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The Charge of the Keystone Brigade?
October 2, 2006 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Smilin' Savior not winning hearts and minds. Suprisingly, in a Muslim nation where the thumbs-up sign is considered obscene, "Buddy Jesus" fails to amuse after a woman and girl are left dead in a firefight.
posted by orthogonality (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Kevin Smith destabilizes the world AGAIN.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 11:33 AM on October 2, 2006


This is almost as weird as when those Bert is Evil images started showing up in those Middle Eastern protest posters.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:35 AM on October 2, 2006


I don't get it, can't the prophet Isa al Masih make all the obscene gestures he wants? What the point of being a prophet if you don't get any perks?
posted by davy at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2006


Er, I guess it's actually "Buddy Christ".

Regardless, it's once again evidence we've departed the real world for some bad satiric novel, a novel that six years ago would have been dismissed as ridiculously unsubtle and unbelievable. (The Co-Chair of the House Exploited Children's Caucus IMs Congressional pages, asking them to measure their what?)
posted by orthogonality at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2006




The 'offending' statue - seeing as that article didn't have a pic.

no offence intend to anyone affronted by an errect thumb or two
posted by stumcg at 11:47 AM on October 2, 2006


and...as Silent Bob would say about this.... " "
posted by HuronBob at 11:50 AM on October 2, 2006


In all fairness, I hate pretty much everything from Dogma too. That movie was horrible.
posted by Bageena at 11:51 AM on October 2, 2006


stumcg,

hey, can you link to your picture instead, i'm in beautiful downtown baghdad and your image is NSFW here.
posted by mulligan at 11:53 AM on October 2, 2006


Sounds like someone has replaced the Ace of Spades with Buddy Christ. Not cool.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:53 AM on October 2, 2006


1. That these people believe they have anything to do with Christ is appalling.

2. Apparently the white trash with guns now find it entertaining to kill women and children.

3. Someone please say "Why do they hate us?"

4. More American "soldiers" will die because of this. In fact, this will be so effective at causing retaliation that the insurgents would have done well to leave this picture themselves.
posted by leapingsheep at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2006


See also.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2006


One hand pointing and the other giving a thumbs-up... I hadn't noticed before, but it reminds me of Lynndie England.
posted by Marla Singer at 11:57 AM on October 2, 2006


Sigh. Can't we all just get along here?
posted by pax digita at 11:58 AM on October 2, 2006


What's with the quotes around "soldiers" leapingsheep?
posted by dead_ at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2006


Kevin Smith responds.
posted by mattbucher at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2006


In fact, this will be so effective at causing retaliation that the insurgents would have done well to leave this picture themselves. Which, in fact, is what the military spokesman said was occuring. And calling the "soldiers" white trash?-- you're awesome.
posted by undule at 12:05 PM on October 2, 2006


Not much of a response. But, then, as much as I would like to pin this on Smith, it really has nothing to do with him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:06 PM on October 2, 2006


Orthogonality is exactly right. We are definitely living in surreality when Osama bin Laden is paraphrasing David Cross and the Buddy Christ is being used (by whomever) as agitate for more sectarian strife.
posted by psmealey at 12:15 PM on October 2, 2006


Whenever "angry men" make accusations, I believe them unflinchingly.
posted by loquax at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2006


I'm with orthogonality. I can't help feeling that this whole war would fit in nicely as a chapter in Catch 22.
posted by lekvar at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2006


The news stories (with pic) linked at the Silent Bob page claim that Iraqis thought the picture was of a Shiite religious figure and that their faith was being mocked. Also, the picture was found in conjunction with a pamphlet describing a US strategy to "discredit the militias". The story suggests the pamphlet is not an official US publication and (I believe) hints that it is disinformation from an Iraqi group. The story does not mention the "thumbs up" gesture. I recall, some years ago, a debate on whether or not Iraqis actually considered it obscene. IIRC, even American armed forces were split on this with the Navy saying "no" and the army, "yes".
posted by CCBC at 12:18 PM on October 2, 2006


What's with the quotes around "soldiers" leapingsheep?

Well, leapinsheep's froth about "the white trash with guns now find it entertaining to kill women and children" might be a clue.

The term you are looking for is babykiller leapingsheep. White trash just isn't kind.
posted by three blind mice at 12:19 PM on October 2, 2006


Which, in fact, is what the military spokesman said was occuring.

I don't think so.

As much as we'd hate to believe that any of our soldiers are capable of this kind of behavior, we've only to look at Abu Ghraib to see that unchecked attempts at juvenile (and often very dark) humor can and do occur. The winking Buddy Christ icon, a burly and snarky version of Jesus, wouldn't really resonate as effective with the local insurgent population. If they wanted to point an accusatory finger at western Christianity, they'd leave a more traditional (in the Euro-American sense) image of Jesus.

In other words, somebody picked Buddy Christ because they thought it would be bad-ass and cool. :|
posted by grabbingsand at 12:22 PM on October 2, 2006


Regardless, it's once again evidence we've departed the real world for some bad satiric novel, a novel that six years ago would have been dismissed as ridiculously unsubtle and unbelievable.

I'd just like to say that this book sucks. The characters are barely believable yahoo stereotypes, the plotting is ridiculous, and there's nary a hero anywhere. Scratch that; it's the risibility of its themes-- the "War on Terror", for one-- that really offends. I mean, come on, tramping all over the Constitution, what's that about? "Tactical" nuclear strikes on Iran? Whoever wrote this militaristic wet dream needs to get out of the basement for a while and involve himself is some constructive activities.
posted by jokeefe at 12:23 PM on October 2, 2006


Worst. Product placement. Ever.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:25 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


The thing is, disinformation or not.... everyone in Iraq is going to believe we left the picture and/or wrote the pamphlet.

We've just announced we can torture them whenever we want. We're willing to fry the testicles of innocent men. If we're that depraved, why would they think we we were anything other than wholly evil? Why would they think we were EVER telling the truth? For that matter, why would WE believe the administration denials? What shred of credibility do they have left?

At this point, any Iraqi trusting this administration would be very foolish indeed. And war zones, it should be pointed out, weed out the foolish.
posted by Malor at 12:32 PM on October 2, 2006


I used quotes because the world "soldier" to me, at least, implies some sort of decorum, bravery, righteosness - not torture, indiscriminate slaughter, and snickering insults meant to mock the civillian dead.

And yes, whoever did this was white trash, unless of course they weren't white. They were white trash like Lynndie England and Charles Garner and all the other people whose atrocities in Iraq have been brought to my attention. They are unthinking people who went to Iraq with dreams of killing ragheads, and their dreams are coming true.

And yes, babykiller is an appropriate description for the people who have actually shot babies in the head. I wouldn't throw it at random military personnel returning home, because I'm aware that some of them don't want to be there, and I don't know how they behaved while they were there. But anyone who has killed babies, and will receive no punishment for it, doesn't have my sympathy if someone calls them by an unpatriotic name. I notice that this particular story didn't state the age of the "girl" but I won't be surprised if she does turn out to be a baby, especially considering the "woman" who was raped and her family killed, who later turned out to be a 15-year-old girl (or possibly younger, I don't remember since the number kept shrinking from 22 to 17 and so on.)
posted by leapingsheep at 12:34 PM on October 2, 2006


Apparently the white trash with guns now find it entertaining to kill women and children.

leapingsheep: this comment is offensive on so many levels it's not even funny. Crawl back under your bridge please.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2006


And yes, whoever did this was white trash, unless of course they weren't white.

So if they were black they'd be black trash. Or asian trash. Or arab trash.
posted by loquax at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2006


I'd just like to say that this book sucks. The characters are barely believable yahoo stereotypes, the plotting is ridiculous, and there's nary a hero anywhere.

OK, scratch my previous comment. Reality isn't plagiarizing Heller, it's obviously trying to imitate Vonnegut. Badly
posted by lekvar at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2006


And yes, whoever did this was white trash, unless of course they weren't white.

The fact that you chose those words, rather than simply 'murderer,' says a lot about how you must think.
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on October 2, 2006


How many babies do you have to kill in order to be called a Babykiller?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2006


Residents found a picture of "Buddy Jesus" from the 1999 film "Dogma" posted in the streets, accompanied by a badly photocopied pamphlet bearing a crude approximation of a US military crest and outlining a US "plan" to subjugate the neighborhood.

This was clearly not left by troops.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 12:41 PM on October 2, 2006


How many babies do you have to kill in order to be called a Babykiller?

Sometimes, I'm beginning to think that nobody, from the commander-in-chief to the anti-war movement learned a damned thing from Vietnam.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on October 2, 2006


Sometimes, I'm beginning to think that nobody, from the commander-in-chief to the anti-war movement learned a damned thing from Vietnam.

I learned that it's NOT COOL to scream "Babykiller!" to a conscripted soldier that was sent there against his will.
I'm not sure that applies to a volunteer force.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 12:49 PM on October 2, 2006


This isn't real!? Seriously?

I can't help feeling that this whole war would fit in nicely as a chapter in Catch 22.

No shit. Or Alice in Wonderland.

My world is all spinny and I feel dizzy. There are so many levels of sureality at work here I feel a rip in the time-space continuum is about to appear.
posted by tkchrist at 12:54 PM on October 2, 2006


shnoz-goblin: what are you going to do, poll every returning veteran on his war record? The fact that you seem so eager (even metaphorically) to scream it at someone is a bit disturbing all by itself. It seems like we're all too willing to play into the cultural polarization that Bush and co. have been ladling out for us.

I don't believe that soldiers are above criticism and I believe that atrocities in war should be dealt with harshly. But I also realize that it's very easy to take potshots from the comfort of our couch.

Volunteer force? The troops are still culled (for the most part) from the same demographics of society that draftees were. The 'white trash,' fight, so we don't have to.
posted by jonmc at 12:55 PM on October 2, 2006


We are definitely living in surreality when Osama bin Laden is paraphrasing David Cross

For some reason, I'm picturing this as Panzic Poojaran.

Every day, people go into restaurants...and they, they take the condiments and they, they take them and they put them on the...plate and they mix it up and put it in a glass and they dare their friends to drink it, and...they think it is funny. Right now I would drink it!! And I would thank them for it.

(Hey, at least I didn't say Ayatollah Khoella.)
posted by Remy at 12:56 PM on October 2, 2006


jonmc

Well apparently Kissinger is advising the Bush Administration on how to conduct the war, so now it is official: Iraq is Vietnam War II: The Desert Phase.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:03 PM on October 2, 2006


This is the last thing I'm going to say about this unless someone says something especially interesting about it, but it's a fact that "white trash" has a meaning that can't easily be covered by another expression, and because of the particular history of the United States the word "Black trash," "Asian trash" and "Arab trash" would not be at all parallel. It doesn't refer simply to white people with no money, or white people with no formal education, or even poor, white people with no formal education, or even poor white people with no formal education who own guns. It refers specifically to people with all of the above, who, so desparate to feel superior to others despite all apparent indications to the contrary, cling to the historical idea of white superiority and become xenophobic, racist, and generally abusive of any power they may somehow obtain. It would be racist to apply this term to the whole white underclass in general, but I feel that when it's used as I've used it, it does serve to convey a specific and unique meaning that is not racist, unless any mention of racial influence on perceptions and interactions is to be considered racist.

That said, I used the phrase without considering that some people might be personally viscerally offended by it, so sorry for the oversight if anyone felt personally insulted.

And really, don't let this thing be so easily explained away after the fact by the same people who said "The United States does not torture," inflated that rape victims age, and spouted so many other lies in attempts to cover up misdeeds after the fact.
posted by leapingsheep at 1:34 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


The only equivalent phrase I know for "white trash" is "dirtlegs", but that's probably not well-known outside of certain regions.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:38 PM on October 2, 2006


leapingsheep: the fact that you used the term reflexively (without even knowing the race of the perpetrators) has consigned you to my 'pay no mind,' file. See how overheated ill-advised rhetorical flourishes can hurt your cause?
posted by jonmc at 1:41 PM on October 2, 2006


Not to mention, I doubt you'd be so comfortable ripping into the perpetrators if they were non-white, since then somebody might think you were (gasp) prejudice. I'm sure you'll have some long-winded justification, but I'd prefer you just keep chewing your foot.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on October 2, 2006


The term you are looking for is babykiller...

There is no documentary--as opposed to anecdotal--evidence that any returning Vietnam era veteran was ever spat upon or was called babykiller. For instance, there are no contemporary--that is during or immediately after the Vietnam War--press reports whatsoever of any Vietnam veterans being spat upon. Well, there are no reports other than Ron Kovic and his compatriots being spat upon by Young Republicans at a demonstration against the Vietnam War they staged at the 1972 Republican convention in Miami or where World War II era veterans spat upon anti-war Vietnam Vets participating in other demonstrations against the war, that is. Mobs of pro-war counterdemonstrators, veterans and civilians, spitting on civilian antiwar protestors during the Vietnam War also abound. But not vice versa.

Similarly, there was a chant used at antiwar demonstrations that went "Hey, Hey, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today ?" That is a matter of public record. You can hear and see several examples that were reported at the time. With the perhaps possible exception of those involved in the My Lai massacre, stories of returning soldiers being called babykillers were not.

The idea that solitary individuals would physically or verbally attack returning soldiers by themselves within secluded locations in public spaces like airports without any witnesses and no press reports at the time is simply ludicrous. If one thinks about it for a second, the idea that a woman--the usual offender in such spitting stories--would approach upon a man she did not know in a public area such as an airport and spit upon him or call him babykiller defies logic.

A woman approaches a man she does not know and has never seen before and calls him a babykiller and then spits upon him. Yeah, that's the ticket. It's so believable.

Spitting upon soldiers, calling them babykillers--these are acts that would happen in mob scenes. If there were such mob scenes of antiwar demonstrators attacking soldiers, they would have been reported an re-reported and re-reported, as stories of groups of pro-war veterans and Young Republicans spitting upon anti-war veterans like Ron Kovic, or the anti-war demonstrators' chants about LBJ, they were reported at the time.

See also The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam
posted by y2karl at 1:44 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


There is no documentary--as opposed to anecdotal--evidence that any returning Vietnam era veteran was ever spat upon or was called babykiller.

We know. And (no offense, karl) you remind us everytime the subject comes up, but the fact remains that returning veterans were 1) treated horrendously by the government they served and 2) bore the brunt of much of the anti-war rhetoric, since it bounced off the generals and cabinet members who were the architects of it all.

When i said that it seemed like we've learned nothing from Vietnam, I was referring to rhetoric like leapingsheep's which helps nobody and alienates many and insults veterans. I was incensed at it and I'm not a soldier, so I can only imagine what their reaction might be.


Similarly, there was a chant used at antiwar demonstrations that went "Hey, Hey, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today ?"

I've seen news footage from the 60's of demonstrators chanting 'Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!' which I would imagaine didn't win the anti-war movement many friends among veterans families either. I fully acknowledge that the war was wrong as is our current one, but I think we should acknowledge gaffes, if for no other reason than to be more effective.
posted by jonmc at 1:51 PM on October 2, 2006


I see it. The Islamists have failed to kick the U.S. out by suicide bombers since nobody really cares when poor Iraqis & poor U.S. soldiers get killed. But they noticed the whole cartoon stupidity. So they've adopted the more effective strategy of faking U.S. insults against Islam. Sounds like a good plan to me. Maybe we can get Bush screwing Mohammed in the ass next?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:53 PM on October 2, 2006


In 1995 sociologist Thomas Beamish and his colleagues analyzed all peace movement-related stories from 1965 - 1971 in the NY Times, LA Times, and SF Chronicle (495 stories). They found no instance of any spitting on returned troops by peace movement members, nor any taunting. Indeed, they found few examples of negative demonstrations involving returning troops of any kind, or even of simple disapproval of returning soldiers. Three years later, sociologist Jerry Lembcke conducted a similarly exhaustive study for his book, The Spitting Image, with like results. He discovered war protesters being spat upon by war supporters, and hostile acts toward Vietnam veterans by conservative, pro-war groups like the VFW, but no taunting or spitting on returned veterans by peace movement members. Returned veterans and in-service GIs were welcomed in the peace movement, and many assumed leadership roles. Yet the myth endures.

Cultural myths are often created in a collective fashion over time, as such they represent widely shared values in the group. But myth making is seldom divorced from the politics and power struggles that are always present in society. That is, some myths are created or perpetuated to serve the particular political interests of subgroups. Similarly, some general cultural myths may be reconstructed to serve special interests at the expense of the common good. Myths also help us deal with events that don't fit our world-view. How could a superpower be defeated by a small, "primitive" country? The spitting myth helps redirect that responsibility to an unsupportive peace movement at home.

The Vietnam era peace movement directed its displeasure at policy makers, not at the soldiers. Yet the Gulf War and Iraq War peace movements have each had to defend against mythological charges that peace activism means they don't support the troops, or that they will soon by spitting on them. In fact, by opposing an unjustified war, today's peace movement has demonstrated its high regard for the women and men whose lives are forever changed - or lost - by political leaders too willing to go to war.

While the spitting image is a convenient myth for some to exploit during a war waged simultaneously with a presidential election, neither its convenience nor its frequent repetition make it any more true.
Myth Making and Spitting Images from Vietnam
posted by y2karl at 1:54 PM on October 2, 2006


More lurve for Orthogonality; I feel some days like Tom Wolfe is trying his hand at social satire again, only this time by writing news copy.
posted by pax digita at 1:56 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Maybe we can get Bush screwing Mohammed in the ass next?

Psst. I got copies of receipts from RealDoll.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2006


the fact remains that returning veterans were 1) treated horrendously by the government they served and 2) bore the brunt of much of the anti-war rhetoric, since it bounced off the generals and cabinet members who were the architects of it all.
...A 1971 Harris poll conducted for the Veterans Administration found over 90 percent of Vietnam veterans reporting a friendly homecoming.
Debunking a spitting image

As for troops bearing the brunt of much antiwar rhetoric: Bullshit. I remember the Vietnam War. I was alive at the time. There was a draft going on--those soldiers were our friends and neighbors, and in our worst nightmares, us. We all knew someone who had been drafted. People did not hate soldiers or personally treat them shabby when they returned. Condoning people who repeat baseless myths is not helpful. Actual shabby treatment of veterans by the government does not equal Rambo movies dialogue and Gulf War I agit-prop about nonexistent hippie women spitting on vets and calling them babykillers in airports. I will happily point this out every time anyone reintroduces the myth. No. Contemporary. Documentary. Evidence. That should be a clue right there.
posted by y2karl at 2:23 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


When i said that it seemed like we've learned nothing from Vietnam, I was referring to rhetoric like leapingsheep's which helps nobody and alienates many and insults veterans. I was incensed at it and I'm not a soldier, so I can only imagine what their reaction might be.
posted by jonmc

That trash-mouthed comment put this vet off the whole thread.
posted by taosbat at 2:30 PM on October 2, 2006


GI Jesus
posted by homunculus at 2:47 PM on October 2, 2006


the fact that you used the term reflexively has consigned you to my 'pay no mind,' file.

Not to mention, I doubt you'd be so comfortable ripping into the perpetrators if they were non-white, since then somebody might think you were (gasp) prejudice.


The fact that you suggest that someone would be OK with the killing of women and children so that they might appear PC tends to consign you.....

Well, you know.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:00 PM on October 2, 2006


It doesn't refer simply to white people with no money, or white people with no formal education, or even poor, white people with no formal education, or even poor white people with no formal education who own guns. It refers specifically to people with all of the above, who, so desparate to feel superior to others despite all apparent indications to the contrary, cling to the historical idea of white superiority and become xenophobic, racist, and generally abusive of any power they may somehow obtain.

Oh please. And "nigger" doesn't refer simply to black people, it refers to those gangster black people who commit crimes. Seriously, that may be the meaning you ascribe to the phrase "white trash", but I think it would be good if you could keep in mind that most people don't have that specific definition of the phrase that you seem to have.
posted by Stauf at 3:10 PM on October 2, 2006


Kid Charlemagne: leapingsheep was the one who used the specifically racial and class based epithet 'white trash.' what other conclusion am I supposed to come to?


As for troops bearing the brunt of much antiwar rhetoric: Bullshit. I remember the Vietnam War. I was alive at the time. There was a draft going on--those soldiers were our friends and neighbors, and in our worst nightmares, us. We all knew someone who had been drafted. People did not hate soldiers or personally treat them shabby when they returned.


I didn't claim they did. And in the case of the majority of the anti-war movement your characterization is accurate. I may not have been alive for most of the war, but I have family and close friends who were both in-country and active in the anti-war movement. At my fathers 60th birthday party last year, my dad and all my uncles spent hours discussing their days worry about the draft (my father was ultimately drafted) and friends of theirs who were drafted and didn't come back. This is not a mythical TV subject to me. And I didn't reintroduce the myth, merely pointed out that some of the extremist statements by a small minority of anti-war activists might be counterproductive. It does gall me that I'm being forced to state my objections to leapingsheep's rhetoric in terms this unctuously, and karl, you know me well enough to know that hanging a Rambo rhetoric tag on my comments is way off the mark. I've marched, metafiltered and argued against this war as much as anybody here for whatever that's worth.


That trash-mouthed comment put this vet off the whole thread.


Being irked that somebody refers to soldiers as 'white trash,' and I'm the trash-mouthed one here?
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on October 2, 2006


I think he's confirming your supposition, jonmc, not pointing his finger at you.
posted by lekvar at 3:28 PM on October 2, 2006


Sometimes, I'm beginning to think that nobody, from the commander-in-chief to the anti-war movement learned a damned thing from Vietnam.

Given how upset you get about your average child kidnapping/rape/murder in the papers you're coming off as a tad hypocritical. If you read the article you see a "little girl" was, in fact, killed. How is that any less bad then some pedophile kidnapping and murdering a child? Both result in the death of children.

Anyway, I personally don't blame the solders for the way they are acting; anyone with some sense would realize that this sort of thing would happen in this sort of situation. I think Lyndee England was more of a scapegoat then anything. The people at the top are the ones responsible.

This is the last thing I'm going to say about this unless someone says something especially interesting about it, but it's a fact that "white trash" has a meaning that can't easily be covered by another expression, and because of the particular history of the United States the word "Black trash," "Asian trash" and "Arab trash" would not be at all parallel. It doesn't refer simply to white people with no money, or white people with no formal education, or even poor, white people with no formal education, or even poor white people with no formal education who own guns. It refers specifically to people with all of the above, who, so desparate to feel superior to others despite all apparent indications to the contrary, cling to the historical idea of white superiority and become xenophobic, racist, and generally abusive of any power they may somehow obtain.

To me it just means "poor whites with dysfunctional families"
posted by delmoi at 3:39 PM on October 2, 2006


She, please, and lekvar is correct, I was responding directly to, "I can only imagine what their reaction might be." "That trash-mouthed comment" may be taken to include leapingsheep's original comment and follow-up 'justifications.'
posted by taosbat at 3:43 PM on October 2, 2006


If you read the article you see a "little girl" was, in fact, killed. How is that any less bad then some pedophile kidnapping and murdering a child?

It isn't. I suggested that 'murderer,' was a more appropriate term rather than a racially and class loaded one. If an article referred to John Malvo as a 'nigger sniper,' we'd be be (correctly) offended no matter that Malvo is a murderer, yes?
posted by jonmc at 3:44 PM on October 2, 2006


on post: taosbat, thanks for the clarification (and for your service).
posted by jonmc at 3:46 PM on October 2, 2006


To me it just means "poor whites with dysfunctional families"

To me, it's an ethnic slur. No two ways about. It's a slur, and it refers to ethnicity. Leapingsheep or anyone else can rationalize it all they want, but that's what it is.
posted by loquax at 3:48 PM on October 2, 2006


To me, it's an ethnic slur.

When used by other whites (and I've heard far more whites use it than non-whites) it's a class slur. Sometimes used ironically or with backhanded affection, but leapingsheep has made it clear that's not what he was doing.
posted by jonmc at 3:52 PM on October 2, 2006


By the way, not like it's central to the argument of the FPP or anything, the thumbs-up sign really is an obscene gesture in Iraq, something equivalent to "Up Yours!"
posted by jonp72 at 4:03 PM on October 2, 2006


Anyway, I personally don't blame the solders for the way they are acting; anyone with some sense would realize that this sort of thing would happen in this sort of situation. I think Lyndee England was more of a scapegoat then anything. The people at the top are the ones responsible.

I agree. It is hard to overestimate the impact that the stress of being a soldier in Iraq could have on one's psyche. I read the behavior like this as a coping mechanism to reduce the cognitive dissonance created by being there in the first place and being subjected to the threat of attack from the very folks the soldiers were purportedly sent there to help. Adding on the lack of support for the troops and the outrageous support for bad behavior against the local population from the top leadership, you have good people behaving very badly. It's all well and good to contrast such behavior with what you perceive your own might be in the same situation, but I maintain that most who have not been placed in that situation have no idea how they would respond.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:23 PM on October 2, 2006


Three Blind Mice: I'll bet that the "Miguel Gallier" P.S. DIE card that you linked above (and is disseminating through the Malkensphere) was written by the same stupid liberal troop-hating queer black mexican illegal alien gay marriage America hating terrorist coddlers who beat up Justin Zatkoff.

Why not trace the envelope back?
posted by swell at 4:53 PM on October 2, 2006


When used by other whites (and I've heard far more whites use it than non-whites) it's a class slur.

It's not even a class slur. Compare "redneck" and "white trash". It's a very specific insult.
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:41 PM on October 2, 2006


Apart from responding to the fact remains that returning veterans... bore the brunt of much of the anti-war rhetoric part of one sentence you wrote, which was not exactly your having merely pointed out that some of the extremist statements by a small minority of anti-war activists might be counterproductive to my mind at the time, my comments were not about nor personally addressed to you, jonmc. You are reading too much into them.

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
....
posted by y2karl at 6:40 PM on October 2, 2006


It's not even a class slur. Compare "redneck" and "white trash". It's a very specific insult.

Redneck is just as racist. It really only applies to white people. To me the only difference is that while you can have white trash all over the country, rednecks are much more southern.

"White Trash" is a term thought up and used by white people, probably before the civil rights movements I think originally was meant to disparage poor whites by pointing out how they were not living up to the standards for white people, probably. It's a little different then the N-word because the N-word is a term that means all blacks. Some people can try to justify their use by saying it refers to a specific subset, but that's not what the word actually means. It's a slur based, fundamentally, on how you act rather then how you were born.

Another big issues is that the majority of white people are not offended by the use of the term, while a majority of African Americans are offended by the N-word (or at least offended by it being thrown around by non blacks)
posted by delmoi at 10:50 PM on October 2, 2006


By the way, not like it's central to the argument of the FPP or anything, the thumbs-up sign really is an obscene gesture in Iraq, something equivalent to "Up Yours!"

As it is in many places.

I read the behavior like this as a coping mechanism to reduce the cognitive dissonance created by being there in the first place and being subjected to the threat of attack from the very folks the soldiers were purportedly sent there to help.

True enough. Though the other side is having your family shot up by foreign yahoos and having them leave behind a photo of their religious icon flipping you off as a memento.
posted by dreamsign at 2:07 AM on October 3, 2006


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