May 1, 2014

Joyce Carol Oates tweets on Sterling Two-Minutes Hate

"Sorry, old man. Because of the weak imagery, scanty plot, and pedestrian
 language in your latest, we've turned your table over to Joyce Carol Oates."
William Hamilton *, New Yorker, early to mid-1970s
I talk a lot about how when I was a kid in the late 1960s and 1970s, there was a huge cultural emphasis on nonconformity, privacy, free expression, taboo-violating, etc etc

Obviously, things have changed. My usual explanation is that the people who won back then are now still in charge so they don't see any reason to let anybody else use the tools they used to claw their way to the top. They like it up there and they intend to stay.

Still, some people from that era actually still believe in that stuff; for example, the novelist Joyce Carol Oates, who is now 75. Oates is sort of the female John Updike: she's published so many novels that no single one stands out in critical esteem as the one that you must read. So, that's my excuse for never having read any of her multitudinous books. (I, did, however, recently read her 1979 TNR review of my favorite Updike novel, The Coup, and it's a stupendous book review.)

Not surprisingly, the prolific Princeton professor has a Twitter account. And she has had a lot to say on how much the Two-Minutes Hate directed at the old man's semi-senile ramblings violates her outdated ideals:
Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Nostalgia for time when one could say anything in private no matter how stupid, cruel, self-serving or plain wrong & not be criminalized.
Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  15h
"Self-righteousness is the collateral damage virtue must risk in stamping out vice."    Le Roquefortchaud 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  17h
Slurs "Commie" & "pinko" in 1950s--slurs of "racist" in our era--casually uttered, to denigrate another who differs from you even mildly. 
Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  18h
Is there a federal law providing "expectation of privacy" in personal situations, or is it a state law? Or is it even a law?  Am I dreaming? 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  18h
As lawyers advise, "Never put anything in writing," soon the admonition will be:
"Never put anything in words that might be recorded." 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  18h
Only stand-up comedians & clearly designated satirists are allowed an almost total freedom of speech today in US. (Note "almost.") 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  18h
Many who frequently speak in public have begun to speak much more circumspectly than we once did, for fear of being quoted out of context. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  18h
Would, or could, ACLU today defend Nazi's right (or "right") to march through Skokie, Illinois? Real test of principle vs. extreme backlash. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Tragic pessimist George Orwell could not have foreseen that individuals would give up their freedom to be punitive Big Brother themselves. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
In 2039 murmuring something "critical" about the President may result in a fleet of drones sent in your direction.  "Wait--just kidding!" 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
If one individual is so vilified for making private statements, one day you may not dare say anything "critical" about the President. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Why do so many people confuse an individual case (agreed, despicable) with a principle? "Free speech"--"free press"--US Constitution. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
In US law, no one is "indefensible." If prosecution does not need to prove a case, we are all susceptible to false accusations, arrest. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Many, perhaps most, US citizens now seem to believe that to defend just the principle of "free speech" is to defend a particular individual. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Many, perhaps most, US citizens now seem to believe that you can/ should be punished for what you say even in private. Repercussions? 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
This era of ever-vigilant social media & NSA surveillance may one day be seen as the end of "free speech" in America.  Happened so quickly. 
 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Am I the only person in US surprised that a private conversation (no matter how ugly) can be the basis for such public recrimination?

 Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates  20h
Nostalgia for time when one could say anything in private no matter how stupid, cruel, self-serving or plain wrong & not be criminalized.
 
Oates's Twitter followers are largely aghast at her for saying this.

----------
* Yes, there are a lot of famous William Hamiltons.
   

101 comments:

PA said...

"(No matter how ugly)", "(agreed, despicable)"

Why even bother with such qualifiers?

Cogswell said...

Oates is entirely correct, of course. But one problem with defending Sterling is that he was a complete douchebag before the recording was released, and the NBA had plenty of reasons to get rid of him. The recording just validates what we already knew. The other is that no official NBA sanction is necessary. Doc Rivers would quit on him, many of his players would quit, advertisers would still flee, and fans would still stop buying tickets. That's the problem with defending privacy in a situation like this. You want to defend privacy and free speech, but it's easier in a case where the repercussions are only legal, or where the repercussions from the public are minor. Either way, Donald Tokowitz Sterling has to sell his basketball team.

The only defense I can make for the recording is that Sterling is both a public figure and a jerk, and I'm not sure I mind it much when a robber baron like him gets outed. Maybe the world will be a better place when guys like that are routinely outed and have to watch themselves in private. Not sure that's a great defense, though.

leftist conservative said...

you ... like Updike?!

shudder
I had to read his Rabbit Run novel in college.
shudder

Tank said...

You'd probably enjoy some of her work. There's one on Monroe, one on the Kennedy Killer, one on boxing. Her longer ones can be slog.

Chicago said...

Meanwhile the twenty-second anniversary of the LA riots, where the 'diversity' went on a rampage that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, just passed with no mention. The massive orgy of murder, arson and looting by the preferred 'diversity' demographic is just skipped over. Instead we get the daily two minute hate exercise focusing on someone whose main crime seems to be that he's a tone deaf boor.

carol said...

The only thing I read by her was the short story Black Water...and that was a rip snorter.

Anyway, I am grateful to have lived through that great period out outrageous freedom in the 70s and 80s. It couldn't last eh.

The Rick Sanchez In The Iron Mask said...

PA: "Why even bother with such qualifiers?"

In order to recite them in court, if needed.

"Court" need not be a court of law. It can be any body empowered to ruin you: take your job, seize property from you, and / or sentence you to ostracism.

Anonymous said...

("1984")

Crimestop

"Crimestop" means to rid oneself of unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime.

In the novel, we hear about crimestop through the eyes of protagonist Winston Smith:
“ The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.

He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He presented himself with propositions -- 'the Party says the earth is flat', 'the party says that ice is heavier than water' -- and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them.


Orwell also describes crimestop from the perspective of Emmanuel Goldstein in the book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism:
“ Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [Note: English Socialism], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. ”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoughtcrime

Sam said...

We are not talking about free speech vs censorship but norms of speech in the public(and private now) sphere.

As I see it there are broadly 3 positions here.

-Traditionalist restraints like those before the 60's

-Political correctness, which is the dominant

-Anything goes and nobody should take offence to words

This is not easy to debate. Everybody has legit arguments for their side. Most everybody who doesn't like the current political correctness argue based on the anything goes position but in reality traditionalist also think there should be a certain way of talking and acting in public. They might describe bad speech as speech that is unseemly whereas PC people of call bad speech insensitive.

But the political correctness people can point to their speech codes and say that they are simply different from the old traditionalists and based on different morals so traditionalists can't attack them on principle. And nobody really wants to have completely open speech with no restraints on how to act in public. The comedian Jim Norton from the bluecollar Tough Crowd and Opie and Anthony is one of the few who argues that anything goes and if you don't like it then turn it off. Trads or PC people will agree but in reality they will defend their turf(or their sacredness). As John Derbyshire says we(humans) like taboos.

anti-racist said...

You have freedom of speech but society also has freedom of speech.

You can say what you want but you cannot avoid the consequnces.

AMac said...

NPR's The Diane Rehm Show devoted a section yesterday to the Sterling Crisis. It was every bit as good as you would have expected.

I dropped the following remarks into the Comments at the show's webpage.

- - - - -

Ms. Rehm and guests Michael Eric Dyson, Christine Brennan, Michelle Bernard, and Craig Steven Wilder performed an invaluable public service by exposing the plantation-like conditions in which Sterling's players worked, to say nothing of the paychecks they were forced to endure. However, a few on the Left are rallying around the misogynistic racist, having been swayed by the Koch Brothers and their ilk.

Here, I am denouncing Joyce Carol Oates.

Please, Diane, re-convene your panel of luminaries! Surely, they can contribute to the delegitimization of this has-been scribbler. Why should Oates' novels continue to be available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Clippers' gift shop?

"One of her guests is always you" -- an okay slogan for a radio show.

"Pour encourager les autres" -- much, much catchier!

Anonymous said...

Great sense but the private words of public figures always mattered more.

Nixon had private conversations but as he was the president, people wanted to know what was in the tapes.

Anonymous said...

Lennon: we are bigger than Jesus.

Big trouble in the South.

Sterling: I am less than a negro sexually.

Bigger trouble all over.

FredR said...

"Oates is sort of the female John Updike: she's published so many novels that no single one stands out in critical esteem as the one that you must read."

If Updike were a consistently mediocre writer.

Anonymous said...

Btw, actions speak louder than words.

Don't even white libs feel "I don't want (too many) blacks to come to my kids' school."

They sure take actions to ensure this.

Anonymous said...

US involvement in Ukraine is like 'Russia getting involved in Puerto Rico'

Now, that's what I call a frighteningly seductive idea - Russia getting involved in Puerto Rico, that is. Maybe we can sell Puerto Rico to Russia.

Luke Lea said...

Oats describes Updike's genius better than anyone else. That's quite a feat in itself.

Anonymous said...

Though radical boomers defended free speech in principle, they ferociously denounced and attacked whom they disagreed with, thus paving the ground for PC.

Even groups like the Stones were pressured to be on the side of the 'revolution'.
Students stormed colleges and held administrators captive and made demands.
Black students art Cornel even took to guns.
They learned that intimidation works.

They spat at and denounced at Vietnam vets as 'baby killers'.

Anonymous said...

Good for Oates. She's always had guts.

Dave Pinsen said...

That is quite a review, but the novel didn't seem quite as cynical to me as she makes it out to be. As you noted in your post on it, Updike was prescient about the inevitable victory of capitalism in the Cold War, and the intimations of that for Kush seem unavoidably positive. From desolation and famine to the oasis of the '50s- style oil company town: it seems cynical of Oates to be cynical about that.

And of course, there's the narrator who lives happily ever after in the south of France. Wouldn't a cynical novelist have killed him off?

Anonymous said...

"Oates is sort of the female John Updike: she's published so many novels that no single one stands out in critical esteem as the one that you must read. So, that's my excuse for never having read any of her multitudinous books."

Have to confess, that's the chief reason why I've never read any of her fiction. There's just so much of it. It's like staring at a shelf full of Trollope; one scarcely knows where to begin or end.

peterike said...

That is one interesting Twitter feed. The old broad is pretty sharp. Dig these two.

"Pack animals require alpha males to lead. We wish to resist biology but much behavior hard-wired indeed including xenophobia, sexism."

"Careless or reprehensible speech today is more vehemently attacked than terrible actions--war crimes, corporate crimes, acts of violence."

Then on the other hand...

"Explosion of Detroit "race"-riot July 1967 entirely predictable given extreme racist behavior of police & failure of (white) leadership to...

curtail or even acknowledge behavior. True wonder of those days & nights of rage is that the brutalized population showed such restraint."

You can't win them all. Still, I suppose she has to spin up some standard Liberal cant (notice it's frozen in amber from the 60s) along with her more "extreme" positions. Will be interesting to follow her. Thanks for the tip Steve.

Shouting Thomas said...

I keep expecting the mob hysteria to be punctured by an Army/McCarthy hearing moment of clarity.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Harry Baldwin said...

"Self-righteousness is the collateral damage virtue must risk in stamping out vice." Le Roquefortchaud

This sounds like a play on the maxim "Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue" by La Rochefoucauld. There is no such person as "Le Roquefortchaud," which means hot cheese.

Anyway, hats off to Joyce Carol Oates. There are a few people who still stand up for principle--Nat Hentoff and (occasionally) Alan Dershowitz. I remember Joan Baez catching hell for her criticism of the behavior of the North Vietnamese after they conquered the south.

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/30/media-refuses-to-identify-party-affiliation-of-new-jersey-democrat-caught-in-racist-rant-audio/

SFG said...

"Why even bother with such qualifiers?"

No, actually, it helps bring home the principle (though it helps Oates cover her butt too): freedom of speech isn't just for people who agree with you.

The only thing that makes me sad is because of my partial Semitic ancestry, I can't join the manosphere and fight against these people.

Harry Baldwin said...

Why even bother with such qualifiers?

They've become de rigeur. They do a person no good, and I also find them annoying, but in this case I forgive Oates because she's showing more fortitude than anyone in Conservatism, Inc.

In doing research at the library, I notice that since the 1980s books referring to Nazism or slavery rarely avoid inserting some boilerplate to tell the reader how abhorrent these institutions were; they can't just let the reader arrive at that conclusion himself. Those subjects are now the equivalent of devil-worship in the Middle Ages, and you can't even refer to them without saying a few Hail Mary's to cleanse yourself of the taint.

Anonymous said...

JC Oates - a relic of the 1960s. Time to get with the who-whom program. Black rappers, sport stars, etc. can say whatever they want but old white guys aren't allowed to. Nor should they be allowed to spend their money on the wrong causes and muddle the minds of the voters. That should be perfectly clear by now.

PS old white ladies should keep their mouth shut too. A "conversation" about race means that you should shut up and let us do the talking. You white folks have been doing all the talking and writing and stuff for the last 200 years. Now it's our turn - get it, old white lady? Careful what you say or we are putting you on our list too. McCarthyism is bad (wasn't McCarthy himself an evil white Republican, and then there was his henchman Bobby Kenne...uh, never mind), but old white ladies who won't shut up are even worse.

Anonymous said...

"(I, did, however, recently read her 1979 TNR review of my favorite Updike novel, The Coup, and it's a stupendous book review.)"

Just finished reading it, and, yes, it is an excellent piece of work. I can only add that it does the one thing that a favorable review must do: it makes me want to re-read THE COUP.

David said...

The American mob has always bayed for blood. Read Mencken's and Nathan's The American Credo.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/05/donald-sterling-example.html

Anonymous said...

Good for her. So then Sterling could call Oates into court as a character witness at his trial when he sues Stiviano to recover his property.

Or maybe call her as a witness at his trial vs. the NBA.

Steve, at least for blanace, also read Ann Coulter's latest vdare column regarding this whole imbroglio, titled "A Sterling Character".

Ann is such a hoot, that kidder!

Anonymous said...

"we don't get no reprobation"

ROTFL

http://www.conservativeoutfitters.com/blogs/news/13995513-shocking-store-owner-confronted-by-black-woman-demanding-free-stuff-because-of-slavery

Give her some free crab legs too.

Kai Carver said...

Bill Maher also tweeted heretically:

Sterling def. a racist,but take away his team? Clippers shldn't have played yesterday? Calm down,being an asshole is still legal in America - April 28

Donald Sterling is 81. You know what will cure this type of racism? The flu. But Blake Griffin is 25, how do we cure him of Creationism? - April 29

Anonymous said...

If all liberals were like Joyce Carol Oates or Camilla Paglia, our nation would still be in ascendency instead of turning into a delapidated Strip Mall to the Third World.

Anonymous said...

One thing that is not discussed.

Sterling's contention that Israel treats blacks 100x worse than he treated any black in the US.

Maybe Jewish media is going apeshit about his 'racism' over here so as to deflect our attention from the 'racism' that Sterling mentioned is happening over there in Israel/Palestine.

Luke Lea said...

One aspect of Updike's genius that Oates neglected to mention is his descriptive mastery of all the modern sciences: physics, cosmology, geology, biology, chemistry, you name it. There is that famous tour de force in The Centaur for instance in which he describes at length the entire history of the universe from the big bang to the appearance of man -- an extended version, so to speak, of the opening theme song in The Big Bang Theory

One of my favorites is his poem Granite which unfortunately I cannot find on the web. But here is his Ode to Entropy.

Anonymous said...

"We Were the Mulvaneys" is the most compelling work by Oates, IMO. Heartbreaking and heartfelt.


-- Days of Broken Arrows.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah. There is a world out there besides Sterling, and more interesting matters than infighting among different factions of the left.

For example: In Britain the head of a political party has been arrested for quoting the words of Winston Churchill.

Anonymous said...

How likely is it that the creative class will have a Broadway play up by next year satirizing what's happened?

NOT!

A movie?

NOT.

A tv series.

NOT.

No introspection allowed.

pat said...

It does seem as if the engine that powers all this faux outrage is just the notion that a white man controls the economic lives of all those black men.

This whole thing seems like an explosion just waiting to happen. Sterling just happens to be the guy in the piñata.

This reminds me of the ritual humiliation of Jimmy the Greek. He had to crawl on his belly and kiss the feet of Jesse Jackson as I remember. And it still wasn't enough.

There is an asymmetry to racial remarks. Back in the militant seventies some black activists tried to establish the term 'Honky' as a counterweight against the derogatory term - the 'N' word.

But it didn't work. Partly because so few of us are actually Hungarian and Einstein thought the Hungarians were the smartest people on earth. He joked that they must really be from Mars.

The 'N' word is just a reference to skin color. But anything that calls attention to black peoples characteristics soon ends up being an insult and anything that refers to whites becomes a complement.

Sterling never uttered the terrible 'N' word but he did mean black people and that was enough.


Pat Boyle

DPG said...

For those interested in Oates, I've read them and Black Water.

Them is probably her most widely praised. It's about a working class family over a few mid-century decades (never quite clear if they're black, but it's implied), and the climax is probably the Detroit riots. I wasn't born until the 80s so it was hard for me to appreciate the cultural context, and the plot itself wasn't that compelling.

Black Water is based on the Chappaquiddick incident and it is riveting. Also fairly short- a fast reader can get through it in a weekend.

CJ said...

"Lerocquefortchaud" for La Rochefoucauld LOL. With most Twitterati I'd assume an auto-correct but with her it might actually be intentional humor.

The Sterling Two Minute Hate doesn't remind me of the 1950s but rather the child sex abuse panic of the 1980s, when people were found guilty and sent to jail with no credible evidence against them ever produced.

Thursday said...

I starting to wonder if a lot of older people, like Oates, just look in the mirror, say "Ya know, I'm going to die soon. Fuck it." and then go for broke.

Thursday said...

Apparently the book to read from Oates is Them, which is the story of a white working class family in Detroit. Oates taught literature for awhile in Detroit and Windsor.

Anonymous said...

Yes, even the repetition of those qualifiers that Ive seen all over the over the last few days is part of the clampdown.

Its like adding pbuh.

Anonymous said...

There's been an overreaction, to be sure.

And one's private conversations should be protected.

Even so, when someone is a prominent and public figure, the rules are somewhat different.

And I think conservatives would feel the same way.

Suppose it was discovered that Thomas Sowell in a private conversation said something like, "Man, these honkeys is stupid. I'm just playing them to fool them. I aint no real conservative. I's just using them to keep dreaming that they might win over some Negroes if they drop they's 'racism'."

Would conservatives say, "well, it was just private conversation, so it shouldn't have any impact on how we see Sowell or whether we consider him as one of our own?"

So, even though we can all agree that privacy should be respected, once a private details stream out, there's gonna be much discussion.

One can argue that the FBI should not have wiretapped MLK, but they did, and our perception of MLK is shaped by what we know of that.

In the case of Sterling, he's an owner of a NBA franchise which is filled with blacks. He sold himself as a supporter of civil rights and friend of blacks.

So, there's no way this will be seen as merely a privacy issue.

And what happened with the Jesse Jackson hymietown stuff? Some black reporter spilled the beans on a private conversation but Jews jumped all over that. And that was before PC.

And what about Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky? Betrayal of privacy there.

And what about Arkansas state troopers spilling the beans on Bill Clinton's remarks about homos back when he was governor. Conservatives had no problem with that.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-02-21/news/8501100718_1_election-law-illinois-legislators-secret-taping

Didn't Washington get some flak for having used lots of dirty words in the recording?

Sean said...

"My usual explanation is that the people who won back then are now still in charge so they don't see any reason to let anybody else use the tools they used to claw their way to the top. They like it up there and they intend to stay."

You can start doing something for self interested reasons, and then begin to take it seriously as an end in itself.
-------

"Criminalized" is right, they are after Sterling like he was Al Capone. He is going to be ruined and facing jail time.

Henry Canaday said...

Speaking at the Local Lefty Bookstore, the dissident book critic Jonathan Yardley hailed the death of John Updike, saying he would no longer have to get down on his knees at night to pray that Updike never receive the Nobel prize. However, that still left the threat of a Nobel for Oates or Roth, so prayer duties were never complete.

Anonymous said...

Very OT: There is a rumor going around that the Kiev junta is planning a major assault on Russian rebels on May 2nd. Air strikes and artillery against rebel towns, especially Slaviansk. I first saw this rumor on Tuesday. It's been gathering steam since then. Putin said months ago that he'll intervene if pro-Russian civilians are massacred. There are about 100k people in Slaviansk. The junta and its neocon backers have a choice: lose the Donbass region peacefully through referendums or lose it violently in a war. The neocons want to see Russians and Ukrainians fight, so they would want a war. As in Georgia in 2008 they will claim that Russia attacked first, of course.

There is also the possibility that the people ordered to attack will not attack. This has happened before. There is also the possibility that the rumor is false. If I had to bet, I'd say that the order has probably been given, that it will be executed extremely unenthusiastically and incompetently and that this will kill so few people that Russia won't feel obligated to intervene. But I could be wrong. The junta may use foreign mercs who may be enthusiastic, competent, or even both. Or the whole thing could be disinformation.

Western journos are taking this rumor so seriously that they have now left Slaviansk. I'm following the Twitter feed of two Russian reporters, one of whom said that he saw the same thing happen the day before the start of the Ossetian war.

Anonymous said...

I went on reddit, in the r/LosAngeles subreddit, to say "You people are all upset over nothing." and everyone was aghast that I was not aghast.

If there's "racism" to be called out, they're simply incapable of seeing any competing ideal.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/how-red-state-is-marx/

Pinketty. The name is so perfect.

Today's 'left' is no longer red. It's pink.

Anonymous said...

She says...

"Pack animals require alpha males to lead. We wish to resist biology but much behavior hard-wired indeed including xenophobia, sexism."

Responses

"That's much too simplistic & discredits our capability to reason & reflect. Evidence? #notbuyingit"

"You are old and pretty stupid if you believe this"



Anonymous said...

I'm nostalgic for Commies and Pinkos. Not to mention fellow travelers.

Anonymous said...

Many, perhaps most, US citizens now seem to believe that you can/ should be punished for what you say even in private. Repercussions? Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates

Then she answered her own question:

This era of ever-vigilant social media & NSA surveillance may one day be seen as the end of "free speech" in America. Happened so quickly. Joyce Carol Oates ‏@JoyceCarolOates

jon said...

"Why even bother with such qualifiers?"

The qualifiers are the whole point. She doesn't agree with what he said, but she also doesn't think that what he said in private should be made public or that what he said in private should lead to what it has.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Steve. Nba owners pay a lot of money for the privilege of surrendering their first amendment rights. The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for criticizing Lebron James' decision to join the Miami Heat. Coaches and players are fined regularly for criticizing officials. It is the one of the costs of admission to this lucrative club. I don't feel sorry for him.

Rainer said...

Free Speech is a lost cause. I found that out when I read the entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - which boils down to a long list of justifications why freedom of speech ought to be limited (some of them rather slick, like those of Stanley Fish). Because that's the only aspect which would be of interest to the modern philosopher's mind. (Justice Brandeis or Holmes don't even appear.)

Nathan Wright said...

One thing you always hear about whomever the Secular Puritan mob has in its sights is that he "harbors hatred in his heart". That smug accusation always comes with a strong whiff of projection. For example, here's Bill Simmons opining on the features of Donald Sterling’s body, in between imputing a random slew of ugly (and shamelessly invented out of thin air by Simmons) thoughts to his mind:


We were in Section 101 by then, near the Clippers bench, with Sterling sullenly sitting across from us. His legs always straddled the center stripe at midcourt, like he was telling himself, I AM DEAD CENTER! I AM EXACTLY DEAD CENTER! He dressed like a potbellied grim reaper. His colorless skin always made me wonder if he spent his days sleeping in a coffin. Before games, he would hurriedly arrange the seating for everyone in his extended party, ordering them into various Section 111 seats and pointing around like a drill sergeant. From there, he’d stand in front of his seat and greet everyone around him. Eventually, he’d sit down and fold his arms and never, ever, ever, ever move. He’d just sit there, his arms folded across his massive stomach. I ran out of ways to make Weekend at Bernie’s jokes about him by 2011.


Two-minutes' hate indeed.

Nathan Wright said...


Even so, when someone is a prominent and public figure, the rules are somewhat different.


Yes, we know, special pleading is one of the main tools of the Secular Puritans in their frequent witch hunts. You get away with it because there is never a trial for those accused of "racism", just mob justice.

By the way, there are many variants on this theme. Every intelligent member of the mob will have real reservations about throwing out centuries of legal rights in order to tar and feather this week's thought criminal. They always have one of an infinite variety of why, just in this once case, their lawlessness is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the class element here.

Chris Rock himself bitched about them N's who mess things up for good black folks. He meant low-class N's.

But Sterlowicz bitched about rich black guys like Magic Johnson. Rich folks should dump on rich folks.

One thing to stop-and-frisk the low class Negroes, but the richer kind must be treated nice.



Anonymous said...

"Free Speech is a lost cause."

Well then, we must fight fire for fire.

We must call for any speech that demeans whites, western civilization, Christianity, Anglos, straight people, men, etc.

Sacral rights. Some things are sacred to us, and that means others better not bash them.

We should follow Putin's lead. Russia doesn't allow nasty talk about Russians who fought in WWII--though a whole bunch of them were rapists of German women.

Turks don't allow demeaning of Turkey over Armenian massacre.

And Jews defacto silence any discussion of Nakba, the massive ethnic cleansing of Pallies.

And blacks don't like to talk about black crime and violence and black role in slavery.

OKAY.

Then we should demand that everyone shut up about whatever demeans the white race.

Anonymous said...

"Rich folks should NOT dump on rich folks."

Even in the old days, this was true. Even with segregation, the big time Negroes were given special treatment.

No one badmouthed Louis Armstrong, the cultural ambassador to the world.

Am-badass-ador?

Whiskey said...

There is a coming fight among White people. Mencken did not grasp that the US White population formed several "nations." The Appalachian and Southern Gentry Nations did not care a hoot about propriety and group conformity and thought-crime. Compare/contrast say, the Scarlet Letter and the scene in Huckleberry Finn where an Aristocrat faces down a mob (reason? He killed a town favorite) by being, well an Aristocrat ready to shoot people dead. In the one hand, you have mind numbing, Japanese style uniformity of thought and behavior and punishment for those outside, and on the other violent places where will and ability means all. And not much conformity.

Those Whites who prize the ability to do and think as they please, which means most men (men get points for independence and non-conformity from the herd in SMV) and most people over thirty with kids (conformity equals their kids get screwed) are going to fight the SWPL crowd, the media, but I repeat myself, and the Beltway eunuchs.

Self deleting texts, phone calls all assumed to be monitored, various clothing and hats and glasses to obscure camera identification will go head to head with ... Information Dominance.

The LAPD had an airplane in the sky over Compton (daytime only) for over a year and recorded everything. Giving them the ability to "rewind" and see where anyone went, taken from the US military in Iraq tracking insurgents/jihadis. That stuff will go straight ahead against people's desire to be free and independent.

Already social media use outside (horny) teens looking for sex is collapsing, facebook is having growth problems. As is Twitter and the like.

Anonymous said...

If Sterling had solved the problem of controlled nuclear fusion or faster-than-light travel, he'd be Jewish. Since he got into trouble for saying vaguely racist things, he's white.

Funny how that works.

Nathan Wright said...

More from Bill Simmons' white knighting article:


Once the owners unanimously vote to terminate Sterling’s ownership (a foregone conclusion), the league will assume control and auction off the franchise. But what if Sterling challenges that ruling? What if he convinces himself that he’s been railroaded? What if he sues the NBA and keeps suing and suing? What then?

Will there really be a day when The Owner Who Wouldn’t Ever Go Away actually goes away?


This seems to sum it up, doesn't it? Simmons and all his friends dislike this guy, because he is the wrong kind of person -- therefore he needs to go away. The idea is simply absent from Simmons' mind, that this other disliked person has any right to exist, let alone to have his own thoughts. Therefore, Sterling needs to just disappear so that Simmons and his friends can once again feel safe.

Anonymous said...

Leftist conservative:"you ... like Updike?!

shudder
I had to read his Rabbit Run novel in college.
shudder"

Updike was an extremely gifted writer; he might have the finest prose style of any author in English in the post-'45 period.

candid_observer said...

How is it possible to have a thread on Joyce Carol Oates already with 60 comments without a mention of Gore Vidal's comment on her?

"The three saddest words in the English language?

Joyce Carol Oates"

candid_observer said...

BTW,

I think that for Joyce Carol Oates the issue in identity politics is whose ox is being gored.

She savaged Robert Frost in a recent "story" she made up about him as both a sexist and a racist.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115385/joyce-carol-oates-robert-frost-story-harpers-sparks-debate

She gladly plays pin-the-tail on the sexist-racist-pig when it suits her agenda.

Anonymous said...

"Nba owners pay a lot of money for the privilege of surrendering their first amendment rights. The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for criticizing Lebron James' decision to join the Miami Heat."

This is true. But I think the issue here is privacy. If Sterling's privacy was violated, that should be the main issue.

Eric said...

But one problem with defending Sterling is that he was a complete douchebag before the recording was released, and the NBA had plenty of reasons to get rid of him.

For me that sentiment is the oddest thing about this whole affair. The owners own the league, so to say that the NBA had plenty of reasons to get rid of him is the same as saying I have plenty of reasons to get rid of my boss.

Anonymous said...

When some college homo was video-ed secretly and shamed into suicide, didn't those to videotaped him get in big trouble?

Anonymous said...

"Updike was an extremely gifted writer; he might have the finest prose style of any author in English in the post-'45 period."

I never read rabbit cuz it reminded me of this:

http://gocomics.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c5f3053ef017c31738637970b-800wi

Anonymous said...

"EXCLUSIVE - Donald Sterling stripped bare: Disgraced Clippers boss is a violent bully who paraded NAKED in front of kids and their friends, calls Christians STUPID and whipped son with a belt and told him to stop eating 'like a n***er'"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616878/EXCLUSIVE-Donald-Sterling-stripped-bare-Disgraced-Clippers-boss-violent-bully-paraded-NAKED-kids-friends-calls-Christians-STUPID-whipped-son-belt-told-stop-eating-like-n-er.html

"Former longtime family friends claim what they say is the naked truth about disgraced LA Clippers owner's personal life

Donald Sterling repeatedly beat his son Scott with a belt on his backside from the time he was four until his teen years - and the billionaire was IN THE BUFF when he did it, reveals Scott's best friend Phillip Scheid

Sterling berated his son for taking too much food and using his hands. 'Stop being a little n***er', he yelled

Born of Jewish parents, Sterling changed his last name.

Christians, were on his hate list too: 'They're stupid and don't know how to make money'

Scott, who died of a drug overdose last year, shot Phillip twelve times after a huge row and Phillip's sister Cheryl Bogart claims Scott caused her to fall out of a third-storey window. Both blame cold-hearted Sterling

Cheryl was just 15 when she found herself alone with Sterling at his pool. He asked her to take off her bikini. She was mortified.

He was served the same meal - lamb chop, noodles and salad - by the cook every day and he ate in the kitchen, also in the nude"

Anonymous said...

There's a great picture of Sterling here in a tracksuit where he really looks the part of the sleazy lawyer/biz mogul:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616878/EXCLUSIVE-Donald-Sterling-stripped-bare-Disgraced-Clippers-boss-violent-bully-paraded-NAKED-kids-friends-calls-Christians-STUPID-whipped-son-belt-told-stop-eating-like-n-er.html

Cail Corishev said...

But one problem with defending Sterling is that he was a complete douchebag before the recording was released, and the NBA had plenty of reasons to get rid of him.

They can say that all they want, but the fact is they didn't get rid of him. Now we're hearing about how they've wanted him out of the league since Naismith tacked the first basket up on the wall, but for some reason they never did. Given how noble and virtuous they suddenly claim owners must be, you'd think open adultery on his 50-year marriage and bringing his mistress to league events would have been reason enough. Loathsome as he is, they had lots of valid reasons.

But no, they didn't decide to pull the trigger until a certain group was prepared to buy him out, and then all of a sudden they were always at war with Eastasia.

Anonymous said...

If the NSA listening in on Chancellor Merkel's cell phone conversation is not Ok, why is it OK to listen in on Sterling's senile rantings. And how do you know the NSA didn't tip off the NBA owners in exchange for season tickets. Oprah, Magic Johnson, NSA, and the NBA owners tied together in one conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

anti-racist said...
You have freedom of speech but society also has freedom of speech.

You can say what you want but you cannot avoid the consequnces.



The voice of oppression has spoken.

If there is a consequence for speech, then there is no free speech.

Anonymous said...

Candid observer:"I think that for Joyce Carol Oates the issue in identity politics is whose ox is being gored.

She savaged Robert Frost in a recent "story" she made up about him as both a sexist and a racist.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115385/joyce-carol-oates-robert-frost-story-harpers-sparks-debate

She gladly plays pin-the-tail on the sexist-racist-pig when it suits her agenda."


Well, Frost is dead, so that impairs his ability to suffer somewhat. Also, as Oates observes, she was writing fiction.

Anonymous said...

Dog not barking.
Current heisman winner charged.
Zero mention on today's PTI.
Transcendent sports media not noticing!!!!!!!
Sterling story this week explains why they are burying Winston story.

Anonymous said...

candid observer:"How is it possible to have a thread on Joyce Carol Oates already with 60 comments without a mention of Gore Vidal's comment on her?

"The three saddest words in the English language?

Joyce Carol Oates""

Probably because it was an empty noise.

Anonymous said...

one problem with defending Sterling is that he was a complete douchebag before the recording was released, and the NBA had plenty of reasons to get rid of him.


Another problem is that he's a left-wing douchebag. This whole thing is enemy-on-enemy action. Let's sit back and pass the popcorn.


Anonymous said...

"The three saddest words in the English language?

Joyce Carol Oates""




I don't get it. Was there a clever witticism in there that I missed?

Whiskey said...

The BBC is in the slow motion of firing Jeremy Clarkson for in an outake saying "eenie meenie mine moe ..." muttering vaguely the n-word (you have to boost the sound up high to hear it).

The usual Muslim, feminist, Black folks are baying for his firing, a foregone conclusion. They wanted him fired for using the word "slope" in Thailand while his car ... went up a slope.

So they'll get their way. And it really is genius, every non-White male can get a White male fired for any real offense, really, there is no defense just being Straight, White, and Male is enough.

The only White guys on TV anywhere will be gay. As there are only so many hours in the day and so much money, firing Clarkson means opportunities for a Muslim to preach ... well Jihad on the BBC.

[Daily Mail reports Subway in the UK has banned ham and bacon because Muslims object and offers only halal meats, over/under on doing the same in the US? A year? Two tops?]

In a way banning all straight White males (women are a different story of course) is good because it makes the stakes perfectly clear to all White guys. There is no room for us at all, and the PC jihad will continue till all of us are purged. So there is no reason at all not to fight.

Might as well be hung for a lion as a sheep.

Anonymous said...

"How is it possible to have a thread on Joyce Carol Oates already with 60 comments without a mention of Gore Vidal's comment on her?"

Probably because Vidal, like Capote, was a hateful bitter queen.

Such men don't really earn respect, do they?

Anonymous said...


"The three saddest words in the English language?

Joyce Carol Oates""



I don't get it. Was there a clever witticism in there that I missed?"

From what I recall, she saw everything as melancholy. Everything. Even Happy Birthday.

Dave Pinsen said...

Sterling is actually a registered Republican.

Anonymous said...

Rediculous idea of free speech. So I guess as long as nobody is holding your lips together or have their hands over your mouth, you have free speech.

Anonymous said...

This is a bit like the Charlie Sheen thing. He was a train wreck for years but was only punished when he crossed the J-line. yet right afterwards we heard all about his chaotic life going back years. But, somehow, not enough to get him fired.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am impressed. I would not have expected from her. (I'd have assumed the opposite.) Apologize and bow. Nicely done.

David said...

>You have freedom of speech but society also has freedom of speech. You can say what you want but you cannot avoid the consequences.<

There are also consequences to threats.

Anonymous said...

>>"Self-righteousness is the collateral damage virtue must risk in stamping out vice." Le Roquefortchaud

>This sounds like a play on the maxim "Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue" by La Rochefoucauld. There is no such person as "Le Roquefortchaud," which means hot cheese.

Thanks for solving the mystery of quaintly weak aphorism. I'd totally missed the joke.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about 'Joyce Carol Oates' but I can tell you an ancedote about the late British comedian Arthur 'Chubby' Oates.

Chubby Oates was a blue comedian and often in the employ of the equally late British porn impressario, Paul Raymond, as the regular joker between strip acts at Raymond's various Soho venues and all of those god-awful 'nude reviews' and 'farces' that infested the west end stage after the revocation of censorship in the 1960s - "not another row of limp dicks" was John Osborne's famous comment after yet another exploitative, derivative 'Oh! Calcutta! style farce on the west end stage.
Well anyway, Chubby Oates performing in his role as a blue comic between strip acts had the rather of unpleasant and childish habit of 'breaking wind' loudly whilst on stage and then casting an akance, accusatory glance at the nearest female bare posterior.
Needless to say this appalling behavior was not very popular with the 'artistes' who on more than a few occasions fled the stage in some degree of distress. This lead to Paul raymond himself writing the following leter of admonition to Oats, "Will you please cease and desist from passing wind on stage, it's getting rather tiresome".

Cogswell said...

Huh? Sterling is in a partnership with the other 29 NBA owners. There may be 30 separate franchises, but it's a single business. They have the right to force him out. It's in the contract. And no, it's not like you getting rid of your boss.

riches said...

Years ago I learned of the blog SWPL from Steve and became its fan. Then I learned its author would be signing books nearby, so I attended.

In my brief chat with the author I asked whether he was familiar with the work of cartoonist William Hamilton. (I thought that the target of their oeuvres was the same—with the cartoonist's skewing older.) Mr. Lander politely said he hadn't.

My favorite Hamilton cartoon pictured a tossel-haired, turtlenecked, twenty-something guy placing an LP on a turntable. He was frowning and telling the young lady at his side, "For heaven's sake, Amanda, at least be honest with yourself. I was into Bluegrass while you were still on Vivaldi."

Anonymous said...

It really is phenomenal how much I hate testing99.

I styled reading his comments years ago but every so often I get tricked into reading a couple of sentences and I'm repulsed all over again.

He's like the perfect tell. He days things that are completely and absolutely false.


As a Semite myself I harbor the fantasy that this wretched creature is an agent provocateur jew hater of the worst kind, trying make Jews and their supporters look like demented maniacs.

I'm afraid that likely isn't true but a boy can dream, no?

Anonymous said...

So Cinncinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton can legitimately be described as "The next Billy Hamilton"?

Steve Sailer said...

There's already in the Hall of Fame Slidin' Billy Hamilton from the 1890s.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamilbi01.shtml

Anonymous said...

As a Semite myself I harbor the fantasy that this wretched creature is an agent provocateur jew hater of the worst kind, trying make Jews and their supporters look like demented maniacs.

I'm afraid that likely isn't true but a boy can dream, no?


Your dream could easily be half true; I've never been convinced he's a Jew. Maybe a half-Jew, or married to a Jew, something like that. He just doesn't seem fluent enough in English, or savvy enough, to be a Jew. Too tone-deaf. Someone once offered the explanation that he's a Sephardic "striver," which I guess might work.

Regardless, he's definitely got some kind of passionate attachment to the tribe.

Svi

Reg Cæsar said...

JoyceCarol Oates grew up in Erie County, NY. Thus we can call her the Buffalo Brave.

Which is what a Clipper would have been called 40 years ago.

nendray said...

Yes Chicago , and if you allow racist bums like Sterling, and those white, neo apartheid, genocidal maniacs ,you guys adored so long in Chicago, worst fall outs would occur, to make LA riots , look like Childsplay, at Disneyland.