November 23, 2006


The hate factory: N-word outburst adds to the denigration that passes as entertainment (Stanley Crouch, 11/22/06, NY Daily News)

This was another moment to question what the ongoing vulgarization of our popular culture has actually come to mean. Two groups - women and black people - are disdainfully addressed and demeaned constantly. Only one has made any protest against being the constant butt of overstated vulgarity. White women have stood up against the misogyny in popular entertainment, but black people have not had much to say about the denigration.

Rap producers and others in the business of selling anything that gives a little spice to the minstrel content of our popular culture have been known to claim that the N-word has become a common means of expression and has taken on a universal understanding through rap. We can now be treated to young people of all ethnic groups referring to each other when using the word.

Does that prove anything? I think not. When Richard Pryor first made liberal use of the N-word, he could not have imagined what emerged in the wake of his performances. But when Pryor himself took a position against minstrel updates, no one listened to him. He had passed out the right of irresponsibility and could not take it back.

Mr. Crouch forgets the most successful group at not allowing themselves to be made the butt of elite hatreds: Muslims.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2006 6:38 PM

...women and black people - are disdainfully addressed and demeaned constantly.

What popular culture is he talking about? Because I don't see that at all.

Posted by: Brandon at November 23, 2006 10:22 PM

Tell it to the Sunnis in Iran.

Tell it to the Shi'ites in eastern Saudi Arabia.


Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 24, 2006 3:23 AM

The Sunni are the butt of the hartred of the downtrodden. The Shi'a day is coming in S.A..

Posted by: oj at November 24, 2006 9:03 AM

Any group that won't let themselves be made fun of is bordering on mass mental illness, and defending Muslims' obscene and violent reactions to criticism is unseemly.

In all things there must be a balance. The west is currently dying from a virulent form of self criticism that is becoming self-destructive, and the Muslims are incapable of not only criticism from the outside, but internal debate as well.

This makes for a dangerous world.

BTW OJ, what do you make of Bush's kowtowing and sucking up to the Sunnis in this post-election debacle. (see front page of WSJ)

Caving to Korea (WSJ editorial page), licking Sunni hands...

all part of more Rovian genius, or merely the aftermath of big talk with out the requisite will to even persuade a nation on Admin Policy?

Post 1986, Reagan came back and won a few issues. I think you can stick a fork in Bush. He's done.

Posted by: Bruno at November 24, 2006 10:37 AM

Making fun of yourselves is healthy, allowing others to is pathological.

Americans still think the Shi'a are the problem. We learn slow.

Posted by: oj at November 24, 2006 11:18 AM

". . .[B]lack people have not had much to say about the denigration." The etymology is poignant.

Brandon: I think that the "popular 'culture'" referred to is the so-called "rap" "culture."

Inasmuch as many persons of African and mixed-African descent have seen fit to define themselves as emotional cripples who cannot tolerate an adverse reference, wounding them by careless speech is unseemly, as beating up a physical cripple would be unseemly.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 24, 2006 12:38 PM