Friday, May 25, 2012

MKMOT (May 25, 2012)

Do you ever go to the gym and see a guy who walks around without shoes? This disturbs me. As much for him as for me. I don't understand what is gained here. Some people do it to stretch, but I simply can't grasp how shoes are restrictive to flexibility. They're not for me. This guy....this is not my kind of guy.

However, shoes are optional while balogging, so if you're that guy, explain yourself below. I'm genuinely curious. But try to do so without a Rex Ryan joke, mmmkay??? Other topics are also welcome, just please wipe down the equipment after posting. It's balog etiquette. The thread is open. Powwow below Spandau.


  1. Relax, maaaaaan. Shoes are another one of man's tools of oppression.

  2. Tommy moving BofC was out of line.

    1. Wow. I'm not really passionate either way about the argument there, but the move was a bit weak and petty.

      One man's opinion.

    2. Another Fan of BevMay 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Disagree. It was a false equivalence, and a snotty and unfunny one.

    3. Not sure I agree with you there. Or, at any rate, I disagree with BofC's point and don't think it was either relevant or funny.

    4. I think we're all Bev fans, but whatever you think of Tommy's piece (I happen to think it was funny and interesting), it is surprising that Bev apparently did not think calling it "hateful rhetoric" would get him moved. I don't know for sure that a criticism with a lighter touch would have spared him, because I do think that sometimes the writers at Deadspin can have a thin skin; but I think the way he did it would have made for a hostile conversation, which is not any fun to read.

    5. Body of work should matter, and BofC has built up a good one. Again, no strong opinion on the point of discussion, but I'd like to think Tommy could have offered a legit response rather than move the comment. Especially in light of the seemingly dozens of comments that aren't moved/ninjed on a daily basis.

    6. And Tommy has now offered a response. A bit heated, but at least he chimed in. So props for that.

    7. Gamboa, you and I will discuss this at length in a sonnet I'll be singing through your bedroom window later this evening, but in short, I really disagree that body of work should matter. How does a casual Deadspin reader take into account Bev's body of work? They don't. They see a snotty, argumentative comment that likens Tommy's disappointment at the behavior of the Associated Press to the attitudes of bigots. We can disagree about his point, sure, but not about the tone that kind of comment establishes in the conversation, surely.

    8. Talibs Rap SheetMay 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      FYI in case anyone missed it - Tommy did respond to Bev's comment.

      I moved this because I'm absolutely fucking sick of this notion that calling an asshole an asshole is somehow an act of terrible hypocrisy.

      Tommy is taking exception to his piece being called "hateful rhetoric." Is that just thin skin? I don't think so, but I can see why someone would disagree. I think the reason Tommy singled it out is because Bev's point was in direct opposition to Tommy's. Tommy is arguing that noone should fear being labeled a hypocrite for calling a bigot an asshole, while Bev calls him hypocritical for calling a bigot an asshole.

      I also agree with Bronze Hammer that the comment was a dinner bell for a terrible discussion to follow.

    9. On my phone so this will be short. I don't think bevraj's body of work should or did matter. But supposedly, critiquing the site/writes is fine if you're not blindly vulgar or inflammatory. Bev wasn't either. Angry? Sure, but removing that post seemed unnecessary.

      And yes, it wasn't a joke but the days where that's rule number one for the commentariat are past...according to the editors.

    10. And for the record, I don't think Bev could possibly have less of a leg to stand on in his retort to being moved. I'm 100% with Tommmy on the absurdity of Bev's point. The fact that he doesn't agree with the bigot referenced makes his point all the more quarrelsome and impertinent. Why in the world would anyone have any interest in casting Tommy's attitude towards a bigot in the same light as the bigotry itself, if not to be just pointlessly nettlesome?

      Okay, I'm going away now.

    11. I don't think the "casual Deadspin reader" standard is consistently applied. I acknowledge the difficulties in doing so, and the fine line between "inside baseball" and funny/intelligent enough to let it stand, but I find it hard to justify how BofC just got moved while, say, DirkToberfest's jab at Barry yesterday went unmoved and unacknowledged. This is not to single out DirkToberfest, who I liked when he used to be around, but my point calls for an example, and this one is fresh in my mind.

      I have seen threads recently where literally 75% of the comments would have been more damaging to the "casual Deadspin reader" in terms of their opinion of the site than BofC's, due to sheer unfunniness and idiocy. I love the ninj squad conceptually and for their humor, but I think there's a lack of consistent implementation day in/day out. Although this particular case was a writer/editor rather than a unified body, so individual tolerance and policy was the standard, the end result was the same. And I can't justify this comment getting moved in light of so, so many others that don't.

      All this being said, my window remains wide open for you. That may or may not be a euphemism.

    12. Without getting into whether or not it should have been moved, I do think that Tommy can get a little too vitriolic when discussing Christianity. Back in his writer days, he said some stuff about Tebow that went beyond the normal eye-roll that we all do with guys like him.

      If you're a devout every-third-week Catholic like me, his style can be a little shocking.

    13. Well, I agree the standard is not consistently applied. Hell, it may not have even been applied in this case . . . after all, Tommy might have just had about the same gut reaction to Bev's comment that I did, which was roughly to make a sour face and execute a facepalm. I'm not saying that he moved it because of the "casual Deadspin reader" standard, only that his moving of Bev's comment passes the "casual Deadspin reader" standard smell-test. It is within bounds because it serves the best interests of the casual reader and the site as a whole, whether it was done for that reason or not.

      That said, I like to remind myself that the ninja squadron is actually just a small group of unpaid dudes and there will be any number of things they miss or screw up. I think they do good work - I think they do great work, actually - but the fact that they miss some ugly stuff should not necessarily serve as an indication that all the stuff that is not moved is therefore implicitly allowable. In other words, the stuff that flew in Barry's piece should not be used to inform your future commentary. But you already know that.

    14. So what you're saying is that I'm right, you're sorry, and dinner will be waiting when I get home?

      Keep coming around, man. Look forward to your next piece.

    15. Not being privy to the reason for the moving of the comment, I'd like to speculate along with the rest of you.

      I don't think BoC's track record did, or should, have anything to do with the moving. I have a feeling it was a visceral reaction on Craggs's part.

      I think Craggs, as he noted in his "fuck off" reply, is legitimately annoyed by the what's good for the goose should not be good for the gander tone of BoC's comment. Why can't you call an asshole an asshole, if he's an asshole? Isn't that our right--just as much as it is the asshole's to be an asshole? Isn't that a person who's charged with being the voice of a publication's role? For better or worse, the site is Craggs's and it's his for a reason. He called bullshit on bullshit.

      I don't think it undermines anything to say that. I also don't think Tommy's reference to "cheap faith" was a shot at faith, or the religious at all. I think it was a characterization of the perpetual use of generalities like "faith" and "family values" as code words for hating anything other than a husband, wife, 2.5 kids and a dog as your neighbor. You can have faith without it being cheap.

      To say "two wrongs don't make a right," which (I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but it) seems to be BoC's point is a bit disingenuous if you ask me when the initial wrong is a chicken shit, hidden behind buzz words "homosexuality and family values are mutually exclusive" tangent off a story about a team engendering equality, or more progressive maybe, not giving a fuck about differences.

      This was not a guy sticking up for his beliefs or way of life, this was a guy masking homophobia with those words. Everyone has a right to be an asshole, and maybe even not to be called an asshole for it, but at least have the guts to come out and say what you believe instead of using verbal sleight of hand. It's insidious, and as Craggs said, that's how they get in the door. With a smile and ostensibly pleasant, milquetoast speak.

      I like BoC. A lot--he is without a doubt one of the best. I just don't see what he was getting at if, as Shitehawk noted, he agreed with Tommy. Just seems to be picking a fight for the sake of it.

    16. I'll preface all this by saying I'm reading Tommy's comment to be addressing Wolfgang's opposition to gay marriage.

      Tommy's response contains a thing that really bothers me: The idea that "what I think is a good idea" is the exact same thing as "it's constitutional." Or, the corollary, "bad idea = unconstitutional." Craggs asserts Wolfgang is seeking to deny people their constitutional rights, but obviously there is, as of now, no constitutional right to gay marriage: If there were, it would be permitted in all 50 states. Now, he obviously knows that, but claiming it's constitutional is just a lazy shortcut. It's equivalent to: "[Thing Y] is unfair. You support Thing Y. Why are you in favor of unfairness?" Constitutional interpretation and philosophy is a complex topic, and there's all kinds of good reasons to believe that a thing I like should nonetheless not necessarily be a constitutional right. It just so happens that a lot of people think their ideological preferences are constitutional, which isn't very helpful or a framework likely to lead to good results.

      Scocca's post and the resulting debate is a nice example of why it's silly to equate "constitutional" with "good." It's clearly constitutional to stop a vehicle for any violation of the motor code (United States v Whren). I doubt Craggs would think the argument should end with, "Well, everything that happened is constitutional." 

    17. There's a constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

    18. RAC,

      There are plenty of things that are not enumerated in the constitution (or federal or state law) that are still perfectly constitutional and legal. The right to have half and half in my coffee, say. There's no law in any state that I'm aware of that grants me this right.

      I am entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of property. Somewhere in there lies my right to drink coffee with half and half in it. I am also entitled to equal protection under the laws.

      Just because something isn't permitted, doesn't mean it's not constitutional. It just means no one has said it's constitutional yet. I prefer (call me a romantic, if you will) to think of these things as constant truths that have finally been uncovered and not something like "Hey, change of policy guys, Blacks are cool now. Carry on." Similarly, just because there is a law on the books making something illegal does not bestow upon it constitutionality. The Supreme Court would be a lot less busy if that were the case.

      Anyway, I agree with your sentiment and the pitfalls of interjecting your opinion for fact, but sometimes if someone doesn't say anything no one will see it.

    19. You do not have a Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of property.

      Because it's in the Declaration of Independence!


    20. There's a constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

      So, it's settled then. No need for any more of these silly court cases.

      Today has been a hell of a good day for sanctimonious "I'm just smarter than you, my opinion DEMANDS to be heard, and I don't need to explain myself" bullshit from self-important provincial 20-something lawyers and writers. Craggs, Bev, and Scocca all can take a bow.

    21. self-important provincial 20-something lawyers and writers

      How dare you call me that. I'm in my late 30s!


      (It's the 14th one...)

    23. So, wait--there's not a constitutional right to equal protection under the law?

      Or did you just like the idea of casting yourself in the role of the guy who's sanctimonious and smarter than everyone else, but, like, in a cool way because he's sanctimonious and supercilious about the uncoolness of sanctimony and superciliousness?

      "Aw, naw, y'all, you're all wrong about who's stupid and wrong, because you're all stupid and wrong for talking about what's stupid and wrong."

      People can disagree about whether that constitutional right extends to gay marriage, as we've seen. But they cannot disagree about whether it exists in the first place. All I'm saying is that that's what Craggs was referring to.

    24. That Sharting quote was intended by him to settle the issue of whether gay marriage is constitutionally protected. Neither his one-liner nor your URL settles the issue, despite the condescending tone.

      That said, it was nice to click refresh after comparing this place to Gawker and see 3 rambling paragraphs of tortured analogy ending with "anyway, I agree with your sentiment."


      "Bark Bark Bark"


    26. Wait, that amendment says the State can deprive us of life, liberty and property. What kind of Nazi country do we live in?!1!!11

      Also, the rest of that Amendment doesn't look good for your ol' friend Raysism!1!11

    27. Steve U of Cisalpine GualMay 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      @I've Seen Our Future

      That one stings. It stings like truth.

    28. Wow, that's an amazing job of putting intentions in my mouth there, guy. All I was trying to do is address how the issue of constitutionality wound up in Craggs's piece in the first place.

      But hey, feel free to impute shitty intentions to me, anonymous person. Right now I'm intending for you to get hit by a freight train.

    29. Steve U of Cisalpine GAULMay 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      /curses sub-par provincial spelling instruction

    30. This whole argument is pissing me the fuck off.

      Mainly because it's making me take Raycism's side.


    31. Hi friend,

      Guess what, at no point in time was I ever replying to you. What was that you were saying about self important? I couldn't give a fuck what Mr. Clever Name Tied To A URL has to say about this because unless I'm mistaken no one is bringing any of "these silly court cases" to decide whether or not the 14th amendment exists as your bitchy comment seems to imply.

      As for our future-- who do you think will ruin commenting with the changes? The people engaging in a civil discussion or the trolls?


    32. DID YOU KNOW:

      Sharting was outlawed by the passage of the 18th Amendment, but then again permitted by the 21st.

      Also, kids used to be able to shart when they were 18, and now they have to wait until they are 21.

      /provincial mind blown

    33. I'm happy to argue, but not with this level of snark, because you're just going to cause me to be snarky. Like this:

      "Well thanks for correcting me, guys. I'm stupid, because there's OBVIOUSLY a right to gay marriage. I'm sure Justice Kennedy and his 4 colleagues in Lawrence v. Texas simply forgot to insert a giant footnote next to this sentence:  "The present case does not involve ... whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter." I'm sure that deleted footnote would state, "But obviously, that's a right protected under several constitutional clauses, so I'm not even sure why we bothered to

    34. Dude. That's not what I'm saying. All I'm saying is that that's the "constitutional right" Craggs was asserting. I'm not even saying he's right. For fuck's sake, man, I was trying to help.

    35. Raysism*,

      You have not been constitionally recognized since the Civil War. I knew you were old, but damn.

      RAC: I was not trying to be snarky if that was in reply to me. But, like I said, just because a right is not enumerated doesn't mean it does not exist. Presumably you are either a lawyer or in law school and understand the huge difference between the supreme court saying "THIS IS NOT THE LAW" and "We are not commenting on whether or not this is the law." And why it would be problematic to just throw something like that out in dicta.

      *just in case there was confusion.

    36. As for our future-- who do you think will ruin commenting with the changes? The people engaging in a civil discussion or the trolls?

      It isn't the trolls who ruin Gawker's comment section, it is the blowhards who mistake long-winded masturbatory monologues for "civil discussion."

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get civilly hit by a freight train,

    37. Don't tell me what I know or don't know. I know the law.

    38. Guys, this has been a lot of fun*, but it is now socially acceptable for me to make up an out of office meeting, and will be gone the rest of the day. Have a great long weekend.

      *this word was repealed by the passage of the 69!1!!th Amendment, and replaced with "insane rambling by provincial lawyer minds"

    39. cheese-mac/Sharting,

      My apologies for assuming snarkiness. I was replying to comments like, "So, wait--there's not a constitutional right to equal protection under the law?". I took it as, "Here's the text. It's right there. DUH."

      cheese-mac, you are, of course, absolutely correct. And I fully understand the difference. It clearly would be problematic to throw that out there in dicta, but that underscores the point. It's not a simple issue. If merely saying "equal protection!" or "due process!" was enough, there'd be no need for complex opinions. There'd be no need for lengthy arguments and debate.

    40. Totally agreed, but I think a lot of the times the need for complex opinions has far less to do with the actual constitutionality of things and much more so with the political implications of coming out and saying definitively "This is a constitutional right."

      It's just easier unfortunately, especially for the judicial branch, to leave that mess on someone else's doorstep.

      (For what it's worth, I posted the link in response to Raysism as a playful little reply to his Declaration of Independence jab.)

    41. No sweat, man. My only intention was to clarify that I didn't think Craggs was saying "I like this, therefore it is constitutionally protected," but rather asserting (rightly or wrongly) that gay marriage is protected by the 14th amendment.

      There might not be a huge difference there from your perspective, but I think the latter is a bit more nuanced than, say, the Cuban-Americans who stood in the streets screaming "WHAT ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION????" as Elian Gonzalez was removed from his Miami relatives.

      Again, I'm not saying he's correct (and I don't know nearly enough about how the 14th amendment has been interpreted in other cases to have any kind of opinion). But you seemed to frame your first comment as though you weren't sure how the subject of constitutionality came into play, and I was trying to help shed some light on it. Sorry if it came off snarky: that could not have been further from my intention, whatever anonymous third parties would like to think.

  3. Regarding Scocca's latest post:

    Am I missing something here? What the fuck is this shit?

    If somebody gets pulled over for any number of traffic violations, their information gets called in, just to make sure everything checks out. Anybody who has ever been pulled over can attest to this. If it turns out that the person who was pulled over has a bench warrant out for their arrest, it would seem completely appropriate for the officer to arrest that person. It is their job to do so, regardless of that person's race.

    Scocca was also selective in what he copied and pasted from the linked article, but he probably should have left in the two previous sentences:

    Sgt. Bobby Hernandez says 26-year-old J.R. Smith was stopped Thursday night on Washington Avenue in South Beach. A routine search revealed the bench warrant and he was arrested.

    Details were not immediately available on what led police to stop Smith around 8:30 p.m.

    Even if it wasn't a traffic stop, the fact that a person who had a bench warrant out for their arrest actually got arrested does not make a police department racist. They were doing their job.

    Again, unless I'm missing something, this just seems like race-baiting at it's finest.

    1. Black people are stopped at a disproportionately high frequency, I think is the point. I wouldn't expect any more details about why Smith was stopped to come to light.

    2. It doesn't bother you even a little bit that he wasn't booked for anything other than a standing warrant on a traffic stop? Tom's point is that it sure looks like Smith was stopped by police because he's a young black man in Miami, at which point the attending officer learned his identity and discovered the warrant.

      All this after the PD in question had to defend itself against accusations from their own officers that they'd instituted a quota for arrests . . . pretty fucking suspect behavior, I'd say.

    3. The arrest isn't the issue at all. Upon realizing that Smith had a bench warrant out for his arrest, it is standard procedure to arrest that person.

      From Wikipedia's "Arrest warrant" page (I know, I know):

      A bench warrant is a variant of an arrest warrant that authorizes the immediate on-sight arrest of the individual subject to the bench warrant. Typically, judges issue bench warrants for persons deemed to be in contempt of court—possibly as a result of that person's failure to appear at the appointed time and date for a mandated court appearance. Bench warrants are issued in either criminal or civil court proceedings.

      Commonly (but not always), the person who is subject to a bench warrant has intentionally avoided a court appearance to escape the perceived consequences of being found guilty of a crime... If a person has a bench warrant against him when stopped by a law enforcement officer, the authorities put them in jail and a hearing is held. The hearing usually results in the court setting a new bail amount, new conditions, and a new court appearance date...

      Based on that, it sounds like what happened to Smith was standard operating procedure for anybody who is discovered to have a warrant out for their arrest.

      The fact that Scocca included, "Since no additional charges were filed, presumably Smith did have a valid license on him yesterday." is pretty ridiculous as well. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Even if he had a valid license yesterday, it is completely irrelevant to the circumstances of his arrest.

      If anything about this story is suspect, it is the details surrounding why Smith was stopped in the first place. That is the only valid point of contention that Scocca may have here, but as he said himself, the details regarding that stop have not come out.

      To make the claim, "J.R. Smith Arrested For Being Black In Miami Beach" is incredibly irresponsible. Maybe he should have gone with, "J.R. Smith Arrested For Standing Warrant Relating To Previous Invalid Driver's Licence Violation, But I Have A Hunch That The Genesis Of His Stop Yesterday May Have Been Racially Motivated"

      I'm not trying to get into a debate about the morality surrounding Smith's arrest. I just think that the framework of this article was terribly misleading at best, and irresponsible journalism at worst.

  4. Allow me to take a moment to say that good balogging. Nice to have some intelligent debate mixed in with all of the "Guy Who" tomfoolery (which is still allowed, but has become a bit too dominant).

    Keep doing this. Good work.

    Carry on.

    1. It's also a nice break from the shit I'm taking over at Jezebel for daring to say that an incredibly obese woman may be of "relatively average beauty" rather than "gorgeous".

      FREE BoC!

    2. I don't think dominant is the word you're looking for. Passive-aggressively overwhelming?

  5. Look bro, I'll walk around the gym whenever I want without shoes, got it dickweed?

  6. Holy shit. There was a real discussion here today.

    Fuck me.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Nice, wasn't it?

      Let's hope it continues.

    3. /scans comments for talk of burritos