ABC Cancels Top-Rated ‘Roseanne’ After Racist Tweetstorm
Hours after she unleashed a racist Twitter tirade, Roseanne Barr has had her show canceled by ABC. Of course, ABC knew who it was doing business with well before today.
ABC has canceled the top-rated return of the 1990s television series Roseanne just hours after a racist Twitter tirade from the show’s star Roseanne Barr:
ABC canceled the hit sitcom “Roseanne” on Tuesday hours after the show’s star and co-creator, Roseanne Barr, posted a racist tweet about a former top adviser to President Obama who is black.
Early on Tuesday, Ms. Barr posted a comment about Valerie Jarrett, the former adviser to Mr. Obama, that said if “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Ms. Barr, whose ABC sitcom about the Conner family ended a successful comeback season last week, initially dismissed accusations that the comment was racist, defending it as ”a joke.” She also said on Twitter, “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people.”
Ms. Barr later deleted the post about Ms. Jarrett, and initially said nothing about the reference to “The Planet of the Apes.” About a half-hour later, she offered an apology.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she wrote. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste.”
Ms. Barr also said she was “leaving Twitter.”
Hours later, ABC canceled her show.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC’s entertainment president, Channing Dungey, said in a statement.
The fallout over the Twitter post had begun earlier. Wanda Sykes, the black comedian who served as a consulting producer on “Roseanne” this season, said she was leaving the sitcom. Whitney Cummings — a showrunner for the revived comedy, and one of its most outspoken liberal supporters — had already left the series this month.
More from The Washington Post:
ABC announced Tuesday that it has canceled ”Roseanne” after the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, went on a vitriolic Twitter rant.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment said in a statement released just hours after the comedian’s offensive social media rant.
The cancellation capped a day of online furor over a Twitter rant by Barr in which the actress/comedian spewed false conspiracy theories, went after former firklash and calls for ABC to fire the comedian and cancel her show, Barr issued a blanket apology and said she was giving up the social media platform. “I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter,” she wrote, hours after the tweetstorm began.
The mea culpa was apparently not enough for comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer for Barr’s show. “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” Sykes wrote shortly after the online tirade ended.
The social-media rant wasn’t exactly a surprise performance by Barr, who regularly delights supporters of President Trump with her retweets of conservative memes and stories. She has trucked in conservative conspiracies before, though she deleted most of her old tweets once it was announced that her show “Roseanne” was coming back on the air after a 21-year hiatus.
But even by her own standards, the initial tweets were particularly vitriolic. She started by spreading the false rumor (which apparently Scott Baio believes, too) that Chelsea Clinton was married to the nephew of billionaire liberal Democratic donor George Soros, who is a lightning rod for false conservative theories.
Clinton responded in her usual M.O. when dealing with social-media weirdness: a clapback cloaked in sweetness. “Good morning Roseanne – my given middle name is Victoria,” she wrote. “I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety [Soros’s organization] does in the world. Have a great day!”
Clinton wasn’t Barr’s only target, though — she had more to say about Soros, whom she accused of wanting to “overthrow … [U.S.] constitutional republic.”
Barr also falsely claimed that Soros was “a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps.”
And she called on Americans to “unite against” a CIA mind-control program, for good measure.
In one of her most offensive missives (though it was a tough contest), she appeared to take aim at former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, identifying her by her initials: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” she wrote, though she later claimed it was “a joke.” After more intense criticism directed to her and ABC, she issued a fuller apology. “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she wrote. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”
Barr has tweeted in the past about “Pedogate,” the term for conspiracy theories that accuse people (usually Trump opponents) of being part of a secret ring of pedophiles, and Pizzagate (the most famous of those theories). She also tweeted last year about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot in Washington, echoing a conservative theory that his death was covered up by the Clintons. “THE FIX IS IN!” Barr tweeted at the time.
Meanwhile, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Roseanne was arguably causing other headaches for the network:
Roseanne was slated to return in the fall for an expanded 11th season of 13 episodes as ABC looked to build on the show’s momentum. In a victory lap of sorts, Barr was the centerpiece of ABC’s upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers earlier this month. The revival was part of a larger effort by Dungey — broadcast’s lone African-American network topper — to cater to the underserved community who turned out in force to elect Trump. The success of the Roseanne revival has prompted other broadcast networks to pick up a wave of multicamera comedies in a larger push to program for middle America. (To that end, Fox revived Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing a year after ABC’s cancellation.)
On some level, the quick decision by ABC to cancel the show in the wake of Barr’s racist comments was somewhat of a surprise. Her show, which had been off the air since ending back in 1997, returned earlier this year as a limited-run series and immediately bolted to the top of the television ratings. The first episode of the revival received remarkably high ratings for a show that had been off the air as a first-run series for nearly twenty years and the ratings for subsequent episodes, while not quite as high as that first episode, were still high enough for the network to announce quite early on that it was renewing the show for a second season.
Roseanne has never shied away from taking on timely and controversial subjects. In the spirit of its original run, which had a history of addressing larger political and social issues, the revival famously opened its new season with an episode that explored the country’s divisive response to President Trump, whom Barr has publicly supported. The storyline between Roseanne and her sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), was designed to reflect the debate among Trump’s working-class base and spur a larger discussion. The May 22 season finale, likewise, set the stage to explore a larger debate about health care in America.
The reboot also found itself under the microscope earlier this season when a one-off joke taking aim at fellow ABC comedies Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat was blasted as being “reductive” and “belittling.”
The most notable thing about the revived show was the extent to which it became much more overtly political than the show had been in its previous incarnation. Reflecting Roseanne herself, the character she played was a vocal and strong supporter of Donald Trump, and several of the episodes of this past seasons involved clashes between her and other family members regarding this and the results of the 2016 Presidential election. At the same time, though, the show also featured the main character’s mixed-race grandchildren, including one who seemed to be clearly identified as heading toward the realization that they are transgendered. As noted above, the success of the show was such that President Trump cited it several times, and pointed to the success of the show as evidence that “people like us” are a substantial force in the country, if not an outright majority, regardless of what the reporting might say.
Personally speaking, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Anyone who was around when Roseanne was originally on the air back in the 1990s will surely remember that Roseanne Barr, or whatever she chose to call herself at any given point in time, was an erratic and bizarre person off-screen who was apt to say things that were offensive to a wide variety of people. For a time at least, the show itself was funny enough to be something I would watch on a regular basis, but to no small degree that was due more to what many of Roseanne’s co-stars, such as John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, brought to show than Roseanne Barr herself, who was as much of a bizarre person off-screen back then as she proved herself to be on Twitter. I stopped watching the show on a regular basis at some point halfway through its run, though, and am only aware of some of what happened in subsequent seasons due to the fact that the show has been running in syndication on a number of different cable networks over the intervening two decades and I’d sometimes run across it while channel surfing. Other than the first episode of the return series, which I watched after the fact if only because it had become something of a pop culture phenomenon and I wanted to see what all the talk about. The only thing I concluded after watching that episode was that walking away from it nearly twenty years ago was the right decision.
In any case, the abrupt decision to cancel the show is likely the quick recognition by ABC and Disney that failing to act quickly to separate themselves from Roseanne Barr would end up causing more headaches than the ratings were worth. At the same time, though, one does have to say that they really have only themselves to blame for all of this. As I noted, Roseanne Barr has been an erratic and controversial figure ever since her show was first put on the air, and that has only increased in the intervening years since it ended its original run. Her Twitter account alone presented more than enough evidence dating back to well before the revival began production that she was capable of and prone to saying things that were crazy, offensive, and just all around ridiculously stupid. Despite all of this, they decided to go forward with the project and to quickly renew the show for a second season after just a few episodes because of the ratings. That decision to reboot the series came at the same time that Barr had ended a brief Twitter hiatus and begun tweeting out bizarre nonsense about the so-called “Pedogate” and “Pizzagate” conspiracy theories that are popular in alt-right circles and among die-hard Trump supporters. On top of all that, there had to be at least some people left at ABC who remembered the controversies that Barr found herself in the middle of when the show was originally on the air. It’s not like she woke up this morning and just decided to be a crazy racist on Twitter. They knew what they were getting into, but they chose to ignore it because they saw dollar signs. While they deserve credit for acting quickly, they never should have given this woman a platform to begin with.
Don Trump Jr. retweed her tweet about Soros being a Nazi.
Shh. Saying things like that is what makes them act deplorable. If we elitist coast dwellers didn’t point out their overtly bigoted statements, they would never be driven to the dark web.
Shouldn’t all be forgiven for her very respectful rendition of the national anthem at a Padres game? She even grabbed her crutch and spat in respect.
Damn. I missed every one of her new shows.
Maybe Fox or Scientology TV will pick up Roseanne.
Or she can sing the National Anthem at Trump’s Propaganda Rallies and grab her crotch and spit when she’s done.
IIRC, Roseanne grabbed her crotch after mangling the Star-Spangled Banner at some baseball game back in the day. Surprised she became a conservative hero. (EDIT: And Mister Bluster confirms my memory!)
Unfortunately, Hillary’s equation saying only “half” of Trump’s supporters were deplorables was probably an underestimate. I can see them ripping out their hair today – “you can’t say ANYTHING ANYMORE!”
I do recall that when Ms. Barr was asked to explain herself after the baseball ballyhoo, she claimed that she had been watching baseball players and that’s what they did during the anthem’s performance before games.
Which is why I edited my comment while you wrote yours. 😉
I am now calling them deplorables! 🙂
Roseanne became a conservative–or at least a Trumpkin–heroine–when she leaped aboard the Trumpwagon. To be a Trumpkin, you must, as I’ve noted before, be blessed with a very short memory.
There is video of Roseanne “singing” the National Anthem.
Did she take a knee? No.
Did she lock arms with anyone? No.
Is she African American? No.
Thus, all perfectly fine.
I remember the controversy that caused 28 years ago. One comment on it I remember came from bestselling baseball author Bill James. James said ‘Barr sank the national anthem.’
Anyway Barr had no class then and doesn’t today. Why is that not surprising.
The trumpidians face a horrid quandary right now: How to frame the spin on this with “If Obama…”?
BTW, I’ve never seen her show (I found her abhorrent and repugnant even back in the 90s), but if she is a fanatic for Trump in real life, and if the show really is a comedy and the people in it are all actors, wouldn’t it be funnier if she had played the Trump antagonist in this ill-fated revival? Think of how Neil Patrick Harris, a gay man, played a sexist serial womanizer in “How I Met Your Mother.”
What this episode reminds me of most is the time ESPN briefly hired Rush Limbaugh until he opened his yap and, well, talked like Rush Limbaugh. This is a masochistic ritual the networks are always practicing: hiring someone known for saying outrageous and offensive things, just so they can boost their ratings, then promptly pulling back as soon as the person lives up to the reputation that was the reason they hired him/her in the first place.
Like Trump himself, she’s been all over the map politically throughout her career. She actually ran for the Green Party nomination in 2012. But then, the GP has a history of embracing people who claim to be progressive but who are basically trollish loons (the 2008 nominee was Cynthia McKinney, a 9/11 truther) who shamelessly behave as enablers of the far-right. It’s kind of an example of the horseshoe theory of politics.
This cancellation is wholly justified, but still a shame for the writers and other actors, as it really was a pretty well done show. Outside of the couple of minutes in the first episode, there really wasn’t much that was overtly political (at least not in the online “insult” culture sense) in the subsequent episodes; and in fact the show handled a few topics in ways that most liberals likely would have appreciated (if they’d been watching) much more than conservative viewers, who may have only been watching because Roseanne (the private individual, not the character on the show) behaves in such a “Trumpy” way.
People or, in this case, networks who think they can ride the Trump Train without getting covered in soot are just kidding themselves. Association with Trump in any way, shape or form will inevitably result in you regretting it.
Kudos to ABC for dumping a top-rated show…doing the right thing with so much money at stake is shocking in this day and age…especially when you consider the backlash that is likely to ensue.
BTW…Soros was 14 when WW2 ended. Doubtful he was doing the things the right wing extremists say he was. Makes sense that Fredo…er…I mean…Donnie Jr. would re-tweet it though.
@Todd: Considering the number of people who were getting fed up and leaving the show, maybe ABC realized that Barr would soon have chased everyone away with her demented behavior at some point anyway, so they might as well fire her/cancel the show and try to recoup a bit of goodwill.
(Why in the heck Roseanne said anything about Valerie Jarrett is really head-scratching. She’s linked with the Obama White House, no? Maybe VJ was just standing in for Random Black Woman in Roseanne’s world.)
I will say that it’s too bad she messed up the livelihoods of all her co-workers. Couldn’t they just write her off the show, instead of canceling it all together? (No, I haven’t watched any of the reboot yet so I don’t really care.)
Looks like Roseanne’s talent agency has had enough of her as well.
(I bet Roseanne is muttering to herself: “hey, I haven’t said anything worse than what President Trump has said! So why am I the one getting ditched?”)
Please go here if you wish to see how the Trumpkins are reacting to the cancellation of their brand-new goddess. It’ll make you puke, but…
So…NOW we all agree that companies can punish employees for exercising their freedom of speech? I just want to make sure we can avoid having to argue this point again in the future.
I am a strong believer in freedom of speech. Back in my blogging days, I defended Ann Coulter and Cindy Sheehan. There can however be consequences for speaking out. Defamation, slander, etc. Or loss of income if you upset somebody you have a contract with. I’m sure Disney has some legal proviso to back them up.
So you’re outraged by the NFL decision on players and the national anthem?
Mike, censorship is when the government seizes your printing press, busts it up, and throws you in prison. Roseanne wasn’t censored. She violated her employer’s standards. You may agree or disagree with those standards, but they are ABC’s to enforce as they choose. In any case, why are you cheering her? Conservatives hated Roseanne in her previous incarnation. Remember? The one who trashed the national anthem? The one whom conservatives despised because she appeared to be liberal? The one who as featured in a Vanity Fair article saying that she was what America most feared: White trash with money?
You certainly don’t expect Bunge the Coward to stick around and back up his comment, do you???
Good afternoon. This is your daily reminder not to feed the troll.
Please Don’t Feed the Troll.
Thank you. This has been your daily reminder not to feed the troll.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
It’s not surprising that Don Jr. would be embracing it, but it is a little shocking to hear it coming from a Jew like Roseanne, since it is essentially an anti-Semitic smear against Soros. But then, far-right Jews resorting to anti-Semitic themes is not exactly new.
Notice also that she defended her remarks as nonracist on the grounds that “Islam is not a race, lefties!” (I guess I’m counting down till the moment she claims that comparing a black person to an ape is not racist since liberals have compared Trump to an ape.) Again, as a Jew she should be well aware of the blurry line in practice between attacking a religion and attacking a race. But who are we kidding? Like Stephen Miller, she seems to have a remarkable capacity for getting in bed with folks who hate her own people.
@Doug has it right: Roseanne is and has long been an absolute head case. It was foolish to ever give her a show, this kind of blow-up was all-but inevitable, and ABC finally saw the handwriting on the wall and realized she’d do it again and again. And this is Disney. You don’t want to embarrass the Mouse. The Mouse is bigger than all of us.
The sad thing is the hole it blows in the lives and careers of people like Lauirie Metcalf, an actor on a par with Meryl Streep, and Goodman, and the people behind the camera. This messes up a lot of lives.
For people who don’t understand this, I’d suggest it’s more than just the Disney brand, though that’s a big element. There’s also this: Shonda Rhimes. Also Jordan Peele. And Ryan Coogler who directed Black Panther. Black audiences, and white audiences open to predominantly black TV or movies swing a much bigger stick than they used to. A bunch of cynics in Hollywood discovered religion when Moonlight, then Get Out, and Black Panther‘s numbers came in. Would you rather piss off Shonda, Jordan and Ryan as well as everyone under the age of 70? Or would you rather throw the crazy racist woman overboard?
Culture has a much different audience and audience dynamic than politics. In Hollywood a 75 year-old white man living in Arkansas isn’t even 3/5ths of a 20-something white or black or Asian viewer. He’s not 1/5th. You can sell adult diapers and term life insurance scams, or you can sell clothing and beverages and cars. And you can crank out a retread or you can have whatever Shonda and Jordan and Ryan have cooking up. It’s power. Green power.
…companies can punish employees for exercising their freedom of speech…
Please provide documentation that Ms. Barr was an employee of ABC as you claim.
As is often the case, Mrs. Betty Bowers (America’s Best Christian) had the best response to this news:
The MAGAts lost this round.
She’s either directly employed or her corporation is bound under contract. Others like @wr and @LA will know more but having dealt with Disney a couple of times on books and movie: they’ll have this covered under their contract. Disney doesn’t play around when it comes to rights.
@Kathy: @Kathy: Say, should I feed the troll?
Actually, if I were “white trash with money”, isn’t Roseanne’s show nothing but a collection of stereotypes about the “white working class”?
Am I supposed to be happy that the stereotypes of my tribe’s dysfunctionality have been brought to the screen, or pissed that the stereotypes are being perpetuated?
@michael reynolds: “The sad thing is the hole it blows in the lives and careers of people like Lauirie Metcalf, an actor on a par with Meryl Streep, and Goodman, and the people behind the camera”
Definitely sucks for the people behind the camera and a lot of the supporting cast, particularly the younger members. I’m not going to worry too much about Laurie Metcalf — I saw her in Three Tall Women on Broadway and suspect she’s got some other prospects in her future…
@michael reynolds: Whether or not she was an “employee” is simply unimportant here — ABC didn’t fire her, or dock her pay. They canceled her show. She may or may not be owed money for the canceled season, depending on her contract and how Disney’s lawyers and hers choose to interpret it, but does anyone not directly involved really care about that?
Did you see her on that Louis CK web show Horace and Pete. She’s so good it almost takes you out of the performance because you can’t quite believe what she’s pulling off.
OT, but it looks like Eric Greitens is about to resign.
(I guess the main connection is both Barr and Greitens are batsh*t insane Trump supporters)
See, when you feed the troll, you risk winding up with troll feces all over your comment thread.
This is the kind of Alex Jones level bullsh** that the Right, in this case Dinesh D’Souza (?), throws against the wall these days, hoping that it will stick.
By the way, Soros was aged 9 through 15 through much of World War II, and definitely was not a Nazi youth
It’s funny that the show was mostly run by normal liberal Hollywood types, all of whom were capable of creating a Trump voter with economic problems and some prejudices. Meanwhile she’s like Pizza sex trafficking rings apes Muslim Brotherhood Soros blah blah blah.
If liberals wrote the representative Trump voter as someone who believes Hillary Clinton was smuggling children in a sex ring, trolls who are outraged by the show being cancelled would be outraged by how little liberals know about what goes on in the mind of Trump voters.
@Todd: Yes, this idiot woman has lost all these other people their jobs as well as torpedoing her own. Ugh.
I suspect there was a 4chan/InfoWars/Breitbart/Storm* headline about her recently.
You shouldn’t be surprised…if you spout racist trash and stick it to all the right people, you can be forgiven any sin by conservatives…hell, look at how much has been forgiven of President Bone Spurs…
Of course she’s an employee of ABC (Disney). Who do you think signs her checks? I’ve done multiple series for ABC. Despite of who the production company is, if you’re doing an ABC series, you’re an ABC employee. You have to deal with ABC Legal, ABC Labor, ABC Safety, ABC Transportation, ABC Facilities, ABC Risk Management, ABC Insurance, etc.
Who do you think pays for ABC shows to go on the air on ABC?
I’m genuinely curious who you think Roseanne works for, if not ABC?
@Blue Galangal: The tweeting seems to have begun with a weird blurb about Chelsea Clinton being married to a Soros nephew. I guess this is a RWNJ theory of some importance. Chelsea actually replied. Very politely! Whereupon Roseanne withdrew that ‘accusation’ and sent some sort of ugly twit about Chelsea’s husband’s father being in prison (a congressman guilty of fraud) at the time of their wedding. Some other participant in the twitter thread made some remark about Valerie Jarrett which drew Roseanne’s tweet.
DAMN! I hate reading those strings of semi-disconnected and over-abbreviated quips.
But I was thinking the same question: WTF is Valerie Jarrett doing in the news?!
Even if I could provide a link — I’d spare you the entire stream.
@michael reynolds: Say what you want about The Mouse, but he’s a decent human being.
The questions is not whether employers have a right to fire employees for speech that brings disrepute on them; no one disputes that. It’s a matter of where they draw the line and whether the policing is wise in that particular case. There is a difference between football players kneeling quietly during the national anthem and someone racist conspiracy theories on Twitter (apart from the union considerations in the NFL’s case).
@EddieInCA:..I’m genuinely curious who you think Roseanne works for, if not ABC?
I did not know what her working relationship with ABC was when I made the inquiry. I did not have all the quality information that you and Reynolds have since provided.
I don’t trust Bungles for anything.
@grumpy realist: As a working class white (Teamster warehouse worker at a national produce distributor) that was always my question back in the day when the show was first on.
This is a shame. Not because she isn’t a crazy loon who deserves a backlash to her racist behavior, but because the show was actually pretty good. And pretty good from a social standpoint too — a non-binary grandson being treated with compassion, in a show that is being marketed to the right wing.
Roseanne has always been focused on the working class, and class issues, even if the star was completely insane. She doesn’t have a coherent political philosophy, and is mostly all over the place feeling aggrieved by this or that. But, behind that incoherence, she focuses on the types of class issues that most entertainment ignores.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Donald Duck might hold a contrarian view.
@EddieInCA: Eddie, she is probably an independent contractor with ABC, not an employee in a legal sense. In that case, while they can cancel, the financial repercussions depend on the contract language.
@Gustopher: I’d certainly hope that Hollywood has enough talent and brains to create another good show about the working class (and appealing to the working class) without needing the input of Roseanne Barr. And I hope that at least one of their IP lawyers realizes she doesn’t have a patent on the concept!
…Notice if you will that the same people who are applauding ABC eliminating the show as not being consistent with their values, are the same ones who eliminated Tim Allen, and for the same reasons. Yet, these are the very same people who were screaming that Colin Kaepernick should not be fired for expressing his views.
I’ve not even seen any reaction to this story yet, and I will guarantee you that that’s how it’s going to go down.
In any event, I do believe that mr. Voltaire Has this one nailed…
Meanwhile, Wanda Sykes was unavailable for comment apparently
First Reformed is really worth seeing. It’s about a million light years from Trump real America crap.
Oh yes, of course! Because protesting cops killing innocent black people is exactly the same thing as tweeting racist and anti-Semitic comments…you would think that…idiot…
@An Interested Party:
“White people don’t steal wallets.” They steal countries. #FaceValueBET
Check out @iamwandasykes’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/iamwandasykes/status/930999556606640128?s=09
Explain to me why Wanda Sykes still has a job with the selfsame ABC.
@grumpy realist: Welcome to Black America
This is the same reason why companies were so willing to cut the NRA loose. Times are changing and now the power is in the hands of the kids, not the aging fox news crank in Florida.
@Eric Florack: Because whites are the new N1&&3rs– Enjoy!
I’m not a TV guy, especially crappy sitcoms. But I have a serious question. Who in their right mind would spend precious hours watching a whack job like Rosanne. Anyone who does needs to look in the mirror and ask, “why?” Are your lives that empty?
That’s funny. Today a 20 year old detailed one of our cars. In conversation it turns out he has 6 people working for him doing same. He’s an entrepreneur. I hate to harsh your mellow. A Trumpian. Not a slug living with his parents until 30 and voting Bernie.
But then, maybe you hang with the slugs.
I certainly am against these statements and have never been a fan of Barr.
I will be taking a look at ABC and see if they are consistent in these moral issues or if they
allow programs that have vulgar language, naked people, and extreme and unnecessary violence.
Actually, her corporation is contracted withABC, but that’s a distinction without a difference. She’s an ABC employee, any way you slice it.
@Guarneri: Cool story, bro. My three nephews and nieces, with degrees from places like Yale, Northwestern, and Michigan and jobs at places like Google, a battery-designing start-up, and the last one’s a professor, yeah they’re all decidedly NOT Trumpian. That’s 3-to-1 so far (and I managed to explain this without any ad hominem attacks). Shall we play some more?
I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Even the prospect sends a shudder down my spine.
LOL! Before today (or even after), who would have guessed that Valerie Jarrett controls Roseanne Barr?
If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
You sure got that right!
Trump critics fired at conservative site RedState
So, a typical Republican then?
@EddieinCA: I hate to get legalistic, but if you are correct and she’s contracted through a corporation to ABC, she’s not an ABC employee. She’s not even under a personal contract. Her corporation has an agreement with ABC, and she is a shareholder, director and employee of that corp.
Alternatively, if she just has a personal contract with ABC, she’s still not an employee. She’s a contractor. This is actually beneficial for ABC, because an employee typically has more statutory rights than a contractor.
It’s sad that one persons actions can kill an enterprise with foolishness that could have been avoided.
John Goodman is a god amongst us striding the earth pounding us mere mortals into dust with his inherent awesomeness. Hopefully, he doesn’t need the scratch or the gig for house payments. Dude can crash on my couch anytime. He rocks so hard.
Laurie Metcalf is a solid actress. Lady Bird was a revelation. She has been quietly good for a long time . Internal Affairs was in 1990. Check her IMDB timeline. That gal is super solid.
I don’t know who is in the new incarnation, but the original gave us Sara Gilbert who I think was too personally prickly and prideful to fully commit to acting. Don’t get me wrong, her acting is decent, but her new gig suits her better.
Johnny Galecki, the David Schwimmer of the now, makes a lot of money apparently. Good on him. Laurie Metcalf plays his mother on Big Bang Theory which cracks me up hard. I don’t really know good an actor he is because he has the thankless straight guy role on his show. I wish I had Johnny Galecki money. Or maybe Jim Parsons money.
Sarah Chalke has had an great career. Very versatile.
The other kid (D.J.) got totally fucked by 2018 today Roseanne. That kid was coating on residuals. He got a role on the new show. (The awkward boy child (Michael Fishman) had a child actor gig – do this thing, and we’ll pay your parents a relative pittance and we hope they bank it for your education but don’t sue us if they don’t. Sorry we fucked your childhood, but there’s money to be made.)
Roseanne Barr’s actions hurt a lot of people.
Her words basically killed a enterprise.
That’s just the on-camera folks.
There is an infrastructure to filmed entertainment. Guys and gals jobs just disappeared.
This is a dead thread so I’m gonna riff
Summer feel-good songs.
Len Steal My Sunshine. https://youtu.be/E1fzJ_AYajA
The first visuals are so bro. It starts stupendously stupidly bro. Like WWE heel bro. Who was the dopey guy from The Real World – The Miz; they all want to be that guy.
And then the girl show up and she is so stupid awesome. She steals everything and invalidates and negates the broishness.
L-A-T-E-R that week.
She utterly shames the boys. I’m a boy so I tread lightly here, but I think that this a transformative feminist statement. Sharon Costanzo kicks ass in my world. She converted a limp Limp Biscuit wanna-be track from lead to gold.
The boys think the video is about them, but they are so very wrong.
This song is a trifle without her, but *with* her it is gold.
I missed a million miles of fun.
She gets it and the bros don’t.
Mr. Robot thought it was cool enough for inclusion. And used in an unusual way.
MGMT Time To Pretend https://youtu.be/B9dSYgd5Elk
So poppy, so druggy.
Too druggy for pop #1, but shoulda been nevertheless…
This song and the Kids video should have made these people world famous pop stars.
I’m sorta glad it didn’t happen.
It’s not that they didn’t deserve it. MGMT kick ass and rock hard.
They are both super poppy and intensely weird.
The world says it wants intensely weird, but it does not know how to cope with it. The world is just being polite, they don’t really want that weirdness.
The world lies.
This is a summer feel-good song that also wants you go full Lord Of The Flies.
Fated to pretend.
Hate to Say I Told You So
Perhaps the world’s most perfect song
Or maybe this, Forever Now by the Psychedelic Furs.
It may not be more perfect than Hate to Say I Told You So. but it is def perfectly perfect nevertheless.
I’ve been fascinated by the fact that Politics and Culture seem to be forces driving at full speed in opposite directions. I thought it might shake out this way. The Trump Cult is just too backward, too old, too early 20th century.
The lesson the Trumpaloons should take from this is that capitalism has chosen the anti-Trump side for reasons conservatives are required to respect: money. The Trumpaloons threaten boycotts and no one cares; the Left threatens boycotts and the capitalists snap a smart salute and fall in line.
In the abstract this is not a good thing. But we are well past abstract and into real and present danger, and one of the many (many, many, so many) problems with the Trump Cult is that it is so appalling, so clearly a danger, so destructive that we are left only to resist and consider the broader issues later. That said: this is not great, this politicization of culture. Art is meant to comment upon and contribute to politics, it’s not good to have it owned by either side, Left or Right. But this is what happens when 46% of American voters lose their damn minds leaving the rest of us to try and limit the damage.
Trump may stagger through the rest of his term but he’s already been largely cauterized. Starbucks closes down for a day to talk racism with its staff. Publix has stopped donating to the FL gubernatorial race because: guns.
Roseanne is axed in a heartbeat. The omens are not good for the Trumpaloons.
We passed ‘peak Trump’ more than a year ago IMO, and culties touting slightly improved poll numbers need to step back and ask themselves what kind of numbers any decent human being in the White House would be racking up with unemployment below 4%, the Dow at 28k and no new wars. Obama left office at 60%, and that was after 8 years, endless GOP lies and attacks, and a country that’s a good third hardcore racist. Trump is at 42%, almost 20 points below Obama last number. That’s the Trump effect. That’s what you get when you elect a pig to sit in the Oval.
So you are moving back from New Zealand?
@de stijl: ABC is being two faced in this.
Except “Roseanne” wasn’t “axed in a heartbeat”. This was like the sixth time she had said something insane and/or damaging to ABC’s brand on Twitter. I am sure she had been warned previously by someone at ABC too.
ABC, along with Starbucks and Publix, are just responding to bad PR in the easiest way possible to get the spotlight off of them. Plus, in at least ABC’s case, cancelling the show serves as a general deterrent to the next actor/actress who thinks about posting something that asinine on Twitter.
And am I supposed to be glad that ABC cancelled a fictionalized version of the “Cletus Safaris” that the Washington Post and the New York Times publish every week?
Roseanne was fired for entirely different reasons than Tim Allen. And racism is not a view…it’s abject ignorance. So I’m saying that you, an abject racist, are ignorant.
@Eric Florack: ” are the same ones who eliminated Tim Allen”
Last Man Standing premiered in 2011 and ran on ABC, with middling success, for six seasons and 130 episodes, which is a long life for any but a tiny few sitcoms. Its cancellation was the result of the market working — fewer people were watching new episodes and the studio owned enough old ones to keep it in syndication. So what is your complaint, aside from “conservative” self-pity?
@Eric Florack: “Meanwhile, Wanda Sykes was unavailable for comment apparently”
Actually, Wanda Sykes was among the first to comment, quitting her job on the show — and, unlike most “conservative” martyrs, actually giving up a big chunk of her income — out of revulsion at the tweet.
When have you ever done anything more than whine on a blog comment? My guess is never… which puts her about a thousand miles ahead of you in terms of commitment to her beliefs.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: “Roseanne was fired for entirely different reasons than Tim Allen.”
Tim Allen was “fired” for being conservative in exactly the same way that Kelsey Grammar was fired for being conservative when Frasier went off the air after eleven seasons or Fred MacMurray was fired for being conservative when My Three Sons was cancelled after its twelfth year.
Honestly, I read this kind of thing and think….man, the left really needs to stop gauging victories by the most superficial, minor crap.
Starbucks closes down for a day to cover their own asses, not because HR-approved “sensitivity” training is a boon for social justice.
Some activists got a grocery chain to avoid political donations? Some activists may think that’s a victory — because of guns– but it also means they won’t be helping your candidate out either.
And a TV show, one of thousands, in a world where a “high-rated” show is barely even watched, is “canceled.”
I can see how you, an affluent west-coast liberal, are satisfied with that, Michael. I don’t see why anyone who isn’t a superficial pillock would be impressed.
Two-faced how so? You need to pad that out a bit and not just make a bold accusation.
If you want to be bold, be bold, but you need to back it up.
Post edit – the Tyrell ref got majorlly effed, but I’m leaving it as is cuz it looks cool.
@Jim Brown 32: That was cold. Particularly directed at Florak.
Why do you vote for people you hate?
Seriously, it is obvious in each one of your comments that you not just hate Democrats, but you deem them foolish and infantile. You hate the Rs more.
You picked a side and then you just piss all over it all the live long day. I do not get you. Does it piss you off that the DCC doesn’t follow the obvious James Pearce strategies and tactics for success? Anger is an energy, but if self-directed, it does nothing.
@de stijl: Dude! Don’t be bogarting that joint!
You’re not very bright, Pearce. You want to consider the possibility that people cleverer than you see more.
The answer to the question of what is the best song of all time is quite obviously Unsatisfied by The Replacments. (Maybe.)
Disagree and I will fight you. (Or maybe agree if you offer up a true alternative you can back up.)
Thinking London, actually, which is where I am at the moment. Although Amsterdam was excellent fun. There doing research for a book. Stayed in room 420 at the Sofitel which I thought rather perfect. Though frankly A’Dam hasn’t kept up with the California on pot, where I have much greater choice in and home delivery too.
I’d tell you more about my exciting week but I had to sign NDA’s from two different studios. Book deals, movie deals, hanging out with the talented and famous. Getting a laugh from and being hugged by. . . well, never mind.
And you? Play a round of golf and watch some Fox and Friends, did you?
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I actually do not smoke. Weed makes me paranoid and stupid. I prefer shrooms, but like once or twice a year.
Shrooms are a gift and shouldn’t be wasted; you need to get your head right before a trip. Right place, right people. This ain’t no fucking around. Do it right or don’t do it. This is sacred.
Very OT, but Donny went on a Twitter rampage this morning wishing that he’d never picked Sessions as AG.
I didn’t pick a side. I developed principles and what I piss on is the daily betrayal of those principles. You should try it.
From a story on Business Insider:
The absolute certainty that racism should be fought in this way, with such illiberal results, makes me despair.
Look ahead. See where this is going. And fricking cut it out.
Like this thread has been on topic since 2:30 last night!
He’s already said if he knew Sessions would act ethically (some of the time), he’d have picked someone else.
Cheeto Benito should either fire Sessions or leave him alone. The constant attacks on Twitter just make the Orange Twit look more unhinged than usual.
Yes, I know his base loves it.
Okay, someone down-voted Unsatisfied as Best Song Of All Time and just walked away without offering up an alternative!?! WTF?
You, sir or madam, are a coward.
We will fairly evaluate your offering if you dare to offer one up. You are a fucking coward until you offer up.
Just a public service announcement for @Guarneri and @Bung et al: if you were capable of debating me on issues you might actually get somewhere. I’m a sucker for logic and helpless in the face of a cogent argument, even if it conflicts with something I’ve said. If you had the intellectual firepower to actually argue a point, you might conceivably come out on top – if you were right.
But trading insults? Dudes. I’m reminded of a moment from Never Mind the Buzzcocks, about 1:45 in. A not terribly bright rocker named Donny Tourette, decides to trade insults with Bill Bailey, a comic. At which point the host, Simon Amstell, leans over and explains to the idiot rocker:
I know everyone has words and can say things, but I’m a professional. You won’t win. You won’t ever win. You won’t ever even draw blood. I could smoke a joint, drink half a bottle of Scotch and go two days without sleep, and you still couldn’t lay a glove on me. I could be in the late stages of ebola and you wouldn’t win.
Obviously you didn’t get the memo. Do not start any sentences directed at me with the words “You are” or “You are not.”
You don’t know me –you don’t like me, I get that– but you don’t know me, so all of your sentences about me should start with “I am” or “I am not.”
As in “I am not open-minded enough to listen to you” or “I am not willing to be challenged.”
That “you are” stuff? That’s done.
I’m moving to Duluth.
We live in different worlds.
It simply amazes me [\snark] that your principled anti-Trump stance consistently results in your telling people who oppose him to… do exactly what Trump would want.
I think that’s a fairly narrow and simplistic view. Starbucks closed down for a day for several reasons, and most, if not all, had to do with their bottom line. But Starbucks may view their bottom line differently than other businesses, and they may view their bottom line in ways that are more akin to a liberal Weltanschauung than a conservative one. This does not mean they are liberal, or that they are not interested in making money. Au contraire. But what it does mean is that they may have realised that not only closing down for an afternoon is great optics, but it may also address what they perceive to be a systemic issue among their employees, and it’s a great way of getting those employees’ attention and sending a message to those employees – from the top down – exactly how seriously Starbucks regards this issue. There will not be change if the employees don’t perceive that management is putting real money and effort behind this.
Starbucks has said that they are willing to lose money to promote diversity training. We can laugh and scoff and say it’s not that much. But for those employees, being paid to attend this training and not having to find coworkers to cover their shifts while attending that training… that is an explicit message that those who may not have a food service background might not realise.
And from an HR perspective, from here on out, no Starbucks employee can claim, “I didn’t know this was the policy” or “I had no idea what implicit bias looked like.” Can this go on performance reviews and PIPs from here on out? It sure can. Can this be used as a rationale for firing here on out? Yes.
In addition, Starbucks may be using this training as a way not only to promote their corporate ethics but to weed out those employees who do not take this seriously and who will object to the “PC” culture… And again it’s better – in many ways – for Starbucks for those employees to leave voluntarily over a culture mismatch than for Starbucks to fire them.
You write “YA” stuff, dude, and you think writing fantasy stories for teenagers makes you the most insightful guy on the blog.
No wonder you think you’ll “win” at trading insults….
You have nothing to say Pearce. Everyone here tells you the same thing: you have nothing to say. No ideas, no arguments, no insights, just a vague, constipated discontent. You are content-free. If you want to earn respect you have to actually take a stand, state a position and then defend it. Until you are willing to do that, no one will take you seriously.
@de stijl: I am not the one who downvoted you but I’d offer up R.E.M.’s New Test Leper as an alternative for the top spot. On the other hand, it might just be my current malaise of the soul, because ordinarily I’d put Orange Crush in the top spot.
James Pearce is a person who is perpetually unsatisfied. I made a mistake and engaged with him again after vowing not to. The man is toxic.
Speaking of unsatisfied, will you offer up an alternative to Unsatisfied as the GOAT song?
Well, this is my life now. My life used to be sleeping under bridges, pushing a vacuum cleaner, waiting tables and running from the law. And oddly enough, and for reasons I no longer recall, our first born was conceived in Duluth. We were living in Minneapolis at the time. I remember a hotel on the water and a bald eagle riding the updrafts at the water’s edge. No idea why we were in Duluth.
Well, I see you’re tight with Hubris 😉
I promised myself I wouldn’t engage with you again, but, seriously, fuck you.
You are beyond help. You’ve decided to just *own* the fuck out of that bad boy role, right?
You are not helping yourself. You are damaging yourself.
I don’t tell people what to do often – like once a decade – but just stop and re-evaluate.
It is hilarious how much Pearce comes off as a stereotypical beltway centrist.
@Kathy: I kind of get the feeling that hubris is standing there as MR goes through the list, ticking off each item and nodding, like, yeah, yeah, yup -hang on – oh no, it’s good, it’s Pearce he’s talking about, nvm, yup, yeah, yeah…
…and now Roseanne is blaming her tweets on having taken Ambien. The company that manufacturers Ambien isn’t happy.
Dude, I’ve put roughly 8 million words on paper. YA, middle-grade, younger stuff, now adult mysteries, plus two years writing a regular newspaper column, ad copy, feature pieces, documentary work, even some foreign reporting. Starred reviews, millions earned, my own little cult even.
Words are my work tools. You have words, I have words, but you also have fists and so does any pro boxer. Can you beat a pro boxer? No, you can’t. He doesn’t have to be Mike Tyson, he just has to be a pro, and you’ll never touch him because you’re playing around and he’s at work.
“…and now Roseanne is blaming her tweets on having taken Ambien.”
The Party of Personal Responsibility strikes again.
Trump wants to fight racism with liberalism and tolerance?
I just took a stand, Michael. You do not have permission to insult me, even if you think I somehow deserve it.
After reading your comment, I think I agree with that assessment…. I take it back.
It’s only hubris when you’re wrong.
There are quite a number of regulars here who I have great respect for, very much including you. You take stands and defend them. You have beliefs. You accept some risk. You have knowledge and know how to use words to advance a specific POV. Most of all, you actually give a fck. I would be cautious before arguing with you in the field of ideas. I would want to think carefully before arguing a point with you. And I wouldn’t be too darn sure I’d prevail – nor would I want to if you were right and I was wrong. People like you (and many others here) are why I hang out here. Genuine respect.
But you can’t beat somethin’ with nothin’ and nothin’ is what Pearce and Guarneri and Bung have. And when they try to be clever with me it’s hard to express just how pointless it is. You can’t beat me with words, but you can absolutely beat me with logic and argument. I’m a masochist that way: I like the beatings. People like you are my free education. I trot out an idea like an unsteady newborn colt wobbling around and wait to see if some clever person will knock my idea down. Then I learn. But word play? Nah. Their Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me.
Two breaking news items:
A. Trump just Tweeted that although Bob Iger of ABC apologized to Valerie Jarrett, ABC never apologized to him (Trump) for the “horrible” things ABC said about him.
B. Kim Kardashian (yes, you read that right) will be meeting with Jared Kushner today at the White House to discuss prison reform.
No, I did not make up either of those.
@James Pearce: Michael is actually a talented artist. If you don’t like his genre that’s fine, but it’s a mistake to think writing a fantasy novel must mean he’s some kind of hack.
I’m not a R.E.M fan for some reason, but I do like the video where the teen boy is trapped in the car with his dumb-ass parents.
You offered up, so I have to give an active listen.
Maybe. But sometimes it’s hubris when the gods say it is (I’m deep into the Iliad, plus general Greco-Roman mythology, plus Greek tragedy, for a kind of alternate mythology novel(s) I dreamt up a few months ago; the gods make quite an impression).
I appreciate your praise and thank you for it. We don’t trade much in the way of comments, but I value yours as well, even when I disagree with your views. You do take care to explain what your opinions and views are based on, and to justify them when necessary.
Which is why I warn you not to tempt the gods 😉
That thing never goes away entirely. The stars above and Street Life never go away. I walk and I note abandoned houses.
Water, food, shelter, heat, electricity.
Homelessness makes your brain pay attention really hard.
People underestimate the state of it – what you do when you have no roof? How do you live, how do you cope?
Being homeless is really fucking hard. It really sucks. It is horrible. It is very, very cold. You have first hand knowledge of all human excremental issues and how to deal.
Squatting is 10 X better than the stars above. You have a roof. That’s like the first rung of civilization, yes?
And if you’re lucky enough to no longer squat? People shit on you and tell you’re not being real.
I appreciate the comment, but I wasn’t really trying to engage him. Unlike the other pro-Trump people that post on this site his message is subtle and more aimed at sowing dissension in the ranks than in outright defense of Trump. So every once in a while I call him out just for the newcomers who may not realize what is going on. Perhaps I was a bit too subtle on my comment? I normally say something like “Funny how your anti-Trump messages all seem to be pro-Trumpian under the covers and come across as something a moderately clever Trumpoid would say”
I’m actually not 100% convinced he is actually doing this on purpose. On any given day my certainty ranges from 50-75%
Dang, you beat me to it…
@grumpy realist: When I learned early this morning of Barr’s remark about ambien, I looked up the drug (which I’d never heard of before) and came to the Wikipedia page, which at that point listed as one of the drug’s side effects “extreme racism.” Immediately suspicious, I clicked on the article history and, lo and behold, that phrase had just been added to the article–without citation of course.
This isn’t the first time I’ve landed on a Wikipedia article just when it had been vandalized to include support for a bogus claim by a right-wing provocateur. It happened to me some years back when I looked something up relating to an Ann Coulter remark around the time.
I don’t think he’s a hack. I think he’s a little full of himself.
Have you ever heard him say stuff like, “I know (this thing I can’t possibly know), and you know how I know? Because I write novels.”
And when it’s not that, it’s “I wrote the Animorphs books so you won’t win.”
And it’s, like, get over yourself, dude.
At any rate, let this comment be my farewell. I come here for discussion, not abuse. A not insignificant minority of commenters is only capable of the latter.
The idea that an “encyclopedia” entry that can be written and rewritten by anyone with an ax to grind could be regarded as in any wise authoritative has always struck me as ridiculous.
The late Philip Roth spent years trying to get Wikipedia to remove a statement that he had based a character on Anatole Broyard. Roth insisted he hadn’t–and Roth would know. Wikipedia said it was sorry, but that it had two sources that claimed the opposite, and they were going with those sources.
I’m calling BS. Pick the statement.
a. Your farewell? I don’t think so, but I’m prepared to be mistaken. Prove me wrong.
b. You don’t come here for discussion – you come to pontificate and promote fake contrarian views.
c. Unless you are talking about the Mbunges and Guarneris of the site, most commenters are certainly capable of more than abuse. They are also capable of handing out snark (or worse) but its usually merited.
This is the only site where I read the comments, because I often get additional information or different POVs. It’s really important. I do also tend to read Dreher and his commenters, because although he has gone so far down the “It’s all about The Gays!” rabbit hole he often has some interesting things to say up until he goes into hysterics, and a few of his commenters often add important background. For instance, I’ve been reading the comments in a post he has that, admittedly, almost entirely falls into the hysterics category (its about a lawsuit against a catholic parish that involves The Gays!), but is redeemed by the comments. The depth at which the actual case has been analyzed reveals it to be a) not really at all about The Gays!, and b) a reminder that clear cut cases rarely need a judge to resolve. Real life is often much more complicated than the slogans we trot out.
*As a side note, I went to TAC to look at the last ten Dreher postings and see how many feature The Gays! prominently, but got sidetracked by his most recent one, an insightful post that muses about how we often think that the revelation of some wrongdoing by leadership is the culmination of a process, while it is really just the start of a test for the members of that organization. Now that you know your leadership is problematic, how will you react? What changes will you demand? It’s why I continue to read him…
We’ve now found out who the real victim in all of this is. It’s Trump of course:
BTW, Iger (who Trump references) is the guy who quit his economic advisory board over climate change reversals.
Reynolds was saying that he is better at putting insults because he is a writer, not saying that he is better at everything because he is a writer. There is some truth on that, remember Captain Haddock from the Tintin comic book?
Actually, the only time I remember him doing something like that is when he’s talking about writing novels, or the things that arise directly from that. He also speaks from authority about having been a criminal and a screwup in his earlier life and I have no reason to think that he’s making that up to pad his resume.
In some sense part of the problem is that network TV needs to skewer to older viewers with lower incomes to get big ratings, and advertisers don’t want these viewers(You can see this happening with telenovelas in Latin America). Roseanne, a remake of a 90’s sitcom that became popular with Trump voters was smelling older viewers with lower incomes and Roseanne’s racists tantrums could become a emperor has no clothes moment for Disney.
I don’t think that’s a victory – just a business decision.
@Andre Kenji de Sousa: Billions of blistering blue barnacles I do!
I’m ignoring everything else you said to back this. Which makes my life way easier.
Hubris is just a fancy way of saying pride. Wrongful pride is the bane of us. It converts decent people to stone hearts. Pride kills.
I’m probably the only person commenting on this blog who has been in a room and has had a conversation with Roseanne Barr. And as such, I can tell you that she’s the worst kind of human being. Anyone defending her doesn’t know her. That’s the simple fact. Shes an atrocious human being.
When she apologized didn’t she say she was leaving Twitter? She’s apparently out this morning pissing about her ex co-workers.
If you’re really gone, then this comment won’t matter.
But… It’s only “full of yourself” if you’re wrong. I’ve been accused of being “full of myself” on more than one occasion. Why? Because I can frame my point of view forcefully and not allow weak arguments to go without comment.
You claim you have principles, yet you don’t outline those. You seem to play the part of the aggrieved citizen – regardless as to whether it’s a right or left issue.
At this point of my life, I’m as close to a socialist as one can be without being an actual socialist…. but, I also have some polity positions that could be considered right wing. Does that mean I have no principles, or that I look at each policy proposal on it’s own merits and choose the policy position for me based on my own life experiences, education, internal debate and honestly? I say the latter. Which is why I can hold seemingly contradictory positions (i.e. I’m pro-2nd Amendment, Anti-NRA)
You claim principles, yet rarely show them.
@gVOR08: That’s supposedly why this cancellation blew up so quickly. Barr supposedly has already been a headache for her ABC bosses and they’ve already tried to keep her away from Twitter (with her promising that she would stop, turn her account over to someone else, etc.) but like the proverbial dog to his vomit she shows up over and over again.
This isn’t an “overreaction by a TV company about one racist tweet.” This is “racist tweet straw that broke the camel’s back.”
So? If that’s what it takes to get people to act like decent folks then by all means, emphasize that their bottom line in danger if they don’t nip this sh^t in the bud. I don’t expect businesses to act morally – it would be nice if they did but they exist for one reason only and that’s to make money. What’s pissing conservatives off is that their traditional allies are starting to realize what a bad investment hate is. Who’s got more money in the long run – the angry older working class dropout living off government cheese or the young gay couple in California? The NRA-addicts or the upcoming generation who now expect to get shot going to school? Q-anon worshipers or the people who run Wall Street? Money talks and bullsh^t walks so bye bye haters, you don’t have enough dough to support your nastiness for long.
It’s a boon to social justice when people act in just ways. Their intents may not be stellar but it’s a step in the right direction. We can work on internalizing the change later – it’s easier to do once people start living with it and realizing it’s not as bad as they thought.. The perfect is the enemy of the good, James.
And Harvard has done business with Trump. No wonder we love OTB comments.
You think you’re fighting a dick by just upping the dickishness. This does shine well on you. I really don’t advise people, but rethink your path. Your thing is not healthy.
The really cool answer is that there is no right answer and never will be. What you think is the best song of all time works for you. You are “right”, I am “right”.
If it works for you just go with it. Fuck those guys – ignore them.
(PS I’m more “right”)
@de stijl: Hubris is a bit more than just pride, and that difference brings more irony to Pearce’s comments. Hubris is pride and bragging so much that the gods take notice and decide to smite you. In this scenario that would make Pearce the god-like smiter.
@de stijl: In the words of Dave Barry from his Book of Bad Songs, “in matters of musical taste, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and yours is wrong.”
@gVOR08: Hey, I worked with Cosby…
That guy is a bad ass in own right. He makes us want to respond and we do. And he is immune to critical responses. Don’t agree with his take. But that dude abides.
You realize you just flounced? Like, no backsies, totally flounced? If you show up again, we will be forced to quote this back at you?
@Kathy: She’s coming up on the centerline. She shoots. She scores! The crowd goes wild!
@gVOR08: On the other hand, being a nobody has it’s perks, you don’t have to meet these people in real life. 😛
We should expect our business partners to behave morally. We would not hang with lads who treated us as marks. I do not want to do business with nor do I want to work for a shit-hole company.
People shit on Millennials and Gen Z for being flaky employees, but they know the deal. They want their employers to be decent corporate citizens. They want the folks that deliver their electricity to have solar and wind inputs. They want their bank to be 2018 Wells Fargo, not 2016 Wells Fargo.
And unions as a counterpoint to management? Yep. They’re on that tip too.
Our kids may actually save us from our hubris.
One of the things I love about Sigur Ros is Jonsi is really emphatic. He’s speaking Icelndic so when I hear his words I don’t understand them but I get the message anyway. Jonsi is panlinguistic.
I think you might be surprised at how many businesses are run ethically. The Medical Device industry in the United States needs to certify an incredible number of things in order to release a new product or maintain an old one in the market, and probably 80-90% of that is self certification. The measure of the honesty can be shown by the number of projects that get delayed in order to re-run a pre-release test with almost 100% certainty of passing and no serious ramifications if it doesn’t. I’ve never had even a hint of pressure to fudge or falsify, and most of the people I know would leave a company in a heartbeat if they got such pressure. If the vast majority of companies weren’t behaving ethically and honestly the whole system would collapse. Before that, I was in packaging, hardly a hot bed of ethical challenges. And even there, I was never pressured to do anything sleazy.
There are businesses that have a significantly high rate of sleaze, like Manhattan real estate. But even there, Trump isn’t the norm, he’s so bad he got run out of town. He hasn’t done a Manhattan deal in decades, aside from selling naming rights.
2:36 last night I just not thought this was a dead thread, but I declared it to be so.
I was so wrong.
Among many others…
Savage and true.
Hubris means literally excessive pride. I dispute your assertion.
@de stijl: Today, your defintion is probably the most common and is the first definition at dictionary.com. But I think it is an example of “blurring out” the meaning of a word until it becomes a synonym of a more generic word (see: “literally”) and leaving a hole in the language. In this case, the older definition was much more precise. It was pride and arrogance that specifically led to a downfall. Under that old definition, we could say that Steve Bannon’s hubris led to his downfall. More historical examples would be Alexander the Great and Donald Duck (in every episode).
Here is some other, probably older information found at dictionary.com
British Dictionary definitions for hubris
(in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin
Origin of hubris
First recorded in 1880–85, hubris is from the Greek word hýbris insolence
Word Origin and History for hubris
also hybris, 1884, a back-formation from hubristic or else from Greek hybris “wanton violence, insolence, outrage,” originally “presumption toward the gods;”
Don’t mess with me. What Michael Reynolds is to words in general, I am to obscure and useless facts, such as 100 year old usages of words. Fear me.
I have *literally* been schooled. 😉
I got the arrogance before but did not get that downfall was a function.
And this “ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin” is my new fave throw away line.
“in Greek tragedy” – This is where the true meaning becomes clearer / sharper.
You have to know where to go in the Netherlands for the best selection, but a high end dispensary in CA has all of them beat for selection and for knowing what you are getting. Harborside was my favorite when I was in the Bay Area, everything tested for THC and accessory cannabinoid content. There is nothing like that in the Netherlands.
The main problem holding back the Netherlands is that there is no legal commercial production. It is legal to grow several plants for personal use in most places. I was allowed five when I lived there, way more than I needed. It is legal to possess and sell in smallish quantities, but there is no legal way to trade in pounds as any shop has to, so every ‘coffee shop’ has to break the law and is thus subject to be shut down based on the whims of the authorities.
I try to look at the overall and all the angles.
Think: who stands to gain from all of this?
In the meantime, and somewhat related to hubris, you may want to dig up the origins of the word “tragedy.” I think you’ll find them surprising, and to some extent quite amusing.
Not being the smartest person in the room is both shocking and also weirdly liberating.
Disagree and I will fight you. (Or maybe agree if you offer up a true alternative you can back up.)
The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II from Kubric’s 2001: A Space Odyssey sound track.
It was playing on the stereo the first time I got laid.
Make love not war.
(note how the flight attendant’s outfit makes her look like Woody Allen the sperm in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask)
@de stijl: @Kathy: Now MarkedMan is going to bust you for misusing “shall,” which according to the traditional rules only denotes simple futurity after a first-person pronoun. (I know this because I am literally a grammar Nazi. Seek hile!) Of course I have a feeling you know that already and are just baiting him.
Dude, I go back and forth whether you are a spoof. Ninety nine times out of a hundred I go with he is who he says he is.
That was way too poetic and just too adult. You present as Barney Fife. And then you bust out this koan.
The Tyrell (Corporation, “More Human Than Human” is our motto) I know should not have been able to write that sentence.
I cannot talk my way into winning this argument, You win.
“I shan’t” is actually fairly fascinating. Such an interesting construct.
Well this thread has certainly taken a whole bunch of twists and turns…in some ways straying far from the original topic, but in other ways, staying right on topic…
@de stijl: Your use of such a quaint construct is part of what signaled me to the possibility you were misusing it deliberately. Especially after being corrected over “hubris.”
Besides, the most frequent use of the word “shall” in contemporary American English is in these mock-formal or mock-Biblical constructions (like the Austin Powers “I shall call him Mini-Me”).
I used “I shall” correctly as I understand it.
English is not my native language. I learned it rather informally from a private tutor (friend of the family), and lots and lots of practice. Therefore some subtleties are, no doubt, lost on me.
In this case Marked Man was commanding “Fear me.” Fair enough. I answered “I shall,” meaning I will fear him, just not right now. Right now, as I posted, I thought he’d be more interested in digging up another word’s etymology and usage. Ergo the use of “in the meantime” in my post.
I’ll defer to your judgment, but I think my usage was correct.
So there 🙂
Well, you’ve been proven right. I’ll email you the trophy.
I’ve been commenting here near daily for almost a decade. Giving up the habit isn’t going to be easy.
Dude, he literally cited his literary career as proof that he’s the insult king. Am I not allowed to find that just a little ridiculous?
And then, “You have nothing to say Pearce” after I just said a bunch of shit…but whatever.
I don’t consider the cancellation of Roseanne to be a victory against racism, but the opening salvo in the next culture battle that will, in the end, have almost nothing to do with racism. More will fall, and since we’re talking about TV, those culled will be mostly from the left. Wanda Sykes has been mentioned here. I’ve seen Bill Maher (they’re always after Bill Maher) mentioned. Who else needs to live in fear of saying the wrong thing to a polarized country that can’t even tolerate itself?
Here is Hoppipolla from Sigur Ros https://youtu.be/KbPWi1gshzI
Icelanders are the nicest people and politest on the planet. Icelanders make Canadian Mormons look like pushy radicals.
Check out the video. There is a thing with a word that I’ve lost and I can’t recover because it is too specific. It is community action towards a greater good. It usually means just cleaning up the public space in preparation for a public event, but sometimes it means cleaning up your home, and the excuse that there is a public festival is the not very subtle clue that you should police up your property, pretty please.
I think it starts “glad”
You have to realize how bizarre Sigur Ros is to traditional Icelanders. They are radical in an unseemly way that we won’t discuss until later after the kids have gone to sleep.
Icelanders will get in your space in the most neighborly way possible.
These people ain’t rubes, they are modern Europeans. but peculiar. Their affinity with bad fish meals should be noted and avoided.
In this video, Jonsi is quite rude, but the drummer is shockingly rude contextually.
His rudeness is just absorbed because making a thing of it is also rude. Inordinate behavior, but everyone claps. Because not clapping is social suicide. I wonder what the thing is that gets no claps.
@de stijl: @Kathy: Fair enough. Here’s how I understand it (and even I find the distinction confusing and could be wrong about how it applies here). There’s a common perception that the word “shall” is essentially a stronger form of “will,” where you’re trying not simply to describe a future event but to express resolution or intention. That’s how I interpreted de stijl’s choice to say “I shan’t” instead of “I won’t” in response to MarkedMan’s “Don’t mess with me,” and Kathy’s choice to say “I shall” instead of “I will” in response to his “Fear me.” It’s like the “shall” (or “shan’t”) gives the sentence added importance or emphasis that the simple word “will” (or “won’t”) doesn’t. This is a very common usage–it’s what’s behind the famous Gen. MacArthur quote “I shall return.”
It also happens to be wrong according to the traditional rules.
In the traditional rules, “will” is used to express resolution or intention when following a first-person pronoun, “shall” is used simply to describe the future. In second and third person, the reverse is true. It’s the latter that leads to its use in laws and instructions, like the commonly seen “Elevators shall not be used in event of fire.”
Even there, people get confused. In the 2000 post-election controversy, one of the arguments before the Florida Supreme Court was whether the word “shall” in a statute meant “must” or merely “should.” That linguistic question has never been fully resolved in US law even though it can have significant legal implications.
In regular spoken American English today, “shall” is rarely used except facetiously or mockingly (as in the common expression “Shall we?”). So there’s very little need to worry about using it correctly; even most grammar Nazis have moved onto other issues, like “literally” for nonliteral expressions or it’s as a possessive. I just thought that after being corrected on “hubris” by MarkedMan, you might be deliberately baiting him. I guess I read more into it than what was intended, especially given my own linguistic geekery.
@Kathy: Goat Song! That is too perfect!
Just to add confusion to all this discussion of “shall”, people who write medical device requirements are absolutely convinced that “will” means “optional” while “shall” means “is required to”. As near as I can tell this just spontaneously came about decades ago and has now become absolute. In fact, if you send around twenty pages of requirements with one use of the word “will” in there, you can easily find out who actually reviewed them because every single person will flag that.
Obscure origins of words? Check. Proper grammar? That, unfortunately, shows my Kryptonite. And speling. That shows my Kryptonite two.
I said “I shall”. Kathy was quoting me.
I also said “I shan’t.”
You may also be partially correct in some of your assumptions.
Though my guess is that its mainly a business decision; overall keeping Barr will cost them more than getting rid of her. Which is a pretty good reason for getting rid of her. No one owes her a TV show; if she’s really as popular as Trump and some of the conservatives think, they’ll create a show for her on Fox. My bet is that never happens, because she simply doesn’t have enough fans without the rest of the cast, and most of them apparently don’t want to work with her again, and for understandable reasons.
I imagine people working in TV are more forgiving of coworkers who are a-holes than most industries, but she’s well over that line, and has been for years judging by reports on the things she’s gone on about, everything from explicit racism (of the old fashioned type) to 911 trutherism. I suspect a lot of the cast were relieved to move on.
It’s not Mayberry RFD. Reykjavik is a cosmopolitan place. 90% are urban. Really bad architecture though. They are themselves and then they fool with you . Ten days and I’ve maybe shaked two hands and that has been the top of social physical contact and all of the sudden a total body soul hug thrust on me. It was very sweet.
Non – sexual tenderness is rare in our world. There should be more. There shall be more tenderness. There should be more total soul hugs. Just don’t surprise me.
Come to think of it, some gambling websites use “shall” a great deal when listing game rules. For example, the Blackjack rules might begin with “each player shall be dealt two cards face up.” For optional plays, the word used is “may,” as in “The player may split aces up to four times.” The word “will” is usually absent.
@MarkedMan: Told you 🙂
It is both amusing and instructive to watch the left who has until now invariably complained bitterly about big business and its influence on these United States, leap to the defense of a big business, in this case Disney.
They defend Disney on the grounds that Disney is a private Enterprise and can hire and fire anybody they want. And that’s quite correct so far as they go.
But watch closely what happens when the question of Colin Kaepernick not being hired by the NFL comes up.
Watch closely what happens when the question of what the message being sent is when ABC Fires Roseanne Barr 48 hours after hiring Keith Olbermann.
And before you even get started this is not intended as a defense of Roseanne Barr but rather an attack on the usual double standards being applied by the left.
And still, we haven’t heard word one from Tim Allen….
Double standards are the norm in politics. For example, to take the mirror of what you refer to, its interesting how many conservatives, who are normally all for businesses being able to fire people if they’re disruptive at work, or involved in action that harms the company image (the NFL response to kneeling is a very recent example of something gaining conservative approval), are now against it wrt ABC getting rid of Barr.
Its almost as politics was mainly about team sports; whether or not a play is a penalty seems to depend upon which team does it. The odd thing is not that people think its different when their side does it; its that people think that the other side should agree with them.
Its like a joke I heard when traveling overseas a few years back. Everyone will tell you their country is the best in the world. But citizens of some countries (America and France are the two names you typically hear) will tell you that and expect you to agree with them. Which strikes most people from most countries as both arrogant and silly beyond belief.
You’re a piss poor linguist if you slant prescriptive rather than descriptive. Language is and it evolves. There is no must or should. All y’all are pecking at shadows. I shall piss on your intellectual graves. Shall is the imperative will, I shan’t feel bad about pissing on your graves.
@de stijl: I agree. I’m not sure who you’re arguing with here. I was merely observing what the prescriptive rules on “shall” and “will” are, I wasn’t advocating that people should or must follow them (in fact I thought I made it clear that it was pretty pointless to do so, and in fact I mentioned how the excessive use of “shall” in legal contexts leads to problems since no one is sure anymore what the word means). I don’t know what MarkedMan’s point of view on the subject is.
“All y’all” is perfectly cromulent usage. I prefer “you lot”, myself.
Linguistics describes actual behavior, not should or must. FFS, this is not radical thought. You-uns are being very Dreher. Decipher that.
That is me being rude, because you were rude to me.
Kathy, I am right here. Please don’t talk about me as if I weren’t here and I can’t see what you write.
For quite a long time, I liked a video where I thought there was a guy who looked like Terrence Stamp. Turns out it is Terrence Stamp. He is elegant and posh and he will break your heart.
Bat For Lashes Laura
He shows up two thirds the way through.
I don’t worry too much about tempting the gods. I don’t expect life to keep going the way it’s been going. I’m enough of a Jew, however attenuated, not to assume anything about the future. In fact I sort of expect the story to come back around to poverty and a total loss of ‘status,’ and when that happens I’m quite sure it’ll be my fault. But I did poverty, I did low status. I’m 63 and astounded that I have this life. I’m almost tempted to believe in a god just so I have someone to thank.
Thank you, Jeebus, this ride has been so much better than I had any right to expect.
And hell, I could pop a vein in my brain and be reduced to aphasia. At which point, drooling, inarticulate and confusing my words. . . nah, I’d still be able to out-insult Pearce.
Besides, Kathy, it’s not about pride, it’s about resisting the temptations of the dark side. When someone like Pearce or Guarneri takes a shot my inner son-of-a-bitch rises up. Among my many writing gigs I was a restaurant reviewer for a while and I was brutal. I reveled in it. I no longer approve of that level of verbal brutality, I’m trying to be a grown-up, trying to rise above and be a kinder, gentler person. Since Unforgiven was referenced above, I’ll quote a different line. “I ain’t like that no more.” Or at least I know I shouldn’t be.
Oh no, it’s definitely about pride. What evil thing did Guarneri do to you? Mocked your “I’m moving to London” schtick?
And when challenged on anything, you retreat to your “I wrote 8 million words!” So what? That explains why you’re eager to spin a narrative, not why you’re right and why I’m wrong.
I don’t recall talking about you. There is much going on in this thread (now three days old), and I can hardly keep up. I’m sure I’ve responded to things you’ve said, but perhaps not directly.
That said, let me take this opportunity:
All sciences are descriptive. Physicists don’t go looking how to make quantum-level events behave according to their notions, they merely describe how they actually behave. The use of science for gain, as in technology, is another field entirely. So, yes, linguistics is descriptive because it is the study of language.
Proper: how did “literally” come to be sued to mean “figuratively”?
Improper: How do we get these idiots to stop using “literally” to mean the opposite of what it means?
I don’t think I’m stating the obvious, or not only that. Pre-scientific revolution people did, on many occasions, try to make nature conform to their ideas of what should be. Today we call this pseudoscience. Its most vociferous practitioners use it to run scams for profit, but there’s a reason why so many people believe it.
I do, sometimes, and I’m atheist and don’t believe in any gods.
But, like in many other aspects, many of the most ridiculous notions of our remote ancestors had some justification. In this case, arrogance can motivate people to tear you down. And they don’t have to use words to do so.
You know what I dislike must about Trump? His blatant arrogance, especially since he has nothing to be arrogant about. The breaking of norms, the f**king up of international relations, the brinkmanship, the protectionism, the racism, etc. are most concerning. But it’s the boasting about every little thing, the need to exaggerate at every turn, and the many lies he tells in service of his feelings of inferiority and inadequacy that really rub me the wrong way.
I’m not making a direct comparison to you, but rather of me and other people. I found your post I designated as hubris quite amusing, actually. But others may feel differently. I find that savage put downs are best done humorously, as in satire. Like saying “I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.” That’s also why I make many derogatory jokes about Trump.
@Kathy: “Shall” vs. “Will” is supposedly a British English vs. American/Scots English difference. So maybe it’s simply that you read a heck of a lot of Sherlock Holmes and Dickens as a child.
(Someone should do some work on exactly how many “Englishisms” have managed to corrupt Americans’ English through literature and now all the T.V. shows. Of course, in my case, it’s been Georgette Heyer and Doctor Who slang I’ve been picking up….)
Sorry, my exposure to Dickens and Conan Doyle is rather limited to visual media adaptations.
I can’t tell you exactly why I used “shall,” as I don’t analyze every word choice I make. but it may be it sounds a bit archaic, and thus appropriate for responding, as it were, to a broad command.
I think that’s a factor in how a lot of people use the word. They think of the word as quaint, so they reserve it for special occasions–most typically when they want to add some mock formality. I’m not sure if the latter is what you had in mind, but I think it was an element of de stijl’s use of “shan’t,” an even quainter word in American English.
The words thee/thou/thy have a similar dynamic, though of course they’re far more archaic than shall or shan’t. They were once the familiar forms of you, whereas you was reserved for formal address. You’d say you when talking to a king, thou when talking to your friends. (It’s similar to tu vs. usted in Spanish; a lot of languages have that distinction.) But after the terms faded from the language apart from their archaic associations with Shakespeare, the King James Bible, and old prayerbooks, and you took over as the language’s only second-person pronoun (without any distinctions for familiar vs. formal, singular vs. plural, subject vs. object), people began to think of the thees as “important” words that are to be reserved for, say, talking to God. (There’s a scene in Bruce Almighty where God as Morgan Freeman suddenly appears before Jim Carrey, who immediately blubbers “You…he…thy….”) So in a way it ended up with practically the opposite meaning from what it once had as the familiar form of second-person address.
With any luck, this will be the 200th comment on this thread 🙂
This may serve as consolation for those who are so annoyed that “literally” is literally taken to mean the exact opposite of its definition. That is: it has happened before, and will likely happen again.
I will often stress a literal action on my part thus: “It took me, literally, thirty nine minutes to cover 200 meters of traffic yesterday, and I mean literally literally.” But people often don’t get it. not any more.
Worse, a few years back I used the word “figuratively” on an email, and the other party told me they had no idea what that meant (literally no idea!)
Yeah, it bothers me no end.
James! My, time has flown. It seems like only yesterday you gave us your farewell.
FTR, I have foregone both “shall” and “will” in favour of “imma”.
@pylon: The off topic grammatical discussion kept bringing me back.
@Kathy: One of the main defenses that prescriptivists hide behind is in bemoaning the loss of “useful” words. The loose use of literally sticks in their craw because they think it’s of major importance to have a word like literally around, and so they think when people say things like “My boss literally hit the roof,” it dilutes the original meaning and therefore detracts from people’s ability to communicate effectively.
This is actually not a bad argument in itself, and it’s one of the reasons why I try to reserve my use of literally for its, well, literal sense, but I don’t freak out when I hear people use it in other ways, nor do I object to the OED’s recent decision to include the looser definition. The job of a dictionary is to describe how the language is used–for better or worse–not to preserve an “ideal” way of speaking or writing. (Dictionaries haven’t always had this philosophy, and when they began to adopt it, it wasn’t without controversy. Back in the 1960s when Merriam-Webster decided to include an entry for ain’t, the NYT described the new edition as a Bolshevik document. Good times.) In any case, the loose sense of literally has been around for a long time. A few years ago WaPo’s Gene Weingarten did a piece decrying the loose sense of the word, and in it he cited a quote by Ambrose Bierce that “within a few years the word ‘literally’ will mean ‘figuratively.'” It did not seem to occur to Weingarten that Bierce made that observation in the 19th century, and obviously his prediction did not come to pass. Whatever you think of nonliteral literally, it hasn’t dislodged the word’s original meaning. Rather, both definitions have coexisted side by side for centuries.
I actually think the prescriptivist attack on literally on grounds that it dilutes the usefulness of the original word is mostly a rationalization. Prescriptivists defend the traditional rules because they’re the traditional rules, not because they’re necessarily more logical or useful than newer usages. If the OED started suggesting an alternative plural to sheep as sheeps, you can bet the prescriptivists would literally go to the mattresses over it–even though that alternative would be more logical than the standard, and less subject to ambiguity. (“The sheep escaped!” yelled the farmer. How many sheep? One or the entire herd?) Similarly, prescriptivists generally hate dialect terms such as y’all, all y’all, and youse, even though they’re all attempts to deal with Standard English’s lack of a distinction between singular and plural you.
In Weingarten’s essay on literally, he also complains about the words blogosphere and webinar. My question is, why? What exactly is wrong with those words other than their newness? They may be annoying trendy I suppose, but objectively they enrich the language.
I should note that Weingarten is generally considered to be a humor writer, and his piece on literally was intended to be funny. That’s a lot how the topic is introduced these days–it comes from people making fun of sentences like “He literally exploded.” In this case, the laughter is at bottom a strategy so they don’t have to reflect on why they think the way they do. To them, it’s just the good old-fashioned nuts-and-bolts wisdom we all learned in 3rd grade, but which some people are too slovenly and lazy to remember to follow.
My problem with the misuse of “literally” is that it is made to mean the exact opposite of what it means. Like a few years back when people said “bad” when they meant “good.”
Dictionaries wind up being circular. after all, if they define words as used, then people looking them up assume that’s the “real” meaning. But of course, we could also play chicken and egg if the dictionary were prescriptive.
Sometimes I wonder we can even understand each other 🙂
That said, dictionaries are problematic in myriad ways. I once tried to help a friend learn Spanish. One of the first things I told him to do was to get, or obtain access to, a Spanish dictionary. Not a Spanish-English dictionary (though that too is useful), but a dictionary in Spanish. Why? Because these will define usage by region, and Spanish varies a great deal as used in, say, Mexico vs Central America.
He didn’t. He opted for one of those quickie Spanish-English dictionaries online, which 9 times out of ten simply give the literal meaning of a word. Worse, he insisted that since he had the authority of this mediocre dictionary, that he was right and I was wrong. But then I’ve only been a native Spanish speaker for decades, so what do I know, right?
When learning a language, at first you’ll translate it to your native one. But the idea is to begin grasping it without translation. That’s how you get fluency. Literal translations, though, tend to be incomplete at best and outright wrong at worst. I know, as I’ve corrected badly done literal translations many times.
I tell people you know you’re fluent in a language not just when you can speak it and understand it easily, but when you can appreciate word play in it.
and now it seems the off topic comments have gone off topic themselves 🙂
I don’t think that’s really what’s going on. I think, rather, that it’s being used as a kind of generic intensifier, and the metaphor is simply being ignored. So when a person says “My boss literally blew his top,” what this means in effect is “My boss totally flew into a rage, and I’m not remotely exaggerating about that.” So contrary to what many critics have suggested, it’s not being used as a synonym to figuratively, it’s more of a synonym to truly or really.
The problem as I see it is that even though most modern dictionaries don’t follow a prescriptivist philosophy, a lot of people continue to treat them as prescriptivist documents, looking at them as authorities on the “correct” way to speak and write, and by “correct” they don’t mean providing an accurate picture of how a word is used in practice, they mean the “proper” way the word “should” be used. And while the dictionaries aren’t prescriptivist, they still are in part attempting to explain what the prescriptivist rules are, they just attempt to describe those rules in a neutral manner that doesn’t imply they’re intrinsically superior. You’ll find words described as “nonstandard” or “dialect,” whereas older dictionaries would have used terms like “illiterate” or omitted mention of the words altogether.
Of course even definition-dictionaries can be pretty bad. I remember one English dictionary that defined a jester as “one who jests; a buffoon; a merry-andrew.” I have a children’s Hebrew dictionary from Israel that defines the word for “them” as (roughly) “not you-plural and not us.”
When I took Pimsleur courses for Spanish, they insisted that I refer to the language as Castellano. All the Spanish speakers I’ve known here in New York call it Español, whenever I’ve listened to them speak. I subsequently found out that it depends on the country which word is used, but I’m not sure what informed Pimsleur’s decision to use a form that in my experience is uncommon among Spanish speakers in the US.
That is my problem with “literally.”
Several languages developed in the Iberian peninsula over the centuries. What we call Spanish or Español is the language of the kingdom of Castile, properly known as Castilian, or Castellano. Others include Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (the latter seems to be unrelated to the rest).
So, yes, what’s known as Spanish is more properly called Castilian. But hardly anyone bothers with that. If you use the term you’ll be understood by most people, but they’ll think it odd. If you ask random people about it, I’m willing to bet most would say Castellano is either an archaic or formal term for Español.