July 23, 2011

"[I]n addition to being violent and degenerate, pie-throwing simply isn't the incisively satirical act the pie-throwers seem to think it is."

"In fact, it's the opposite of what it's trying to be. People don't have trouble understanding why Marbles would want to do this because pie-throwing is too surreal or subversive for our comprehension; we have trouble seeing the point because pie-throwing is trite, formulaic, old-fashioned, humanizing toward the target, and ultimately meaningless."

Writes John Cohen (my son), building on T.A. Frank's New Republic piece "Is Pie-Throwing Ever Morally Justifiable?"

(I have avoided mentioning the Murdoch pie-throwing incident until now because I despise the usual portrayals of pie-throwing.)

89 comments:

rcocean said...

Pie throwing isn't satirical. Its physical intimidation. The message is "This time its a pie, the next time..."

ndspinelli said...

It's funny in baseball when they hit a rookie being interviewed.

paul a'barge said...

Pie throwing will finally be declared unacceptable ... the day a
Conservative shoves a pie into the face of a Liberal.

The Crack Emcee said...

Very true, Mr. Cohen, very true.

ndspinelli said...

unacceptable, paul a'barge, it will be felony assault.

Coketown said...

What are John's thoughts on "glittering"? I assume the same critique applies.

Fen said...

"we'll leave our baseballs on your lawn"

ie. See that baseball? We were in striking range of you and your family last night...

Pie throwing isn't satirical. Its physical intimidation. The message is "This time its a pie, the next time..."

Exactly. The message is: "we can get inside your personal space before security can intervene"

kcom said...

"Pie throwing will finally be declared unacceptable ... the day a Conservative shoves a pie into the face of a Liberal."

I was wondering if that's evvver happened. I can recall no such juvenile behavior except by leftoid losers.

Lem said...

I agree.

In my gut it always seemed plain wrong.. But I treated it as one of those thing that maybe I was not hip enough to understand.

Fen said...

But they do it with a "V for Vendetta" mask. And pretend that the smiling clown face is an Indulgence against the violence they are about to commit.

Gabriel Hanna said...

It takes a real man to throw a pie at a person in his eighties and then get beat up by his little Chinese wife.

James said...

I recall Ed Koch had two pie-throwers prosecuted when he was mayor of NYC.
They were convicted but I don't recall their sentence.

Ann Althouse said...

It's never actually pie either.

That bothers me.

Chuck66 said...

I think this is a way to get leftwing activist credentials. You do it to get the approval of your friends.

Like the kid I knew in 9th grade who would steal booze from stores to give to the popular kids. He wanted their approval and acceptance.

John Althouse Cohen said...

What are John's thoughts on "glittering"? I assume the same critique applies.

A friend of mine asked me this when I posted that blog post on Facebook. This was my response:

Frank's arguments about how pie-throwing is actually a serious assault don't apply as strongly to glitter. But his arguments about dignity and ironically putting your target in a sympathetic light might apply.

My argument that pie-throwing is cliche doesn't apply as strongly to glitter-throwing. But Frank's argument that pie-throwing is unfunny applies even more strongly to glitter-throwing. (I admit I had to laugh at the idea of pie-throwing while I was writing that blog post, but I've watched the glitter videos and just don't find them funny.)

There are so many *good* arguments to be made against homophobia; those who are galvanized to try to accomplish something for gay people should spend their time making those arguments, not wasting their time throwing glitter around. The glitter is not going to convince anyone or accomplish anything except (a) self-promotion for the glitter throwers and (b) cheap stories for journalists to write up.

In short, I have no admiration for the glitter-throwers, but I don't think it's as serious a problem as pie-throwing.


My friend replied:

Yeah, that sounds reasonable. The one argument I can see for glitter-throwing is that when it's done at something like a book signing, it shifts press coverage away from the event (so-and-so signed their new book) and toward their record (so-and-so is an on-the-record homophobe and shouldn't be taken seriously.) Still, it doesn't seem like the smart way to win the war, when there are so many more persuasive and effective arguments that can be made.

I responded:

When so many Democrats are still not in favor of same-sex marriage, I can't take seriously the idea that there's a clear line between the people we should and shouldn't take seriously on gay rights. I certainly don't take Obama seriously, for example. But I want to see people cogently criticizing his record on gay rights, not assaulting him.

The idea that you can just go around throwing stuff at the people you hate, and maybe everyone else will start hating that person too, is naive and literally childish.

The more it's considered acceptable to use these kinds of tactics, the more they'll be used against people all across the political spectrum, not just evil Republicans. I would rather see everyone being decent to each other and stating their views forcefully but straightforwardly, and hope the better ideas tend to prevail against the worse ideas.


(To be clear, my reference to "evil Republicans" should have been in scare quotes, since I was trying to capture the myopic thought processes of some Democrats. I don't consider Republicans evil.)

My friend wrote back:

Yep, that's pretty much "civilization," in a nutshell. Not working too well vis-a-vis the debt ceiling discussion, but oh well.

And I said:

Yeah, I don't want to be too idealistic about what open, civil discourse can accomplish, but I don't know of a better alternative system. "Let's all throw stuff at people we don't like" definitely isn't it.

Fen said...

Pie throwing will finally be declared unacceptable ... the day a politician dies from the ricin inside.

The perp will be a Leftie or a Jihadi, but he (we) will get the Jared Loughner treatment. Gov Christie will be blamed for provoking the attack with his "violent" rhetoric.

You should know the drill by now.

Eric said...

Real pies just kind of break up and fall to the ground. What they want is something that will stick to the target's face.

The big hero of this whole incident was Wendi Murdock.

kcom said...

"...and then get beat up by his little Chinese wife."

His little Chinese wife is a six foot tall former volleyball player. She apparently can hold her own (sort of like Sarah Barracuda). I wonder if Murdoch slapped her on the butt afterwards for a job well done? That's what volleyball players like, right?

ndspinelli said...

Didn't Soupy Sales use real pies?

edutcher said...

A society where everyone carries pies is a polite society.

Ann Althouse said...

It's never actually pie either.

That bothers me.


Whipped cream deteriorates under media lights.

That's why it bothers ironrailsironweights. It's what comes next that's ugly.

Lem said...

Let's all throw stuff at people we don't like" definitely isn't it.

A pie for a pie will leave a bad carbon footprint in the mouth.

Palladian said...

Interesting comments, JAC. Now, if we could only get you to stop using the incorrect and silly word "homophobia"...

I use "anti-gay" myself.

Paco Wové said...

"The idea that you can just go around throwing stuff at the people you hate, and maybe everyone else will start hating that person too, is naive and literally childish."

And yet it appears to be the very foundation of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Lem said...

You know I think Wendy.. What do the feministas make of Wendy?

On the one hand she's willing to stand by her man ala Tammy Wynette.. so derided by Hilary.

On the other hand she had no fear of a man and what that man might do. She lunged a mean right hook the way many feministas wish they had the courage.

ricpic said...

What if acid had been thrown at Murdoch? An incredible security breach on the part of the British government but of course no one will be reprimanded let alone fired. Wrong doing can only come from the dreaded private sector. And criminal incompetence too. The state? Pure as the driven snow and always always right because only the state, donchyaknow, has a heart.

Palladian said...

Pie-throwing is, like giant papier-mâché puppets, Guantanamo Bay skits acted out wearing orange jumpsuits, duct tape over mouths, "V for Vendetta" masks, chanting &c, a phenomenon of the left. For some reason, leftists are drawn to this sort of grade-school theatrical agitprop. I think it's related to childish thinking; in other words, when you can't argue against something in a rational and intelligent manner, and your opposition to other ideas is more cultural contrarianism than reasoned opposition, you tend to gravitate towards childish expressions. There's something very attractive about spectacle to the adolescent mindset.

MisterBuddwing said...

Pie-throwing (potentially) is like the person who commits a cruel verbal or practical joke on someone, and then says to the victim, "What's the matter? Don't you have a sense of humor?" It's classic case of trying to have it both ways - by acting like a bully and claiming it's no big deal at the same time.

Interesting that PETA, which went through a phase filled with pies, no longer seems to include pie-throwing in its "civil disobedience" repertory.

WV: hesse (no, I've never read him).

rhhardin said...

It always seemed okay to me. It intercepts dignity. You can't be a baby about the consequences though.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Now, if we could only get you to stop using the incorrect and silly word "homophobia"...

I use "anti-gay" myself.


And how is it that you have the authority to tell me how to use the English language?

ironrailsironweights said...

Whipped cream deteriorates under media lights.

That's why it bothers ironrailsironweights. It's what comes next that's ugly.


???

It doesn't bother me. In fact, I consider pie-throwing rather amusing, and don't like pie-ees who don't see the humor in the act. People who can't take jokes aren't nice people.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

The big hero of this whole incident was Wendi Murdock.

Why? She lunged at the attacker, tried to slap him (a bit short of a knockout blow, I'd say), and fell on her posterior. It's not like she body-slammed the attacker to the ground or anything.

Peter

Alex said...

The moral of the story is clear:

* liberals throw pies at conservatives
* conservatives gun down kids

right garage?

Carol said...

Don't these kinds of antics go back to the Yippies? Evidently, the left has had no new ideas since then/

As comedy, I always thought pie-throwing was the least funny thing the Stooges or Soupy Sales did. I was okay with everything else.

fafhrd said...

One day some leftist nutjob will toss a pie at a conservative figure, and it will result in the death of the conservative person. What happens if the person getting "pied" is violently allergic to whatever is in the pie and dies of anaphalytic shock? What about if the person getting "pied" stumbles over, and falls, and breaks their neck in the process?

Also, I'd like to point out that if I was to get "pied" it would ruin my glasses and hearing aids (yes, I'm moderately deaf). No one thinks about how horribly someone's personal space gets violated in these attacks. But they do, and that's why it's assault.

Palladian said...

"And how is it that you have the authority to tell me how to use the English language?"

Because I'm a faggot and you're not. And, as we all know, an oppressed minority has the absolute moral authority to tell other people how to speak about our issues.

Michael K said...

What if acid had been thrown at Murdoch? An incredible security breach on the part of the British government but of course no one will be reprimanded let alone fired.

Parliament has had previous experience with security breaches that weren't so funny.

Wasn't it Ann Coulter that had a pie thrown at her by some moonbat ? She ducked and it missed. Great reflexes.

AJ Lynch said...

I suspect Chris Christie would eat the pie after he beat the crap out of the pie thrower.

Palladian said...

Actually, I'm pointing out a major flaw in your writing. You're applying a pseudo-psychoanalytic term to people whose psychological motivations you probably don't know. Unless someone admits to a fear of gay people, I can't "diagnose" that as a root problem. It's a silly, inaccurate and presumptuous term that has been around far too long and for the sake of the English language and for meaningful political discourse I fight it every chance I get. So what gives me the "right" to criticize your use of language is the same thing that gives you the right to snap at me for doing it.

However annoying, it's dialogue and critique, and a lot better than pies and glitter.

Palladian said...

Glitter Pie is a good name for something.

edutcher said...

ironrailsironweights said...

Whipped cream deteriorates under media lights.

That's why it bothers ironrailsironweights. It's what comes next that's ugly.


???

It doesn't bother me. In fact, I consider pie-throwing rather amusing, and don't like pie-ees who don't see the humor in the act. People who can't take jokes aren't nice people.

Peter


You don't know what they substitute for whipped cream in those pies?

It's SHAVING CREAM!!!!!

Any malevolent individual in the room with a razor can then rob any number of women of their full flavor.

You, above all people, should know that!

WV "aerish" Hibernian pilots.

Gabriel Hanna said...

His little Chinese wife is a six foot tall former volleyball player.

But that doesn't make her as strong and beefy as her hsuband's assailant--but she had warrior spirit enough to make up the difference.

Trooper York said...

Jeeez.

Everybody is being mean to Palladian today.

It's too hot for this guys.

ironrailsironweights said...

You don't know what they substitute for whipped cream in those pies?
It's SHAVING CREAM!!!!!
Any malevolent individual in the room with a razor can then rob any number of women of their full flavor.


Oh, no! This is very disturbing.

Peter

Skippy said...

Had never heard of this thing called "glittering." I thought when I saw the first reference to it on this post that it was about making some sort of craft project. But glitter isn't so great to get covered with, either. Stays for a long time in hair or clothing and if it gets in one's eyes, ouch.

edutcher said...

Trooper York said...

Jeeez.

Everybody is being mean to Palladian today.

It's too hot for this guys.


I'll give him this - he's man enough to not want to hide behind some phony PC term.

Which begs a question - why won't most limousine Liberals just come out and say they're pro-abortion, homosexual rights (or homosexuality, as you prefer), illegal immigration - whatever issue you like?

DADvocate said...

Pie-throwing is only morally justified when the baker serves you a really bad pie and you toss it back at him.

Fen said...

Palladian: Now, if we could only get you to stop using the incorrect and silly word "homophobia"...

I use "anti-gay" myself.


Of course you do.

But the card you play is still named "homophobia"

Palladian said...

"But the card you play is still named "homophobia""

In other words, fake but accurate.

Thanks, Dan.

Carol_Herman said...

Incompetent cameramen in the room! Wendi Deng won the whole kit and caboodle. There's nothing left to discuss.

We have the media because somedody was willing to dumpster dive.

Without it, you get no scoops. And, no reasons to shout out: STOP THE PRESSES.

That Wendi Deng won it, however, could not have happened if the dorky coppers didn't let the pie thrower in the room, in the first place.

And, what the cameramen refused to catch? (Because they immedially drove their cameras into the crazy piece of artwork hanging on the wall ... Is that Wendi Dang GOT UP. She PICKED UP THE TIN. And, she chased the guy who threw it ... until she WOPPED HIM with what remained in the contents.

I don't know about you. But I think Rupert Murdoch, now 80, is thinking about "in whose hands should he leave his company?"

If Wendi Deng didn't prove to him what she has in her! Given that she produced two daughters for Murdoch ...

I'll spell it out for ya!

Dollars to donuts her daughters speak Chinese.

So does Jimmy Rogers two kids.

Do you want to know the school system that just died? Try the private sector in New York City! It's better to sell and move!

Speaking Chinese will be a real advantage! (Not Russian. That's so 100 years ago.) Not French. 200 years ago. Not german, either. Because you always had the choice to pick up Latin, instead.

Pie throwing?

Shmuck had his head landed on as if it were a volley ball! Given that Wendi Deng Murdoch is 43 ... I'd say learning volleyball early ... really helps with life's chores.

Carol_Herman said...

Pie throwing is so vaudeville!

It's also part of silent movies.

Then, along came Milton Berle. On TV. Circa 1955. And, we got the set piece back.

People laughed at home. And, there was no mess to clean up.

Don't know if this led to "smashed wedding cake" photos ... where the bride & groom took perfectly good cake ... and "entertained their guests." Or not. Perhaps just their photographers?

I'm also reminded that Ann Coulter (who may weigh 95 pounds) ... was invited to speak to a group of students. (She does this often, by the way.) But this time ... a pie thrower "approached." And, had the living daylights beaten out of him by other kids in the audience.

When a pie comes your way, duck.

Me thinks, because Wendi Deng Murdoch ran interference and won ... we've got the press with their underwear in knots.

Better to know you can actually study "defense." My son not only does Wing Chun. He's now teaching this at UCSD.

Oh, Pi is a number you can memorize. It has a function.

While "pie throwing" only works if you get close enough.

How'd that pie thrower get into a room that was supposed to be so secure?

Shouldn't we (after Oslo), began asking questions about security. Secure. And, not so?

viator said...

How about glittering?

traditionalguy said...

How about throwing overripe tomatoes and rotten eggs?

I guess the tomatoes and eggs are harder to get and carry around.

But the object is the same: to ridicule and reject the authority of the targeted speaker.

It is also an old college fraternity style assault on the rivals. But what are the adults using it for?

Don't pie me bros.

Patrick said...

You guys don't hang out with food handlers enough. A serious pie thrower would adulterate the pie filling also in some creative way. You want the assault to make a hidden secret impression that you can laugh about later. And it makes the arrest worth it's while.

MisterBuddwing said...

OK, forget pies for a moment. I recall an almost-funny incident on CBS years ago, a semi-formal debate on smoking between two men. One was a fervent anti-public-smoking advocate, the other man, considerably older, was very pro-smoking. They both sat on stools.

You could easily tell who was who, because the pro-smoker had a lit cigarette.

In the middle of this debate, the anti-smoker said something about how the smoker was breaking the law by smoking inside the TV studio, and he picked up a glass of drinking water that was on a stand between them, and he threw the water into the smoker's face.

The smoker did not take kindly too this, and started violently elbowing the anti-smoker.

(Aw, com'n! It was just a glassful of water. Can't you take a joke?)

WV: stsmag.

Peano said...

Is throwing a pie in the face of an unsuspecting victim ever a good idea?

Is Pie-Throwing Ever Morally Justifiable?


---

What stupid, dull-witted questions. Anything -- literally anything -- can be morally justified in some context or other.

I didn't read any further. When you start with stupid questions, there's not much hope of things improving.

Michael said...

One of the things i miss most about my early and misspent youth was the joy of hitting someone in the face with all my might. It is a very satisfying feeing when you catch them right, but it can have bad consequences if you dont. I would like to hit the pie guy really hard. Any pie guy.

Carol_Herman said...

Traditional Guy @ 5:39 PM

Vaudeville was once for men only. Hence, the gal on the swing ... who swung out over the audience.

It wasn't a place where women were supposed to go in. They still had to hide their smiles behind fans. And, they wore hats with feathers ... that could tickle anyone who got to close.

But OUTSIDE there were food vendors selling their rotten fruits and vegetables. Because "participation" was all part of the show!

When the ladies came along, the shows became somewhat more refined. But entertaining people from the stage was also a "family" affair. And, kids were worked into the various acts.

Now. About pie throwing. IF you know the pie thrower ... isn't it possible you could throw a left hook?

Wendi Deng Murdoch DIDN'T.

But she used her left hand on the perp's shoulder for leverage. And, all her weight went into her right handed slap.

I couldn't understand why her fingers were splayed open. Until it was pointed out she developed her technique as a volleyball player.

The pie thrower GOT ACCESS!

ACCESS IS KEY!

It's key to comedians, too.

It's like "Oslo" ... and being all about being a soft target.

I'm not so sure "soft targets" are going to abound down the road.

rhhardin said...

There's the Chinese art of pie fighting, Feng Shui.

Carol_Herman said...

Buster Keaton!

He's the actor who started out working in routines on stage where his dad tossed him about.

rhhardin said...

The Great Race pie fight scene is fairy famous.

Also the Blazing Saddles pie fight.

G Joubert said...

When you're bereft of ideas to throw at your ideological opponents, you throw things instead. Doesn't matter whether it's pies or glitter.

Palladian said...

Kubrick shot a gigantic pie-fight for the ending of Dr Strangelove, but didn't use it.

Fen said...

"But the card you play is still named "homophobia"

Palladian: In other words, fake but accurate. Thanks, Dan.

Not fake. And this gem was just the first hit of my search:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/12/dadt-dead-enders-latch-onto-shower.html

Palladian: Are you pussy men going to start pushing for separate neighborhoods for yourselves, where you don't have to live in fear that some faggot might be checking out your ass?

You want to explain how that is you not playing the homophobia card?

Cedarford said...

rcocean said...
Pie throwing isn't satirical. Its physical intimidation. The message is "This time its a pie, the next time..."

==================
RC Ocean is right. It is about sending a message. THIS time we proved we were able to lay a blow on you in public, with a harmless substance. Next time??


The Iranian religious authorities successfully wiped out women that defied the Islamic dress code in public back in the 80s. It was simple. They spattered women with a funny, funny, harmless glass of water and laughed. And once the laughter died down in the crowd came the sotto whisper: Defy the Ayatollah and next time it could be acid in the jar...

I suppose conservatives could get in the fun. Another great cemedic device is the toy pistol that fires a mini-toilet plunger.
Imagine the laughs you could get if you walked up to an Al Sharpton, Wasserman-Shultz and fired the pistol and everyone laughed at the harmless rubber suction cup stuck to their forehead!!!
Or one that fired nerf balls!

Oh, you mean THAT wouldn't be funny?

That you could not use any Stooges slapstick on a liberal?

Palladian said...

It's called mockery, Fen.

Now quit following me around, you annoying little poodle.

A. Shmendrik said...

I saw (then candidate, later Governor) Lee Sherman Dreyfus get pied in Vilas Hall on the UW Campus in summer 1978. He was there to take part in a candidate forum for the GOP primary which was held on WHA radio. As he came down the hall and turned a corner a man emerged from the stairwell and threw a lemon meringue pie at Dreyfus, but it fell short and smeared across his trademark red vest. Ever the quipster, Dreyfus said that his wife Joyce would say "better on him than in him".

I think I also remember Joe Sensenbrenner, then newly in office as Madison Mayor, getting pied at his inaugural party.

I'm a huge Three Stooges fan, and I guess that's why I'll always appreciate a pie in the face.

ndspinelli said...

It looks like Carol Herman is back on the pipe.

traditionalguy said...

@Carol_Herman...You're a trip like Dolly Levi.

Don't tell anyone, but I love your comments.

The straight line thinkers who comment here have no idea what they are missing.

Anyone who loves Mark Twain is a really good person.

We watched Fort Apache on TNT tonight, and Trooper York was the star of the John Ford western.

Carol_Herman said...

Murdoch was supposed to be a "soft target" in the Parliament's "questioning" room. Only for the fact that Wendi Deng Murdoch was caught RESPONDING to the pie thrower ... the action immediately went to the painting behind the "seated dignitaries."

But with the left, you've got to be fast!

The camera, however, didn't follow Wendi Deng Murdoch, as she got back to her feet ... and REACHED FOR THE PIE TIN! She then ran after the pie thrower ... Catching him in the face!

Later you'd see a "kind policeman blotting the pie thrower's face."

And, the whole campaign against Murdoch went down the toilet.

Never trust the left when it comes to their roles in "collecting the news."

Untrustworthy chaps.

Karl said...

Glitter Pie is a good name for something.

...But glitter isn't so great to get covered with, either. Stays for a long time in hair or clothing and if it gets in one's eyes, ouch.

That is why you gotta have an extra set of clothing when you go to a titty bar. Coming home with glitter & whatnot on your shirt is not smart.

Dave Chappelle has a hilarious bit about that.

Fen said...

Palladian: It's called mockery, Fen.

No, its called "playing the homophobia card".

And I've proved that you lied when you said you never use it.

Took me 3 mins to find just one example.

So I stand by my statement: Palladian becomes a hysterical little bitch whenever DADT comes up ...by tagging everyone who disagrees with him as "homophobic"

John Althouse Cohen said...

as we all know, an oppressed minority has the absolute moral authority to tell other people how to speak about our issues.

I know you're being sarcastic here, but I want to be clear that I'm consistently against the idea that members of supposedly oppressive (patriarchal, imperialistic, etc.) categories have to bite their tongue and defer to whatever members of the officially oppressed groups have to say. Everyone has a right to think about the issues, no matter what their sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, etc. Those who suggest otherwise are committing the ad hominem fallacy. But I think you agree with me on this.

Actually, I'm pointing out a major flaw in your writing. You're applying a pseudo-psychoanalytic term to people whose psychological motivations you probably don't know. Unless someone admits to a fear of gay people, I can't "diagnose" that as a root problem.

Why am I not allowed to think about other people's unspoken motivations? I don't need to accept what people say at face value. Call it "pseudo-psychoanalytic" or whatever you want, but that's not going to stop me from thinking about what's really in other people's heads, which is often not exactly the same as what people say in public.

Anyway, if ... uh ... they ... (it's hard to know what to call them other than "homophobes," though that of course would be begging the question) want to give a rational, non-fear-based explanation of their views, they can go right ahead. I'm all ears. But I haven't heard any such explanations.

Now, I know someone reading this is thinking: "Who are you kidding? You would never give them a fair hearing. You know what you think of them before even seeing what they really have to say."

But that isn't true. I've had patient conversations with people with anti-gay views, and I've read the usually intelligent National Review struggle to rationalize its opposition to same-sex marriage. There are many issues where I can admit that people who disagree with me have reasonable points, but there simply are no rational, sensible reasons for being against same-sex marriage. By now, the lack of any merit to the anti stance has been so well-established that the burden is now on them to show there's anything other than raw bigotry backing up their views.

It's a silly, inaccurate and presumptuous term that has been around far too long and for the sake of the English language and for meaningful political discourse I fight it every chance I get.

Adjectives like "silly," "inaccurate," and "presumptuous" don't really explain much.

So what gives me the "right" to criticize your use of language is the same thing that gives you the right to snap at me for doing it.

I don't understand this statement.

bagoh20 said...

I think describing pie throwing as "violent and degenerate" is really stretching English about as far as "homophobic" does. Words have so many ulterior motives today. Half the dictionary is a bunch of drama queens.

bagoh20 said...

The terms "anti-gay" and "homophobic are words designed to attack people, plain and simple. Would it be fair to call pro-choice people "anti-life" or socialists "anti-liberty"?

Gay politics, for and against, has little to do with gayness - it's about power and control. That's the prize pursued by proponents and the one protected by their opponents. It's the power to force others to accept and even endorse your choices by force of law.

Those on the gay side of the argument always assume the worse about their opponents, and I've rarely heard any understand that someone could disagree with them without being a bigot, but it is that point of view itself that is bigotry.

Carol_Herman said...

If a cigar can be just a cigar ... Why can't pie throwing just be pie throwing?

Most pie throwers would probably just mess up their own shoes.

I'm not so sure you can get a pie to take flight.

And, it has nothing to do with homosexuality, either. Plus, it was probably never used in any sort of proposal.

It would be a stretch to say pie throwing has any sexual connotation to it whatsoever. Or it would be i XXX rated movies. And, not silent comedies.

Besides. If you saw a pie coming at you, wouldn't you duck?

bagoh20 said...

Giving someone a pie can be a very nice gesture of friendship. It's all about the quality of the service and the product. Shaving cream filling, and no plates or silverware? No wonder the gift was misinterpreted.

Carol_Herman said...

If it's shaving cream, does the suit it lands on have to go to the cleaners? Or does this crap just evaporate?

And, Bagoh 20 @ 11:40 PM ... got it right. "Giving a pie" really is a nice gesture.

Here, when the pie got "delivered" ... it looked like it was sliding out of the tin?

You know, at no time did the guy pull back his arm to really toss that container. He looked like such a schmuck.

But it's the Bobbies who came off the worst.

And, Murdoch? He walked out knowing the whole "hacking" issue was dead.

Some "soft targets" aren't as soft as they appear.

Palladian said...

"Why am I not allowed to think about other people's unspoken motivations? I don't need to accept what people say at face value. Call it "pseudo-psychoanalytic" or whatever you want, but that's not going to stop me from thinking about what's really in other people's heads, which is often not exactly the same as what people say in public."

Because using the term "homophobia" not only speculates about other people's motivations, it implies a psychopathological fear. The problem with this is that it's usually an unfounded and incorrect assumption to make. "Phobia" has a very specific meaning as it is used in English: it connotes fear, and because of the association of "-phobia" with psychopathology it implies that the subject's anti-gay beliefs have psychological roots that are outside of that person's control. To me, this suggests that such a person doesn't have to account for their statements and actions, being that they are motivated by irrational feelings rather than rational choices. The term "racist", while overused, suggests a conscious bigotry, and doesn't imply anything beyond "that person is a race-based bigot"; using the word "homophobia" for people who dislike gays or disagree with some aspect of a perceived "gay agenda" needlessly complicates what should be a simple statement. Why muddle the issue by implying someone fears gays? Why not use a simpler, more concrete term like "anti-gay"?

"it's hard to know what to call them other than "homophobes," though that of course would be begging the question"

I already suggested anti-gay several times.

"But I haven't heard any such explanations."

But you also haven't heard anything to suggest fear over opposition, dislike or hatred. My simple point is, if someone says "the fags are going to destroy the US Military", why should I call that "homophobia" (a statement of fear) rather than anti-gay (a statement of dislike, disagreement or hate)

Response Continued Below...

Palladian said...

Now, I know someone reading this is thinking: "Who are you kidding? You would never give them a fair hearing. You know what you think of them before even seeing what they really have to say." But that isn't true..." ".... but there simply are no rational, sensible reasons for being against same-sex marriage."

This is why I love liberals. Sure! I'd love to hear what you have to say! Of course, no rational, sensible person would ever hold any viewpoint other than mine, but go on! I'm all ears!

"By now, the lack of any merit to the anti stance has been so well-established that the burden is now on them to show there's anything other than raw bigotry backing up their views."

This is another ridiculous statement. I'm anti-gay-civil marriage, because I don't believe the secular State should be in the business of sanctioning and licensing personal romantic relationships of any kind. I think it ludicrous to fight for a "right" that is not the State's to grant or deny in the first place. So I've given you a rational argument against same-sex civil marriage that doesn't rely on "bigotry". Now, tell me again that the issue is "settled".

But aside from the silliness of your statement, I notice that you made your point without implying that "fear", a very specific emotion, was the problem. "Bigotry" is much more meaningful in this sense than "fear".

"Adjectives like "silly," "inaccurate," and "presumptuous" don't really explain much."

Neither does implying "fear" without a reason.

""So what gives me the "right" to criticize your use of language is the same thing that gives you the right to snap at me for doing it." ... I don't understand this statement."

It was an answer to your question about why I had the authority to critique your use of a word. I have the authority to do that for the same reason you have the authority to critique my critique: the wonderful back-and-forth of free speech here at the Althouse blog.

Palladian said...

"It's the power to force others to accept and even endorse your choices by force of law."

You mean like you, as a straight person, do?

Scott M said...

"Mr. Cohen isn't your father."

"I never thought he was..."

"Now none of your cheek!"

bagoh20 said...

"You mean like you, as a straight person, do?"

Of course, but straight sex is much more than just a choice. Without it there is no us to argue. Approval and support of straight sex is required for the survival of the species. I know that's not all that important when compared to the existential need of having gays feel accepted, but is it really asking all that much to accept and support that which makes everything else possible?

Just admit it. You support gay rights because you just want it - not because the relationship or act is equivalent to that of straights. I mean we survived without it for a million years. I'm all for gay rights, but that doesn't require me to be silly to make the case. I'm not homophobic, but I'm also not veritaphobic.

Palladian said...

"Just admit it. You support gay rights because you just want it - not because the relationship or act is equivalent to that of straights."

I have no idea what you're babbling about. I don't admit to other people's fantasy ideas about my beliefs.

plainjane said...

Shall we throw shoes then?

bagoh20 said...

"I have no idea what you're babbling about. I don't admit to other people's fantasy ideas about my beliefs."

That's my point. Gays mostly don't care to understand the other side's argument, they just want their cookie, period.

Fen said...

and the moral satisfaction they get calling them "homophobes".

Because they're already a little short on that.

Tom said...

I'm not homophobic (I've rather liked all of the gay men I've known over the years) nor am I anti-gay, but I think Palladian's argument is by far the stronger one.

Any time someone says "on this subject, there is no room for argument", it reminds me of the "science is settled" approach to global warming. If you tell me, or countless others I imagine, that we simply cannot take a position, then we will frequently take it just to spite you. That doesn't make the position right, but you have perversely strengthened the very position you seek to eliminate by virtue of having forbidden it.

You've fallen into the cause-and-effect fallacy. Because you have been told of or have witnessed persons whom you believe to have an irrational fear of homosexuals and are opposed to gay marriage, you insist that all opposed to gay marriage must therefore have an irrational fear of homosexuals (homophobia). By doing so, you preclude the possibility of any rationale for opposition to gay marriage.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

I thought Murdock hired the pie thrower so the Wendy bird could rescue Peter Pan from the clutches of Captain Hook.