Some a these girls lately aren't into the movies.
November 25, 2010 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Chloe retells the story of a Brooklyn man asking her out. "The way that he asked me out was amazing, and I'll never forget it for the rest of my life. I'm going to share it with you now." [slyt]
posted by Rory Marinich (114 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thats a great story !!
posted by mel001 at 8:45 AM on November 25, 2010


I was howling. Really funny.
posted by gemmy at 8:50 AM on November 25, 2010


I'd have gone. Who could possibly be bored with him?
(She notes that she "politely declined, but he is really awesome and very smart.")
posted by Countess Elena at 8:53 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would also like to ask Chloe out.

Also I have never liked a YouTube channel before, but what I've seen of that one is great!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:55 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


from the comments:

I been trying to bang this broad for a fuckin month now. Only thing is she won't go out with me alone.... She don't wanna go out with Italians alone. She's prejudiced against Italians. You fuckin believe that? In this day and age, what the fuck is this world comin to? I can't believe theres prejudice against...... A Jew broad prejudiced against Italians.
posted by empath at 8:56 AM on November 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


while you typed that a restaraunt caught fire, you dizzy fuck...
posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's so fucking rare to come across a broad who can come up with such funny shit.
posted by nicolin at 8:58 AM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's like Uhhhhh fuck yannow?
posted by boo_radley at 8:59 AM on November 25, 2010


How did she get asked out by all my male relatives?
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Girl from Washington Heights
posted by iamck at 9:11 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


awesome, loved it!
posted by facetious at 9:12 AM on November 25, 2010


I have to ask some courthouse worker for information every week, and this impression is painfully accurate.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:14 AM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


She's really good. Her other impressions are spot-on, too.
posted by killdevil at 9:39 AM on November 25, 2010


Hehe, that was kind of sexy! And he offered meatballs!
posted by Omnomnom at 9:42 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is nothing like an education to beat a low-class accent out of someone. Unless you are a theater student, then you get to beat it into everyone else.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:43 AM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heydere, hayadoin? Ok, lookit, you gotta 'nanurism so we're gonna be doin a fuckin craniotomy where we evacuate the intracerebral hematoma before the onset of, yaknow, fuckin vasospasm.
I'm gonna be doin a medial approach for the cortical incision because I'm sucha fuckin pro. Some guy new to this? Get outa here, no fuckin way. Me? Yeah, I trow it on the side. No problem. I close the dura with a nonfuckinabsorbable multifilament suture so it's all watertight n'shit and suture the temporalis fascia and the galea and go have a sangwich, yah hearme?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:46 AM on November 25, 2010 [127 favorites]


Oh she's good
posted by criticalbill at 9:56 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't watch snl but she's a minute away
posted by victors at 9:58 AM on November 25, 2010


That shit is cute.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:04 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for the impatient Wall Street exec on the verge of a breakdown at Au Bon Pain when they run out of soup.
posted by wcfields at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


People tell me "ask her out -- what's the worst that can happen, she'll say no?"

No, the worst that can happen is that she'll make fun of you for it, posting it on the internet for everyone to have a good laugh at you. Not that I was this guy, but having been that guy? Putting yourself out there, only to be met with mockery for it? Thanks, lady. Thanks a lot. Even if this story wasn't real -- thanks.

Who, me? Bitter? What?
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:14 AM on November 25, 2010 [35 favorites]


Oh Capt. Renault, I only posted a few mocking stories about you on MetaChat — I didn't go on YouTube. Buck up!
posted by orange swan at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ya gotta admire the guy's confidence, if not his approach.
posted by spoobnooble at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


let me see if I understand this correctly:

racism = bad.
xenophobia = bad.
homophobia = bad.
making fun of the intellectually challenged or just those speaking with a peculiar accent = cute.

I feel sorry for the dude. he clearly lacks in certain departments and he's being mercilessly mocked for it.
posted by krautland at 10:56 AM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now thats a fuckin shame.
posted by sfts2 at 11:05 AM on November 25, 2010


he clearly lacks in certain departments and he's being mercilessly mocked for it.

what the fuckityfuck are you talking about? get some joy.
posted by victors at 11:07 AM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, did she go out with him?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:07 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The "dude" likely doesn't exist. She a comic with a great ear. Those are just bits, and damn funny ones, at that. The attitude that any specific demographic should be sacrosanct from being poked fun at is silly.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


krautland: agreed. Time for Chloe to find a funny story that doesn't mock anyone.

It can be done.

And clearly, Chloe has told this story ad nauseum. She doesn't need to inform the audience. It's painfully obvious.
posted by vincele at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2010


Man, Andrew Dice Clay sure whipped himself into shape.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:09 AM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was really hoping that he'd come out at the end and she'd say they're married now.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:16 AM on November 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


racism = bad.
xenophobia = bad.
homophobia = bad.
making fun of the intellectually challenged or just those speaking with a peculiar accent
Making fun of guys who approach women, minding their own business, with "I think we should Hey-hey, y'know!" = cute.


You've got a reverse comparison there- racism, homophobia, etc. are all about people living their lives when some assholes decide to inflict behavior upon them - sort of like when women do anything like go down the street, ride the subway, go to the store to get milk... or go to the library and random dudes come up saying ridiculous and just as often, insulting things.

Since we don't know this guy's name, age, appearance, or anything beyond the accent and maybe an uncle on the island... in New York... I think he's fairly safe from any serious fallout.
posted by yeloson at 11:24 AM on November 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


I bet she does a kick-ass Christopher Walken.
posted by Mick at 11:27 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


So a few years ago, I was on a commuter bus to New Jersey, and sitting right behind me was this 20-something guy fucking talking about fucking shit to his fucking brother for forty fucking minutes; the whole fucking time he was on the fucking bus.

So after he fucking gets the fuck off the fucking bus, the guy who had been sitting next to him says, pretty loudly:
"How do you spell 'New Jersey?"
"Fuckin' N"
"Fuckin' E'"
"Fuckin' W" (that's dubaya)
fuckin' etc.

No shit, it really fucking happened just like that. And talking on cell phones on the commuter buses is now banned.
posted by hexatron at 11:42 AM on November 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


let me see if I understand this correctly:

You don't. Now hush and go eat some pie.
posted by nomadicink at 11:54 AM on November 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


You know who else liked a nice skin?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:55 AM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I made it about 40 seconds in. Not cute or funny.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:00 PM on November 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


let me see if I understand this correctly:

racism = bad.
xenophobia = bad.
homophobia = bad.
making fun of the intellectually challenged or just those speaking with a peculiar accent = cute.


thread = shitted.
posted by mreleganza at 12:20 PM on November 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'd like to hear her do a Chinese guy asking her out next....then maybe an East Indian guy...that accent's always good for a chuckle.
posted by rocket88 at 12:34 PM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is why I can never talk to women. I worry that some video of her mocking me will end up on the Internet and go viral.

Thanks for validating my gears, Internet.
posted by SirOmega at 12:46 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah I made it about a minute in, then thought "OK, i get it". The Official Jewish Aunt one was great, though.
posted by mrbill at 12:50 PM on November 25, 2010


The "dude" likely doesn't exist. She a comic with a great ear. Those are just bits, and damn funny ones, at that. The attitude that any specific demographic should be sacrosanct from being poked fun at is silly.
Yeah, of course it's fake. Who asks people out with a 5 minute soliloquy? At best it's culled from a conversation she had with someone, more likely it's entirely fictional. Come on.
posted by delmoi at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Classic young girl talking about herself.
posted by LiteOpera at 1:08 PM on November 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Not so shockingly, "FunnyChloe" can also be heard voicing lots more Italians, a black lady named "Laquanda", a "girl from Washington Heights" who I guess is Latina and a "Jewish aunt." Nope, not racist at all.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:10 PM on November 25, 2010


"Hey. Chloe. Chloe. Chloe! Hey, Chloe! Hey. Um, hey. Damn, that there top looks good on yuh, I mean, it, like, it really matches your eyes and all. Not that I's scopin' yer boobs or nothin! Heh. Damn. Hold up! Wait wait wait. Chloe. Chloe. Chloe! Hey. Look, I's just wondrin' if, you know, you wanna maybe step out with me sometime. We cud, hell, I dunno: we cud git some beer an' git in mah truck an' go muddin' or sumthin. Or, you know, go set down by the lock-an-dam an' spot deer with the Q-beam. Y'ever seen one a them Q-beams? It's a spotlaht what plugs inta yer lighter-hole an' I swear that damn thing's brighter'n all get-out. It's really somethin'. So, you, uh, you wanna? Chloe? Chloe? Yuh will?! Hot damn! Woo! Heh, I been crankin' up my nerve tuh ask yuh forever, an' damn if that don't make me happier'n a pig in shit. I'll pick yuh up Friday naht. Don' worry, I done cleared all them beer cans outta the truckbed. Huh? Yeah, you gone be ridin' back there! Shotgun's for the dawg, an' he's kinda terry-toral about it. Damndest thing. Chloe? Chloe? Chloe?"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:12 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Making fun of guys who approach women, minding their own business, with "I think we should Hey-hey, y'know!" = cute.

You've got a reverse comparison there- racism, homophobia, etc. are all about people living their lives when some assholes decide to inflict behavior upon them - sort of like when women do anything like go down the street, ride the subway, go to the store to get milk... or go to the library and random dudes come up saying ridiculous and just as often, insulting things.


I feel odd questioning your logic here, because I am not offended by the video. I find it funny. To me, it's pretty clearly (in part) making fun of the guy for his ethnicity/social-standing/etc., but I'm not offended by that. (I'm not offended if someone makes fun of me -- in a lighthearted way -- for similar stuff.)

Here's what I get if I follow your logic as best I can.

1. It's not fair to make fun of someone if they're not bothering you.
2. If they ARE bothering you (or if they tend to bother people), it IS okay to make fun of them.
3. In such situations, when it's okay to make fun of them, it's okay to do so by making fun of their ethnic characteristics.

So -- correct me if I'm wrong -- it's not okay for me, a white guy, to make fun of a black guy by "talking like a black person" UNLESS he's bothering me. Then it IS okay for me to do it?

Taken to its logical extreme, doesn't this mean it's okay for me to call a black guy a nigger IF he's bothering me?

I think this was the "logic" behind Michael Richard's tirade: racist remarks are beyond the pale UNLESS the person you're making them about is an asshole.
posted by grumblebee at 1:21 PM on November 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Only on Metafilter would people get bent out of shape about hurting the feelings of a fictional Italian stereotype. Talk about being too P.C., get over it! It's a joke!

BTW I can't stand that accent even when it's a joke.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:28 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Smedleyman, I work for a practice with about 14 neurosurgeons, and I'm sending this to all of them right now. They're gonna love it.
posted by HopperFan at 1:34 PM on November 25, 2010


Taken to its logical extreme

Always a good idea.
posted by iamck at 1:54 PM on November 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Not so shockingly, "FunnyChloe" can also be heard voicing lots more Italians, a black lady named "Laquanda", a "girl from Washington Heights" who I guess is Latina and a "Jewish aunt." Nope, not racist at all.

You mean like that anti-Semite bastard Eddie Murphy when he did Gumby as an old Jewish guy. Not to mention cretins like Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal.

Just curious: I haven't had sex in a year - how much longer before my life becomes so embittered and joyless that I prefer a world without well-drawn caricature portraits?
posted by victors at 2:00 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


So if you imitate any accent, you are a racist.
posted by clockworkjoe at 2:04 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


victors: "You mean like that anti-Semite bastard Eddie Murphy when he did Gumby as an old Jewish guy. Not to mention cretins like Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal."

And if the race stuff was the only material any of them did, then they'd be pretty awful. Kind of like this guy or this guy. As it stands, I can't find anything on this woman's YouTube channel that isn't "don't these people have funny-sounding voices, guys?"
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 2:06 PM on November 25, 2010


This reminds me of those comics who make fun of their immigrant parents accents... except it's just entirely made up.
posted by ServSci at 2:15 PM on November 25, 2010


She's just following the edgy, "un-PC" and totally not racist comedy tradition of Don Rickles. Ethnicities can be reduced to caricatures, making it OK to laugh at them.

I got about halfway through this before I thought, "Alright, I get it already, it's going to be The Guido Impersonation." My reaction was more bored and disappointed, really. I'm past being offended by this schtick.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:18 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who asks people out with a 5 minute soliloquy?

From my personal experience, dudes in the comic book store.
posted by winna at 2:19 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


How many mefites does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

THAT'S NOT FUNNY!
posted by benzenedream at 2:32 PM on November 25, 2010 [34 favorites]


How many mefites does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

That depends on how long the effects of its shrink ray and Viagra last.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:41 PM on November 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


And if the race stuff was the only material any of them did, then they'd be pretty awful.

Now you're really grasping at straws. The bits stand on their own, and hardly need to be part of a larger body of work to be funny. The idea that humour must always be part of some sanctified oeuvre in order pass some politically correct litmus test applied by the perennially offended is just silly. Creating characterizations is not inherently racist, and arguing that cultural references are racist is simply not rational.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:51 PM on November 25, 2010


if the roles here were reversed - namely if a guy was making fun of a girl - half of the folks considering this funny would be up in arms about it.

I'll maintain she's awful.

go eat some pie.
are you calling me fat or are you just unaware of my screen name?
posted by krautland at 3:29 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


[folks, you know where metatalk is, if you have concerns about mod stuff you can go there and we'll be there after dessert.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


if the roles here were reversed - namely if a guy was making fun of a girl - half of the folks considering this funny would be up in arms about it.

And that half would be joyless trolls as well. discuss.
posted by victors at 3:54 PM on November 25, 2010


"Troll" implies insincerity in the beliefs expressed and a desire to create havoc for chaos' sake, which I don't think can be fairly applied to everyone who didn't find this girl hilarious.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:02 PM on November 25, 2010


we're gonna be doin a fuckin craniotomy where we evacuate the intracerebral hematoma before the onset of, yaknow, fuckin vasospasm

I'm missin that Accountant muthafucka what used to be on tha Onion.
posted by ovvl at 4:08 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


PareidoliaticBoy: "Creating characterizations is not inherently racist, and arguing that cultural references are racist is simply not rational ."

Demonstrating that popular comedians do similar material is not substantial proof the kind of material they're doing isn't racist. For the record, I generally consider Margaret Cho pretty awful. What I attempted to point out is that race-based humor (that is, jokes that are in the context of one's own racial background and experiences) can be funny, where racist humor (randomly taking swipes at the way somebody from another race supposedly talks or acts) is never funny.

So, white lady on YouTube whose oueve is based entirely on the funny names black people have and the stupid accents Italian guys have?Out of bounds and not funny. Eddie Murphy talking frankly about growing up black, or Billy Crystal impersonating members of his own heritage? Within bounds, and may well be funny. Comedians of all races like Chris Rock and Louis CK using jokes as insightful commentary about racial privilege? Hilarious.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:18 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Last I checked, Italian people were white. Is there a rule against white people making fun of white people.
posted by empath at 4:28 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


The trick to enjoying this thread is to read all the objections to her impersonation while mentally subvocalizing them in the style of that impersonation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:30 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am not at all offended by the video. It is not the least bit funny, I don't think (I am almost certain that every single person I know can and does do an equally "good" impression of an east coast Italian male), but it is not offensive either.

That said, I can only imagine what the metafilter reaction would be if a similar video was posted showing a young white male "bro" or "hipster" doing the same thing, but making light of a black woman. Would it go over so smoothly? AYE, I DON'T FUCKIN' TINK IT WOOD, GUISE.
posted by broadway bill at 4:31 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Troll" implies insincerity in the beliefs expressed and a desire to create havoc for chaos' sake, which I don't think can be fairly applied to everyone who didn't find this girl hilarious.

fair enough. But it would never occur to me to defend this woman for not being funny. She is being accused of being racist and therefore "awful." (Which, perhaps still doesn't rise to "troll" but if the commenter is serious in this accusation that it could be argued worse.) Either way it's a horribly reckless, unfounded charge that says infinitely more about the commenter than the artist.
posted by victors at 4:36 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


... racist humor ... is never funny. ...[Acts] based entirely on the funny names black people have and the stupid accents Italian guys have? ... not funny. Eddie Murphy talking frankly about growing up black ... may well be funny. Comedians of all races like Chris Rock and Louis CK using jokes as insightful commentary about racial privilege? Hilarious.

I agree with your basic point, but, if I take you literally, I'm bemused. There's nothing that's universally funny or universally not funny. What's funny to one person is what makes that one person laugh. If a KKK member laughs while he watches a black guy being lynched, then that lynching is funny to him. It's HORRIBLE that he finds this funny, but if he finds it funny, he finds it funny.

I am being pedantic because I think the distinction is important. People don't have a lot of control over what they find funny. But they do have control over what they do, what they say and what they choose to participate in. Something may be funny -- to you -- but that doesn't mean that it's healthy for you or society to participate in it.

I once laughed when a friend of mine fell down and hurt himself. Sorry, that's just the reaction that I had. It would be really perverse for me to lie and say I didn't find it funny, because I DID find it funny. But that doesn't mean I should push my friend down the stairs to get some more giggles.

I once heard a fundamentalist-Christian kid talk about D&D. He said, "It's bad because it's about demons and stuff, and they're ungodly. But they're sort of cool. But that's bad. Except in 'Harry Potter' movies. Well, they're ungodly, too. But those movies have cool special effects. But they're still bad. You shouldn't want them. But, like, if you do by accident, like if you're flipping channels... they're kind of cool."

I don't think it's necessary or healthy to tie ourselves in knots like that. We can have the reactions to things that we have. Them we can go out into the world and behave like good people.
posted by grumblebee at 4:36 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Last I checked, Italian people were white.

Not according to my grandfather.
posted by rocket88 at 4:37 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


She's a fairly good mimic but I think her "Laquanda" interpretation is not very good. It resembles the typical hood girl routine done by people who don't fully have the vernacular down. And that whole bug-eyed thing, yikes. Stepin Fetchit much? The only way it could have been worse is if she'd done it in blackface.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:16 PM on November 25, 2010


lawd have mercy, impersonations are not racist especially when they are so on point with a definite category of new yawk male. y'all may think she's playing a guido (aka an nyc italian stereotype) but she isn't. that's there one fucking BBQ motherfucker if i've ever heard one. they come in all colors, all ethnicities, races and even some are fucking bollywoodlingual and shit.

you gotta live in the real working class nyc, not that bullshit you see on TV, to appreciate her impersonation. so get over it.
posted by liza at 5:18 PM on November 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's not so much that the clip is racist, it's that it is not funny. It's like Sex and the City got hit with the mean stick. Or maybe Sex and the City was mean all along, I don't know.

There's nothing particularly original or clever about a young woman telling a meet-cute story about a guy she'd never stoop to date.
posted by vincele at 5:28 PM on November 25, 2010


Eddie Murphy talking frankly about growing up black, or Billy Crystal impersonating members of his own heritage? Within bounds, and may well be funny.

Absolutely, categorically, 100% emphatically disagree. In comedy, race and cultural battleground doesn't matter, what matters is the funny. People espousing political correct dogma never grasp this fundamental truth. Russel Peters gets a pass on commenting about and doing ethnic imitations, but a "white" person doesn't? Please.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:01 PM on November 25, 2010


Truth is a fundamental requirement for funny. Stereotypes aren't true, therefore they can't be funny (unless you think stereotypes are true, then it's not that the act is funny as much as you're wrong). Russel Peters "gets a pass" inasmuch as I'm not particularly moved to get angry at him for doing ethnic imitations, but they're still not funny.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:13 PM on November 25, 2010


Russel Peters gets a pass on commenting about and doing ethnic imitations, but a "white" person doesn't? Please.
With regard to race (and gender) politics, the source of speech always matters. For better or worse, non-ethnic whites don’t get to make fun of racial others without exposing themselves to charges of racism.
posted by mistersquid at 6:18 PM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please will the PC patrol stop tying itself in knots over nothing. I run into people like this all the time, and of all the humans on Earth, folks from Brooklyn can handle a few jokes at their expense, and laugh about it. You don't have to defend them against whatever you think you're defending them against. For fuck sake, get on with your lives.

Also, the video was funny. I grew up with people like this, her accent and attitude are spot-on.
posted by Edgewise at 6:45 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


oh its easy to do that accent - anyway in english, accents resemble a pyramid with rp at the top, possibly because its the last vestige of empire, possibly because its so clear and easy to understand.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:46 PM on November 25, 2010


Last I checked, Italian people were white.
Lookee Linkie!

If it's true, which I doubt... Even the dumbest bastard says 'fuck' only once by accident when asking a girl out... But if it's true, what happened to saying 'No thank you'?

She even goes on to say he's smart in the comments. Huh.
posted by CarlRossi at 7:02 PM on November 25, 2010


With regard to race (and gender) politics, the source of speech always matters.

Um, no, actually, it doesn't. This distinction exists in your head. Measurements based on race, gender, sexual predisposition, or whatever other arbitrary metric the pc thought-police impose on the otherwise rational as important are, in themselves, unequal and discriminatory. This is what the white-guilt brigade never grasps. This nagging self-reproach defines their entire outlook, and makes them guilty of the very thing they so loudly claim to deplore. Wanna be released from the narrow confines of mindless discrimination? Lighten da fuck up.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:19 PM on November 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Stereotypes aren't true, therefore they can't be funny (unless you think stereotypes are true, then it's not that the act is funny as much as you're wrong).

You wish, uptight liberal white guy.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:20 PM on November 25, 2010


What if it turns out that finding this sort of thing funny is genetic? Would that mean that lashing out at people who find it funny is racist?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:23 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Imitation is not mockery. I didn't get, at all, the impression she was making fun of these people but rather that she was depicting, for the camera, impressions from encounters with real people.

If you don't believe the characters she depicts exist in the real world because they are not part of your experience of the world, you might watch an episode of Jersey Shore.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um, no, actually, it doesn't. This distinction exists in your head. Measurements based on race, gender, sexual predisposition, or whatever other arbitrary metric the pc thought-police impose on the otherwise rational as important are, in themselves, unequal and discriminatory. This is what the white-guilt brigade never grasps. This nagging self-reproach defines their entire outlook, and makes them guilty of the very thing they so loudly claim to deplore. Wanna be released from the narrow confines of mindless discrimination? Lighten da fuck up.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:19 PM on November 25 [+] [!]


Thanks for this. I read this and then re-watched the video, and now her tired bullshit is funny... I just needed to lighten up. Thanks for all your help.
posted by ServSci at 8:17 PM on November 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


She's ten times funnier than anybody on SNL right now. Give this girl a contract, Lorne.
posted by bardic at 8:22 PM on November 25, 2010


The X on the pop up add was sexist, all i got were tools.
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 PM on November 25, 2010


Hate to get all involved in a funny/not-funny fight- for some reason, those aren't usually funny... but-

It looks to me like she *loves* her characters, like the people she's doing impressions of are actually *people* to her, not stereotypes... I mean, the link in the FPP, that might well not be a 'real person' but a composite or invention, but when she's doing it, I *like* that guy, I hope he *does* get the date w/ her, shit, you know? He seems like a good fuckin' guy.

Not that that doesn't mean I guess that she isn't trafficking in stereotypes, doing 'ethnic' voices 'not her own'. Just like (off the top of my head, and not to be anywhere near exhaustive) Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles and other well-known I-kid-because-I-love-and-also-I'm-apparently-hugely-prejudiced types...

Not to compare, mind you! But on the other hand, some of her stuff is fuckin funny! But if I start saying that, I guess that's the end of the argument, huh. Everybody wins!
posted by hap_hazard at 9:31 PM on November 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this. I read this and then re-watched the video, and now her tired bullshit is funny... I just needed to lighten up. Thanks for all your help.

No worries. If even one terminally-uptight scold can climb down off their high horse long enough to grasp that life isn't necessarily a continuous struggle to be maximally offended by human behavior then my efforts are not in vain. Enjoy your new-found freedom to laugh at the absurdity of daily existence.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:00 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


And whatever you vermin do ... don't mention the war!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:38 PM on November 25, 2010


Haha that accent hasn't existed in 20 years. At lest she's keeping is alive, she must have watched Donnie Brasco a dozen times.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:57 PM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Language is interesting. Playing around with language can be fun. End of story.

[for the record, I chuckled]
posted by Namlit at 11:46 PM on November 25, 2010


She isn't being mean.
posted by seagull.apollo at 12:33 AM on November 26, 2010


She's just doing an impersonation! And she videoed herself doing it and posted it on youtube! I don't think you should dissect her character based on silly voices on the internet.
posted by h00py at 3:41 AM on November 26, 2010


Do people really still use "PC thought police" and "white guilt brigade" unironically? I feel like I'm in the audience of the Morton Downy, Jr. Show or something, waiting with bated breath to hear "pablum-puking liberal".

I'm glad not finding a YouTube video funny is on par with being a fascist, though. Must be nice to live in a world with such clear-cut delineations between who enjoys FREEDOM and who doesn't.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:46 AM on November 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


That said, I can only imagine what the metafilter reaction would be if a similar video was posted showing a young white male "bro" or "hipster" doing the same thing, but making light of a black woman. Would it go over so smoothly? AYE, I DON'T FUCKIN' TINK IT WOOD, GUISE.

I forget the name of this fallacy, but I'm sad to see people in this thread employing it.


So, white lady on YouTube whose oueve is based entirely on the funny names black people have and the stupid accents Italian guys have?


Emphasis mine. Why is it "funny?" Some women really have that name.

You seem to be saying that, SIMPLY BY USING THE NAME LAQUANDA in her character, she is calling it funny/stupid/mockworthy, and not simply a piece to the generic character of which she's delivering an impersonation.

And you know what? You may be right. The purpose of these videotapes may be to make fun of all of them. To establish that they are funny and stupid. That's she's better, that all of us mainstream whites are better.

Problem is, your method of determining so is one of assuming bad faith where no one gets the benefit of the doubt. Where, hap_hazard's belief that she loves her characters and this is an exercise in affection, is not possible. By simply "going there" her motives are automatically malevolent or antagonistic. This, I think, ia what PareidoliaticBoy is saying that, in your tireless effort to stay pure and free of stereotypes and assumptions, you are committing a huge one.

We probably share a lot of beliefs, you and I. I like to think I recognize when people are winking an excusing their "funny" racism under a cloak of plausible deniability. I really, really don't see that here, though.
posted by mreleganza at 6:16 AM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I catch myself in these strange moments where, having observed an instance of human behavior that's so odd, unexpected, and funny that I can't bear to keep it to myself, I start trying to translate the story into something more acceptable to an audience of people already primed for injustice.

I work in downtown Baltimore, on the west side, an area of the city made famous by The Wire and other crime dramas, and specifically in the little knot of town culture around Lexington Market and Howard Street, and I have a lot of encounters with people on the street that I want to document, because I think they say something about who we are as human beings.

There's a pair of McDonalds restaurants on Baltimore Street, one of which I call Soviet McDonalds, because there's a tiny counter and a line that's always a mile long, and one I call Methadone McDonalds, because you're very likely to have the person in front of you sink slowly to the floor while attempting to pay for two McDoubles in pennies, nickels, dimes, and bottlecaps.

"Miss, this ain't a quarter," the girl at the counter says, holding up a gold game token.

"I got another one here somewhere," the lady on the floor answers, mumbling as she digs around in her pockets in a state of semi-collapse there, before grabbing the stainless steel counter like a mountain climber coming back from the brink and clawing her way back to verticality.

Back in February, on a day that registered something like 21 degrees, I was making a quick run to Methadone McDonalds for a couple McDoubles when I saw a large, oddly-shaped woman with an absurd amount of skin showing standing just south of the place. She was wearing a bright yellow ribbed shoulderless stretch top, tight black bike shorts, and too high heels, and was shaped a little like an upside-down novelty Chianti bottle standing on end.

"Baby," she said as I passed, and I stopped because I'm a sucker for being called "baby," "honey," "sugar," and other niceties of that ilk, "Can you give me two dollars so I can go in there to that MacDonalds and get mahself a coffee and a McDouble so I can get out of the cold?"

I gave her more than she asked for because I had it, and because it was freeeeezing, even to me in a coat and layers.

"Thankya, baby," she said, with a bright, beautiful smile. "Mah titties was fixin' to fall right off in this cold! I'm 'onna look out for you one day."

I ended up laughing about what she said for quite a while, and it wasn't "ha ha, poor people are funny" or "ha ha, underdressed heavy black ladies are funny," or even "ha ha, she said 'titties'," even though my XY genetics are well-enough established, and the consistency of my maturity level is sufficiently shaky, that the word "titties" is indeed hilarious to me in the right setting.

The thing was, the situation was bizarre, unexpected, and sad, and yet that poor woman was still engaged enough to play with language and have some fun with a stranger over a few bucks being passed. It's uncomfortable all around, because there's so much in play that involves class and privilege and bad luck, but it's also what I love about life, just running into random people and having inexplicable encounters and conversations that tell whole stories about a person in a few sentences.

Back in the tower, I told my coworker what happened, right down to the exact dialect, using "mah" for "my" and "Mac Donalds" in the best Baltimore tradition, and it occurred to me that I felt uncomfortable doing dialect, even when I've got a pretty photographic memory for sound. I'm a middle-class white guy, and it feels a lot like verbal blackface, but I wonder—does that little moment have to evaporate in a little cloud of lost language because articulating it conveys some bias of power?

When I retold the story, here and there over the next weeks, I translated it into a southern accent, which doesn't get a raised eyebrow, because southerners, like fat people, are the people it's still okay to rag on in this country. It didn't read true, and when I recounted the story after that, people laughed for the wrong reasons, so I just wrote it down and shut up about it. So much of my life reads like a freak show, and it's hard to hone the moments down to a pointed reality coded into an anecdote. You just surrender, sometimes.

Right now, I'm deep in Georgia, in the glorious embrace of my huge southern family, and I'm awash in the sway and the dip of the low country talk, where language gets set loose like broad-winged birds, as gentle and languid in motion as it is harsh in meaning, and I love it, because I love the talk, even when it's sugary sound and fury, full of banality, signifying nothing.

I sat in my cousin's farmhouse, paneled with clear cypress her husband cut from their thousand acres of farm and milled at the old sawmill he used to own before selling out to tend for his dying first wife, and listened to the talk, the lush tendrils of it and how it just twirls around in vining syllables that don't work they way they do when I speak, and it's good, good talk. I sat and suddenly I realized that we'd literally been talking about nothing but meat for more than an hour, about the way to make a venison roast that you could chew without fouling your dentures, and I love it.

I don't own this language, either. I can speak it, and I catch myself slipping in conversations, when my the metallic nasal notes of my Baltimore side fall before the slow surge of syllables merging and splitting like streams in a flood of molasses. I catch myself and there's this little twinge of shame.

Am I appropriating this culture? What right do I have to document this?

You tell some of these southern stories, and to alien ears, it's the freak show setting up at the other end of the midway, the barker's plea for us to pay attention to deformities and uncanny differences there, and it's where I know I've failed as a writer, and as a storyteller, when I find myself holding court in a top hat and red tails, hollering through a bullhorn.

Overanalysis is my birthright, of course, and I have to chuckle that I've carried the literal bible of Yankee navel-gazing, Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, as my book to read on this long road trip, anticipating returning here on two wheels next summer and trying to look at the roads with a biker's eye. It's good to ponder, to think about whether what you're saying is mean or loving, a celebration or a circus, but you just get so tired, sometimes, of trying to work it all out.

A woman came up to me after the first reading of my in-progress piece, My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, grasped my hand, and corrected me with an infuriating gentle fascism.

"You're just such a talented writer. I mean, you have a real gift, telling these stories, but it demeans you to go to antisemitism and racism for a laugh," she said, and it was sweet in the way that it's sweet when you're a kid and a pretty nurse distracts you long enough for the doctor to jam a needle in your ass. "It's just such a disappointment to hear those terrible words when the rest of the story is so lovely."

"Thank you, I guess?" I said, but it made me mad. I explained that the racism and antisemitism were in words spoken by a character in the piece who is objectionable because of those things, but we're not supposed to give voice to anything anymore, even in the light of doubt and even with context.

My cousin's husband, showing me a photo of a huge rattlesnake caught in the area and held up for show by a black man, said "that's either a long rattlesnake or a short nigger raht there," and I almost gasped, but it's the context, and the history, and the way things were down here. I cut him no breaks, but I understand where he comes from.

Does context forgive intolerance?

Does love of language make appropriation acceptable?

Who owns language?


I'm nowhere near smart enough to figure out what legions of smarter scholars haven't been able to grasp, so I have to manage this tightrope, telling tales. Races change, regions shift and merge and change into other things, stories change, audiences are met with moderation. You have to ride the currents to communicate, and sometimes your choice work, and sometimes they fall flat.

I watch Betty Butterfield and I can't stop laughing, because the language is utterly right on, and the pauses are just right, and the malapropisms are incisive enough to best Sheridan, and then I dial up Shirley Q. Liquor, and it's a different charge, with an uglier edge, but I don't think it's cruel, either. It's all troublesome, but I'm not sure that things are bad because they're troublesome. They just need understanding, and a little patience, in order to reach the prized core of the thing.

For me, it comes down to what I learn of a person, and the questions I have after hearing their story, however brief. Did the moment tell me something about who they are, where they came from, and what their strengths and insecurities are, or is it just some poor man with alligator skin, sitting alone on a chair in the sawdust parlor of a sideshow tent at the edge of town under a too-bright spotlight, blinking and wondering how he came to this?

Everything else is craftsmanship, knowing your audience, and telling the story the way you tell it because you loved the way it happened, or the way you imagined it to have happened.

I was racing to HQ on my beat-up Raleigh, heading across Howard Street on the sidewalk, and it was just starting to rain. My brakes are completely worthless, and I skidded right out to the edge of the light rail tracks with a train coming my way. Someone tugged at my backpack as I kicked myself backwards with my feet, and there, like an inverted Chianti bottle, was a familiar woman with a concerned smile.

"You better watch for that train, baby. See, I tol' you I'd look out for you."

I noted, to my satisfaction, that her titties had not fallen off, smiled back, let the train pass by, and headed on my way.
posted by sonascope at 6:48 AM on November 26, 2010 [57 favorites]


Taken to its logical extreme, doesn't this mean it's okay for me to call a black guy a nigger IF he's bothering me?

Wrong basis for my logic. I'm all for mocking oppression based bad behavior. Mocking people with power and privilege is not the same thing as mocking the people without it. One of these points out a bad behavior that society tolerates and even encourages, another encourages its in a serious way.

I know a lot of women who would like it if men didn't come up and say ridiculous shit to them. It'd be nice if more people would step up and mock bad behavior (like the NY subway flasher) instead of, you know, staying silent or making excuses as to why "you can't do anything about it".

But hey, maybe that's too complex. If we go with your "logical extreme" we can say a 5 year old child punching an adult and an adult punching a 5 year old child is identical because there are no differences in power to be taken into account.
posted by yeloson at 8:07 AM on November 26, 2010


I wish her tons of luck in her acting career. She'll need it.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:10 AM on November 26, 2010


Last I checked, Italian people were white.

"You're Sicilian, huh?"
posted by mlis at 9:59 AM on November 26, 2010


Mocking people with power and privilege is not the same thing as mocking the people without it.

I understand and empathize with the sentiment, but I don't think there's a practical way to do this, unless you're talking about mocking specific individuals, like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch.

White people don't ALL have power and privilege. What's true is that STATISTICALLY they are much more likely to be privileged than black people. But a specific white person might not conform to those statistics. So how do you leave him out when you do your impersonation of "white people"? What if your characterization sounds just like him. How is he going to feel?

I think, if you give him some thought at all, you say "Well, maybe HE'S not privileged, but 'his people' are," and immediately you're assigning him a "people," whether he wants to be part of that group or not. You're assigning him a people based on the color of his skin and the way he talks. Which is racism. (When I say "you" here, I don't don't mean you personally. I mean anyone who does this.)

Similarly, I'm a man who has never ever ever bothered a woman in public (or in private). Yet I am part of the group called "men." So if it's okay to make fun of men, because some of them -- even many of them -- harass women, how are you going to do that without including me? When a woman says, "Men treat women like shit! They are such assholes," what am I supposed to do? I THINK I'm supposed to do this: "Okay, I have the genitals of a male human, and so that puts me in a group called 'men,' but she's not talking about that group. She's talking about another group that overlaps it but isn't the same as it. The people in the group SHE'S labeling 'men' are male like me, but they are males who are mean to women. I'm not in that group -- even though I'm male -- so I shouldn't feel she's targeting me."

And, of course, a woman has to follow this same logic to avoid feeling hurt by something like "Women are fucking gold-digging bitches!"

What if I am not intending to make fun of black people, but I AM intending to make fun of violent people who live in my neighborhood -- who happen to be black? And so I do caricatures of them speaking "ghetto." Surely many black people who AREN'T violent -- but who do talk in a similar way -- are going to reasonably feel like I'm targeting them. I can swear up and down that I'm not, that I'm just targeting the violent people that I've met (who happen to be black and talk like that). But it's pretty understandable why non-violent people, who talk like my caricatures, might be upset.

So is it okay to make fun of an accent that's USUALLY associated with rich, privileged people? If someone ISN'T rich and privileged but happens to have that accent, should he just deal with it?

I think this is a really complicated aspect of human behavior. It's complicated because humor is one of the most effective mechanisms for blowing off steam. Sometimes it seems almost necessary -- the only other option being a nervous breakdown. This may not be literally true, but it often feels that way.

I see this dynamic all the time with heterosexual men and women. Because dating is hard, many many women have been hurt by men, repeatedly. I'm not talking about rape or anything that bad (though of course that's happens too). I'm talking about hurt feelings.

Dating is just as hard for men. As a man, throughout about 20 years of my life, I was ignored and rejected and belittled, over and over again, by many women. Poor me, I know. My point is that this is a common experience for both genders, but to each person who experiences it, it's a unique and painful experience.

We're pattern-matching creatures. I could SAY that I felt rejected and shamed by "people," but that's not how it felt. It felt like I was rejected and shamed by WOMEN. And though, of course, this is not literally true, it felt like I was being ill-treated by woman-kind as a group. And, as I've said, I know MANY women who feel the same way, but about men -- that they've been mistreated by the GROUP called "men."

This stuff is VERY painful, and one way to deal with the pain -- a VERY affective way for some people -- is to make jokes about it, jokes that make fun of "the enemy." Groups of women regularly lampoon men; groups of men regularly lampoon women.

I have always gotten along better with women than men. Even when I was unable to get a girlfriend, most of my platonic friends were women. A normal day for me, in college, involved being the only guy in a room full of eight or ten women. These women were all Feminists, as was I (as I still am).

They had a lot to say -- and a lot to joke -- about the way "men" treated them. So I endured hours and weeks and years of "Men suck" and "Why do men X?" and "Men are bastards, because..." Sometimes they would remember to say, "Not you, of course" or "You're the exception." Mostly they didn't, and I was just supposed to assume they didn't mean me.

I took it with good humor and even participated in it myself, but it wore on me. I felt that this was a sort of blowing-off-steam that my friends HAD to do. They needed to do it to survive in a world in which they were regularly debased by men. So it was my job to just deal with it -- to not say anything. And so I didn't. But I felt a bit as I imagine a black person would feel if his friends were constantly talking about how "black people steal" and then sometimes remembering to say, "Not you, of course..."

(Once, I did talk to one of my friends about this. She said, "Why don't you hang out with some guy friends? You can talk to them about us girls!" I knew, having experienced what it was like to be on the other end of this, I could never do it. To this day, I can't. Male friends sometimes want to talk to me about "fucking women!" but I can't join in. And my inability to do this has often tarnished male friendships, because one guys know I don't like to blow off steam in that way, they feel hampered in my presence.)

I don't really have much of a point, here. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't "stand up for myself" and say, "STOP TALKING ABOUT MEN THAT WAY!" Because I still think that my friends were doing something they needed to do. It kind of sucked for me, and I DO think they were behaving in a prejudicial way, but I understand why they were doing it. It was just an uncomfortable situation, brought on by the facts that (a) someones people just need -- or just will, whether they need to or not -- put other people in categories; and (b) whenever people do that, someone is going to get hurt.
posted by grumblebee at 10:44 AM on November 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


Do people really still use "PC thought police" and "white guilt brigade" unironically?

Yep. Leaving the "funny" debate aside, reasoning which insists that her Jewish Aunt schtick is acceptable if she's Jewish, but automatically is not if she isn't Jewish herself absolutely falls firmly into the category of politically-correct over-compensation. Treating others equally means just that; adjusting one's attitude strictly based on someone's ethnicity, gender, or sexual identity is prejudiced. If you seriously have to ask if this occurs, you're probably doing it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:55 AM on November 26, 2010


If you seriously have to ask if this occurs, you're probably doing it.

Think you misunderstood my question there. It was rhetorical anyway, though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:44 PM on November 26, 2010


Metafilter: where language gets set loose like broad-winged birds, as gentle and languid in motion as it is harsh in meaning
posted by benzenedream at 12:51 PM on November 26, 2010


When I retold the story, here and there over the next weeks, I translated it into a southern accent, which doesn't get a raised eyebrow, because southerners, like fat people, are the people it's still okay to rag on in this country.

Certainly. It's amusing to see the uproar over this on a site that, with a few exceptions, allows, encourages, and has no problem with laughing at southern stereotypes. Where are all the white knights in those threads?

I don't find this offensive, nor would I if she was using an overdone southern accent. It's up the the audience to understand that though these stereotypes exist, they do not represent all southerners, italians, etc. If they're too dumb to realize that then screw em. They're dumber than the people they're looking down on.
posted by justgary at 1:12 PM on November 26, 2010


I translated it into a southern accent, which doesn't get a raised eyebrow, because southerners, like fat people, are the people it's still okay to rag on in this country.

I definitely agree with you there, and tend to think it has classist elements, too, in a "let's all laugh at the poor" sort of way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:17 PM on November 26, 2010


At a previous gig, we fired a little clique of people for making life hell for a southern co-worker - they were just merciless in mocking his accent and generally genial and easygoing southern attitude. It pissed me right off, as he was a hard worker, and took time to be friendly to everyone he worked with, even grumpy and cantankerous old me. Even damn yankees have no time for that kind of mean-spirited bullshit.

In the same vein, this actually happened at a diner in Lowell: A couple of guys going to U-Mass Lowell, most notably a loud-mouthed Texan, were harassing the waitress, who had a New England accent you could saw logs with.

"Say it again! Butter!"
"Buttah, what?"
"Now say fork again!"
"Fawk. You wannanotha cawfee, dawlin?"
"Hah ha ha! Now say..."
"Say bear," I say.
"Bar," the Texan replies, and reddens as his friends laugh, "What?"
"Haha!" says the waitress, "He can't say beahhh!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:47 PM on November 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


Heh. When I first saw the post and the line "The way that he asked me out was amazing, and I'll never forget it for the rest of my life." I TOTALLY avoided this post. I thought it was going to be some heartwarming tale about how this amazing guy asked her out in such an amazing way that led to an amazing date and omg HE IS SO AMAZING and you - Xoebe - YOU ARE NOT you are just an averagish guy who would never BE AMAZING when asking a girl out and especially after you see this video IT WOULD BE SO SIMPLE TO BE AMAZING AND TO ASK GIRLS OUT IN AN AMAZING WAY THAT THEY WILL BE AMAZED but you are not amazing and besides, now everyone will be doing this schtick.

So, I avoided the post.

Then today, I see...what? 107 comments? OK, I'll watch this.

And it was funny. Not really all that imaginative funny, but her impression was so obnoxious, it was delightful. And I don't think she was making fun of him because of the accent or being a Guido or whatever - but because of his astonishing lack of self awareness.

And me? Yeah, fucking-a, that was an amazing way to ask a girl out. Especially the part where "afterwards, if it goes well, well, y'know..."

It makes me feel better about myself, I was so relieved that at least I wasn't that guy.
posted by Xoebe at 3:03 PM on November 26, 2010


Well this post/thread has been quite a Rorschach Test.
posted by spock at 4:45 PM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well this post/thread has been quite a Rorschach Test.

I was thinking exactly that, revisiting, yet again, the question of whether (or how much) racism is in the eye of the beholder vs. the intent of the purveyor.

I have always leaned toward the latter even when I have been the "victim" of the former many times including one of my favorites: "Hey, I know who you remind of! You have that Woody Allen kind of face!" because it's conceivable I was the first person of Eastern European Jewish descent this person had ever become close to. Our mutual friends who witnessed this were horrified and gave him a lot of shit but I was perfectly cool with it because he meant nothing at all by it. I just smiled and said something like "Yea, there's a lot of us that look like that."

In the case of these videos there is zero evidence that her intent is to put forward any kind of racist agenda. I think it's also a stretch to read in any affection for her "subjects," although I certainly would like to think there is and that it's the non-condescending kind of affection. I suppose it's possible, ignoring her intent, that a target of portraits might take offense in the same way another Eastern European Jewish person might have reamed my friend's lack of worldliness in which case I would claim that they are being overly sensitive and typically have an agenda of their own. My Mom has this reaction to every single portrait of anybody Jewish, including say, from Sarah Silverman, because she feels it gives ammunition to anti-Semites and a license to portray negative stereotype. This seems like a very narrow and reactionary way to live your life.

(ftr: I would love to hang with the guy she portrays in the linked video, he seems like many of the clueless mooks I grew up around who were always entertaining and reliable for a good night of forehead slapping. Hanging with them gave me a front-row seat into the theatre of clueless misogyny and in their odd, backwards way they pushed me much further into feminism than I think I would have gone on my own just reading "The Women's Room")

So, without any further knowledge of her actual history or belief system, I take her videos at face value: as caricature. Maybe done lovingly, in the same way Chico does Italian or Crystal and Guest don blackface to portray Negro league baseball players, but at least neutrally as a portrait artist might exaggerate.

To those in this thread I would ask, again, for any evidence that these videos are a clear racist statement as you claim or if you think Chico Marx and Billy Crystal are also racists or if not, how this differs from what they did. Otherwise I would ask you be a little more judicious with claims of racism and save it for the times when it's the intent (or at least blatant ignorance) of the artist.

If you simply "feel" they are racist then my Mom has a steaming bowl of flavorless chicken matzoh ball soup you might enjoy.
posted by victors at 6:38 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for the dude. he clearly lacks in certain departments

What gave you that idea? They first came across each other in a college level math class, and in the comments she says of him:
"he's really awesome and very smart. I believe he has a BA in Math and is working on a Master's in Economics."
it would seem your own prejudices are showing in a rather revealing way.

It looks to me like she *loves* her characters, like the people she's doing impressions of are actually *people* to her, not stereotypes...

I think the linked piece works precisely to the extant that it undermines the stereotype, its humour a product of the tension between the expectations of stereotype generated by the presentation (of accent and speech patterns) and the content, in particular the very un-stereotypical content of the same speech ("I like the way you take notes..." ).
posted by tallus at 9:19 PM on November 26, 2010


Do people really still use "PC thought police" and "white guilt brigade" unironically?

It was "PC patrol," actually. I use the term mere to refer to people who are overly PC to the point where they...

a) threaten to make the progressive movement irrelevant by turning it into an identity politics circle jerk, instead of being about empowering the disenfranchised (not the same thing -- remember when the left gave a damn about the working class?), and...

b) are tireless killjoys.

I'm glad not finding a YouTube video funny is on par with being a fascist, though.

That's a big time straw man. Refer to my statements above...I'm not talking about an oppressive left wing conspiracy, I'm talking about something very different (i.e. ineffectual buzzkills).
posted by Edgewise at 9:20 PM on November 26, 2010


It seemed to me like he was nervous, kind of cute really.
posted by fullerine at 3:12 AM on November 27, 2010


It was "PC patrol," actually.

It wasn't you I was responding to.

That's a big time straw man

No, it isn't. Terms like "patrol", "brigade" and especially "thought police" invoke militaristic and fascist imagery. It's a way of passive-aggressively accusing other people of being fascists just because they don't find a particular joke funny. Just because someone doesn't find ethnic impersonations funny is absolutely no reason to make these kinds of back-handed insinuations.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:29 AM on November 27, 2010


A recent comment from Chloe on the YouTube page:

"He was very good looking actually! Still is I bet. I was 19 though- and he was probably more than twice my age."
posted by BigSky at 2:28 AM on November 30, 2010


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