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11 February 2010

“Homescholer” replaces retard from now on. Took me a while to get the Wonkette headline, but the comments helped - they are absolutely hilarious. [More:] The headline above comes via alzronnie in the comments. My *very* favorite comment comes from the linked Houston Press webiste, where a single comment notes that the "Get a brain, morans" sign guy must have been busy on Sunday.
I'm glad you liked it, but the willy-nilly use of the word 'retarded' and the same old tired Texas bashing made that a really awful read for me.
posted by mudpuppie 11 February | 14:59
To think that my ex and I decided to homeschool our son because we felt the public school systems were too conservative and subverted by fundamentalist christians.
posted by Ardiril 11 February | 15:05
Yeah wonkette comments are the strangest example of locker-room/catty/pick-your-non-gendered-example-of-juvenile-cliquishness ethos in a pro-liberal bias ever. I also find it interesting how Ana Marie Cox goes around with 100% credibility as a liberal writer when she spent her rise-to-prominence doing things like making fun of a Bush daughter's scraped knees (suggesting she goes down too much; I swear I saw that post circa 2004 or so.)

Also the defense of what'shisname using the word retard is really strange in a way; I gaurantee you if the ideological parties were reversed liberal media types would have their sabres fully drawn.
posted by Firas 11 February | 15:13
mudpuppie - I did not register the anti-Texan comments, as I really only started reading them at the “Homescholer replaces retard from now on" point, when I paged down. But while the early comments are tired and sad, the later ones are pretty funny. For example, "As a good old-fashioned pagan, I’m trying to get the school board to teach the controversy over whether the seasons are caused by the axial tilt or Demeter’s grieving for Persephone while she’s in Hades."
posted by Susurration 11 February | 15:29
I did not register the anti-Texan comments

A lot of people don't (and that's okay). I'm just kind of sensitive to it, especially because it comes up so often on Metafilter.

That said, I totally have a double standard, because if they'd been making fun of Oklahoma, I would have laughed and nodded.
posted by mudpuppie 11 February | 15:52
Maybe people still bash Texas for no other reason than that it was the springboard from which George W. Bush vaulted to power, and many people down there still seem damn proud of having helped make that happen. I recognize a lot of good things about Texas, and like anywhere else in the country, there are plenty of bad things about it, too. But that GWB thing, that's a real doozy; in that one important way, Texas really fucked us all up but good. I can understand people still being nasty about it.

I also think other states/regions take just as many lumps but don't have the macho tradition of thin-skinned chest-thumping that Texas is famous for. But it may just be that I've never lived there and felt the hail of abuse.

I agree, though: that "retarded" shit has got to go.
posted by Hugh Janus 11 February | 16:39
"Retard" is a word that (some) liberal/lefty types throw around to seem edgy or non-P.C.

posted by jason's_planet 11 February | 16:47
I'm too tired to get into a screaming match about it, Hugh, or to spend any more time than this saying that dammit, it gets old, and it doesn't really matter how well you think you can justify it or explain it.
posted by mudpuppie 11 February | 17:01
As a one-time Texan who doesn't feel a particular pride in the fact, I will chime in: it seems to me that Texas does, in fact, get crap far out of proportion to its size, population, and presence on the social and political landscape.

On to my dumb story!

Though we both agreed that "gay" was a hurtful word to use as a derogatory remark, my friend and former housemate J used to throw around the word "retarded" in the same way. We had the same private conversation so many times:

J: What? That's so retarded!
E: Yes! And so gay!
J: ... yeah, okay.

However, I cheerfully used the word "lame" in the same way until one day a niece heard me and asked her mother what I meant. My sister, a physical therapist, very diplomatically explained that it's a word some people use to blahblahblah but that she herself didn't use it, because it does hurt people's feelings.

Uh. Oh. Of course it does. I am so dumb. That's a hard word to excise from my vocabulary, though.

Now that I am actually, literally lame, do I get to reclaim the word? No, I guess not.
posted by Elsa 11 February | 17:17
Maybe people still bash Texas for no other reason than that it was the springboard from which George W. Bush vaulted to power, and many people down there still seem damn proud of having helped make that happen.

It was also the springboard for Lyndon B. Johnson (remember him?), but I don't hear that record getting a lot of play.

I also don't hear California getting shit for their two (count 'em, TWO) hometown presidents: Nixon and Reagan. Whatta record! Many people in California are damned proud of Reagan, and lots and lots of people are secretly proud of Nixon.
posted by muddgirl 11 February | 17:53
Sorry, mudpuppie, the last thing I wanted was to scream about anything; I was trying acrobatically to be non-confrontational about it but I see now where I went wrong.

Muddgirl, GWB is much more recent than LBJ and that has a lot to do with why I said I could understand people still being nasty about it; and yes, California and Californians definitely do get a lot of shit, sometimes even for Reagan and Nixon. Maybe we're just paying attention to different things.

But really, forget it. I tried to put it mildly and I think mudpuppie's right: I shouldn't have tried to put it, at all.
posted by Hugh Janus 11 February | 18:10
Speaking as someone who's got a friend who would have loved to homeschool her special needs kids because the Texas public school programs weren't doing their job and hates the word "retarded," I also try not to use the word. I'm also not a fan of instantly thinking of homeschool kids as being socially stunted because one of my dearest friends was homeschooled. (It also eventually came out that she's got a learning disability due to a problem with her eyesight, but it's not standard dyslexia.)

posted by TrishaLynn 11 February | 18:11
Thanks, Hugh.

Calling attention to the shit Texas gets means walking a very fine line, because just for doing so people are all too ready to accuse you of participating in the "chest-thumping that Texas is famous for." It's a no-win situation, and that's part of what makes it so tiresome. For the record, it's actually possible to find both the hubris and the bashing off-putting.

I am so dumb.

And now you're bashing mutes! Insensitive person, you!
posted by mudpuppie 11 February | 19:42
And now you're bashing mutes!

Oh no! What a moron I am!

posted by Elsa 11 February | 20:06
Guys, we now have a perfectly cromulent all-purpose insult word that's not offensive to persons of any race, creed, location, or orientation.

That word? Teabagger.
posted by Atom Eyes 12 February | 11:34
3-Point Status... SQUIRREL!!! || Bad news: Rabbits are smarter than me.