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Sure, I’ll stick a fork in that socket

Awww, look at the adorable baby chickens! Now let’s talk about Paula Deen. I thought I’d share my specialist knowledge of the use of the n-word in the 1960s South. Because that would be a real dumb thing to do, and I’m kind of stupid.

When I was a kid, you would never, ever, EVER use That Word to a black person’s face. Just not something a respectable person would do. Talking to a white person, you might use The Word, but it would be regarded as pretty strong language. One never used The Word lightly in describing an actual person.

But as a general descriptor, The Word was ubiquitous. It was attached to black neighborhoods, soul food, loud colors and dogs of indeterminate breed. It still hung around in songs and rhymes. There was a hill in the town I grew up that had been called That Word Hill (by persons of all colors) for so long, it’s probably on the maps like that. I was in my teens before I heard a brazil nut called a brazil nut.

So Paula Deen, who is ten years and more older than I am, may have thought it was pointless to deny she had ever used The Word, without realizing how far the earth had shifted since she learned the rules. So, a pity post. I dread the day I look down at the earth under my feet and don’t recognize the terrain.

Now, I feel pretty silly having written this whole post without ever using the word in question. My mother taught me not to invest more power in the plain syllables of particular words than in the ideas they represent. But, hey, when the world has gone a little crazy on a topic, best don’t poke it with a stick.

The chickens? They play outside in the sunshine all day, and at night I bring them in to sleep in a cat carrier on my desk (and occasionally flutter around, strut about the desktop and perch on my shoulder). They’re so little, and it’s been so cold. Today, I thought it was warm enough and they were old enough to sleep in their box in an enclosure for the first time, so they could run around at first light.

Then, as it got darker, a sad, frightened peeping came from the run. So, ummm…one more night won’t hurt anything.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2013, 10:39 pm

Tonight’s post brought to you by Oceania.


Comment from Mike James
Time: July 1, 2013, 10:50 pm

As long as one doesn’t utter or in this case type the name “Oceania” the third time, he won’t appear.

That means if any of the rest of you say it the third time, it’s on your head. For God’s sake, be careful!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 1, 2013, 11:11 pm

Do you know, I get the occasional random genial email from He Who Must Not Be Named a Third Time? It’s most odd.

Comment from Mike James
Time: July 1, 2013, 11:35 pm

Oh, a genial threadjacking troll–that’s nice. But we mention his name no more than twice.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 1, 2013, 11:39 pm

Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig
Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig
Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig Gernig

A long time ago, specifically in 1964, I had a summer job at a shoe store. There were two of us “stock clerks” who handled incoming shipments but mainly cleaned up the messes made by inconsiderate customers and hungry sales people. I’m white and was about 16 years old. My coworker was black and was in his 30s. To this day I wonder why he was working such a low-end job because he was as insightful, articulate, and honest a man as I’ve ever met. I’ll be eternally grateful to him for telling me (I’m paraphrasing but doing so honestly) that trying to understand people’s use of, and reaction to, the word “nigger” was fruitless. Everything about that word had become emotional, he said, and nothing was in any way reasonable. He advised me to be dishonest in my own use/reaction because to do otherwise would invite ugly people, people who have no sense and are full of anger, to hurt me. He was, of course, right.

He was way too sane to still be around, I’m afraid. But I remember him now almost 50 years after the fact, and I’ll always be grateful that the world has in it good men such as he and that I’ve been fortunate to have met a few.

Comment from dissent555
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:00 am

Then, as it got darker, a sad, frightened peeping came from the run . . .

Mommy !!

Comment from PatAZ
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:08 am

I too had a southern upbringing. You voiced my opinion exactly of all this Paula Deen insanity. Thanks.

Comment from GIL, formerly Mark
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:34 am

You haven’t savoured the fine essence of Stoopid unless you catch 13-14 yo 8th Graders on a Fri before a holiday. Unless the Good Principal buys them all pizzas. As a Flock, they’d all crawl under the long desks. Kids in Sept, zits and handsome and boobehs by the end of the year. A Blessing, really.

My dog is a different flavour. He’s The Stupid. Dragged in something tonight we couldn’t identify. He buries all the inexpensive dog treats and only goes quiet when there are bones or pig ears. If none of the above, he helps the cat clean his ass out. Now THAT is The Stupid. I taught him young not to get near my face. Gah.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:46 am

Paula had become a target of all “right-thinking” people. She advocated using evil butter AND bacon, and was unapologetic about it. Then she became a diabetic, and had the nerve to suggest that, despite her sins – which were so clearly being punished with a disease by an angry Gaia- that life could go on and still be fun.

There can be no foregiveness for someone who thinks improperly. They must be punished for it, at any available opportunity, for any available reason. Bet she’s a damn Reppbulican too.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:55 am

Sorry I pointed out this blog to him who must be ridiculed at every turn….

Comment from mojo
Time: July 2, 2013, 1:07 am

That’s how Crazy Chicken Ladies get started, y’know.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: July 2, 2013, 2:54 am

Some Vegetable @ July 2, 2013, 12:46 am: Bet she’s a damn Republican too.

No, actually she’s a Democrat who campaigned for Obama.

On the dreaded n-word:

Does anyone (other than probably Uncle Badger) remember Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC?

One of the great heroes of WW II. Bomber pilot, then night fighter pilot, then back to Bomber Command. Tabbed to form an elite squadron for a special mission: 617 Squadron, the Dam Busters. Led the mission, which succeeded despite losing 8 of 18 aircraft. KIA about a year later after over 170 combat missions.

Gibson acquired a pet dog during his night-fighter stint. He often took the dog up with him on patrols (his plane was a big twin-engine Beaufighter). The dog became a great favorite of Gibson and his comrades, swilling beer in the officers’ mess and piddling on the carpet.

But the night before the Dam Busters’ big mission, the dog was hit and killed by a truck on the blacked-out base. To honor his memory, they used his name as the code word to report mission success.

The dog was a black Lab. Guess what his name was…

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 2, 2013, 2:54 am

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:46 am

Actually, Paula Deen [and her sons] really are hard core Democrats and were major fundraisers for Obama in both elections. The level of vindictiveness being shown, and the pressure have to come from the White House though. After all, the publisher of her new cookbook, something about cooking southern food lite, dropped the publication AFTER it was the #1 bestseller on Amazon just in advance orders. Having sunk the costs in the book, it had to have cost them literally millions of dollars they just threw away. You don’t do that unless someone big is leaning on you.

One reason may be that before the election, in an interview Deen talked about how Michelle Obama [whose image is of a virtuous health food nazi] was more than passing fond of “greasy french fries, fatty hot chicken wings and sug­ary deep-fried Snickers bars”. Hell hath no fury like the wife of a dictator publicly caught in a lie. Being an older white woman from the South, even though a Democrat, is to be a perfect candidate for being labeled a Rightist Deviationist and guilty of thoughtcrime if it serves the purposes or whims of the regime.

I will leave it to readers to determine how much, if any, sarcasm is in the prior two sentences.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 2, 2013, 4:37 am

When the Paula Deen story first broke I thought, what a git: you don’t go around saying things like that. Then little things like facts and details started turning up, and now I’m ready to make a sympathy–or spite–purchase of a couple of her books. Because she didn’t go around saying things like that. Her only mistake–well, other than her voting record–was thinking she was supposed to be honest in a deposition. Meanwhile, Al Sharpton, an unmitigated racist turd who ruined at least two lives and incited at least one firebombing, gets a TV show and the indulgence of pinkos everywhere. Disgusting.

The baby chickens *are* adorable. Goddamn, they’re cute.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 2, 2013, 4:44 am

Oh, yeah: and for some actual racism that not a lib on the planet will condemn, there’s this gem: a university that was just caught inflating the grades of its black students. Nothing racist about that. No sir, that’s some fine social justice you got there:


Comment from Oldcat
Time: July 2, 2013, 4:57 am

Paula –

Oh they all do that. The teachers start, and the admin finishes.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 2, 2013, 6:12 am

Oh I’d rather talk about chickens. They are darlings, no doubt about it. Did you get the fleas killed off in the coop? Occasionally I find a tick since my little patch of land is home to a herd of snobby deer (you should see the looks they give me when I disturb them). Today at noon I looked out my kitchen window and there were five fawn and eight adults bedded down in my back “yard”—peacefully chewing their cud. I am continually amazed that something as colorful and distinctive as a fawn can disappear in the rocks and duff, and dappled shade. There were probably more than five.

Sometimes I yell at them—Cabrito! You saavy? Just to remind them that some cute baby goats end up as barbecue, and cute baby deer are probably just as tasty.

Comment from GIL, formerly Mark
Time: July 2, 2013, 6:26 am

O/T but interesting factoid: Ace has an article up about fracking in the UK and the Stoopid reasons the ecotards use to keep us in the Middle Ages. When we were home in WI, one of the main local wars going on there was common people finding fracking sand. It’s like its own Cheesehead Goldrush. That area along the Miss River has the PERFECT sand. I asked locals who knew a lot about it. It’s not ju-ju sand. It has three properties that make it valuable: 1.) It’s easy to dig and there’s lots of it; 2.) It’s dry, not wet, making it easy to haul on the trains out to North Dakota 3.) If I understand correctly, it’s kind of like that diatomaceous earth Sweasel just wrote about. The silica in the sand is sharp and glass-edged enough to work the best in the blasting. It looks like perfect, yellow sandbox sand. We almost grabbed a handful, but it was between the tracks where little piles spilled out when the trains were idle. We were in the car headed for the airport, so no. Happy is the farmer in that area when Fracking Sand is discovered on his property! Eureka! Fortune made!

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 2, 2013, 6:51 am

Seems to me that racism, or saying racist stuff is just being rude. Its a subset of being a jerk, of a lack of class and decency. But then, so is flipping someone off who cut you off in traffic, calling people names online, and so on. Its just one more way to be an ass.

But for some reason its become the worst, most horrible thing on earth. Why, exactly? Its a nasty, low, and dishonorable thing to do, but the worst sin imaginable?

Comment from steve
Time: July 2, 2013, 11:55 am

Eenie meenie miney mo…..
Paula Dean is just a ho.
Used the N-word, don’t ya know
Eenie meenie miney mo…..

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 2, 2013, 12:54 pm

And in the 2nd Millenium, the Sadducees had converted the Essenes and together they wrote The Narrative and declared it good.
The Pharisees who questioned The Narrative were declared unclean and unworthy of goodness. Rumors abound of the crucifixion of many of the Pharisees.

Comment from rustbucket
Time: July 2, 2013, 1:57 pm

Hey SB, when I heard Paula had dared to utter that about Queen Moochelle I knew there would be Hell to pay…lo and behold, it has come to fruition. My family all said, “No way, Paula’s a HUGE Democrat supporter and they’d never turn on HER.” Yep, SB, this has rained down on Paula directly from the Queen’s own quarters!

Comment from mojo
Time: July 2, 2013, 2:20 pm

What it’s really about: Money (yeah, shocker!)

Deen had a deal to peddle medication for type-II diabetes, which is more prevalent among blacks.

But another Big Pharm company is trying to move in on the market. So Deen had to be destroyed. FOR PROGRESS!

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: July 2, 2013, 3:52 pm

I grew up in the Deep South too, and remember mostly the expression “[n-word]-rigged,” to mean doing a half-assed job of something. The term I’d read in books was “jury-rigged,” but none of my contemporaries, or their parents, knew that one.

Deen has little to lose at this point. Why doesn’t she turn around and fire both barrels at Moochelle?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 2, 2013, 3:55 pm

Rich Rostrom is absolutely right, I do indeed know who Guy Gibson was and the name of his poor old Labrador.

Apparently they are re-making the film and Hollywood has leant on the director to change the hound’s name.

As the script is, reportedly, being written by Stephen Fry (easily the most narcissistic pseud in the UK) it is unlikely to be worth watching.

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 2, 2013, 5:09 pm

Paula should have known any association with The O’s and the DNC is the equivalent of resting your brasil nut on a viscous coal infant. Sticky situation, at best.
But, thanks to others who’ve sinned and repented, her redemption may be attainable.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: July 2, 2013, 5:30 pm

In one respect, the amusing thing is that, any weekend, I can hear That Word a few dozen/hundred times, just in my yard.

Because there’s a park across the street, where people play baseball. One of the teams that practices there is made of evidently middle-class black men, mostly.

So That Word is in constant, fairly loud repetition, all day.

Comment from AliceH
Time: July 2, 2013, 6:25 pm

Possibly the most annoying/irritating thing about these stories, to me, is the extortionate and threatening tone of demands that I – me – myself MUST give a damn. I don’t and no amount of wailing and pontificating and putting the offense-meter on full throttle is going to change that. If you want someone to be polite, then show some sense of decorum yourself.

Comment from ed
Time: July 2, 2013, 8:35 pm


1. While I sympathize with Paula Deen IMO she made her bed, and bedfellows, and now gets to lie in it. Meanwhile Alec Baldwin is screaming about queens (gay men) getting it in the butt. Go figure.

2. It is a bit curious how it appears to be some sort of conspiracy to erase all traces of Deen and her entire family ala Stalin.

Comment from MikeW
Time: July 2, 2013, 8:41 pm

“…Paula Dean is just a ho.”
Seriously cute, but that sure isn’t the second line of that poem that I recall from my childhood. I think the original would be a more apt recollection for this thread.

I also well remember That-Word Heaven referring to the highest balcony in a theater, and That-Word Wad referring to a folded over bunch of [exclusively] one dollar bills in lieu of a wallet.

A tempest-in-a-teapot version of l’affair Dean happened at Mrs. W’s prior office, a heavily Dem infested law firm. A secretary there, a correct-thinking Lib herself, was vilified company wide for a most innocent lapse. On the day after Michael Jackson died, she responded to a companywide email chain that was commenting on the star’s passing. As a big fan of MJ, she knew a good bit of his personal info, including his favorite food. So, in a firm that frequently held big classy luncheons, she added her suggestion that everyone should all get together for a luncheon in his memory with fried chicken. The response was immediate and widespread condemnation of her “shocking racism”.

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 2, 2013, 9:02 pm

Coulda been worse MikeW. Mrs. W coulda mentioned Chick-Fil-A as a vendor.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 2, 2013, 10:22 pm

I’ll tell you this from the bottom of my heart: any KFC that isn’t staffed by black people isn’t worth a damn.

Take it to the bank.

Comment from ed
Time: July 2, 2013, 10:27 pm

As someone who visited a chinese restaurant staffed exclusively by blond haired blue-eyed white people it does make you reconsider some things.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 2, 2013, 11:07 pm

@AltBBrown –

…resting your brasil nut on a viscous coal infant.

Thank you for the best belly laugh of the day!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 2, 2013, 11:18 pm

That gave me a hoot, too. Well played, AltB.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: July 2, 2013, 11:26 pm

The KFCs in my neck of the woods are all staffed by Spanish speaking Hispanics. Very few blacks in this town at all.

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: July 3, 2013, 2:25 am

I’ve gotten sideways looks from relatives for using the terms “Brazil nut” or “jury-rigged”. A look that says, “you know what we really call those…”

And I dare say I’m a lot younger than her Stoatliness, and not from the South.

BTW, my uncle’s not-really-less-offensive term for *rigged is “Afro-engineered”.

Comment from brad ervin
Time: July 3, 2013, 5:30 am

A while ago there was this senator from Texas, Senator Tower. He let a little leg out in his book where he asserted that he’d swat the odd lady upon her behind. Just for fun, you know. The line was probably to help amend his image as a dower sort but was caught up by the Left. The howl went up and the crys were returned from across the way. NOW let out the shreak and the lynch mob was formed and the possie sent out. Senator Tower was duely lynched and buried in a non-discript political grave.

Years later an aspiring gov. from a small southern state was reported to have sent out the state police to bring into his presence certain state emplyees that had caught his eye. They were then instructed to kneel down before his greatness and pay homage to his icon. The Right, maybe remembering the late senator from Texas, tried to puff up the same balloon of indignation just to see it go POP for them as it had for the Left. Silly boys. NOW yawned and said “he’s one of ours and this is our gig not yours.”

The moral of the story is that you can say what you want if you play the right tune. No one asked if Paula Dean was a racist, does anyone believe that she really is? No one asked if her thoughts about using “the word” has changed in the interveining decades. This wasn’t about catching an old, unrepentant nazi; this was about using the power of the estate against someone that had fallen out of grace.

The “gotcha” insult being played out against Paula Dean is an afront to us all; and a warning.

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: July 3, 2013, 9:14 pm

@Sockless Joe
2 snaps up for your uncle.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: July 5, 2013, 6:28 am

Uncle Badger @ July 2, 2013, 3:55 pm

I do indeed know who Guy Gibson was and the name of his poor old Labrador.

Apparently they are re-making the film and Hollywood has leant on the director to change the hound’s name.

Interesting… In the original movie, the dog (and its name and the code word) were not mentioned IIRC. I think even then it was infra dig.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: July 8, 2013, 5:56 am

I read that she admitted using The Word referring to a man who robbed her thirty years ago when she was working as a bank teller.

Thug shoved a gun in her face and robbed her. But the real crime is that she called him a Bad Name.

Fuck those race baiting asswipes. With a chainsaw.

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