August 15, 2006

Not Ready for Prime Time

Jim Mowen again opens mouth and inserts foot, showing why he's a poster boy for tolerance and understanding and a class act.

Wonder why he didn't throw in some "Ugh!"s and "How!"s, "wampum", or maybe a "squaw" for effect? And though he had the Indian in a bar, at least he didn't make any cracks about them being drunks. I guess he gets credit for that.

Wonder how the Native Americans in the 17th district would feel about having a swell guy like Mowen representing them? I'm bet they're sorry he lost.

I don't know which is worse, thinking that the joke, even aside from the insensitivity and lack of judgement it displayed, was funny enough to post, or that someone who ran for congressman might be ignorant enough to not realize that it would likely be offensive to Native Americans, or fully realized it was, as he seems to indicate, but just didn't giving a damn if it was or not.

I'm not a raving fan of political correctness run amok by any means, and it is often carried to ridiculous lengths. Is this "joke"'s sole purpose to demean Native Americans? No. Was it the worst sort of racist joke? Not even close.

But this joke didn't even need to involve an Indian to work. It's just gratuitous and reflects a rather out of date and ignorant image of Native Americans that is really in poor taste in this day and age, let alone from someone who held himself out for high office.

Any readers, particularly those of Native American descent, have an opinion on Mowen's little joke?


At 8/15/2006 10:55 AM, Blogger IHG said...


As the post identifies, it is not MY joke. I received it via e-mail. I am not quite as clever as you, so I am unable to write jokes myself.

How on earth did we get so 'sensative' that we cannot tell jokes anymore? The joke was against politicians, not Indians.

In your 'anonymous' coment on my site, you ask why 'squaw' or 'papoos' was not used - as though these 'Indian' terms would have made it MORE offensive?

I believe that the post was great - if not for the statement on politics, but for exposing and discussing the 'Political Correctness' that has run amock in our society.

Goodness, the University of Illinois cannot even have their mascot anymore because it (after all these years) is NOW offensive.

The joke identified

(1) an Indian, who existed in our past,
(2) holding a gun, which they did periodically,
(3) with a buffalo (which also existed in this country and have a history with Indians,
(4)on a leash, which is, of course somewhat rediculous.

HEAVEN FORBID, string me up and lynch me (can I say 'lynch' or is that going to be intollerant to southern whites who used lynching in the past) or I guess that you'll have to label me an 'Indian-hater.'

With all the trouble in the world, I would hope that you have better things to do than to rail on such a silly issue.

Dope, you are a pip! Have a great day! Jim

At 8/15/2006 11:02 AM, Blogger IHG said...


I have laughed at 'blonde' jokes in the past as well (again, I am not good at telling jokes myself).

As my mother and some very good friends are blonde, is this ok - or do I owe them an apology as well?

I agree with you though, I am certain that there are some blondes that are happy that I lost!


At 8/15/2006 11:10 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Don't try to portray yourself as a victim of political correctness. You're simply a victim of not being aware that your joke might not be considered funny at all to those who have been demeaned and the subject of dim-witted stereotyping for centuries.

You should simply know better.

And I find it stunning that you don't think adding the derrogatory terms listed such as "squaw" would have made it any worse.

You really ought to have a chat with a Native American sometime. I feel confident they could enlighten you a bit.

You'd be the better for it.

At 8/15/2006 11:21 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, you get more warped with every post.

(1) Of course I understood the PC end of this - the last line of the post speaks to the issue!

(2) 'Squaw' is a 'derraogatory term' - come on, now you are kidding, right?

The definition of squaw is - "An American Indian Woman"

Now we are taking specific words and MAKING them derrogatory?

Again, Dope - get a life. There are real issues out there and this just is not one!

But, go ahead, beat this drum (I know, Indians did have drums, is it ok if I say this) as long as you want. I'd love to see what you come up with next!


At 8/15/2006 2:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The depths of your ignorance never ceases to astound me.

You think Native American's are just fine with referring to their women as "squaws"???

What freaking century are you living in Jim? Are you stuck in some Tom Mix movie or something?

I freaking DARE you to go to a gathering of Native Americans and try to refer to one of the women as a "Squaw"..

I'd love to be there to see it. You'd probably end up with a heel up your nose.

I just have to keep thinking you're being deliberately stupid for some reason. Surely you haven't lived a life so isolated in lily white land that you're as utterly clueless as you sound.

At 8/15/2006 2:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

For your education Jim....

Wise up.

You shouldn't have to look it up to know that squaw is offensive.

From Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: squaw
Pronunciation: 'skwo
Function: noun
Etymology: Massachusett squa, ussqua woman
1 often offensive : an American Indian woman
2 usually disparaging : WOMAN, WIFE

At 8/15/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Thank god this man will never represent me. Way to not campaign in the South.

At 8/15/2006 4:03 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Come now - even your own dictionary stated 'often' and 'usually' - not ALWAYS offensive.

The definition that I quoted was equally as correct.

Again, I don't know about you - but I have better things to do. If you think that this is what passes for newsworthy, again...GET A LIFE!


At 8/16/2006 7:41 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

This from a guy who thought that lame and offensive joke was "newsworthy".

At 8/16/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I am surprised at how intellectually-lazy you have become.

The joke used an Indian.
The joke did not speak negatively of the character.
The joke said that the character carried a gun.
The joke said that the character drank a cup of coffee.
The joke said that the character was training to be in Congress.

Again, you apparently would have been less offended (or more offended) if the joke used a cacasian, an Italian man, a man from Peoria, a man of German descent?

Please help me understand the crime in the fact that the character was an Indian.

I do expect more out of you. Regardless of the fact that I do not agree with much of your hybrid-socialism, I do respect the fact that you at least seem to think out your (incorrect) opinions. However, in this instance, you just make a quick judgement based on nothing other than political-correctness that has absolutely no rational thought behind it.

So, please tell me - what is wrong with the use of an Indian-man in the joke that is so grossly offensive (that if the character was a white-man from Peoria you would have laughed hysterically at the joke), because, I do hope that you understand that a white-man from Peoria coming into a bar with a buffalo would not be as historically (speaking of the buffalo) very believable. You see, Indians and buffalo's were more common in the period of the mid-1800's. (Maybe you just missed the historical tie in).

Again, thank you for your time. Jim

At 8/16/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Your "Gee I'm too dumb to figure out plain english, please help me." routine is tedious.

It's like dealing with a child.

Your dissection of the joke doesn't address what's wrong with it. Again, you're trying to muddle the issue. It has nothing to do with having a cup of coffee or having a gun or anything else.

You again leap to a conclusion that if you would have used some other ethic character it would have been just fine.

I didn't say that.

Secondly, the punch line didn't refer to "shooting the buffalo", it was shooting the bull, so the Indian had nothing to do with the punch line whatsoever and had no relationship to the punch line, historically or otherwise.

Any other reader can easily read my comments and see clearly why I found it offensive.

For starters, the title, "Tonto in training" is itself insensitive and in poor taste.

There's nothing intellectually lazy about me Jim, but there sure is a rather transparent attempt on your part to appear stupid and feign as though you can't understand anything.

At least I hope it's an act. Maybe it's true?

As I say, the best test would be for you to tell that joke to a group of Native Americans.

Maybe greet them as "Tontos" and then proceed to tell the joke. And throw in a "squaw" too, since you see nothing wrong with that term either.

Tell us Jim, do you think they'd see things your way? Or mine?

Or, as I suspect, do you not give a rat's ass what they'd think?

At 8/16/2006 1:29 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, I have spent far more time on this than its worth. Your post has been up long enough for those with similar views as yours to dump on me as well - and they have not.

I believe that you are out on a limb on this, that the joke was just that, A JOKE, and everyone else appreciates this but you.

Knock yourself out as you try to work the PC end of life to death, but it just does not sell here. I'd suggest that even you has something better to do.

Have a great day - Jim

At 8/16/2006 2:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'll contact some native american organizations and see if I can get their opinions on this. I'll be sure to let you know.

And go ahead and believe that the fact that no one else has commented means I'm out on a limb. Whatever you think.

This isn't PC run amok. It's a matter of simple class and taste.

Good luck trying to run for office when you clearly don't "get it".

At 8/16/2006 3:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I should point out, for those who may have missed it, the strange and egotistical logic involved in saying that the lack of comments agreeing with me means that I must therefore be the only one with a problem with Mowen's unfunny joke.

Of course, this is done while totally ignoring the fact that no one has agreed with his view at all.

But even so, he tries to suggest that he's in the majority.


The "score", so to speak, is 1 to 0 and Mowen thinks that person with 0 is ahead.

At 8/16/2006 4:06 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Dope, (I am sorry, I had to comment - reading your site is like passing by an accident...I don't want to do it, but I have to see what goofyness comes out of you next).

Your site is a liberal wasteland - of course no one is going to take my side in your little feud.

No posts by the PC-elect means that they do not agree with your assessment of the joke. Do you honestly think that you have a conservative crowd tuning in? How on earth can this escape you?

No one cares about this other than you (and I am just dumb enough to argue with you).


At 8/16/2006 9:08 PM, Blogger ap said...

The most offensive part about this whole debate (for me) is Jim's many spelling errors: sensative, amock, rediculous, intollerant, etc., just from his first comment above. As for the joke, it's just not that funny. Not that I'm an expert on that subject.

At 8/17/2006 5:18 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Ha! You keep telling yourself your pleasing tales Jim. Whatever floats your boat.

If you've noticed, I have more conservative comments than liberal lately, much to my chagrin.

The reality of things are that comments have dropped like a stone since I went to registered users only. Try it on your site and see what happens.

The fact is that exacly contrary to your fictional view of this site, their are many staunch Dems who evidently hate the site even more than you do. (if you do)

There are a few Dems who have gone to great and weird lengths to attempt to harm me or drive me away because they weren't used to someone expressing anything but campaign fluff about them.

They apparently fear discussion of issues on a level any deeper than "I support working families", or "education", or "the environment", etc.

I suspect several of my former loyal (well, not so loyal) commenters are also fearful of participating lest they incur the wrath of those who don't like what I've written.

The fact is that many Dems, many dependent on the cash train from the party and candidates for their livlihood or political future, are either genuinely pissed off at me, have been told not to comment or even read the blog, or simply refuse to participate out of fear that it might cause them problems.

That's not to ignore the real fact that many people simply find the content lately to be particularly sucky.

But I think the primary reason, as has been expressed by one former commenter, is that when tempted to leave a comment, many readers simply don't want to bother going to the time and trouble of registering with Blogspot, for whatever reason.

If I took off that restriction, I imagine the number of comments would increase in direct relation to the decrease in quality.

At any rate, trying to compare the tiny number of comments in the attempt to make some sort of larger point about the popularity of your views is... well... kinda stupid.

But if you insist on going there, you should have at least realized that no one has supported your views, so what does that suggest? (nothing of course, but we're using YOUR premise.)

And as I've said, contrary to what you suggest, I get far more participation from conservatives these days than liberals. A simple look at comments will confirm this.

And I do get a chuckle of recognition at your description of why you can't resist commenting.

I think the metaphor you were searching for is the analogy to passing by a train wreck. You don't really want to look, but simply can't restrain yourself.

I've been a victim of this ever since the blog began! ha! One of my biggest weaknesses and faults, I believe is that I can't resist participating in comments.

I simply can't sit back and not comment on something which I feel is either wrong, misguided, based on false premises, ridiculous, stupid, or something with which I strongly disagree.

This has had the unwanted result of the blog appearing to be just ME, as if it's me against all comers.

It's also resulted in readers who dislike or disagree with me writing in as if they're addressing me directly, rather than all readers.

I can't blame them, I guess, and much of the blame is on me for jumping in and keeping the discussion going.

But that's not what I intended the blog to be.

I'd rather have commenters busily talking and going back and forth and arguing and agreeing and most of all, informing and sharing ideas with all of us.

That, sadly, hasn't really been the case, and I fear that it's the fact that I can't resist jumping in on comments that has hurt the chances of that ever happening.

It would have taken the group of intelligent and frequent commenters which have passed this way to participate fairly regularly for that sort of "critical mass" to have happened.

But unfortunately, whether due to whatever reason, most have vanished and no longer participate.

Why they've gone is the huge question that gnaws at me.

They may still be regular readers, and the traffic numbers haven't dropped as much as the number of comments, but nevertheless, I wish I knew why so many great commenters no longer do.

If I could, I'd love to do a poll on just that question, but there's really no way to contact the great commenters of the past.

I could easily make up an "A List" of commenters. Sort of an Inside Dope Hall of Fame.

If there were enough of them in a good mix, I could limit commenters to those "members" and add more if they requested it.

That's a great idea, but one which unfortunately would be impossible to achieve.

I'll have to toy with that idea.

And by the way, you'd be included, if for no other reason than I'd be ecstatic to have someone else point out the flaws in your arguments and reasoning for a change.

And frankly, I wouldn't mind just writing the posts to get things started, and then laying back while interesting discussions break out.

But I don't know if I'll ever be able to do the work of writing and posting and then not have the fun of commenting. Doesn't seem fair somehow.

But I sincerely wish that my voice wasn't so prominent and that it would be blended in with those of hundreds of others.

Ah well. Maybe someday... maybe not.

Now hows that for wandering off topic and thinking out loud? ha!

At 8/17/2006 11:40 AM, Blogger tiz said...

Run for office again Jim and we'll see what native americans and Joe Sixpack think about your joke. It'll be right up there in popularity with your comments to the QCT.

I actually really, really hope you run and get the nod next time. The Daily Show would appreciate all the material you'd be giving them.

At 8/17/2006 1:58 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Ok Tiz, please show me that you are not as 'intellectually lazy' as everyone else...

"What specifically is so offensive with the joke."

Was is disrespectful to Indians? If so, what specifically was disrespectful?

Please enlighten me, why was the fact that the person in the joke an Indian (rather than a Italian, or a German, or a Caucasian, or a Swede) so offensive?

And, please do not hide behind the standard, "if I have to tell you, then it really shows you how insensative you really are" ploy.

I am anxious for the reply...Jim

At 8/17/2006 2:11 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

C'mon Tiz, Jim is a "special needs" commenter evidently.

Humor him and give him an explanation for about the 5th time in this thread. He keeps acting stupid like he hasn't read anything.

At 8/17/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The shorter Jim Mowen:

Why is it dark in here?

Because the light burned out.

No, really, why is it all dark?

Because the light burned out.

Ok, I know you're an ultr-left hyrid socialist, but can someone please tell me why it's dark in here. I won't hold my breath.

Listen duffus, it's dark because the light burned out.

Can't you have some dignity and agree with me that it's dark in here? At least tell me why.

Because the light burned out, Jim.

But why is it dark?

The filament inside the bulb overheated and broke, thus interupting the circuit and extinguishing the bulb. With no functioning light bulb, the room got dark.

I don't expect much from you far left people, but could someone please explain to me why it's dark in here. Thank you very much.


At 8/17/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger IHG said...

Have I missed an explanation?

All you have provided was that (1) "it is clear to everyone" (but that doesn't help me learn what was so offensive)

(2) The name 'Tonto' was offensive?
(3) The fact that 'shoot the bull' was used, but a male buffalo was the animal in the joke?

So we have the name 'Tonto' and the fact that a 'Buffalo' was used.

Thank you - now I get it. It is clear as mud. Jeez, I can hardly express how sorry I am now that you have explained why this was so incredibly insensative to people of Indian heritage (or of buffalo heritage - or named Tonto).


At 8/17/2006 3:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK... I see your point. (though I find it astounding that you really can't figure out what might be offensive about the post)

But here's the thing, and it's pretty much like you said you didn't want to hear. If you don't know already why terms such as "Tonto" and "squaw" are offensive to native americans, then there's not much more to say.

For instance, how would I go about proving that "Pollack" or "Kike" or "Jigaboo" or "Wetback" or .... any number of crude derrogatory terms based on ethnicity are offensive?

They either are or they aren't.

And I've wasted far too much time trying to tell you that, YES, "Tonto" and "Squaw" are offensive.

If you don't believe me, as I said, PLEASE go to a group of native americans and great a male as "Tonto" and refer to his spouse as his "squaw".

But let me know first. I want to bring my video camera. It'll be good.

It's offensive, OK? What sort of proof do you need?

I'll tell you what, I'll see if I can contact a native american organization and perhaps they'll explain it to you. Would you accept that?

If you're really bound and determined to be shown as unaware at best or insensitive and offensive at worst, then fine.

At 8/17/2006 4:35 PM, Blogger IHG said...

jeez Dope, get off the squaw thing. The joke never used it.

So, your entire issue, the entire effort here is because YOU THINK that Native Americans are offended by a joke that uses the name Tonto?
(If so, I apologize).

Ok, I surrender. Let's start all over again...

An Indian NAMED JOE, walks into a bar...

All is ok now?

At 8/17/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

How about "Injun Joe"?

Anyway, I've got some feelers out to Native American groups asking for their opinion on your post.

Hopefully someone will respond.

At 8/17/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger tiz said...

First off, will you please, PLEASE learn how to spell the word INSENSITIVE. I'm usually not a spelling nazi, but you've botched that one more than usual.

And the joke would have been equally offensive if you replaced Indian with someone of German, Irish, Polish, Iraqi, whatever descent. I never said it wouldn't. You could have said (or retold the joke since it's not yours, as you've pointed out) that the Indian was a "person" and got the whole (rather stupid) point across. I don't see the point in putting in an ethnicity, except to be a prick.

Although I'm sure you won't admit it, were I to tell a joke like that and made the protagonist a churchgoer instead of a Native American you would take offense. If I titled it "Bible Thumper in Training" or even "Ned Flanders in Training" you'd take even more offense.

But hey man, it's a free country and you can say/print/blog whatever you want - just don't cry about it when others are critical of you.

At 8/18/2006 7:15 AM, Blogger IHG said...

Ok, PC police, maybe since it was a bull, the joke could have used a spanish bull-fighter. Certainly would fit better, or would that offend people of Spanish heritage?

On to another subject, I have a typing issue, as well a spelling disorder. I think for people that are so extremely sensitive (ok?) to the feelings and the needs of others, TIZ has shown great insensitivity (did I get that right TIZ?).


At 8/18/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger tiz said...

About your spelling/typing disorder - how many times has that caused folks to pre-judge you at job interviews, social gatherings, airports, etc? Anyone ever make a joke about it? Were you offended by said joke?

You've obviously done quite well for yourself with a language disorder and all kidding/sniping aside that is quite an accomplishment. Take how helpless you felt about it when you were younger though and realize that there are many, many people who feel that way about their race/ethnicity. Jokes such as yours do nothing but perpetuate that.

At 8/18/2006 11:34 AM, Blogger IHG said...


Come on, get a life TIZ!

At 8/18/2006 2:18 PM, Blogger tiz said...

I'm done with this thread. I'm sure the folks at Alleman and SAU are really proud to have you as an alum. Or maybe I'm being insensitive to a reading comprehension/logic disorder you have as well?

At 8/18/2006 2:34 PM, Blogger IHG said...

I suspect that Alleman or SAU really do not get too excited one way or another that I am an alum.

I do not think that Hy-Vee cares that much either (FYI, I grocery shop there, but as you seem to know all about me, you likely already knew that).


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