Driving a pick-up truck with "Man Love Rules OK" across Alabama
February 12, 2007 5:48 AM   Subscribe

Would you drive a pick-up truck with "Man Love Rules OK" across Alabama? (YouTube video) The presenters behind UK motoring/male-entertainment show Top Gear did. See what happens when they pulled into a "gas" station. More information here. Do you think the footage was manipulated?
posted by badlydubbedboy (334 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Crikey. Aren't they just a bonkers, crazee, madcap bunch of guys!! What will they think of next!!!!!!!!!
posted by rhymer at 5:56 AM on February 12, 2007


A vote for Romney is a vote for fun.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:01 AM on February 12, 2007


Jeremy Clarkson really is Alan Partridge.
posted by Mocata at 6:02 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


LOLAMURICANS!
posted by veggieboy at 6:03 AM on February 12, 2007


That was dumb and contrived. They went looking for trouble and found it. This was the equivalent of walking into a biker bar and sayin 'you don't look so tough,' and then whining when you get stomped. Quite frankly I was rooting for the rednecks.
posted by jonmc at 6:03 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Would he drive it across Oklahoma?
posted by pax digita at 6:06 AM on February 12, 2007


never mind the rednecks, by the end of that I wanted to kick the shit out that tea-sucking snotnose. Serioulsy, they drive into a town with the express intent of making fun of people (and people could tell) and you don't expect a reaction?
posted by jonmc at 6:06 AM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Cowards. If you're going to see what happens when you behave provocatively, don't turn tail and run when your provocations are responded to.

Obviously, they had no plan, and, as a result, no point.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:09 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc: Could I also quote you as saying that girl was asking for it?
posted by DU at 6:13 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc, where's that famous, edgy sense of humour of yours?

isn't it up to us to say - 'sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?'

What's wrong with free speech, again?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:13 AM on February 12, 2007


Funny, Borat didn't get this reaction from The Blue.
posted by basicchannel at 6:14 AM on February 12, 2007 [8 favorites]


Lighten up, people, that was fantastic TV.
posted by matthewr at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2007


Serioulsy,
"Rednecks" need made fun of, even if they're in NYC.
Bigotry is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime, from anyone.
posted by nofundy at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


That's right. Drive into our town trying to show us up as dumb and intolerant, and we'll prove you wrong by whupping your foregin faggot asses.
posted by Phanx at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


by the end of that I wanted to kick the shit out that tea-sucking snotnose

metaphorically, of course. Or do you really respond to satire, comment and japery with violence?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


The people in my small Southern town would NEVER react like that.


They can't read.
posted by ColdChef at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [24 favorites]



Lighten up, people, that was fantastic TV.

Agreed. I watched the whole show last night and thought it was excellent. Top Gear is consistently the most entertaining thing on TV.
posted by the cuban at 6:16 AM on February 12, 2007


I don't get this. "Men Love Rules" - ? Of course they do. That's why we have a legislature, one of the three branches of government enshrined in our glorious Constitution.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:17 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


That is just dumb. If they had put a couple of bumper stickers on their cars and received a reaction, then that might be an interesting way to show ignorance and intolerance in the US. But having a series of cars paint on gigantic signs on their car in a way that no one ever would accomplishes nothing. What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?

Intolerance and prejudice are to be measured by how people respond to things that are commonly, naturally, or actually occurring in their presence -- not by contrived exhibits designed to create or increase intolerance and prejudice.
posted by flarbuse at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Serioulsy,
"Rednecks" need made fun of, even if they're in NYC.
Bigotry is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime, from anyone.


This wasn't bigotry. This was people trolling with an automobile, and the whole point of it was so that yuppies can lay back and feel superior. Seems to have worked.

Or do you really respond to satire, comment and japery with violence?

I occasionally responded to being baited and insulted with violence. What happened here was they decided "let's go into to some small town and insult the crap out of everyone," they got all whiny when people got pissed. If you want to pretend this was anything more than that, be my guest.
posted by jonmc at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2007


I'd like to see them drive the equivalent cars (i.e. whatever English car is considered "manly" and one with "Sinn Fein for Prime Minister") across rural England and see what happens.
posted by DU at 6:22 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


And by "insult the crap out of everyone", you mean "make positive statements about homosexuals and Democrats".
posted by DU at 6:23 AM on February 12, 2007


flarbuse: that might be an interesting way to show ignorance and intolerance in the US

Oh, come on. This is Top Gear not some strait-laced, serious investigative reporting programme. They weren't setting out on some mission to investigate intolerance and social attitudes. They were setting out to have fun and make an entertaining TV show, and if you think the idea of driving a truck labelled 'Man love rules OK' through Hicksville anything short of hilarious, you're probably not Top Gear's target audience.
posted by matthewr at 6:24 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


jonmc: Could I also quote you as saying that girl was asking for it?

Come off it, DU. This wasn't somebody minding their own business getting harassed. This was a bunch of guys holding up signs saying HURFDURF DUMB WHITE TRASH! who act stunned that somebody might get pissed.
posted by jonmc at 6:25 AM on February 12, 2007


Whiny, jonmc? Project much?
posted by basicchannel at 6:26 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Next up: three vehicles motor through Merry ol' Blighty, bearing the following eye-catching buzzphrases:

I LAUGH AT YOUR "QUEEN"

FOOTIE'S FAKED - GET OVER YERSELVES

SINN FEIN, SUCKERS
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:27 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Artificial drama. "The rednecks arrive" with their dog, but in the next scene when they "turn on the film crew" the rednecks are not even there, their truck is empty. We then see the "garage owner" approaching from a different truck. The rest is pictures of shadows and the ground. Then it rains and they freak out.
posted by Osmanthus at 6:27 AM on February 12, 2007


Come off it, jonmc. This wasn't some girl in a modest dress with a high collar and gloves getting raped. This was a girl wearing short-shorts and wearing a shirt that says "I enjoy sexual relations" who's acting stunned that somebody might get horny.
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?

I'm guessing you'd get a lot of dirty look and snide remarks, but people wouldn't start throwing rocks at you and come after you.
posted by rsanheim at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


I turned it off after they showed the "Nascar sucks" message painted across the bafck of the truck. That's when it became clear that they were just being deliberately insulting, not just provocative. People don't like being insulted, it turns out.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2007


"yuppies"?!!

In no way are Top Gear's presenters yuppies.

And DU, you could drive a car labelled with absolutely anything through rural England and fear nothing more than raised eyebrows.
posted by matthewr at 6:29 AM on February 12, 2007


People don't like being insulted, it turns out.

Yeah, but firstly, civilised people don't respond to labels on trucks with rocks and violence. Second, NASCAR really does suck.
posted by matthewr at 6:31 AM on February 12, 2007 [8 favorites]


I'd like to see them drive the equivalent cars (i.e. whatever English car is considered "manly" and one with "Sinn Fein for Prime Minister") across rural England and see what happens.

Through rural England... I can almost guarantee that absolutely nothing would happen, very little ever does in rural England.

This wasn't bigotry. This was people trolling with an automobile, and the whole point of it was so that yuppies can lay back and feel superior. Seems to have worked.

Totally agree about the purpose, but of course it was bigotry.
posted by twistedonion at 6:31 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lighten up, people, that was fantastic TV.

Yep, very dramatic and entertaining.

That was dumb and contrived. They went looking for trouble and found it. This was the equivalent of walking into a biker bar and saying 'you don't look so tough,' and then whining when you get stomped. Quite frankly I was rooting for the rednecks.

Jonmc, it wasn't a bar it was a gas station and a public highway. People should be able to get gas and drive without being harassed for being sexual, political, musical, and autosports preferences.

That said, it seemed like the gas station owner was more offended by what they were actually doing (trying to get a rise out of people) then what they had actually wrote.

I also think the guy's just panicked, they were in a lot less danger then they lead on and could probably have diffused the situation.
posted by delmoi at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2007


WTF? Country and Western rules. It's New Country that sucks.

Fucking foreigners.
posted by dobbs at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2007


Here is a video which shows the run-up to their encounter where they decorate each others cars, with the express aim of getting one another killed.
posted by matthewr at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2007


Or do you really respond to satire, comment and japery with violence?

No, as long as it's twee japery.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:34 AM on February 12, 2007


In addition, can gas station attendant not sue their asses? Since when can you film people on private property without a release and broadcast it?
posted by dobbs at 6:34 AM on February 12, 2007


Umm, no shit they were being deliberately insulting. You don't go all that way and not try and get the best TV you can out of it.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:34 AM on February 12, 2007


Rural England perhaps, but I have a feeling there are certain areas of London in which you do not want to be driving a truck that says "Soccer fans enjoy it up the bum" and "I enjoyed banging the queen".

Couldn't they just rent a copy of Easy Rider instead?
posted by geoff. at 6:35 AM on February 12, 2007


"Sinn Fein for Prime Minister"

I agree that nothing would happen - beyond someone possibly pointing out that Sinn Fein is not a person. But actually that would be more like driving through America with "Al Qaeda for President" on your car.
posted by Phanx at 6:36 AM on February 12, 2007


Wow, basicchannel, I lay slain by your rapier wit.

I'll give you an example from my own life. A few months ago I was at a bar with a few friends. We were in the mood for loud music so we put on some old metal and sat at the bar sipping our beers. As the music played, some artsy looking guy in a blazer made devil horns and a 'retard face' and rolled eyes. He did this repeatedly through several songs. I came very close to bouncing his head off the bar. Because if he dosen't like it that's his own opinion, but what he was doing was insulting me, and if you insult someone you should be prepared to fce the consequences.

Or even better, if someone came on to MeFi and said:

WEBLOGGERS ARE PUSSIES! HTML SUCKS!

You may not want to beat him up yourself but you probably wouldn't feel much sympathy if someone did.

Jonmc, it wasn't a bar it was a gas station and a public highway. People should be able to get gas and drive without being harassed for being sexual, political, musical, and autosports preferences.

sexual preferences, sure. But if walk up to you and say "[insert something you love] SUCKS!" you might just be tempted to kick my ass.

That said, it seemed like the gas station owner was more offended by what they were actually doing (trying to get a rise out of people) then what they had actually wrote.


ya think?
posted by jonmc at 6:36 AM on February 12, 2007


Come off it, jonmc. This wasn't some girl in a modest dress with a high collar and gloves getting raped. This was a girl wearing short-shorts and wearing a shirt that says "I enjoy sexual relations" who's acting stunned that somebody might get horny.

Um, now I'm confused. Sounds like you're agreeing with me.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 AM on February 12, 2007


So you agree that "she was asking for it" is a valid rape defense? For the record now...
posted by DU at 6:42 AM on February 12, 2007


Funny, Borat didn't get this reaction from The Blue.

that's because borat was funny and well-done, not hamfisted and overwrought artificiality. "oh my god, all these people are staring at my car!!" well, no kidding, dickhead - you've got shit written all over it in foot-high neon paint.

you might as well drive a car around in harlem painted with some big-lipped pickaninnies smackin' down watermelon, and when you get your ass kicked be all "wow the klan was right, these coloreds really ARE animals!"

people get angry when ugly stereotypes are applied to them indiscriminately. i kind of empathize with the station owner acutally; i'd be more than a little bit prickly if someone pulled that crap on me.

i guess the point is, there's a difference between sitting back and allowing people to expose their own bigotry as in the borat rodeo guy, and heading out to stir up shit in just about the most inflammatory and unfunny way possible.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 6:43 AM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Don't be an asshole, DU.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on February 12, 2007


me: People don't like being insulted, it turns out.

matthewr: Yeah, but firstly, civilised people don't respond to labels on trucks with rocks and violence. Second, NASCAR really does suck.

Agreed on all counts.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:44 AM on February 12, 2007


What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?

I doubt that you'd get any noticeable reaction at all, not even dirty looks. there would probably be a lot of eye-rolling, and people turning to each other saying, "what a bunch of idiots," but nobody would validate your provocations with an overt challenge.

Feel free to try it, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:45 AM on February 12, 2007


What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?

Bemusement. Smug of course.

I was in Chicago and a guy gets on the train with a "Welcome to America: Now Speak English" shirt on. Reaction? None.

some artsy looking guy in a blazer

That really helps your argument. What does an artsy guy look like jonny?

sexual preferences, sure. But if walk up to you and say "[insert something you love] SUCKS!" you might just be tempted to kick my ass.

Not me and I imagine not many others. Why would I care that you think it sucks? That's your opinion. Good for you.
posted by juiceCake at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2007


But if walk up to you and say "[insert something you love] SUCKS!" you might just be tempted to kick my ass.

Or if I liked inserting the something, I might really appreciate your kind gesture.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:48 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


sexual preferences, sure. But if walk up to you and say "[insert something you love] SUCKS!" you might just be tempted to kick my ass.

Me personally? I doubt it. At the very most I might politely ask you to stop. Do you think that if I got offended easily I'd be posting on metafilter?
posted by delmoi at 6:49 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc, I'm really starting to get sick of you trying to dominate and steer the conversation. I now understand why you got a timeout on mecha. You really need to step away from the keyboard once in a while.
posted by knave at 6:50 AM on February 12, 2007


(And I don't just mean in this thread.)
posted by knave at 6:50 AM on February 12, 2007


metafilter: WEBLOGGERS ARE PUSSIES! HTML SUCKS!
posted by rsanheim at 6:50 AM on February 12, 2007


That really helps your argument. What does an artsy guy look like jonny?

Gelled short hair, tennis sweater under a frayed corduroy cardigan. But that's besides the pint, what he was doing with the gestures and faces was saying "Hurfdurf, metal fans are retarded." So, yeah I was a little insulted and the urge to smack him was pretty strong.

I was in Chicago and a guy gets on the train with a "Welcome to America: Now Speak English" shirt on.

The Korean woman at my deli wears the same shirt. It's a weird world.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2007


Usually I lay off these sorts of posts as they achieve little, but jonmc I really have to take issue with you about your use of violence.

If you are so limited in your intellect that you cannot rise above harmless, albeit insulting, mockery, then you have an anger management problem and you need serious, professional help.

If you see personal violence as a legitimate response to all but the most extreme, personal danger and self-defence scenarios then I say again, you have an anger management problem and you need serious, professional help.

Seriously and sincerely - good luck with resolving your internal issues.
posted by mooders at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I found it quite lame in the amusement dept. It reminded me of that Bruce Willis thing where he gets dumped in Harlem with a "nigger" sign of some sort.....kind of. If you read that 2nd link, the presenters were more about getting each other into trouble than they were specifically about raising the finger at the south. It could/would have been more interesting for them to explain it to people and get away with it. Ultimately lame. And I like TopGear.
[I disagree with knave. jonmc is expressing an opinion. I don't feel he's trying to dominate - and I've stuck it to him before.]
posted by peacay at 6:52 AM on February 12, 2007


knave: there's probably no way to answer you without digging my hole deeper, but here goes. What I say is being misrepresented, so I'm clarifying. No matter what I do or say, somebody's going to have aproblem with it, so I'm just going to say what I actually think.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 AM on February 12, 2007


If you see personal violence as a legitimate response to all but the most extreme, personal danger and self-defence scenarios then I say again, you have an anger management problem and you need serious, professional help.

hey, armchair freud, I didn't say I actually did slug the guy. I said I was sorely tempted to, and if I did he wouldn't have had any right being shocked.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 AM on February 12, 2007


This was a girl wearing short-shorts and wearing a shirt that says "I enjoy sexual relations" who's acting stunned that somebody might get horny.

She's still allowed to say no.

Not that this situation is comparable. Or good television. Or even offensive.
posted by hermitosis at 6:56 AM on February 12, 2007


Don't be an asshole, jonmc
posted by logicpunk at 6:57 AM on February 12, 2007


I didn't say I actually did slug the guy.

So you *do* agree that a violent response wasn't appropriate?

No matter what I do or say, somebody's going to have aproblem with it, so I'm just going to say what I actually think.

And this doesn't apply to painted signs on cars why?
posted by DU at 6:58 AM on February 12, 2007


I didn't say I actually did slug the guy. I said I was sorely tempted to

If you were sorely tempted to "slug" him, and feel he had no right to be shocked if you did, surely that means you saw it as a legitimate response. Which is exactly mooders' point.
posted by matthewr at 6:58 AM on February 12, 2007


I'm having a hard time believing that people are taking this seriously. Went to radio? Bullshit. All in all, especially with the rain, these guys came across as a bunch of pussies.
posted by klangklangston at 6:58 AM on February 12, 2007


what he was doing with the gestures and faces was saying "Hurfdurf, metal fans are retarded."

Probably, he's allowed to think what he wants.

So, yeah I was a little insulted and the urge to smack him was pretty strong.

You need a thicker skin. As a long haired hippy I didn't get gestures, but very vocal threats including a few physical. I never had an urge to smack any of them. The fact you had an urge to smack anyone for looking at you in the wrong way makes me think that arty fella was on to something.
posted by twistedonion at 6:59 AM on February 12, 2007


Hmm, I remember having to join in with people intervening to stop a lad getting his head caved in for hanging up an Irish flag on the fence at a match at Swindon Town years back. And that was without any overtly provocative message. Maybe try a squaddie pub in Aldershot in an 'IRA - Undefeated Army' T-shirt? That'd test your mettle.
So, what does this tell us? That's right, the US doesn't have a monopoly on dickheads and Jeremy Clarkson is still an embarrassing munt.
posted by Abiezer at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, HTML does suck.
posted by Phanx at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2007


Tolerance at its finest. 60 years ago, your painted pickup truck would have been a non-white person making the wrong turn. And that person would have been in serious risk of losing life -- and at that time, we already had people stepping up to defend the right of the locals not to be "offended."

These people are dangerously backward. Black, Gay, French, Democrat, anything: you're not like them and you're being felt like a threat and they will do anything to deal with that. Bad. The point it: anyone in this thread will piss these people off one way or an other (posting on the Blue might be enough.) So: avoid this place.
posted by NewBornHippy at 7:02 AM on February 12, 2007



And this doesn't apply to painted signs on cars why?

Because it wasn't an actual protest or social comment. Combined with the NASCAR and Country & Western signs, it was basically "Let's see if we can get a rise out of these hicks," and someone obliged.

I didn't say I actually did slug the guy.

So you *do* agree that a violent response wasn't appropriate?


Just not worth it. It was my regular bar and I'd never seen the asshole there before. But I was about 8 inches taller and 30 pound heavier than the guy, so seeing him shut his smart mouth would've been extremely gratifying.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 AM on February 12, 2007


What jonmc said.

I'm all for asking for trouble. But don't be a pussy when you do.
posted by bardic at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2007


This segment was just a small part of an hour long show. If you were offended by this little enticement of hick Americana, then you should really look for the part where they rolled through New Orleans. Mile after mile of complete destruction, even a year after the hurricane.
posted by jsonic at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2007


dad voice/

Don't make me stop this car. If I have to stop this car, somebody's gonna get smacked.

/dad voice
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2007


You crazy guys.

You really hate the English don't you. Our tiny little country on the edge of Europe, and you can't bear it. We're smaller than you, weaker than you and you're intimidated by us.

Oooooh, I hope the rednecks hit them. Because of stuff and tea, and you know, stuff. And they've got those Snooty accents. And stuff. I'm gonna go down the Irish Bar on 19th and FuckAll Street and put money in the jar and sing Dirty Old Town. Because as geo-politically naive as I am, I'm not standing for their weird bad teethed English ways.

"Sinn Fein for Prime Minister"
I think the response to this in Britain's backwaters would be "Dude, Sinn Fein's a political organisation with historic links to the I.R.A. Not a frigging person. What are you retarded, or a Septic, or both or what?"
posted by seanyboy at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


And klangklangston too.
posted by bardic at 7:04 AM on February 12, 2007


(Quit bunnyfiring jonmc. He's allowed to have an opinion even if you don't agree with it. And jonmc, ignore those doing the bunnyfiring. That's the only way to handle it that works.)
posted by konolia at 7:05 AM on February 12, 2007


I seriously have a problem with the fuc*wits still sporting those obnoxious "W" and "Bush/Cheney" stickers on their vehicles!

I now know it's probably OK to just get medieval on their asses. 'Cause they're asking for it and should know better by now!

Thanks for the great advice! I feel so liberated to know I can justifiably unload on those ignorant asses.

there's probably no way to answer you without digging my hole deeper

I totally agree. As a friend, please listen. STOP DIGGING.
posted by nofundy at 7:06 AM on February 12, 2007


(konolia, your attempted meme called. It just committed suicide. Sorry.)
posted by bardic at 7:06 AM on February 12, 2007


FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
posted by ColdChef at 7:06 AM on February 12, 2007


But I was about 8 inches taller and 30 pound heavier than the guy, so seeing him shut his smart mouth would've been extremely gratifying.

I don't think the arty guy was on to something anymore, he was absolutely right (not about metal fans, I'm one myself) about you.
posted by twistedonion at 7:08 AM on February 12, 2007


Damn uppity Brits!
Think they're superior to my good old boys!
I ain't having it!
Worse that the French!
posted by nofundy at 7:08 AM on February 12, 2007


I now know it's probably OK to just get medieval on their asses. 'Cause they're asking for it and should know better by now!

Well if these same guys drove through the West Village with "Faggots Are Evil!" on their car, I wouldn't feel any sympathy if they got stomped either, FWIW.
posted by jonmc at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2007


Ive been to the South, I've been to England,
I've been to the Gulf,

Of the three, the South US "Rural Louisiana in my case" was the most dangerous and the most ignorant. Not just too poor to learn, that can be forgiven, Hell Libraries existed, so did TV and the radio. No these folks seemed to REVELED in ignorance, wallowed and rubbed it in to their pores. Ate it and Drank it and damn well demanded you NOT point it out. I have never seem a backwards group in my life and the American south.

Jonmc, you are so wrong on this is scares me.

"HTML SUCKS!"
Does Compare to NASCAR SUCKS! and deserves about as much attention.

Beating someone for a "Hillary for president" sign must be about what you tolerate, but not ME! would she Suck at the Job, probably, wheel most likely. but that is neither here nor there,

Yes NASCAR SUCKS!
Yes, Most C&W Sucks too.
Man Love Sucks as well in more than one way.

I remember when Michael Moore drove A red 18-wheeler emblazoned with the Soviet hammer and sickle. And what did the noble south do? Arson..

Was it provocative? Yes, but it did point out the inability of some to articulate any argument with out resorting to violence. Seems some here either condone or welcome it.

That being said,
"Um, now I'm confused. Sounds like you're agreeing with me."

He's is not agreeing with you, yes, you are confused..
posted by Elim at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


1) Top Gear is not a show about politics.

2) Top Gear is not a sociological travelogue.

3) Top Gear is not serious.

4) Top Gear is not real.

5) Top Gear is actually a sitcom about revelling in the absurdities of male obsession, and it's often hysterically funny.
posted by flashboy at 7:10 AM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Thing is, this wasn't even the best part of the episode. Other highlights included Clarkson rigging up a shower in the car as he drove, unable to take the Florida sun, and pulling up to their campsite with a dead cow mounted to the top of the car for supper. I'll be the first to agree that Clarkson is a wanker, but that doesn't mean I can't piss myself laughing at his antics.
posted by Orange Goblin at 7:12 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc, that's nonsense! How are "Faggots are Evil!" and "Man love rules OK" equivalent and equally deserving of a violent response? Sure, both are insulting, but one is morally wrong and the other is mildly provocative but hilarious. Responding with violence to labels on cars isn't OK anywhere, but I'm kind of with the Top Gear guys on this one.
posted by matthewr at 7:13 AM on February 12, 2007


"Maybe you'd be a good person to ask who wrote 'Da Moon Rulz Number One' on my car with a key."
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:13 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Really, generally it is wrong to hit people. But that does not mean that sometimes people don't ask for it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:14 AM on February 12, 2007


Listen, the guys on Top Gear pull shit like this all the time and believe it or not, there was some context and precedence to last night's show. Not much context apart from "Clarkson doesn't like America" but it really was part of a longer-running story and and only partially intended to poke fun at the dumb ol' rednecks.

I think the point (if there was one) was to point out that in most places you can paint whatever you want on your car and people will simply mutter "arsehole" and carry on. In this instance a truckload of thugs turned up and started getting handy with the sticks and rocks. Yes there was provocation but the response was (typically) disproportionate.

There were some very poignant scenes and comments when they reached New Orleans at the end of the show.

And dammit, I used to LIKE you, jonmc. I've no doubt you don't give a flying fuck what I nor anyone else thinks and more power to ya because of that but you're really not making any new friends recently.
posted by NeonSurge at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2007


flashboy is totally right, by the way.
posted by matthewr at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2007


I rather liked the "Hillary for President" sign. Them's fighting words down here.

Other things they could have painted on their cars, in order to provoke attack:

"RC Cola tastes flat!"
"Elvis was overrated! Even his Gospel recordings weren't that good!"
"Eat more vegetables!"
"Black men want to marry your daughters!"
"Sure, you won those beauty pageants as a child, but what have you done with the rest of your life?"
"We're changing your Main Street to MLK Blvd.!"
"Overalls make you look fat!"
"Incest is NOT best."
"Too much makeup, Lurleen!"
"Care about your environment!"
"The Bible is a work of fiction. Entertaining, sure. But fiction."
"Lee was a weak strategist!"
"Not to be condescending, but I think I'm better than you."
"Condescending means talking down to people."
posted by ColdChef at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [19 favorites]


jonmc, that's nonsense! How are "Faggots are Evil!" and "Man love rules OK" equivalent and equally deserving of a violent response? Sure, both are insulting, but one is morally wrong and the other is mildly provocative but hilarious.

I was making the comparison to the "Nascar Sucks" comment, which seemed like deliberate hick-baiting to me.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on February 12, 2007


Yeah, but firstly, civilised people don't respond to labels on trucks with rocks and violence.

i didn't see anyone throwing rocks ... i didn't see anyone offer violence ... what i did see was a bunch of jerky camera work, one woman yelling, a bunch of people and a dog arriving in a pickup truck, none of which seemed to be throwing any shadow whatsoever

then it is announced that "rocks started pelting our vans" and we see camera crews running over much darker ground throwing dark and definite shadows

conclusion - i don't think this is real, except for the upset woman ... you certainly would never get a conviction of anyone for anything based on this tape
posted by pyramid termite at 7:18 AM on February 12, 2007


"Elvis was overrated"

Jesus, CC, you want them to get lynched?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:18 AM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


This post goes extremely well with this recent thread about freedom of speech.

Theory vs. practise.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:18 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Too far?
posted by ColdChef at 7:19 AM on February 12, 2007


yeah, Chefster, for that I'd have to string you up myself ;>
posted by jonmc at 7:20 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc's getting to predictable. I say we name a new rsident defender of the comman man(TM).
posted by Space Coyote at 7:21 AM on February 12, 2007


and if you insult someone you should be prepared to face the consequences.

And if you assault someone (whether you feel insulted or not) you should be prepared to face the consequences.
posted by spock at 7:21 AM on February 12, 2007




Guy: Rednecks are violent and intolerant.

Other Guy: No they are not and if you make fun of them don't be surprised if you get beaten up!


I have never before seen an argument that was quite as stereotypically funny as this.
posted by srboisvert at 7:23 AM on February 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


But I was about 8 inches taller and 30 pound heavier than the guy, so seeing him shut his smart mouth would've been extremely gratifying.

You are the most tiresome personality on here.
posted by jon_kill at 7:24 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What on earth is happening in this thread? jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.
posted by taliaferro at 7:24 AM on February 12, 2007


you certainly would never get a conviction of anyone for anything based on this tape

How many times must it be said? Top Gear = light-hearted motoring show. Top Gear ≠ investigative reporting about social attitudes.
posted by matthewr at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2007


I rather liked the "Hillary for President" sign. Them's fighting words down here.

Among whites maybe. Among blacks, not so much.
posted by spock at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2007


Did someone say 'Freedom of Speech™'? 'Land of the Free™'?

To follow on from what seanyboy is saying, everyone knows that USians are at Liberty™ to take the piss out of anything and everyone but God help anyone who does the same to them. I mean that is true isn't it?
posted by i_cola at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc hasn't hit anyone. Having the urge to smack someone is not a fault. In fact it can be a useful emotion in getting your point across.

mooders, your serious sincerity sounds more like condescension, IMO.

So you agree that "she was asking for it" is a valid rape defense? -DU

? jonmc gets annoyed when people are insulting and you think this likens him to a sexual predator. I don't see the connection.


Hoo Haa and bollocks
posted by Shave at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2007


[/joking]

Forgot to close the tag...
posted by i_cola at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2007


I hate arriving late to an argument and realizing that I hate the people supporting my opinion.

Or to be more precise, it's frustrating to find that a preceding speaker (or speakers) has polarized the situation in a way that makes your opinion appear to support theirs. Meh on the whole thread, alas.
posted by LMGM at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2007


I watched the whole thing and found it hilarious (and I agree with flashboy). I got the impression they were genuinely unprepared for the reaction they got to their painted cars. They had done it for a laugh (and to get each other in trouble) but seemed truly shocked by the reaction.

And we don't get rain like that in the UK. Ever. And they don't usually drive $1000 cars. Yes, pussies, but understandably so, and the show sends this up along with everything else.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2007


This thread is no longer about Top Gear. It is almost as disapointing as [this episode of] Top Gear no longer being about cars.
posted by Shave at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2007


Lotta people showing of their bigotry, their self-righteousness (and self-importance,) and belief in their moral superiority of their pop-culture tastes this morning. Especially interesting that there doing it over such a crap video. Anything to justify themselves, I guess.

On preview:What on earth is happening in this thread? jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

It's like how they see violence in the video. They see what they want to see, in order to justify their prejudices, and get all pissy when someone points that out.
posted by Snyder at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2007


More inflammatory signs:

"Clint Eastwood's best movie was that queer Western where he sang!"
"Vince McMahon is a nice guy."
"Thanks for the biscuits, but no gravy for me, please."
"I have nothing against hippies."
"Legalize it!"
"Don't legalize it!"
"Crawfish are crap. Eat lobsters like a real man!"
"I question the President's judgement."
"Do we really need ALL of those guns?"
"Wal-mart does not have your best interests at heart."
"Koy and Vance were better than Bo and Luke."
"Mess with Texas."
"Charles Darwin makes a lot of sense."
"Peace in the Middle East."
Sticker of Calvin pissing on a Stuckey's.
posted by ColdChef at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wow, there are ignorant bigots in the south, who'd have thunk?

More startling news:

*Fat people get teased
*Celebrity culture is vapid
*Guys like hummers

This whole idea is stupid for a couple of reasons. These guys went into a snake-infested area with snake chow smeared all over themselves and then yelped "OMG SNAKEZ!!1!!1" So boo-hoo.

It's also worth a mention that they are driving around this place with placards that say, in essence, "If you can read this you are a stupid redneck! LOLREDNECKZ!" I've got news for you people: rednecks know when they're being insulted. and this stunt was a deliberate insult. A lot of people make the mistake that the southern accent somehow subtracts 20 or 30 IQ points right off the bat. Isn't it possible that these guys are pissed that these outsiders have decided to come into their community with no purpose other than to make fun of the residents? I would be pissed, and so would you.

This stunt is an obvious insult, obvious even to the "stupid rednecks" who live in that town, and demonstrates the cultural prejudice of the pranksters as clearly as it demonstrates the (already well-documented) bigotry of the intended targets. So, fuck Top Gear.
posted by Mister_A at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


"Rural England perhaps, but I have a feeling there are certain areas of London in which you do not want to be driving a truck that says "Soccer fans enjoy it up the bum" and "I enjoyed banging the queen"."

Geoff,
That's the funniest misunderstanding of what might provoke in "certain areas of London" I've ever seen.

I think it's the bizarre insertion of "enjoy" in your phrases as much as anything!

Get on a plane, kiddo!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2007


How many times must it be said? Top Gear = light-hearted motoring show. Top Gear ≠ investigative reporting about social attitudes.

you people are all set to convict someone of a crime here and you don't have any evidence ... period ... all i'm seeing is a bunch of self-righteous bullshit about rednecks and people don't even know for sure that the incident happened in the way top gear claimed it was

but let it be wmds in iraq, and by god, there better be real proof

consistency would be nice, even if it doesn't always help one's political views
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 AM on February 12, 2007


Guy: Rednecks are violent and intolerant.

Other Guy: No they are not and if you make fun of them don't be surprised if you get beaten up!


I think jonmc is saying that in this instance violence is an understandable response. That's all.
posted by taliaferro at 7:31 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

But it's not. Ever.
posted by twistedonion at 7:31 AM on February 12, 2007


"Melville makes Faulkner look like Grisham!"
posted by ColdChef at 7:34 AM on February 12, 2007 [7 favorites]


It's not what, onion? Understandable or appropriate? Big difference there.
posted by Mister_A at 7:34 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

But it's not. Ever.


So, you're saying that it's nonsensical, that you cannot understand whay it would happen?
posted by Snyder at 7:34 AM on February 12, 2007


That was simply the worst FPP I've run across on Metafilter. Or at least the worst Youtube link I've watched. It all seemed like the sort of footage some corny hacks shoot and leave on the cutting room floor. A failed "social experiment" I guess? Padding it out with the terror of the thunderstorm and bad wipers was just pathetic. Truly worthless bullshit.
posted by JBennett at 7:35 AM on February 12, 2007


It's also worth a mention that they are driving around this place with placards that say, in essence, "If you can read this you are a stupid redneck! LOLREDNECKZ!" I've got news for you people: rednecks know when they're being insulted. and this stunt was a deliberate insult. A lot of people make the mistake that the southern accent somehow subtracts 20 or 30 IQ points right off the bat. Isn't it possible that these guys are pissed that these outsiders have decided to come into their community with no purpose other than to make fun of the residents? I would be pissed, and so would you.

Bingo.
posted by tiger yang at 7:37 AM on February 12, 2007


"Tolerance at its finest. 60 years ago, your painted pickup truck would have been a non-white person making the wrong turn. And that person would have been in serious risk of losing life -- and at that time, we already had people stepping up to defend the right of the locals not to be "offended.""

Have they started paying by the sanctimony here? You're seriously comparing this to, what, real racism? Some shoddy camera work and a bunch of nattering weenies being run out of town?

And the bizarro world defenses here— they went looking for a fight. They got yelled at and hid. Do none of you remember Kentucky Fried Movie's "NIGGER!"?

Christ, what a sloppy heap of masturbatory redneck hatin'.
posted by klangklangston at 7:41 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


MeTa
posted by knave at 7:42 AM on February 12, 2007


Whatever slight tolerance I might have had for Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear just evaporated. What a juvenile, sophomoric stunt.
Seems to me they weren't being hassled for whatever idiotic slogans they painted on those cars, but for the condescending, insulting assumption that doing this would get a rise out of the Southern hicks - for being made fun of.
posted by Flashman at 7:43 AM on February 12, 2007


It's not what, onion? Understandable or appropriate? Big difference there.

oops, not understandable. Unless the provocation is in itself physical and you are defending yourself. I just don't get people who honestly think that if someone "disrespects me and my beliefs I'll thump them so hard". Well that's going to make them reconsider their opinions isn't it.

Anyone who walks down where I live with "I love the IRA, loyalists are scum" will get killed. Beaten at the very least. Do I think that's understandable? Not at all.
posted by twistedonion at 7:43 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc writes "Or even better, if someone came on to MeFi and said:

"WEBLOGGERS ARE PUSSIES! HTML SUCKS!

"You may not want to beat him up yourself but you probably wouldn't feel much sympathy if someone did."


I find it hard to believe that you seriously thought this up and then wrote it in a public forum. I seriously hope it's a joke.

Now if you went on Digg and said "Digg sucks! I slept with Kevin Rose's mom!" that might incur all sorts of threats, but that's mostly due to the Digg audience I think... not the sort of situation you'd be likely to get into on MeFi, or at least I thought so until I read this thread.
posted by clevershark at 7:44 AM on February 12, 2007


God, I'm so glad I finally got the hell out of the South!
posted by c13 at 7:44 AM on February 12, 2007


What amazes me is that of all the things to piss jonmc off, it's Nascar sucks? Not being an expert on all things Americana, but it's only a sport, surely?

I can't stand football/soccer. Everyone around me in the UK loves soccer. I just endure some good-natured verbal bashing about my love for other things, we move on. End of.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2007


Funny, if that's the most trouble they could manage to get into, I'd say things look pretty good for whatever town they were in. For such a 'violent response', it didn't look like anyone suffered injury or much of anything, other than a small adrenaline rush. That wasn't violence, it was melodrama. The show is much better when they stick to cars.
posted by IronLizard at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2007


'Soccer is not football' might be a good thing to write on your clapped-out car in London. Also, 'If it wasn't for us, you'd be speaking German.'
posted by Mocata at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, it caused a hell of a ruckus here, so I'd say it did it's job.
posted by opsin at 7:47 AM on February 12, 2007


"Melville makes Faulkner look like Grisham!"

Erskine Caldwell was an keen observer of the southern condition!
posted by TedW at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mocata writes "'Soccer is not football' might be a good thing to write on your clapped-out car in London. Also, 'If it wasn't for us, you'd be speaking German.'"

Meh, you're assuming that this isn't already the sort of witty banter they hear from American tourists just about every day...
posted by clevershark at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2007


I've never really heard that from American tourists to be honest.
posted by Mocata at 7:49 AM on February 12, 2007


Well, that was unfortunate. But we can be thankful for one thing: at least Alabamans don't hate homosexuals nearly so much as the English hate the Jews. If they did, there would've been real trouble.
posted by koeselitz at 7:50 AM on February 12, 2007


The English hate the Jews? Sounds like nonsense.
posted by Shave at 7:51 AM on February 12, 2007


twistedonion, in your example, you claim you don't understand how somebody would get riled up if you poked a festering wound by bringing up a conflict that has lasted a few hundred years and continues today? I find that disingenuous. I think you do understand. Understanding it does not mean you endorse it.
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on February 12, 2007


jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

She shouldn't have worn that red dress?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:52 AM on February 12, 2007


Or if Alabamans hated man-love as much as Mel Gibson probably hates English Jews.
posted by Mocata at 7:52 AM on February 12, 2007


The English don't hate the Jews. They just hate Israel.
Sheesh.
posted by seanyboy at 7:56 AM on February 12, 2007


She shouldn't have worn that red dress?

I see you're continuing your willfull rove-ing of others.
posted by Snyder at 7:57 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well I hate the English, with their stilted style and emphasis on the long ball.
posted by Mister_A at 7:57 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What on earth is happening in this thread? jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

Indeed! I note how it seems so easy for hip urban sophisticates, and Europeans as well, to make fun of Americans in the heartland. Much of that is deserved and I am not saying that one should never call out racism, homophobia, or bigotry, but the crap that this crew engaged in seems more like the "cool clique" making fun of the nerds in high school or like Wasps at an Eastern prep school making fun of the lone yokel who is there on a scholarship. In their own way, they showed that they have their own bigotry, snobbery, and stereotyping issues to deal with. But I am sure some of their best friends are Americans!

Plus I might add that most of the "rednecks" did indeed do nothing, it was just the owner of the gas station, and it was the Top Gear crew's own bigotry and desire to make fun of the local rednecks that set her off because she instinctively knew that they thought she was an ignorant fool and they were there to make fun of her in front of millions even before they opened their mouths.

You could do this in *any* country and get the same reaction if you wait long enough, even Sweden.
posted by xetere at 8:01 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Mister_A nailed it. People know when they're being mocked. I also find it amusing that, far and away, it seemed that the NASCAR bit was by far the most egregious.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:04 AM on February 12, 2007


Well, it's good to know all the bigots are conveniently concentrated in Alabama. Should make it pretty easy to avoid, wouldn't you say?

It scares me how simply dumb and blinded many reasonable people become on certain topics.

Nothing jonmc has said here is even the tiniest bit offensive or inflammatory, unless you WANT to make it that way. If you go looking for insult and offense, you'll likely find it, no matter what.

Interesting parallel to the story, huh?

Basically, many above are intolerantly screaming at jonmc over his lack of tolerance.

Oh my.

Let's also think about this story. Instead of it being in Alabama, what if this happened in Connecticut? Would all of your responses be the same? I venture to say not. In fact, I guarantee not. The entire thread would be a version of jonmc's "why are they acting surprised people are offended when they went so far out of their way to offend".

See, it's en vogue to rip on the South and Southerners. We're all dumb redneck bigots, remember?

I'd like to point out that anti-gay-marriage statutes and/or amendments have been passed in such redneck, backwards states as Ohio, Utah, Colorado, Virginia, and Oregon, and already on the books in such redneck, backwards places as New Hampshire. In fact, there are anti-gay-marriage statutes in 39 of the 50 states.

But yeah, it must be those dumb Southern Rednecks.

There are ignorant bigots everywhere. It would have been trivially easy to reproduce this experiment in Wyoming or Indiana or New York or California or Texas or Maine.

And by changing the signs, you could have done it LITERALLY anywhere.

Try putting up a huge sign that says "GAYS ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE" and drive through San Francisco. Think all you'll get is a slight nod of disapproval? I don't think so.

What about driving through Manhattan with a sign that says "9/11 WASN'T THAT BAD". Think that would provoke any kind of response? Or would the entire district be too highly educated and genteel to raise a voice of objection?

I'm not equating the MESSAGES... but I am equating the method. It would be TRIVIALLY easy to get local populations, anywhere in this country or another, riled to the point of at least voicing objection, which is all that happened in the clip.

God only knows how many gas stations they had to go to before they DID get a response. Maybe it was the first one, maybe it was the 20th, we'll never know.

Yes, there are some bigots in Alabama. There are bigots everywhere. And finding them is not hard. Actually, it's rather easy to find. Just set up a voting booth.

And those of you above equating "troublemakers look for and find trouble" with "woman asks to be raped" are simply so ignorant and shamefully stupid that you deserve no direct response. I'm glad you're going on record here not being able to see the difference.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2007 [9 favorites]


I'm not going to bother reading the jonmc portion of the thread. I'm just going to say my reaction, not having read anyone else's comments so I'm untainted.

What I saw was some folks who didn't appreciate being made fun of getting angry. They just wanted to put the fear of god into those boys, and from the sound of it ("This is god, punishing us."), they succeeded. You may disagree with these people's attitudes, but don't dehumanize them (even if they dehumanize you for being gay/black/tonedeaf), or treat them like animals in a zoo you can provoke for fun (and don't do that to actual animals, either, unless they're being jerks). That's part of the whole Christ thing that most people forget, the turning the other cheek and all.

What I would have said was that I was the victim of a prank and was on my way home/back to my hotel/looking for a respray shop a la GTA. I also wouldn't have had three separate cars pull into the same station at the same time, because then you lose plausible deniability. Also, hidden cameras.

They walked in expecting to get some "tee hee, stupid redneck!" footage, and they walked out with some that was "oh shit, angry redneck!" instead. I still love Top Gear, though. I mean, I'm laughing, just at the presenters (we call them "hosts") instead.
posted by Eideteker at 8:06 AM on February 12, 2007


I might add that most of the "rednecks" did indeed do nothing, it was just the owner of the gas station, and it was the Top Gear crew's own bigotry and desire to make fun of the local rednecks that set her off

exactly right ... and all she did, as far as i can tell, is yell

but that's ok, folks ... the self-annointed at metafilter can just go on about how enlightened and superior they are as they get taken in by a video that's phonier than a 3 dollar bill
posted by pyramid termite at 8:08 AM on February 12, 2007


I'm sorry, saxonY, but 9/11 just wasn't that bad. There were MOONINITES on lite brites in Boston, okay? Now that was some shit.
posted by Eideteker at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


What Mister_A said. I have a strong suspicion that what was actually most provocative was that they were obviously trying to be very provocative. And I think a lot of folks in a lot of places will be provoked by someone intentionally trying to provoke them more than they would be by merely the kinds of slogans that were painted on those cars. A better test of just how intolerant those Alabamans are would be a display of unwelcome beliefs that is apparently earnest. But that's not what happened here.

I'm not necessarily defending the typical rural Alabaman. I'm willing to believe that they're more intolerant even to the point of willingness to commit violence than is average in the rest of the industrialized West. But maybe they're not. This clip proves nothing, really. Except that this was a stupid stunt by some folks with very lowbrow senses of humor. Should we perhaps generalize about this show's viewers on that basis? Hmm.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:10 AM on February 12, 2007


It's like a strawman convention in here.
posted by rocket88 at 8:12 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon writes "

"She shouldn't have worn that red dress?"


Quick, someone call the TopGear crew and let them know they've been raped. I'm sure they'll be as surprised as I am.
posted by IronLizard at 8:14 AM on February 12, 2007


twistedonion, in your example, you claim you don't understand how somebody would get riled up if you poked a festering wound by bringing up a conflict that has lasted a few hundred years and continues today? I find that disingenuous. I think you do understand. Understanding it does not mean you endorse it.

Getting way off topic here, but sure, what the hell...

I understand that the hypothetical person who kills the hypothetical "shit stirrer" is insulted that someone would have the gall to walk through "their" area with the statements such as I described.

So, I do understand the insult and I understand the provocation. I still don't understand the outcome, regardless.

Unless you mean that I understand that there are people in the area who use violence first, and their brain cells second. That I understand only too well. But why the resort to violence? I still don't understand, no matter how disingenuous you think I may be.
posted by twistedonion at 8:14 AM on February 12, 2007


Clarkson thinks he is funny and he is, just not the way he intends. He claims to hate being in the USA but he keeps coming back, perhaps because he likes the money. While he is here he manages to be disagreeable, perhaps because his teeth are hurting, and he keeps up a running patter about provincial attitudes. The man is a caricature of the ugly American. I often see British people in France behaving much like he does here. That's why I speak French to the British.
posted by jet_silver at 8:18 AM on February 12, 2007


zomg LOL @ poms & seppos!
posted by Jimbob at 8:19 AM on February 12, 2007


I just read that back to myself, what a fucking hippy I can be sometimes. Could someone come round here and knock a bit of sense into me?
posted by twistedonion at 8:21 AM on February 12, 2007


Eideteker: not to derail, but this weekend I was discussing that with some people, and basically we all agreed that we would have been to ashamed to have raised the stink that Boston did.

I mean, how embarrassing that not a single person in the entire city government of Boston has any idea about a fairly common cultural reference.

Also, why were the fighter jets not scrambled in other cities that had the ads?

Bostonians. What a hoot.

Also: hippy disavows violence. Film at 11.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2007


RC Cola does taste flat.
posted by ninjew at 8:24 AM on February 12, 2007


"What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?"

The truth? Absolutely nothing. I was recently in Northhampton and saw a large pickup at a gas station covered with "Pave Iraq" and "Freedom Ain't Free" stickers and sure, people stared and looked revulsed but nobody provoked the man or threw rocks at him!

To suggest that these diametrically opposed parts of the country only differ in their politics, not their tactics is foolish and sorely mistaken. It's about a bit more than that. Incidentally, it's the same reason why no environmentalist or gay rights activist or peacenik has attempted to assassinate Dick Cheney.
posted by inoculatedcities at 8:28 AM on February 12, 2007


Ynoxas writes "I mean, how embarrassing that not a single person in the entire city government of Boston has any idea about a fairly common cultural reference."

Are you trying to make people upset by making fun of Boston? That's sooooooo cute!

I think you'll find yourself a week late and several dollars short bringing this up. Boston has been the laughingstock of much of the world for their ham-fisted handling of "the mooninite affair".
posted by clevershark at 8:29 AM on February 12, 2007


such redneck, backwards places as New Hampshire.

They hate it when you remind them of that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:30 AM on February 12, 2007


get up every morning slaving 'fore breakfast
so that every mouth can be fed
oh, oh, me mooninites
posted by pyramid termite at 8:33 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bostonians. What a hoot.

But it's Boston that's getting $2M of Turner's money, isn't it? That's funny, too.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:37 AM on February 12, 2007


Well, that was unfortunate. But we can be thankful for one thing: at least Alabamans don't hate homosexuals nearly so much as the English hate the Jews. If they did, there would've been real trouble.

The UK has had a jewish PM.
posted by delmoi at 8:41 AM on February 12, 2007


What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?

I'm sure there'd be some sharp letters to the editor! Hoo boy!
posted by dhartung at 8:43 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


[cue Deliverance banjoes]
I'm gonna make you limeys squeal like a pig!

It ain't hate, it's heritage.
posted by nofundy at 8:45 AM on February 12, 2007


This thread makes the clip twice as funny. If not three times.

I always thought that the colonists took over the land in the Americas for the natural resources and general imperial expansionist ideals but I just realised that it was to create a nation that would have us in stitches for the rest of eternity.
posted by i_cola at 8:54 AM on February 12, 2007


"Lee was a weak strategist!"

All I know is that ColdChef feller is asking for a wuppin'.
posted by Carbolic at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The key to avoiding overreaction to this provocative post is to dig between the black & white and focus on the grey:

1) Affirming slogans of viewpoint "A" are one thing, insulting slogans of viewpoint "B" are another. This fine line is almost always crossed and rarely focussed on.

2) Top Gear pimps it's content with melodrama as a cheap ratings grab. They were seeking a reaction and got it. However, this is not a justification of violent suppression in Alabama (red vs blue) any more than it would be in Quebec (english vs french) or Blackpool (muckers vs bisons).

3) Running is rarely cowardly as it defuses conflict. In this case it's ethically expected as they provoked the encounter.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:58 AM on February 12, 2007


Plus I might add that most of the "rednecks" did indeed do nothing, it was just the owner of the gas station, and it was the Top Gear crew's own bigotry and desire to make fun of the local rednecks that set her off because she instinctively knew that they thought she was an ignorant fool and they were there to make fun of her in front of millions even before they opened their mouths.

You know what? If she and everyone else at the gas station had NOT reacted... there'd be no bit for the show. If she isn't a fool she'd have recognized that and kept her mouth shut.

Now with all that's been said, I can't help but compare this to the college kids celebrating MLK with 40s and dressing up as gang members, aunt jemima, etc..
posted by ruthsarian at 8:59 AM on February 12, 2007


Throwing rocks at a gas station isn't the smartest thing to do.
posted by srboisvert at 9:05 AM on February 12, 2007


I can't help but compare this to the college kids celebrating MLK with 40s and dressing up as gang members, aunt jemima, etc..

except that we'll condemn the college kids and praise the top gear crew to the sky ... to the point where we end up believing what is a largely manufactured incident
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 AM on February 12, 2007


my problem is with media corporations provoking people of certain cultures in order to get a funny reaction from them, so that the corporations can sell more advertising and make more money. if people in alabama are fair game, then surely gays in nyc and san francisco and blacks in south-central l.a. and harlem are fair game too. the folks who endorse baiting white southerners cannot protest when they in turn are baited.
posted by bruce at 9:19 AM on February 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


clevershark: I'm not claiming to be on the cutting edge of the Boston topic. It was directly mentioned by someone else, and I was responding. Just my honest opinion: it should be embarrassing. I'm not trying to make anyone upset. You think that's the best someone could come up with trying to lampoon BOSTON?

kirth gerson: I'd be willing to bet the ad campaign cost more than $2mil, and they certainly got more than $2mil worth of primetime coverage for the stunt.

Also, I forgot to mention above, this is not so very different from Borat, as someone listed above. But yet tons of mefits went bonkers over Borat. And I don't see how, because Borat is actually anti-funny. It's a funny-hole, where actual funny stuff is sucked into Borat's un-funny event horizon, and crushed by the gigantic ego and undeserved praise.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:22 AM on February 12, 2007


how embarrassing that not a single person in the entire city government of Boston has any idea about a fairly common cultural reference.

Oh, come on. Pull 50 people off the street and ask, first of all, how many even watch Cartoon Network. Hell, I post to MetaFilter and Slashdot and I'd never heard of Aqua Teen Hunger Force before that stunt. "Faily common"? Quoting Regis Philbin's and Howie Mandel's game show taglines is a fairly common cultural reference. Star Trek lingo (shields, "Beam me up!," etc.) is a fairly common cultural reference. Turn the clock back 2 weeks and most people couldn't name two shows that air on Cartoon Network.

"Rednecks" need made fun of, even if they're in NYC.
Bigotry is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime, from anyone.


That's my favorite comment in this whole thread. I like you how didn't even drop a space between sentences, you just stacked 'em one on top of the other. You're my irony hero.
posted by cribcage at 9:23 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Huh...I just didn't think it was very well done.

It didn't really feel dangerous and the reactions of the folks on camera seemed overly smirky, like 2nd rate TV hosts trying to amp up how 'serious and crazy' it all was. Eh.

We've seen this done much, much better with Borat or TV Nation.

I think the lack of cleverness of the set-up affected the resulting discussion here on MeFi. So some folks were commenting on the execution of the stunt and some on the ideas underlying it.

I declare free pass for everyone. Let's do this again folks... aaaand Action!
posted by django_z at 9:31 AM on February 12, 2007


It was clearly all fake and a stunt too.

Like they're really dumb enough to do that for real.

Your confusing us Brits for Americans...
posted by 13twelve at 9:45 AM on February 12, 2007


And of course, what you don't see in this 5 minute clip are the hours of footage where nothing happens. And oh my, make a truck ominous by using the scary music.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:47 AM on February 12, 2007


what you don't see in this 5 minute clip are the hours of footage where nothing happens.

or any clip longer than 5 seconds ... or any conversation that isn't talked over... or anything that would actually help you make sense of the entire "incident"

these brits made fools out of some americans, alright ... the problem is, it's not the americans at the gas station who were made fools out of, it's the ones online who swallowed it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on February 12, 2007


You're my irony hero.
posted by cribcage


Ssh! Don't give me away. I am dissonance, hear me squeak.
posted by nofundy at 10:00 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd be willing to bet the ad campaign cost more than $2mil, ...

That's a pretty safe bet, since the ad campaign just cost the network the $2M that they paid to Boston, and all the stuff before that was not free.

... they certainly got more than $2mil worth of primetime coverage for the stunt.


I don't see how that "prime time coverage" is worth $2M. How many hours of advertising on the Cartoon Network would it take to generate $2M in profit? Or should I say days? Weeks? Or are they going to make all that money on Mooninite products?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:20 AM on February 12, 2007


And, ok, mega-stupidity all around. It's a given that if you really want to pick a fight, you can find some idiot to accommodate you. I have to admit minimal sympathy for both the provoker and the provoked. And trying to link this in to rape is a bit scummy in my opinion.

Of course, this will be yet another log on the fire of regionalism and confirmation bias. These threads always depress me because they become largely a mutual masturbation exercise of people using the South as a scapegoat for a national problem embedded in structure and geography of just about every city in the United States.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:20 AM on February 12, 2007


Watch the editing. They were never in as much real danger as they playacted for television.
posted by Falconetti at 10:21 AM on February 12, 2007


And I'll flip around and be inconsistent and say, that I've engaged in confrontational protest tactics myself (with someone watching my back). In every case it's drawn a range of reactions from open hostility to support by allies.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2007


And trying to link this in to rape is a bit scummy in my opinion.

It would have been equally provocative to have an HRC, rainbow or other pride sticker on the bumper. Yet if that was the "bait", I suspect that any violence-in-kind would have very likely received an entirely less sympathetic response here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2007


It would have been equally provocative to have an HRC, rainbow or other pride sticker on the bumper. Yet if that was the "bait", I suspect that any violence-in-kind would have very likely received an entirely less sympathetic response here.

1. Really? You have an evidence for that, or just your prejudice?

2."Violence-in-kind?" What violence? Oh, you mean the kind that was made-up to play better on TV?
posted by Snyder at 10:49 AM on February 12, 2007


Here's a good article (times select only, sorry) from a couple of days ago with a guy up North who regularly puts up a sign saying obnoxious shit. But nobody seems to protest him at all.

I'd sure like to kick his fat ass though. Or make a documentary about him.
posted by fungible at 10:50 AM on February 12, 2007


And I don't see how, because Borat is actually anti-funny. It's a funny-hole, where actual funny stuff is sucked into Borat's un-funny event horizon, and crushed by the gigantic ego and undeserved praise.

you could've just said "i don't like borat". you'd still be in the minority, but you'd sound like less of a prat.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 11:00 AM on February 12, 2007


A Bush/Cheney sticker on an SUV calls up similiar feelings in me, but I do not feel that throwing rocks and threatening violence is an appropriate response.
posted by eener at 11:04 AM on February 12, 2007


What about driving through Manhattan with a sign that says "9/11 WASN'T THAT BAD". Think that would provoke any kind of response? Or would the entire district be too highly educated and genteel to raise a voice of objection?

Honestly, no one in Manhattan would care enough about the sign on your car to bother you about it. If people in Manhattan started throwing rocks at people who weren't like them, they'd get nothing else done all day.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2007


> i didn't see anyone throwing rocks ... i didn't see anyone offer violence ...

I've got a pile of stones here, where's this gas station? It's obviously too late to cast the first stone but I am, y'know, without sin and it seems a shame to waste it completly.
posted by jfuller at 11:12 AM on February 12, 2007


Blazecock Pileon: It would have been equally provocative to have an HRC, rainbow or other pride sticker on the bumper. Yet if that was the "bait", I suspect that any violence-in-kind would have very likely received an entirely less sympathetic response here.

Well, I've never had much of a reaction to pride stickers on my vehicles.

And gee, don't you think there might be a difference between a pride sticker, and a convoy of vehicles with bright neon paint including more than just gay pride messages, followed by a camera crew in a van?

Which is one thing that really, really bugs me about this. I don't think these guys care that much about gay pride, because gay pride includes lesbigays who listen to country and watch Nascar. Even my rather small city has a gay bar where the jukebox is stocked with country and classic rock, and the TV plays ESPN. I think that gay pride was just a convenient issue to appropriate for the sake of provoking a reaction.

And my sympathy deflated when he said, "I'm married, with kids." WTF? If your first response when challenged is to hide behind your heterosexual privilege as a shield, then you are a week-kneed ally at best.

What this has to do with rape, I still can't tell.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:15 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't see how that "prime time coverage" is worth $2M. How many hours of advertising on the Cartoon Network would it take to generate $2M in profit? Or should I say days? Weeks? Or are they going to make all that money on Mooninite products?

In 2006 The Strangers With Candy movie made about $2M dollars, I'd bet that the aquateen movie will do better and probably cost less to make, so the movie will make a profit. But unless it does expectionally well it will take a large chunk of profit out of it.

I was shocked thatT Turner paid 2 million dollars in fines without a fight. They are trying to pin a hoax charge on the two guys that actually put up the mooninite thingies. And there is no way that the City of boston lost 2 million dollars over it. It's not like they are going to write out checks to everyone stuck in the traffic jam. I guess it can be quite profitable to foster a sense of false danger and overreact to baseless claims of terrorism.
posted by afu at 11:17 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


LOL ALABAMA!!!!!!1!11!

I know that it's easy to pick on rednecks, but don't people get tired of it? Yes, there is ignorance here. It comes with the poverty that is only slowly disappearing. It sucks, we get it.

Maybe I'm just immune to humor about rednecks. Living around them gets old, but not as old as making jokes about them.

One of these days I want to see someone pull this sort of stunt in Birmingham. They will be perplexed when (a) nobody really cares, and (b) they get a few random cheers when they drive through Southside.
posted by mazatec at 11:19 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


"She shouldn't have worn that red dress?"

You're smarter than to trot out that tortured analogy.

"The English don't hate the Jews. They just hate Israel.
Sheesh."

That's why they put it in the middle of all those damn Arabs!

"3) Running is rarely cowardly as it defuses conflict. In this case it's ethically expected as they provoked the encounter."

Wait, what? No, the ethical and brave thing to do would be to stop filming, go up to the people and say "Hey, we were doing this to get a reaction out of you to confirm the prejudices of the audience. It was wrong, and we're sorry." Running off snickering is as brave as ding-dong-dash.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on February 12, 2007


I guess it can be quite profitable to foster a sense of false danger and overreact to baseless claims of terrorism.

Of course it can. Boston's just using the Bush Administration's tactics. I hope they're not going to try and sell us an invasion of Nashua.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:24 AM on February 12, 2007


another question - since when do rednecks throw rocks? ... it's been my experience that up close and personal is their preferred mode of "communication"
posted by pyramid termite at 11:39 AM on February 12, 2007


Mah people IZ teh rednecks!!!!

And let me tell you something: We can take it.

There are "Rednecks" and then there are "Stupid-Piece-of-Shit-Rednecks." Just like there are SPOS UK'ers or SPOS anywhere else.

Mah peeps? We come from South Eastern Idaho. We are the people who yuk'ed it up buzzing around in our four-wheelers in front of the press while the Governor defiantly BBQ'd the last frigg'n Salmon on the Salmon River just to show the Gubmint they wazn't gonna be pushed around by the endangered species act.

Then the Salmon Fishing tourist industry in inland Idaho went tit's up. Oh. Uh. Whooops! Much like the Ski industry in the state is going belly up due to climate change while all us dumb rednecks buzz around in our four wheelers. Then we sobered up and decided that wasn't none too bright.

Yup. These stupid fucks are fiddling Charlie Daniels while Rome burns around them. And they are deep frying Twinkies in the flames.

But there are a few of us who are slightly more enlightened. We ain't so stupid as to throw rocks at some UK good ol boys playing a joke. We ain't so worked up about the gays that we don't want them to build B&B's and Wineries thus saving our dying little towns.

We eye suspiciously the gubmint no matter who is in charge. We fight your wars. We grow your food. We hunt with Hemingway. We read poetry. We got the internets. And. Nobody knows how stupid some of us are more than we do.

We welcome you to make fun of us. We make fun of us too! Just go to a family reunion of ours. You'll see.

PS. This WAS great TV.
posted by tkchrist at 12:05 PM on February 12, 2007


Yes, there is ignorance here. It comes with the poverty that is only slowly disappearing.

As a former Georgian, I have to strongly disagree with this. I found a higher rate of not only ignorance, but hate and bigotry among the middle-upper class white people- especially in college at UGA. Well-educated and they have money...but, hot damn if there aren't a lot of asshole racists there.
When I lived in Atlanta, the same held true in the suburbs. Lots of richer, white people who didn't care about the plight of others and were happy to see, "Evolution is only a Theory," on science textbooks.

One of the reasons I wanted to move out of the South was because I was tired of the constant ignorance, bigotry, and chiefly race-bating. I swear, every bloody thing down there boiled down to race. I live in Minnesota now where. While we certainly still have our out share of asshats, I find the rate to be a lot less overwhelming than it was down in GA.

Obviously, I'm just one data point. However, in conversing with other co-workers who lived in the South for an extended period of time, their experience with less race & socio-economical issues to be less rampant up here. I don't mean that in the context of there not being issues we need to work on and solve, but that every single damn topic doesn't end up revolving around race unlike the south.
posted by jmd82 at 12:13 PM on February 12, 2007


I read all the comments here before watching the video, so I expected there to be some kind of actual violence depicted. First I saw some guys driving down the highway acting like scared bunnies because people were looking at them. Hey, when I see someone driving a beat up wreck of a car with anything painted on it, I look and sometimes roll my eyes. That reaction has less to do with whatever is on the car and more to do with wondering what sort of moron paints stupid shit on an old beater of a car. Some people honked. Not everyone who honks at someone who has something written on their car wants to beat that person up. Maybe they were agreeing with the statement. We have no idea.

Then I saw a business owner who called their bluff and wanted the stupid people with a camera crew to leave her establishment, which is her right. She knew they were merely there to stir up trouble, which they were. I never heard her say she was "going to get the boys." The truck full of people that pulled up was just happenstance that played well into their plan to create some drama. The "rednecks" arrived in a larger, blue truck that was parked at the front of the station (not doing anything) by the time they said the "rednecks" went after the film crew (as they showed a smaller green truck which had been parked there from the beginning).

All the running was just more manipulated drama, and the sound of those "rocks" hitting the sides of their vans all sounded too identical ... almost exactly like the sound I can make by hitting the side of my friend's van with my hand. I call bullshit on any rocks at all being thrown. I also call bullshit on any chase scene, because the only evidence we have of it is them saying it was happening. I can show a black screen and say anything I want is happening. In fact, right now, there's an alien craft landing in my back yard! Oh my god! It's so terrifying! Doesn't make it true.

And the reaction to the rain storm is just freaking ridiculous.

So yes, definitely manipulated footage, if not almost entirely forced, clipped, and edited to convey what they wanted it to convey, but all I saw was a group of total pussies making much ado about nothing at all in an attempt to make other people look stupid while one business owner wanted the troublemakers to leave her parking lot. Only one group of people came off looking stupid to me, and it wasn't the townspeople. Now I know I need never bother watching this TV program.

I drive an old beater of a car too, and it wouldn't matter what I painted on the side of it, people would look at me like I was slightly nutters, especially if I was squirming around in my seat and acting like a paranoid weirdo. Even without anything painted on it and driving like a normal person, I get looks and eye rolls.
posted by Orb at 12:17 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


jonmc, cribcage, bruce, xetere, Mister_A, and a few others all covered basically my feelings on this, but I would like to add this:

People with less opportunities and wealth generally value "respect" much more than than others, mainly because it's all they feel they have. That's why you likely won't get jumped for driving an SUV with a Dubya sticker in a rich liberal neighborhood. The analogies with poor black (or any other race) neighborhoods are more apt.
posted by keswick at 12:17 PM on February 12, 2007


sigh... never have I seen a thread so full to the brim with justifications for wanton violence. Ghandi and your mothers would be ashamed.
posted by tehloki at 12:18 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ghandi and your mothers would be ashamed.

Ghandi was a racist. (According to Penn and Teller, at any rate.)
posted by IronLizard at 12:26 PM on February 12, 2007


my problem is with media corporations provoking people of certain cultures in order to get a funny reaction from them, so that the corporations can sell more advertising and make more money

As far as Top Gear goes, the "media corporation" is the BBC. While it is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, it is a public broadcaster in the UK. There is no advertising, and it is supported by license fees that UK residents pay for the honor of owning a television.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:35 PM on February 12, 2007


What this has to do with rape, I still can't tell.

The red dress metaphor is about general empathy for people who commit violent acts because they claim they were "provoked", when the root cause of their actions is due to their innate bigotry or hatred of gays/blacks/Jews/women/whatever. And that empathy is reprehensible regardless of any a priori knowledge that the Top Gear crew are mindless jerks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:36 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


your mom is a root cause
posted by Snyder at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2007


"except that we'll condemn the college kids and praise the top gear crew to the sky ... to the point where we end up believing what is a largely manufactured incident"
posted by pyramid termite

You know why some of us enjoy to excess these "largely" manufactured comic TV incidents, pyramid?

Because you CAN'T film the nonchalant bog standard anti-different-folk crap you do hear outside big towns in the south.

Because you DIDN'T get pissy with the kindly, casually racist waitress who was trying to be friendly with your own (white) kids when you were in Nowheresville, TN - you didn't want to be offensive back.

Because you don't DARE blow a gasket at the young 'good ole boy' anti-gay meant-to-be funny monologue in the bar that trip either - because you were the outsider visitor.

Because - while you were privately shocked and dismayed to see some of these stereotypes did actually walk and talk - you were aware you didn't live there (thank god) and didn't have their disadvantages.

So you shut up - and continued to love all the other bits of the US.

And you laugh immoderately at Top Gear when they do their high jinks in hicksville as relief from your own cowardice.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2007


At least a cop didn't pull them over and ejaculate on them.
posted by NationalKato at 12:43 PM on February 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


Ok, taking you seriously, and not as an agent provacateur, for a moment, if you think that people being expressing empathy for other people who are annoyed at intentional and offensive attempts at provocation is somehow akin to blaming the victim of violent crime, then you have a very askew value system. The Top Gear dorks were not the vicitims of anyone.

Aside from that, I believe that you only post this opinion due to the fact that it involves Southeners.
posted by Snyder at 12:49 PM on February 12, 2007


> One of the reasons I wanted to move out of the South was because I was tired of the constant ignorance, bigotry,
> and chiefly race-bating. I swear, every bloody thing down there boiled down to race. I live in Minnesota now where.
> While we certainly still have our out share of asshats, I find the rate to be a lot less overwhelming than it was down in GA.

Georgia is 27% black, according to the Census Bureau. Minnesota is 2.2% black. You sho'nuff moved as far away from those pesky Negros as you could, didn't you?
posted by jfuller at 12:51 PM on February 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


What would happen if five cars with giant handpainted "Abortion Is Murder", "Stop Killing Babies," "America: Love It or Leave It", and "Homosexuality is a Sin" signs rolled through Northampton, Massachusetts?
--------------------------

I doubt that you'd get any noticeable reaction at all, not even dirty looks. there would probably be a lot of eye-rolling, and people turning to each other saying, "what a bunch of idiots," but nobody would validate your provocations with an overt challenge.

Feel free to try it, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson


Make it "red sox suck" and see if you get a reaction.

Feel free to try it.
posted by justgary at 1:09 PM on February 12, 2007


Georgia is 27% black, according to the Census Bureau. Minnesota is 2.2% black. You sho'nuff moved as far away from those pesky Negros as you could, didn't you?

This is actually an interesting point. It's very easy to profess undying love and respect for people you have no contact with. (not accusing anybody, just making a 800-pound gorilla sighting).
posted by jonmc at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2007


"Living around them gets old, but not as old as making jokes about them."

So true.

It'd be nice if people could remember that bigotry is always bad. Whether or not people in the South are themselves more bigoted and all these other things we accuse them of is beside the point. The point it that you can know and state a simple fact ("US southerners are more racist and narrow-minded than the median of the US population" or "urban, young black males commit far more crimes than other young men") while being careful to avoid being bigoted.

When you:

A) take pleasure in pointing this fact out because you really, really hate those people; or

B) stop thinking about individuals and exceptions and are quite content to see every single individual member of this group in these terms

...then you're being a bigot, not simply stating something factual. If you look in your heart, you can easily see the difference. What are your motivations for saying ugly things about southerners or young black men? Do you enjoy it? Are you angry? Are you acting on an urge to encourage other people to join you in your anger?

For whatever reason, it's a universal human trait to find some group of people and demonize them and take pleasure doing so, ignoring shades of gray and exceptions (even widespread exceptions). There's a part of us, frankly, that quite enjoys dehumanizing other people.

And I say all that to explain the quote. Those of us who actually know and have lived among one of these various hated groups have invariably known individual people who belong to the group but don't share those hated characteristics. Some of those people, in fact, proved to be truly good and admirable people. But when you hear all those bigoted jokes and stories and slurs, you'd never know that there could be even one such person living among the demons. That's what gets old: the bigotry is a slur, a hateful slur, against at least some people you personally know don't deserve it. It doesn't matter that a lot of other people do—the bigot is very loudly not making that distinction. They all look alike to him. To him, they all deserve ridicule, scorn, hatred.

I felt a much greater level of racism and narrowmindedness when I lived in Texas. I hated it. But, dammit, I also met and know a good number of really good people that are native Texans. And an even larger number of people that aren't saints, but they're no worse than average. I grew up taught to mock and dislike Texans. And having lived there, many of the characteristics I mocked and disliked proved to actually exist in notably greater quantities than in other places I've lived. Even so, my taste for such mockery and conspicuous dislike has disappeared. Because there's no avoiding that indulging in it (or tolerating it when others do it) includes as targets all those people I know who don't deserve to be targets.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:16 PM on February 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Georgia is 27% black, according to the Census Bureau. Minnesota is 2.2% black. You sho'nuff moved as far away from those pesky Negros as you could, didn't you?"

Could be cause he was Caught LARPing, or bragging about his/er Hermaphroditism (sp).
but if he turns out to be Black, Man I'm gonna laugh at you....
posted by Elim at 1:21 PM on February 12, 2007


people being expressing empathy for other people who are annoyed at intentional and offensive attempts at provocation

Georgia is 27% black, according to the Census Bureau. Minnesota is 2.2% black.

Well, there seem to be a lot of black people in downtown Minneapolis.
posted by delmoi at 1:21 PM on February 12, 2007


Make it "red sox suck" and see if you get a reaction.

It's been done, every summer for years. Nobody got assaulted that I know of. Maybe it's because they do suck.

Try again.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:22 PM on February 12, 2007


but that every single damn topic doesn't end up revolving around race unlike the south.
posted by jmd82


That's also a great way to avoid racial violence. Move to somewhere all white. I think you're on to something there.
posted by justgary at 1:26 PM on February 12, 2007


I love Top Gear, which I got into coming from Brainiac. As a southerner, I found this funny, but not as funny as the part where Hamster is radioing steering directions to Jeremy going down the interstate. Hilarious.

Here is the whole episode.



And REALLY, this thread is embarrassing!
posted by headless at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2007


It's been done, every summer for years. Nobody got assaulted that I know of. Maybe it's because they do suck.

Try again.
posted by Kirth Gerson


You spray paint yankees rule/ sox suck across your car and go to a sox game, see what happens.

I've been to fenway where a fan had a yankee hat and yankee uniform shirt on and, after his hat had been stolen, had to be escorted after the game by security to get it, and it wasn't a yankee game.

I've seen another video where something similar happened.

So, no, I don't need to try again. I've seen it happen.
posted by justgary at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2007


Should have been 'to get out'. He never got the hat back. It was ripped to shreds.
posted by justgary at 1:37 PM on February 12, 2007


No, you've restated the situation. We were in Northampton, but you moved us 90 miles to Fenway. The original situation was not driving a car bearing "NASCAR SUCKS" into the Darlington parking lot on raceday, either.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:40 PM on February 12, 2007


OK, I just read 220 comments and as far as I can see not one person said:

"Hey, sometimes both sides of a situation can be in the wrong. That Clarkson guy is an idiot for deliberately trying to upset people, and the locals are idiots for not just calmly disagreeing with him or pointing out that it's a dumb stunt."

So I'll say it. Jeez. So much effort spent missing the key point.
posted by imperium at 1:55 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Georgia is 27% black, according to the Census Bureau. Minnesota is 2.2% black.

Well, there seem to be a lot of black people in downtown Minneapolis.


About 14% of Minnesotans are non-white, which is about half the national average. But, this is changing. Minnesota has the eighth fastest growing Latino population in the country. In addition, the black population has doubled from 2.2 to 4.2% between 1990-2000. This figure has continued to increase as Minnesota finds itself home of the nation's largest Somali immigrant population. This new Somali population has given the Twin Cities a good boost of diversity and explains why the cities seem so much "blacker" than the countryside.

As a Minnesotan, I love the growing diversity. These newcomers have much, much better food than our traditional Norwegian/Swedish dishes.
posted by boubelium at 2:02 PM on February 12, 2007


People turn into bigots about all sorts of things. Transient things that make zero sense at all.

One time I had a knife pulled on me in a bar in Alaska. My great offense? I was wearing a Bumble Bee Cannery hat in a Peter Pan cannery bar. Dude want to kill me over it! Try and suss that out on the Cray for a million years and you won't discover any logic. (Maybe: Peter Pan is owned by a Japanese company. Bumble Bee an American company?) But I did wear that hat on purpose. I knew it would piss somebody off. I just wanted to see how much. Now I know. Enough to kill me over it.

The Brits were being provocative, true. And not all that clever about it.

Was it real? I dunno. Does it matter? It was still good theater, most because of the Brits outlandish hysterical reaction not because of the Red Necks.

Should the Brits have stopped and apologized? That would not make very good TV would it. Not only that if it was real... you try and explain why you were being a prick to a bunch of dudes you just enraged. They would assume you were not only assholes but also total pussies. And you would really get your ass kicked. Or worse.

If that was real those Red Necks just wanted the Brits to leave. This is the reaction the show hoped for. Everybody got what they wanted. The Red Necks got to fly the rebel flag the Brits got a funny chase scene. Let's not read too much more into it.
posted by tkchrist at 2:08 PM on February 12, 2007


Top Gear has staged outrageous things before (unless they really did burn down some poor camper's caravan last season, but I highly doubt it). I would find it rather easy to believe that they either staged the whole thing or exaggerated it for two reasons: because I really don't think it'd be that easy to get a truckload of people to start throwing rocks at you, and because the funniest part was how the hosts seemed to screw up the challenge.

Remember that the whole game was for each person to write on another person's car the most inflammatory slogans he could think of to get that person beat up; in that light, "Country & Western Is Rubbish" is pretty crap, and "Hillary For President" only slightly less so. I was trying to think of equivalent phrases for the "civilized" north, but ColdChef's already done me one better. "Country & Western Is Rubbish" would piss off a caricature of a redneck, maybe, but I find it hard to believe that it'd bother real people nearly so much.

IF this is a real incident, then it still doesn't matter much because then we're talking about a bunch of guys with dumb slogans getting attacked by a bunch of idiots with rocks. But I doubt it's even real, which means the whole segment says precisely nothing about anything except the ability of the Top Gear crew to pat themselves on the back for not getting killed by caricatures. In any case, this wasn't anywhere near the best part of the episode, and even as someone who rarely agrees with Clarkson's outlandish persona or his personal views on topics like environmentalism, I thought it was one of the best Top Gears I've ever seen despite the Alabama incident.

Oh, and finally:

Seems to me they weren't being hassled for whatever idiotic slogans they painted on those cars, but for the condescending, insulting assumption that doing this would get a rise out of the Southern hicks - for being made fun of.

I'd agree with you except that they DID get a rise out of the Southern hicks. You don't win an argument by saying "I'm angry that you thought this would anger me, so I'll beat you up anyways." Bully's rules, yes, but that's what you get for playing the bully's game.
posted by chrominance at 2:20 PM on February 12, 2007


The GArawjhe's ownah: "Now, are y'all gay and lookin' to see how long it takes to get beat up in a hick town?"

Gumby after hitting the road with clean car: "They could've killed us!"

Yes. Stupid. Seems like "Jackass" for British Gumby adults.
posted by Listener at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2007


"Rednecks" need made fun of, even if they're in NYC.
Bigotry is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime, from anyone.


Best self-contradicting comment ever.

Kirth Gerson said: I doubt that you'd get any noticeable reaction at all, not even dirty looks. there would probably be a lot of eye-rolling, and people turning to each other saying, "what a bunch of idiots," but nobody would validate your provocations with an overt challenge.

I bet you're wrong, at least judging by what happened when something similar occurred in a similarly liberal New Jersey college town earlier this year.

ColdChef is a bigot. A lot of people seem to share in this bigotry.

"Melville makes Faulkner look like Grisham!"

Translation: "I love to flaunt my lack of taste in literature."

The point it that you can know and state a simple fact ("US southerners are more racist and narrow-minded than the median of the US population"

Please don't present pure opinion as simple fact.
posted by oaf at 2:29 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cold Chef is funny.
posted by tkchrist at 2:47 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Translation: "I love to flaunt my lack of taste in literature.""

Translation: I could not afford a clue when offered one. Please help me.
posted by klangklangston at 2:52 PM on February 12, 2007


There's no need for me to confirm once more that people in Northampton would not react with anything but snideness to that, but I'm someone who's one town over and practically lives there, so I can confirm that. Actually, if there were five cars, we'd probably get the joke, as someone in the clip did.
posted by abcde at 2:53 PM on February 12, 2007


imperium wins!
posted by i_cola at 2:55 PM on February 12, 2007


ColdChef is a bigot

ColdChef is a proud, native Louisianan (he calls himself Tex, because he dosen't want to be called Louise) indulging in some self-effacing humor. Cool yer jets.
posted by jonmc at 3:01 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow, I'm appalled. Just about as appalled as I am when I see hundreds of rabid limeys beating the s*** out of each other over a soccer game.
posted by katyggls at 3:05 PM on February 12, 2007


Blazecock Pileon: The red dress metaphor is about general empathy for people who commit violent acts because they claim they were "provoked", when the root cause of their actions is due to their innate bigotry or hatred of gays/blacks/Jews/women/whatever. And that empathy is reprehensible regardless of any a priori knowledge that the Top Gear crew are mindless jerks.

Gee, and from my point of view, I thought you were just trying to pull out a misogynistic trump card. And one that appears to be an urban legend, because the actual number of rapists who make this excuse appear to be very tiny. The few times it is invoked, it turns out that their own perceptions of that reality are delusional.

Lets clear out the bullshit here. The Top Gear crew actively disowned any gay identity when challenged, and they were not making any grand statements about gay rights here. Equating a bunch of clueless het guys pulling a reality television prank, with actual queer bashing is offensive to me as a person who has been targeted for queer bashing for nothing more provocative than the way I cross my legs, is quite offensive to me.

Equating this to rape, a crime in which most victims have done nothing more provocative than being born with XX chromosomes is beyond offensive.

I've marched in pride parades, stood in front of stacked city council meetings, and done kiss-ins. Every time I've engaged in an action that pushed people's limits of acceptance, I've taken responsibility for the fact that I'm putting myself at risk. That's the nature of direct action (and I feel it's an insult to the tradition of MLK and gay pride activists to call this a direct action). You don't get the privilege of saying that you did nothing to escalate the conflict. And I keep pointing to MLK this month, but direct action is INTENDED to escalate the conflict to the point where the spineless progressives (is that redundant?) and moderates are forced to get off their lazy asses and do something.

If you want to say that the men in the pickup truck are wrong, I'll be more than happy to agree.

But comparing a bunch of (claimed) het guys trying to provoke a reaction to rape, gay bashing, or direct action tactics is offensive.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:11 PM on February 12, 2007


I'm with JonMC on this one. They basically put signs on their car that conveyed the message: I want to pick a fight. It worked. It wasn't any one sign, which would have probably passed without much trouble, but the combination that made it clear the intent was deliberate provocation. We all knew it, and the rednecks knew it too.

Typically in these situations guys will posture a bit, and give the other an opportunity to back down or simply take off. If they are both sticking around after this period, its pretty clear that what you have is a consensual encounter. Some people enjoy fighting, and if the desire is mutual then I say let boys be boys. The battery cable stunt was a pretty transparent attempt to prolong the moment without committing to the physical throwdown.
posted by Manjusri at 3:17 PM on February 12, 2007


I'd kick your ass if I knew what "bigot" meant.
posted by ColdChef at 3:23 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's short for "Big Otto" that fat guy at bar who split his urine stream at will. Some folks called him Yella Moses.
posted by jonmc at 3:29 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eww.
posted by matthewr at 3:33 PM on February 12, 2007


...across rural England and see what happens.

Hello, this is today's rural England...
posted by pleeker at 3:38 PM on February 12, 2007


And by god, I've never seen so much over-analyzing a silly stunt. On Top Gear, ffs... of course it's not clever, it's not even comedy, it's thirty to fifty year old men going on fourteen with the difference they do have the means to carry out whatever silly stunt involving a car they can think of. Simple as that.

But I'm not seeing that much of a difference in principle with Borat, except of course Borat/Cohen is much more ingenious. He's also ten times as annoying to his targets, though.
posted by pleeker at 3:45 PM on February 12, 2007


RC Cola really does taste flat! But nothing complements the taste of my MoonPies like it does. Except maybe a grape Nehi.

I hear ya Jon. I was visiting a friend the other day and we went to lunch at a deli. With his wife and infant son. Some dude walks in wearing a tshirt that read - "thank your mom for breakfast" in big block letters. It looked homemade even. Thing is, my friend lost his mother when he was 15. She was killed by his father in a murder - suicide. My family kind of adopted him. So I am fuckin burning up inside at this smug prick, get up to start something, but my friend pulls me off, words are exchanged and things finally calm down.

And I have never started a fight in my life, haven't been in one since high school, and have overwhelmingly pacifist tendencies. But even reliving it just now I want to smash a glass on the side of that dude's face.

I'm a fan of top gear, but this just proves that if you go looking for trouble, you'll usually find it.
posted by vronsky at 3:48 PM on February 12, 2007


I'm a fan of top gear, but this just proves that if you go looking for trouble, you'll usually find it.

I thought it proved that Brits were 'fraidy pantses of ladies and not very good drivers when they get flustered.

Dang. I always get take wrong lesson from these things.
posted by tkchrist at 3:59 PM on February 12, 2007


It's short for "Big Otto" that fat guy at bar who split his urine stream at will.
Soon after I first got pubes, one of them, a loose one, um, got in front, and caused my stream to be split. The several moments before I realized what was happening were among the most frightening that I have ever faced.

I apologize for sharing this story. But it had to be done.
posted by Flunkie at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Translation: I could not afford a clue when offered one. Please help me.

If you think that describes me, I'm sorry. You should be asking for clues, not offering ones you don't have.

ColdChef is a proud, native Louisianan

Perhaps he wasn't enough over the top. Especially considering that some of those things are trotted out frequently in threads like this, and aren't even true. Although you can fool a lot of people even if you do go so far that it's clear you're not serious.</derail>
posted by oaf at 4:27 PM on February 12, 2007


In any case, this wasn't anywhere near the best part of the episode, and even as someone who rarely agrees with Clarkson's outlandish persona or his personal views on topics like environmentalism, I thought it was one of the best Top Gears I've ever seen despite the Alabama incident.

Exactly what chrominance said. Yes, Clarkson is a twit, aside from Antiques Roadshow, Top Gear is the only other pieces of must-see TV in this household, and this episode was one of the best ever.

NASCAR sucks? Hillary for President? Man-Love Rules OK? This thread is just another perfect illustration of the fact that Americans in general, and rednecks in particular, just don't get irony.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:34 PM on February 12, 2007


Shhh, you don't want to undo Simon Pegg's heroic efforts to plug his new movie to Americans, do you?
posted by pleeker at 4:41 PM on February 12, 2007


Heheh.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2007


Perhaps he wasn't enough over the top. Especially considering that some of those things are trotted out frequently in threads like this, and aren't even true.

A simple "I'm sorry I called you a bigot because I missed the humor." will suffice.
posted by ColdChef at 5:10 PM on February 12, 2007


This whole thread is sad, along with the TopGear clip. I wish I could find it amusing somewhere deep inside of me, but it's just so pathetic and depressing, 'cause I know in my heart that those are the real Americans.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:11 PM on February 12, 2007


Heh tk - I was trying to remember all your advice from the fighting threads when that happened. Don't go for the trachea grab, x blocks are gay, kick in the balls and arm bar the dude, etc...
posted by vronsky at 5:16 PM on February 12, 2007


A simple "I'm sorry I called you a bigot because I missed the humor." will suffice.

You do do a damn good imitation.
posted by oaf at 5:38 PM on February 12, 2007


Apology accepted. Just be more careful next time.
posted by ColdChef at 6:13 PM on February 12, 2007


I was trying to remember all your advice from the fighting threads when that happened.

vronsky. You'd be best served to forget any advice I give you. Including this.

[ Reads. Head explodes.]
posted by tkchrist at 6:19 PM on February 12, 2007


You do do a damn good imitation.

You know who else does a damn good imitation?











Frank Gorshin.


You thought I was gonna say Hitler didn't you? Well The Fuhrer only did passable imitations. Though, oddly, his Greta Garbo was spot on!
posted by tkchrist at 6:25 PM on February 12, 2007


Wow, there are ignorant bigots in the south, who'd have thunk?

Hey now, too many of you are taking this as some kind of insult against the south. If you watch the whole episode, it's perfectly clear that the insults are aimed at all of America.
posted by sfenders at 6:31 PM on February 12, 2007


No, you've restated the situation. We were in Northampton, but you moved us 90 miles to Fenway. The original situation was not driving a car bearing "NASCAR SUCKS" into the Darlington parking lot on raceday, either.
posted by Kirth Gerson


I can't tell if you're intentionally being dense or not, but if you're comparing two groups of people and saying X is violent and Y is not, you need to have the exact same situation. And 90 miles? Give me a break. Only boston residents go to fenway?

If you wear a yankees hat and jersey and go into fenway acting like you want trouble, which is the exact thing these guys did, you will find it.

And if you think using fenway somehow makes violence acceptable, insert boston sports bar, it doesn't really matter

They basically put signs on their car that conveyed the message: I want to pick a fight.

Exactly, which is why trying to read anything into this stunt is silly. They could have put a thousand other messages on their car and got the same reaction. When you're obviously trying to insult someone and get in a fight chances are you'll find it. The station owner knew that and basically called them on it, which I doubt they counted on.

Serioulsy,
"Rednecks" need made fun of, even if they're in NYC.
Bigotry is not acceptable, anywhere, anytime, from anyone.
posted by nofundy


I agree, and I anxiously await their next comedy bit using new york rednecks. Except it ain't gonna happen. Red Necks are everywhere from new york to california, but it's really about making fun of the south. So showing that rednecks and bigots are elsewhere defeats the purpose.
posted by justgary at 6:36 PM on February 12, 2007


Elvis is overrated. Jerry Lee was and still is better, just like his buddy Carl Perkins. And RC Cola tastes like liquified heaven and it's good for you, too. I hope. This post, and subsequent discussion, is an old cliche.
posted by gordie at 6:41 PM on February 12, 2007


MetaFilter: insulting the crap out of everyone
posted by bwg at 6:56 PM on February 12, 2007


I just want to throw this into the melee. That's all - that sentence, and this one.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:59 PM on February 12, 2007


That was dumb. Not funny, just dumb.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 7:00 PM on February 12, 2007


I wore my NO MA'AM shirt once in Portland, OR and some lesbians started blatantly making out in front of me. They must have thought I had a problem with lesbians or something, when in fact I just wore the shirt because I wear it often.
posted by b_thinky at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2007


Do you know why people live in small hick towns in the South? Lots of them live there because they want to be left the fuck alone. They know you laugh at them for it, but they're happy with their way of life. And that makes them no less intelligent than you are.

If I was a Southerner, I think I'd be fed up with people spitting in my face all the time.
posted by b_thinky at 7:16 PM on February 12, 2007


The BBC have done this before. Newsnight had an English reporter drive a car around Glasgow and Edinburgh waving an English flag during the World Cup (when the BBC was insufferably saturating us with England R Bestz0r coverage).

It met with a few raised eyebrows and a lot of laughter.

Then they abandoned it in an incredibly poor part of the city, beside a virtual slum of a housing project. Some bams came and kicked the shit out of it. And there was a shitstorm of protest at the BBC for it.
posted by bonaldi at 7:16 PM on February 12, 2007


I wore my NO MA'AM shirt once in Portland, OR and some lesbians started blatantly making out in front of me.

*buys shirt
posted by ColdChef at 7:29 PM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Uhhh actually it wasn't a pretty site. But still an awesome shirt. I need a new one since the old one is faded.
posted by b_thinky at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2007


"Please don't present pure opinion as simple fact."

Hmm. "Narrow-minded" maps pretty closely to "culturally conservative" and it is a simple fact that the South is more culturally conservative than the median of the US. Are they more bigoted? That's a harder accusation to defend, obviously. But having lived in Texas and traveled in both the north and south and elsewhere in the US, the southerner's claim that the racism there (for example) is quantitatively no less than elsewhere, it's just "honest", has come to sound to me to be both patently false and incredibly self-serving. My experience is that, yes, the south is more racist, in general, than elsewhere in the US. That people argue otherwise is tiresome and stupid.

Are southerners more bigoted in general? A big part of bigotry is insularity and there is a correlation between bigotry and cultural conservatism. Asserting that the South is more bigoted than elsewhere in the US is closer to opinion than "simple fact". It was incautious of me to present it so. But then, in my experience, it is a simple fact. Perhaps that's the qualification I should have included.

But all that's really beside the point of my comment. My point was that even if these things are true, a certain kind of common preoccupation with them, a need to constantly assert them, taking pleasure in doing so, repeated failure to see exceptions and individuals and be forgiving...all amounts to a pattern of bigotry itself. Why is it important to be very aware, and make others aware, of how bigoted southerners are? To fight injustice? Or to nurture one's own desire to hate large groups of people and to feel superior to them? A lot of people who make a big deal about the bigotry of southerners are doing so with the latter motivations predominating. They're bigots, themselves.

As for southerners bashing southerners in this way, that's a different kettle of fish. There's a bit of self-hatred there, which is hard for people in that kind of situation to avoid. But there's also an understandable need to differentiate oneself from the guilty. Most liberal and progressive native southerners I've met are an interesting combination of fervid anti-racism and traces of residual racism that is confusing to observe and probably more confusing to experience within oneself.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:24 PM on February 12, 2007


It's rude to purposefully offend others.

It's far, far worse to try to escalate from being offended into violence.

This was almost *exactly* what I would expect from a group of people who claim to be religious though. I expect them to cast stones. i expect them to be violent, backwards and hypocritical.

I expect them to resort to violence immediately, and to ignore absolutely everything the Lord says.

I am glad they did not let me down, because I *love* to laugh at idiots.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:36 PM on February 12, 2007 [2 favorites]




If they just ignored the words on cars, their lives would have gone on fine. People would have thought well of them. The presenters would have been proven to be incorrectly bigoted.

Sadly, what happened was the presenters were proven correct. It was shown that they are violent, psycho-paths, eager to escalate from confrontation words to real-life attacks.

Your support of this indicates that you are fucking insane.

posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:41 PM on February 12, 2007


note: that last one was typed in reply to b_thinky's predictable response.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:43 PM on February 12, 2007


Why is it important to be very aware, and make others aware, of how bigoted southerners are? To fight injustice? Or to nurture one's own desire to hate large groups of people and to feel superior to them?

To laugh at them.
To mock them.
To point out that people who want to escalate from words to violence are violent Neanderthals.
To show how hypocritical they are.
To prove that their loudly proclaimed Christianity is only a veneer.
To shame them.

But mostly, to laugh at them. because laughter is the only thing those stupid fucking rednecks deserve.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:46 PM on February 12, 2007


EB: Why is it important to be very aware, and make others aware, of how bigoted southerners are? To fight injustice? Or to nurture one's own desire to hate large groups of people and to feel superior to them? A lot of people who make a big deal about the bigotry of southerners are doing so with the latter motivations predominating. They're bigots, themselves.

My feeling?

Playing the Southern Racist card gives a lot of people a free pass for refusing to deal with the systemic racism in their back yard. They can pat themselves on the back because their city police just guns black men on the doorstep or sodomizes them with mop handles rather than uses dogs and firehoses. No strong KKK but no lack of disgruntled white suburban boys forming hate-groups either. But of course, Benjamin Smith was just one troubled young man. He was an exception and not a symptom of a cancer rotting in unlikely places like Northern Ill..

And in regards to honesty, how many people are really willing to fess up to the fact that the systemic segregation and associated proverty of just about every urban city in the United States is just as much a form of violence as randomly shooting a percentage of people of color with a gun?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:56 PM on February 12, 2007


Top Gear is a terribly funny motoring show.

The hosts have insulted countries, religions, environmentalists, and gotten away with it because Top Gear is a terribly funny motoring show.

Their antics are not meant to be construed as social investigative journalism because Top Gear is just a terribly funny motoring show.
posted by slf at 10:27 PM on February 12, 2007


That's the nature of direct action (and I feel it's an insult to the tradition of MLK and gay pride activists to call this a direct action). You don't get the privilege of saying that you did nothing to escalate the conflict.

This is certainly a bizarre example, since MLK was about non-violent resistance, having nothing at all to do with being violent in response to provocation from oppression. To my knowledge, nearly all of the resistance groups you bring up are centered around a philosophy of Satyagraha. Your personal experience may be different.

But comparing a bunch of (claimed) het guys trying to provoke a reaction to rape, gay bashing, or direct action tactics is offensive.

Apologizing for and justifying violence because the violent party somehow felt aggrieved is disgusting. It's not really relevant if the target is the Class-A-assholes of Top Gear or the activists in ACT UP: the violent response is still wrong, and apologizing for a violent response is still disgusting.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 PM on February 12, 2007


"No strong KKK but no lack of disgruntled white suburban boys forming hate-groups either. "

Hey, man, the world headquarters of the Klan is here in Michigan. No strong KKK? (Well, yeah, they are kinda sissies, but whatever...)
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 PM on February 12, 2007


At the end of the episode, as they finish their journey of 800 miles between Miami and New Orleans, the cast and crew see the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought upon New Orleans.

Their original goal was to sell the cars for as much money as possible when they got to New Orleans.

After seeing mile after mile of broken house, rubble, broken signs, they had a meeting and decided that instead of selling the vehicles, they were going to give them away. They did this through a local charity.





Top Gear is terribly funny, but they know when to stop funning.
posted by Jerub at 2:28 AM on February 13, 2007


I think the attacks came because the Top Gear boys showed their fear. They were scared pulling into the station, and when confronted they made little nervous comments. And when they were jumping the one car, the one bloke was actually running. They might as well have painted "I'm scared" on the side of all the cars as well.

Nothing will provoke a bully more than signs of weakness. Had they simply got gas quickly, efficiently, and not tried to engage in any lame conversation, or simply been polite but blunt "Just a bit of joke, no problem, here's the money for the gas, we're leaving, don't like it, fine"-- I'll bet nothing would've happened. Many Brits I've known are quite scrappy and confrontational, but these guys were just pussies.

That said, having grown up in the South (though in a town not quite this bad), these hicks made me cringe. Bad behavior all around, really.
posted by zardoz at 2:50 AM on February 13, 2007


"It's rude to purposefully offend others. It's far, far worse to try to escalate from being offended into violence."

That is "a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance." And rightly so. I respect a guy who is polite and careful not to offend, but who will kick ass when provoked far more than someone who spews venom but doesn't back it up. It is simply a value judgement. I assign less significance to physical injury, and more to psychological or attacks on one's honor. Now the guy who neither offends, nor is provoked to unnecessary violence is worthy of the highest respect.
posted by Manjusri at 3:20 AM on February 13, 2007


One of the presenters of Top Gear blogs about the experience
posted by badlydubbedboy at 4:29 AM on February 13, 2007


What on earth is happening in this thread? jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

mefi's politically correct knob gobblers are upset again. ya know, if you don't stand up and salute teh gay, they roll out the bigotry schtick.
posted by quonsar at 4:32 AM on February 13, 2007


Blazecock Pileon: This is certainly a bizarre example, since MLK was about non-violent resistance, having nothing at all to do with being violent in response to provocation from oppression. To my knowledge, nearly all of the resistance groups you bring up are centered around a philosophy of Satyagraha. Your personal experience may be different.

Quote out of context much? My reference to MLK was to say that the Top Gear guys were not queer activists attempting to make a statement about the unfairness of heterosexism. They were a bunch of yahoos trying to get a rise out of people by calling each other gay in public. This was not ACT-UP, this was not a kiss-in, this was a prank. I'm not obligated to give Top Gear credit for pulling the equivalent of the penis game, and it's insulting to compare what happened to them to actual anti-gay violence.

Apologizing for and justifying violence because the violent party somehow felt aggrieved is disgusting. It's not really relevant if the target is the Class-A-assholes of Top Gear or the activists in ACT UP: the violent response is still wrong, and apologizing for a violent response is still disgusting.

But at this point, we are not talking about how disgusting the violence was. At no point it this discussion have I excused or apologized for the alleged violence. (Which I'm not comfortable taking their word for it.) I thought we got past the idea that violence was wrong.

What this discussion is about between you and I is that you chose to trivialize the experiences of survivors of rape and queer-bashing, you chose to trivialize gay rights activism.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:15 AM on February 13, 2007


I bet you're wrong, at least judging by what happened when something similar occurred in a similarly liberal New Jersey college town earlier this year.

I bet you've never been to Northampton.

=========================

I can't tell if you're intentionally being dense or not, but if you're comparing two groups of people and saying X is violent and Y is not, you need to have the exact same situation. And 90 miles? Give me a break. Only boston residents go to fenway?

Am I comparing two groups? Why no, I'm not - I'm saying that someone's made a mistaken prediction about what reaction a set of behaviors would produce in a particular place. You, on the other hand, are trying to justify that prediction by talking about a different place and set of behaviors. I can't tell if you're intentionally being dense or not.

If you wear a yankees hat and jersey and go into fenway acting like you want trouble, which is the exact thing these guys did, you will find it.

Probably, but so what? No one but you is talking about that.

And if you think using fenway somehow makes violence acceptable, insert boston sports bar, it doesn't really matter

Do I think that? Again - no, I don't. If you think anything I've written implies that I do, then maybe you should read it all again.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:31 AM on February 13, 2007


I win.
posted by nofundy at 7:20 AM on February 13, 2007


James May (the one w/ the longest hair out of the three) posts about the stone throwing (and compares the confederate flag to a swastika in the process)..
posted by cgs at 7:27 AM on February 13, 2007


To laugh at them.
To mock them.
To point out that people who want to escalate from words to violence are violent Neanderthals.
To show how hypocritical they are.
To prove that their loudly proclaimed Christianity is only a veneer.
To shame them.

But mostly, to laugh at them. because laughter is the only thing those stupid fucking rednecks deserve.


If I were to drive through an inner-city (i.e. black) neighbourhood in a car painted with confederate flags, "Hip-Hop sucks", "OJ was guilty" and "Lincoln made a mistake" written on it, I would expect a violent reaction.
I'd like you to describe the purpose and result of such a stunt using similar language.
posted by rocket88 at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2007


You know why some of us enjoy to excess these "largely" manufactured comic TV incidents, pyramid?

because it reinforces your prejudices? ... prejudices that are so strong that you'll believe this expertly edited and largely faked videotape shows a seriously violent incident?

Because you CAN'T film the nonchalant bog standard anti-different-folk crap you do hear outside big towns in the south.

oh, bullshit ... as a person who's lived all his life outside big towns in the north, i can tell you that you CAN film that stuff here
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 AM on February 13, 2007


jonmc isn't saying that violence is an appropriate reaction to any offense, he's saying that it is understandable if you are being willfully and transparently provoked.

Actually, he is specifically saying that if somebody comes up to you and says something to annoy you, that you should become violent.

Like if I come up to you and say you are an ignorant fuck, instead of coming back at me verbally, you should assault me.

So I guess I should assume that you are another person who thinks it is totally okay to chuck rocks at people if you don't like them. And to only do so after having established clear physical supremacy, such that you are not in danger.

As far as I am concerned those rednecks were just big fucking pussies, trying to turn an intellectual fight physical, because that was the only way they could win.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:14 AM on February 13, 2007


If I were to drive through an inner-city (i.e. black) neighbourhood in a car painted with confederate flags, "Hip-Hop sucks", "OJ was guilty" and "Lincoln made a mistake" written on it, I would expect a violent reaction.

So that makes it right?
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:19 AM on February 13, 2007


"But he did it first!"

"They're just as bad!"

Grow up. Rationalization is for little children.
posted by nofundy at 9:35 AM on February 13, 2007


Of course, this all just ignores that they were on her property and trespassing once she told them to leave. I think this falls under reasonable force to eject intruders (if any force was used at all, which they decidedly failed to show).
posted by IronLizard at 10:44 AM on February 13, 2007


So that makes it right?

No, it makes it understandable.
Have you come up with a justification yet as to why baiting rednecks is fundamentally different than baiting blacks?
posted by rocket88 at 10:52 AM on February 13, 2007


Tacos are pretty great: Jonmc doesn't need me to defend him but he didn't say anything of the sort. I think what he said was more to the effect of, when you do something that annoying you shouldn't be surprised if someone reacts with violence.

I agree. If you provoke someone and they kick your ass I wouldn't have a lot of sympathy for you. I'm not saying it would be right to kick your ass but I believe the provoker bears some responsibility for putting their self in that position.
posted by Carbolic at 10:54 AM on February 13, 2007


What this discussion is about between you and I is that you chose to trivialize the experiences of survivors of rape and queer-bashing, you chose to trivialize gay rights activism.

What really happened is that you decided to recontextualize my comments to your own purposes, having nothing to do with my legitimate criticism of the jonmc's underlying response to provocation: violence is tolerable if there is provocation. Don't pretend otherwise.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:42 AM on February 13, 2007


imperium has it right. Neither 'side' in this comes out of it exactly covered in glory. Clarkson, who I can't stand, comes across as a knob for the stunt, and the folks at the garage look dumb for falling straight into his poorly laid trap.
posted by MrMustard at 11:47 AM on February 13, 2007


I have a strong suspicion that what was actually most provocative was that they were obviously trying to be very provocative.

That was my read as well, though I certainly believe it's possible that people angry at someone clearly trying to jerk their chain also allowed their chain to be jerked. Foolish and counter-productive, but it happens.

I didn't see any sympathetic characters in that whole clip.
posted by phearlez at 11:51 AM on February 13, 2007


Oh, and just because doing something similar elsewhere, might provoke an equivalent response, does not make this response any less ridiculous.

And finally koeselitz, WTF?
posted by MrMustard at 12:01 PM on February 13, 2007


What really happened is that you decided to recontextualize my comments to your own purposes, having nothing to do with my legitimate criticism of the jonmc's underlying response to provocation: violence is tolerable if there is provocation. Don't pretend otherwise.

Maybe you should've gotten beat up more as a kid, so you won't have such an "othering" reaction to violence.
posted by Snyder at 12:30 PM on February 13, 2007


Tacos: trying to turn an intellectual fight physical

What is so intellectual about painting "Nascar sucks" or "Country & Western is rubbish" (or any of the other things) on the side of your car and driving around like skittish nattering twats looking for trouble? It's not like they were protesting, or, I feel, anything they actually believed needed to be said. They were just trying to be as offensive to the local residents as they could be, and that's what they came up with. Doesn't sound like much of an "intellectual fight" to me.

I continue to question that any actual violence at all occurred, and the whole thing was simply manufactured "reality" as an excuse for a some British jerks to get some laughs at someone else's expense ... unless yelling at someone who is intentionally trying to upset you is now to be considered violence.
posted by Orb at 12:58 PM on February 13, 2007


This was not a "violent reaction" Throwing rocks and chasing them is just neighborly fun.

Violence would involve the guns they keep in their trucks.
posted by Megafly at 1:02 PM on February 13, 2007



"NASCAR sucks? Hillary for President? Man-Love Rules OK? This thread is just another perfect illustration of the fact that Americans in general, and rednecks in particular, just don't get irony."

No Peter, you are being stupid again. We get irony, we just prefer it when it is not so forced and unfunny. You limeys on the other hand will laugh at anything. Go play your Oasis records.
posted by vronsky at 1:47 PM on February 13, 2007


"What really happened is that you decided to recontextualize my comments to your own purposes, having nothing to do with my legitimate criticism of the jonmc's underlying response to provocation: violence is tolerable if there is provocation. Don't pretend otherwise."

No, understandable does not mean tolerable, and there is a continuum which you seem to be ignoring (and you seem to be trying to vehemently out PC Kirk).

Just as a note, this argument style is "Bad Alex." Let Good Alex, who generally understands that the bilious reaction isn't called for and who can assume that his partners in conversation don't have terrible intentions, come back.
posted by klangklangston at 1:50 PM on February 13, 2007


'Hey all you Jew-hating snotfaced teasucking knob gobbling ladies pants sissy limeys, come onnn, fight back'
'...yawn...'
'Oasis!'
'Oooh now it's on!'

Nah, for some odd reason I'm not picturing it going that way. Try harder!
posted by pleeker at 4:49 PM on February 13, 2007


Well you left out the bad teeth and queen worship - does that help? How's about faded empire? Bad food? Gordon Ramsey? The first season of Extras? Chavs? Coldplay? The electrical systems in your cars? And driving on the freakin left... now that's just wrong!
posted by vronsky at 5:05 PM on February 13, 2007


Oh dear.

A fair few have dropped a hint or two, and chrominance put it all very well, but still the whole ridiculous, over-sensitive, humourless thread carried on around them.

On both sides of the argument, you simply don't get the show, and utterly miss the point that the Top Gear guys are poking fun at themselves as much as anything else - and yet they're also able to make serious and poignant comment within the format.

Really, it's not that difficult to tell the difference.
posted by Shinkicker at 5:34 PM on February 13, 2007


Well, you know, smiley emoticon and all that shinkicker. Some of us are just taking the piss. I thought brits understood irony.
posted by vronsky at 6:15 PM on February 13, 2007


On both sides of the argument, you simply don't get the show,

that's ok ... they don't get america
posted by pyramid termite at 8:52 PM on February 13, 2007



Of course, this all just ignores that they were on her property and trespassing once she told them to leave. I think this falls under reasonable force to eject intruders (if any force was used at all, which they decidedly failed to show).


Congratulations. You are now the biggest nit-picking reject in the thread.

They were on a gas station (public property). When asked to leave, they attempted to do so as promptly as was possible. At all points they were polite, except for their cars.

Your defense on this point is just fucking absurd.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:39 PM on February 13, 2007


orb wrote:What is so intellectual about painting..

I love when people purposefully twist arguments like this.

You know exactly what i meant, and if you don't then you are too fucking stupid to breathe.

Intellectual as in it was just words and thoughts, not that those words were particularly brilliant.

But hey, please continue justifying violence and threats of violence.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:44 PM on February 13, 2007


Amusing trainwreck. Apologies that I’m commenting having only made it halfway through, but some observations:

pyramid termite is certainly correct that we cannot know how this really went down. The Top Gear guys hardly show us enough to make conclusions, as much as some might like to in support of their existing biases.

jonmc is right that those who go looking for trouble shouldn’t be surprised when they find it. Though he then gets tangled up in a bunch of dubious talk that sounds awfully close to justification.

In that sense, DU is right to compare it to the sexual assault scenario, if only because behavior_making_offence_more_likely != “asking for it”, and if jonmc in another situation had said something like “I’m not saying that she deserved it, but she shouldn’t be surprised at what happened” we would rightly conclude that he was being an asshole and trying to justify the behaviour in an underhanded way (and I don’t think he would say this, so maybe he should look at what sounds like his excuse-making here)

painfully hilarious that matthewr wants to attenuate his message that aggravating speech does not deserve violent reprisal the moment that “Fags are evil” becomes the message, whether analogous to NASCAR-based redneck insults or not.

And I throw my lot in with twistedonion here: provocation doesn't suddenly justify violent reprisal because it's deliberate, and it also doesn't take away from the fact that dumbasses like this* have made your point for you, the same way that violent reprisals did for illustrations of Muhammad depicting the religion of Islam as violent. Case made. Those 20 or 30 IQ points – we can attribute them to your actions; we don’t need geography or religion.

(*providing, again, that much of this happened at all...)
posted by dreamsign at 10:48 PM on February 13, 2007


Also jon, what is this "hurfdurf" shit?
posted by dreamsign at 10:55 PM on February 13, 2007


They were on a gas station (public property).

What?

Noun 1. public property - property owned by a government
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:09 AM on February 14, 2007


[a few comments removed, cool it with the name calling crap unless you want to take it to metatalk.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:57 PM on February 14, 2007


Aw boo, the BBC yanked it off YouTube.
posted by etoile at 6:31 AM on February 15, 2007


OK, I am watching the whole thing on repeat. It is so much more than the 'garage redneck' incident. From start to finish the guys take the piss out of each other and the american culture they seem both frightened and horrified by (Clarkson, I'm looking at you now).

It is a classic of it's own genre. I like!!
posted by dash_slot- at 11:28 AM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson is 'such an insufferable oaf', according to James May. Seems a fair assessment.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:31 AM on February 17, 2007


James says 'we seem to have run out of electricity' a lot.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:32 AM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson can't seem to put on a petrol can spout unaided.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:33 AM on February 17, 2007


How Clarkson has the right to mock fat americans when he's the shape of a retired horse, I don't know.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:36 AM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson has bought & rigged up an in-car shower, and they are now looking for road kill - what they are solely allowed to eat tonight.

James is now being rammed for running over the road kill for a second time, and Clarkson is releasing a tortoise that they nearly flattened.

Hammond is giggling a lot.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:43 AM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson has returned to the campsite with a cow tied to the roof of his Camaro. Hammond has realised that the only tool they have is.. a tent peg.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:45 AM on February 17, 2007


James May has the only working air con, handy for a road trip in Florida. Hammond and Clarkson are sabotaging it whilst giggling maniacly.

They seem happier for it.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:47 AM on February 17, 2007


Surreally, they have now reached Bagdad.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:50 AM on February 17, 2007


And now, as revenge on each other, they are painting slogans on the bodywork.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:51 AM on February 17, 2007


'They've shot their own sign... what are they gonna do to us?' says Jeremy as they enter Alabama.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:53 AM on February 17, 2007


...The filling station...
posted by dash_slot- at 11:53 AM on February 17, 2007


In a panic they are removing the graffiti
posted by dash_slot- at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson's wipers fail in a thunderstorm, and is guided by Hammond on a walkie-talkie...driving blind.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:58 AM on February 17, 2007


They are singing the praises of the old bangers they are driving. Gonna be sad to sell 'em. Though James is making full use of his worry beads & 'something has fallen off the Camaro'...

Now in New Orleans...and they are gobsmacked.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2007


Instead of selling them, they are trying to give them away.
Clarkson says to a prospective recipient:
'Dent on the roof...that was caused by a cow...'

James cannot even give away his Cadillac. And they turn down his offer of a lift to the airport. Which is just as well, as he needed a jump start.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2007


At the finish, it turns out the the lawyer (for the charity that they were using to facilitate the donation of the cars to Katrina survivors) objected to the description of the Camaro as a 91 (it was an 89) and threatened the guys with a lawsuit. "$20,000 will make it go away", she said.

Just then, several truckloads of guys turn up and threaten them if they don't "get off our street".

Clarkson advises:
'Don't buy - rent your vehicle. And don't go to America'.

Roll credits and The Allman Bros. Band.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:09 PM on February 17, 2007


Clarkson advises:
'Don't buy - rent your vehicle. And don't go to America'.


and they wonder why we told those wankers to piss off 200 plus years ago
posted by pyramid termite at 3:40 PM on February 17, 2007


I'm not sure who's 'they' and who's 'we'...
posted by dash_slot- at 7:28 PM on February 17, 2007


*ties up clarkson with duct tape and tea bags and throws him into boston harbor*
posted by pyramid termite at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2007


and they wonder why we told those wankers to piss off 200 plus years ago

perhaps because they remember why they told you to piss off just under 400 years ago.
posted by srboisvert at 4:59 AM on February 18, 2007


This weird: Simon Pegg is the guest driver on Top Gear tonight.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:30 PM on February 18, 2007


It's odd that someone who would be so het up about the faux racism of saying that Indians (as a people) hate delivering food would be so enthusiastic about a show like this.
posted by klangklangston at 2:24 PM on February 18, 2007


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