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Dec 26 2013

Geraldo Logic

This will be useful shorthand. You may recall that Alec Baldwin lost his show for calling a photographer a “cocksucking faggot” — now Geraldo Rivera weighs in on the phrase.

SKLAR: When I heard about what Alec Baldwin – Alec Baldwin had a history of making these homophobic slurs.

RIVERA: That wasn’t a homophobic slur.

SKLAR: Okay –

RIVERA: I mean if you grew up where we grew up –

SKYLAR: And yet he is no longer on the network, right?

RIVERA: Sean, Baldwin and I all grew up within ten miles of each other and when we were growing up, in my year especially, those comments were commonplace.

Remember that next time someone strolls in and starts flinging the “cunt” insult around, and tries to excuse it because it was commonplace when they were growing up in Australia or England or New Jersey or wherever. Just let them know they’re using Geraldo Logic, and with any luck they’ll feel a twinge of shame.

Nah, they won’t. We know from long experience that they won’t.

74 comments

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  1. 1
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    See, Geraldo, what it means that this homophobic slur was used all the time where you grew up, is that where you grew up was really, really homophobic. I’m not surprised, Geraldo’s 70, so he grew up in a time when pretty much everyplace in the States was really, really homophobic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not homophobic, nor that society hasn’t changed for the better since then on these matters.

  2. 2
    Inaji

    you may recall that Alec Baldwin lost his show for calling a photographer a “cocksucking faggot”

    I am so out of the loop. I had no idea. Given the recent fuss over duck guy, was there the same sort of protest over Baldwin’s freeze peach?

    As for Rivera, he never could think his way out of a wet paper bag. You’d think someone who made a living from using words might have a clue that they actually mean something.

  3. 3
    ChasCPeterson

    in my year especially

    narcissistic much?
    oh, wait, right: Gerald(o) Rivera.
    Why is that clown still on the air?
    oh, wait, right: Fox News.

  4. 4
    Zeno

    And idiot congressman Don Young of Alaska grew up where I did in California’s Central Valley and got used to calling Chicanos “wetbacks.” Hey, all the white kids did that back then! How narrow-minded of the Latino community to get bent out of shape just because Young is still using the racial slur in 2013! Can’t we all just get along (and keep using the racist language of our younger days)?

  5. 5
    Inaji

    Zeno:

    And idiot congressman Don Young of Alaska grew up where I did in California’s Central Valley and got used to calling Chicanos “wetbacks.”

    That was hardly restricted to Central Valley. I grew up in Santa Ana, and both “wetback” and “greaser” were very popular terms with the asshole bigots.

  6. 6
    gussnarp

    Alec Baldwin had a show?

    I’ve got to say, I feel really bad for Alec Baldwin. He seems like a decent enough fellow most of the time, but he’s clearly got an anger problem. Meanwhile he’s got to deal with a little brother who’s a nutty evangelical. I will not, like a Duck Dynasty fan or a bigoted Christian, raise a big stink about him losing whatever show he had, but here’s a guy who said something stupid when dealing with some paparazzi asshole and he faces the same punishment as the duck guy faces for not just using a homophobic slur, but actually arguing that gay people deserve judgment and black people though life in the south was all sunshine and roses until those damned civil rights laws.

    Doesn’t excuse the slur, and he needs to deal better with his anger, but one bad word in anger versus a statement that reveals clearly bigoted thinking in an interview….

  7. 7
    Inaji

    gussnarp:

    Doesn’t excuse the slur, and he needs to deal better with his anger, but one bad word in anger

    Two words. Two words, mind, that reveal his thinking at a deeper level. He didn’t yell out “asshole” or “fucker” or “fucking asshole” or anything else of that nature, which would at least be understandable. When your go to choice is “cocksucking faggot”, you’ve revealed some rather ugly attitudes you’re carrying around.

  8. 8
    gussnarp

    Then I had to go and Google it and find this quote from Baldwin:

    But you’ve got the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy — Rich Ferraro and Andrew Sullivan — they’re out there, they’ve got you.

    Forget everything I said about him seeming a decent fellow. Alec Baldwin can fuck right off.

  9. 9
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    gussnarp:
    That wasn’t the first time Baldwin has made homophobic statements.

    The tirade, which led to Baldwin deleting his account, erupted after Daily Mail reporter George Stark wrote that Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, had tweeted using her smartphone during James Gandolfini’s funeral. Baldwin tweeted, “I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up.” He then wrote, “[I']d put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.”

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/alec-baldwin-shocked-anderson-cooper-590991

  10. 10
    gussnarp

    Caine –

    It does, you’re right. But it’s possible for someone to have lingering issues from a more ignorant upbringing that they’re actually working on and for some hateful things that they don’t really believe to come up when they’re angry – it’s both revealing and at the same time not necessarily indicative of the kind of person they’re aspiring to be, but in this case it seems that Baldwin has doubled down and no longer deserves any benefit of the doubt, so I’m revising my overly generous opinion.

  11. 11
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    And there’s calling his young daughter a thoughtless little pig: http://www.tmz.com/2007/04/22/alecs-threatening-message/

  12. 12
    mirror

    Wow. All of you must have the purist thoughts, even at your deepest unconscious core. It is good you have all found eachother.

  13. 13
    Inaji

    Mirror:

    Wow. All of you must have the purist thoughts, even at your deepest unconscious core.

    Uh huh. No one said anything at all which would imply such a thing. So, obviously you think Baldwin a/o Rivera must be given a break for saying “cocksucking faggot” and thinking that it’s not at all a homophobic remark, but a normal one. Make a case for it, rather than simply spouting something stupid and unsupportable, eh?

  14. 14
    ChasCPeterson

    I make no claim at all for the purity (or purety) of my thoughts. However, if I was angry at somebody it would never even occur to me or my subconscious to call them a “cocksucking fag”. But even if in some alternate reality I did so, I wouldn’t be so obtuse as to deny that it was a homophobic slur.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    Well, I certainly don’t have pure thoughts, never have. That said, it’s never once occurred to me to call anyone that, either. While I have used a number of colourful epithets during my life, none of them have been predicated on someone being gay.

  16. 16
    PZ Myers

    Likewise. I have extremely impure thoughts, and think rude things about other people all the time: usually something along the lines of “dumbass” or “twit” or even the very filthy “Republican”. But I can’t even imagine thinking of homosexuality (or sex) as an insult.

    That’s the thing here. Why would you ever think that? It’d be like using “penis-having enjoyer of heterosexual behavior!” as an insult.

  17. 17
    Rey Fox

    I really hope that my generation doesn’t grow into middle and old age defending poor word choices on the basis that we said them when we were growing up. I hope we can see past how wonderful our generation is by virtue of having us in it.

    All of you must have the purist thoughts, even at your deepest unconscious core.

    Well, I sure don’t have that particular two-word phrase rattling around in there. Do you? Why might that be?

  18. 18
    corwyn

    Seriously? Half of all insults would seem to me to be about sex. “Dick” and “Fucker” being the two the perfectly fit your description.

  19. 19
    Zeno

    “purest” or “purist”? Either way: wrong! (Except perhaps for me. I am almost cripplingly pure.)

  20. 20
    mirror

    PZ: You are always willing to admit to “impure” thoughts that are acceptable to you.

    Most Americans carry around a lot of cultural baggage. I see a big difference between thought and deed. That you ask the question, “Why would you ever think that?”, shows a lack of understanding of human psychology. I am amazed at the professed lack of cultural conditioning or apparent eradication of cultural conditioning by the commenters on this and many of your threads. My take on Baldwin is that he generally is actively for gay rights, but at the same time is sometimes a self-centered asshole with an anger management problem, who gets a thrill in those angry moments out of releasing himself from his self imposed restrictions against doing things that erupt in his mind from prior cultural conditioning, like the cocksucker comment. What I find sort of disturbing is that so many here seem to see his problem more in the thought than in the deed. Where I see the problem with Geraldo is that he justified the deed, by implying that there is no obligation to filter the path from thought to deed. I know that there are people whose thoughts arise in their minds pre-filtered or preconforming with their current values, but for a very large percentage of people many thoughts arise in their mind unfiltered or semi-filtered and they have to consider whether they agree with the ideas or words bubbling up from the ether of their unconscious. You and the folks here seemed to be strong representatives of the first group, or profess to be. I would suspect some of your regulars of faking this level of purity in the thought process, but it is perhaps more likely that the thought filterers and monitor types self-cull themselves from your commment herd even when they generally share your values.

    P.S. The Christmas rant you linked to was far more bigoted and hateful than any comments Baldwin or Geraldo have ever made as adults.

  21. 21
    gearloose

    A passerby on the opposite side of the street once called out a comment that seemed to require response. To my great astonishment, the epithet that sprang out of my mouth was “cocksucker”, a word I felt certain I had never before uttered, but there it was. I was appalled. How could my mouth have so betrayed me? Utter humiliation, especially as I was holding my boyfriend’s hand at the time. ‘Twas thirty years ago; it never happened again, but it did happen once.

  22. 22
    brucegee1962

    As other people have said here, it isn’t necessarily fair to blame people for what they say in the heat of anger. But if they say something offensive to large groups of people, and get called on it, then decent people tend to apologize and say “I’m so sorry, that isn’t the way I normally talk.”

    What you don’t do is justify yourself by what was commonly said by all your friends when you were 14. The proper thing to do when you are reminded of what your 14-year-old self used to say is to cringe. This applies fairly universally to everybody, except possibly Malala. Maybe even her.

  23. 23
    Inaji

    Corwyn:

    Seriously? Half of all insults would seem to me to be about sex. “Dick” and “Fucker” being the two the perfectly fit your description.

    So…if someone says “fuck you, Corwyn!”, you think they want to have sex with you? Or somehow think that’s an insult predicated on your sexuality?

  24. 24
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Mirror,
    The question we should be asking ourselves is why our minds gravitate to these words when we seek to wound–the B-word for women, the N-word for African-Americans, a plethora of words for homosexuals. What is it that we’ve absorbed from our culture that makes us go there.

    For one thing, they are epithets that brook no argument. There’s no reasoning there. It dismisses the person even as it shoves them into a category, whether they belong there or not.

    At the very least, the use of such insults marks us as people who do not think and are not aware of our own thought processes and conditioning. Such a person isn’t going to be much of an ally.

  25. 25
    mirror

    @24 Most people’s allies are exactly those kind of people, people who have not purified their soul and thoughts, but have a conviction about right and wrong. They are people asking exactly the kind of question you suggest, but who have also realized that it might be better to start with changing as best we can the way we act, the words we use, the institutions we create, and the content of what we teach even if the thoughts and soul have not yet been purified. That there such people is why we have been able to make such great strides in the area of civil rights.

  26. 26
    Azuma Hazuki

    A few years ago, I had a small epiphany: not only is sex not obscene, but it’s wrong to use gendered insults. So I switched to something universally applicable: “asshole.”

    Everyone has one. They smell, they’re full of shit (or close the gates to shit and smells anyway), and they’re a necessary evil. Maybe not as satisfying because it lacks all those lovely k’s and c’s and other hard sounds, but a lot viler if you think about it. And gender-neutral.

  27. 27
    ChasCPeterson

    Where is the evidence that Baldwin is not a homosexual-hating bigot? A simple, contrite apology would go a long way here, but one does not seem forthcoming.
    Besides, the OP is about Gerald(o) Rivera, who did not speak in anger but in dumbshititude. See, he and his buddies at West Babylon High used to call people “cocksucking fags” all the time, therefore it’s not a homophobic slur? I mean, wtf?

  28. 28
    Jacob Schmidt

    But it’s possible for someone to have lingering issues from a more ignorant upbringing that they’re actually working on and for some hateful things that they don’t really believe to come up when they’re angry …

    I have a couple of quibbles.

    1) The myth that, if it’s said in anger, they don’t really believe it.

    I really don’t think that’s true. A person in anger might lose control and say something stupid, but they said something stupid because they lost control. They’ve stopped holding back the ugly thoughts they already had.

    2) He hasn’t apologized.

    I’m sympathetic with people who say or do ugly things they regret. I’ve done it. But for me to believe that he actually regrets it, he needs to act like it. He needs to apologize and put forth an honest effort to mitigate the harm he’s done. I’m happy to forgive people when they say ugly things. They just need to take responsibility first.

  29. 29
    mirror

    @27 and @28 Baldwin has apologized multiple times, in multiple ways, to many people about this incident. Geraldo is not a mouthpiece for Baldwin. I suspect Baldwin uses anger to excuse his hateful words to himself at the time and you can say what you want about his sincerity, but to say he hasn’t apologized just makes you a liar. Lying for Christ or what?

  30. 30
    Inaji

    Jacob:

    But for me to believe that he actually regrets it, he needs to act like it. He needs to apologize and put forth an honest effort to mitigate the harm he’s done.

    In Baldwin’s case, there’s a considerable history of ugly, homophobic remarks, so while an apology would be good, he needs to come to actual terms with his homophobia in order for such an apology to mean much at all.

    As Chas pointed out though, this thread is about Rivera, and his blunt defense of ugly homophobia. There isn’t any anger there, simply the age-old nonsense about “hey, it was no big deal the way we used it, and we used it all the time.” How often have we gotten to hear that when it comes to c*nt or bitch? It’s utterly vile to see anyone claim that it’s just not any sort of a big deal to call someone a cocksucking faggot, when it is a very big deal to do that, and the only reason to do such a thing is to demean someone. Baldwin’s behaviour is effectively derailing the discussion we should be having.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Jacob:

    But for me to believe that he actually regrets it, he needs to act like it. He needs to apologize and put forth an honest effort to mitigate the harm he’s done.

    In Baldwin’s case, there’s a considerable history of ugly, homophobic remarks, so while an apology would be good, he needs to come to actual terms with his homophobia in order for such an apology to mean much at all.

    As Chas pointed out though, this thread is about Rivera, and his blunt defense of ugly homophobia. There isn’t any anger there, simply the age-old nonsense about “hey, it was no big deal the way we used it, and we used it all the time.” How often have we gotten to hear that when it comes to c*nt or b!tch? It’s utterly vile to see anyone claim that it’s just not any sort of a big deal to call someone a cocksucking faggot, when it is a very big deal to do that, and the only reason to do such a thing is to demean someone. Baldwin’s behaviour is effectively derailing the discussion we should be having.

  32. 32
    Inaji

    Mirror:

    Lying for Christ or what?

    As you seem to be aware of where you are, that leaves two options: you’re very stupid or you’re a troll. In either case, you aren’t much worth the bother, Cupcake.

  33. 33
    ChasCPeterson

    to say he hasn’t apologized just makes you a liar.

    no, asshole, it makes me (us) ignorant.
    Here‘s a link. You could have provided one, but I’ll do it. I was wrong.

  34. 34
    Inaji

    Colour me ignorant as well. I had no idea he had a show, had no idea he lost said show, didn’t know about any of it. Some of us are blissfully ignorant of what celebs do.

    So he apologized. Until the next time he makes an ugly homophobic remark, it’s all good, eh? Now, Mirror, how about you fucking post something about the actual topic? Or just shut up, either one is good.

  35. 35
    Jacob Schmidt

    I suspect Baldwin uses anger to excuse his hateful words to himself at the time and you can say what you want about his sincerity, but to say he hasn’t apologized just makes you a liar.

    Well, no. It makes me wrong. Being unaware of Baldwins apology does not make me a liar.

    Still, I should have checked. He has apologized, and I’m sorry I wrote otherwise. His apology is bullshit, though. He denies ever using the word “fag.” You can’t be said to have apologized for an action while denying the facts of said action.

  36. 36
    Jacob Schmidt

    Caine

    In Baldwin’s case, there’s a considerable history of ugly, homophobic remarks, so while an apology would be good, he needs to come to actual terms with his homophobia in order for such an apology to mean much at all.

    Yes, I agree. Gussnarp seemed to be supposing a single incident, so I did as well. A pattern of poor is much harder to make up for.

    As Chas pointed out though, this thread is about Rivera, and his blunt defense of ugly homophobia. There isn’t any anger there, simply the age-old nonsense about “hey, it was no big deal the way we used it, and we used it all the time.” How often have we gotten to hear that when it comes to c*nt or b!tch? It’s utterly vile to see anyone claim that it’s just not any sort of a big deal to call someone a cocksucking faggot, when it is a very big deal to do that, and the only reason to do such a thing is to demean someone. Baldwin’s behaviour is effectively derailing the discussion we should be having.

    Fair enough. I’m sorry to have derailed.

    I’ve started labelling that sort of behaviour as “mindless defense of the status quo”; that phrase passes through my head often while listening to bigots trying to defend the actions of other bigots.

  37. 37
    mirror

    @34 You claimed knowledge you did not possess. Baldwin’s weasely initial apologies suggests that he knows what he did was wrong, and that the “paparazzi stalk and harrass me every minute of the day” excuse wasn’t going to get him out of it.

    It is true. I admit now that I must be trolling in this thread. I like this blog a lot, but the self-congratulatory thought police ethos finally got to me.

    I think, too, the link to the Christmas homily made me think my values weren’t quite aligned the same way.

  38. 38
    unclefrogy

    the defender and the insulter are “manly air heads”
    entertainers, jokers, fools for the camera, faces on the screen
    idol voices to pass the time
    no great thinkers, blessed by fashion to be in the limelight for a time, it is a fleeting thing easily comes and goes without reason or pity.
    they are infinitely forgettable they do share at least one other thing
    they have a colossal sense of self importance at least as far as their public persona is concerned and as for Geraldo he seems to have nothing else.

    a lot of things were said and done in the past that were wrong even at the time which does not seem to be a good argument for continuing to do them now!

    uncle frogy

  39. 39
    NelC

    I’m going to fence-sit on this one. On the one hand, what pops out of your mouth in extremis is going to be influenced by the cuss words you heard while growing up. My dad was a trawlerman and swore like one, whereas I don’t recall my mum ever swearing; I guess I get my calmness from her, but when I do lose it, I swear like him, lots of “fucks” and “wankers” and “cunts” and “shits”. What this reveals about my inner thoughts I leave as an exercise in Internet diagnosis and analysis to those who like to indulge in such vices.

    On the other hand, you own what comes out of your mouth, in extremis or not. If I offend someone I didn’t mean to offend when emitting the C-word, well, I should apologise, if only because one shouldn’t make enemies unnecessarily. (And I do apologise, if my quoting it above offended anyone.) If Baldwin does do work for the gay community (I’m feeling too lazy right now to check) then he should apologise fully and completely, without excuses. And if he doesn’t, really.

    Geraldo, on the third hand, has his own show. If he wants to talk about childhood influences on swearing, he has plenty of space to set out his thoughts coherently. A half-baked explanation that sounds like an excuse is just slacking. Baldwin doesn’t need that kind of help, he needs friends who will call him on his shit, as do we all.

  40. 40
    zenlike

    Mirror:

    P.S. The Christmas rant you linked to was far more bigoted and hateful than any comments Baldwin or Geraldo have ever made as adults.

    Which Christmas rant? The one on Popehat? How was that bigoted? You do know that words have meanings, right?

    I really don’t understand you logic: saying or doing something while angry excuses the thing you did? How does that work and how far do you stretch it?

    Baldwin’s weasely initial apologies suggests that he knows what he did was wrong

    Huh? If you know what you did was wrong, why wouldn’t you apologise loud and clear? How does the fact that he made ‘weasely initial apologies’ somehow prove that he knows he was wrong? It proves the opposite.

    It is true. I admit now that I must be trolling in this thread. I like this blog a lot, but the self-congratulatory thought police ethos finally got to me.

    My bingo card is filling up.

  41. 41
    mirror

    @38 Yes, the one on Popehat, proclaiming superiority to everyone, and responsibility for nothing.

    In any case, I don’t think you or PZ or the dominant folks here are very interested in why people do what they do. You are mostly interested in congratulating yourselves on your perfection. Well, not perfection, because you admit things like once thinking “twit” or even, but only once, “cocksucker.”

    Enjoy each other.

  42. 42
    zenlike

    @38 Yes, the one on Popehat, proclaiming superiority to everyone, and responsibility for nothing.

    I was not entirely behind that screed either, but it did not proclaim superiority to everyone. What it certainly not was was bigoted.

    And here we reach the sore point: you are actually here trying to defend someone saying ‘cock-sucking faggot’ as not being bigoted, someone saying that that phrase is ok, because ‘everyone said it in my time’ is not really bigoted, but a piece that was maybe wrong or that you are not ok with is bigoted, while it contained no bigotery at all (if you want to point out some bigoted points in the popehat screed, please point them out).

    Conclusion: you have no clue what the word ‘bigot’ means. And I’m beginning to feel that you don’t know the meaning of a lot of other words as well.

    You are mostly interested in congratulating yourselves on your perfection. Well, not perfection, because you admit things like once thinking “twit” or even, but only once, “cocksucker.”

    So are we saying we are perfect ourselves, or are we not saying that, because you actually contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences. You see why I say you don’t know the meaning of words?

  43. 43
    casus fortuitus

    @mirror, #s 12, 20 and 25:

    pur*

    You seem hung up on this idea. I don’t think I speak just for myself when I say that I make no claims to purity. What I do claim to do, though, is to strive to recognise those thoughts and attitudes that are based on prejudice, and that contribute to, among other things, stigma and marginalisation. And when I recognise them, I do my best not to let them influence the things I say or do. When I fail, I acknowledge that the fault is mine. I don’t deny what I’ve done, and I don’t try to justify it by reference to my magical intent, the unique conditions of my upbringing, or the obtuseness of those who object.

  44. 44
    casus fortuitus

    @mirror, #s 12, 20 and 25:

    pur*

    You seem hung up on this idea. I don’t think I speak just for myself when I say that I make no claims to purity. What I do claim to do, though, is to strive to recognise those thoughts and attitudes that are based on prejudice, and that contribute to, among other things, stigma and marginalisation. And when I recognise them, I do my best not to let them influence the things I say or do. When I fail, I acknowledge that the fault is mine. I don’t deny what I’ve done, and I don’t try to justify it by reference to my magical intent, or the conditions of my upbringing.

    [Reposted sans potentially contentious link, sorry for the double post]

  45. 45
    mirror

    @40 You clearly haven’t understood the plain meaning of the words I wrote because you, as is quite common here, appear to care primarily about your assumptions about what people are saying. No, I’m not one of your MRMs or religious apologists to be rooted out, but if you could read my thoughts, you’d probably put my head in a guillotine anyway

    P.S. I looked up the dictionary meaning of bigoted relative to that rant, and I stand by my comment more strongly than before.

    Wait, did I misspell something?

  46. 46
    zenlike

    Mirror,

    P.S. I looked up the dictionary meaning of bigoted relative to that rant, and I stand by my comment more strongly than before.

    As I said before:

    if you want to point out some bigoted points in the popehat screed, please point them out

    Until then, shut up.

  47. 47
    zenlike

    Also Mirror,

    You clearly haven’t understood the plain meaning of the words I wrote because you, as is quite common here, appear to care primarily about your assumptions about what people are saying.

    If I misrepresented your words, please point them out.

    No, I’m not one of your MRMs or religious apologists to be rooted out

    Nobody said that.

    but if you could read my thoughts

    Nobody said that.

    you’d probably put my head in a guillotine anyway

    Fuck you.

    Wait, did I misspell something?

    I’m not talking about spelling, I’m talking about the meaning of words.

    By every comment you make, you show yourself as someone not interested in having a honest debate.

  48. 48
    Joey Maloney

    Jumbo shrimp

    Military intelligence

    Guest host

    Geraldo logic

  49. 49
    David Marjanović

    It’d be like using “penis-having enjoyer of heterosexual behavior!” as an insult.

    Etymologically, that’s exactly what “fucker” is. I strongly doubt, though, that that’s what anyone actually has in mind when using the word. Similarly, “fuck you” hasn’t been a rape threat (“I fuck you”) in a long time, and for me “asshole” is just the word for “evil person”.

  50. 50
    casus fortuitus

    @mirror, #39:

    I don’t think you or PZ or the dominant folks here are very interested in why people do what they do.

    Maybe if you’re violating some traffic regulations to get someone in urgent need of treatment to a hospital, your reasons are relevant. What reasons do you think could justify perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice (or being an apologist for that perpetuation), though, when you fucking well ought to know better?

  51. 51
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    mirror:

    You are mostly interested in congratulating yourselves on your perfection.

    Taking an individual to task for their bigoted language in no way implies that anyone feels they are perfect or pure. We are holding people accountable for their bigoted words or actions. If anyone here made the statements that Geraldo or Baldwin have done, we’d fully expect to be criticized. There are those of us who have worked to eliminate bigoted slurs from our list of go-to insults. That’s working to become better people by holding ourselves accountable for what we say. Seeing as you think it is due to the perception that we’re perfect, what evidence do you offer up to prove your assertion?

  52. 52
    robinjohnson

    Remember that next time someone strolls in and starts flinging the “cunt” insult around, and tries to excuse it because it was commonplace when they were growing up in Australia or England or New Jersey or wherever.

    It was common to ubiquitous where I grew up in Scotland. It was, and is, used almost exclusively against men, and sometimes not even maliciously. One (male) friend’s anecdote: he was getting off a bus in Glasgow, and a group of kids were trying to get on at the same time, so the driver told them, without any malice at all, “Hauld on, lads, this cunt’s tryin’ to get aff.” My friend thanked the driver and was off the bus before he even registered what he’d been called.

    The (more plainly) mysoginistic usage has been creeping in in more recent years, probably because of the internet globalising language, and I bristle at it myself a lot more than I used to, but I think it essentially used to be a different word. That’s not an excuse to use it now.

  53. 53
    robinjohnson

    I think my first attempt to comment might have been eaten by the filters – fair enough. The gist of it was that in the case of the c-word and Scotland, where that word was common to ubiquitous when I was growing up, I don’t think it was because this was a particularly mysogynistic place, but that it was essentially a different word – used almost exclusively against men, and not as an affront to their masculinity – the main connotation was of purposeful meanness or selfishness. Sometimes it’s not even an insult. The more directly misogynistic usage has been creeping in recently, probably thanks to globalisation of language through the internet, and I’ve started bristling at it a lot more.

    This isn’t an excuse to use it now, when anyone who’s paying attention can see the hatred it carries. So even if the words Baldwin used really were neutral where he came from (which I doubt), that wouldn’t make it ok to use them now.

  54. 54
    Jafafa Hots

    Rivera has ruined people’s lives.
    He was a major contributor to the “Satanic Panic” of teh 1980s:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/texas-couple-kellers-released-prison-satanic-abuse?CMP=twt_gu

    Years ago when he had his own show I got into an argument with a segment producer who was trying to dig up sensationalist bullshit for a piece.
    Eventually I asked her why she didn’t get an *honest* job in journalism.
    Her response was “I’m working on it.”

    Pretty telling when your own producers tacitly admit that you are full of shit.

  55. 55
    woozy

    It’s funny. About a year ago I came across a liberal-ish cartoon in a liberal-ish (on of those alternative weeklies) that used the phrase “cotton-picking”. (“Are you out of your cotton-picking mind?!?!”) I hadn’t heard that phrase in nearly 30 years and I found it extremely jarring and just fell on my ears as exceedingly racist. It was a phrase my sisters and I had used a *lot* in our childhood. Being Californian descendents of New Yorkers and Chicagoans it’s a little unclear how we ever heard of it. I think it was frequently said on television, bugs bunny cartoons and in MAD magazine.

    I turned to my friend and said “Gad, this seems really blunt in this day and age. Do you think the cartoonist had any idea how offensive and racist it sounds now.” My friend responded with a what-or-you-talking-about look and said that the phrase was just the equivalent of “ever-loving” (or “mother-fucking”) and just fanciful expression with no particular meaning. I maintained it’d probably be viewed as racially offensive and that’s why it’s probably isn’t heard so much any more. She claimed we don’t hear it so much because we are foul-mouthed grown-ups and it was a childlike euphemism.

    We never reached a conclusion, but I ended my piece by stating: “Take the word ‘cocksucker’. Other than its vulgarity no-one thinks it’s particularly offensive and it’s used by straights and gays alike. I predict in the next five years its usage will drop drastically. It won’t be a conscious and noticeable decline. It’ll just seem marginally less and less acceptable and marginally more and more homophobic and we’ll remember using it with a ‘what was I thinking’ attitude that in 10 years it was see as utterly jarring and archaic as ‘cotton-picking’ does now’.

    She ended her piece by stating “‘cotton-picking’ isn’t jarring and offensive. My *mother* uses it for gosh sake.”

    A few months later this Alec Baldwin business crops up and I predict it’s the beginning of the end for “cocksucking”.

    (Hey, what does the movie “The Front” starring Woody Allen and “Muriel’s Wedding” starring Toni Collette have in common? They both end with the group of nasty characters being told that they are a bunch of cocksuckers.)
    ====
    “faggot” on the other hand has *always* been a homophobic slur. *Always*. That was its entire point.

  56. 56
    mond

    @robinjohnson

    I have to agree with you that cunt is essentially a different word in the situation you describe.
    I must admit I have often used it in this context.

    It may seem strange to but the using the word fanny* can be more offensive than to using the word cunt on the right (or wrong) occasion.

    I can remember sniggering at the use of the word fanny in American TV shows as a kid before I knew what it meant in US English,

    *fanny being sort of similar to pussy.

  57. 57
    Jacob Schmidt

    Mirror

    You are mostly interested in congratulating yourselves on your perfection.

    Uh, when did this happen? Can you show me a quote? I ain’t seeing any sort of congratulations for our perfection/near perfection.

  58. 58
    Rey Fox

    Oh get off your cross, mirror.

    Maybe I just didn’t grow up in as bigoted a time as other folks, but I just don’t see how “cocksucking faggot” could just slip out. That’s two words, five syllables, a very specific meaning.

  59. 59
    Anri

    Speaking personally, if I continued to revert back to the behavior of my 14-year-old self, I’d assume there was something wrong with me.

    And if someone tried to defend my doing so, I’d assume there was something wrong with them.

    Do I say things that I regret in the heat of anger? Sure, occasionally.
    Do I then have to live with the consequences of having said whatever it is I’ve said? Yep.

  60. 60
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Mirror,
    Got any other stupid excuses for defending bigoted slurs?

    Just kidding. I’ve heard them all before, yours included. I’m sick and tired of them.

  61. 61
    ChasCPeterson

    if you could read my thoughts you’d probably put my head in a guillotine anyway

    dude, you’re no Bob Dylan.

    Old lady judges watch people in pairs
    Limited in sex, they dare
    To push fake morals, insult and stare
    While money doesn’t talk, it swears
    Obscenity, who really cares
    Propaganda, all is phony

    And if my thought-dreams could be seen
    They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
    But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

  62. 62
    Inaji

    Chas:

    And if my thought-dreams could be seen
    They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
    But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

    Tsk. So sad when the wit-challenged attempt to rip off other people’s work.

    By the way, Mirror – your constant talk of the Holiday Sentiment thread constitutes a derail. If you wish to discuss that, go to that thread. Stay on topic here, per the commenting rules.

  63. 63
    samihawkins

    I have a confession to make:

    I’ve been wearing a huge shiteating grin every time I read about Alec Baldwin’s homophobic slur. Why? Because it’s absolutely hilarious seeing the gay community have to go through the same bullshit the trans community has to put up with from Dan Savage.

    Lying through their teeth and claiming they had no idea the slur they used was a slur? Check.

    Claiming they’re such a huge ally that the people calling them out on their offensive slur are hurting their own cause? Check.

    Claiming they have ____ fans so it’s impossible for them to be bigoted against ____s? Check.

    So far as I can tell the only difference between the two situations is that Alec Baldwin is going to be shunned by the LGBT community until he makes a heartfelt apology while Dan Savage never had to apologize, is still idolized by the gay community, and will go on bashing us as whiners when we object to being called a ‘tranny’.

  64. 64
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    samihawkins @ #62: I think you’re overly hopeful, and forget that shitty “allies” will keep claiming they’re allies long after the group they claim to support has told them to GTFO.

    But really, Savage has been terrible to so many more communities, and nobody but those people ever mention it.

  65. 65
    feralboy12

    A person in anger might lose control and say something stupid, but they said something stupid because they lost control. They’ve stopped holding back the ugly thoughts they already had.

    Yeah. I’ve said this here before, but if you can’t act like a decent goddamn human being when you’re angry, you’re probably not a decent goddamn human being. It’s like having a military that’s well-trained and highly disciplined–until there is, you know, shooting and stuff. Useless.
    As for Geraldo, the vault is still empty. Always has been. Again, useless.

  66. 66
    Marc Abian

    I don’t know anything about Baldwin, but I don’t think there’s necessarily believes that calling someone a cocksucking faggot in the heat of a moment means one’s a homophobe (except in the sense that SGBM would say we’re all homophobes).

    We can decide to police certain words that we’ve learned, but in situations that are stressful we forget to police them. I was using cunt to mean “person who is not nice” for about 2-3 years before I even knew it meant vagina. Of course my default reaction to someone not nice is to think the word cunt, in the same way my default reaction to banging my knee is to think the word ouch. To a certain extent I can filter what I say, but I’m not always successful.

    #64 feralboy, who should post more.

    I’ve said this here before, but if you can’t act like a decent goddamn human being when you’re angry, you’re probably not a decent goddamn human being.

    No one acts like a decent human being all the time, and something that extenuates our slip ups is anger.

  67. 67
    Marc Abian

    I don’t know anything about Baldwin, but I don’t think there’s necessarily believes that calling someone a cocksucking faggot in the heat of a moment means one’s a homophobe (except in the sense that SGBM would say we’re all homophobes).

    We can decide to police certain words that we’ve learned, but in situations that are stressful we forget to police them. I was using cunt to mean “person who is not nice” for about 2-3 years before I even knew it meant vagina. Of course my default reaction to someone not nice is to think the word cunt, in the same way my default reaction to banging my knee is to think the word ouch. To a certain extent I can filter what I say, but I’m not always successful.

    #64 feralboy, who should post more.

    I’ve said this here before, but if you can’t act like a decent goddamn human being when you’re angry, you’re probably not a decent goddamn human being.

    I would say the exact opposite of this.
    No one acts like a decent human being all the time, and something that extenuates our slip ups is anger.

  68. 68
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    No, I’m not one of your MRMs or religious apologists to be rooted out

    Would you like a moist towelette?

    but if you could read my thoughts

    You mean “look at the pictures?”

    you’d probably put my head in a guillotine anyway

    Not that you’d miss it, but don’t flatter yourself, cupcake.

  69. 69
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    It’d be like using “penis-having enjoyer of heterosexual behavior!” as an insult.

    Which, granted, as you recently noted there’s precedent for…

  70. 70
    Argent Zendik

    Uh, when did this happen? Can you show me a quote? I ain’t seeing any sort of congratulations for our perfection/near perfection.

    Not really congratulations on perfection/near perfection, but:

    Two words. Two words, mind, that reveal his thinking at a deeper level. He didn’t yell out “asshole” or “fucker” or “fucking asshole” or anything else of that nature, which would at least be understandable. When your go to choice is “cocksucking faggot”, you’ve revealed some rather ugly attitudes you’re carrying around.

    Yeah. I’ve said this here before, but if you can’t act like a decent goddamn human being when you’re angry, you’re probably not a decent goddamn human being.

    This shit here shows a huge, basic fucking misunderstanding of human psychology. Like only a terrible, bigoted and hateful person could let the words “cocksucking faggot” slip as an insult, and that doing so shows that you must have some deep seated hatred of the gay.

    The words “cocksucking faggot” very literally apply to me. I have sucked cock. I am quite proud of it. It’s an act I enjoy. But I grew up in an environment where I knew of those words as insults before I was even aware of the existence of gay people or what the word “faggot” meant. From childhood I heard those words just used as commonplace insults with no deeper meaning, so if I am really angry and don’t catch myself, they will slip out, because part of my psyche associates those words with “generic insult” rather than “slur against people who are gay or suck cock”.

    Obviously I immediately correct myself in those situations, I will apologise immediately and take it right back, despite some gay people I know thinking that being gay or bisexual makes it okay to use those words. I don’t like using faggot as an insult. I detest it. But I still do it sometimes, because that shit is just in my head. I’m getting better at not doing it, but the fact I do do it does not mean I have deep issues of hatred regarding gay people, and implying that only a gay hating monster could accidently let that word slip in anger is both ignorant and portraying yourself as rather holier(unholier?)-than-thou.

  71. 71
    ck

    feralboy12 wrote:

    It’s like having a military that’s well-trained and highly disciplined–until there is, you know, shooting and stuff. Useless.

    I understand that this is actually a problem. Despite their comprehensive training, a person may still panic while under distress.

  72. 72
    Inaji

    Agent Zendik:

    implying that only a gay hating monster could accidently let that word slip in anger is both ignorant and portraying yourself as rather holier(unholier?)-than-thou.

    I do not other people, ever. Do not say that I do again. I spend a great deal of time explaining that no matter what a person or persons may have done (and we’re talking much worse than hurling bigoted words), they are not monsters. They are human beings, doing human things. Don’t go painting me with your biases.

    It’s good you’re trying to think and act as a better person, however, your slip ups don’t have jack shit to do with anything I said. I’m bisexual, and what I said upthread stands, for myself – it’s never once occurred to me to predicate an insult on anyone’s sexual orientation. The fact that you absorbed hateful, homophobic, bigoted insults before you fully comprehended their meaning only points to what happens to us all, we pick up what’s around us in our environment, we adopt what we see and hear. We all have to reach a point where we are conscious of such things and stop internalizing and using them. The fact that you internalized homophobic insults is no big deal, it’s like women internalizing sexism. The trick is to realize it, and stop doing it.

    In the case of Baldwin, yes, there’s serious ugly there. He wants it both ways, to claim to be a great friend and ally to all the gay people, then turn around and unleash incredibly toxic homophobic, bigoted remarks. That’s ugly. It’s also human.

    In the case of Rivera, no fucking excuses. He’s flat out defending bigoted homophobia.

  73. 73
    Jacob Schmidt

    …implying that only a gay hating monster could accidently let that word slip in anger is both ignorant and portraying yourself as rather holier(unholier?)-than-thou.

    What? There’s no implication; both quotes state outright that the use of bigoted slurs indicate some internalized bigotry. Reading anything more than that is just ridiculous. Of course not only gay hating monsters* use bigoted slurs. That’s kind of half the problem. Ostensibly well meaning and well intentioned people do it too.

    From childhood I heard those words just used as commonplace insults with no deeper meaning…

    Did you… did you really not catch on to the connection between hatred towards homosexuals and the use of their identity to demean and insult?

    *Caine makes a fair point here: many of us avoid dehumanizing, and are careful to emphasize that these actions are the actions of people.

  74. 74
    unclefrogy

    these two people in question Baldwin and Geraldo if I am not mistaken make their living by speaking in public, words are the tools of their livelihood. They are well trained and practiced in using words, they hang around other people who are similarly trained and have similar experience they are not long-haul truckers , farm laborers or lowbrow standup comics. They do not say things by accident or out of habit.
    all excuses are unadulterated bull shit
    ill intentioned misdirection
    all calculated to maintain their standing in the spot light $$$$
    uncle frogy

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