richardf8: (Default)
Sounds like Imus may have lost his show if I heard the news right this morning.

That's fine, he'll find another venue.

I cannot help but note that its another in a series of similar scandals, whether of racism, anti-semitism, or misogyny.

These things aren't happening because Howard Stern, Don Imus, or Mel Gibson, or whomever are bad people. These things are happening because there is a zeitgeist that eats it up, because there is an audience that is receptive to, and even validated by it.

And when Don Imus finds a new venue it will be because of this infamy, not in spite of it, and the market it appeals to will be even more receptive to a diet of hate. So much so that Imus may find himself in the position of having to ratchet up the volume in order to retain them.

Is this a desirable outcome?

And more pressing: what is this zeitgeist that these speech acts validate it and do we REALLY think we can staunch it by suppression? Sure we can put a finger in the dam where Imus is, but that only increases the flow elsewhere, and I'm not sure who's going to put a finger in Ann Coulter.

When we hear speech we do not like, we are to apt, I think to react with outrage and punish, punish, punish. That makes martyrs, and feeds the perception of oppression held by those who regard their prejudices and perceptions as normative.

I would keep Imus on the air. But I would shuffle McGuirk off elsewhere, and pair Imus with, say, Jeannene Garofalo, a liberal humorist who will only be too happy to call him on his shit in a way that makes him look like a jerk.

Come on - this is Defense Against the Dark Arts 101, guys. The way to vanquish a boggart is to make it look ridiculous.
richardf8: (Default)
is that Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny do not have to tool around the British country side in a Chartreuse Dodge Van with flowers painted on it and Lupin begging for Lupie Snacks before every encounter with Voldy-Thingy.
richardf8: (Default)
Spent some more time reflecting on the book. I think that it is a truly wonderful thing that we have J.K. Rowling in the world right now, and that she is doing what she is doing. Reading the Half Blood Prince has made me feel a little bit of what it must have been like for people reading The Chronicles of Narnia during and after WWII.

A spoilery analysis that eschews discussion of the Big Thing, mostly )

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