For the record: 1) I don't defend and haven't defended use of the ugly and offensive word "faggot." On Ann Coulter's remarks, I wrote that it's a "a toxic word that shouldn't have been used even in a joke--or anyway in that joke." It's not a word I use or accept others using. 2) I've repeatedly and freely noted that I'm a friend of Coulter''s--see, e.g.. here and here and here and here and here.. ...P.S.: Boi fromTroy takes issue with Sullivan's claim to "know of no gay bars anywhere that exclude straight guys." See also BfromT's comments for an actual honest ventilation of this issue (i.e., without Sullivanish posturing). ... 1:10 A.M. link
Friday, March 9, 2007
Consumer Reports' annual Auto Issue plots 10 years of reliability data for the major manufacturers. All three Detroit makers have significantly worse records than Toyota (#1 for the ten years) and Honda (#2). But you knew that. The news is that one of Detroit's Big Three did significantly better over the long run than the other two. "Ford had fewer problems than Chrysler and GM for 3-year old and older vehicles." Indeed, Ford fell about halfway between its Detroit rivals (GM and Chrysler, essentially tied near the bottom) and Honda. ... GM's Bob Lutz predicts that one of the Big Three will disappear soon, and that it won't be GM. Between Ford and Chrysler, I now know which one I'd pick to survive. ... 3:09 A.M.
N-Word Escape: Bob Wright boasts about our society's successful stigmatization of the so-called "n-word"--we not only don't use it, but shame those who use it and don't respect or associate with them (and maybe also don't associate with the people who do associate with them). But this formidable stigmatization machine has broken down shockingly** in the case of Paris Hilton. ...
**--rare non-ironic use of "shockingly." 1:58 A.M.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Andrew Sullivan has reached back beyond NEXIS to find an article I wrote in 1985** on Barney's Beanery, a West Hollywood hangout (made famous in an Edward Kienholz sculpture). It's the first piece I wrote that I came to believe was wrong very shortly after publishing. It's the piece I discussed in this post from 2003, during the Gregg Easterbrook/ESPN controversy:
What was he thinking when he made this moral error? I suspect he was thinking, "Hey, here's a neat argument. This will work." That's what I was thinking many years ago when I made a similar error, also in The New Republic. It embarrasses me now: I wrote that discrimination against homosexuals in West Hollywood bars was less outrageous than, say, discrimination against blacks in the South, because homosexuals in West Hollywood had acquired money and power. Neat argument, huh? Sort of leftish! After the piece was printed, one of TNR's top editors let me know he thought the argument was offensive, and I realized after some resistance that he was right. I wasn't fired, though. I was busted and I learned something. That's what's supposed to happen. (See Jeff Jarvis.)
It's also the piece alluded to here (in point #1). The "top editor" who told me he didn't like it was Marty Peretz. A good thing about Marty, I learned, is that you never have to worry that he's secretly mad at you. ... Aside from this one piece, of course, everything I've written has been right. ... P.S.: Andrew claims to "know of no gay bars anywhere that exclude straight guys. We have no issues with straight guys." But if I recall there was a big issue in West Hollywood with gay men's bars discriminating against women. ...
Correction: Originally said 1983, following Sullivan. Always a mistake! ...2:11 P.M. link
Bob Wright's point of maximum rage at me over my (not very effective) attempt to calibrate his condemnation of Ann Coulter comes right about here in our latest bloggingheads session. ... A dark secret about my friendship with Coulter is also revealed. ... 3:52 A.M.