Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Train conversation...

I struck up a conversation on the vanilla train today; a fat slightly balding guy who works as a a build/test engineer for JP Morgan. His physique crushed me against the wall. That's okay though because the vanilla train is cared for by the suburbanites so it is clean and pristine and the seats are just wide enough.

He was reading a copy of a few website pages with Java code, so I thought I'd do some professional bonding.

Anyway, he immediately discussed his place in life at JP Morgan. But what struck me was that he is very proud of their benefits: 4 weeks of vacation, a pension! and job security.

He really seemed to believe he would someday get that pension and says he doesn't mind the bureaucracy of banking because he has a stable job. He was too full of himself to act interested in my work-a-day, although I got in a few words about my experience working in small companies with people who are a lot more in touch with the reality of the techie.

I was too nice to disabuse him of the notion of "security", although I did mention that his employer could always split off into divisions and sell a couple and leave him high and dry, or lay him off a couple of years before his pension prize becomes his.

He wasn't listening.

So I am relaxing at home now and flipping through the TV. Just so no one thinks I'm a couch potato, I was also reading passages from a book recommended by fellow JOS'ers (historical fiction--thanks folks!). The Matrix is on now, and I caught the scene where Morpheus is telling Neo to "free your mind!" Morpheus notes to Neo that they don't often invite folks over a certain age out of the Matrix because most adult minds can't handle it.

And so goes my train ride acquaintance. Too old to free his mind, still clinging to the security blanket that doesn't exist.

....

Speaking of the Matrix, there is a black woman who sued and supposedly won because the Wachowski brothers stole the story from her. I tend to believe her, although most say she's nuts (but she won the case?). Why do I believe her? Because the enslavement theme throughout the Matrix is sprinkled and webbed in the story in such a way that it would take a rare breed of white man to understand the subtleties of the enslaved mind. Blacks as a group often speak of themselves as "mentally enslaved" on some levels because "we" have yet to transcend the kind of thinking that keeps us from achieving what a free society offers.

If any of you have read science fiction by Octavia Butler, you might be aware that her writing has been criticized as being too enslavement oriented. She is one of the few black female authors in the genre, and it struck me that she denies that her writing is about slave topics so vehemently.

I am of the opinion that while enslavement is not unique to blacks (duh), the brand that is written about by the woman who says she wrote the Matrix and Octavia Butler is the kind that black women know of intimately. When blacks in my part of the world talk to one another, we know the language of the enslaved and we openly dance around the subject when in conversation that is a few clicks beyond polite and more personal/comfortable.

I used to get pissed that Neo was yet another white hero in science fiction, but I realized just today that he is perfect for the part: he embodies the arrogance required for such a hero. "Free your mind" is the Morpheus encouragement for the Neo that already believes, deep down, that he is the hero of our society, just like so many of the white males I have encountered in my daily life. The stereotype doesn't hold true most of the time in real life, but the kind of men I encounter as authority figures, as a black woman, are the mental embodiment of Neo; cocksure men who think they are entitled to run the world. Freeing such a man's mind is easier than trying to convince an enslaved mind that he can jump across skyscrapers. I have to wonder if that is the deeper reason why Morpheus did not elect himself to save humanity. Some of "us" know we lack the ability to step outside of enslavement, even though we understand this thing on an intellectual level.

And of course, the film has the perfect black female stereotype: the grandmotherly, wise woman who is the real director of the show. She is someone who is never given authority, but little by little assumes it because no one else can/will take on the things that "must be done."

I often get too pissed that people somehow believe my willingness to discuss these issues means I am playing the victim card. I struggle with trying to explain what "enslaved" really means. I connect with such writers discussed above because they know on a gut level what I'm talking about. It takes years of conversation and willingness on the part of others to really understand the perspective of someone who is oppressed but not weak.

...

Rambling a little further: Ever watch that buddy cop series, "Hunter"? It was a TV series from the early 90's that featured a liberated woman cop paired with a tough male cop. Back then, I thought the show was progressive.

I saw an episode of it a little while ago, over a decade later, and boy, the perspective I have now on that same series is completely different. When the female cop walks into the room, she is a complete sex object. The male cop takes over any situation that is actually dangerous, and she defers to him at least once every ten minutes.

I think that ten years from now, we will say the same about our society now; that what seems so progressive today, is actually quite oppressive and backward. Not sure what this has to do with enslavement or freeing one's mind, but I'm sure there's a connection somewhere in there.

...

Thanks for listening. :)
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
Yep, only black people TRULY understand the complex mental issues and nuances of slavery and indentured servitude.

Seriously, sharkfish, go fuck yourself.

Racism is bad enough from members of the majority.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
+++I often get too pissed that people somehow believe my willingness to discuss these issues means I am playing the victim card. +++

Your "willingness" (I'd say "eagerness") to discuss these issues has nothing to do with it. Your RIDICULOUSLY single-minded tunnel vision with regard to these issues make you look like a God damn fool, often as a side effect you look like a self-pitying expert victim, but mostly you just look like a sad, jaded, woefully misguided and prejudicial lost cause.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
I guess white dudes really ARE powerful if a fat, middle aged QA guy at a bank can inspire a diatribe about mental slavery and comparisons to a sci-fi superhero.
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
>Yep, only black people TRULY understand the complex mental
>issues and nuances of slavery and indentured servitude.

Them and white surbuban kids who listen to hip hop.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 18th, 2005
Wow. Usually when black chicks size me up on the train I assume that they are snickering about my average sized penis and poor fashion sense. Little did I know they really think I'm as cocksure and swaggering as Neo!
Permalink Ken 
August 18th, 2005
He's more likely to get laid off because of a merger than selling off divisions. The right merger could leave a very large percentage of the population of one division or another redundant.

The woman didn't win the court case, she won a continuance so she could continue to try and sue them.

Free Your Mind/Reality is an Illusion is more of a Buddhist philosophy. I'm offended Neo isn't East Asian. (Not really, but it's as legitimate as your complaint.)
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
White males are the authority figures at 99 percent of your workplaces, no doubt. Not all white males fall into this category, and the guy sitting next to me today is no doubt not an exception.

The problem with generalizations is there are so many exceptions, of course. However, if all blacks see are white men running things, then of course, our perception is going to be skewed and _seem_ to be extreme, angry, pitiful, etc.

The reality is, again, that I have almost never had anything but a white male making decisions at corporations I have worked for.

The exception: I had one black boss who owned a consulting firm I worked for as a recruiter when I was barely out of my teens.

So while I understand your reaction, I'm trying to help you understand mine.

Additionally, I also specifically stated that blacks are not the only enslaved peoples in history. Lots of people have been enslaved, and they no doubt share at least a bit of my perspective on the subject. When I meet an enslaved white male, I will let you know.


I will not go fuck myself.

:)
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
Will Smith was first pick for the Neo part.

And if Neo had been Asian, I think the story would have taken on an even more stereotyped, banal path.

As it is, I enjoy it, and it is one of maybe three films I have actually watched more than once.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
And why no mention of Morpheus?

So you're saying putting an Asian in the lead role would have diminished the movie? Racist.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
+++When I meet an enslaved white male, I will let you know.+++

You no doubt work with several, but you're so God damned pigheaded that you will NEVER see it.

Blacks are in the minority in leadership positions because blacks are in the minority, period. It's a statistical distribution. There's as much opportunity out there for you and your black relatives as their is for me (assuming that they're not members of the wealthy upper class, in which case they have it far better than I do.)

There are far more white males like me (slaves to whichever employer is paying the bills this month, slaves to the credit cards that make a reasonable standard of living possible, slaves to the privatized medical system if they're chronically ill like me or have chronically ill children like I do) than there are CEOs.

Once again, go fuck yourself, you God damned pitiable idiot.

You're bound and determined to be treated like a nigger because that will validate you in some sick twisted way. You just can't fathom that the state of your life is your own doing as much as the state of my life is mine, or any other middle-class white male's life is his. You don't fail because you're black, you fail because you don't believe it's your own fault. It's much easier to just be a nigger.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
Tom Jones - the Black Panther, not the singer was a senior exec in my division at Citigroup. The head of technology was (probably in preperation to offshore) Indian. A number of important execs were women.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
"Your "willingness" (I'd say "eagerness") to discuss these issues has nothing to do with it."

Actually, if I start a topic having nothing to do with race, it devolves into race issues through no encouragement of my own, simply because a lot of folks here want to discuss that angle.

Rather than post some other topic for discussion and watch it turn into race (that's what happened in "pay data, ethics, and you", I just decided to make the assertion that folks here want to talk about it and open it up.

Certainly, I open myself up for attack. If I'm wrong, so be it. I learn.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
+++Actually, if I start a topic having nothing to do with race, it devolves into race issues through no encouragement of my own, simply because a lot of folks here want to discuss that angle.

Rather than post some other topic for discussion and watch it turn into race (that's what happened in "pay data, ethics, and you", I just decided to make the assertion that folks here want to talk about it and open it up.+++

It seems to me as though you turn it to race, not anyone else, either directly or through intimation. Give it up, sharkfish, your ass is showing.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
Hey are we candidly talking about race now? If I'm an average skater looking white dude, what is the best way to get an african american girlfriend? this dude I know Jason Dill pulled it off, but he had to go through a total lower-east-side scumbag supermodel fashion makeover to get her. I would like to just be myself. is that going to work? where is a good place to meet black chicks who are open to interracial relationships?
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
"You no doubt work with several, but you're so God damned pigheaded that you will NEVER see it."

That guy I talked to on the train is probably as mentally enslaved as anyone.

I argue that he won't be nearly as effected(sp?) because of societal expectation. He is doing the best he can with the information he has, same as any of us.

I meet a few guys that I think are like you (whiny white guys who think the rest of us are whining too much) , muppet, and I have to say, I am always a little more successful than they by virtue of the fact that I have big boobs, I am fairly attractive, and the male mentality in the workplace is, well, basic.

It isn't fair, but that's life. It shouldn't be this way, and am comfortable enough to say so.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
"Give it up, sharkfish, your ass is showing."

I chose to show it.

If you have something to throw out besides insults, I'm willing to learn.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
I've got plenty. I've given you plenty, but you are convinced and nothing will sway you. You live in your little community, and race is treated in a particular way. You were raised a certain way, taught that whites are evil, whatever. You seem to work with a bunch of rednecks, to hear you describe it, but frankly I doubt your objectivity. You are at the very least guilty of generalizing your experience and assuming that it is ubiquitous, when it's not.

I'm whiny? Less so than you. My only point in this thread is that we're all just as fucked as you. We're all held down by the same "The Man" as you are. It's not a black/white thing and it hasn't been a black/white thing for years, maybe decades, except in the minds of people like you.

You're part of the problem, sharkfish. I'd think you'd want a solution. I think that maybe even YOU believe that you want a solution, but what you really want is validation of your failure by convincing yourself that everyone looks at you and sees a nigger. You WANT to be a nigger.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
"So you're saying putting an Asian in the lead role would have diminished the movie? Racist."

No, I'm saying the Wachowski brothers took care of the video game/martial arts genre in Matrix II and III, displaying their probable tendency to portray the Asian male in Matrix I in a similar fashion had they actually written the story.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
Hey I'm a white dude and am not being held down by the man. In fact I like to think of myself as "The Man." Can we talk more about how I'm going to find a black girlfriend?
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
Muppet, I'm not convinced we really think differently.

Your "victimhood" manifests itself differently. You are so willing to discuss your disadvantages in life, just as I am.

I have many advantages. However, I am just as willing to discuss those. I'm not so sure you are willing to admit you have any advantages.

Perhaps you think your advantage is that you are smarter than others?

Is that your madness?

Please stop using the N word. It really is offensive, and you really are smarter. Than that.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
"You seem to work with a bunch of rednecks, to hear you describe it, but frankly I doubt your objectivity. "

I am happy to say I work in a place where nothing in this discussion matters.

I wanted to speak my mind here because I thought some intelligent people would read it and make an attempt to understand the perspective of people who think as enslaved people think.

While I discussed blacks in particular, I also mentioned a white male that is enslaved, albeit on a different level.

The distinction between his enslavement, my enslavement, black enslavement, and Neo's resistance to enslavement, are arguable. I stated what I think about the difference: that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
I'm not calling you a nigger, sharkfish, I'm accusing you of wanting to be a nigger. I guess you can't grasp the subtleties, there.

I list my disadvantages only in response to your litany. You need some perspective, and I don't see any other way to give it to you. I have LOTS of advantages, and so do you.

Your problem is that you mis-categorize your disadvantages. They're not "black" and "female". They're "singleminded", "stubborn" and your unwillingness to consider the fact that you're not omniscient, that maybe somebody else's POV could be valuable to you. You make a fool of yourself every time you make a post like this. Sure, there are PLENTY of self-pitying, sad sacks who will read your little account, and nod their heads, and call out "preach it, sister!" and they're just as fucked as you.

White folks aren't your enemies. The rich and the powerful are. The people in charge in this country have shown their unfitness for the position. What are you going to do about it? Blame all the white guys? That makes you part of the problem. "The Man" LOVES that you think that's what the problem is.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
I don't know what you are talking about, Muppet.

This is what I'm talking about:

****
The distinction between his enslavement, my enslavement, black enslavement, and Neo's resistance to enslavement, are arguable. I stated what I think about the difference: that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".
****

I place the blame on mindset. This implies that I am partly responsible.

So let's argue the point, not what you think I'm thinking.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
+++While I discussed blacks in particular, I also mentioned a white male that is enslaved, albeit on a different level. +++

Please explain how you, personally, are enslaved on a different level than me, for example, or any other lower middle-class white guy in this society. Why are you more set upon than us?
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
"And if Neo had been Asian, I think the story would have taken on an even more stereotyped, banal path."

"No, I'm saying the Wachowski brothers took care of the video game/martial arts genre in Matrix II and III, displaying their probable tendency to portray the Asian male in Matrix I in a similar fashion had they actually written the story."

Yeah, and a black man as the lead "slave" in the movie wouldn't have been a stereotyped, banal role AT ALL.

Give it up, sharkfish, you're a racist pure and simple.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
+++I stated what I think about the difference: that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".+++

This is of course, utter nonsense, because there are many successful, wealthy, and influential black people in US society and elsewhere. Proportionately many, I'd say.

You live in a fantasy land where your failures are not your failures but everyone else's.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
"Why are you more set upon than us"


****
The distinction between his enslavement, my enslavement, black enslavement, and Neo's resistance to enslavement, are arguable. I stated what I think about the difference: ######that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".######
****
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
A rich, influential white guy is no more a representation of me than he is of you.

You're a bigot, sharkfish, you're a racist. It's plain as the nose on your face. You are sad and pathetic. Do you see that most people here think that you are a racist? Many have said so. Very few (none, that I can recall) have supported your assertions. Does this tell you nothing? Do you think that you are the single, enlightened messiah among the unclean? Give me a break. You're a racist.
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
Don't feel bad, sharkfish, it seems I'm a racist too:

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?off.9.22373.17#discussTopic22466
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
I'm a racist!
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 18th, 2005
actually I thought she made some interesting points.

It always interests me when otherwise intelligent people are so intent on projection their own interpretations onto the words of others that they dont actually stop and read what has been said.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 18th, 2005
there are "otherwise intelligent" people posting on this thread?
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
You know what would be the most volatile and offensive thing to toss into here right about now? The simple fact that there are plenty of people who are perfectly happy to willingly, knowingly, and with full awareness of what they do, submit to slavery.

Who are we to deny them their bliss?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
"You know what would be the most volatile and offensive thing to toss into here right about now?"

You must have a really low threshold for offensive.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
Not really. The very concept that someone would willingly submit to slavery is one that is far from commonly acceptable in most of society.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
Aaron --

Heh. Some of us fight it, but end up just thrashing around, accomplishing nothing. Others of us escape. And like you say, some of us succumb to it without a whimper, never knowing or just not caring.

Right now, I'm thrashing.

...

The street newspaper guy (most work for themselves, set their own hours, contracted to a couple of newspapers) said to me one morning, "Off to a day of pushing buttons, huh?"

I am sure he thinks I have succumbed to slavery, and he thinks he has not.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
Ug. What a horrible thread. I though shark's original post was interesting and thoughtprovoking. The descent in to using the n word was really low class. It really is an offensive term, as offensive as using the c word in the US.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 18th, 2005
"And like you say, some of us succumb to it without a whimper, never knowing or just not caring."

Actually, what I'm saying is that there are whose who *do* know and dive in happily. They place the collar around their own necks with contentment and hand the leash over, smiling.

They *know* they are slaves and are happy with it.

It's not apathy. Apathy is not caring, or maybe not even knowing. What I'm talking about is pretty much the opposite of apathy.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
Rich, it's an offensive word, and that's exactly why he used it. Not to be offensive (though he knew it would be taken that way, I am sure), but because it *is* offensive. A subtle difference.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
But Aaron, does that make the use of the word any less low class?
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
My manager at the Camel was a black woman.

Nobody knows that; I never saw fit to mention it. I guess I should've pointed out that the "totally incompetent, must oppress everyone in her division and if you contradict her she'll screw you over" moron was a black woman and judged all black women by that example.

No, hold on a second... with the exception of the few that have persecution complexes or chips on their shoulders, most black women I've worked with are just as competent or incompetent as the white women, white men, hispanic men and women, east asians, west asians, muslems, russians... why, just about everyone I've worked with!

It's like... it's like... like each person is equally capable of being an idiot! Hallelujah!

Now sharkfish, pull your racist head out of your ass and try working with people as individuals, not colors. Maybe you'll be just a wee bit happier.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 18th, 2005
Does it make the *use* of the word low class? That's hard to say. I find the word itself offensive, and basically never use it, myself. I know why he used it the way he did. Was there another way to convey the meaning and intent that he wanted to? I don't know off the top of my head. If so, perhaps it was unnecessarily coarse and vulgar of him to have used it.

While I find the word itself offensive, I know why he did it, and that in and of itself does not offend me. I personally would have tried a different method of conveying the meaning, if I had bothered to try.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 18th, 2005
sharkfish said a bunch of interesting things. Im interested that everyone has focused in on one or two less important comments and ignored the rest.

your all bloody mad.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 18th, 2005
Funny, I thought I responded to several of the things she said, but she only responded to one of them. She chose the direction of the conversation with me.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
"She chose the direction of the conversation with me"

thats not how I read your posts. take another look at them.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 18th, 2005
Michael Parenti has a pretty entertaining (for me) talk on "Racism -- from Aristotle to George Bush."
http://mbanna.radio4all.net/pub/archive2/mp3/parenti-racism_slavery.mp3
[too bad the site's slow for the forseeable future, maybe I should mirror it]

One interesting point he raises is that people overfocus on racist attitudes that people have. But underfocus on systemic racism.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 18th, 2005
Posts? Just read the first post. After that, she chose what to respond to.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 18th, 2005
actually, I take it back mark..rereading your posts you have said nothing of any interest whatsoever :) totally banal...its kind of amazing really.

I must be talking just to muppet.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 18th, 2005
See, I said nothing interesting whatsoever. Any percieved racism in this thread must be entirely hers.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
"Any percieved racism in this thread must be entirely hers."

where has she accused you of being racist?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Couldn't be me, I didn't say anything worthwhile whatsoever.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
really mark...I found where *you* accused *her* of being racist, where does *she* accuse *you*?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Nope, I couldn't have said anything like that. My posts have amounted to little more than white noise.

Not unlike yours, actually, your posts have got to be the dumbest in this thread. Well, those and mine responding to you.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
wow, actually *everyone* has accused *her* of being racist. amazing.

its truly rare that a group of white males can agree on something like *that* so easily.

well spotted all of you. imagine some black women coming in here with racist attitutes like that and expecting to get away with it.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Not everyone, we're still waiting for you, JHC.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Uh...when did I accuse her of being racist?

Just checking.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
yeah yeah, ok...*almost* everyone.

sheesh aaron.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
"You just can't fathom that the state of your life is your own doing as much as the state of my life is mine, or any other middle-class white male's life is his. You don't fail because you're black, you fail because you don't believe it's your own fault. " - muppet


Cognitive dissonance is so damn funny to watch.
Permalink ronk! 
August 19th, 2005
"we're still waiting for you, JHC."

sorry mark..what are you blathering on about?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
" "You just can't fathom that the state of your life is your own doing as much as the state of my life is mine, or any other middle-class white male's life is his. You don't fail because you're black, you fail because you don't believe it's your own fault. " - muppet


Cognitive dissonance is so damn funny to watch."

uh, yeah...that was pretty great, I thought.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Damnit, Aaron, get on board. We're being one dimensional today.

And JHC, try actually reading the thread before you reply. Also, try reading the OP, a full 2/3 of it are about race. It even starts with "I struck up a conversation on the vanilla train today." Now, the word "vanilla" is ambigious - she could have meant it was a bland train, but she could also have meant it was a white train.

And sharkfish - my post was meant to be humorous & mocking, I don't actually think you're a racist, and I'm surprised you reacted to what I said the way you did. Why a black man would have been appropriate for the role, but an asian man wouldn't is baffling to me.

I should probably point out that this woman also claims that her script was the basis for the Terminator movies. The overlap is telling - computers take over the world, and there's a prophecy about a man who will lead them to freedom. But I wouldn't go as far as to say she'd actually written either movie. The lawsuit probably had as much merit as the makers of Terminator sueing the Wachowski brothers over The Matrix.

The case was dismissed in June.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Sorry. My bad.

Let me take a moment to revert to proper one dimensional pervert mode.

sharkfish has big boobs?

Cool.

You didn't say which dimension. I'm going with the one I usually do.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Hmmm, not the same dimension as the rest of us, but I'll take it. I'm sure Chris McKinstry could figure out how the two relate to each other semantically.

Reading an interview with Sophia Stewart (who claimed to have written The Matrix). She's a science fiction writer, with an interest in a universe where computers take over the world, and she never saw Terminator???

http://p076.ezboard.com/fpoliticalpalacefrm57.showMessage?topicID=152.topic

She even says "I'll be back" is from her original script. (Which is nowhere to be found online, I saw the first three pages a while back, but nothing more.)
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
"but she could also have meant it was a white train."

and therefore...?


"my post was meant to be humorous & mocking"

lovely. I wonder if thats also true of everyone else who called her racist. you *did* say it a lot of times.

"Why a black man would have been appropriate for the role, but an asian man wouldn't is baffling to me."

why? some roles are better for different types of people' its called *casting*. like sharkfish I think that the casting was particularly good, swapping in an asian man would have changed it.


"The case was dismissed in June."

fascinating stuff.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Oh, we're doing line by line rebuttals now. Exciting.

Found the page with some excerpts from her manuscript.

http://sophiastewart.unn13.com/thirdeye.html

It should be noted that the sketches don't have anything to do with Sophia Stewart, I think they're from a Matrix comic book.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
I still have no idea why you have veered off on this tangent about some women who has done something.

<g> how does it relate to anything?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
You mean like the OP?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Oh, I mean "Damn that racist Sophia Stewart, why she gotta keep the white man down?"
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
""Damn that racist Sophia Stewart, why she gotta keep the white man down?""

wt*f* ?

christ mark you live on a totally different plane sometimes. I *really* q wish I knew what you were talking to yourself about, it sounds kind of interesting.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Hold on a second, now I'm interesting? Sheesh. Make up your mind already.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
"Make up your mind already."

for fucks sake mark, its not hard to understand. at the point I said all your previous posts in this thread were uninteresting, they were.

now you are making posts which are interesting, in a "wtf is he on about" kind of way.

I *really*, *really* have no idea how you got onto talking about whatsherface or why you did so.

and *thats* interesting.

out of genuine interest....are you high right now?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
From JHC:

"I *really*, *really* have no idea how you got onto talking about whatsherface or why you did so."

From the OP:

"Speaking of the Matrix, there is a black woman who sued and supposedly won because the Wachowski brothers stole the story from her. I tend to believe her, although most say she's nuts (but she won the case?). Why do I believe her? Because"

From JHC:

"now you are making posts which are interesting, in a "wtf is he on about" kind of way."

No, they're still uninteresting.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
ah! *now* it makes more sense. thanks mark.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
There should be an ellipsis after the "Because..."
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
wow, everything in this thread seems so surreal.

maybe Im on drugs.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
Fish.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
stop that.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 19th, 2005
What happened, you see something you didn't like the sound of?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
I'm not racist, I hate all you fuckers...
Permalink Jack of all 
August 19th, 2005
...anyone seen my pants?
Permalink Jack of all 
August 19th, 2005
There was a chap on TV the other night here arguing that "we" (the British[1]) owe "him" (black people) multi-trillion-pound back payments for being slave owners; essentially for having benefit from their labour.

He was awfully riled up for someone who's no direct experience of being a slave, and awfully cross at "white people" for having done it to him. He was trying to make Barclays appologise for having bought a bank which bought a bank which bought a bank which bought a bank which was started by a slaver. That kind of thing.

It's kind of odd that he's essentially a slave of his own making because he's /decided/ to be oppressed and aggrieved about it.




[1] I should point out that the OTH and I are claiming exemption from paying him any money because at the time our ancestors were subsistence farmers in Scotland...
Permalink Katie Lucas 
August 19th, 2005
I presume your claim against the Crown for the damages sustained by your ancestors in the Clearances.

Personally I'm waiting on a big fat cheque for putting up with most of the human race.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
There's a missing verb in the first sentence, make your own up.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 19th, 2005
+++well spotted all of you. imagine some black women coming in here with racist attitutes like that and expecting to get away with it.+++

So wait, are you implying that it is impossible for black people to be racist, or that it's ok when they are, or that calling a black person racist makes the accuser automatically racist? I'm not sure which of these ridiculous assertions you're trying to make.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
I think you're missing an "ing" Simon - "claiming" not "claim". I could claim exemption on the grounds that my family didn't pitch up in the UK until the 1850s by which time slavery was over -at least in the colonies if not the ex-colonies.

I'll ignoring the bulk of the thread which seems to be petty bickering between Americans of as much interest to me as the importance of Millwall vs West Ham would be to you. The things you have in common are greater than your differences.

What does stun me about the original post was the idea that Hunter was progressive. There was even a comedy series out about the same (Sledge Hammer) which took the piss* out of it.

*look it up: http://www.effingpot.com/slang.shtml
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 19th, 2005
I think sharkfish tries hard to discuss a highly-charged subject (racism, glass ceiling, fairness in the workplace) and presents her side of the story in a moderate, non-shrill way.

It's too bad muppet feels the need to make everything shrill.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 19th, 2005
Moderate?

You're right, she's very calm and collected and matter-of-fact about presenting her extremely racist and ignorant viewpoint. It's terrible that I react with an appropriate level of disgust when people suggest that race dominates their lives. People like sharkfish are a good chunk of the reasons that race is even discussed or noticed at all anymore.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
> 4 weeks of vacation, a pension! and job security.

Maybe it's a pension that vests, such that if he leaves it or if it leaves him then he can owns the fraction of the pension accrued 'till then. Certainly some people are receiving and working towards pensions even in this century: government workers for example; also the unionised employees of institutions like the public school board, the Toronto Transit Commission, ... my Dad has a pension, having been a university professor at private universities (though he changed jobs and countries, the pension was more or less his to take with him when he changed jobs).

FWIW I reckon that my job security as a private-sector programmer is related to my health: that I can keep working, keep finding work, for as long as I'm fit/healthy enough to do it.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 19th, 2005
Interesting post, sharkfish. I don't agree with some of the presumptions, but it is an interesting perception nonetheless.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 19th, 2005
"I think sharkfish tries hard to discuss a highly-charged subject (racism, glass ceiling, fairness in the workplace) and presents her side of the story in a moderate, non-shrill way.

It's too bad muppet feels the need to make everything shrill."


Yeah, and Jesus H. Christ I think gets my perspective as well.

This is too tough a subject to try to talk about. It is just too emotional. I was hoping for someone to dissect the position, not me, so much. I don't understand why some responded in the way they did.

I was told by a co-worker this past year that he grew up in a very racist family not very far from where I live. I am surrounded by people with his perspective. Can it be that even though he has always acted as much as he could, in politically correct, civil ways, that his perspective has had impact, combined with the impact of a whole region that I have lived and worked in most of my life? This same person recommended I be hired by his company. But his attitudes really did effect me. We became good friends, but every once-in-a-while his true feelings surfaced, and we had an open discussion like grown people and went on without holding grudges. He pointed out where my assumptions were wrong, too.

I just thought it was really cool how that worked out, and I figured others would be just as interested in the perspective gained.

Geez.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
I have no trouble debating, but you're beginning from a completely different zero point than I am. You make certain, broad assumptions that form the foundation of your position, and you haven't justified them. I can't debate a particular aspect of your position with you when the position itself is completely unsupportable.

You see everything within the context of race and racism. It's a warped lens you're viewing the world through. Granted, my lens is probably just as warped, but I've got a perspective you haven't, and so have many others. You seem extremely unwilling to consider those perspectives. You also seem to perceive those competing perspectives as hostile.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
Did anon ever get any advice on where to find a black girlfriend? I don't even necessarily need a black one, any non-caucasian will do. Or she can be a caucasian, but she has to be foreign (to the U.S.). American white girls are crazy.
Permalink I am Jack's weekend wings 
August 19th, 2005
Ok, to stick to my monodimensional train of thought but steering it back to the rest of the conversation, and throwing more gasoline on the fire:

sharkfish, have you ever considered that it might be your boobs holding you back, and not your race? I mean, men are probably willing to pay a bit of a premium to keep you around as eye candy, but a lot of people think that intellect and cup size are inversely related. Perhaps they think you're not smart, and therefore incompetent, just because you're busty. As a result, you could be overlooked for true advancement within the company.

Just throwing another angle onto this whole thing. It's not my own personal belief system, incidentally.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
"American white girls are crazy."

As a warning, they don't have a monopoly on that.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
As one note, racism (and sexism) does cut both ways - At the right firm, sharkfish, you are _HUGELY_ advantaged being a black female. Get a job at a firm like RBC - a firm where the white male executive is desperately trying to distract attention from themselves by pushing "diversity" very intently throughout the organization. You will be a Vice President in a month.

In no way does this make up for the racism and sexism that absolutely and unequivically exists in many firms out there (who could claim that it doesn't?), but there are ways to capitalize on the situation.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 19th, 2005
True, Dennis and Aaron. I said upthread that I have many advantages.

Did anyone notice that my original post states several times that blacks suffer from their own groupthink.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
Sure, sharkfish, but then you also demonstrate that you are very much in the grip of it yourself (and are unaware to what degree).
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
Yeah, I noticed. I ignored it because I believe damn near everyone is part of a groupthink of some sort or another, so to me it was kind of a given. I sometimes fall into the "I'm a rebel and pissed off for no good reason" frame of thought, personally, even though it doesn't ever really help me improve my life. Other people fall into the "The world owes me a living" frame, and so on.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
I am very aware of my ills.

They are still very valid, no matter what you think.

You, on the other hand, suffer from massive delusions as evident from your many posts.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
Any post that uses the word "disabuse" deserves to be torn apart.

Yeah, I noticed that. That's why a black couldn't be Neo because they're "mentally enslaged" etc.

The characters in the movie are such archetypes that putting anyone in the part would have made it cliched. Making Neo white makes him arrogant. Making him Black makes him a slave, making him Asian would make him a buddha, making him Jewish would make him someone manipulating the system, etc.

Aaron - if you took the groupthink parts out of the posts, there would be nothing left.

sharkfish - who's more of a slave, you or the guy you talked to?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
I think you were talking to muppet there, sharkfish, and not to me.

Of course, I could be wrong. I could well be delusional and not know it.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
MarkTAW -
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
I'm more in the "I'm a rebel pissed off for some very good reasons but far too apathetic and lethargic to do anything meaningful about it." camp.

Of course, outside of voting and campaigning, I don't know what I'd do short of starting a resistance cell.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
HAHA HA, cool thread idea. "Stereotype yourself."
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
I volunteer for "pervert".
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Yeah. But you're not just a pevert, you're the local pervert.

We could start each post with "I'm the token...." and finish the sentance.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
BTW - Did you have a stroke or something recently Mark? You've always been extremely well-written, but over the past week or so it's like you're posting drunk. :-)

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?ixDiscussGroup=9&pgBack=pgDiscussGroups&pre=preSearch&pg=pgSearchDiscussGroup&searchFor=REDICULoUS

Rediculous is another one that bugs me. I most certainly am not a pedant, but certain misspellings are contagious, and they really do corrupt the spelling of other people. You can see the group-ignorance quite readily on Slashdot. People need to install one of the spelling plug-ins (the Google toolbar adds a pretty good one to either IE or Firefox).
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 19th, 2005
" I think you were talking to muppet there, sharkfish, and not to me."

Yes--I was addressing muppet.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
They don't need spell checkers, they need to learn to spell.

I've never used a spell checker in my life.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
"sharkfish - who's more of a slave, you or the guy you talked to?"

That was my question in the first post. We are all slaves to a certain extent--my question was

****
The distinction between his enslavement, my enslavement, black enslavement, and Neo's resistance to enslavement, ###are arguable.### I stated what I think about the difference: ######that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".######
****
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
Dennis - I've noticed that too. There are some words I've misspelled for years, but lately I really am getting worse. Probably because I've been getting less sleep lately.

That Sentance thing I'm never going to get right. Not without making a real effort to get. My fingers to go "a," it looks OK to me on the screen. The word has just become Sentance for me.

FWIW, there's this advertising forum I'm in filled with the worst spellers I've ever met. Some real "walla" type stuff, or words that are just completely wrong. Stuff where you know there was just a complete disconnect between their brain and their fingers. Maybe it's got something to do with which part of the brain language is on.

I heard that after some government (CIA or FBI or something) language training course, the language you were learning, that was in your left brain, shifts to your right brain. Something you had to think about in terms of rules and structures is now something more fluid. It's at this point that you can become a translator for the UN.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
+++that blacks have a particular mindset about enslavement and lack the arrogance of people who get to see representations of themselves, often, in positions of authority and "success".+++

And as I've already stated and you've ignored, this is invalid. There are plenty of successful, wealthy, influential black individuals in the world. Proportionately many, I'd say.

A wealthy, influential white guy is as representative of me as he is of you.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
> The distinction between his enslavement, my enslavement, black enslavement, and Neo's resistance to enslavement ...

It sounds like you have no idea what the word "slavery" means! Of course I know you must: you're just using the word loosely ... but why?

Slavery includes not being permitted to choose your own 'master', not being able to keep the proceeds of what you earn or sell in the market-place, etc.

Yes, I know that Marxism uses the term "wage-slaves" ... but I doubt that even what he meant by that term applies to most of us here.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 19th, 2005
So you're saying we're enslaved by our role models, or lack thereof? I guess I could see that. Years ago, women couldn't aspire to be (for example) basketball players, but now there's a women's league that has pro players. Something that was impossible has become possible. Okay, that's something that technically didn't exist a few years ago, but the idea that we can only aspire to what we believe exists is valid.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Yeah, and what Christopher said as well. There's a vast gulf between "I don't think I can do it" and not actually being able to do it.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
A couple of quick thoughts :

1. Allan sez : "I think sharkfish tries hard to discuss a highly-charged subject... and presents her side of the story in a moderate, non-shrill way."
Yep.

2. I skimmed a big chunk of this thread -- have we not mentioned that Morpheus is also black? In fact, for most of the first movie, he's cast into one of the few -new- stereotyped roles for black men : the "magical Negro" who enables and assists the white lead to take the hero role.

3. Offhand, I get this sense that sharkfish should be interested in Camille Paglia. Maybe not agree with her, but at least be engaged by her -- she's a heck of a commentator on just these kinds of ticklish subjects, and she can -write- too. Whaddya say, sharkfish? Is Camille in your bedside bookpile?
Permalink Snark 
August 19th, 2005
> And why no mention of Morpheus?
>
> So you're saying putting an Asian in the lead role would
> have diminished the movie? Racist.
> MarkTAW
> Thursday, August 18, 2005
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
A agree with that assessment of Morpheus, but as I said, all of the roles are so archetypal that _any_ person cast in them could be seen as being a stereotype.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
MarkTAW sez : "(Sophia Stewart is) a science fiction writer, with an interest in a universe where computers take over the world, and she never saw Terminator???"

<nerd>
Actually, "The Terminator" was the subject of its own script-source lawsuit. Harlan Ellison sued James Cameron, who directed the movie, alleging that major elements of the movie were directly drawn from two episodes of _The Outer Limits_ that Ellison wrote. The episodes in question were "Soldier" (in which a soldier is sent back in time to perform an assassination) and "Demon With a Glass Hand" (in which an amnesiac time-traveller is forced to rely on a computer chip implanted in his body to give him information). The suit was settled out of court, and Ellison's name now shows up in the film credits.
</nerd>
Permalink Snark 
August 19th, 2005
> I struggle with trying to explain what "enslaved" really means.

I *already* have an idea of what "enslaved" *really* means. If you mean something else entirely, perhaps you should be using a different word?

I'm listening to Marley's _Uprising_ at the moment -- love it.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 19th, 2005
hey snark, MarkTAW--is this racist enough for ya?

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?off.9.155283.18#discussTopic156211

hehe. I was in a raging mood that night. I think I walked
down the "low class idiot" aisle in that post...
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
"3. Offhand, I get this sense that sharkfish should be interested in Camille Paglia. Maybe not agree with her, but at least be engaged by her -- she's a heck of a commentator on just these kinds of ticklish subjects, and she can -write- too. Whaddya say, sharkfish? Is Camille in your bedside bookpile?"


Thanks for the compliment. My high school English teachers regularly gave me D's. I was not encouraged to write until I got to college. I have improved a bit by sharing on forums. Getting immediate feedback is priceless. I wasn't really trying to write well--it is damned difficult to write and be *interesting* to a wide audience.

I skimmed a book by Camille Paglia many years ago. I was too young to have a measured opinion. Perhaps I should try her again.

I would enjoy writing a book on this subject. I have a lot to say about mixed race people of my generation and how we have fared. Too many of the ones I read are just not inflammatory enough in the right ways. I have had a lot of interesting experiences and conversations, simply because I don't mind talking to people about what's on my mind.

My favorite conversation in the past few years was with an Indian cabbie. He said he had been here in America for over a decade. He asked me why I'm not married. I threw out some "reason of the day" gibberish. Then he says "You should be MARRIED! You are not complete without a husband and children! And by the way, what race are you?" I said "...mostly black."

He says "You are too beautiful to be BLACK! How can that be????!!!!"

People say shit like this to me all the time. It is great material to start with, but I have to get past a few of my own issues if I am to write a valid, useful book on the subject of race.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
What if once you get over your own issues, you have nothing left to say?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005
Oops. I re-read snark's post and it seems he was referring to Paglia's writing, not mine. Haw haw.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
sharkfish sez : "I skimmed a book by Camille Paglia many years ago. I was too young to have a measured opinion."

Exactly the same with me. Then, several years back, I heard an interview with her on a radio show called "The Connection" (great show, now sadly off the air) and I was so impressed with the -level- of dialogue that I had to go and really read some of her stuff. I also realized that my mental image of her politics and philosophy was completely wrong (I think I had her confused with Andrea Dworkin, which would just horrify both of them). She recently published an awesome book of commentaries on poems called "Blow, Break, Burn," but I'd recommend that you start with "Sexual Personae" -- it's really her first defining book. She writes and thinks like a scalpel.
Permalink Snark 
August 19th, 2005
sharkfish also sez : "I have a lot to say about mixed race people of my generation and how we have fared."

Well -- in the US at least -- we're all going to be the color of coffee-with-one-cream in a hundred years or so. Seriously. Particularly in the northeast and west coast (heck, I'll say it -- the blue states), "racial lines" in dating and marriage aren't just being crossed, they're being disintegrated. In my immediate circle, just less than half of my friends are currently in an interracial relationship (I'm including marriages, here), and every single one of them has been in an interracial relationship at one point or another. And of my friends who have children, every single one of their children has at least two distinct ethnic groups in their immediate family.
Permalink Snark 
August 19th, 2005
sharkfish: a lot of the blowback you get from white people with whom you discuss race is simply defensiveness. At any moment, any opinion we might have on the subject could be labelled racist, which is an imposssible label to contradict logically.

Basically, the fear is that the *real* discussion is about assigning blame or fault for historical or modern-day slights. Some people (rhymes with "cup it") respond to that fear by abandoning all pretense... and if their true nature is actually racist then we see an uncensored version of it.

Others (myself in most cases) respond by recusing ourselves entirely from the conversation. We may or may not *know* whether we're fundamentally racist underneath, and we're not going to risk finding out for sure.

The best thing you can do to ensure a mature conversation is to be absolutely clear that you're not trying to figure out who's racist and who isn't on the JOS forums... limit the topic to the people within its scope (such as the JP Morgan guy) even if other people try to expand it to you or others. And if people step beyond the line (rhymes with "shlup it"), there's always JOS Idiot-B-Gone.
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 19th, 2005
Nope, sorry, Tail-man, but my intensity on this subject has nothing to do with self-defense.
Permalink muppet 
August 19th, 2005
We all know that the best defense is to be really offensive.

Or something like that.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 19th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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