Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Editorializing the South Florida Daily Blog


I was pretty annoyed to see Rick at SFDB refer to my recent blog entry on Johnny Rockets thusly - 

IEat It, Miami suggests you check out the grill man with the "black sounding" name at Johnny Rockets next time you're at Aventura.
Dude is so fast and good at the burger preparation that you are mesmerized by him. I've always gotten a kick out of when people have such good training, practice, and muscle memory, that their craft is as second nature as walking and breathing, and this guy is in that category.

Reading the entire passage shows the context in which I made the comment; a funny one in my opinion. I try to keep it light around here. Rick's implication, I assume, is that I'm a racist because I said "black sounding," and he certainly intends his readers to gather something from the phrase since it's highlighted with quotation marks and plucked from my text. Please read the review and let me know what you think, by all means.

Rick holds himself out as a blog aggregator and reviewer, but he clearly has an axe to grind, one of the many being that he despises South Florida and its residents, mentioning daily the vapidity of our culture, the stupidity of our populace, the incompetence of our police, and the corruption of our civic leaders. You'll have to look pretty hard to find anything positive other than a silly picture once in a while. I wish he'd move because he's clearly not happy and brings a dark cloud over our community. He belongs in Seattle or Boston.

This is how Rick boiled down a very intelligently written essay on the Daily Beast today, while including a photo of its author, you know, just in case you see her in public sometime, I assume, in case you want to say something nasty like Rick would probably do - 
             I'd also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

-Megan McArdle [above], The Daily Beast

         I can just see the teacher instructing her students: "Kids, when the madman with the assault

        rife comes through the door, I want the class to run toward him. Susie and Billy, you lead."

        Brilliant.



        Most conservatives apparently would rather sacrifice America's children than ever consider
       doing anything about the availability of guns in this country.
       
       Truly amazing.

Right, that's what conservatives want, Rick. They want kids to die at the hands of mad gunmen. 

Here is the comment I left after reading that and then clicking through to read the article in its entirety, since I have learned that Rick's intense political leanings highly influence the tone of his site.

Rick, I think it's pretty irresponsible of you to boil down a 4500 word essay into one paragraph taken out of context in an attempt to demonize someone you want to characterize as a "conservative," since you clearly despise people who identify themselves as such. Did you read the entire article? It's pretty long and I know you skim a lot of stuff, but when you post something like this, it has an effect on that person's reputation, since people implicitly trust you to share the news that you've ostensibly reviewed. You're trying to pigeon hole this woman when her response was an extremely well thought out and nuanced argument leading to her conclusion. It'd be more informative if you'd included at least the paragraph before and after, or at the minimum, the paragraph in its entirety. Kind of like how you took "black sounding" out of context from my recent post about Johnny Rockets, I assume to make me sound like a racist. I'm beginning to think you're a real dick.

"It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic--bring back the 'assault weapons ban'--in order to signal that I care.  But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better.  We shouldn't have laws on the books unless we think there's a good chance they'll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks.  This is not because I don't care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend.  But they will not breathe again because we pass a law.  A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we'd "done something", as if we'd made it less likely that more children would die.  But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none.  

My guess is that we're going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity.  I'd also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.  Would it work?  Would people do it?  I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.  

But I doubt we're going to tell people to gang rush mass shooters, because that would involve admitting that there is no mental health service or "reasonable gun control" which is going to prevent all of these attacks.  Which is to say, admitting that we have no box big enough to completely contain evil."   

I encourage you, if you have some time, to read Megan McArdle's Daily Beast article here, and to draw your own conclusions. Rick thinks the woman wants children to get shot by lunatics and wants you to think that that's how "most conservatives" feel. Maybe there's a different side to it than that, you think? My only issue is that there are about 20 typos in the thing. I mean, do people have editors anymore? They just post the stuff? Kind of unprofessional, methinks.

7 comments:

Rick said...

Colin....I posted a response to your comment (and this post) at SFDB and perhaps you'll take the time to read it. Maybe not.

I have my problems with South Florida as do a lot of folks but I do my share of posting photos and commentary (my "A Few Moments At..." feature, for example) that shows my appreciation as well. You need to visit more often.

One last point...do you find it the least bit strange that, while painting you as some kind of racist, I included a passage in which you were complimentary of the guy?

I've been following Eat It for quite some time now (55 mentions @ SFDB) and while you can be somewhat whiny at times, I never considered you a delicate flower when it came to opinions.

I suppose I was wrong.


.

Colin said...

I suppose I did call you a dick, so you can call me a whiny and delicate flower. I think you certainly won the insult contest...

Anonymous said...

I think rick stopped well short of calling colin a racist. However, in our super-sensitive cultural environment, describing a name as 'black-sounding' will raise eyebrows. I think rick intentionlly used it as an attention-grabber.

colin, if you are going to write 'black-sounding' you should be prepared for people to take note. you're being too sensitive. wait for someone to actually call you a racist before you take offense.

someone want ask andrew ti for a verdict? is it racist to characterize names as 'black-sounding'? forget roland and reginald, what about rashawn and jermichael?

Colin said...

I didn't say the he called me a racist. I said that the way he quoted me was in a manner to imply that I was one. In doing so, he ignored the context in which the comment was made, which is something he and others who are intellectually dishonest are wont to do. That's not the main point of the post anyway. The point is that he did the same thing to the woman who wrote about the Newtown shooting and in a vicious way. Anonymous, I'm really getting tired of your comments. They stink.

Colin said...

In looking back at Rick's first comment, by the way, there were no negative passages to quote, so that's a pretty sorry retort.

Bill said...

Wish I had seen this when you first posted it.

You were pretty much on target in your criticism of Rick, who hid behind the cloak of anonymity.

He attacked people with impunity.

But that cloak is gone, and so is Rick.

Colin said...

Hey Bill, thank you for your comment. I'm a big fan. Keep up the great work over at Random Pixels. I've been terrible about posting reviews lately and am vowing to get back into it right now.