Sunday, August 26, 2007

Multiple choice:

Question: Why are we not going to hear nearly as much bleating about this as we did about Vick?

a) Because everybody with a computer has already exhausted their wrists typing out their righteous indignation at dogfighting.
b) Because dogfighting is obviously worse than eating meat or hurting people, but letting dogs die from neglect isn't.
c) Because DMX isn't as famous as Michael Vick, although he is more famous than Qyntel Woods.
d) Because it was only three dead dogs this time.
e) Because DMX doesn't play football.
f) Because it was never really about the dogs.


b said...

DMX is pretty irrelevant, but I get your point. Perhaps we expect that sort of stuff from rappers, but not football players. I'm guessing a lot of the outrage comes from him being a gazillionaire and the most popular player in the most popular sport in the country. You could probably use a comparison like this for a lot of different things.

The stuff Stephon Marbury was saying wasn't the dumbest things I've ever heard. I, for one, found it funny how people were quick to criticize him and defend hunting because of its legality. Legal doesn't make it any less barbaric, and I'm guessing 99.9% of hunters are white.

Then again, we don't have any pet deers, so who cares!

Diesel said...

I think B's spot-on here. No rich white men, outside of record label presidents, invested anything tangible or intangible in DMX's career. Michael Vick, on the other hand, was the darling of an entire city, and perhaps an entire league. The "betrayal" factor — the motivating factor behind a lot of the self-righteous bleating you've read in the last month or so — is pre-eminent in one case, and non-existent in the other.

Big C said...

The answer is: C.

B - In my mind, there is a huge differnce between hunting wild game and electrocuting/brutally torturing a captive animal. The former is a survival skill, and the latter is pure sadism. It's really not even close.

That said, my sticking point with hunting (I've never been) is that venison, rabbit, and especially bear, taste like shit, and I can't imagine killing something that I would not like to eat. Also, shooting an animal from 200 yards seems a little pussified. Bowhunters get much respeck.

Pepe said...

Since none of you seem to know as much about black music as I do, allow me to educate you about DMX. DMX is the only artist in the history of the Billboard 200 -- not the only rapper, the only artist -- ever to have his first six albums debut at #1. Six. The last of those was in 2003.

But apparently he's irrelevant because twentysomething white males in Arizona no longer listen to him.

And all of your answers seem to support answer F -- it was never about the dogs.

I don't understand why Ryan's getting so upset about this.

Big C said...

For many, myself included, it is absolutely about the dogs, Pepe. As a former APBT/AmStaff owner twice over (my poor ass can't afford a house right now, so Katie resides with my 'rents), I am smitten by the breed and deeply disturbed by the thought that anyone would wantonly bring harm to this most noble of pets. Is my love of dogs irrational? Sure it is! But this does not mean that all who condemn Vick do so out of latent racism, as the implication seems to be.

Last week in Chandler (that most mysterious of locations), a dog in the K-9 unit died after being left in its squad car for too long in the heat. About 100 people showed up for the dog's funeral and many have vehemently called for the cop's job, despite the incident being a complete accident. The cop is, I believe, white.

Now, this is not to say that those who take up the pen (or keyboard) against Vick are operating on pure motives. I think the bulk of the vitriol is being spewed out of a desire for notoriety, and my answer of C is derived from this premise. You will not hear as much about DMX as you will Vick because the DMX article will sell fewer papers; it does not indicate that those with any genuine concern for the breed are any less pissed off.

/Righteous indignation over/

Anonymous said...

Umm...DMX hasn't admitted to torturing those dogs, so there's that.

That said, this discussion is a nice example of how we, as a society, are no longer able to talk about race with any degree of coherency. 99.9 % of hunters are not white (ever been to Africa or Asia?), but even if that was remotely accurate, how in the hell does it relate to Vick? Another example is comparing Vick to Lemon. Of course we wouldn't react the same because Lemon is a nobody. But are you honest telling me that if Montana, Elway, or Marino got caught doing this shit in the prime of their careers, they wouldn't get the exact same reaction? Give me a break.

The meta-problem here is that the label "racist" has become so overused that it no longer distinguishes a recognizable set of thoughts/actions. Nobody knows what it means, so lib. whites tend to err on the side of caution and proclaim damn near everthing is racist. Such a situation might be a nice historical correction, but it's not accurate.

d. suave

p.s. McNabb is really really fat.

Pepe B. Secessionist said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just a second there, D. Suave. And just a second there, too, C. I didn't call anybody racist except for Bill Conlin in my last Vick post. In this post, I'm comparing a well-known black entertainer to a well-known black quarterback.

That said, both the police dog example and the "meta-problem"/historical correction angles are, frankly, horseshit. So one white cop catching heat in Chandler for accidentally killing his K-9 is supposed to signify anything whatsoever in regards to the Vick case? And the word "racism" no longer refers to a specific set of actions? Sorry, fellas, and all due respect, but bullshit, and bullshit.

I don't really want to pursue the Joe Montana hypothetical, mainly because it's exactly that -- a hypothetical.

The main point of this post seems to have been misconstrued. The racism angle was not my focus -- pointing out any number of the Vick case's attendant hypocrisies was my focus. Racism is obviously always going to be a part of this discussion, but I have never foregrounded it nearly so much as I have the other hypocrisies when talking/posting about the Vick case.

C, once again with all due respect, your comment illustrates the point I was trying to make with f) pretty well. I don't believe that it's about the dogs for pretty much anybody, so much as it's about having an excuse for self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...


1. I should've made clear that I was mostly referring to the posts about your post, not your original post. I'm now responding to your latest meta-post.

2. when I referred to historical correction, I meant something more along the lines of this kind of argument: blacks were historically underprivileged and therefore currently need extra "help" in the form(s) of academic admissions and/or home/business loans. Psychologically, I think a lot of white libs think that because whites used to be so racist in the past, they have an ethical responsibility to sniff out racism as much as possible.

3. You don't want to pursue a hypothetical? Nice try. You write about hypotheticals every third post. The real reason you don't want to pursue the Joe Montana hypothetical is because you know I'm right.

4. My thinking was sloppy when I argued that racism doesn't refer to specific actions. There are, of course, certain kinds of actions that we would all label racist. What I meant to say was that the word racist is being so overused that, except in obvious cases, it's only meaning is a political one. Against affirmative action? You're a racist. Decide to sell your home because it's losing its property value? You're a racist. Want to be tough on crime? You're a racist. Don't like rap music? Guess what, you're a racist with good taste! This kind of overuse, while often politically advantageous for persons of color, shuts down any kind of meaningful dialogue between races as lib. whites are afraid that if they disagree, they're racists.

In any event, if you're only point is that the many many people who are writing about Vick are doing so out of a sense of self-righteousness, then your claim is pretty uninteresting. News flash: people are self-righteous. Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog where Pepe argues that people are self-interested.

D. Suave

Pepe B. Secessionist said...

That's like saying that if the ultimate point of short stories is that life is not what characters expect, we should stop writing them. But no, my main point was that pretty much everybody who's writing/talking about Vick is both self-righteous and hypocritical. The racism angle is part of the hypocrisy, but a pretty minor part, as far as I'm concerned.

When was the last post predicated on a hypothetical situation with no basis in reality? I don't remember it. It sure ain't every third one. But if you're that enamored with your Montana comparison, then honestly, no, I don't think the situation would have been handled the same way. At this point, after the plea, yes, it would probably be exactly the same. But I think Joe Montana gets much more of the benefit of the doubt than Vick did in the developing stages of the story.