Links: Thursday, April 3rd

April 3, 2014 Links 2

Two masculine-presenting people in colorful saris stand outside while one combs the long, dark brown hair of the other.Photographing A Year In India’s Queer “Kothi” Community

  • The Case for Profanity in Print – Maybe it’s me, but this coy habit of dancing around profanity and slurs (unless it’s a certain football team) seems to be peculiar to the American press. It’s all so silly, really.

    Our society’s comfort level with offensive language and content has drastically shifted over the past few decades, but the stance of our news media has barely changed at all. Even when certain words are necessary to the understanding of a story, the media frequently resort to euphemisms or coy acrobatics that make stories read as if they were time capsules written decades ago, forcing us all into wink-wink-nudge-nudge territory. Even in this essay, I am unable to be clear about many of my examples.

    Taste is a legitimate concern. But this isn’t a matter of sprinkling salty words around to spice up the content. These circumlocutions actually deprive readers of the very thing these institutions so grandly promise: news and information. At a time when readers can simply go online to find the details from more nimble upstarts willing to be frank, the mainstream media need to accurately report language that is central to their stories.

  • Politically INcorrect? As though that was a good thing… – This is basically a mic drop of a takedown of those people who proudly proclaim that they’re “politically incorrect.” I enjoyed it.

    To declare oneself ‘politically incorrect’, once we understand why political correctness is necessary, ceases to be a bold declaration of one’s refusal to mindlessly follow social conventions. To the contrary; it is announcing one’s intention to courageously embrace those conventions and the pillars of privilege upon which they are built. It is stating unequivocally that the speaker is completely uninterested in understanding why it is necessary to adjust language to reflect reality. Rather than being an iconoclastic stance, it is a vainglorious assertion of one’s lack of interest in swimming against the tide of cultural prejudice; preferring instead to tread water in the flowing tide of public opinion.

  • L.P.D.: LIBERTARIAN POLICE DEPARTMENT – This just made me laugh. I contemplated posting it on Facebook for all my libertarian family, but I cause them enough grief already.

    “Bad news, detective. We got a situation.”

    “What? Is the mayor trying to ban trans fats again?”

    “Worse. Somebody just stole four hundred and forty-seven million dollars’ worth of bitcoins.”

    The heroin needle practically fell out of my arm. “What kind of monster would do something like that? Bitcoins are the ultimate currency: virtual, anonymous, stateless. They represent true economic freedom, not subject to arbitrary manipulation by any government. Do we have any leads?”

    “Not yet. But mark my words: we’re going to figure out who did this and we’re going to take them down … provided someone pays us a fair market rate to do so.”

    “Easy, chief,” I said. “Any rate the market offers is, by definition, fair.”

  • True Facts About The Octopus – Ze Frank has a series of “True Facts” about animals on YouTube and they’re all pretty funny. This newest one had me giggling, especially at the “walking” octopus.

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Ridley

An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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2 Responses to “Links: Thursday, April 3rd”

  1. Meoskop

    The comments on the Libertarian piece are almost as good as the piece itself. Then I realize they aren’t kidding.

  2. nu

    Nice links! I think another important -maybe obvious- point is that “politically correct” language is determined by the groups in question and thus respects self-determination, etc., which we allege in the US to respect. Not sure I agree to allowing racial epithets in news media. Allow racial epithets when discussing racism is taboo? That’s allowing the crime without the treatment. No, thanks. Given how happily _respected_ news outlets fling “thug” around, I’m not convinced we’re in the utopia required to fling out all moderation. When we use euphemisms we implicitly reiterate that the word is unacceptable, and some people need that reiteration, people who are looking for permission for their attitudes.