There is this fellow who ran threw the comments over the weekend and inspired the post about racism. Yesterday, he sent me an email, apologies if this gets long...
Hey MG, congrats on getting accepted to grad school. I know what down time is like in your twenties, so you must be on cloud nine now.
First rule of letter writing - always begin by complimenting the addressee. NaÔve as I am, I expect the rest of this to be a love letter as well, though.
Anyways, I just wish Lockheed could be allowed to write comments again on BADSAM.
Nope, we go right into the pitch. A little clarification for all of you who aren’t me - for the first time in three years of running this site, I had to ban someone. I didn’t feel good about it, but I’d rather do that than deal with some wacko posting dozens of comments over the course of a couple hours. Lockheed is the person I banned. If you need further proof (besides his comments on the site) that he is a nut job, please note that he is referring to himself in the third person.
This tangent started when I met Sarah Silverman, after a gig about two weekends ago, had a drink with her
Okay, I’m not mad anymore – now I’m jealous.
Anyways, I told a friend if she knew who Sarah was, and she said yes, so I checked the web for her name, and guess what, she’s famous enough to be on your website.
Bad Samaritan – Star Maker? Probably not, but read the Sarah Silverman Nude post he is talking about if you really want to understand the full story here.
It's just that in your Silverman post, you explicitly use the word "Chink"(of course in context that it was Silverman's remark), but then you brush it off as if the asians shouldn't at all be offended. Afterall, it's not a controversy to diss asian americans because of their total lack of influence in politics and media in the U.S. and their un-hipness as social creatures. I was wondering if you would have felt the same way if she said the word, "N--gger," or "Ki--ke", etc, or if you were Asian yourself. Because the joke works the same with any slang at the end.
For those of you too lazy to go back and read that post (and seriously, go back and just look at the pictures, if nothing else), Silverman got in trouble for a joke she told on the Conan O’Brien show. She said she was trying to get out of jury duty and wanted to write, “I hate Chinks” on the form, but decided that’d be racist. Instead, she wrote, "I love Chinks (and who doesn't?)."
The joke would have worked with any derogatory word replacing what she said. I’m guessing she is Jewish (Silverman? Her name my as well have been Jewy Jewstein), so would it have been racist for her to say “I hate kikes?” I doubt anyone would have gotten up in arms about that. And, while I wouldn’t have been offended either way, I know she’d never get away with saying “I hate niggers.”
Why not? Well, Lockheed has the right idea – Asians don’t any political cache. Chink isn’t deemed as offensive Nigger, and the only reason is because Chinese people haven’t bitched enough to make it one. Maybe you chinks should stop worrying about your math SAT scores and start up some lobbies. You guys did so great building the railroads – I know you aren’t lazy. Don’t let those Abercrombie and Fitch fucks push you around!
Honestly, I wasn't offended at all with it, I tell self-degrading jokes all the time, it's humility and sarcasm; what got my goat was that it seems so obvious that things would be different on your Silverman post if she indeed said one of those aforementioned slangs.
You shouldn’t have been offended, it wasn’t meant to be offensive. I don’t think words can be hateful. The letters N-I-G-G-E-R aren’t, by themselves, offensive. Nor is Chink, Spic, Fag, Towel Head, or anything else. What is offensive is the intent of the word. Which is explains why no one finds anything offensive with UPN’s lineup (besides Buffy and Enterprise), why lesbians can go around calling each other dykes, Eminem can get away doing a movie about white trash, but Trent Lott’s career is over. What Lott said wasn’t particularly offensive, but it seems to reveal a deep-seated racism. What he said, if meant in the way everyone in interpreting it, is much worse than if had actually just come out and said he loves Thurman because of all the work he did “keeping those Negroes down.”
MG, I like your style a lot, but sometimes I feel that you might be the type of person who has the 'luxury' of being an 'idealist'. Kind of a Paper Tiger gonzo-journalist. Paper thin when it comes down to the reality of things, or fearing confrontation when it reaches your very own doorstep. And I hope you learn proper journalism, ie) representing both sides equally, no matter how much you distaste one or the other.
I want to clear a misconception that a lot of people seem to have – you are not reading a newspaper. This isn’t the New York Times. This isn’t CNN. I am not Tom Brokaw. This site is full of opinions, and I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly get any idea otherwise. The name of the site is “Bad Samaritan” - how could someone be so dense as to confuse us with an outlet for objective news?
As for being an idealist, no argument there, but I sure as hell don’t fear anyone confronting those ideals. Go back and read the posts after September 11th last year. I was stating my opinions about what happened, and what needed to happen. The bulk of people commenting disagreed with me. Did I ban them from commenting or delete their words? No, they stated their opinion and we had intelligent, though sometimes very heated, discussions.
This site has always been open to every idea, no matter how disparate from my own. The majority of those I’ve chosen to write for the site, not the commenters but the actual authors, have political ideologies far different from my own. Why would I let these people be a part of my site if I was scared they might challenge my world-view?
Don’t come here and after a couple days think you know anything about me. I didn’t ban you because you disagreed with me, but because you were being an asshole. Using vulgar language to make fun of racism is one thing, but actually being a racist is a completely different beast. Tell me, which do you think you were doing?
Now, to further prove I’m not a total tyrant, I’m going to leave the question of whether I should remove Lockheed's ban up to the people who read this site. Over the years, they’ve disagreed with me about a lot of things, from design, to music, to political ideology. I will abide their decision no matter what it is. So, to you, readers of Bad Samaritan, weigh in.
Here are the links to all of Lockheed’s comments. Some are stupid (the worst of which I already deleted), but some show flashes of an actual intelligence behind the vulgarity. All in all, there are 30 something comments on 12 different posts, all added over the course of about 24 hours.
one | two | three | four | five (as JudeoChristianIslamicMutt) | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve
by mg at December 17, 2002 11:29 AM
The ban should be lifted. There are a lot of people who have posted some steamy shit, and you haven't banned them--probably because of the sheer frivolity of what was said. With Lockheed, I find myself nodding and then, half-way through a sentence, wanting to take a shower.
Besides, as purveyor of this site, you should allow for natural selection; If no one pays attention to what someone says/types, they will eventually stop talking/typing.
Oh, and as far as the Chinese on the railroad--I would have been busting my ass too if I had Whitey standing over me with a pick-axe.
by Douchenation at December 17, 2002 11:51 AM
Just went back and read his posts...
Lockheed sounds like an anti-Semite (convinced he's justified in being one), and a sexual deviant. So he fantsizes about using a menorah sexually (Silverman post)--who hasn't? Furthermore, if posting too often is a criterion for getting the boot, I should have been axed by now. It's just that I'm unemployed, drunk and lonely.
by douchenation at December 17, 2002 12:33 PM
I say keep that door closed. Because I sort of view this as a room full of people conversing, I donít want someone in the room that just incoherently rants and has a huge chip on his shoulder, and makes assumptions. Cause you know what assuming doesÖ
Lockheed emailed me and suggested that you were racist, which really pisses me off. I hate racism. Ever since middle school, I have crusaded against it. I have left parties, I have created rifts, I have discarded romantic interests due to the faintest whiff of racism. It is absolutely disgusting to me. Yes, I am the over-apologetic, self-defacing, dredged in PC white chick, and I would prefer that this website did not contain ANY of the many hate-charged words you just used, mg, though I totally see the point you are trying to make.
I am interested in hearing everyoneís views as long as they are somewhat intelligent and well thought out. Just like face-to-face, I canít stand it when people donít really absorb what other people are saying, and instead just go on and on about what THEY think.
I also donít see any reason Lockheed would even want to post here given his derogatory comments about the site. And he said some shitty things that have no place here. So I think itís a mutually beneficial arrangement to keep him banned.
by Linz at December 17, 2002 12:34 PM
Keep him kicked.
by LG at December 17, 2002 1:36 PM
I am with Linz on this one. (And Linz is with me. Ahhhhh....)
by Eviltom at December 17, 2002 1:47 PM
Keep him banned
by Lucy at December 17, 2002 2:01 PM
Tough choice. So many targets for barrel-fishing are hard to pass up. But, in the end, since he's an especially annoying flavour of troll, I must come down on the side of maintaining the ban. To hell with him.
by Muad'Dib at December 17, 2002 2:51 PM
What's stopping him from using another screenname and going on another ranting spree? I say let him back up (no matter how stupid), but just put a limit on comment length. My skittle-sized atttention span will thank you.
by Shar at December 17, 2002 2:56 PM
I think its an IP ban Shar. But as for lifting the ban...
mg told me once in a matter of fact tone:
"It is MY site, right?" in reference to my whining that I wasn't able to post some piece of drivel I felt was worthy to go up. You don't need a vote, and you don't need public opinion. You're the manager of the firm, CEO, and/or Grand Chief Inquisitor/Emperor of the Bad Samaritan club. Wield your mighty sceptre. (waits paitently for EvilTom to comment)
by quicksilver at December 17, 2002 3:44 PM
That osama site is filled with pure stupidity and racism with no wit, who's that osama guy?(the poster), anyways, I say, let him or her back on, it'll only help your reputation. And that was a nasty bit on railroads and chi-s you wrote yourself, makes sense, but seems just as sardonic and cruel as Lockhead or Lockhead Martin's comments.
by Kelpeater at December 17, 2002 3:48 PM
holy smokes! you took a crack at my people and our SAT scores. that was a low blow. you should have made sure to mention the GMAT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT. i mean, cmon, we dont do just an undergrad.
what did quicksilver want me to comment on? i'm confused.
by Eviltom at December 17, 2002 5:46 PM
Scrolling down the litany of hate-filled speech to find Lockeed's post "five" (clicking on the link provided above), there was at least a dozen posts that were way more horrific than his. I think what pissed people off was that he switched screen names, and this was construed as duplicitous somehow (?). If HE'S banned for what he put there, then at least a few others were equally deserving. I don't get it--but my vote is still for lifting the ban.
by douchenation at December 17, 2002 5:53 PM
Tough call not unlike the cross-burning as protected speech deal before the Supreme Court. Even Clarence Thomas broke his silence during oral arguments. And while I haven't been around long enough to warrant a vote, this is my 2 cents: 1) It's clear this visitor likes the site, so much so that he rummaged through long-archived posts. And boy does he ever comment. Why not say look, feel free to comment here but kindly refrain from this wild-eyed manner of ranting? If it still doesn't work out, well... 2) Either way, Mr. Blank hit the nail on the head when he lamented that BS was known for lighthearted rumination, not...this. Thus I myself am not inclined to post until I concoct something lighter than Calista Flockhart. So I guess I'll abstain.
by Anna at December 17, 2002 6:51 PM
Stupid people don't deserve a voice.
by Adam at December 17, 2002 7:51 PM
censorship sucks. is it really necessary to ban this guy from the site? if he pisses you off, don't read his posts. just accept that he either truly is racist and/or that he's just saying stuff to piss people off. that being said, it's your world, and you can do whatever the FUCK you want. so if banning this prick from the site is what you want to do, do it!
by JC at December 17, 2002 8:26 PM
Lockheed's comments are the kind of poorly spelled hate fantasies that, if prolific enough, would keep me away from any site (admittedly, the Sarah Silverman assault one got to me), but he seems like the kind of troll that will get tired of himself, dry up, and blow away quickly enough.
I think everyone, stupid persons included, deserves a voice, but maybe not everywhere. I agree with Quicksilver and JC that the appeal to democracy, while admirable, is probably misplaced. Certainly, your readers disagree with you on many issues, but they don't come back because you change your mind when pressed. You're not the kind of person who is afraid of what others think. Decide for yourself.
by gordon at December 17, 2002 9:14 PM
I agree with quicksilver. This is your site. I know that if it was mine, I would definitely give him the boot.
Personally, I read bad sam to take a break from my extremely stressful work day. Almost all of the writing has something positive about it. At the very least it is entertaining. Even when people are talking about what is wrong with their life or the world, there is an undercurrent of humor or hope. If this was a site where lots of people had really intentionally negative things to say about whatever, I wouldn't read it. There is enough crap that goes on in the real world. I don't need to waste my energy reading someone else's demented ramblings. You writers may see this as an outlet for your creativity but I see it as a little stress breaker at work - it is entertainment. I hope that doesn't marginalize what you all do-I really enjoy all of the writer's posts.
You have a great bunch of people here. Don't let one person kill bad sam's spirit.
by Shannon at December 17, 2002 9:32 PM
What Lockheed has to say for himself, unedited:
A suprisingly professional gesture MG. You'll do well, might make you famous. Anyways, I should let you in on my biopsychosocial background, so you could understand better why I'm obviously too weak and mixed-up to to realize when I'm being an asshole. (And obviously I have no clue about you, and was just razzing you with that hunter s. thompson crap). Well, I am one-eigth Jewish. My grandfather was a general for Chang Kai Shek and he married a German Jew that he was protecting. So that's the interreligious/racial seed to my comments. As for the politico-economic ranting, my aunt(FBA) a full blooded asian from my mother's side, was run over by a fucking tank in Tienanneman Square back in 89', while my mother watched the damn thing back here in the U.S.(she immigrated in the 70's). So that's why I hate globalization and the fact that there are 'certain' groups of wealthy people with a certain creed, who are pushing it so hard, without realizing how utopian and impossible it is. Thanks again. Good luck. - Lockheed of the Damned
by mg at December 17, 2002 9:53 PM
Well, I guess that eliminates the need for a vote. It's a shame he was forced to explain himself (I gather it's a "he" from his signing off as Alex in a previous post) by being backed into a corner. Honestly, I don't know how it escalated to this point to begin with, since other MINDLESS (and Lockheed is clearly not mindless ) fuckwads were allowed to spew innocuous hatred with zero consequences. By the way, there were just as many perfectly legitimate Lockheed posts as ones arbitrarily deemed offensive. I will now click "post" and wait patiently to be ignored...
by douchenation at December 17, 2002 10:43 PM
I read this site for the writing style and to escape to YOUR world. If I wanted in-depth news coverage I would go to a news site. That guy who made that remark is foolish to think a blog is about anything other than the author's creative flow - on whatever topic that may happen to be, be it love, sex, politics, or their own life. As a Texas minority, I went to a predominantly white university as an undergrad, but it didn't phase me in the least. I opted to change opinions on hispanics rather than bitch and moan about opression or how I felt slighted or disenfranchised. I worked hard, thre great parties, and went about my business. The words mean nothing to me. But to accuse YOU of racism? Who is this guy, anyway?
by Gil at December 17, 2002 11:00 PM
keep the bastard banned. you have every right to do so, it's your site. let him be a disruptive asshole elsewhere.
by überchick at December 17, 2002 11:26 PM
My opinion is to let anyone comment. So what if they are dumb assholes? Ignore Ďem and eventually theyíll shut up. Either do that or just ban them without a word. I think this whole fiasco just brings more attention to the asshole.
Now, can we see some more never thought Iíd see you nekked pics? :)
by MrBlank at December 18, 2002 12:37 AM
The guy's annoying, but hearing lots about censorship this semester (i took a library & information studies class..), I'd let him comment. That's my official vote.
Then again, you'll probably be hearing enough about fighting censorship in the library starting in January, so what the hell-- wield your mighty sceptre as Quicksilver suggested before they brainwash you with the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
if you'd like.
On a lighter note, how about starting up "I always thought I'd see you naked"?
Ya wanna feature Angelina Jolie for the first one? She's my hero.
by Leaffin at December 18, 2002 1:05 AM
Well, Lockheed evokes 24 comments in less than 24 hours... I realize I account for 4 of those, but that is still a lot of posts. Regardless of which side people fall on, the fact they chimed in at all suggests he is worthy of reinstatement.
As MG said: this is not CNN, The New York Times, or any other reputable "news" outlet--and he should have the final say. I am, however, pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people who stood up for a person who, doubtless, infuriated them. Not that I consider Lockheeds' posts remotely as offensive as those of the Klan, but consider the following: the KKK's racist ideology is hardly American, but the right of the Ku Klux Klan to disseminate their ideology is ABSOLUTELY American.
by douchenation at December 18, 2002 1:52 AM
I'm a blog junkie, and I have to say this site has the most entertaining post/commentary dynamic I've read in a while. Not afraid to talk about the controversial topics and making good points at the same time, and boy is it intense in here. MG is a sexy blogmaster, and Lockheed is a hardcore mother@#$%*! shooting from the hip. You got a new fan. P.S. Can anyone tell me we're Lockheed's blogsite is? Does he/she have one?
by Danielle at December 18, 2002 8:54 AM