April 25, 2012

Lesley Arfin: The witch hunt for the young female John Derbyshire

When Rich Lowry fired John Derbyshire, that of course excited the witchburner sort of pundits to hunt down more crimethinkers suspected of not taking the reigning racial pieties with full somberness. Attention has thus shifted to an obscure young comedy writer named Lesley Arfin, a staff writer for "Girls."

That's the new HBO show that everybody is tweeting about but (virtually) nobody is actually watching. It's a half-hour downbeat comedy about four not-quite-affluent enough young ladies trying to make it in New York City. It was created by 25-year-old Lena Dunham, writer of the 2010 indie film Tiny Furniture.

I don't have cable TV, so I haven't seen Girls. (Here is a rave about the show by Slate's quite reliable TV critic Troy Patterson, who is just about the best black writer in America whom nobody notices is black.)

Unsurprisingly, there were the usual complaints that all four of the girls on "Girls" are white. 

Arfin, one of Dunham's staff writers, cheekily tweeted in response: 
"What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME." 

This is in the same vein as Sara Silverman worked: the Evil Ingenue ("I don’t care if you think I’m racist; I just want you to think I’m thin"), the young woman too narcissistic to notice the rules about what you are allowed to say about race. 

Silverman's best joke went:
I got in trouble for saying the word “Ch*nk” on a talk show, a network talk show. It was in the context of a joke. Obviously. That’d be weird. That’d be a really bad career choice if it wasn’t. But, nevertheless, the president of an Asian-American watchdog group out here in Los Angeles, his name is Guy Aoki, and he was up in arms about it and he put my name in the papers calling me a racist, and it hurt. As a Jew—as a member of the Jewish community—I was really concerned that we were losing control of the media.

But Arfin's tweet is still still pretty good for 140 characters. 

This enraged various moral watchdogs. It's fascinating how in this Age of Point 'n' Sputter, this Era of Not Getting the Joke, how much pride some of these people take in being humorless buffoons. 

On CNN, Soledad O'Brien, the networks go-to gal for all things African-American, and Sharon Waxman were confused and outraged by Arfin's joke:
“Wow!” Waxman responded. “Wow.” 
The CNN panel momentarily tried to figure out if Arfin’s racially-inflammatory tweet was a joke. 
“Do you think so?” O’Brien asked. “I guess it seems like she’s not necessarily taking the question of representation seriously to me.”

The New Yorker called Arfin's joke "breathtakingly dismissive and intellectually dishonest."

ThinkProgress whined:
Lesley Arfin, John Derbyshire, Vice, Taki Magazine, and the Lingering Cultural Capital of Racism

Elspeth Reeve of the Atlantic, who had piled on Derbyshire, entitled her angry piece:
'Girls' Writer Responds to Critique of 'Girls' with Horrible Joke

and followed up with:
'Girls' Writer Is Learning There's No Such Thing as Ironic Racism

Another notoriously butt-hurt site, Gawker, complained:
A Girls Writer’s Ironic Racism And Other ‘White People Problems’

You might think that the best way to complain about a comedy writer's joke is by making a joke back, especially if your complaints are really intended to get you an affirmative action job writing an HBO show. I mean, there are a lot of complainers in this world, so if HBO is going to have to hire some to write a People of Color sit-com, they might as well hire funny ones. But that kind of thinking is so pre-Trayvon.

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Silverman got off easy because she's Jewish, female, and mocked a unvocal minority. Aoki is no Al Sharpton. But if she were white male and put down Jews, gays, or blacks, she would have been toast.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Gawker article, I see that: Commenting has been temporarily disabled.

Oh dear, poor babies, frightened too many nasty people might say hurtful things. Lol!

Anonymous said...

So, the four GIRLS are all white...

But why is Soledad, who is supposed to be a 'person of color' also white?

If Soledad is a POC, then just pretend that the 4 GIRLS are pocs too.

Anonymous said...

Like I always say when I hear about a TV show being "too white"...

Well why don't these other folks just sneak onto TV? Works the rest of the time.

garyinfh said...

Good to see that Steve immediately understood the point of the “shocked, hurt and angry” responses to Lesley Arfin’s irreverent Tweet: “to get [the complainers-in-chief] an affirmative action job writing an HBO show.” I mean, even as Ta-Nehisi Coates was upholding Lena Dunham’s right to write what she knows (as opposed to some vision of NYC as a post-graduate version of D.C.’s Sidwell Friends School, where all the blacks are Well Above Average), he was questioning where all the black showrunners are at HBO. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/girls-through-the-veil/256154/

The real joke in all this nonsense is that if a black writer/producer came to HBO with a pilot script for a show about four Fort Greene/Prospect Heights bourgie aspirants to the Talented Tenth, and the thing was even half as good as the vastly-overhyped Girls, HBO would snap it up in a New York minute. Granted, HBO can be fickle – it infamously declined even to make a pilot of Mad Men, even with Matthew Weiner’s pedigree and backing from David Chase – but it’s hard to believe that talented black showrunners who can generate quality material are sitting in HBO’s offices, like the black job applicants on Mad Men’s Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce a few weeks back, waiting for an executive to come out and read their spec scripts. Does Coates really think that HBO would tell the 30-year old black equivalent of Matt Weiner, “Sorry, we’re not interested, but we hear there’s an opening on Meet the Browns”?

In sum, Arfin’s joke is funny, as well as short and to the point, which is why she’s writing for an HBO show, and Soledad O’Brien (still the silliest name on television) isn’t.

Peter A said...

Ironic the New Yorker called Arfin's comment "intellectually dishonest." What is dishonest is pretending that upper white class people give a shit about blacks in any way. Buzz about "Girls" seems to be everywhere, I don't remember my white peers talking much about Precious other than maybe flaunting their tolerance flag because they'd seen it. There is a reason every popular show set in New York - Seinfeld, Friends, Sex in the Shitty, even Louie CK's show for the most part, etc. is white, white, white. That's what affluent viewers want, and really, ever Giuliani made it possible, that's the New York we live in. On the other hand, the lack of Asians - that does strike me as unrealistic, and it might be worth investigating why they are so underrepresented in these types of shows.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what's this 'butt hurt' business? You sound like an establishmentarian there. It's not a conservative figure of speech. By using the term you are essentially buying into the idea that square johns need anally raping to 'chill them out'. And when they protest (or act 'butt hurt'), it shows they are uncool with 'change' (which is good ). It's very dated and alien.

Gilbert p.

Anonymous said...

"Intellectually Dishonest"-not exactly a scientifc term - I need to look into the etymology. It is an accusation without an argument.

Lefties use it as a substitute for saying, "Shut the f**k up, or you're gonna get hurt." Or maybe they're saying "I'm an intellectual and I think you're dishonest, but I'm not sure why.", but I think it is really just a tag meaning "Potential Anti-semite"

dearieme said...

American humour is no laughing matter.

Aaron in Israel said...

There's no such thing as ironic racism. That's true, and that's a good thing for us non-ironic "racists." Isn't that kind of obvious? What do you want from them, anyway, that they start supporting American Renaissance? Hipsters using the irony defense to excuse themselves for saying "racist" (i.e., true) things is good. More people speaking the truth out loud is good.

And by the way, Silverman is not what the Gawker article called "ironic racist." (I didn't read the other article.) Silverman's act consists of an ironic persona, like Steve Martin's in the 1970s. It's at least one level further removed from the so-called racism than are the ironic racists described in the article, including the TV writer. But even with Silverman, the liberal complainers are absolutely correct: when people think they're laughing at Silverman's racist persona, they're also laughing with it, with the racism. This kind of thing goes back at least as far as All in the Family: liberals actually thought they were laughing at Archie Bunker, but often they were laughing with him.

Why race realists should be complaining about this is a mystery to me.

PA said...

Awesome tweet by Arfin.

Miss Arfin, whatever you do... DON'T APOLOGIZE.

bjdubbd said...

Dunham is a good example of our emerging Wasp-Jewish elite. Her mother is Jewish, her father (according to Dunham) is a Mayflower descendant. If she were 100% Jewish, she would probably be more like Arfin and Silverman or her mother Laurie Simmons, too cold and intellectual to be likable as the star of the show. On the other hand, if she were 100% Wasp, like Claire Danes (Wikipedia: "as Waspy as you can get"), she would probably not be writing her own show. So half Wasp and half-Jewish seems to be sweet spot for our new elite. Sarah Jessica Parker and Howard Stern are good examples.

Anonymous said...

"What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME."

I do not understand how anyone could be offended by this. If people now find this offensive, stick a fork in America, its done.

Svigor said...

They're calling this "Negro Fatigue," "Peak Negro," etc.

She definitely sounds like an uppity White girl. She should be racially prostrated, ASAP.

Liberalism=anti-White racism=the hate that dare not speak its name.

Liberals: when you attack YT for saying something about Blacks, and you wouldn't dare say the same thing if the races were reversed, you are a racist.

Liberals would cheer her if the races were reversed.

Svigor said...

the young woman too narcissistic to notice the rules about what you are allowed to say about race.

I dunno about that. The quote is pretty consistent with cautious/passive-aggressive race-realism/"Negro fatigue" too.

Anonymous said...

So this is what it's come to: CNN pundits discussing the appropriateness of a tweet by a comedian. Amazing. I bet Soledad is ready to burn Daniel Tosh at the stake.

rightsaidfred said...

The thing here is that Whites are perennially playing defense. How does that end well?

A thoroughly liberal acquaintance was working with one of the usual suspects on her complaints of "racism" in the workplace. At one point he asked her, "Have I done anything to make you think I'm a racist?" She responded, "Not yet."

I could see this troubled my friend, implying that he would never be safe, and it was just a matter of time until he was under the bus based purely on the color of his skin. He was hungry for some validation, for some indication that all his subservience and posturing was gaining him some chits. But, alas, the moment of candor was painful.

Anonymous said...

Another scalp to be collected. The indignities that POC face are mounting. Kill the casting directors after you're done with the writers.

Arfin calls going to the bathroom "dropping Obama off at the White House". She's funny.

Anonymous said...

And the beat goes on.

This has got to be making the country less funny. I've noticed it.

Could Arrested Development be made today? Tons of gay jokes, Mexican, etc.

They could always get away with it by saying, "the joke is really that the characters making the jokes are so clueless" wink, wink

Dan in DC

Dominic said...

The surest evidence that a big portion of the left is completely full of it is its adherents' ridiculous, obviously insincere accusations of racism against people who are also leftists.

Blacks, by contrast, seem sincere in their absurd belief that whites who are clearly liberals are nevertheless racists. This is because blacks can't discern diversity within the white race -- they assume that attitudes are as uniform among whites as among their own people, and, really, all non-whites. I don't think non-whites, even the high-IQ among them, can grasp how anti-racist and non-tribal so many whites are -- these novel, maladaptive mindsets are as alien to non-whites as a desire to undergo a root canal.

Jef said...

Jesus, what a bunch of prudes. What ever happened to "sticks and stones"?

Also, Steve said butt-hurt lol

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the show either and don't plan on it. It sounds like Sex and the City, without any of the appealing parts.

The critics have been praising it for it's awkward, cringe worthy sex scenes. And they like it because it's main star isn't a conventially attractive actress (I think thats how they phrase it.)

So it's a bunch of rich, not great looking, narcissistic New York women having a drag of a time and we're supposed to be laughing at how real it is or something.

Count me out.

Lise said...

I see this as positive for society as whole that people are moving past the notion the racism is the worst possible crime. Maybe it is no longer worse than say beating a guy to a bloody pulp?

UncleCracker said...

I am absolutely fed up with this. The prevalence of anti-white sentiment so openly espoused by those of color in the media like Soledad O'brien and by their linguine spined white cohorts is going to come back to haunt them. I believe, sooner than later, a huge backlash by white America will silence these racist thugs.

SFG said...

How much you want to bet the young lady gets off?

Wir mussen die Feministen ausrotten!

Anonymous said...

But the characters on Girls aren't all white. The show's creator and many of the actors are Jewish.

Anonymous said...

The racial witchhunters seem intent on demonstrating that every white person is racist, even if they don't themselves realize it. However, the examples of "racism" they point out appear to any objective observer to be harmless compared to the acts of racism America routinely tolerated a few decades ago.

For example, in the 1920, if you took a black man out in the woods and literally hanged him for no reason, then "you might be a racist."

Today, if you make a joke referencing a "black" movie in a way that does not even disparage the film or any of its stars, then "you might be a racist.

That's quite a difference, isn't it?

It's like Warhol's quip about everyone being famous for 15 minutes. We now have the label of racism being applied to more and more people, but what qualifies as a manifestation of racism is stuff that is simply, objectively harmless.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Tina Fey's show traffics in a fair amount of ironic racism (or did as of a couple seasons ago, when I last saw it). How long before she gets caught up in a similar run-in with the racial PC crowd?

Anonymous said...

Of course, I'm sure this Lesley Arfin broad is a PC liberal through-and-through. She'll cry mea culpa soon enough. Even being mugged by reality is not enough to shake most liberals from their leftist, multicultural delusions.

a Newsreader said...

I love this line from the Talking Points link:

"Lesley Arfin seems to have been less commonly-understood to be a racist..."

What sort of brain comes up with a phrase like that?

Anonymous said...

thanks for using "butthurt." that was hilariously unexpected from you.



i think gawker may have closed comments due to the zimmerman case. not that theyre admitting that...

growler said...

Um, no. Gawker has had comments on every post disabled for at least a week. They are in the process of introducing a new comment system with new rules.

Orthodox said...

South Park should replace Kenny with Trayvon in a few episodes. Then again, Viacom is afraid of lynch mobs and homicidal critics.

beowulf said...

Sarah Silverman can get away with murder because she's very cute. She's at least 15 years older than Lena Dunham but looks younger.

http://0.tqn.com/d/movies/1/0/P/s/W/Lena-Dunham-photo-LAFC.jpg

http://forward.com/workspace/assets/images/articles/slideshow-silverman-030512.jpg

candid_observer said...

It's strange, but this brouhaha makes me keenly aware of a what seems to be a personal change in me.

I seem to have lost over the years my capacity even to get the nub of the outrage over certain politically incorrect comments.

I see the Arfin joke as just the most obvious tu quoque: "Yeah, 'Girls' is about a group of white girl friends; 'Precious' is about a black girl and her circle; if one's OK, so's the other." That seems to me the obvious interpretation of the joke. For the life of me, I can't anymore see any outrageousness in it.

I mean, even if one believes that the lack of "representativeness" in "Girls" is not right, and the lack of representativeness in "Precious" is fine, how do you get from that position to the idea that a joke questioning those two rather awkwardly posed beliefs is horribly toxic?

Again, I seem to have lost my capacity even for divining this sort of reaction anymore.

Paul Mendez said...

I can't make up my mind.

On my good days, I think the increasingly open, rabid and malicious persecution of white crimethinkers represents the last futile gasps of a failed ideology that knows the tide has turned and must resort to increasingly ruthless measures to stay in power.

On my bad days, I think that the increasingly open, rabid and malicious persecution of white crimethinkers represents the muscle flexing of an omnipotent ideology that knows it has finally won and no longer has to try to hide its true nature behind a false civility.

Anonymous said...

Hehe, yeah, Gawker's decision to go one-way really bespeaks their commitment to intellectual honesty.

Georgia Resident said...

EVERYTHING in BRA has to be about black people, even a show about SWPLs. If it's not, it's racist!

Anonymous said...

AS a Jew I was really concerned we were losing control of the media.

I bet she was concerned! NOW THAT is a Freudian slip if ever I have heard one.

Anonymous said...

So, there must be a reason why Sarah Silverman gets a pass where Lesley Arfin does not? Hmm, what that might be?

rob said...

Did the chick who writes for Girls do so much as a single twit in defense of Derbyshire?

Personally, I think Girls should make amends by having a character who represents the affirmative-action talentless tenth by being perpetually and dimly offended and leveraging that into more money than the clearly more capable white characters have.

DYork said...

This show was on FREE TV for 8 years!! Girlfriends

This show was on FREE TV for 5 years!! Living Single

Notice a pattern in the Age When We Must Not Notice Patterns?

Anonymous said...

Loved one comment on the Thinkprogress blog

Why isn't there anyone who "looks like Precious" on the "ThinkProgress" staff?

http://thinkprogress.org/about/

Anonymous said...

Went to the Gawker article, I see that: Commenting has been temporarily disabled.

Oh dear, poor babies, frightened too many nasty people might say hurtful things. Lol!


All their articles have been like that for the past ten days. Their commenting system is down.

FredR said...

"I don't have cable TV, so I haven't seen Girls."

You can watch the first episode on youtube.

Anonymous said...

i don't understand her tweet - can someone explain??

Anonymous said...

@ anon 137 am:
lefties are like that - they say vicious, nasty not even 'funny' things about all sorts of people, they bully, they taunt and when someone strikes back they cry like sensitive hurt babies.

trey said...

I saw this controversy too. This Arfin apparently also had another joke that really rubbed our more serious sect the wrong way as well. While speaking about female defecation in the context of life on the road with a rock band, she put forward a couple of euphemisms for the thing that should never be spoken: 1.)dropping off the children, and 2.)taking Obama to the White House.

The usual suspects were/are outraged. Was she suggesting that because Obama has brown skin and since you-know-what is brown, that Obama is fundamentally unattractive (despite that almost everyone seems to agree on his ultra-elegance)? .....Is it too much to ask, that in a world where we are constantly being barraged by mediocre jokes, we give a pass to an actually clever euphemism like this?

Lucius said...

You know, her apology (quoted at the Atlantic's piece, and supposedly now deleted from her twitter feed too) is pretty funny:

"Without thinking, I put gender politics above race and class. That was careless. The last thing I want is girls vs girls"

Of course, you're not allowed to put "gender politics" above race-- that's what Hillary's campaign proved. That dimunitive "girls vs girls" is a very Silvermanesque touch, no?

I recently came across some blogger, a woman teaching ESL in Korea, who complained that her host country was "racist". Her proof of this was the outcry among teenyboppers when one of the popular boy band's management was casting for a new, Chinese member to add to the lineup (thanks to fans' outrage, this plan was snuffed, which to me sounds like a just outcome).

[NB: some popular K-pop acts *do* feature Chinese nationals; maybe the fans just wanted to keep the old lineup? But whatever keeps an English major abroad self-satisfied, I suppose . . .]

So white women are fine with feeling smugly superior by raining on other people's entertainment preferences because they are not sufficiently 'diverse.' [idk that she was white, but her attitude is--]

But how much Black Fabulousness are they willing to tolerate in a SATC retread (assuming that's what this "Girls" amounts to, or might become)?

I find that Black Fabulousness (unlike, say, Chinese fabulousness), even if its avatar is attractive and amenable, gets tiresome quickly. It has a way of sticking too hard at the Black, instead of seamlessly melding into the Fabulous.

There are exceptions: the Huxtables still appeal to me as charming creatures, their blackness merely a predicate like anybody else's respective predicate, an occasional subject of inoffensive interest that doesn't get in the way of more general, humane affairs.

Most of the time, though, "blackness" maintains itself as Subject. Almost everyone conspires in this, but even if others try to forget it, blacks too often reassert it, much in the way (as I assume) Trayvon walked back.

But this preciosity about "Precious" (to say nothing of the No_Limits Honor Student) is too much! What, is it holy writ?

Anonymous said...

Punditocracy's version of flash mobbing.

You suppose that, paradoxically, the rise of 'audience participation' has led to more PC?
Instinctively, we'd think audience participation would lead to more freedom, openness of expression, and etc. Sometimes, this is true if the host plays the role of mediator, as was the case of Donahue. But if the host plays the role of idol, audience participation can only lead to more PC, as with Oprah. Why?
If Oprah just interviewed people on a one-on-one basis, the person who disagrees with her will only have to deal with her. They can cross swords and have a free argument.
But with a large audience, the guest is aware of the presence of all those 'oh-so-sensitive' people(who worship Oprah) and so he's less likely to say his piece since he may be afraid of disapproving stares, boos, sighs, and etc.

heartiste said...

“Wow!” Waxman responded. “Wow.”

"wow. just... wow" is the reflexive crimestop braintext of a liberal who knows she is losing control of the narrative, and even her own thoughts, on the prohibited subject matter. it's shorthand morose code intended to rally the troops that avoids getting mired in actual logical discourse which could eat away at morale.

Geoff Matthews said...

Clearly, she needs a pen name.

Jokah Macpherson said...

I'd always thought Nellie was the young female John Derbyshire.

eah said...

Mr Sailer,

Please give us an update on how 'Citizenism' is working out in America these days.

'Can't we all just get along?'

Anonymous said...

This is getting riciculous. Beyond ridiculous really, to where it's becoming scary. Too white? As if every little clique of friends includes a person of color. TV commercials, of course, constantly try to indoctrinate us to see things this way. If you believed American TV commercials to represent reality, then you would expect to find white and black buddies sitting around living rooms all across America watching sports together, going to parties together, etc. Alas, it isn't so. Interracial friendships exist but aren't the norm.

[enter username here] said...

I think they overplay their hand, such as it be. At root of it we have Gawker/Podesta here publicizing Taki's Magazine--I love the smell of it in the morning. Elspeth Reeve has all the makings of the next Dave Frum or at least America's next top wraith-complected model

[enter username here] said...

"intellectually dishonest" - annoying tic of the DC/Manhattan media--how does it denote a quality especially distinct from dishonesty proper? It's a redundant particularization that doesn't indicate any difference in particular, like when people now throw around "micro-targeting" or "war crime" (see also "human rights" as opposed to the other kind)

Jeeves said...

Minor editorial correction:
As Derb himself pointed out, he wasn't fired because he'd have to be an employee to be terminated in that manner. He was an independent contractor and that relationship ended.

Further, I have an email in which Jack Fowler, NR's publisher, says "it was my decision." (Looking at Lowry, do you think he could "fire" anyone?) Where Fowler gets his marching orders is anyone's guess, but it's likely spelled d-o-n-e-r-s.

Thanks for the post on "Girls." I will like it even more now.

josh said...

Its a bit shameful when a girl stands up and speaks out. Where are the boys?

Anonymous said...

I have to say, Arfin's remark is pretty insensitive. Think about the contrast between the world of 'Girls' about privileged white girls and Precious. It's pretty insensitive.

Professor Hale said...

HA! "notoriously butt-hurt site...

Love that.

Simon in London said...

A Jew can joke about Jews and about Asian-Americans, who are near the bottom of the victim-status totem pole. Nobody but black people can joke about black people in the USA, they are at the top of the victim-status totem pole.

Also, Silverman's joke was exquisitely well-worded.

Derb said...

Sailer you are by far the best observer of this ever more despicable pop culture!!!
Poor 'whyte' girl just got Derb'd by the idiot Gawker crowd. These urban hipsters will not be laughing when their pet N-word person go all 'Trayvon' on them!

Anonymous said...

"This is in the same vein as Sara Silverman worked: the Evil Innocent ("I don’t care if you think I’m racist; I just want you to think I’m thin""

She has letting herself go unfortunately.

peterike said...

Oh my, the New Yorker prattling about being "intellectually dishonest."

I invaded their blogs once. After a few weeks of eviscerating their various dim-bulb bloggers (really, what a gang of stoopids they are) and spewing Crimethink everywhere, they of course banned me. Banned me by IP address apparently, because changing profiles didn't work.

And I'm a paid New Yorker subscriber, no less!

Yes, intellectually honest they are! As long as you don't upset the Liberal Apple Cart and stay firmly in the Lefty Ghetto, why, you can say whatever you like!

Anonymous said...

If Sarah Silverman were 40 pounds heavier she wouldn't be funny. Her schtick is to say as many offensive things as possible until people laugh at the shock of her saying something offensive. In between they keep watching her because she's hot.

Peter said...

One interesting aspect of the movie Precious has largely been overlooked. Most of us have heard of the Bechdel Test, which evaluates the status of women in movies. A movie passes the test if it (a) has at least two named female characters ("Girl in Nightclub" doesn't count); who (b) speak to each other; (c) about a topic other than men. Quite a few movies fail the test, even if you don't count ones with mostly male casts such as war movies.

Anyway, Precious is one of the very, very few movies that fails (or almost fails) the *reverse* Bechdel Test. There are hardly any male characters, and the only dialogue between them involves a teacher arguing with a couple of students right at the beginning of the movie. There is only one significant male character in the entire movie, who is played by Lenny Kravitz, and he interacts solely with females.

keypusher said...

Racism is defined ever upward. I saw a Yahoo sports column the other day in which the author wrote [in passing, racism was not the subject of the article] "try to overlook the casual racism of Richard Rubio's tweet." The tweet was, "You don't have to look Mexican to learn Spanish." It took me quite a while to figure out how the tweet was racist. I suspect the host here and the commenters will be quicker.

candid_observer said...

One thing I wouldn't discount in all this furor is the jealousy aspect.

All these young women self-appointed Joe McCarthys are no doubt looking at Lena Dunham and her bizarre, groundless, over-the-top fame, and asking themselves, what does she have that I've don't have?

The answer, of course, is nothing -- which is what they all have.

And so, as young competitive females are wont to do, they find a way to dish. And nothing dishes these days like an accusation of racism -- which can never be trumped up, because it's always there, being the Original Sin of Whiteness.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of PRECIOUS, this sort of is.

http://youtu.be/vqMF9I_VoL4

... though this version is a bit too much:

http://youtu.be/jM7z305XiBY

Anonymous said...

Side note i am getting tired of vdare closing its site.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Black Journalist Soledad O'Brien! She is a lot whiter than "White Hispanic" George Zimmerman, who, as it turns out, probably has as much African ancestry as Soledad.

Anonymous said...

This situation is a good example of why conservatives always lose: The left always frames the debate.

So now it's all about psuedo-racism, and conservatives have to defend the show against charges of racism. When in reality, the show is leftist, feminist propaganda and should be opposed by conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Wait.. so Arfin was actually agreeing with her critics, as if to say 'privileged white girls like myself have no appreciation of anything outside our narcissism'.

So, the 'complaint' about PRECIOUS wasn't really a complaint but a self-effacing confession and critique, as if to say, "I'm admit that I'm shallow and narrow-minded in my interests just like the characters on my show."

Btw, I don't mind TV shows presenting more of American reality--US has 50 states with so many different kinds of stories, but it seems like what EVERYONE watches comes from NY or LA. Even when set in Alaska--like with NORTHERN EXPOSURE(which I never saw btw)--, I think it's just SWPL-ism imposed on other places than really trying to get to know the place and people.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of 'intellectual dishonesty', which side keeps saying 'race is just a social construct' but then praises blacks for being so great at sports, music, and sex?

Anonymous said...

How TV has changed pt 94.

I was watching the original 'V' (1983) in the first episode there is a black burglar. Yes, you read that right, a black person playing a criminal, no context showing his need to feed his starving children or how racism forced him into it.

Incredible.

Anonymous said...

"Side note i am getting tired of vdare closing its site."

It's trying to keep out illegal viewers.

Anonymous said...

I guess they are lobbying for an important token black in every television show. And when they get that no doubt there will be complaints that the character's "inner life" isn't deep enough compared to the white character.

Anonymous said...

"A Jew can joke about Jews and about Asian-Americans, who are near the bottom of the victim-status totem pole. Nobody but black people can joke about black people in the USA, they are at the top of the victim-status totem pole."

Though people pretend that all this sensitivity is about compassion for poor victims, it's really about fear of being victimized by powerful groups.

So, if someone said something that offended Jews, the real issue isn't 'I hurt Jews and feel so sorry' but 'Oh my, Jews are gonna ruin my career!'
Similarly, if someone offended blacks, it's less about 'I'm ashamed of my 'racism'' but 'Oh my, Negroes are gonna scream at me and kick my butt.'

It's not so much about the 'victim status pole' as the 'victimizing bully stick'. Jews and blacks(and gays of course)are feared because they all wield big sticks to victimize YOU with if you dare say anything that offends them. The issue is not so much YOUR power to victimize 'minorities' but certain groups' power to victimize you.

For example, is any story sadder than the tragedy of American Indians who died off by disease and guns and exile? But Indians mostly keep to themselves, do not control Wall Street and big media, and don't have huge numbers and muscles to scare white people. And so, even though they are more deserving of sympathy than any other group by objective moral standards, no one much cares about them. And the story of Chinese-Americans is a rather sad one, but Chinese-Americans aren't numerous, not vocal, and not very exciting.
We feel that Jews should be admired for their creativity and wit and blacks should be admired for their athleticism and funk, but when it comes to Indians, Chinese-Americans, and Mexicans, it doesn't matter how much they have suffered; they just seem like born losers, and so if they were victimized, it seems almost natural, i.e. losers deserve to lose, whereas it seems wrong for blacks and Jews to have been oppressed since they come across as natural winners in either brain or brawn.

Same thing with Jews and Palestinians. White people don't care how much Palestinians victimized, just like Jew don't care how much whites are victimized. As far as Zionists are concerned, Palestinians and whites are eternal Nazis who are always wrong even when Jews do wrong to them.

Paul Mendez said...

Side note i am getting tired of vdare closing its site.

Then give them some money.

Give Steve some money, too.

I donate the equivalent of a newspaper subscription to each, because I read both sites every day.

Anonymous said...

So, what are the rules?

1. If you're black, you can make fun of whites, Asians, Muslims, Mexicans, and women, but you can't make fun of gays and Jews.

2. If you're Jewish, you can make fun of everyone except blacks.

3. If you're white, you can make fun of Mexicans, Asians, Muslims, and yourself, but not blacks, Jews, and gays.


etc

Anonymous said...

"Ah, the Black Journalist Soledad O'Brien! She is a lot whiter than "White Hispanic" George Zimmerman, who, as it turns out, probably has as much African ancestry as Soledad."

So, based on the one-drop rule, Zimmer-my-man is black too?

[enter username here] said...

The market worth of "I'm so much more virtuous than those other whites" commentary may be headed for the skids in coming years but for now it's still hot and ramps up big in proportion to however much the unrelated news of the day possesses bad racial optics. Look at the new Yahoo story about the NBA players' union graft, which begins with the white treasurer calling out the black exec (whose most recent team was, incidentally, the Dolphins in the late 60s). If you're a middle-class person very anxious about race, particularly if you're most anxious to be seen as not-racist in contradistinction to vague white hordes, you flog the tolerance shtick hard whether the villain of the week is this HBO writer or Ted Nugent or a relatively little-renowned (sorry, John) Nat'l Review contributor. Just huff & puff with all your might or the nettlesome under-tolerant masses might accidentally notice that the George Zimmermans of the world are not really the pre-eminent social threat around (even to young black men!) God only knows where such unapproved reasoning might lead.

Anonymous said...

I guess one good thing about the future of mixed-race America is we'll all be technically black due to one-drop rule. So, if you're 5% black and kill criminal who's 100% black, it ain't 'racist' cuz technically a black dude killed a black dude.

Peter said...

o, what are the rules?

1. If you're black, you can make fun of whites, Asians, Muslims, Mexicans, and women, but you can't make fun of gays and Jews.

2. If you're Jewish, you can make fun of everyone except blacks.

3. If you're white, you can make fun of Mexicans, Asians, Muslims, and yourself, but not blacks, Jews, and gays.


I would disagree with #3. Whites are only allowed to make fun of other whites. They may be allowed to make fun of Asians so long as it's good-natured, non-malicious humor (e.g. Asian women are horrible drivers), but that's about it.

Anonymous said...

The future of news.

Anonymous said...

If POCs want their own shows, they got youtube.

Some of the stuff on youtube is really more fun than stuff on TV. It may be silly but also so direct, uncensored, and spontaneous.

Anonymous said...

2. If you're Jewish, you can make fun of everyone except blacks.

And Arabs.

K(yle) said...

I guess one good thing about the future of mixed-race America is we'll all be technically black due to one-drop rule. So, if you're 5% black and kill criminal who's 100% black, it ain't 'racist' cuz technically a black dude killed a black dude.

Incorrect. It will work just like it does with mestizos now. They exist in the victim category but not the perpetrator. All 'mixed race' perps will be considered white and all 'mixed race' victims will be non-white.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this "Girls" show either. Why is the Web suddenly filled with reactions to it? Was all this buzz orchestrated by the company that produces it? I got curious, so I looked up an interview with Ms. Dunham on YouTube. It seems that she's mousy not just visually, but spiritually as well. Extremely unremarkable, boring, not very bright. How can anything made by such a person generate real, spontaneous buzz?

As for the whiteness, established hipster neighborhoods in New York are very white. The neighborhoods into which hipsters are expanding have NAMs in them, but you rarely see these two groups interact. When you see a row of businesses in such a mixed neighborhood, you can always say with 100% certainty which one caters to hipsters and which one to NAMs. You know, a darkened lounge with live music and a chalkboard advertising 20 different kinds of coffee next to a Blimpie kind of a situation. An independent bookstore next to a check cashing place, etc. They don't interact even when they live next to each other. And a lot of times they do not live next to each other.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
AS a Jew I was really concerned we were losing control of the media.

I bet she was concerned! NOW THAT is a Freudian slip if ever I have heard one."

If you lived arond Jewish people, you would have recognized instantly that this is part of the joke. She is basically saying that though there is a common belief that Jews run the media, the fact that she is being attacked through the media, the stereotype is obviously untrue. Simple as that? Not quite, she is also reminding people that she is a Jew, save the rough treatment for the other guys, play too rough and my people might make sure you never get mentioned in the media again.

Jews tell Jewish jokes that play on their power and intelligence.

They like: When does a Jewish fetus become a human being? When it graduates medical school.

They don't like: Why do Jews have big noses? Because the air is free.

Leader of the Sailer Blog Commentariat said...

I think Arfin got in more trouble than Silverman because their 'cultural premises' are different. Silverman, like Howard Stern, staked her claim on the turf of OFFENSIVE HUMOR, and so being 'insensitive' is what she's all about. I mean no one much cares if Silverman or Stern makes fart jokes and etc. That's their niche, their bread and butter.

Arfin, though an oddball herself, staked her reputation in soft comedy with more 'normal' appeal to sane people, and so the liberal commentariat expect her to live up to a higher standard and stay within the boundary of what is 'acceptable'.

It's like no one's shocked when Jerry Springer does what he does, but if Charlie Rose pulled the same shtick on his show, people would say, 'Uhhhhhhhhhh, Charlie'.

Dominic said...

Here's another example, a Tweet, displaying Ms. Arfin's unorthodox orientation towards the most equal of races:

"Let a mutha fucka eat a strawberry outta your pooty-cat."---Academy Award winner, Mo'nique.

This Arfin chick just might be sneaking some serious crimethought under the radar.

Anonymous said...

Jon Stewart uses his Jewish Comedian shield more effectively than anyone else. He states he is at war against Christmas (and Easter) and pulls his - you wouldn't hit a Jewish guy with glasses, would you? - act. In his serious interviews, he comes across as impulsive, sputtering and indignant. If he was a "serious" person, he'd have to defend his anti-Christian agenda, he couldn't say, "it was a joke, it was a joke.".

Stewart makes many jokes about Jewish Media Power. I don't think he is confident that he would have made it without it, a lisp is quite a liability in entertainment.

Jon might truly think he is kidding about The Power. Rick Sanchez is a true believer.

Anonymous said...

Life is imitating the Onion - it's really catching up to it at a rapid rate I don't think any of us expected.

I'm trying to find a link to a funny Onion article titled something like "Iowa family blasted for lack of diversity" about the Petersons, a normal family whose all-whiteness is "deeply offensive" to racial activists. Apparently it has been expunged from the archives of the nervously p.c./un-p.c. Onion.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Life is imitating the Onion - it's really catching up to it at a rapid rate I don't think any of us expected."

The Singularity - the day when the New York Times is completely indistinguishable from the Onion.

Maya said...

"If Sarah Silverman were 40 pounds heavier she wouldn't be funny. Her schtick is to say as many offensive things as possible until people laugh at the shock of her saying something offensive. In between they keep watching her because she's hot."

Yup. Even 20 extra pounds would undo her. The same is true for Russel Brand. And that's fine. It's relaxing to be able to chuckle at something or other without feeling pity for the comedian deep down inside.

"3. If you're white, you can make fun of Mexicans, Asians, Muslims, and yourself, but not blacks, Jews, and gays.

I would disagree with #3. Whites are only allowed to make fun of other whites. They may be allowed to make fun of Asians so long as it's good-natured, non-malicious humor (e.g. Asian women are horrible drivers), but that's about it."

Number 3 can be true if the speaker is cute, endearing and charismatic enough. Attractive, witty people with the "it" factor can get away with more stuff. That's just life.

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, is Elspeth Reeve still married to the sociopath fabulist of the Iraq War, Scott Thomas Beauchamp? Or did they go their separate ways after he was debunked?

Aaron in Israel said...

All this "Sarah Silverman can say it because she's Jewish" stuff is a pretty lame substitute for thinking. First of all, it's kind of funny to suggest that Jews get a free pass, just a couple weeks after Robert Weissberg got fired (or whatever you call it) from National Review for being a racist.

Second, Silverman did get flack from politically-correct idiots: her story about the Asian-American guy was real.

Silverman can mostly get away with this because her politically-correct credentials are in perfect order. That's the criterion: you can say what you want about a given group, within reason, if it's very clear that you're pro that group. The presumption is that if you're a member of a group, you're pro that group. That's why Jews can make jokes about Jews controlling the media and Silverman can say "I want to be the first comic to shit on Martin Luther King." Robert Weissberg could not get away with telling Sarah Silverman's jokes.

Anonymous said...

"All this "Sarah Silverman can say it because she's Jewish" stuff is a pretty lame substitute for thinking. First of all, it's kind of funny to suggest that Jews get a free pass, just a couple weeks after Robert Weissberg got fired (or whatever you call it) from National Review for being a racist."

And the object of the current p.c. feeding frenzy, Lesley Arfin, is Jewish. Never mind, I'm sure the Jewologists here will find a way to spin that.

Silver said...

That's the criterion: you can say what you want about a given group, within reason, if it's very clear that you're pro that group.

Actually, Aaron, that's not true. Believe it or not, the 1st Amendment is actually alive and well. So Americans can, in fact, speak their minds about whomever and whatever they want.

I'm not just being cute in saying that. I think it's always worth reminding oneself of. Otherwise the temptation to yield to the artificial strictures someone in Israel (lol) places on your speech might be too much for some.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Aaron, that's not true. Believe it or not, the 1st Amendment is actually alive and well. So Americans can, in fact, speak their minds about whomever and whatever they want.

I'm not just being cute in saying that. I think it's always worth reminding oneself of. Otherwise the temptation to yield to the artificial strictures someone in Israel (lol) places on your speech might be too much for some.


You idiot, he's talking about rules of social acceptability he doesn't necessarily subscribe to, not legal strictures his Jewiness is trying impose on you.

Anonymous said...

"I bet she was concerned! NOW THAT is a Freudian slip if ever I have heard one."

It wasn't a slip of any kind, you moron, it was a joke. A deliberate, planned joke.

The anti-Jewish dittoheads in hbd-land are starting to get me down.

Anonymous said...

You idiot, he's talking about rules of social acceptability

Who created these "rules" and why should we defer to them?

David said...

>Where Fowler gets his marching orders is anyone's guess, but it's likely spelled d-o-n-e-r-s.<

It's more likely spelled d-o-n-o-r-s.

Sheila said...

Weissberg was fired for the crime of associating with White people who proudly identify as such (and AmRen is the most moderate and respectable of the altright), and he was quick to repay their invitation to speak by decrying their evil and horrible racism. Ethnocentrism will out.

Kylie said...

"So this is what it's come to: CNN pundits discussing the appropriateness of a tweet by a comedian. Amazing. I bet Soledad is ready to burn Daniel Tosh at the stake."

No surprise here. It was the inevitable outcome once Soledad joined CNN. She's a melanin-blessed Katie Couric*. Both are so vapid and stupid, I have to concluded that they are immensely gifted in ways that only the top management of their respective networks fully appreciate.


*Back in the 90's, I watched Katie Couric critiquing "Beavis and Butthead". I think her most profound comment was "Ewww! They're gross."

Anonymous said...

And the object of the current p.c. feeding frenzy, Lesley Arfin, is Jewish. Never mind, I'm sure the Jewologists here will find a way to spin that.

"La révolution dévore ses enfants"

[enter username here] said...

anonymous above mentioned the codependency factor. These "spontaneous buzz/controversies" sure are puzzlers, ain't they... As when MTV proudly trumpets one of its new shows being denounced by Focus On The Family or what have you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Silverman got flack - a wrist slap. Banishment from your field of employment is the ususal punishment.

Anonymous said...

" I want to be the first comic to shit on Martin Luther King."

If you survive saying this, you either have a Guardian Angel in heaven, or a protector here on earth.

Anonymous said...

"I was watching the original 'V' (1983) in the first episode there is a black burglar. Yes, you read that right, a black person playing a criminal, no context showing his need to feed his starving children or how racism forced him into it."

But if you listen to the DVD commentary, creator Kenneth Johnson (who later adapted the multiculti TV show "Alien Nation" from film) goes on and on about how racist his racist father. "V" is what arose from his attempt to bring Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here to television. The sci-fi, alien invasion angle came after NBC rejected his original idea.

Silver said...

You idiot, he's talking about rules of social acceptability he doesn't necessarily subscribe to, not legal strictures his Jewiness is trying impose on you.

If you're going to get that bent out of shape about it I have guess it's because you like having these "rules" in place.

I don't.

That's the difference.

Also, I didn't say anything about his Jewishness. The dude advertises himself as being in Israel. It's one thing to have to take orders from Jews in America -- they're Americans, duh -- but Jews in Israel, too? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Steve, what's this 'butt hurt' business? You sound like an establishmentarian there. It's not a conservative figure of speech. By using the term you are essentially buying into the idea that square johns need anally raping to 'chill them out'. And when they protest (or act 'butt hurt'), it shows they are uncool with 'change' (which is good ). It's very dated and alien.

1. That's not what it means.
2. Everybody should use the phrase butt-hurt more, liberal or conservative.

Reg Cæsar said...

Never mind the female John Derbyshire. Find us the male Rich Lowry!