Wednesday, June 07, 2006

MEA MEA MEA MEA MEA CULPA. (Quite, quite seriously.)

Hey,guys, I'm totally very completely sorry for that last post. I forgot that I was in a public forum for a second. I was trying in my not at all intelligent way to recount a bizarre random conversation I had with my husband while hopped up on adrenaline and freaked out, and express a bit of husband-and-wife-speak that I should have known would never translate to the outside world.

What happened was this: I recounting the police's grilling of me regarding the identity of my purse snatchers. (They asked me if they were were white, black or hispanic, Asian not being a choice....) And I was describing my frustration that they were expecting me to answer such questions when I didn't really see a goddamned thing, and that I'd felt pressured to make a guess, and I guessed MAYBE Hispanic simply because the flash of skin that I saw seemed maybe more Hispanic-ish than white-ish or black-ish... And Eric made the joke about the Vietnamese and Mexicans not riding mopeds, the joke being that it was an entirely random stereotype that he pretty much made up on the spot. It was a sort of joke about stereotyping, or racial profiling, or something, and at the time it seemed funny in our little spousal conversation, and now I realize of course that I look like a great big horse's ass.

And also, I thought it was funny that all of a sudden I'm this stereotypical over-privileged white girl with stupid gadgets.

So I'm now lifting my first glass of the day to the proposition that even douchey ill-considered dumbass girls like me can learn from their blogosphere mistakes.


Blogger Rose said...

Your post was clearly written in the heat of the the same style that makes Julie/Julia so compelling (I read the Salon blog/reading the book now).

I understood where you were coming from. Given the subject matter, it was bound to be more inflammatory than when you write about, say, food.

Hope you didn't catch too much heat for it.

Don't let it stifle you too much.

9:05 AM  
Blogger No Sluggo Dave said...

Forget about it.

4:58 AM  
Blogger bocachick said...

Please Louise! Will everybody "get a grip" everyone hasn't misspoke at sometime or other....

6:33 PM  
Blogger bertzen said...

Hey, when your robbed in any town it's a terrifying thing. And the idea of being robbed by the Organized Moped Crime Syndicate makes it twice as scary (I don't know, would that make them members of the Mopia?)!!! Does it matter whether they were Italian, or Vietnameese, or Nicaraguan? They attacked you in the street, and speaking as a native NY'er whose been robbed as a kid, an adolescent, and an adult in my hometown, it's always scary and upsetting.

If we out here in the blogoshere can't see your post in it's appropriate context, as a husband trying to calm his wife with laughter in a potentially terrifying circumstance, and a wife trying to cope with her fears through humour, well then all I can say is.....well, what Bocachick says, "Please Louise"!!!

You know in your heart why you said what you said. For anybody to judge that is plain old malarky.......

9:30 PM  
Blogger briana said...

Wait, there are people who read your blog that dont have a sense of humour?

11:17 AM  
Blogger dumbfun said...

Well said, bertzen, and ditto that.

(Gosh if a complete stranger ever heard some of the things my friends and I joke about, we'd be stoned to death within the hour! Or maybe that's just how they do it in N. Calif....)

12:34 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Rose has it right; if readers know ANYTHING about the humor of your Salon blog and your book, they would have to conclude that the point was self-depricating humor, not bald racial slurs. Fer Chrissake!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Nicolars said...

Believe me, it was the people who were complaining that came off as the humorless jackasses in this situation.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Vim Vendors said...


The fact is, I've read your book, am a big admirer, and I check your blog regularly, so I've become pretty familiar with your writing style, which, among other descriptions, I'd call "delightfully glib."

When I read the Infamous Mugging Post the other day, and again tonight, it sounded like delightfully glib racial stereotyping. There's nothing to indicate the inside-joke-about-stereotyping scenario that you describe now. (it's sort of heartening to learn that's the case, though.) I won't go into the mechanics of writing to outline why your intended irony didn't translate. But trust me. It was SO subtle, that it just. wasn't. there.

By now you must know better than anyone the limits of email and web writing in expressing nuance, sarcasm, and funny things in general. Believe me, I've been there. Some things just don't translate, no matter how many cute emoticons one uses, and I've had things come back to bite me in the ass-a-plenty. Fortunately for me, I'm not a celebrity author. And since you are, you do get held up to a higher standard. So this fan isn't letting you off the hook.

I'm really glad you're ok. I'm also glad "yvo" wrote what she did in the comments to your previous post. It was warranted. And well written.

It's cute that my fellow fans here are rising to your defense and telling people to get a grip (it sounds a lot like the tone of people who dismiss any offense whatsoever as being "politically correct"), but they're missing an important point. The written word's a powerful thing, and you just needed a reminder of what happens when you're careless with it.

Feel better from the trauma(s) & keep on truckin'. Looking forward to your next book.


11:44 PM  
Blogger hinghamite said...

I thought it was a funny comment and clearly a joke. Bravo to Eric for trying to make you laugh at such a moment.


7:56 AM  
Blogger hinghamite said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:58 AM  
Blogger bertzen said...

Sorry...........Just can't let this one go by.

I'm one of the people who made "cute" comments on the, as you put it, Gene, "the Infamous Mugging Post". Here's a little update for you. At the time of my original comments I had neither read Ms. Powell's book nor would I have considered myself a fan. Her new blog had been recommended by a friend, and I had previously visited only once or twice. I felt compelled to respond based only on my own experiences when faced by similiar circumstances, remembering with perfect hindsight some of the foolish things I said and did.

So, no, Gene, I wasn't "rising to (her) defense" so much as I was sharing with her a hard earned perspective of how difficult urban living can sometimes be. So lumping myself, and rose, and no sluggo dave, and bocachick and all the other commenters on this post into a single group, with the identity of purpose and profile (oops! There's that word again!!) YOU chose, well, you know what, Gene? That's kind of sloppy.

Here's something else to think about while your standing up there in your ethical watchtower. You don't know me from Adam, so while you have every right to glean whatever impressions you want from my public postings-as-comments in this arena or any other, think twice before you use those impressions to judge me, or anybody else. Not because of any "higher standards" nonsense, but because of what it says about the kind of choices you make in your own life, and ultimately, the kind of person you choose to be.

Oh yeah, and one other thing. You don't get to be both empathetic AND smug at the same time, Gene; it's bad form.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Vim Vendors said...

Wow, see what I mean?
It's powerful.

I'm not going to try to defend myself, because there isn't much grounds for that here. But bertzen, if you want to talk about judging others, your comments are a lot more bald-faced judgmental than mine were ever intended to be. I certainly never attacked anyone, let alone singled you out. It's all pretty ironic. You don't know me either.

But I do hope you find peace in life, as I do for myself, and for Julie and for anyone else that I have no reason to wish ill-will upon. And that's me being sincere, not smug.

9:42 AM  
Blogger the dame said...

Julie, I did get that it was intended to be a joke but maybe that's because I've read the book and blog and have some familiarity with your humor. I assumed it was a joke about absurd racial stereotyping (Hello! Who has an actualy stereotype about which races do and do not ride mopeds? Do stereotypes like that really exist? I think maybe people need to lighten up a bit.) You could have made it clearer in the post, I guess. Obviously jokes that involve race are a tricky thing, even if your actual intentions are a-ok and you aren't some awful racist (which, of course, you AREN'T). Most importantly, I'm glad you're ok.

Incedentally, I got a big laugh that someone told the woman famous for having QUIT HER DAY JOB, "don't quit your dayjob." I mean, come on - THAT is funny stuff.

2:02 PM  
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