to be too liberal, almost a commie in disguise, imagine what would have happened to Powell who also has that, *cough*, complexion
posted by matteo at 6:55 AM on November 21, 2002


I personally prefer "fey."

On behalf of the Unseelie Court, I object to the use of the word fey to replace the terms gay, lame, or sucky.
posted by moonbiter at 7:03 AM on November 21, 2002


i consulted my pal [denotes non-sexual male-male friendship] in north conway, and the proper term would be "wicked pissah gay".
posted by quonsar at 7:06 AM on November 21, 2002


We at the Lollypop Guild (local 6937) object to and and are deeply offended by the use of "sucky" as a synonym for lame. That's so gay.
posted by bonehead at 7:41 AM on November 21, 2002


It seems to me that the only raison d'etre for the KKK is to provide tabloid fodder for the Jerry Springer masses.

I wish we (as a society) could just stop doing stories on them and let them disappear into obscurity. They were well on their way to non-existence. I think ignoring them may be the best way to deal with those last few people stuck in the early 20th century.
posted by canucklehead at 8:46 AM on November 21, 2002


Fey means Fairy. Just 'cause you have a big vocabulary and want to substitute Fey for Gay doesn't make it any more politically correct. People just won't know what you're saying.

You are so fey...
posted by maniactown at 8:52 AM on November 21, 2002


i wonder where the love crimes capital is?

Valentine, Nebraska
posted by Fezboy! at 9:35 AM on November 21, 2002


i wonder where the love crimes capital is?

Well up until 2001 that would've been Washington DC.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2002


I thought it was Texas.
posted by Vidiot at 12:47 PM on November 22, 2002


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