Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nutty Nostalgia

Hollywood legend CLINT EASTWOOD laments the loss of old-fashioned humour in today’s society - insisting he should be able to tell jokes about nationality without fear of people branding him a “racist”. The Dirty Harry star, 79, is adamant that modern culture has become humourless, and accuses younger generations of spending too much time trying to avoid being offensive. He says, “People have lost their sense of humour. In former times we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth or you will be insulted as a racist.” “I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a ‘Sam the Jew’ or ‘Jose the Mexican’ - but we didn’t think anything of it or have a racist thought. It was just normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem. I don’t want to be politically correct. We’re all spending too much time and energy trying to be politically correct about everything.”

Remember when a nigger knew he was nigger and didn't argue about it?

How about when wetbacks picked your fruit, kept their mouths shut and didn't try to vote? Let's not even discuss how the Jews embraced their innate ability to earn money and Asian women didn't mind being submissive.

Remember those good ol' days?

Apparently Clint Eastwood misses the good old days. The days when Dirty Harry could tell a joke about niggers and watermelons and nobody busted his chops about racism. When Pale Riders kept the coloreds in line with nighttime jaunts. Eastwood longs for a simpler time when everybody laughed at jokes about what you say to black men in suits.

Will the defendants please rise.

I don't blame Eastwood. Honestly, if you were an old white millionaire, wouldn't you long for the good ol' days? Before this whole "equality" thing, the world must have seemed like a veritable Utopia for rich white men. You could fuck who you wanted, cheat who you wanted and say anything you damn well pleased. Nobody had the power to make you feel bad about yourself because nobody besides like-minded rich white men had any true power.

Those were the days.

Now, you're stuck in a pansy-ass world where everybody wants you to respect their feelings and treat them as equals. They don't want you to make racist jokes because they don't find them funny. They complain if you make a movie about World War II and conspicuously leave out all the black people.

Wah, wah, wah, all people do is bitch and moan these days.

In the good old days, you could say what you wanted and if people didn't like it they shut their mouths and took it anyway. The coloreds, all of them not just the niggers, knew what side their bread was buttered on, and didn't want to mess up their meal tickets by complaining. If they could only get roles as dope dealers or hoes, they were just happy to work. If they had to shine shoes while you called them "boy", well they shined those shoes with a smile on their faces.

What is the world coming to when a rich white man has to worry about whether other people find his jokes funny? If rich white men have to worry about what other people think, what's the point in being rich and white?

Where are the benefits?

If you can't make a joke about money-hungry Jews or funny-talking Asians, well why make jokes? If you can't make fun of somebody based on gross stereotypes about their race or nationality, what else do you have to work with? Where is the motivation?

Where has yesterday gone?



RiPPa said...

As an aspiring comedy writer myself, I miss those good ole days...

but then again, I'm neither rich nor am I white. Suffice it to say, I don't miss those good old days as much.

However, I will say that I've been leary of the comedic presentations surrounding Barack Obama. It would seem that the only time one can "joke" about the president is when his approval rating in somewhere around 29%.

Awesome Post!

ch555x said...

Nice write-up! Seeing it from a non-white perspective, we do need to lighten up a bit considering "Rome is burning", but I also understand what you're saying in regards to the good ol' days. Makes sense...where are the dark riders at???

Lolo said...

A jewish, a mexican and an asian guy walk into a bar. They all order drinks and tell the gay barkeep that if he can answer a riddle, they'll blow him. He agrees and they ask "what do you call someone who misses the good old days when they could call you a fag and us a kike, a beaner and a chink and everyone would laugh out loud?" He thinks a bit and says "old? drunk?? stupid??? WHAT?"


ba dum tish and please tip your server.

Deacon Blue said...

Always a shame when an actor/director whose work I really like turns out to be an asshole or have a really serious character flaw, whether racial or sexual or whatever.

I'm not saying Clint didn't always have these feelings, but anyone notice how when famous dudes get older they seem to fucking lose their minds?

Woody Allen bangs his stepdaughter and then leaves Mia Farrow to marry the girl.

Bill Cosby suddenly becomes the expert on how black men should behave and parent and starts lobbing social hand grenades in their direction from a self-righteous perch.

Clint Eastwood takes his grizzled no nonsense persona to a wacky level by not simply decrying political correctness (which I think needs some decrying) but to defend racist attitudes and right them off as meaning nothing at all.

Well, at least Paul Newman seemed to have kept his head straight until the very end...

Big Man said...

I wonder if it's that people just go crazy as they age, or is it that as you get older you get less accepting of differences.

Anonymous said...

There is large part of me that wants to tell ole Clint to STF up...on the other hand I do feel like we have become almost too PC and polite as a society.

I'm only 36 but there are times that I have no idea what to say because it seems the potential to offend is hiding everywhere. In professional settings after years of rolling my eyes at the notion, I now call my own husband my partner because it was deemed offensive to use husband/wife in certain settings I encountered.

So while I think Clint is a crunchy ole bastard, I do think as a society we overthink some issues.

cinque said...

@ Deacon Blue, you hit it on the head with the discription. Great post Big Man!

Deacon Blue said...

You know, something occurs to me with Clint here, and I think part of the problem is the typical white privilege thing. He probably doesn't think the racial jokes are racist. Why? Simple?

There were always more "white" racial jokes (Polish, Italian, Irish, Jewish, etc.) in the old days than there were black ones. In most of those jokes, you didn't worry much about offending because often, ethnic variations either aren't obvious or people brush off the jokes because they're all white, after all, and just kidding around.

That blunts the impact of the black jokes and makes them not see them as necessarily racist, because they don't stop to think how obvious blackness is, how a black person cannot hide his/her race/ethnicity, and also they don't consider what the average black person already has to put up with on a daily basis.

With those kinds of blinders on, it's no wonder than folks can tell the jokes and not think themselves racist, particularly when truly "old school" like Clint.

Big Man said...

I hate the term "politically correct."
On it's face, it demeans the entire discussion of racism or discrimination. It's like the term "race card."
Politically correct implies that deciding not to offend someone by using insensitive language is a "politcal" decision instead of just a decent one. It creates the impression that people who are insensitive are just not playing the "political" game. That's wack.

Now, your issues about husband and wife is ridiculous. Your husband is your husband, that's what you should call him.

The truth is, we all impose our own standards of right and wrong on folks, and people impose their standards on us. What Clint Eastwood is trying to do is say that is say it's unfair for anybody to impose their standards of racial sensibility on him, but it's perfectly fair for him to impose his standards of what is acceptable on other people.

The truth is, Clint Eastwood can make any joke he wants to make, and people can respond to it how they please. Some folks can laugh, other folks can call him a cranky racist. That's what freedom of speech is. If Clint doesn't want to deal with the fallout from his actions, than he needs to conform.

That's the choice we all have. We either conform, or we stand by our choices. It can be hard to go against popular opinion, but that's a choice we have the freedom to make in this country. Clint is really just whining because people won't smile and be happy about his choices.

Anonymous said...



MacDaddy said...

As a director, Eastwood is someone I admire. But as an analyst of society, he is pathetic but predictable. I hear many whites say something similar until I get all up in their ass: Being able to talk about how many Polish people to unscrew a light bulb or make blonde jokes or to stereotype Jews as money-hungry were good ole days, huh? Did you ever think how insensitive that makes you look like? How unfeeling you are about someone else? Did ever stop to think why you make these jokes? Isn't it to make you feel superior to the people about whom you joke?

Then they say something like "Hey, don't be serious! We're just talking." They try to minimize it and don't bring it up again in my presence.

T.A.N. Man said...

Good deal.

I agree that it's not about being PC. PC is whack; be real. Rather it's about trying to control people's responses to you and image of you without conforming to societys constructs. I totally agree that people shouldn't be forced to conform to any societal construct--whether I agree with the construct or not. But Clint needs to shut his talk box with that whole "Y'all are too sensitive" jive. You just like being a bigot, buddy; many of us do. But the time is long gone when bigotry goes unchecked.

Lisa J said...

Excellent post BigMan. I agree with other commenters that I've enjoyed Clint's work, but he has been losing it for awhile. Maybe Deacon Blue is right that some folks just loose dey mind as they age (except Paul Neumann). I also agree with you Big Man on PC. I hate that term too, it seems like whenever you try to call someone out on bad behavior, it is being "PC" and that is bad.

Mr. Noface said...

I know I'm going to sound like a "coon" but I miss the good ol' days myself...to a certain degree.

My fondness for the frankness of days gone by is not as profound as Mr. Eastwood's seems to be, but I must admit that I do have a problem with the fact that everything can be offensive these days. Sometimes I just want a joke to be seen as a joke (no matter how insensitive or uncouth) and not as speech or expression with some ulterior motive.

In the past you at least knew where someone was coming from or how they really felt. In this day and age, one can not really be sure what anyone really thinks because everyone is too afraid to be labeled racist, sexist, or any other “ist”. I have never been a fan of PC as it is just the rug that we use to sweep our mess under. This is the cowardice I believe that the new Attorney General was talking about and Political Correctness is the sand that we’ve got our heads stuck in.

I have of course considered the possibility that I am as flawed as Old Man Clint, and that I am totally in the wrong in all of this. This, however, is how I feel. This is where I'm coming from. Now we can have an open and honest debate about how wrong (or right) I am. I feel we lose that opportunity in today’s society. More is the pity, because we failed to capitalize on the opportunity when we had it back then in the “good ol’ days”.

strangefruit said...

Only recently have I discovered your page, but I must say that it is a fascinating read, which is why I now follow you. Having said that, I can move on to the reason why I started this comment/response. I am a firm believer in the fact that you can be frank, open, and honest, without being offensive. There is an old saying in the black community, that goes "Think 5 times before you speak." I am sure many of you have heard it, because I heard it as a child and I am in my 30's. The saying is there for a reason... so that you don't open your mouth and put your foot in it. I am sooo tired of people belly-aching about being PC, heck, there was a time when *we* couldn't say or do anything out of line, lest it might end your life (remember Emmett Till?). I bet that Mister Charlie got pleanty of respect from *us'n*. Being part of the human soceity means that sometimes, you might be expected to *act* (I say act because for some people, it will only be emulation, having been raised in a barn and all) like a mildly civilized human being and show other people the same respect that you expect or should expect.I remember a song from when I was a kid, it was really popular and was by the Staple Singers, it went:

If you disrespect everybody
That you run into
How in the world do you think
Anybody sposed to respect you

If you dont give a heck about
The man with a bible in his hand
Just get out the way and let
The gentleman do his thing

You're the kind of gentleman
That wants everything their way
Take the sheet off yur face boy
Its a brand new day
(@Clint Eastwood)

Another part I like is:
You cuss around women folk
You dont even know their name
Then you're dumb enough to think
That it makes you a big ol man

I am sorry for such a long post, but I felt that I needed to do so. I think that as a soceity, we haven't gotten very far if we still have people, dinosaurs they might be, who yearn for the negatives of the good old days. If you are going to yearn for the good ol' days, yearn for a time when you could send your kids to the store, and they actually came back. Yearn for the times when you could leave your door open; or when your neighbors watched out for your kids; or even better, when every child had a daddy that lived ~with~ them and their momma and he had a job or 2, but he kept the family together..... I gonna' go now and listen to some James Brown's, "Papa Don't Take No Mess"

jaye said...

I know people are irritated by the concept of PC, and I think it did get taken too far...but I'm pretty sure before it came along, racist, sexist, homophobic jokes were the norm. It's because of the concept of politically correct language that we are more respectful and aware of how we label other people...but it did get taken to the point where there was a lack of honesty and openness in people's communication...but that doesn't mean PC-language hasn't benefited us all in a great deal. But there's a difference between being honest, and being insulting and disrespectful.

I was talking to my friend's 2 daughters, who are in elementary school, and they're Asian. One day they asked me in very low, cautious voices, "Are blond people stupid?"

I was kind of confused, "Are blond people stupid?? What are you talking about?"

And the older girl said, "Well, we always hear about blond people being really stupid, but there's this blond boy who sits next to me in class, and his grades are just as good as mine. He doesn't seem stupid."

I had to spend 10 minutes explaining the concept of stereotypes to them, and where 'blond jokes' came from. Y'know, those unthinking jokes can affect us in ways we don't even realize.

Big Man said...


First of all, welcome and thanks for the compliments. Secondly, I think you broke some sort of record for song references in a post.
Finally, I'm a big believer in civility.

I understand the urge to make jokes that might cross the line into offensive territory. I think you have to know your audience. You can't make certain jokes, or say certain words around everybody. You can't expect everybody to have your type of humor. I think you're right about respect and the sacrifices we all must make to live in a larger society.

Raving Black Lunatic