April 11, 2007

The No-Man's Land of the White Comedian

There are two general orthogonal rules about who is allowed to speak about race in contemporary American polite society: blacks and comedians have vastly more freedom to tell it the way it is than whites and serious thinkers. So, there's a grid of acceptability in who is supposed to discuss race, with the most favored corner being black comedians such as Dave Chappelle, who gets a $50 million contract to make fun of blacks and whites. In contrast, a serious, judicious, data-driven thinker like Charles Murray is in the opposite corner. He becomes persona non grata and is subject to horrific slanders.

The ambiguous corners belong to the serious black thinkers such as Thomas Sowell and the white comedians such as this Don Imus radio fellow who is being condemned by Al Sharpton, arbiter of all that is right and holy.

You'll notice that The Simpsons are totally terrified of anything having to say about blacks. The show has a completely stereotypical Asian Indian, Apu, but no continuing characters who act recognizably black. The upper-middle class Dr. Hibbert is a parody of Bill Cosby's Dr. Huxtable character, not of a real black. Meanwhile, the show's creators telegraph to viewers that they are avoiding joking about blacks by creating two black characters who behave indistinguishably from their white partners. There are Homer's co-workers Lenny and Carl; and there are the cops Lou and Eddie. After 15 years of watching, I still have no idea whether it's Lenny who is black, or if it's Carl. The same goes for Lou and Eddie. If there was just one ambiguous duo like this, it might be an accident, but having two pairs indicates the writers are making a joke about their pusillanimity in the face of race.

Imus doesn't show this caution, so, either now or later, he will likely go the way of most such white males as they age and get crotchetier and lose their self-control. Eventually, he'll say something and the Great and Good will turn on him. I was happy that the magnificent Chicago columnist Mike Royko had the good fortune to drop dead of a heart attack at around 65, while still on top. He was a curmudgeon and a drinker, so his eventual humiliation over saying something politically incorrect was inevitable if he had lived long enough.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about power. The same as, that it's more socially acceptable for an underling to poke fun at the boss than the other way around. It strikes too much of a nerve when the 'truth telling' goes in the same direction as power.

Alex said...

Once, Homer was trying his hand at stand-up comedy and, as a parody of both a famous stand-up topic and the fact that the Carl/Lenny duo are interchangeable and bloodless, he goes: “You ever notice how white guys have name like ’Lenny’ and black guys have names like ‘Carl’?”

Glaivester said...

I had an idea for a comic or TV show that's been in my mind in various forms since 1993 (when I was in 8th grade) and it recently occurred to me how interesting it would be to have some ridiculous stereotype that had no basis in reality occur in the show (e.g. black people all love playing "Risk") or to have some character try to convince everyone of a stereotype he just made up (he wants to show how "silly" stereotypes are). The point would be to contrast these fake stereotypes to real ones to indicate that maybe most stereotypes do have some basis.

Anonymous said...

Howard Stern has been able to joke about race as freely as Dave Chapelle for years. Howard talked often about growing up in a black town that his liberal Jewish parents subjected him to out of misguided egalitarian notions. He's mocked Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, used the word "nigger" on the radio, had a KKK member as a frequent guest, etc. Also, the silly bit where Jay Leno goes on the street in Burbank to show how stupid the average white person is about current events is a rip-off of a Howard Stern bit where his sidewalk reporter did the same thing with blacks in Harlem.

It helps that Howard has a best friend and sidekick who's a black woman, but the real reason he has been able to get away with speaking candidly about race is that there is obviously no undertone of hate in his humor. Hate for hate's sake is never tolerated. That's why plenty of blacks, while they might object to things he says, are willing to go on his show and engage with him. Al Sharpton's been on Howard's show. He would never think to pull the shit he's doing with Imus on Howard.

The reason Howard is able to mock the stupidity/ignorance of average blacks, etc. and Steve Sailer, Richard Herrnstein, and Charles Murray aren't, is because there is no undertone of animosity in Howard's humor; there is at least a perception of one in Sailer's and Murray's scholarship.

Dave said...

A neighbor of mine became a writer and later a producer on The Simpsons (he later moved to Futurama). An idea of his background: undergrad degree from Harvard, where he majored in computer science and wrote for the Lampoon. Then a masters from Cal Tech in artificial intelligence or something. Then he figured he'd give writing try for six months before he got a real job. That's when he got a 13-episode contract with The Simpsons, and he's been a professional TV writer/producer ever since.

TV writing is probably the one field where a Harvard degree has the biggest impact. The Lampoon network is huge in TV.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Steve is unfamiliar with Sarah Silverman, who trades in black stereotype humor all the time.

Steve Sailer said...

My old neighborh, who wrote for the meat-and-potatoes sitcom Married With Children, always complained about the Harvard Mafia that had come to town with the Simpsons and was taking over.

fwood1 said...

Perhaps Howard Stern can get away with his racial comments because people know that he, unlike Imus and others, won't apologize.

I have to wonder why Imus is so apologetic. He's been on radio forever; he must have a fortune stashed away, so if he's fired, so what? I guess he just couldn't take not being a broadcast personality.

Paul K. said...

The Howard Stern case is worthy of analysis because he really does get away with a lot. I think Robin buys him a lot of protection. Howard also has this pose of being a not-too-bright guy who expresses every thought that pops into his head. Also, he doesn't seem to be passionate about race the way he is about female hygiene or proper etiquette at poker games. I think that's intentional on his part and helps him get away with speaking the unspeakable. I remember one show where he was toying with the question, "If you had a button you could press that would make all black people disappear, would you press it?"

Anonymous said...

It's always good to look at who's talking, not just what's being said. (I know, I know... this violates the so-called "rules of rational discourse" that have taken our society so, so far...)

Howard Stern is a big, goofy hippy guy. Oh, yes, and he is Jewish. Hard to imagine him organizing some kind of ethnic cleansing. Not so hard to imagine him smoking a bong with the same Harlem blacks he was goofing on.

I don't know anything about Don Imus, but he looks like he would be pretty comfortable in a military uniform. His face has that hard and stern quality, like he could really be serious about his "off-the-cuff" comment.

A German professor once said that the French and Italians can play with ideas at length, including taboo ideas. It's all light and fluffy, in a spirit of baroque sophistry. And all this easy talk evaporates like smoke. When Germans ponder a concept, they become much more hardened and serious about its logical conclusions. The professor said that is why his people must be careful what they discuss in a way not necessary for the French philosophers.

Anonymous said...

Or you could say:Charles Muray made calibrator,hostile to Euro-American communities(remeber the letter he wrote to Derbyshire expressing his preference to living in Asian communities that exist in OUR AMERICA) with a very nasty political agenda.

No interesting conceptual or theoretical structure behind bell curve research. The research is completly driven by a very nasty political agenda.

Imus shouldn't have called these young black woman whores.

But Sharpton, he is a fucking nigger.

Jupiter

Anonymous said...

Alright, I meant women

Maybe the decrepit lookng Imus meant to call Reverend Coon a nappy haired whore. It would be an accurate description.

Jupiter

green mamba said...

This was a great thread up until the last two comments. Suggestion: delete.

Sudif said...

Jupiter:

"No interesting conceptual or theoretical structure behind bell curve research. The research is completly driven by a very nasty political agenda."

What? Does trying to find out things about people and society have to be driven by a political agenda - and a "nasty" one at that?

Irfan said...

Jupiter's in a tough spot. On the one hand, he hates lower-average-IQ minority groups like blacks and Hispanics. On the other hand, his IQ isn't much higher than theirs, so any move from preferences to more meritocracy won't help him.

It's a lonely spot, where, to paraphrase a line from an Auden poem, he can hope for no help and no help will come.

Jupiter might be better off learning to like the black and brown man and joining Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition.

Anonymous said...

Sudif

Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge sake is not a morally legitmate principle. This should be obvious.

Murray's political agenda-whether he wants to admit it or not- is to strip away moral barriers to brutal wage slavery and chattel slavery.
Black sociologist William Julius William trapped Murray on this point one Sunday morning on national TV when the Bell Curve came put.

Delete the Jewish Supremacist Green Mamba.

A lot more harm is caused by imported non-white scab labor into American labor markets than the use of the word nigger. That's a fact.

Denounce Bill Clinton for telling college students in Califorina that the he thought it was wonderfull that NATIVE BORN WHITE CHRISTIANS are being racially replaced by non-white legal immigants and their descendants.

This was a racial slur against WHITE AMERICANS. Blacks are the core of the Clinton political dynasty. The racist comments of Bill Clinton at this graduation ceremony didn't bother black folks in the least.

Jupiter

Svigor said...

had a KKK member as a frequent guest

Uhm, having cautionary-tale white racists on one's show goes in the PC plus column.

Anonymous said...

Irfan

Is that the best your parakete size brain can come up with?

Jupiter

Anonymous said...

Svigor:

"Uhm, having cautionary-tale white racists on one's show goes in the PC plus column."

Uhm, have you ever even listened to Howard Stern's show (or better yet, seen his old WWOR TV show)? If you had, you'd realize how far Stern is from anything PC. There's also nothing "cautionary" about Daniel Carver, the KKK guy Howard has on. He's as much of an idiot as the black bums Howard's sidewalk reporters stump.

Take a break from National Vanguard and do a little research on this. You might even laugh once or twice. Then you can go back to your ham radio or whatever else it is you do for fun.

Lester Westman said...

The reason Howard is able to mock the stupidity/ignorance of average blacks, etc. and Steve Sailer, Richard Herrnstein, and Charles Murray aren't, is because there is no undertone of animosity in Howard's humor; there is at least a perception of one in Sailer's and Murray's scholarship.

Unless you can point to instances where Stern explicitly claims that blacks have lower average IQs than whites, it's comparing apples and oranges.

Svigor said...

Uhm, have you ever even listened to Howard Stern's show (or better yet, seen his old WWOR TV show)? If you had, you'd realize how far Stern is from anything PC. There's also nothing "cautionary" about Daniel Carver, the KKK guy Howard has on. He's as much of an idiot as the black bums Howard's sidewalk reporters stump.

Oh, how to properly document the irony of this statement?

1) I didn't say Stern is PC.
2) You don't seem to understand the definition of term "cautionary tale."
3) You make my point with your comment about Carver's idiocy.
4) Your post is itself a cautionary tale.

Anonymous said...

Svigor,

"1) I didn't say Stern is PC."

No, but you certainly implied it, by saying that when he put a KKK-guy on the air it went in the "PC column". PC people do PC things, no?

"2) You don't seem to understand the definition of term "cautionary tale.""

You haven't demonstrated that you understand it.

"3) You make my point with your comment about Carver's idiocy."

I couldn't have "made your point", because you didn't have a well-thought-out point to begin with.

"4) Your post is itself a cautionary tale."

Another half-assed attempt at sophistry. Do your homework on Stern next time before you opine. Maybe there's a Kevin MacDonald essay on him you can crib from.

Anonymous said...

Imus called the basketball players "nappy-headed hos".

To be far to Imus, who I never found all that entertaining, the gals WERE all tattooed up, the did have "tough-girl" hairstyles, and a few had a "messy frizz"-thing going on up there. They did present themselves in a "tough looking" way.

Imus was being presemptuous by calling them "hos" because for all he knows they might be a chaste bunch of gals.

But lets be fair.............how many women with tats all over themselves and wear their hair in cornrows with oversized shorts recieved good grades in Sunday School?

What did they look like to you?

They looked like "rough trade" to me, even though they obviously are not.

Its kind of a shame in order to get street cred one has to "thug up" in apparell.



Ive noted for years that when I wear a sleeveless shirt (Im built, and have been for 20+ years) that young smart-asses at the shopping mall treat me entirely differenlty than they do if I have to go over there to pick up something and still have a tie and jacket on. Totally different. Muscles instill fear apparently, and for some perverse reason these same punks will actually be somewhat respectful if they feel that.

Bud said...

Stern gets away with what he says because, as a Jew, he also has victim status.
The only way white males can compete in this game is to 'come out' as gay.

jody said...

it is sort of true that white comedians cannot bash blacks or mexicans or jews too much. they can, but they have to show it was in jest, or that they did not really mean it, or that they were actually teaching a lesson about stereotypes or hate. the way parker writes for south park or macfarlane writes for family guy shows this fairly obviously.

only jewish comedians are free to bash jews without getting to a "just kidding/we're actually teaching a lesson" moment at the end of the skit or joke. there are many jewish comedians who exploit jewish stereotypes openly and freely.

this limits white comedians and forces them to continuously find new and relatively unexplored material and topics. most black comedians on the other hand rely heavily on more easily produced racial humor.

i have noticed that east asians and muslims are still pretty open targets though, nobody has to be careful about insulting them in general.

stern is greatly protected by quivers. jewish comedians cannot insult blacks freely. quivers provides all the armor for stern so that he can clown blacks openly and freely while middle class robin quivers jokes along and makes it appear everybody is simply having a laugh at the expense of low class blacks.

Svigor said...

No, but you certainly implied it, by saying that when he put a KKK-guy on the air it went in the "PC column".

Someone stated that Stern is able to get away with un-PC behavior like putting a Klanner on his show. I simply stated that said behavior is PC, not un-PC, which is pretty obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

Calling the inclusion of Carver on Stern's show un-PC is like calling the inclusion of a toothless/drunkard/pedophile/wifebeating redneck as a villain in a movie un-PC; it's downright stupid.

PC people do PC things, no?

If that's your way of stating that one PC behavior makes a person PC overall, then no.

You haven't demonstrated that you understand it.

I haven't demonstrated that I understand the sky is blue, either. My posts are consistent with the idea that I understand the concept of the cautionary tale. Carver is repellant. Thus, like 99.9999% of all racially-aware whites presented in the media, especially fictional ones, Carver represents a cautionary tale (Racism is bad; catch it and you'll end up a subhuman like all teevee racists).

I couldn't have "made your point", because you didn't have a well-thought-out point to begin with.

The only poorly-thought-out action I've taken here is belaboring the obvious for you.

Another half-assed attempt at sophistry. Do your homework on Stern next time before you opine. Maybe there's a Kevin MacDonald essay on him you can crib from.

Where's my previous "half-assed attempt at sophistry"?

No sophistry; I simply pointed out that your behavior (yakking without a clue) can be construed as a cautionary tale (yak without a clue, and you might be shown up as clueless).

Anonymous said...

If you want to see Steve Sailer venture into no-man's land (in the World War I, between the trenches sense), check out his flame war on Matthew Yglesias's blog.

Sailer on Yglesias's website is like a black Jewish illegal alien from Mexico on this site. Sailer was fighting the hordes off like the Spartans at Thermopylae.

pablo H said...

The reason Stern doesn't have to apologise is his 3 plastic surgeries. After his latest neck tuck (or was it a breast reduction) it gave him a lot of confidence.

In any case, Stern is liberal and has a black women to provide "cover". Imus, OTOH, surrounds himself with white boys and does his redneck/crouchy ol' DJ Schtick.

Imus also, spends his program talking to serious political figures, while Stern is targeting 15 year old boys.

Anonymous said...

"Imus also, spends his program talking to serious political figures, while Stern is targeting 15 year old boys."

Stern talks to political figures too. His support was arguably the deciding factor in Governor Pataki's first election victory in New York. Probably the same with Christie Todd Whitman in NJ.

BTW, Imus and Stern were on the same station when Stern first came to New York: WABC radio. This was before Imus had any political pretensions and just did unfunny, puerile attempts at humor. He immediately started ripping off Howard once Howard got to the station, and Howard called him on it. Howard has long since left him in the dust though, and is now the highest-paid entertainer in America, making $100 million+ per year.

Carter said...

The GEICO cavemen are a parody of the aggrieved minority who is constantly outraged by supposed racism he detects everywhere.

none of the above said...

I am convinced that a lot of this has to do with how much news there is on the day when the allegedly offensive remark is made. Imus should have waited to be an idiot till the same day as the latest Bradgelina news tidbit came out--then nobody would have noticed.

Murray, Jensen, et. al., get a much angrier response because they're serious people with serious research behind them. At the end of the day, who cares if Imus is an idiot? Or that Seinfeld comic, or Mel Gibson, or whichever person is the next nine days' wonder of racial incorrectness? Nobody thinks this is deep thought that requires rethinking policy.

If black-white IQ differences are real, intractible, and represent a real difference in cognitive abilities, this has huge policy implications. It's not a loudmouth spouting off, it's not a drunk whining that the Jews are at fault for his impending DUI ticket, it's someone claiming that all kinds of current policies and ideas are doomed to failure.

They're completely different cases.

none of the above said...

If Murray's goal is a high-IQ elite turning the low-IQ drones into slaves, he's got a pretty odd way of accomplishing his goals. He's not writing "smart people of the world, unite, you have nothing to lose but your housekeepers, and you can import new ones from El Salvador." He's been warning about ongoing and impending class conflict by IQ/professional occupation, but he doesn't seem to be trying to bring it on. Instead, he appears to be trying to prevent it.

tommy said...

Imus just got canned from MSNBC. Race racketeers, Sharpton and Jackson, I'm sorry to say, still operate with impunity and still continue to garner uncritical media attention.

Svigor said...

The GEICO cavemen are a parody of the aggrieved minority who is constantly outraged by supposed racism he detects everywhere.

I love those, and give due respect to Geico for them; leaving a nail sticking up is above and beyond the call of duty.

tommy said...

I think the following excerpt of a comment from "David" on the Imus thread at Yglesias' blog pretty much sums up the deluded attitude of white liberals on all things racial. After defending Al Sharpton (and Ted Kennedy), David proceeds to the Duke case:

The fact that Duke lacrosse players as of now won't be charged with a crime doesn't mean they didn't do anything bad. Even assuming no rape took place, as the legal system says we must, their behavior, subsequent e-mails, etc., suggests (but does not conclusively prove) some insensitivity to issues of race, gender, and class. (Go UNC!)

Got that? First, even if we allow ourselves to "assume" that no rape really took place (a dubious assumption indeed!), we still need to focus on the big issue. The big issue isn't how these lacrosse players were charged with crimes by a prosecutor who had no evidence, except to the contrary, and who should have known better; it isn't about the completely incredible accuser or her motives; it isn't about the liberal hysteria that ensued in the wake of the charges; no, the issue that should concern us all, according to David, is any possible residual "insensitivity" the falsely accused might have exhibited.

John Thornton said...

Steve, YouTube for Bernard Manning.

Bernard claims that he came in second in a Robert Redford lookalike contest. It was won by a nigger...

Anonymous said...

Most serious scholars are not behind Murray.

Like I've daid many times on this web site, the scientific depth of Bell Curve type research is 0.

The interests that some people have in this research are the presumed policy implications.



The case against non-white immigration does not require Bell curve type arguments. Murray is fundamentally a economic reactionary.He is looking for a scientific justification for gross economic inequality.

Gross economic inequality is a moral and political issue.

Jupiter

jody said...

so this guy is fired, but trey parker writes an episode of southpark where blacks are called niggers on national television and nothing happens to him.

i'm scratching my head here.

the hilarious video in question for those who haven't seen it:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2ejedL3LII8

tommy said...

Howard Stern had the right idea about what Imus (whom Stern hates) should have acted. Stern said that Imus should have just kept insisting that it was a joke and simply told Sharpton and company to fuck off if they couldn't see that. The minute Imus treated the matter as something more serious than a joke, I knew he was doomed. Apologizing to Sharpton is not only useless, it is a way of ensuring your downfall. Treating a joke as a serious matter only makes things worse.

James Kabala said...

There is one more black recurring Simpsons character, Tyson-like boxer Drederick Tatum. He doesn't appear very often and is pretty much a one-note character, however.

joshrandall said...

Jesse jackson is scum. He stuck his nose into the Duke mess,got a whiff,and dropped a fat check on the nappy ho stripper--and got out fast. This bastard could have solved this crisis:he could have talked to this dingy ho and gotten the truth,he could have stood up to the negro mob and counselled them against their racist mob savagery;he could have provided comfort to the terrified victims and their families. he did none of these,cuz he aint got the morals or the balls.Who is he to attack Imus for one humorous,harmless joke?? Sharpton,same thing.A pig. Negroes and Jews have a very similar startegy,its like their an anti-white tag team.Vicious,hysterical attacks on any type of free speech they dont like.How I wish Imus had stood up to them!! Oh brother!

joshrandall said...

Uh...me again.:) Did you see the pic of Rutgers player,one Essence Carson. She is described as a straight A student. Fact checking anyone? Anyway,the point is look at her hair--its so straight! The irony! :)

SFG said...

Negroes and Jews have a very similar startegy,its like their an anti-white tag team

Is that the best your parakete size brain can come up with?

You guys really need to learn how to spell. Ever wonder why the non-WN faction here takes Svigor seriously enough to actually contest him on the points of his arguments?

Anonymous said...

Free speech is a laudable thing, but not in your comments section, Mr. Sailer! The articles are consistently worth thinking about, and even most of the comments are semi-constructive, but the subject matter attracts far too many of the deranged. It may be unfair, but it destroys your credibility. Open comments must end!

Svigor said...

Free speech is a laudable thing, but not in your comments section, Mr. Sailer! The articles are consistently worth thinking about, and even most of the comments are semi-constructive, but the subject matter attracts far too many of the deranged. It may be unfair, but it destroys your credibility. Open comments must end!

What's your point - that free speech repels the "respectable"? What is it with some people and their totalitarian need for censorship? Definite sign that something isn't right upstairs...

As far as I can tell, you are the one with the problem with free speech, and you are the one pimping your pet censorship issue in thread after thread, not the "moral majority."

Besides, the "moral majority" is overrated. They're cattle to be led. Which is as it "should" be, since most people don't have the time, ability, or inclination for politics.

Anonymous said...

"The GEICO cavemen are a parody of the aggrieved minority who is constantly outraged by supposed racism he detects everywhere."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I love those, and give due respect to Geico for them; leaving a nail sticking up is above and beyond the call of duty.


This touches on something I mentioned in a previous thread about getting it and succeeding in America. I find the caveman commercials amusing too, but it's not the first thing that pops in my mind when I think about GEICO. Neither is the satire of political correctness. I see "GEICO" and remember that Benjamin Graham owned it before Warren Buffett, that Graham was Buffett's mentor, that I own a little a little piece of GEICO myself through my investment in Berkshire Hathaway, and that, as a BRK shareholder, I get a discount on my car insurance through GEICO.

Then I stop and think how great it is that I can get the world's greatest investor to manage some of my money simply by buying a few shares of his stock -- and I can use his and Graham's insights when I buy my own stocks. That reminds me of Buffett's famous speech about "The Super Investors of Graham-and-Doddsville", where he demolished the idea that good value investors couldn't beat the market -- and 23 years later, so few listen to him.

Safeway shopper said...

I'm curious whether anyone else, buying the New York Times today at a flyover-country supermarket, involuntarily burst out laughing seeing at 20 feet the picture of 5-6 earnestly wronged young women in hot pink shirts on the front page. Even though there was a variety of hair styles and treatments...

What'cha wanna bet their homies use the term with impunity?

Hot pink or not, what a maroon...

Anonymous said...

so this guy is fired, but trey parker writes an episode of southpark where blacks are called niggers on national television and nothing happens to him.

Maybe because South Park is actually funny and is Comedy Central's flagship show, and Don Imus.. isn't? I can't help but think that he would have gotten away with this if he had stellar ratings.

c23

Anonymous said...

Imus apologized for the same reason that Michael Richards and Larry Summers apologized: they were genuinely sorry. I remember reading a moderate female professor's reaction to "strange" reaction of Summers. She believed that he was telling the truth when he said he was sorry and it wasn't hard for him to placate those he'd offended. Her rationale, and what we see with the others (M. Richards really did need to apologize, but I bring him up because he groveled so much), was that these guys are on the Left and hurting minorities feelings is the Ultimate Sin. I think there is something there with what Larry Auster says is one of the aspects of Liberalism: tear others down while building the lesser ones up.
This professor even speculated that he might have wondered about the damage he caused. I think she wrote that before the $50 million hand out!

But it didn't save them!

Anonymous said...

Another difference between Murray and Imus: Murray confronts his critics with facts (confirmed by thousands of IQ studies from all over the world over the last 100 years or so)and challenges them in debates.

Imus grovels and cries and begs Al Sharpton (of all people) for forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Steve do you list where you post so I can go watch the action?

Thanks,
Kent

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, you are the one with the problem with free speech, and you are the one pimping your pet censorship issue in thread after thread, not the "moral majority."

This is exactly the second thread in which I've brought it up. But people will impute to you, Steve, and anyone who doesn't toe the PC line the worst, most hateful, and most disgusting sentiments expressed here. www.gnxp.com manages to keep up a good discussion on some un-PC topics while regularly weeding the comments section.

James Leroy Wilson said...

A year before his death, Mexicans protested a Royko column because they thought he was making fun of them. In fact, he was parodying Pat Buchanan's views of Mexico.

Just goes to show that political correctness and irony don't mix.

Anonymous said...

http://www.kansascity.com/182/story/66339.html

Jason Whitlock's (black sports columnist) take on Imus. Good stuff.

SFG said...

I've been thinking quite a bit about why Parker and Stone and Stern get away with it and Imus doesn't. I think the thing is that South Park and Howard Stern aren't taken seriously. They're shock jocks, so nobody notices when they say one more outrageous thing.

SFG said...

This touches on something I mentioned in a previous thread about getting it and succeeding in America.
Well, I guess I just don't get it. ;)

Seriously, it is true that Buffett did quite well for himself by thinking long-term and doing his homework. It is true that that can be helpful financially when everyone's ringing up big bills trying to keep up with the Joneses. However, you see rock stars getting rich by only thinking of tomorrow and making total asses of themselves. So I'm not sure.

jody said...

kevin smith wrote a funny recurring joke about porch monkeys in clerks 2 without getting any flak.

at first it seemed like he protected himself by having the other characters immediately go into "we're actually treaching a lesson" mode, but it wasn't that convincing, and the joke comes back a second time without any deflection at all.

so i'm not sure if he was even making a serious attempt to protect himself there or if he simply wanted more hilarious dialog and didn't care who was offended.

Anonymous said...

"Well, I guess I just don't get it. ;)

Seriously, it is true that Buffett did quite well for himself by thinking long-term and doing his homework. It is true that that can be helpful financially when everyone's ringing up big bills trying to keep up with the Joneses. However, you see rock stars getting rich by only thinking of tomorrow and making total asses of themselves. So I'm not sure."


There are the equivalent of rock stars in many fields, but their successes are rare and mostly due to luck. Then there are legions of people who aren't famous or especially lucky, but have become successful by taking advantage of the "intellectual generosity" (as Buffett put it) of geniuses such as Benjamin Graham.

Graham knew that by promulgating his ideas he would be creating competition for himself, but his generosity compelled him to do so anyway; Warren Buffett, inspired his mentor's example, does the same thing. You can get a great education in finance and business simply by reading Buffett's annual letters to Berkshire shareholders, freely available the Berkshire Hathaway website. The amazing thing is that such a small percentage of people takes advantage of this.

It's interesting to note, and relevant to some of the discussions on here, the extent to which Graham's investment wisdom was built on a broad intellectual foundation, rooted in Western philosophy, mathematics, and literature. It's not a coincidence that Graham's works contain references to Aristotle, Spinoza and Shakespeare. After Graham graduated from Columbia in 1914, he was offered faculty positions by the English department, the philosophy department, and the math department there. As Buffett wrote, "A remarkable aspect of Ben's dominance of his chosen field was that he achieved it without that narrowness of mental activity that concentrates all effort on a single end. It was, rather, the incidental by-product of an intellect whose breadth almost exceeded definition."

It also may be of interest to the philo- and anti-semites on here that Graham was a Jew. His parents changed their original last name (Grossbaum) when German-sounding names were looked down upon during World War I.

SFG said...

Generosity, or liking to show off when you're a smart guy?

Investment strategies aren't effective if everyone pursues them. If everyone acted like Warren Buffett markets would simply become truly efficient the way the economists think they are (not counting insider knowledge, of course) and no money would be made. The successful value investors are actually profiting from the stupidity (financially speaking, of course) of the people who listen to CNBC and Merrill Lynch.

You also can't get as rich as Warren Buffett just by copying Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett had dough to begin with. Still, the sad truth is that for most people, there is no way to get that rich and copying WB may be the best you can do.

Anonymous said...

"Generosity, or liking to show off when you're a smart guy?"

I never met Graham personally, but here's what Buffett had to say:

"I knew Ben as my teacher, my employer, and my friend. In each relationship -- just as with all is students, employees, and friends -- there was an absolutely open-ended, no-scores-kept generosity of ideas, time, and spirit. .. And if encouragement or counsel was needed, Ben was there.
Walter Lippman spoke of men who plant trees that other men will sit under. Ben Graham was such a man."

Now, it could be that Warren Buffett is full of crap there, and Ben Graham was just a show-off, as you suggest. But since there is no evidence behind your claim, I'll put more weight behind the opinions of those who knew him.

"Investment strategies aren't effective if everyone pursues them. If everyone acted like Warren Buffett markets would simply become truly efficient the way the economists think they are (not counting insider knowledge, of course) and no money would be made."

In theory, perhaps. In reality, it's hard to imagine every stock in the market being scrutinized Warren-Buffett style -- particularly because his portfolio is far too big to invest in anything smaller than the largest few hundred companies in the market. As Buffett himself acknowledges, large portfolio size acts as an anchor on performance. That happens to be an advantage smart individual investors have over Warren Buffett: you can use some of his techniques while investing in small- and micro-caps, which tend to have more growth potential than larger stocks. In reality, of course, there is no danger of everyone embracing value investing, no matter how many times men like Graham and Buffett advocate it.

"The successful value investors are actually profiting from the stupidity (financially speaking, of course) of the people who listen to CNBC and Merrill Lynch."

I don't think stupidity covers it -- there are plenty of smart people who don't listen to Merrill Lynch or CNBC and simply believe it when the economics professors and Jack Bogle say no one can beat the market, so they just index. There are also smart folks (and institutions) whose greed, ignorance, short-term focus, or fear lead them to overlook or mis-price certain stocks.

"You also can't get as rich as Warren Buffett just by copying Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett had dough to begin with."

I didn't claim anyone could become as rich as Buffett by copying him -- everyone can't be worth $50 billion, after all -- but you can earn similar returns on your money by investing with him (by buying BRK stock), or by applying his and Graham's wisdom to smaller stocks (or investing with pros who do that). Warren started the predecessor to Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett Partners, with $100 of his own money plus $100k from friends and family who invested as general partners.

"Still, the sad truth is that for most people, there is no way to get that rich."

Is that really a sad truth? Would you be sad if you got 1/1000th or 1/10,000th as rich as Buffett?

"...and copying WB may be the best you can do."

True.

joshrandall said...

My "ultimate" take on the Imus affair:the jews got him. When he slipped up with the "nappy-headed ho" remark (and arent you sick of seeing-on EVERY newscast-the same clip of the girls throwing the ball,then Imus comes on...I mean the first dozen times,ok,but...),the ADL or some similar pack of cockroaches started working the phones. They told their "boy" Al to work this one hard,and there'd be a nice payday down the line. "Yassuh!" said Al and got to work. Notice how the 2 week suspension was a done deal,until suddenly the sponsors started running away. They got the calls,I guarantee ya! "Mr Wagoner,Abe Foxman on line 1." "Oh shit...Hold my calls Laqueeda,this is gonna take a while." Google "Imus jews" and ya get 1M hits. His audience is small and highly informed. Talking shit bout the jewboys? We caint have none o' that,now can we??

SFG said...

Uh...he didn't say anything about Jews. No offense, I'm quite aware of the power of the Israel lobby, but this is kind of like blaming the Jews because your car broke down this morning.

Anonymous said...

Wow, jews are so wonderful, I guess we should be happy to be their slaves?

imus-defending jew said...

My "ultimate" take on the Imus affair:the jews got him.

You, sir, are an asshat.

Wow, jews are so wonderful, I guess we should be happy to be their slaves?

Bend over, Boy. I'm gonna whip ya. Who's yo' massa? Who's yo' massa'?!

Anonymous said...

JoshRandall,

You would have been better off doing a little research on the history of Al Sharpton and Jews before you posted that. After Sharpton's role in the Freddie's Fashion Mart arson and the Crown Heights Pogram, it seems silly (even by tin foil hat-WN standards) to claim Sharpton is a tool of the Jews.

Bottom line on Imus: He was an unfunny, untalented hack. Howard Stern eclipsed in in the mid-80's, and then a few years later Imus sought a second chance at relevance with his foray into political radio. He still had a tiny audience. This 'scandal' was a good excuse for the boner-nosed Jew boys to can him.