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And I thought Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's was bad
June 2, 2005 9:10 AM   Subscribe

How are the San Francisco 49ers trained to handle the media? Apparently with a film involving naked lesbians, jokes about gay marriage, and offensive asian stereotypes (complete with buck teeth). The San Francisco Chronicle has the whole video online. The owners have apologized for the video (even though they could have put a stop to it when they saw it 5 months ago) , but the players are comparing it to Chapelle's Show.
posted by emptybowl (104 comments total)

 
Crap. I messed up the link to the videos. You can find them here.
posted by emptybowl at 9:11 AM on June 2, 2005


Anyone who gets upset about this desperately needs to get a life and an enema.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on June 2, 2005


Why an enema?
posted by item at 9:20 AM on June 2, 2005


Oh, just for the hell of it, item.
posted by jonmc at 9:21 AM on June 2, 2005


Well, they are refreshing. This country would be a better place with mandatory weekly enemas.
posted by item at 9:24 AM on June 2, 2005


jonmc, I would argue that anyone involved that thought this video was somehow funny needs to get a sense of humor. (Given the fact that you posted your response a mere 2 minutes after my original post, I'm going to assume you watched non of the 15 minute video.) I wouldn't describe myself as "upset" about this as much as "puzzled" by anyone doing it in the first place.
posted by emptybowl at 9:28 AM on June 2, 2005


This country would be a better place with mandatory weekly enemas.

The restroom custodians would probably beg to differ with us, however.

emptybowl: I'm at work. I didn't watch the video, but I read the description. Sounds off-color but relatively harmless and none of my business. Puzzled or offended, why should anyone care?
posted by jonmc at 9:31 AM on June 2, 2005


Come on, jonmc. Regardless of how bad the video actually is, training video on how to handle the media becomes PR flap. It's a delicious irony, at least.
posted by gurple at 9:33 AM on June 2, 2005


No *unedited* versions out there, presumably?
posted by Snowflake at 9:42 AM on June 2, 2005


If I'm upset about anything about that video, it's that you posted a link to a version with the nudity blurred out!
posted by phearlez at 9:44 AM on June 2, 2005


I say who gives a fuck.. If this is news, then I assume there are no starving children in this world.
posted by eas98 at 9:46 AM on June 2, 2005


I didn't watch the video, but it sounds like another example of double standards, along a couple different lines; if it was the Atlanta Falcons, would so many people be shocked? We, I think, expect San Francisco to be our bastion of tolerance, and therefore San Franciscans should not be allowed to share in the strange, marginal freedoms which have been on the wax over the last few years. Secondly, if it was an Infantry unit stationed in Iraq goofing off like this, would anyone be surprised? Hey, people might instead think, these are our good old boys, so what if they are entrenched in archaic, intolerant and insensitive humor? What, would we expect the Infantry to go in for sensitivity training? But nope, they are pro footballers, which although a largely physical enterprise, is so well financed that we then expect the people involved to be saintly beyond the bounds of mere mortals.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, until our society changes such that we expect ourselves to be tolerant, why should we expect these particular Americans to be acting differently than anyone else?
posted by nervousfritz at 9:47 AM on June 2, 2005


Is anyone going to watch the video?
posted by 23skidoo at 9:52 AM on June 2, 2005


I say who gives a fuck.. If this is news, then I assume there are no starving children in this world.

It will be a good day when history books reveal that the worlds poor rose to their feet strong and proud, leaving a bunch of men still struggling to conquer their misogyny and racism.
posted by futureproof at 9:56 AM on June 2, 2005


Rooney's character in "Breakfast At Tiffany's" was mildly humourous...somewhat of a stereotype, but knowing that it was Rooney somehow softened it.
posted by davidmsc at 9:58 AM on June 2, 2005


If this is news, then I assume there are no starving children in this world.

Odd, it looks like Fark has a blue background today....
posted by gurple at 10:00 AM on June 2, 2005


The vids aren't working on my Mac/Safari. I get a big Quicktime logo with a question mark in the middle of it (and I updated QT last night).
posted by dobbs at 10:06 AM on June 2, 2005


It's often been said of the workplace: Never say anything you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the newspaper. This video violates that principle savagely. It annoys me that a PR person wouldn't know that. (Or, perhaps, would make multiple copies of the evidence and lose track of them)

But more problematic is the Mayoral aspect. These dumbasses shot part of the video in da Mayor's office. As in, sitting behind his desk.

Dumbassery in a private context is one thing, but roping in an unwitting (and popular) politician is stupidity of the highest order. Enjoy the rest of your burger-flipping career, fellas.
posted by Triode at 10:07 AM on June 2, 2005


It seems to me that to turn a blind a eye to the very offensive scenes in this video, that was produced and distributed in the workplace, is to say its sexist and racist stereotypes are OK. I saw highlights of the video on the news yesterday, and there is a big difference between this and Chapelle's Show: Chapelle's Show is smart.

I am a big football fan, a Niners fan at that, but this sort of crap reinforces what everyone thinks about football players and sports culture: a bunch of overpaid frat boys who never grew up and don't have to act like civilized people.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:08 AM on June 2, 2005


I always tought SF was supposed to be a bastion of tolerance,free speech and a "Live and let live" attitude, I guess that's a one way street (no surprise there).

Let me see if I have the system figured out yet...

If I do/say something that the LGBT community doesn't like then I'm a bigoted, homophobic asshole.

If the LGBT community does/says something I don't like and I call them on it I'm a bigoted, homophobic asshole.
posted by MikeMc at 10:18 AM on June 2, 2005


From the last link:

"We share their view that the video was inappropriate, offensive in every respect, and of no value whatsoever,' the NFL statement said. "It does not reflect the 49ers' values and traditions or those of the League and its member clubs.'

This is a hoot coming from the National Felon Leauge. What "values" could the NFL possibly have?
posted by MikeMc at 10:22 AM on June 2, 2005


I saw highlights of the video on the news yesterday, and there is a big difference between this and Chapelle's Show: Chapelle's Show is smart.

So, only smart people can make ethnic jokes or jokes at the expense of...well, anyone? I only ask so I can bone up for my IQ test before getting my Liscensce To Crack Wise from the Tolerance Police.
posted by jonmc at 10:24 AM on June 2, 2005


"I am a big football fan, a Niners fan at that, but this sort of crap reinforces what everyone thinks about football players and sports culture: a bunch of overpaid frat boys who never grew up and don't have to act like civilized people."

But they are a bunch of overpaid frat boys who never grew up and don't have to act like civilized people. I don't see why this is a big deal, it was an in-house video made for a bunch of jocks. Seriously, who cares?

Go Pack!
posted by MikeMc at 10:29 AM on June 2, 2005


So, only smart people can make ethnic jokes or jokes at the expense of...well, anyone?

Yes. Only smart people can do that. That is exactly what I am saying. We will crush the dummies, first with small arms fire, and later with tanks.

Start crackin' the books, jon.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:30 AM on June 2, 2005


I like it that everyone keeps saying "look at the target audience was!" as if that makes it okay to make fun of people and be so insensitive. If someone made a film about lynching a black man made for the KKK, would people dismiss it saying, "hey, look at the intended audience." It's the same people who say "boys will be boys" and allow boys and these grown men to act like neanderthals because, hey, look at the audience!

Not only that, but it was supposed to culminate sensitivity training that players were forced to take. Sort of makes the whole sensitivity training thing look like a joke. I don't believe for a minute that the owners and managers didn't know about the video. They knew, and now they're just CYA by firing this guy and acting shocked...SHOCKED that it happened under their watch. Hypocritical.

I'm not overly offended by it, but I can't believe they would be that stupid..and also stoop to the stupid frat-boy, toilet humor level they did. As Gavin Newsom said, "What an idiot."
posted by aacheson at 10:32 AM on June 2, 2005


One more thing - It's the San Francisco 49ers. Not the Kraft-Macaroni-&-Cheese-Now-with-more-cheddary-flavor-49ers.

This is a privately owned company that enjoys an implicit relationship with the City, and derives a great deal of their customer loyalty & revenue from that relationship. I think I was in my teens before I realized that sports teams were not a municipal entity like water or sewage.

These chowderheads are not just sullying the name of football, they are sullying the name of the city. A city, incidentally, where 30% of the people are of asian heritage.

Next time the 49ers company come looking for a Bond or tax break or other ballot measure, I hope that we remember what the Niners think of us.

Go Red Sox!
posted by Triode at 10:32 AM on June 2, 2005


So, only smart people can make ethnic jokes or jokes at the expense of...well, anyone? I only ask so I can bone up for my IQ test before getting my Liscensce To Crack Wise from the Tolerance Police.

Obviously, any fucking idiot can make these kind of jokes, no license required--as it should be. Said fucking idiots, however, should not exhibit too much surprise when other people point out how stupid and insulting they are.
posted by Skot at 10:34 AM on June 2, 2005


Start crackin' the books, jon.

No. Being Irish, I'm too chronically drunk to read and being Italian, I'd rather be commited organized crime. Suggesting I become intelligent is an affront to my proud heritage.

but I can't believe they would be that stupid..and also stoop to the stupid frat-boy, toilet humor level they did.


frat-boy, toilet humor is often funny as hell. But hey, I'm very impressed by your being offended, you must be a person of good breeding and exquisite manners.
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on June 2, 2005


Jon: " So, only smart people can make ethnic jokes or jokes at the expense of...well, anyone? I only ask so I can bone up for my IQ test before getting my Liscensce To Crack Wise from the Tolerance Police."
Frankly, yeah, dumbass. Because a smart person can tell the difference between contexts with a "one less drunk" joke and just calling you a stupid fucking mick.
Just to, you know, make a point.
posted by klangklangston at 10:36 AM on June 2, 2005


oooh, am I supposed to be all offended and see the error of my ways, now, klangston? I've been called worse.

Please, I don't care how dirty, racist, sexist or homophobic a joke is, as long as it's funny. Every joke is at somebody's expense, get over it. It's like a bizarro-world version of the biblethumper's offense at the naked statue the other day.

I didn't bring up the word "smart," kaf did. I'm merely trying to point out that being a big fan of Chapelle (or Richard Pryor, or Howard Stern) but getting all indignant over this admittedly puerile video is a bit hypocritical. "My offensive comedy good! Your offensive comedy, bad!"
posted by jonmc at 10:44 AM on June 2, 2005


Rooney's character in "Breakfast At Tiffany's" was mildly humourous

I can't tell if this is sarcastic or not. You must be joking.

I've seen a lot of "erection" jokes in my day, but Rooney's is the most offensive "Asian" performance I've probably ever seen. Anyone seen worse?

I was excited to see the Chronicle hosting videos, but I couldn't get it to work on Firefox or IE. I don't wanna update QuickTime! I want to see stupidity. (Unfortunately, I think I agree with jonmc, but I can't be sure until I see it.)

This guy Reynolds sounds like a top performer. Good luck with that next job.

Short Dave Chappelle story: I was houseboating this past weekend, and a neighbor who had hooked up with one of the women on my boat came back the next night for more lovin', only to pound two huge vodka drinks and pass out on our couch. After we "chiefed" him (yes, I know, un-PC), he eventually woke up (4 hours later) and floated home in the middle of the night. Once his friends told him what had happened we got the predictable cursing, yelling, and then, over a bullhorn: "I'm Rick James, biatch!" That's a Dave Chappelle story for you.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on June 2, 2005


Jonmc, Yippie-do-dah for you that you are offended by nothing. Don't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back.

People are offended because those people have been hurt time and again by homophobia and racism and sexism and all sorts of other -isms and they're just tired of it. And they're sick of people who don't get it dismissing their sadness as being "too PC" and "needing to relax." If you don't stand up for yourself, people will continue to walk all over you. And this is what it's about. Asians are tired of the buck-tooth erection jokes. Gays are tired of being second class citizens. And a bunch of rich guys sitting around shitting on them one more time is just tiresome and they aren't going to "just relax" about it one more time.
posted by aacheson at 10:51 AM on June 2, 2005


getting all indignant over this admittedly puerile video is a bit hypocritical. "My offensive comedy good! Your offensive comedy, bad!"

How can you draw a comparison between stand-up comedians and a training video produced by an NFL PR guy?
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:52 AM on June 2, 2005


Why is it, when some members of group a get offended by some members of group b, someone from group b often stands up and states that "group a is allowed to be offended, but group b isn't, and that's not fair"? After all, being offended is a personal thing; I suspect that what they're really complaining about is that their point of view is not being validated by other people, which perhaps gives them a sneaky suspicion they're out of step with everyone else. Maybe rather than simply acknowledge it, or explore it, they'd rather devalue the opinions of everyone else so as to feel better about themselves without having to change. You know, essentially "I'm not the one out of step with the community, all the other members of the community are!"

My favorite manifestation of this is "tolerance police" or similar phrases; if you take a large group of people who have all become individually and separately offended by something, and they each stand up and say so, is it reasonable to claim that it's some kind of conspiracy? That seems kind of paranoid to me. A more reasoned response might be to consider the idea that, if a large number of people have all become offended, that it might simply be something that's offensive to a lot of people, possibly the majority. This isn't a value judgement; there was a time when racism was the norm, and attempts to overcome it were considered offensive by many.

So if your concern is that you feel persecuted because nobody else seems offended by what offended you but everyone seems offended by things that don't offend you, then you might want to consider the occasional senior citizen who runs around calling African-Americans various old-fashioned racial epithets just like they did when they were a kid, then gets angry when people tell them to knock it off. Is that really the kind of company you want to keep?
posted by davejay at 10:59 AM on June 2, 2005


Asians are tired of the buck-tooth erection jokes. Gays are tired of being second class citizens.

gays and asians everywhere will sleep soundly tonight because of you, brave citizen.

Please, some of the best Asian jokes, including accent humor, I've heard from Asians (sam goes for gay jokes and other ethnic humor). Let's face it, foreign accents are funny. And I say that as someone with two immigrant grandparents who butcher the English language in new and exciting ways every day. And the rest of the family goofs on them. This is life, get a helmet. Or we could just restrict all our humor to knock-knock jokes. That's be a hoot.

How can you draw a comparison between stand-up comedians and a training video produced by an NFL PR guy?

It's not a qualitative comparison, kaf, but both were obviously done for comedic effect.
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on June 2, 2005


What's the point of lesbian porn if you're just going to blur out the nudity? GET IT RIGHT, PEOPLE
posted by thanotopsis at 11:02 AM on June 2, 2005


Let's face it, foreign accents are funny.

Officially, foreign accents of Europeans are funny (i.e. smelly French guy, raging soccer hooligan, Italian mobster, etc). Any other nationality, and you're a racist. RACIST.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:05 AM on June 2, 2005


Officially, foreign accents of Europeans are funny (i.e. smelly French guy, raging soccer hooligan, Italian mobster, etc).

and don't forget southern accents, those are favorites of people so enlightened they wouldn't dream of cracking an "erection day," joke.
posted by jonmc at 11:09 AM on June 2, 2005


"... but this sort of crap reinforces what everyone thinks about football players and sports culture..."

Works for me. I've seen very little evidence to the contrary.
I will say that not all fans are brainless lumps of beer-soaked flesh, though. But most of them are.
posted by 2sheets at 11:12 AM on June 2, 2005


Every joke is at somebody's expense says jonmc.

SO untrue. Only the funny ones.
posted by phearlez at 11:12 AM on June 2, 2005


asians portrayed in a negative light. surprise surprise!
posted by lotsofno at 11:13 AM on June 2, 2005


no. supplies supplies!
posted by jonmc at 11:14 AM on June 2, 2005


that's actually pretty funny. though a bit riceist.

OMGZING
posted by lotsofno at 11:21 AM on June 2, 2005


Im with jonmc, you guys have your panties in a bunch. Honestly, its the nfl, BIG FUCKING surprise. Hey i bet they go out to strip clubs and do blow off of strippers titties while paying them to simulate lesbian sex with each other. That would probably also offend people, but i would expect it.

As for people coming together in some sort of compasionate hyper pc inspired group hug to end hate.... wtf mate would you want to live in that pussyfied pc hell hole of a world.
posted by sourbrew at 11:25 AM on June 2, 2005


though a bit riceist.

Actually, the Korean woman who runs the deli across the street from my job wears a t-shirt reading "Welcome To America. Now, Speak English." (no joke). She's a riceist.
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on June 2, 2005


I think I was in my teens before I realized that sports teams were not a municipal entity like water or sewage.

Well, it is if you live in Green Bay.
posted by drezdn at 11:29 AM on June 2, 2005


Man, I've been cracking wise without a license for years now. I sure hope the feds don't find out about that... or all those horrible Norwegian jokes I've been making.

Norway is a proud country and it's not right that I said that it would make a lovely zoo if you put a fence around it. Thankyou 49'ers for making me see the error of my ways!

*rolls eyes*
*laughs at "erection" joke*
*walks away*
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:38 AM on June 2, 2005


I'm down with jonmc. Quoting Charles Schultz, "I love mankind - it's people I can't stand." So true...
posted by Pressed Rat at 11:44 AM on June 2, 2005


As for people coming together in some sort of compasionate hyper pc inspired group hug to end hate.... wtf mate would you want to live in that pussyfied pc hell hole of a world.

More than this one. I'm 100% for pussification!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:54 AM on June 2, 2005


Most of the comments regarding this thread are predictable. However, I am really disappointed by the thoughtless defense of jonmc and others regarding these blatant racist stereotypes. Funny as some of these representations may be, they are still racist, whether performed by members of the represented population or not.

Such humor depends on a willful disregard of, for example, Chinese Americans who speak more fluently and "properly" than, say, many Presidents of the United States. Such humor promotes and relishes a kind of ignorance that equates unfamiliar speech patterns with inferiority. Such is often humor for the small-minded and, often, the bigoted.

The real scandal, however, is that the mocking of gays and Asians in this video is done by a sports team whose home town is renowned for being a haven for those mocked groups. A comparison would be the Atlanta Falcons producing a training video that attended a barbecue of blacks enjoying fried chicken and watermelon.

I am black and asian, and I can imagine finding such a video funny, but I would not for a second blind myself to the racist motives of such a video. If the video had been produced by the New England Patriots and were about Irish Americans drinking ale, fighting each other, and eating corned beef, I'd have a similar double-reaction.

Finally, I wanted to point out to an irony that crops up in the video segments and is prominent in video segment number 7 when Reynolds says to the camera:
Everything you do and say is covered by the media. So be careful of what you say and what you do. If you do something controversial, say something controversial, it will have an impact on this team. Your teammates will have to answer questions about it. Remember Teo?
So remember. Be mindful of your actions. Be mindful of your teammates. You don't wanna do anything that's gonna impact the team in a negative way. And also remember, what you do and say is not a only a reflection of yourself, it's also a reflection of the San Francisco 49ers. So be professional. After all, this is professional football.
It's uncanny how Reynolds forecasts the very situation this "training video" creates.
posted by mistersquid at 12:01 PM on June 2, 2005


*leans to the left, farts*
posted by quonsar at 12:03 PM on June 2, 2005


Wow. Jonmc is offended that other people are offended by someting. How intresting. And yet, he claims not to get offended by anything. fascinating.

And yes, some ethnic humor is offensive, and some is not. I've seen a lot of Chappele show and I've never seen anything that I’d call offensive.

A lot of humor revolves around stating the obvious in novel ways. If you say [ethnicity] does [this] or [that], and it’s either totally true, and not a particularly bad thing, then it’s not offensive.

I’m half Nigerian, so under the guideline of "if you’re [whatever] then you can make jokes about it." I’ll use these examples.

Suppose I were a standup comedian
I met my girlfriends dad the other day, and I was nervous, you know meeting your girlfriends parents. The parents were Nigerian, and I think I won them over. Then the dad tried to sell me a car. At least I think so; they’re so loud I think I lost my hearing.
Now I didn’t say it was funny but not that offensive, because Nigerians tend to be wheeling-and-dealing types and also are quite loud. That’s the underlying reality behind the jokes.

Now, if a stand up comedian had said this.
I met my girlfriends dad the other day, and I was nervous, you know meeting your girlfriends parents. The parents were Nigerian, and I think I won them over. The dad said he had 20 million dollars he wanted to get out of the country and if I helped I could get a substantial sum. Hell, with that kind of money you could probably take over the country. Maybe feed some of the starving children over there. I'd have to learn how to talk with clicks though.
See that would be offensive, because you’re extrapolating the bad behavior of a couple of Nigerians and applying it to the whole country (the 419 joke), and then of course not knowing anything about Nigeria specifically you make some general (and especially about Nigeria) incorrect jokes about Africa.

When the underlying reality of the joke is offensive, the joke is offensive. No less offensive then if you had said "“All Nigerians are 419 scammers, and the country is war-torn and full of starving people."

And I say that as someone with two immigrant grandparents who butcher the English language in new and exciting ways every day. And the rest of the family goofs on them. This is life, get a helmet.

Look, if I spent all my money pimping my car, and someone said to me "don't spend your paycheck on spinning rims this month." That would be funny, because I specifically am the kind of person who does that.

If I was some random black man and an employer said to me (upon giving me my paycheck) "don’t spend it on spinning rims this month." I’d be offended because I’m not that way and they made the judgment based solely on my skin color.

If he’d said "Don't spend it on spinning rims instead of feeding your kids." That would be hugely offensive, because the implication, the obvious underlying reality is that black people spend their money frivolously rather then being responsible parents. There's no difference between making that joke and flat-out saying "You’re black, so I think you’re going to spend this money on spinning rims rather then taking care of your kids."

Besides weren’t you, threads ago, complaining about how people judge people in groups? How here you are getting all offended that people getting offended by something. And then you're complaining about "the liberals" all as a single group.

Why can’t you spend like 10 fucking seconds reconciling all your inconsistencies rather pissing all over metafile with assorted nonsense?
posted by delmoi at 12:09 PM on June 2, 2005


s/metafile/metafilter. Damn spellchecker!
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on June 2, 2005


If the video had been produced by the New England Patriots and were about Irish Americans drinking ale, fighting each other, and eating corned beef, I'd have a similar double-reaction.

So, I assume you'll be protesting Notre Dame for their offensive team name and logo. And the Boston Celtics.

I am really disappointed by the thoughtless defense of jonmc

Well, there goes my night's sleep.

Such humor depends on a willful disregard of, for example, Chinese Americans who speak more fluently and "properly" than, say, many Presidents of the United States.

No, it depends on finding linguistic confusion funny. I believe in equality, and the one way that all humans are equal is that we're all ridiculous. I'm sure that when you hang around with your friends you probably playful bust on eachothers foibles. This isn't that much different. As long as everyone takes their lumps, I refuse to treat any group as special delicate beings just to preserve someone's sense of decorum.

Jonmc is offended that other people are offended by someting.

I'm not offended. Merely amused. But I'll be sure to clear all my wisecracks with you from now on.

Why can’t you spend like 10 fucking seconds reconciling all your inconsistencies

a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
posted by jonmc at 12:17 PM on June 2, 2005


Anyone who gets upset about this desperately needs to get a life and an enema.

Right, no one should be offended by anything, ever. While a lovely idea, not realistic, and I fail to see how chastising people who are offended helps anything. Apparantly, many people in this thread think it's a badge of pride to tell people that very thing though.

So what if someone is offended? How does that effect you in any way? So watch the thing, laugh, and leave the rest of us to our protests.
posted by agregoli at 12:19 PM on June 2, 2005


The fact that it is offensive is not the issue. It's obvious the producer of the video was aiming for offensive. He was playing it for cheap laughs. Because offensive can be funny. The only problem I have with it is that is inappropriate for ANY workplace. The only place a video like this would go unnoticed is training for an adult video store or something like that. It simply was bad judgement to make this a part of any professional training program. The guy deserves to get fired. Laugh at what you want in your free time, but it's just not appropriate at work.
posted by Roger Dodger at 12:20 PM on June 2, 2005


So what if someone is offended? How does that effect you in any way?

Because in this fucking country, people have a nasty tendency to try and suppress and remove things they find offensive, and when it comes to speech, you'll do that over my dead body.

chastising people who are offended helps anything.

I'm not chastising them, merely mocking them.
posted by jonmc at 12:21 PM on June 2, 2005


I met my girlfriends dad the other day, and I was nervous, you know meeting your girlfriends parents. The parents were Nigerian, and I think I won them over. The dad said he had 20 million dollars he wanted to get out of the country and if I helped I could get a substantial sum.

Left right there, I would think that's funny. And anyone who would think that this is come kind of crack on the entire Nigerian culture, is an idiot.
posted by Witty at 12:21 PM on June 2, 2005


It's uncanny how Reynolds forecasts the very situation this "training video" creates.

Ah, perhaps the entire brouhaha is an exercise to teach the players a valuable lesson. Kudos, Mr. Reynolds! You are operating at a level far beyond most of us.

On preview, I agree that I didn't find anything offensive on the Chappelle Show (I haven't seen all of them). This video sounds much different (though I still can't get it to work, goddammit!)

On further preview,

I fail to see how chastising people who are offended helps anything.

That's obvious. It's a pre-emptive strike for when they (or someone they agree with) offend(s).

Or it just might be an opinion by a blowhard.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on June 2, 2005


Because in this fucking country, people have a nasty tendency to try and suppress and remove things they find offensive, and when it comes to speech, you'll do that over my dead body.

Can I get your number for when I start making bomb jokes to the TSA folks at the airport?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:24 PM on June 2, 2005


I'd rather they explain and apologize to everyone for going 2 and 14 earlier this year.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:35 PM on June 2, 2005


Ok, mocking people who are offended. What's the difference there? It only serves to make yourself feel awesome for not being offended. Congratulations! It must be amazing to think you're living above everyone. Wish I lived there.
posted by agregoli at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2005


So, I assume you'll be protesting Notre Dame for their offensive team name and logo. And the Boston Celtics.

Don't be obtuse and disingenuous, jonmc. Team names and logos dedicated to honoring represented groups are very different than those which make ridiculous caricatures of them.
posted by mistersquid at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2005


Funny, for a PR guy, he has absolutely terrible speaking skills.
posted by sellout at 12:57 PM on June 2, 2005


Don't be obtuse and disingenuous, jonmc. Team names and logos dedicated to honoring represented groups are very different than those which make ridiculous caricatures of them.

Have you seen the Notre Dame logo, genius? It's a leprechauny dude in derby with his fists up, straight out of a Paddy cartoon. But it dosen't bother me, nor would most ethnic lampoons of Irish people. It's of little consequence, but like always crusades to rid the world of bad thoughts get bogged down in minutia.

Congratulations! It must be amazing to think you're living above everyone.

I have no desire to be "above" the easily offended and the pathologically sensitive. I just wish to be "away" from them. They tend to make for lousy drinking partners.
posted by jonmc at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2005


To aacheson, davejay, mistersquid, delmoi and others:
It's a pleasure reading your reasoned analysis of what some find to be a simplistic issue. This is why I read Metafilter, thanks.

delmoi, I think you make an important point regarding the pitfalls of an inconsistent worldview.
posted by Morrigan at 1:18 PM on June 2, 2005


I'm sure that when you hang around with your friends you probably playful bust on each others foibles.

This only works if you're actually friends. If you secretly fear/hate the person you're mocking, it's not quite so friendly. If a bunch of often-hostile teenagers start mocking you about your terrible hair and your ugly mother, I'm sure you wouldn't be quite so sublime about it.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:21 PM on June 2, 2005


If a bunch of often-hostile teenagers start mocking you about your terrible hair and your ugly mother, I'm sure you wouldn't be quite so sublime about it.

Actually, when I was a teenager, that kind of talk was more or less a part of day-to-day social life. If you're too sensitive to handle it, go to your room and read Sylvia Plath.

If you secretly fear/hate the person you're mocking

Everybody secretly hates and fears everybody, including their freinds. That's life.
posted by jonmc at 1:25 PM on June 2, 2005


If the LGBT community does/says something I don't like and I call them on it I'm a bigoted, homophobic asshole

Even though it happens to be the SF football team, I think it is quite a stretch to equate the 49ers with "the LBGT community." I don't think most of these guys choose a team to play for based upon how socially tolerant the host city is of different lifestyles.
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:27 PM on June 2, 2005


I hear the Redskins are looking forward to a good year -- shame about the Cleveland Coloreds not getting the expansion franchise, so solly.
posted by cedar at 1:29 PM on June 2, 2005


I'm with Milton, sheesh.
Delmoi, excellent discussion on the fine line between appropriate and inappropriate humor.
posted by MetalDog at 1:31 PM on June 2, 2005


Wait, am I the only one who doesn't think Chapelle's Show is either very smart or very funny? Granted, I've only seen a couple clips of it online; maybe having the ads mixed in provides some sort of missing contextual hilarity.
posted by kevspace at 1:32 PM on June 2, 2005


I didn't think the video was that funny, nor did I find it that offensive. Mostly it was just stupid and tiring, although I do love the irony of a PR guy fucking up so bad with a video on how to deal with the media.


However ... Im with jonmc, you guys have your panties in a bunch ... these types of comments are getting even more tiring. Reread the comments thread. The only ones who seem to have "their panties in a bunch" are those who are jumping on the rest of us for thinking this was a stupid video.
posted by kanewai at 2:14 PM on June 2, 2005


perhaps a bit unlike me, i would err on the side of giving this guy the benefit of the doubt here. consider his business culture. i could see it possible that he tried to inject humor to turn a boring presentation into something more interesting, and that it's possible he intended to use crude stereotypes to make the point that they are ridiculous and offensive; i could see that he would not view it as offensive, or would imagine others would not view it as offensive, because the message of the video itself is not to be offensive. i could see that the fact that he injected himself into the presentation (with his shirt off, no less, which i enjoyed, but don't think i'm defending him because of that) in a careerist move to put his image on something interesting and clever.

he obviously failed in his goals, for several reasons: (1) comedy is not as easy as it might look--even the pros miss more than they hit (2) comedy about sensitive subjects like this--again, even for the pros--walks a fine line between clever and offensive; and (3) the type of video he made is a concept that sounds really good sitting around smoking weed with the buds, but absent experienced actors, writers, and directors, it will most likely turn out to be crap. he pre-imagined it as something that would turn out well and be good for his career--we all kind of do that in our rock-star fantasies, no matter the talent we lack.

think about how it would have turned out had he succeeded in making something very clever and funny and not considered offensive: the players would have loved the video; it would have made the rounds in the 49ers offices; it might have shown up on a sports network somewhere; the guy might have gotten some recognition and reward. i think what happened is that he idealized the situation in his mind, and the execution did not match what he envisioned. i've done that all my life in one form or another, even here at metafilter (poems, anyone?), but luckily it hasn't been on a nationwide, deperate-news-cycle scale.

that said, i don't think the players would be defending him had he used crude black stereotypes in the same way. i also think the 49ers organization is being disingenuous in announcing its shock and disgust, since you know this video probably did make the rounds through the organization and the guy didn't umm...decide to quit until they were essentially publically obligated to be shocked and disgusted.

as a side note, as a gay man living in san francisco, i have to say that i've grown rather tired of being offended by every little gay comment some hetero makes along the way. it's just not worth it, especially considering that i've seen more racism, sexism, and lookism in any gay bar than i've seen among my many straight friends, or even in the us navy. do you want to know humiliation? discrimination? walk into badlands on any friday night with 20 extra pounds and/or an unshaved face or chest and/or the wrong clothes, and the bitches will be fierce.
posted by troybob at 2:14 PM on June 2, 2005


Wait, am I the only one who doesn't think Chapelle's Show is either very smart or very funny?

There are episodes that are just regular comedy, but there are a couple of moments that are transcendent.

First among these, in my opinion, is the episode in which Eddie Murphy's brother Charlie recounts his meeting Prince in the 80s in a club. Prince challenged his crew to a game of basketball (!). Prince & The Revolution showed up wearing their glam 80s ruffled dandy clothing (?!), stoically withstand the derision, and then proceed to just crush the hapless Murphy and his outgunned crew.

And there's a moment where Prince -- this is Prince, remember -- leaps up into the air, and dunks the ball. The camera is pointed at the rim. Prince is just fucking looking into the camera. Because he's Prince. He knows you're there, watching. He's expressionless. Because even though he just dunked the ball, he's fucking Prince and can't be bothered with that shit. And slowly, because he's Prince, he just lets go of the rim. And hangs there -- because he's Prince. And then slowly, because he's fucking PRINCE, he drops down out of the frame with that 'I could care less' expression on his face.

The whole thing takes maybe 5 seconds, but it is the funniest thing I think has ever appeared on television. Nothing has ever captured the spirit of Prince better than that moment, and I can't imagine anything ever will.
posted by felix at 2:19 PM on June 2, 2005


Well, I do like Prince's 80s persona enough; maybe I'll rent the DVDs sometime.

I mean, I don't dislike Chapelle's Show. Obviously, the writing has its heart in the right place (the essential difference between the 49ers video and Chapelle) and there's something brilliant about it. I just don't think making celebrities swear or "racism exists so laugh now" is really all that smart, and those sketches didn't make me laugh.

I don't expect all my comedy to be smart-- hell, I own "UHF"-- but I do like it to make me laugh.

Then again, I didn't laugh at that "leeroy" video either, so don't listen to me, ever.
posted by kevspace at 2:42 PM on June 2, 2005


MiltonRandKalman: I'd rather they explain and apologize to everyone for going 2 and 14 earlier this year.

Word up. When they have a winning season, they can be as obnoxious as they want. Right now, they had best be a little contrite because, man, they suck.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:47 PM on June 2, 2005


jonmc:

Yikes. Any chance you'll just lay back someday and stop (loudly) demanding that everyone acknowledge how little you care about this or that? We get it already.

The people I've know who really are flinty and hardened and ready for anything don't make such a big fuckin noise about it all the fuckin time, you know? What do you want, a god-damned cookie?

If you truly do wash your hands of the mass of oversensitivity and self-deceit that is all non-jonmc humanity, then be ye separate and silent, okay? Cause otherwise I can't imagine the point.
posted by argybarg at 2:50 PM on June 2, 2005


Jonmc is absolutely right. You pussies need to toughen up some. Wha? THAT was offensive? Ok. Everyone of you drop and do fifty push-ups RIGHT NOW.
posted by tkchrist at 2:50 PM on June 2, 2005


i think delmoi and troybob both summed it up perfectly.
posted by jimmy at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2005


agrybarg: amen.
posted by trey at 2:56 PM on June 2, 2005


I think the clips are funny -- that is, they're so awful and deliberately offensive that it's funny to think they could ever get away with this (especially after the numerous scandals in the team's past).

The maker of this video was either intentionally committing career suicide, or must be the biggest dolt in the field. There's no point in getting mad about this video -- it's such a colossal PR blunder, I would almost consider it an act of subversion.
posted by Down10 at 2:57 PM on June 2, 2005


Anyone who gets upset about this desperately needs to get a life and an enema.

If you're too sensitive to handle it, go to your room and read Sylvia Plath.

you know, for a supposed freewheelin', live and let live kinda guy, you're sure full of proscription, there, jonmc. and weird commands, at that -- we should be in our rooms, getting enemas, reading sylvia plath? sounds like this advice is based on strange personal experience.

and who said anyone was "upset," in the first place? i see a lot of people calling a spade a spade: when they see dumb football "humor" that trades in tired racial and sexual stereotypes, they call it that. saying it's lame and it sucks doesn't mean that any respondees in this thread are upset or offended, nor is anyone saying it should be censored per se.

but feel free to flex your free speech defense muscles, big fella. why, he's in favor of the defense of free speech! so virtuous!
posted by Hat Maui at 3:03 PM on June 2, 2005


Funny, for a PR guy, he has absolutely terrible speaking skills.


sellout,

i was thinking the same thing.

Does everyone in the 49er organization now completely suck?
posted by tsarfan at 3:16 PM on June 2, 2005


What do you want, a god-damned cookie?

Depends. You got any Fudge covered Mint Oreos? Those are boss.
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on June 2, 2005


i see a lot of people calling a spade a spade

RACISTS!

when they see dumb football "humor" that trades in tired racial and sexual stereotypes, they call it that. saying it's lame and it sucks doesn't mean that any respondees in this thread are upset or offended, nor is anyone saying it should be censored per se

Then why does this thread exist? I think the poster assumed people would be offended or have some kind of strong reaction, right?

Perhaps jonmc should post something about the double standard that seems to be at work here rather than derail you all seem do upset about.

To compare and contrast the "sexist and racist stereotypes" people (IOW: liberals) find acceptable and ones they do not. IE: Dave Chappelle or Margaret Cho vs. ...er... Howard Stern or somebody along that vein.

Essentially what you will find is an offensive minority person that gets a buy with the liberal crowd versus some White Guy that essentially says the same things and pilloried as a racist.

I get why jonmc is frustrated by this... white guys are the only ones held to this standard and the only ones it COSTS when labeled racist. Tends to make a guy froggy.
posted by tkchrist at 3:30 PM on June 2, 2005


Depends. You got any Fudge covered Mint Oreos? Those are boss.

No way, man. You have to eat the carob-y crap my vegan friends try to make me eat. That'll teach you!
posted by argybarg at 3:31 PM on June 2, 2005


I should note that I havn't seen the video. It may not be very offensive and I think troybob nails it that the guy probably thought what he was doing was funny and innofensive.

But, Jonmc stated that no racial or ethnic jokes are offensive, and that, clearly, is rediculous.
Such humor depends on a willful disregard of, for example, Chinese Americans who speak more fluently and "properly" than, say, many Presidents of the United States.
No, it depends on finding linguistic confusion funny. I believe in equality, and the one way that all humans are equal is that we're all ridiculous. I'm sure that when you hang around with your friends you probably playful bust on eachothers foibles. This isn't that much different. As long as everyone takes their lumps, I refuse to treat any group as special delicate beings just to preserve someone's sense of decorum.


Did you even read my post? Do you even understand the diffrence between an "individual" and a "group"? Just because I'm part black dosn't mean I deserve "lumps" because other black people, who I have no control over did something you find amusing.
posted by delmoi at 3:36 PM on June 2, 2005


You have to eat the carob-y crap

I believe carob was banned by the GUn Commission on Gustatory Torture back in '83. You'll have to come with me to the gulag, I'm afraid.
posted by jonmc at 3:36 PM on June 2, 2005


Everybody secretly hates and fears everybody, including their freinds. That's life.

Ha. You sound like Morrissey.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:40 PM on June 2, 2005


Just because I'm part black dosn't mean I deserve "lumps" because other black people, who I have no control over did something you find amusing.

Who says you deserve lumps? I'm saying that as long as no group's exempt from ethnic joshing, then I really have no problem with it. All this "sensitivity" has made humor such a minefield that people are afraid to crack wise about anything.

I'll give you a few examples:

Awhile back on the subway I saw a Puerto Rican guy wearing a gigantic rope chain with a rhinestone-encrusted Jesus hanging off the end of it, but no cross. My first thought was "what? Did he run out of change?"

In my cube, a few weeks ago, me and a few co-workers were talking about hockey for some reason. A Puerto Rican co-worker said "Latinos don't play hockey, man," a black co-worker said "That's cause you elbow a Rican into the boards, he'll cut your ass." (disclaimer: all three of us know eachother very well, so standards are looser, I guess).

But does finding those jokes and situations funny make me a racist? I don't think so, but I'm honestly curious as to your take, and quite frankly I'm curious about why my opinion bothers you so much.

Ha. You sound like Morrissey.

Now that's offensive. To Morissey, too, I'd imagine.
posted by jonmc at 3:46 PM on June 2, 2005


Have you seen the Notre Dame logo, genius?

jonmc, you are a troll and this is the last of your bait I'm biting. A leprechaun is a mythical figure of Irish origin. It is not a representation of Irish people. This is not the same, for example, as the Cleveland Indian's Indian or Quaker Oats' Aunt Jemima.
posted by mistersquid at 3:48 PM on June 2, 2005


A leprechaun is a mythical figure of Irish origin. It is not a representation of Irish people.

The name of the team is the Fightin' Irish, not the Fightin' Leprechauns, and the stereotype of the drunken Irish brawler was alive and well through most of this country's history. But you know what, there are plenty of brawlers and drunks in the Irish side of my family tree, so the whole thing is more amusing to me than anything else.
posted by jonmc at 3:54 PM on June 2, 2005


Awhile back on the subway I saw a Puerto Rican guy wearing a gigantic rope chain with a rhinestone-encrusted Jesus hanging off the end of it, but no cross. My first thought was "what? Did he run out of change?"

In my cube, a few weeks ago, me and a few co-workers were talking about hockey for some reason. A Puerto Rican co-worker said "Latinos don't play hockey, man," a black co-worker said "That's cause you elbow a Rican into the boards, he'll cut your ass." (disclaimer: all three of us know eachother very well, so standards are looser, I guess).


Did you say "Hey buddy, what's matter, run out of change?" to the guy on the subway? No way, because he'd probably cut your ass.

No, but seriously, there's many, many, nuances about what is acceptable and not in terms of making fun of someone. There are certain things that you can say to a good friend that you simply cannot say to someone that you don't know. This isn't a result of some oversensitivization of America, that's how it's always been. You can't expect people who don't know you to know when you are joking.

Which doesn't mean that you shouldn't be allowed to joke around with your friends; you can do what you like. But the guy who made these videos was an idiot to not realize that they *might* get out, and that people who didn't know him might not get the joke that he was trying to make.

Comedy is hard.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:14 PM on June 2, 2005


Did you say "Hey buddy, what's matter, run out of change?" to the guy on the subway? No way, because he'd probably cut your ass.

Well that's simple self-preservation, but some people (I'd argue that they're paranoid, and admittedly they're rare, but I've encountered them) would call the thought itself racist. But then again, I mentioned this story to another black co-worker (I'm the only whiteboy in my cube) and he laughed and said "some people have fucked-up priorities."
posted by jonmc at 5:19 PM on June 2, 2005


I am black and asian, and I can imagine finding such a video funny, but I would not for a second blind myself to the racist motives of such a video.

I'm white and Asian. I found the erection jokes amusing, in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. But I see no racist agenda here. Maybe it is because I don't take race very seriously.

I don't think that making fun of one Chinese person's phonetical challenges is the same as making fun of Asian people, or even Chinese people, or of specific Chinese ethnic groups.

What offended me was that when he needed to read the Chinese, he said something like "Where's Tanaka when you need him?" as if a person with a Japanese last name would be any help reading a Chinese newspaper (there's a slight chance...) That's an "all look same" generalization that has always bothered me. But even that isn't as attributable to malicious, rationalized racism as it is general ignorance.

I could never get away with crap like this at work. Oh well.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:32 PM on June 2, 2005


Emptybowl you need to go into self-exile with all the other pathetic, thin-skinned, whiny, self-righteous yonks. You and others need to realize that "YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED." Why do you think stereotypes are formed? Do you think it's better to pretend racism and stereotypes don't exist and have your feelings hurt when you have an opportunity to be offended? Racism has always existed and always will; I've seen racist niggers (Oh my God, I used the N-word!), racist crackers/honkeys, racist gooks, racist spics, etc. Instead of pretending it's not there, accept it and move on. Why should you care what anyone else thinks?
posted by nocode at 7:40 PM on June 2, 2005


Also, the things I observe in my life are what I have to make humor out of, like any other self-styled humorist. You tell me how else I'm supposed to react to what I'm see.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 PM on June 2, 2005


"YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED."
or
you have the right to be offended.

i agree.
posted by pointilist at 8:18 PM on June 2, 2005


jonmc:

The point is that, as 23skidoo points out, there's a lot of complexity and nuance involved in negotiating the social code. The boundaries between pitch-perfect, mind-cleaning humor and ignorant garbage is often very fine. There are shades of meaning, and nothing is as flat-out simple as we would like.

You may wish it weren't so nuanced, or you may think that being all manly and tough-minded will make it not so. (Likewise, people from both political ends would also like the boundaries very clear.) But race and culture and values and humor are all endlessly complicated, so the best thing to do is read the signs as deeply and carefully as you can and jump in.

After all, look at nocode -- you don't want to end up like that, do you?
posted by argybarg at 9:22 PM on June 2, 2005


Simply disgusting.
posted by xistboi at 9:31 PM on June 2, 2005


jonmcfilter?

I have red hair, freckles, get piss drunk every night, eat potatos, and sometimes wear a kilt with no underwear.
Am I a racist?
posted by Balisong at 9:40 PM on June 2, 2005


It's a fair dinkum outrage!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:49 PM on June 2, 2005


A leprechaun is a mythical figure of Irish origin. It is not a representation of Irish people.

The name of the team is the Fightin' Irish, not the Fightin' Leprechauns, and the stereotype of the drunken Irish brawler was alive and well through most of this country's history. But you know what, there are plenty of brawlers and drunks in the Irish side of my family tree, so the whole thing is more amusing to me than anything else.


jonmc, I think the reason most people aren't too terribly offended by the whole Fightin' Irish thing is that back in 20's - 30's Notre Dame took the racial slur, embraced it and took it as their name. At the time it was more or less true, there were a lot of Irishmen on the team. It appears that it is ok to embrace racial slurs (N word) as long as you belong to said group.

ok, fire away again folks....
posted by Numenorian at 11:11 AM on June 3, 2005


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