Tuesday, February 22, 2011


                In Racism, author Ayn Rand makes the point that racism is evil, but individual rights triumph over any issue.  Early in the piece Rand explains how no race is superior or inferior based on individuals.  She states this by saying, “It is hard to say which is the more outrageous injustice:  the claim of Southern racists that a Negro genius should be treated as an inferior because his race has “produced” some brutes or the claim of a German brute to the status of a superior because his race has “produced” Goethe, Schiller and Brahms” (127).  For the concept of individual rights, she talks about how blacks’ rights were infringed on in South by whites.   She also says that black leaders are attempting to infringe on business owners’ rights by placing a quota on the number of blacks they higher per population.  Her final point is that even a racist’s rights should be protected when it involves their private property, which is her major disagreement with the 1964 Civil Rights act. 
                I thought this piece was interesting, also confusing at times.  I thought the points Rand made on racism early on were very good early in the piece.  The part that really confused me though was the last page where she disagreed with the Civil Rights Act.  I’ve honestly never heard of anyone disagreeing with the Civil Rights Act that didn’t present a racist argument until reading this.  The phrase, “Private racism is not a legal, but a moral issue” (134) led me into a huge philosophical argument with myself.  Should a person be able to discriminate based on race when it involves a business that they paid for and they run?  I strongly believe it is morally wrong, but should people be mandated how they use their money?  It also led me to the question, can a government really control racism, or does it come down to the individual and their beliefs?   I really have no idea what the answers to these questions are, but they were interesting to think about none the less.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Solution to Saturday's Puzzle

I found Sedaris’s Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle to be funny.  I personally loved the situations that went through his head like, “…and number three was to wake her up and turn the tables, saying “I’m sorry, but I think you have something that belongs to me.”  Then she’d hand the lozenge back and maybe even apologize, confused into thinking that she’d somehow stolen it.” (126)  Also I loved when he described how Becky would be hanging out the emergency exit, then he would say that he would go instead to get Becky’s approval as she fell out the plane.  This piece is also humorous because it is easy to relate to.  I personally had an experience like this recently where my first meeting with someone started with conflict.  The fact that he keeps writing his thoughts in the crossword as his flight goes on is also entertaining.

Want to hear a joke?  Ohio State Basketball

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ronson Summary

Ronson’s, “The Klansman Who Won’t Use the N-Word” portrays a two-faced KKK branch which acts nice for the public, but still is a racist group.  Thom Robb is a very comical person, not the standard KKK leader one would picture.  Robb preaches that use of the n-word is prohibited and the ceremonial robes are prohibited because they give his KKK a bad public image.  Sounds great, a friendly KKK.  The only problem is his group’s actions and words constantly contradict his pose for the media.  Thom shows the group’s ideology when talking about Osama Bin Laden when he condones them and says “We’re certainly working for the same goal” (189).  The cross “lighting” (while in the traditional KKK uniforms) also seems to make them similar to their other KKK counterparts.  The fact that they watch old KKK racist propaganda still is a bit fishy for a “non-racist” KKK group.
I personally thought this piece was hilarious.  The idea of a friendly KKK group seems absolutely ridiculous to me.  Thom seemed like a nice guy in the early piece.  As it goes on he is still just a racist KKK leader.  The fact that he was still trying to salvage his group’s name, while hosting events like the “cross lighting” is absurd.  The main reason why I thought the piece was funny though is the stuff Thom says.  After the cross “lighting” ceremony:  The next morning, Thom spotted me trying to take a picture of the charred remains of the cross.  He asked me not to.  I asked him why not. “It’ll look like a hangover after a Saturday night party, people will get the wrong idea.” (199).  Seriously?  What is the idea he is trying to convey?  Thom’s statements truly made this piece enjoyable to read.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Bitch, by Beverly Gross, the message conveyed is that bitch is a derogatory term used to suppress women.  Throughout the piece Gross gives several definitions of the word.  In general, all of the definitions state that a bitch is a woman who is selfish, mean, or deceiving.    Gross describes the word as a means to prevent women from expressing themselves if it threatens the dominance of men.  “Bitch, the curse and concept, exists to insure male potency and female submissiveness” (80).   Although in Gross’s opinion bitch is used to primarily prevent women from having power over men it is possible to thrive off it.  Madonna is the example used of a person who became famous because of being controversial.  Madonna explained she enjoyed expressing herself.  “Madonna has made her fortune by exploiting criticism.  Her career has skyrocketed with the media’s charges of obscenity and sacrilege; she seems to embrace the bitch label with the same eager opportunism” (84).
I thought this piece overall was interesting.  I’m don’t really agree with Gross that the main use of the word is intended to suppress women (I may have used the word today to describe a certain evil chemistry lab partner.)  Not because I felt threatened, just because I’ve never really met anyone that mean before.  I feel her arguments are still relevant today.  American culture now is still similar to a few decades ago.