apology

Required Reading (Slouching Luxury)

Detail of cartoon by Mr. Fish, 30 November 2014, via Clowncrack.

The headline for Jemar Tisby, at the Washington Post, is pretty straightforward: “Why a racially insensitive photo of Southern Baptist seminary professors matters”.

Officials from the seminary requested that the post be removed, and David Allen, one of the men in the picture and dean of SWBTS’s School of Preaching, tweeted an apology: “I apologize for a recent image I posted which was offensive. Context is immaterial. @swbts stance on race is clear as is mine.”

It’s odd for a preaching professor to suggest “context is immaterial,” because seminary professors usually teach their students that context is everything. The SWBTS “Mission, Vision, & Values” page states that their global “strategy includes the training of persons from every national, ethnic and cultural background for a variety of ministries.” But when it comes to understanding this particular photo, understanding a larger Southern Baptist and evangelical context is key.

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A Reflection on an Echo of a Cartoon

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, via Daily Kos Comics, 3 January 2017.

To the one, winter is as winter does, and we should probably leave it at that. Nonetheless, a month later, Jen Sorensen’s point still echoes:

Hillary has certainly frustrated me at times over the years, but I came to admire her intelligence and poise over the course of this election cycle. Her performance at the debates with Trump was nothing short of heroic. She also ran on the most progressive Democratic platform ever, but since policy has become almost completely divorced from politics, she gets little credit for that. I could go on, but as my husband says, this was not so much an election as an exorcism, the culmination of a decades-long smear campaign by the right.

The term “political correctness” has been the cornerstone of conservative efforts to transform the ideas of civil rights and equality into something frivolous and stupid. The right loves plucking silly examples from obscure, powerless people and blowing them up into huge “culture war” issues that supposedly threaten the nation. “PC” is an insult that plays into their hands.

Along these same lines, “liberal elites”―long a Fox News favorite―is designed to shift attention away from the actual economic elites hoovering up the world’s wealth and resources, such as the Koch Brothers or Trump, and instead make one think of poodle-owning urbanites supposedly looking down their noses at everyone (while in reality voting to raise the minimum wage). It’s a frame, not a fact, and hides a deep anti-intellectual agenda.

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A Hazy Shade of Stupid

File under #No:

Druggie: An eyeshadow from Sephora, by Urban Decay, circa 2017.There are moments when it’s important to marshal as much evidence as possible to back up an argument. And then there are moments like this.

Sephora is selling a new shade of eyeshadow called “Druggie.”

(Grim and Kearns)

There are a few things that go here. Sephora’s non-apology is directed “to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade”, asking people to check in via Twitter direct message for more information. The Huffington Post called, and again Sephora apologized “to anyone who was offended by the name of this shade”, and reiterated that the company “would never seek to do that”. And just to make the point, the company added, “The shade was in a limited edition palette and was not planned to be re-ordered”.

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The Abiding Question of How Anyone Could Ever Possibly Come to Think Something Was Not a Terrible Idea

Bloomingdale's.

Of course they did.

A holiday advertisement by Bloomingdale’s that encourages drink spiking was trending heavily on social media on Thursday with some critics saying the image promotes date rape.

The ad, which was released in Bloomingdale’s 2015 holiday catalog and was meant to advertise Rebecca Minkoff merchandise, features a woman looking away and laughing as a young man looks at her suggestively. The text reads: “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

The luxury department store owned by Macy’s Inc apologized for the ‘inappropriate’ eggnog advertisement on Tuesday.

“In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.”

Bloomingdale’s also apologized on its official Twitter account (@Bloomingdales) on Tuesday: “We heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.”

(Fares)

Okay, so … it looks like we need to have this talk again.

Still, though: Really?

I mean, come on. Really?

Okay, okay, okay. Try this one: How?

Can you please at least try to explain that?

____________________

Fares, Melissa. “Bloomingdale’s ‘spiked eggnog’ ad sparks outrage on social media”. Reuters. 12 November 2015.

America’s Wang: The Curt Clawson Saga (continued)

Detail of 1921 map of Florida, including Fort Myers and Lee County, in Florida's Nineteenth Congressional District.

Detail: Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., carries a Bible for as ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.  (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Okay … so … right. Following up on an earlier item, Rep. Curt Clawson (R), the second-string backbencher from Florida’s Nineteenth, apparently figured out that he might have committed something of a teensy gaffe. One only wonders how many staffers and colleagues needed to try before the errant congressman clued in.

But Clawson is a clown straight out of a Silverstein poem. Or, as Steve Benen notes:

The dust has obviously settled and Clawson eventually did the only thing he could do.

Clawson won a special election last month to replace Trey Radel, who resigned following a cocaine bust. The political novice, who was a businessman and college basketball player before running for office, apologized in a statement sent to our Gannett colleague, Ledyard King.

“I made a mistake in speaking before being fully briefed and I apologize. I’m a quick study, but in this case I shot an air ball,” Clawson said.

This might have been a more straightforward apology without the “being fully briefed” comment – the congressman really shouldn’t blame his staff for this one – but the apology otherwise gets the job done.

It is ironic nearly to the point of silly. Then again, Clawson is the Tea Party understudy to the guy who managed to get chased out of Congress for cocaine. Still, though, we might set aside the superficial aspect of Benen’s critique. Everybody on the Hill blames their staffers for not being able to read their minds and know what idiotically simple and obvious things the politician needs to be told. If we wish to be superficial, we might also remind that it’s a bit more than an “air ball”. But think about it for a moment. This singular collapse of awareness and competence is such that Clawson did not even bother trying the non-apology. And, yet … (more…)