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Thread: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

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    Default Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/high...tural-warfare/

    An interesting twist on the Jeremy Clarkson / Top Gear debacle, viewed in terms of an overly PC society. Punishment for blasphemy is alive and well, and only the "sacred cow" has changed.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Clarkson punched out his producer. This isn't about cultural warfare, it's rather about how to behave in society. Step one: Don't punch out your producer.

    Luke G in Warwick, NY

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    True, and I don't condone that. It doesn't negate the point of the article though (which isn't just about Clarkson).

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    I know violence isn't the answer. I got it wrong on purpose.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Taki is awful. He manages to effortlessly thrust his persona into his writing, and we see a vain pretentious bubblehead, trying way too hard to be worldly and sophisticated.
    Either that or I'm reading Private Eye.
    I like his idea that someone "who seems to because a funny guy" punching you in the head is somehow reasonable behaviour. It must be really terrible to be assaulted by someone who isn't funny.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by chopmonkee View Post
    Taki is awful. He manages to effortlessly thrust his persona into his writing, and we see a vain pretentious bubblehead, trying way too hard to be worldly and sophisticated.
    Either that or I'm reading Private Eye.
    I like his idea that someone "who seems to because a funny guy" punching you in the head is somehow reasonable behaviour. It must be really terrible to be assaulted by someone who isn't funny.
    It's blogging not journalism. Calling it an "Article" is insulting to actual journalists and "Diary entry" would be a more fitting term to use.

    I will admit that the topic, in general, is quite interesting.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    *sigh* Let me try to get this back on track...

    "The left believes in social regulation, and any speech the left does not like becomes hate speech."

    This is the idea of the piece that I found interesting. I think there's some merit to it. The left does not have a monopoly on "PC" speech though ("hate speech" is their bailiwick though). The right is just as quick to try to "silence" those that do not agree with them.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Is the concept of "Political Correctness" not derived from Leninism?

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Is the concept of "Political Correctness" not derived from Leninism?
    As as a somewhat defined concept, probably; although Orwell always comes to mind for me. I suppose that it is much older than that though. Was Jesus "politically incorrect"? Galileo?

    The irony of being intolerant of intolerance does amuse me.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    "The left believes in social regulation, and any speech the left does not like becomes hate speech."
    I would agree with this, but I think the problem is even deeper than that.

    Society has devolved to a point where onlookers are expected to speak out against this "hate speech" or they risk being treated as if they were the ones who said it. The mentality seems to be "If you don't agree with me, you're just as guilty." Personally, I find that pathetic.

    For those that watch football (NFL) the Ray Rice case is a perfect example.

    In the case of Ray Rice, people used a grainy elevator video to make judgements about a situation. I admit that the video looked very brutal, but I withheld judgement before making my own opinions. In doing so, my personal ethics, moral character, and judgement were called into question. My attempt to make an educated decision was interpretted as "I think it's okay to beat women." Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth.

    In my opinion, it's the equivalent of flies being drawn to a bug zapper. People see something on TV or on social media and immediately jump to conclusions. Again, I find that pathetic that some people can justify their opinions using nothing more than a 10 second video, hearsay, or something written on a blog. Not only that, but I find it pathetic that people expect others to agree with their opinions using these sorry excuses for evidence.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Is the concept of "Political Correctness" not derived from Leninism?
    As as a somewhat defined concept, probably; although Orwell always comes to mind for me. I suppose that it is much older than that though. Was Jesus "politically incorrect"? Galileo?

    The irony of being intolerant of intolerance does amuse me.
    I used to hang around with the British Communist party, as well as various anarchist and anti-establishment groups. There were people who taught us how to protest, how to respond to the police and what forms of words to use, and when to be creatively violent. The "political correctness" construct was in the pamphlets we used, long before it became a commonly understood phrase in the 1980s.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by mmahany View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    "The left believes in social regulation, and any speech the left does not like becomes hate speech."
    I would agree with this, but I think the problem is even deeper than that.

    Society has devolved to a point where onlookers are expected to speak out against this "hate speech" or they risk being treated as if they were the ones who said it. The mentality seems to be "If you don't agree with me, you're just as guilty." Personally, I find that pathetic.

    For those that watch football (NFL) the Ray Rice case is a perfect example.

    In the case of Ray Rice, people used a grainy elevator video to make judgements about a situation. I admit that the video looked very brutal, but I withheld judgement before making my own opinions. In doing so, my personal ethics, moral character, and judgement were called into question. My attempt to make an educated decision was interpretted as "I think it's okay to beat women." Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth.

    In my opinion, it's the equivalent of flies being drawn to a bug zapper. People see something on TV or on social media and immediately jump to conclusions. Again, I find that pathetic that some people can justify their opinions using nothing more than a 10 second video, hearsay, or something written on a blog. Not only that, but I find it pathetic that people expect others to agree with their opinions using these sorry excuses for evidence.
    I agree.

    This piece titled "Stop Pretending to be Offended by Everything" is relatively glib, which is a shame because the concept is worthy of exploring.

    I do like the last paragraph, although I think it's not just Americans that "decided they were going to be offended by everything".

    "The problem with this kind of prefabricated reaction is not that it emboldens haters but that it crowds out legitimate grievances. Everything begins to stink of politics, and we start sounding like a bunch of humorless protesters. There is nothing wrong with calling out people for the things they say, but there is something fundamentally illiberal about a mob's hounding people for every stupid tweet or making snap judgments about entire careers based on a few comments. Most often, the purpose is to chill speech. At some point, Americans decided they were going to be offended by everything. And, I guess, that's what really offends me most."

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post

    I agree.

    This piece titled "Stop Pretending to be Offended by Everything" is relatively glib, which is a shame because the concept is worthy of exploring.

    I do like the last paragraph, although I think it's not just Americans that "decided they were going to be offended by everything".

    "The problem with this kind of prefabricated reaction is not that it emboldens haters but that it crowds out legitimate grievances. Everything begins to stink of politics, and we start sounding like a bunch of humorless protesters. There is nothing wrong with calling out people for the things they say, but there is something fundamentally illiberal about a mob's hounding people for every stupid tweet or making snap judgments about entire careers based on a few comments. Most often, the purpose is to chill speech. At some point, Americans decided they were going to be offended by everything. And, I guess, that's what really offends me most."
    People look to the crowd for what is considered acceptable behaviour. They do not want to be tarred and labeled with the wrong words, so they leap up to prove their faith. This is the tyranny of the masses. It stifles thought and debate. It is promulgated by those who have chosen to reject their gift of mind, and they visit it upon those who enjoy the use of that faculty that sets our kind apart.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Fortunately, in the US there is still no right to not be offended.
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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Fortunately, in the US there is still no right to not be offended.
    It is a natural right to remain unoffended. It is a simple matter of choice to ignore that from which others receive offence. Not only is it a right to ignore those that seek to offend, it is also a right to laugh at them. The problem arises because a couple generations have been educated to believe they must feign offence for fear of being rejected by a larger group.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    The problem with this statement is that he chose the wrong subject matter. Clarkson was on a final warning after many... many previous faux pas. Clarkson is anything BUT centralist or all round fun guy! He is a far right extremist, filled with hate and bile... don't beleive me? Read his paper columns and books. He is a dinosaur of a bygone age, a Thatcher-ite extremist that doesn't understand why people get upset when he uses racist term because "it was fine when I was a kid, people are just too sensitive these days, what's wrong with saying *insert offensive word here*". I also disagree with the main premiss based on the subject matter. If someone does a bad thing and people rally together to make a statement that they did a bad thing why not! In this instance a rich, powerful man overstepped the boundaries once again after getting away with it too many times before. He had previously been given great leniency due to how much money he made for the BBC, only this time the British people said "no more". Completely against what the article says, the BBC have let him get away with things that you or I would loose our job over... multiple times. If you punch a coworker because they supplied a cold meat selection and you wanted hot... you loose your job,

    There are examples where there is some validity, mass beleif does not make something right. The oppression of people due to race, sex, etc... is obviously wrong, but exists in some societies due to historical or religious precedent. Using a rich, pompous idiot that pushed his luck as the basis for his argument almost negates his point. In my mind, the masses outrage at Clarkson is more valid than his point. He could have chosen a million stories globally to adequately make his point, but he fell into the trap of his own argument about using media fluff story. If he thinks Clarkson is a centralist, I would hate to hear this guys views on the world!
    Last edited by Sammyo; May 27th, 2015 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyo View Post
    The problem with this statement is that he chose the wrong subject matter. Clarkson was on a final warning after many... many previous faux pas. Clarkson is anything BUT centralist or all round fun guy! He is a far right extremist, filled with hate and bile... don't beleive me? Read his paper columns and books. He is a dinosaur of a bygone age, a Thatcher-ite extremist that doesn't understand why people get upset when he uses racist term because "it was fine when I was a kid, people are just too sensitive these days, what's wrong with saying *insert offensive word here*". I also disagree with the main premiss based on the subject matter. If someone does a bad thing and people rally together to make a statement that they did a bad thing why not! In this instance a rich, powerful man overstepped the boundaries once again after getting away with it too many times before. He had previously been given great leniency due to how much money he made for the BBC, only this time the British people said "no more". Completely against what the article says, the BBC have let him get away with things that you or I would loose our job over... multiple times. If you punch a coworker because they supplied a cold meat selection and you wanted hot... you loose your job,

    There are examples where there is some validity, mass beleif does not make something right. The oppression of people due to race, sex, etc... is obviously wrong, but exists in some societies due to historical or religious precedent. Using a rich, pompous idiot that pushed his luck as the basis for his argument almost negates his point. In my mind, the masses outrage at Clarkson is more valid than his point. He could have chosen a million stories globally to adequately make his point, but he fell into the trap of his own argument about using media fluff story. If he thinks Clarkson is a centralist, I would hate to hear this guys views on the world!
    It's hard to understand your point when you only say "this point" and "the main premiss" [sic]. There are several points made in the thread and in the linked articles. The "main premise" could be the author of the first article, or (as the OP) my main premise (which I made several efforts to clarify). Here is the main premise:

    Punishment for blasphemy is alive and well, and only the "sacred cow" has changed.
    The left believes in social regulation, and any speech the left does not like becomes hate speech.

    This is the idea of the piece that I found interesting. I think there's some merit to it. The left does not have a monopoly on "PC" speech though ("hate speech" is their bailiwick though). The right is just as quick to try to "silence" those that do not agree with them.
    I do find it interesting that you ascribe motive to JC. He's "a far right extremist, filled with hate and bile"? Why not just disagree with his views, and assert that they are wrong, rather than assault his character? I certainly don't agree with everything he says; but I find him to be a witty, sarcastic curmudgeon. Surely there is a still a place in the world for those, regardless of whether or not they offend.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    My point was that the original article chose the wrong subject matter to make his point. JC is not a nice person, there are muliple reports of how he treated BBC staff prior to the event that lost him his job. He was not hard done by guy that the world attacked for no reason. If I did what he did in my job... it would no longer have my job. If I did what he has done previously, I would no longer have my job.

    There are other people out there that this does apply to, but JC is not the one to hold up as a shining beacon, as the article does. He IS offensive, he IS racist and he IS a grumpy old man that the world has left behind. He was the Prince Philip of the BBC.

    Is there a place for him? yes! he is the uncle in the corner that the rest of the family spend their evening apologising for to the other guests. I did attack him, you are correct and got my self worked up as I was typing (currecnt personal issues crept into my normally calm mind). I do apologise and please accept that I am normally much more level headed, lack of sleep can make me... Clarkson-ish! He IS amusing at times, he IS sarcastic and I like sarcasm. But even as you watched the last four or five series of TopGear you could see the shift, it was almost like he was seeing how far he could push it and how much he could get away with.

    It is true that I do not like him, have not liked him for a long time. But to try and defend him based on what happened and use him as the example of "look what happens when the masses react to a social media outcry, jumping on the band wagon of hate against the new "sacred cow"" I beleive is wrong in general.

    I did not say the authour did not have a point, but rather that his leading example was flawed and the wrong icon to stand behind. The premiss that JC was a hard done by nice guy, that is what was wrong.
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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    I can't disagree that the original article could have picked a better example than Jeremy Clarkson to talk about PC speech, particularly in light of the "fracas".

    Is Jeremy Clarkson offensive? Sure. Is he a racist? I don't know, but I doubt he's ever donned a sheet and burned a cross. I think that accusations of racism are so quickly and easily made that the word begins to lose its real meaning. Making a joke that involves race is certainly bigoted, but not necessarily racist. Is Dave Chappelle a racist? His show was full of racial stereotypes that I'm sure offended a great many people. It was also funny as hell.

    Clarkson has been consistently offensive. It's his "schtick". He's also been consistently given a great deal of grief from the "PC Police" for it. I can respect (and enjoy) his writing without condoning other behavior, whether it be hitting a producer or cheating on his wife; just as I can enjoy a Mel Gibson movie without condoning his racial tirades.

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    Default Re: Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

    Not sure about the choice of Chris Evans...
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