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[P]
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

By Publius in Media
Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 03:31:25 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

The Motley Fool Radio Show, a weekly offering on America's National Public Radio network, closed out its February 28th program with an excerpt from an interview with the late Fred Rogers.

The question put to Mister Rogers was: "Why is there corporate corruption?"

His answer, in RealAudio format, can be found here. For those using Windows Media Player, it is here.


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Here is a transcript of his reply for the media-player-impaired:

Well, what do you think it is that drives people to want far more than they could ever use or need? I frankly think it's insecurity. How do we let the world know that the trappings of this life are not the things that are ultimately important for being accepted? That's what I've tried to do all through the years with the Neighborhood.

You know, it's you I like. It's not the things you wear. It's not the way you do your hair. But, it's you I like. The way you are right now. The way down deep inside you. Not the things that hide you. Not your fancy toys, they're just beside you. But, it's you I like. I hope that you'll remember, even when you're feeling blue, that it's you I like. It's you yourself. It's you.

Frankly, I was so moved by his response, especially the rhyme with which he concluded, that I had to pull my car over. They were simple words from a simple man. But that economy of expression in no way diminished the power and sincerity of his thoughts.

Fred Rogers' television career spanned more than five decades. His show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, was watched by tens of millions of children, the vast majority of whom are adults now. In the ephemeral world of made-for-TV celebrity, he was one of a handful of people who could be called a constant.

So, was he just a kindly, insightful sage imparting the wisdom of his years, or a doddering, out-of-touch relic offering hollow homilies and trite platitudes in answer to complex questions?

Are things really that simple?

Author's note: This article is a resubmission. The comments relating to the earlier draft can be found here.

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Display: Sort:
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood... | 190 comments (161 topical, 29 editorial, 0 hidden)
It's You I Like (4.37 / 8) (#7)
by Idioteque on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 10:52:45 AM EST

I think it's worth noting that the rhyme is actually one of the songs he used to sing on his show all the time. That was a great show. He was a great man. We'll miss you Mr. Rogers.


I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
Listen and Play Along (4.66 / 3) (#8)
by Idioteque on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 10:56:53 AM EST

You can listen to the song and download the sheet music too at his PBS site


I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
[ Parent ]
A related article appeared in our schoo's paper. (3.33 / 3) (#30)
by kwsNI on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 02:41:34 PM EST

Here is an op-ed piece by the chief editor of NMSU's paper. It's right along the same vein, so I thought I'd share.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -<
Registration? (2.00 / 1) (#35)
by drivers on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:47:28 PM EST

Ack... I used to work on NMSU's web site... what have they done to it? Registration to read articles and "you can unsubscribe at any time?" What the...

[ Parent ]
Oh, it does require registration? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by kwsNI on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:59:16 PM EST

I registered once and forgot about it. Never got mail from them, never logged in since then. Didn't even realise it needed a login.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -<
[ Parent ]
Seems to work w/o one.. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by gjetost on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:36:17 PM EST

If I just press 'stop' before it redirects.

[ Parent ]
Humility == knowing not having all the answers (4.78 / 14) (#32)
by Seth Finkelstein on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 03:29:59 PM EST

So, was he just a kindly, insightful sage ... or a doddering, out-of-touch relic ...
Neither. He was a nice, kind, man and a genius in his entertainment field. But - and this is perhaps the best part of his character - he did not set himself up as a guru with all the answer's to life's problems. People miss that. He WAS NOT saying that all Ken Lay (Enron) needed now was a hug. Perhaps the wisest (and most media-friendly) aspect of his interviews, was knowing when to keep his mouth shut, and not to cross the line from being uplifting to being fatuous.

-- Seth Finkelstein
Are you talking about Martin Sheen? (n/t) (none / 0) (#33)
by sllort on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:22:46 PM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
The man made an impression on everyone. (4.84 / 25) (#34)
by Lost In A Dream on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:46:14 PM EST

My favorite Mr. Rogers story is this:

His car was stolen. It was publicized widely in that area. A day or so later, the car was found right back in the same spot with a note from the person who stole it. In part, it read, "Sorry, we didn't know it was your car."

Everybody loves that guy. He was smart in certain ways, and he was interesting to listen to. And he always had a positive message.
________________________________
Armaphine - Screw death warmed over. I currently look and feel like death that had a couple of warm rocks thrown at it.

Very unpopular opinion (1.33 / 36) (#36)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 04:55:03 PM EST

I always thought that Mr Rogers was a little too effeminate to be a good male role model for children. I am not saying that he was molesting children or anything, but he did seem to have an abnormal attraction towards children for a grown man. Peter Pan syndrome? Reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson too. Unpopular opinion I am sure, but I am sure there are lots of people out there who would agree with me, though it is somewhat nonPC to say so.

Yes of course (4.46 / 13) (#38)
by tetsuwan on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:09:40 PM EST

Men should not have anymore than a mild interest in children and not spend more than 10 hours a week with them less they risk turning into psychotic child eaters.

[ Parent ]
heh. (1.25 / 12) (#39)
by EriKZ on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:12:03 PM EST


Would you believe he was a US Marine?


[ Parent ]
Hard to believe (1.00 / 8) (#42)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:25:39 PM EST

I will take your word for it. I am amazed he could mince his way through basic training. He must have gotten called some pretty offensive things by the drill instructor. I can just see him changing into to his combat boots and sweater before he tackles the obsticle course. Actually I can't see that. I can see him throwing a baseball like a girl.

[ Parent ]
Girls and baseball (5.00 / 2) (#93)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 12:20:30 AM EST

I can see him throwing a baseball like a girl.
The usual implication of that statement carries the assumption that girls do not throw with any reasonable power or accuracy. This may have been true of all but a rare girl in the 1950's, but it is no longer today.

If you insist on believing it though, perhaps you'd agree to let my partner through a baseball at you? Of course, you might need insurance waivers first.

And, lest you think that she's just the exceptional "butch tomboy" type -- she's a concert soprano and grade-school music teacher (complete with her collection of "teacher sweaters").

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

Baseball (1.00 / 4) (#97)
by sinexoverx on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:49:29 AM EST

Sounds like your partner might like to play baseball. It's fun game and one of my favorites. She would have to learn to not throw the ball at people though. In baseball the idea is to either throw the ball to somebody or strike out the batter if you are a pitcher. If you ever watch MLB you would see that hitting a batter with a baseball can sometimes get you punched in the face. People have died from getting beaned in the head. Or maybe you were saying that she throws fast with no control and is therefore a bit dangerous. Lots of wanna-be pitchers have that problem.

I still think it would be funny to see Mr Rogers in Marine Corps basic training. I was in the Navy and basic was not easy. But we could see the Marines from where we were and when we got up in the morning they had been up for a couple hours, running around with their rifles over their heads. And when we hit the sack at night those marines were still out there. The life of a Marine in basic is not for your average person, let alone Mr. Rogers. They break you physically and mentally. He would not have lasted a week. Maybe not even a day. Actually, I don't think they would have let him even try.

[ Parent ]
You patronising bastard. (none / 0) (#106)
by synaesthesia on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:48:23 AM EST

Nowhere does it say in RadiantMatrix's post that h/er partner would throw the ball at anyone in a game of baseball. Merely at you, to demonstrate in a way you would be inclined to remember (unless you were dead) that girls can throw both powerfully and accurately.

WRT to Marine Rogers, you have a very predatory sense of humour....


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Yup (1.00 / 1) (#119)
by sinexoverx on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 11:49:27 AM EST

As you surmised, I understood that I was being threatened by a woman/girl/female who possibly throws a mean baseball. It's a good thing I didn't say girls can't shoot guns because she would have offered to blow my brains out. We all know that people exist on bell curves. We all know that if you choose effeminate as the dimension and male as the domain, that Mr Rogers was on the opposite side of the mean from Arnold Swartzenegger. This person has a partner that partner that on the scale of throwing baseballs is way over on the throws well side of the curve. In fact she might even be well over on the throws well side of the male curve if she was grouped in that domain. My point still stands. Television doesn't provide boys with good male role models, and many these days don't have male role models at home either. Mr Rogers being effeminate was a role model that could confuse some boys. I am not talking about homosexuality here, though that could be an issue in a few cases. Mr Rogers was putting forward ideas that were more effeminate. Most boys go through "rites of passage" in their teens. They are confronted with bullys who want to fight them. They are confronted with dating. They are confronted with competition. Mr Rogers seemed to cater to the more feminine side of the equation. The touchy/feely, sensitive side of the equation. A lot of boys if they tried to encounter life's situations with what they learned on Mr Rogers were going to be frustrated. It would not be so bad if there were other role model for children besides Mr Rogers. But as far as I know they don't exist. But once again I have probably just angered more people who feel threatened by what I said. These discussion boards are really pointless it seems. Sometimes I wonder if they are some kind of perverted psychology experiment to see how long people will participate before they figure it out.

[ Parent ]
You missed the point, dear sir (none / 0) (#164)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 01:13:46 AM EST

The point of my post is that sweeping generalization is dangerous. The expression "throw like a girl" generalizes by implying that girls throw poorly. In reality, being a female has absolutely nothing to do with how well one throws a ball. It's all about training, and the only reason we identify the lack of this skill with women is a societal one.

So, your statement offends two basic memes of intelligent discussion: precision in expression and knowledge of your audience. The former because what you say and what you imply are separate things. The latter because the statement "throw like a girl" in the context in which it was used is likely to offend and alienate feminists -- which are a reasonable portion of the K5 readership.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

Equality of the sexes (none / 0) (#165)
by sinexoverx on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 02:11:20 AM EST

Answer this: why do men and women compete separately in the Olympics? If performance is only a matter of training, then women should be competing against men, in all sports. There is no reason a woman can't train as much as a man. They should lift the same weights in the clean and jerk. They should run just as fast in the 100 meter. They should jump as high in the high jump. They should compete on the same aparatus in gymnasitcs (though I would not want to be man doing some of those balance beam moves.) Sorry but I call bullshit on your argument. A womans body is very different from an mans in case you haven't noticed. They have different purposes. To be fair there are lots of things women do better than men. But to say they are the same is not a very well thought out position.

[ Parent ]
Balls (none / 0) (#166)
by peace out on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 02:27:48 AM EST

Maybe if I cut off your balls you could run even faster. You pathetic sexist shit head. You are obviously a white christian male, probably overweight and bald. Obviously a mental midget. I would like to put you in your place. You slimey bag of male stink. Ohhhh! I am so mad.
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
Hey! (none / 0) (#172)
by synaesthesia on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 03:22:51 PM EST

Make like your moniker! Otherwise you might get caught up in your own hateful stereotyping.

You could have made your castration point better by acknowledging that men and women have different levels of strength, but that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the phrase "throws like a girl" (read RadiantMatrix's posts).


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Way to go... (none / 0) (#177)
by baron samedi on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 08:40:52 PM EST

Are you taking a page from the Donald Rumsfeld manual of "How to win friends and influence people"?

If you insult and accost potential allies, then you end up with no allies...

I concur with your sentiments, but your language...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Good question (none / 0) (#186)
by RadiantMatrix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 12:56:29 AM EST

Answer this: why do men and women compete separately in the Olympics?
That's a very good question. I wish I had an answer for you. See, I believe they should compete together. There are few exceptions, of course, where training isn't the only issue -- running and weight-lifting are good examples.

Runners benefit from leg length, and women are genetically pre-disposed to be shorter then men. Similarly, physical strength is greater in men (by genes) then in women. However, the line shouldn't be drawn on gender, but other criteria -- I leave it to those wiser than I to determine them.

The example at hand, though, has very little to do with biological differences -- throwing a ball only benefits from strength to a certain degree, the rest is skill and technique.

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I don't like spam - Parent ]

Apology (none / 0) (#179)
by sinexoverx on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 01:31:31 AM EST

I did some reading on the subject and reread your posts very carefully. For the most part you are correct. The phrase "throws like a girl" does refer to technique obviously. And technique is a result of training and practice. A good description of the "throws like a girl" technique is one from The Atlantic about Mrs Clinton throwing out the first baseball at a game:
In preparation for her throw she was standing directly facing the plate. A right-hander, she had the elbow of her throwing arm pointed out in front of her. Her forearm was tilted back, toward her shoulder. The ball rested on her upturned palm. As the picture was taken, she was in the middle of an action that can only be described as throwing like a girl.
The term came from a gender stereotype that was enforced through culture. The reason Mr Rogers might be thought to "throw like a girl" is because he doesn't appear to be athletic. The way he stands and the way he walks suggests that. But actually I should admit that unless I actually were to have seen him throw, there is no way to tell if that is true because technique once learned, perhaps as a child, should stick with a person. From his biography, it can be inferred that he probably didn't go outside much as a kid. And so probably never played sports etc. But I can't find that info on the web.

So I guess I was wrong on what it means to throw like a girl. I do find it odd that people are even offended by the term, but my lack of understand the feelings of others on a subject should not mean that I can go around offending them. I can think of other more easily understood racial stereotypes that are in the same vein. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
The usual implication is often right (4.50 / 2) (#115)
by Control Group on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 09:39:32 AM EST

Many women do "throw like girls." Hence the expression. This is not, however, a function of any biological/anatomical difference, it is a function of the overhand throw being an unnatural motion for the human body. The ability to get one's body behind the throw (rather than just the arm) is very much a learned skill. The reason it's associated with girls more than boys, of course, is that it's more common for boys to spend significant amounts of time while children learning to throw overhand. Naturally, any girl who has been taught to throw overhand will throw as well as any boy (adjusting for any strength difference). The fact that you know a woman who has learned to throw well overhand doesn't disprove the fact that it's a much more common skill for boys to learn than girls (at least in the US; I can't speak to other countries).

(Note: to demonstrate it's a learned skill, ask some guys to throw with their non-dominant hands, then compare the motion they use to the traditional concept of "throwing like a girl." It's virtually identical.)

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

No, I wouldn't. (5.00 / 9) (#43)
by tebrow on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:28:13 PM EST

And neither would Barbara Mikkelson.

[ Parent ]
Funny (1.00 / 7) (#59)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:05:14 PM EST

That would have been funny to hear Mr Rogers explain to the kids how he was:
Fred Rogers served as a sniper during the Vietnam War, with a large number of confirmed kills to his credit.
Won't you be my neighbor? Can you say confirmed kills? I knew you could. Can you say head shot from 300 yards? I knew you could?

[ Parent ]
On the other hand... (4.00 / 4) (#66)
by ckaminski on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:34:54 PM EST

Now that I think about it, he does have a passing resemblance to one Carlos Hathcock, who WAS a sniper in Vietnam, and who IIRC still has the record for most confirmed kills of any operator in the U.S. Armed Forces.

http://www.marinescoutsniper.com/Carlos.html

[ Parent ]

Let's hear where you got this opinion from. (4.33 / 6) (#41)
by Hamster on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:13:43 PM EST

Well, let's see the character references, the dodgy behavior, the scandal sheet, the psychological report. His TV show was for little children. He was a minister: he saw it as his duty.

If you're going to insult the dead, at least make sure it's more than speculation.

:/

[ Parent ]

I didn't say (1.00 / 13) (#46)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:40:26 PM EST

... that he was a bad person. I said he was not a good male role model. I have a male friend who teaches grade school and he is a good male role model. I was a boy scout and my scout master was a very good role model. Not everybody is suited to every profession. I would prefer my son not grow up to be as effeminate as Mr. Rogers. It is just an opinion. Perhaps your want your son to be just like Mr. Rogers. If Mr Rogers live next door to me, I would not let my children hang around him.

[ Parent ]
Effeminate I Like (4.00 / 4) (#82)
by Chasuk on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:40:13 PM EST

If Mr Rogers live next door to me, I would not let my children hang around him.

I hold exactly the oposite opinion. I prefer effeminate behavior, whatever "effeminate" means. If it the opposite of manly, then I pray that Mr Rogers be the role models for my sons.

I don't actually have any sons, and I don't honestly know what I would have done with them if I had. I hate loutish behavior, which is usually the domain of all of those manly men trying to be cool and tough. Give me someone gentle, thoughtful, and soft-spoken every time.

I don't LOOK effeminate, but all of my girlfriends thought I was gay, so I guess they thought I was effeminate, if they were judging by the stereotype.

As I am bisexual, maybe the stereotype is warranted. But is that what you are really saying: I don't want my sons to hang around someone who acts like a fag?


Neopets - the best free game on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

you are sick (1.85 / 7) (#45)
by loudici on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:39:48 PM EST

i can only imagine what sexual identity problems you must have to have this kind of comment about fred rogers. talk about insecurity....
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]
Men are sick (1.35 / 14) (#78)
by peace out on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:33:08 PM EST

All of them. The hairier the sicker. They just want to dominate and penetrate, over and over and over. I much prefer gay men. They are smarter and more socially aware. I wish all men were gay. After all, we can clone now, men are not needed.

Peace out - World Peace Now!
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
From whence comes the hostility? (4.66 / 3) (#92)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 12:11:37 AM EST

Men are sick

All of them. The hairier the sicker. They just want to dominate and penetrate, over and over and over. I much prefer gay men. They are smarter and more socially aware. I wish all men were gay. After all, we can clone now, men are not needed.

For many, many years, women were oppressed by men based on broad generalizations, inaccurate information, and flawed interpretation of socio-religious precepts. The oppression of women over the ages is indeed a tragedy.

However, when feminists (as you apparently seem to be) cross the line between asserting that women are equal to men (obviously true) and asserting that women are superior to men, they become no better than their former male oppressors.

As a thoroughly straight man (I think men look stupid naked, but I digress) who doesn't fit with the traditional image of male gender roles, I take personal exception to statements made so broadly against men. I will concede that current society functions in such a way as to produce a surplus of penis-glory type men that the hyper-feminist movement uses to heighten disgust toward the male gender. However, it is the popular image of what a man is expected to be that really contains all of those flaws. Unfortunately, until we have men in power who aren't concerned with living up to the popular image, that image will continue to be emulated. Having women in positions of power wouldn't hurt either, but without more balanced male role-models to emulate, the "accepted image" won't change.

I'm truly sorry that your experiences with men have been vastly negative. However, you are unlikely to have positive experiences in the future if you enter every male encounter with "all men suck" firmly planted in your psyche.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

Positive role models in general would be nice. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by Trepalium on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:34:42 AM EST

I can think of very few positive role models on television, in general. Most males are portrayed as completely incompetent morons, who probably shouldn't even be allowed to talk, let alone drive and vote. The only real strength, is they are often placed in situations where they must either overcome or work around their flaws.

I'm not sure if the female role models have it better or worse. They're either portrayed in the same was as their male counterparts, or as the polar opposite -- strong, confident people, who have no faults to speak of. The writers of such programs, rarely, if ever place the female characters in the same kind of situations as the male characters, forcing them to grow. So, they end up seeming artificial.

[ Parent ]

I think you missed something in that last post (2.00 / 1) (#101)
by bigchris on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:02:29 AM EST

Humour.

---
I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
[ Parent ]
compare and contrast... (2.00 / 1) (#96)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:36:34 AM EST

this

... you speak with authority on this matter - have you seriously met every single male out there? apparantly canadian males are better somehow than american males, and european males are better than the proceeding two and the whole lot is a lost cause from the beginning. while i wouldnt necessarily disagree with you...how many instances of the 'male' and 'sick' have you come across? have you never come across an instance of 'male' 'sick' and 'gay' together in one? perhaps you are jumping to conclusions a little to soon? no problem from me if you are, you are likely right, i'm just wondering whether you know that you are right or if you are just shooting in the dark...

for the record i am hairy, sick and unfortunately very male, and my life is more or less devided into the 'penetrate' and 'dominate' categories [my computers do what i say, when i say, or else. ask my apple//e. it's my pillow now...] [as for the penetrate part, it's not as obvious now as except for some [mostly married] co-workers and the aforementioned redhead irish and her clique i don't think i've even met more than five women in the past 4 months...and i don't know anyone here...i'm so alone here...but anyways...]

perhaps the 'smarter' and 'socially aware'[eewww!] are prescent in 'gay' men for different reasons than that they are gay, for instance if instead of being told by their fathers nothing but how to get laid[guys, you know what i mean?], they are instructed in the arts and sciences from an early age, and tutored throughout their upbringing producing a descent well englightened human being who also happens to be 'sexually confuzed' or something. mabye it's the other way around ? just an example, i'm not saying that's the case...
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Your taste in men is sick. (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by Trepalium on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:07:05 AM EST

Perhaps instead of looking outward for the problems, you should look within. It may be you that is sick. Or maybe you are truly surprised when the most confident, aggressive looking man that you pick up, really turns out to be aggressive? It's been said that, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

[ Parent ]
Symptom of the times? (4.78 / 19) (#47)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:03:28 PM EST

It amazes me how any grown man who adores children will eventually (even ligh-heartedly) be suspect of being a pedophile.

Kids are cute, they say funny things and generally really sweet.  Many kids deal with a lot of issues growing up and some people remember what it was like and try to help them out through it.

I have never been molested in anyway, and have experienced lots of kisses and hugs from people like my dad, uncles and older cousin brothers...and I know that I felt better knowing those people loved me.  I am sure other kids feel the same way.

What triggered our culture's pedophillia fetish in the last 20 years.  Is it a result of overreporting what was previsouly underreported? Or was it always there?

[ Parent ]

Sexual repression. (4.00 / 7) (#48)
by Lost In A Dream on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:11:51 PM EST

We live in a fairly sexually repressed society. What that seems to do is key up the sexual tension to the point that EVERYTHING seems to be about sex. If you like ANYTHING, it must be, somehow, related to sex. And calling people sexually deviant has become the great American passtime.
________________________________
Armaphine - Screw death warmed over. I currently look and feel like death that had a couple of warm rocks thrown at it.
[ Parent ]

Sexual deviants (1.20 / 5) (#61)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:12:41 PM EST

I would not go as far as to say that an effeminate man is a deviant. If he also dressed up in rubber nun habits then yes. And effeminate man is just effeminate. Many are fairly normal. They just are not role models. I will admit that ethically Mr Rogers was a role model, but my OPINION is that he was not a good MALE role model.

[ Parent ]
Rubber nun habits... (4.60 / 5) (#71)
by lithmonkey on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:58:50 PM EST

I've met some very nice people that dress up in rubber nun habits. They may be goofy drag queens, but that doesn't make them bad people or even bad role models. It appears that your opinion is that if you look or act like a fag then you can't be a good role model. Me and my faggot friends would disagree.

[ Parent ]
I agree (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by peace out on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:06:51 PM EST

I often leave my 2 year old with the two SM leather and stud wearing gay guys next door when the baby sitter doesn't show up on time and I need to go to work. The guys are very nice and would not hurt a fly. People are so parnoid these days. People are people, whatever their orientation. Peace out - World Peace Now!
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
Gentle S&Mers? Whatha? (1.00 / 2) (#110)
by mold on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:44:31 AM EST

I bet they're not very good at S&M then.

<Guy 1>Ooh, I like that, harder! Oh, wait, not so hard.
<Guy 2>I'm so sorry, did I hurt you? I didn't mean to!

Or something like that.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]

If you reread my post (2.00 / 7) (#49)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:15:19 PM EST

You will see that I didn't think he was molesting children. I watched a PBS show about him last Sunday it said he was married and I think he even had kids. A childs male role model is important to his or her opinion of what a male is. If the male image is more effeminate then that can change the world view of the child. It is my OPINION that effeminate males don't make good male role models. Masculin males are better. Perhaps something in between or neutral would be more universally acceptable. I prefer that my son have a masculine male role model, and a feminine female role model. Imagine the sexual confusion a child could experience if the only role models were a child had were a masculine woman and an effeminate man.

[ Parent ]
It's not like he was a hermaphrodite fgs. (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:25:58 PM EST

Fristly, I never said you accused him of molestation, but you did suspect him of being a pedophile (Peter pan syndrome/Micheal Jackson).  Molester and pedophile are no synonomous.  Your assertion was that he had a unhealthy affinity towards children; my response was that it's funny how that there are perfectly normal people who like children and are perfectly healthy.

And I never considered Mr. Roger's behaviour "effeminate" let alone was confused by it.  Maybe it's just my upbringing, but his behaviour was consistent with what I saw from many males in my life.


[ Parent ]

Peter Pan (1.50 / 2) (#52)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:28:51 PM EST

Check the definition from Dictionary.com.

peter pan n : a boyish or immature man; after the boy in Barrie's play who never grows up

[ Parent ]
Hermaphrodite (2.50 / 4) (#53)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:35:28 PM EST

A hermaphrodite is a person with a birth defect. To denegrate people with birth defects is the lowest of low.

[ Parent ]
Fair use of the word (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:42:21 PM EST

dictionary.com:
#  Something that is a combination of disparate or contradictory elements

Something that children would be confused by; Rogers was not.

I believe a common definition of the word is people with genital disorders, and I think that there is not a very strong correlation with behviour and and the phsyological condition (?).  Regardless, that was not the meaning I was using.  

[ Parent ]

Well (1.00 / 1) (#57)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:47:05 PM EST

... I would not think a person who was a hermaphrodite, even if it was a person with a birth defect, would not be a good role model. I don't consider my own brother a good role model since he is very irresponsible and has some overy aggressive behaviours. Not everybody is a role model. My opinion is that Mr. Rogers is not a role model either.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (2.00 / 2) (#58)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:57:14 PM EST

I thought you were referring to a person who was physically both a male and a female. If you meant behaviourably a hermaphrodite then yes I would say Mr. Rodgers is bordering on that. He is effeminate. Or do you deny that.

[ Parent ]
I do deny that Rogers was effeminate (4.00 / 2) (#63)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:21:04 PM EST

Soft spoken, certainly, but not effeminate.  He never did stuff like talk about purses, how much he liked how colors matched, discussed fashion, spoke with a lisp nor did he have a particularly feminine gait (as well as I can recall).

Maybe that's just my experience with males...

[ Parent ]

Spoke with a lisp? Oh, come on. (4.00 / 2) (#69)
by synaesthesia on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:53:18 PM EST

Get over your stereotypes, yourself! If soft-spoken is not effeminate, then how is a speech disorder effeminate?!

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Most lisps do come across as effeminate (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:09:51 PM EST

Mike Tyson has an effeminate voice...
Being softly spoken however, I personally do not tend to associate more with females than I do males;
making softly spoken not an effiminate...

Then again it may just be the lisps and soft speak which I have heard...your results may differ.

[ Parent ]

Clint Eastwood's softly spoken (none / 0) (#107)
by Gully Foyle on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 06:49:29 AM EST

Not very effeminate though...

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

That was point (none / 0) (#130)
by gmol on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:36:56 PM EST

read the first line of your parent

[ Parent ]
Mike Tyson? (none / 0) (#168)
by Gully Foyle on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 04:51:09 AM EST

Are you implying that he's not effeminate?

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Knocking people out in under a minute (none / 0) (#173)
by gmol on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 04:05:31 PM EST

(in addition to his the rest of his alleged behaviours) are generally not traits commonly associated with women...

[ Parent ]
You obviously haven't met (none / 0) (#181)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 06:05:07 AM EST

my mother.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Unhealthy affinity (2.00 / 3) (#56)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:42:31 PM EST

I did not say unhealthy, I said abnormal. Big difference.

[ Parent ]
thesaurus (4.50 / 2) (#103)
by pantagruel on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:32:59 AM EST

abnormal is often taken as being a synonym for unhealthy. I have never seen it used as a synonym for healthy, desired behavior, or anything good. I wonder why that is.

[ Parent ]
emtymology? (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:44:34 AM EST

just a shot in the dark, but couldn't it be the case that when the words were coined, that english culture was more racist, less evolutionary and more ignorant of the ways of the world in all their witchburning and crusade ways ?
i think we're getting into semantics here, and all points become irrelevant at that point. the people who invented the language you are using to argue from were not omnipotent, or even very good people.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
It's funny how sinexoverx never mentioned... (none / 0) (#70)
by synaesthesia on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:58:38 PM EST

...anything about paedophiles.

There's a great deal of difference between 'abnormal' and 'sexual'. You seem to think they're the same in the context of describing an attraction towards children?

I personally think that Michael Jackson, with respect to child molestation, is innocent until proven guilty. But I do think that his compulsion to spend time almost exclusively with children is both abnormal and unhealthy. However, I don't find anything creepy about Peter Pan. So I think I am probably projecting all the other things I find abnormal and unhealthy about Michael Jackson onto this issue.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

It's funny how the implication was obvious. (none / 0) (#79)
by gmol on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:35:17 PM EST

Nor did he correct me on my implication.

[ Parent ]
What's really funny.. (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by geekmug on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:12:26 PM EST

sinexoverx wrote: "You will see that I didn't think he was molesting children [...]"

It's funny how the implication was obviously debunked in the parent to this.



-- Why reinvent the square wheel?
[ Parent ]
Utter nonsense. He corrected you twice. (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by synaesthesia on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:31:32 AM EST

Once here, and once here.

And he corrected your assumptions (rather than you personally) here.

It's not that I agree with sinexoverx about effeminacy. Feel free to lambast him here. But don't put your words into his mouth.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Here's an important question for you. (4.83 / 6) (#64)
by Stoutlimb on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:22:12 PM EST

Please explain exactly what makes Mr. Rogers effeminate?

I think societies opinions on what is considered "masculine" has changed considerably over the last 20 or 30 years.  Masculinity is more often these days portrayed as "hyper-male", that you would see in a Rambo movie, and gentlemanly behaviour has lately been scorned as "less masculine" more often than before.

So was he really effiminate, or was he just a gentleman out of his time, showing morals that would be much more acceptable in the fifties or sixties?  Also keep in mind, this show was for childeren.  Males, even masculine ones, behave much more gently towards small childeren.

When you describe why he's effeminate, contrast your opinion with what would be considered normal when Mr. Rogers first aired.  I'm curious.

[ Parent ]

Masculin males (4.75 / 4) (#95)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 12:57:29 AM EST

for one - since the industrial revolution we have made up role models, at best since the male role model is out in the factory/workshop/skyscraper while the female role model is out in the skyscraper/switchboard/etc. no one is at home except the television to provide role models. THIS is unhealthy as the television's role models aren't even necessarily REAL. even if you'll grant me the next point [that this sexual confuzion which you are afraid of is not necessarily a bad thing...] you will hopefully agree that having a real role model is much better than having a role model that can't possibly happen. [Bart Simpson, the Ghostbusters, Oscar the Grouch, Captain Picard?, idono...it's been awhile since i've watched tv...you hopefully get the idea...if not ask for more examples i' could try... ]

masculine males are different. not necessarily better, than nonmasculine ones. so what if there was such a person who was raised by an overly enthusiastic "feminine" man and a responsible rational "masculine" woman. so what if he would go through his life looking for a strong, dominant woman to show him his place?

when i was younger i used to be a "feminazi"[a fascist-extreemist-feminist if you will], suggesting that all men should be thrown away into cages and prisons or exterminated except for what is needed, as we now have artificial insemination and cloning... is this relevant? i think so. I had a view of womankind as supperior in all ways, far more rational and intelligent, and stronger and tougher than the driven-by-sex-hormones males who are more often than not lazy and wimpy. or mabye it was just that i didn't at the time want to admit that i was crazy-driven-by-sex-hormones, lazy and somewhat wimpy[i've grown much more wimpy since]

i by the way am not gay. i have had many chances to try out various homoerotic experiences...but i'm just not into it. it's like 'that's nice--drive me home.' i like my women. :D

i was almost in emotional-overflow-tears from being yelled at from that cute aggressive-irish chick at work not too long ago...i'll be waiting for that to happen again for the rest of my life. it's different, not worse.

in my opinion, the entire 'masculine' and 'feminine' are created identities - that the only reason that we believe in them is that for thousands of years there's been gossip / harsh instructions for males to be one way, females to be another. where was that link to that one group of people who have males stay at home with the children and females go out and hunt/explore/wage war? i cant find it. whatevr
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Thanks for nice comment (5.00 / 3) (#104)
by Viliam Bur on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:40:57 AM EST

I think that the division - females stay home, males go hunting/war - is more useful than the opposite, simply because for pregnant women it is easier to stay home than go hunting/fighting, also with small children it is safer to stay home. (Just imagine a warrioress holding a 1-year old baby in one hand, and a sword in another - maybe we'll see this one day in Xena-like movies.)

On the other side, today's world is different. Yeah, women still get pregnant,... but only few times in a life, so there is still enough time for career. And hunting bugs in computer programs is not that dangerous, and does not require that amount of strength. (Perhaps strong nerves.) Therefore we do not need to follow those ancient models strictly.

And I think that everyone should at least sometimes try the behavior traditionally attributed to the opposite sex. Just to know what is it like, and to be able to use it when needed.

[ Parent ]

Look at the language (5.00 / 3) (#169)
by epepke on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 11:35:04 AM EST

The Greeks had three words for love: philos, eros, and agape. (There's a fourth one, but I forget what it is.)

Eros is, of course, sexual love, but it was also used by Jung as a metaphor of the drive to life (as opposed to Thanatos, the drive to death).

Philos is brotherly or abstract love. So, we have philosophy=love of wisdom, philanthropy=love of people, Philip=lover of horses, etc.

Agape is usually called "divine" love but can also be used for any kind of devoted or unconditional love.

So, why do people use the word "pedophilia" to describe what anyone with any sense would call "pedoeroticism"? Partly because "philia" has taken on a technical meaning of "attraction toward" in psychology (and also chemistry). Partially, however, it's because we're pretty fucked up in our thinking. There's a long history in at least Anglo cultures to the effect that hating children, or at least keeping them at arm's length, is correct. During the Victorian era, when many psychological terms were coined, it was considered a bit pathological for middle-class people to spend more time than the minimum possible with their children (that's what nurses and nannies were for). For a short period of time, possibly due to the effects of the Depression or the aftermath of World War II, when people that had known war tried feverishly to establish a somewhat illusionary sense of domestic peace, it was considered OK or at least tolerable for parents to spend time with their children, or at least mothers. Dr. Spock influenced them quite a lot. This, however, produced possibly the most selfish generation in history, who dug up pure Victorian attitude, with their notion of "quality time" (which implies lack of quantity; wouldn't want the rug rats to get in the way of that precious career, now).

So now, as then, spending a lot of time with children and actually giving them love is something that is seen, at best, as rather low-class and suspect. It's something that is vaguely expected to happen amongst those ignorant country people, who are such hicks and Christians and conservatives that they can be laughed at, or those dark-skinned people, who can be loudly sympathized with as long as they realize the deal is for them to stay in the ghetto while liberal-minded people are out cashing the checks.

A man of middle class who devotes his life to talking to children and assuaging their fears, teaching them gentleness, is therefore just plain creepy. He should be running Nu-Perfect Industries, which gives 1% of its profits to Greenpeace and is therefore OK, or making sarcastic quips on late-night talk shows, or at worst taking part in a committee-run, carefully multi-ethnic show to give children stimulation by showing them how to count to ten in two and one-half seconds. That he should speak from a place of gentleness, the easy comforts of the home, and accepting, quiet love is well nigh intolerable. That he should present make-believe as make-believe in such a way that it is understandable to very young children and not geared to the show-biz values of cynical adults is right out.

Now of course, people say, he may not be a child-molester, but there is definitely something peculiar about him. He might even be a Peter Pan, an effective insult, which is bad, for some reason. Peter Pan's lost boys were about the Victorian practice whereby poor families reduced the number of mouths to feed by turning their male children out onto the streets at an early age. And Peter Pan must be bad, I guess, for maintaining empathy and friendship with these children when everybody knows he should have been off in India killing people and maintaining the empire. We've forgotten that Peter Pan was social commentary, mostly because we're a bit more sophisticated about lying to ourselves these days. But we still remember that there's something wrong about it.

Ah, screw it anyway. The best people I know, the finest of the human species, are the people who never really grew up, who kept their childlike attitude and mental flexibility throughout their lives. Those that manage to keep the childlike attitudes and combine them with adult wisdom are the finest people the human species has to offer. This is the nature of the human species anyway: the chief evolutionary difference between us and the great apes is our neoteny, our propensity to maintain youthful characteristics throughout our lives. It is what makes us human, and I wish I could be more like that, and I try as hard as I can. But there's a propensity for those who get bogged down in the grimness of adulthood to want to drag everyone else down into the mud. This is the triumph of the ape, and its purest expression is the mob and the witch-hunt. Nietzsche would have recognized it and called it ressentiment. And what easier way of dragging someone down into the mud than invoking rape or child molestation? Hitler works, too.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Very true (3.00 / 1) (#180)
by sinexoverx on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 02:24:02 AM EST

Different cultures do approach these issues differently. I am a product of my culture. I was a child in the late 50s and 60s. During that time, fathers were generally very distant from their children. Many of us from that generation have tried to not make that mistake with our own children, but I am sure there are issues that carry over. Today the problem is often lack of a father, due to divorce, and mothers who have to work. Hopefully these issues are just cycles and don't represent a trend toward something much less nurturing.

An interesting counterpoint to our modern American culture were some of the plains Indian tribes. I have read that not only were homosexuality and cross-dressing (for instance) considered acceptable, they actually held a certian stature in their society. Even mental illness was much more acceptable. Perhaps it has to do with a tribe having to rely of all of it's members, while in modern society we don't see the benefit of those who are different or even the usefulness of the average person.

I am still of the opinion that Mr Rogers was not a good male role model, but that opinion exists within the context of our society as I experience it. Obviously, others have different contexts and so different opinions.

[ Parent ]
Yes (5.00 / 2) (#183)
by epepke on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 09:09:40 AM EST

Different cultures do approach these issues differently. I am a product of my culture. I was a child in the late 50s and 60s. During that time, fathers were generally very distant from their children. Many of us from that generation have tried to not make that mistake with our own children, but I am sure there are issues that carry over. Today the problem is often lack of a father, due to divorce, and mothers who have to work. Hopefully these issues are just cycles and don't represent a trend toward something much less nurturing.

A few notes: The unusual thing about the 50's and 60's was not that middle-class and upper fathers were distant, but that middle-class mothers weren't. Working class mothers have always had to work in some fashion. The temporary relative prosperity in the U.S., combined with the parents' memories of the Depression and World War II combined to create a rather unusual but ultimately unstable situation.

An interesting counterpoint to our modern American culture were some of the plains Indian tribes. I have read that not only were homosexuality and cross-dressing (for instance) considered acceptable, they actually held a certian stature in their society.

I used to be very big into anthropology, and this was basically correct, but it was a little bit more formulaic than that. A man could make the decision to live as a woman, and there was a special status for these people. It didn't really resemble the culture of Western homosexuality, though. Cross-dressing wasn't something that one did for fun or to play around with sex roles; it was a matter of identity. So it more resembles serious transsexuals than generic homosexuals.

Even mental illness was much more acceptable.

This is sort of true, but not completely. Severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, are treated remarkably similarly across cultures. However, the less extreme forms, such as schizoaffective disorder, bipolar II, etc. were often a ticket to a job. The schizoaffective might become a great shaman. The bipolar might be the designated person to run after the wounded animal without stopping for several days. And so on. For some good stuff on this, see Robert Sapolsky's The Trouble With Testosterone.

I am still of the opinion that Mr Rogers was not a good male role model, but that opinion exists within the context of our society as I experience it.

My view of Mr. Rogers is that his role was the storyteller of the tribe, who would gather the children around the fire in the evening. Think the scene in Fellowship of the Ring where Bilbo is telling stories to the children. That activity, plus the stories have roots in the culture and serve a healing, comforting, and teaching purpose. Mister Rogers didn't have any good cultural stories, because there aren't any in modern American culture; our cultural myths tend to be like The Lone Ranger or Superman or some such thing that emphasizes cultural isolation rather than cultural connections. Not that these are bad myths, but only having those myths is impoverishing. So, Mister Rogers had to make up his own stories or rely on the creative properties of the people who worked with him.

Now, it's fair enough that you should speak from your cultural point of view. I only touched on this matter briefly, so perhaps I should say more. A lot of my objection consists of my view, which of course is influenced by my culture, that the concept of a "role model" is inherently and fatally flawed. I don't consider that myth healthy or fair to children. I think that the view of a child following the model of a role impoverishes the child. In my view, it's a drastic and destructive way of oversimplifying how children should develop. I see the "role model" per se as quintissentially Procrustean in nature. I prefer that children grow up with a wide variety of influences. I suppose the role model concept may work for the majority of people whose lives are always going to be ordinary. I've never been such a person (that's my cultural background). More importantly, I think encouraging excellence and flexibility is a good thing to do even if it doesn't usually take. A culture that only promotes the ordinary gets what it promotes, and I don't want to see that happen to this culture.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's, which was sort of a transition period. I often look back and am glad that I missed the currency of the concept of the role model. I had my conflicts with teachers and authority figures (boy, did I ever), but I cannot recall ever having been "steered" in the direction of an "appropriate role model," for which I will be forever grateful. I was never told I couldn't be inspired by Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird because it was the wrong sex. I was never told I couldn't be inspired by Barney in Mission Impossible because it was the wrong color. I didn't have role models, and I didn't have heroes, but I did have inspiration and influence, and that is way better.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
you're insecure (4.83 / 12) (#60)
by gps on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:06:24 PM EST

anyone who looks at a kind accepting intelligent man as and proclaims to the world "hey, there's an effeminate pervert!" has serious insecurity problems of their own to deal with.


[ Parent ]
Once again. (2.25 / 4) (#68)
by sinexoverx on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:47:48 PM EST

I never said he was a pervert. I said he was affeminate. People who don't see that are blind. I'm out of here. I voted against this post because I knew I would stick my foot in my mouth here. I have said enough. Obviously I am in a very small minority.

[ Parent ]
Effeminate? (4.00 / 5) (#83)
by mstefan on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:46:59 PM EST

Because he's not muscular and speaks in a soft voice, he's effeminate? I think you have some misguided perceptions about what "maleness" really is.



[ Parent ]
you're the one that seems to be threatened. (3.00 / 4) (#85)
by Vellmont on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 09:43:30 PM EST

Why is everyone so threatened by someone who simply says Rogers is efiminate? He quite obviously is. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think most people would agree that Rogers had many feminine qualities.

I'm actually ashamed at the knee-jerk reaction most posters are having toward sinexoverx. Instead of actually discussing whether Rogers was a good role model for children, everyone is putting words into sinexoverx's mouth, and attacking him on a personal level. This is like the liberal equivalent of saying anything bad about America to a knee-jerk conservative. Sometimes I don't think people have political opinions, but simply sacrosanct beliefs which they dare not question.

[ Parent ]
Ermm.. (4.66 / 3) (#86)
by runderwo on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 10:22:32 PM EST

sinexoverx explicitly stated in another post that he wouldn't let his children hang around Fred Rogers if he were their neighbor. His reasoning? Because he thinks Rogers is "effeminate", and is concerned that his kids might grow up to be "effeminate" too.

He obviously has a right to his opinion, but it's an unreasonable position of xenophobia more than a legit discussible opinion.

[ Parent ]

xenophobia (none / 0) (#176)
by sinexoverx on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 06:26:41 PM EST

I don't fear effeminate men, which should be obvious because they are not very imposing. I work with several men who could fit the term to varying degrees. They are good at the job for the most part. I actually enjoy their company in meetings and such because they my team mates. My problem is with elevating people to positions which they are unqualified for. Mr Rogers was never meant to be a male role model, but due to the way TV works he is there in that position. I will admit that I grew up in a different time, when there were male role models on TV. The role that Mr Rogers fills was done by women when I was a kid. Sherri Lewis is a good example.

[ Parent ]
All men (3.00 / 9) (#75)
by peace out on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:10:51 PM EST

All men are insecure. That's why I swore off of them long ago. Mr Rogers was a sweet man who I would feel proud if my son or daughter grew up to be just like him. Even if he was gay, what difference does that make. He was a kind man.
Peace out - World Peace Now!
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
"All men are insecure"? (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:49:59 PM EST

Your statement is just as sexist as the actions of the men you "swore off of". Case in point is Mr. Rogers himself -- a man secure in every way, as far as I can see.

Even if he was accused of being "effeminate", as one poster put it, he was ultimately secure enough not to let such baseless criticism affect his personality.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

Sexist? (none / 0) (#137)
by peace out on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:30:53 PM EST

Give me a break. This country is controlled exclusively by white christian males. Exactly what this guy was. The sooner we rid this country of white christian males the sooner this country will be livable again. Mr Rogers was just another outlet of the oppression that dictates this country's policies.

Peace out - World Peace Now!
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
Then what? (none / 0) (#187)
by irrevenant on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 02:25:53 AM EST

So, say we get rid of all the white christian males. Then what? There will always be some group consisting of more people than any other.

Would the world be significantly better off if a different group of people were dominant?



[ Parent ]
You are a very bad person (1.60 / 15) (#77)
by peace out on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:17:59 PM EST

Anybody who would claim that Mr Rogers was anything but the sweetest, kindest, most caring man in the world is a total weirdo. There is nothing wrong with being gay, or even loving children. It doesn't make you a child molester. I wish you would die of AIDS, then you would know something. You jerk.

Peace out - World Peace Now!
Peace Out - World Peace Now!
[ Parent ]
Having read this thread (4.83 / 12) (#89)
by aonifer on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:39:19 PM EST

I have some question that have not been answered.
  1. What, exactly, made Mr. Rogers effeminate?
  2. What "masculine" qualities did Mr. Rogers not have that made him a bad role model?
  3. Furthermore, assuming Mr. Rogers was, in fact, effeminate, why does this necessarily make him a bad male role model (not just "I think boys should have masculine male role models."  Why do you think that)?


[ Parent ]
Good role models... (3.14 / 7) (#99)
by gnovos on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:22:15 AM EST

I suppose deciding on who is a good role model depends on how cynical you are about the world.  Mr. Rogers is a good role model if you believe the world is a good place, and that they best things you can teach your children are how to be kind, generous, patient, and well adjusted...  however, if you have a more Hobbsian view of the world, where the survival of your genome requires your children to be rutheless, cutthroat and fiercly aggressive... perhaps Hitler or Stalin would be a good role model?  Or, if you have money these days, Kenneth Lay?  

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
the real answer...sex (1.55 / 20) (#40)
by Fen on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:12:49 PM EST

No I didn't just want you to look. Separate sexes is the single biggest obstacle to a truly better future and a more evolved state. Those who disagree will be shot in the head by lasers as they waste time flirting. No debate here.
--Self.
Separate Sexes are the Biggest Obstacle... (4.25 / 4) (#50)
by kshea on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 06:15:38 PM EST

Which is why gay people will take over the world :-)

[ Parent ]
At least (4.75 / 4) (#81)
by j1mmy on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:40:00 PM EST

everything will be color-coordinated.

[ Parent ]
Don't you mean bi? (none / 0) (#94)
by Josh A on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 12:45:31 AM EST

I'm all about bonobo monkeys, btw.

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Posh. (none / 0) (#111)
by tkatchev on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:53:00 AM EST

Grow up.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Now that's some great trolling... (none / 0) (#184)
by bheerssen on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 01:17:12 PM EST

I don't know when I've seen a better troll that that one, but let's discuss anyway. Questions: 1) What, exactly, are you saying here? That one gender is intrinsically worse than the other and should therefore be eliminated? In that case, which one, and how would continuation of the species occur? 2) Are you suggesting that the genders be somehow merged (perhaps through DNA manipulation), thereby creating one single harmonious gender? 3) What about sex? Being one of the great motivators, shouldn't sex play a role in society? 4) What about love? If there is only one gender, would non-plutonic love have any place in society? If not, how would that be better for people individually? 5) if there is only one gender, what would families look like? Would there still be (traditionally) two caregivers raising children, or would there be only one, expected to provide for all the needs the family. Or are you envisioning no families at all, with children being raised in professional creche settings? Man, what great sci-fi. No "No debate here" here.

[ Parent ]
by number... (none / 0) (#185)
by Fen on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 03:13:01 PM EST

  1.  I'm saying the split is bad.  Either women or men would be fine, and the species could continue with artifical wombs.
  2.  Something like that, but it would end up being something different.
  3.  No, which is why I think there should be no gay sex in such a society.  
  4.  It's Platonic, which means pure love.  So there would be a purer love.
  5.  That will be seen later.  There won't be room for children in the initial stages though--adults would be converted.

--Self.
[ Parent ]
I was wrong. It was five decades. (4.20 / 5) (#44)
by Publius on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 05:29:18 PM EST

He started his career in Pittsburgh in 1953. His biography, which is a good read in its own right, is here.

---

This place is to writers what cock-fighting is to roosters: if you get out alive, you've had a good day.

Being there (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by X-Nc on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:06:56 PM EST

My mom and dad were there when he started. A friend of my dad's worked putting the original show together and he gave my folks a tour. What I find exceptional about Mr. Rodgers is that his format and message, while remaining consistent in it's fundimental tenents he always kept what was happening in the times as part of the show. Kids could see a slice of life that was good and safe but still relatable.

--
Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
[ Parent ]
The Noble Mr. Rogers is right (4.66 / 6) (#62)
by kholmes on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:17:51 PM EST

Insecurity causes much of the world's problems, its what causes us to lose the Prisoner's Dillema. When we begin to feel that the structure's that support us are beginning to fall, we want to make sure we end up ahead when it does fall---and only by doing so do we cause it to fall in the first place.

The answer to insecurity is courage. Do you have that? And what else do you think is propelling this war in the first place...

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.

Very good post and I've got nothing to add. (nm) (1.00 / 1) (#154)
by word man on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 06:37:19 PM EST

Although I would like to...

[ Parent ]
Eh..... (none / 0) (#188)
by dang on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 09:19:39 PM EST

The prisoner's Dilemma deals with conditions of complete uncertainty and a limited number of options with easily understandable payoffs, and assumes that the "players" have correct, orderable and accessible preference structures. At which point it tells you some intersting things about behavior at a level of abstraction so far removed from reality that it is hard to care. It certianly feels a long long schlep away from Fred Rogers's point.

[ Parent ]
To Mr. Rogers... (5.00 / 9) (#65)
by Cougaris on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:22:29 PM EST

...having never even known of you until I heard of your death (being a European), I can say that what I have heard since is quite inspiring. In many of the forums I frequent, your name has surfaced either in commerative threads or in interesting side stories from personal experiences of the posters.

It is a shame to learn of a good person only after their death. Kudos to you for all your good works.



What a bummer (5.00 / 2) (#84)
by mstefan on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:53:28 PM EST

If you missed out on Fred Rogers as a kid, you really did miss something special. Particularly when it comes to the vaccuous, marketing wasteland that is children's programming today. If you have kids, or ever have them in the future and can't get Fred's shows where you live, buy some of his videos and books.

It's a real testament to the man that even today, thirty years later, little kids still dig him. And he won't be trying to sell them cereal or the latest cool toy in the process of teaching them something worthwhile.



[ Parent ]
Watch him (none / 0) (#133)
by clarkcox3 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:01:10 PM EST

If you've never seen one of his shows, try to get a hold of one (I'm sure you could mail WQED, and ask really nicely) and just sit down and watch it for 15 min. The one thing that stands out in my mind from watching him as a child is that he never talked down to me, and he never patronized me.

[ Parent ]
I Heard a Rumor Today, Oh Boy.... (1.20 / 20) (#67)
by egg troll on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 07:42:21 PM EST

Although not as believable as the Marylin-Manson-is-Paul-from-the-Wonder-Years rumor going around a few years ago, its still amusing. Feel free to tell a stranger that Mr Rogers had 50 *confirmed* kills in Viet Nam!

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

I've told many people myself (5.00 / 3) (#74)
by gengis on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:07:28 PM EST

But just so you know, while you're passing this meme on, it's not true.

According to urban legend, many fine, peaceful people were snipers in Vietnam with a bunch of confirmed kills under their belt.

There are no army-day tatoos under Mr. Roger's cardigan. He is, indeed, an ordained minister in the Presbytarian Church. Now excuse me while I find more people I might inform of Mr. Roger's sniper days.

[ Parent ]
Another good one... (2.75 / 4) (#76)
by egg troll on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:12:37 PM EST

"You know Mike Diamond, of the Beastie Boys? His dad is *Neil* Diamond!"

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

[ Parent ]

Oh, egg troll! (4.00 / 2) (#80)
by grouse on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:38:51 PM EST

This time you've gone too far.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Mr. Green Jeans (none / 0) (#138)
by epepke on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:06:34 PM EST

He's Frank Zappa's father. No, really!


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
simple men (1.05 / 20) (#90)
by turmeric on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 11:46:57 PM EST

ha ha ha . bullshit

I like the answer this other 74 year old gives. (4.66 / 12) (#109)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:08:35 AM EST

Before I give my response, let me say that I think that the world lost a wonderful human being in the death of Fred Rogers.  My criticism covers his answer only, not Fred Rogers the person.

I like Chomsky's answer better, which says that to talk about corporate greed is redundant.  It's completely, and totally beside the point.  They are greedy by their very nature.  They are self-serving and amoral institutions whose only purpose is to concentrate wealth and power and to shield the owners from the consequences of the actions of the corporation.  It follows that since they are amoral by their very nature, that some of them will in fact become corrupt if the situation presents itself.  

I think the mistake that Rogers makes is that he is talking about people, not corporations.  His answer is astute if you apply it to (some) people.  However, corporations are not people, no matter how much the US legal system would like to treat them as such.  They are institutions, whose only goal is to make more and more profits.  Corporations don't suffer from low self-esteem, that's fairly obvious.  However, they can do a good job of destroying the self-esteem of those working for them and forcing them to make completely inhuman decisions.  One of my favorite Chomsky quotes, which I'll paraphrase, is,"If a CEO causes a woman working in a sweatshop in India to die due to poor working conditions, he's not to blame, after all, he's just doing his job.  It's the job that needs to be questioned."  There's quite a bit of truth to that statement.  After all, if he spends money and raises working condition standards, then he might get fired for decreasing profits.  The system brings the worst out of people.  

What we describe as corporate greed is a step backwards from what people understood 100 years ago during the formation of Unions.  They well understood that corporations were instruments of greed.  It's time we started to understand that again.  

Here's a link to a lecture on this topic:
http://hepwww.ph.qmul.ac.uk/~hartin/chomsky/nboamchomskyfreemarketfantasies.mp3

and here's a link to quite a few more mp3's by Chomsky:
http://www.geocities.com/resistancemp3/

Here's another interesting article on the history of corporations in the US:
http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/28/usa.html

Greed is the feature of corporations!! (2.50 / 4) (#114)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:59:50 AM EST

Capitalism works because it optimizes behaviour that are much too complex to plan centrally.

Hence, (smaller than a state) organisations motivated with what makes people tick and work hard over the long haul -- greed!

It works better than any known system, with some control. (Things that are effective for a company but have larger repercussions needs to be regulated, e.g. dumping large amount of toxic rest products in rivers.)

So, basically, it is immoral for a company not to be greedy. That is also why monopolies are bad. You get the worst from both worlds -- incompetence, greed and no choice.

If you, like Chomsky, argue that marxism or other economic systems work better -- do try it out. But not close to any country I live, please, since most experiments fail... Personally, I don't trust idealists any more than I'd trust catholic priests with children...

And, for the record, Fred Rogers didn't seem any smarter.

[ Parent ]

Question (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by SmilingJack on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:32:05 PM EST

Just so I understand what you are saying, Capitalism is better (than any knows system) at doing what?
-- <CENSORED>
[ Parent ]
Making a place worth living (none / 0) (#141)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:38:07 PM EST

Capitalism is better (than any knows system) at doing what?
Well, first and foremost keeping the country's economy efficient and growing so there are resources to do the things a society want/needs.

Things like health care, feeding poor, education, environmental cleaning (which poor countries can't afford), space programs, research, etc.

[ Parent ]

Efficient at what? (3.00 / 1) (#144)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:16:37 PM EST

Markets are grossly inefficient.  They constantly underestimate supply and demand.  Markets ignore such things as pollution, working and living conditions, health of the general population, all of which have an untold cost.  Markets tend to distort value, so that things which are abundant are treated as worthless, no matter what their inherent value is.  This is why corporations are so against Unions.  They make labor more scarce and increase it's bargaining power.  The entire system is wrought with distortions and excesses.  This isn't just people like Chomsky talking.  I'm going to give you a link by billinaire financier George Soros, who has quite a bit of insight into how free markets work.  It certainly is leaps and bounds above the "markets are efficient" crap that you are repeating, undoubtedly from a pamphlet or tv commercial.  

http://www.geocities.com/ecocorner/intelarea/gs21.html

Just remember that when you argue in favor of corporate power, you are arguing in favor of tyrannies.  We don't need dictators.  We don't need concentrated power.  Efficiency is used to defend all sorts of bad ideas, including totalitarian regimes.  You need to ask the question, "Efficient at what?".  Consuming resources, ok, I guess so, but is that really what we need.


[ Parent ]

Still not relevant. Plz note distinction (none / 0) (#150)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:52:53 PM EST

My position is that a capitalist economy work better than any tried alternative; I ask time and time for counter examples. Your argument that a market economy isn't perfect is NOT contradicting my thesis.

Did you understand that trivial distinction?

Also note -- I answered your argument that it is undemocratic that non-elected politicans control resources.
It hinges on that it is undemocratic to take a democratic decision that individuals can own anything. (A very doubtful claim.) You repeated the argument but didn't answer my counterargument as far as I can see (I might have missed it, since you post 2-3 answers to my comments).

(Also, your democracy argument would need the existence of non-capitalist democratic countries... there are none of those either.)

[ Parent ]

Explain this paragraph (none / 0) (#158)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:27:04 PM EST

It hinges on that it is undemocratic to take a democratic decision that individuals can own anything. (A very doubtful claim.) You repeated the argument but didn't answer my counterargument as far as I can see (I might have missed it, since you post 2-3 answers to my comments).

What is the "It" that you are referring to in the first word of that sentence.  Could you please clarify this?  Could you also link to the message where you explained this?  Thankyou.


[ Parent ]

"it" -- your argument (none / 0) (#162)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 10:30:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Last comment for now (none / 0) (#160)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:33:51 PM EST

I'm going to have to take off for the night.  You hold your own, I will say that much.  I really think that you need to dig a bit more into the assumptions that you are making.  You talk alot about idealism and fairy tales but it seems to me that you aren't really examining the pedestal that you are putting capitalism on.  You are making some "fairy tale" assumptions about efficiency that just don't hold up in the real world.  But, it seems that we really aren't making much progress either way, so at least for now, I'll need to set this discussion aside.  Thanks for the debate.  If you feel there is anything that will convince me, feel free to reply here.  

[ Parent ]
The myth of capitalism. (3.00 / 1) (#128)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:19:56 PM EST

What you have said is a nice fairy tale that is constantly promoted by the haves in American society to protect them from the have nots.  America has an exceptional amount of arable land and resources, and probably would do well under just about any economic system.  The other myth is that corporations earn what they take home.  There is quite a bit of state wellfare for the rich, keeping many corporations afloat.  

What you have to ask is what you want to encourage.  There are plenty of systems that we could design that would allow people to look out for their own self-interests, as well as encourage people to look out for the needs of others.  We have only tried what, two or three different economic systems by design?  The rest, including monarchies, have evolved.  So, what you are saying is that we got it right the first time and that there is no room for improvement?  Sure, Communism in the USSR was horrible, but who cares?  Who on earth do you think is promoting this style of Communism?  It certainly isn't Chomsky.  

You say you don't trust idealists, then why do you trust the idealists that founded this country so much that you are unwilling to address any of the problems that their system has?  Your assertion sounds contradictory.  

If you want to see what extreme capitalism does, just look at Mexico.  They have an extremely rich upper class with a starving, impoverished general population, and it's been getting worse since NAFTA started almost a decade ago.  They have pollution and corruption, and wage labor that borders on slavery.  In fact, you can look back 100 years in American history and see a very similar trend.  Unchecked capitalism is something that can make just about any other economic system look good.  This is NOT a self-correcting problem, the only fix for it is organized social democracy.  People in the working class need to organize and look out for their own needs.  We are headed back toward that era of 80 hour work weeks, no weekend, and huge wealth differences.  Why?  Well, it isn't because people are less productive.  Modern techonology has increased our productivity quite a bit.  Overall, we are twice as productive per capita than we were just 20-30 years ago.  Why is it happening, it's happening because we are allowing human labor to be devalued.  We are allowing free trade to flood the labor market, and give corporations a bargaining chip that they can use to drive wages down even further, and that is the threat of relocation.  On, the other hand, we are allowing businesses to consolidate up top, which is limiting competition.  This imbalance in competition, with desperate labor on the bottom, and consolidated super-corporations on top, is destroying that vital balance that is necessary to keep wages and prices fair and equitable.  People are already starting to work 80 hour weeks and wear it as a badge of honor.  I don't understand how people can be so stupid.  

I want you to know that I am not advocating Communism.  Well, I'm not even going to bring it up, because you aren't ready.  But my advice is to do some reasearch.  There are many economic alternatives between capitalism and communism.  Don't allow this false dichotomy to keep you in a box.  That's what it's intended to do.  

[ Parent ]

You really didn't get close to the target (none / 0) (#139)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:32:19 PM EST

America has an exceptional amount of arable land and resources, and probably would do well under just about any economic system.
Hardly as much resources per capita as Russia/Soviet Union. (At least before they really fscked their environment.) Your argument (that no economic system could fail with all those natural resources) don't pass a trivial reality check.
You say you don't trust idealists, then why do you trust the idealists that founded this country so much that you are unwilling to address any of the problems that their system has? Your assertion sounds contradictory.
Sigh. I'm not American, I'm Swedish. Why would I care about theories on society that are before the modern economy and media!?!? (Except maybe for history of democracy?)

Sweden compared with USA has totally different problems. USA is a disgusting place filled with uncultured nitwits that can only discuss sport and weather, but in total -- the advantages probably are larger in USA ... and (-: we :-) nitwits aren't fewer in Sweden, just different. At least there probably will be some economic growth in USA, so it'll continue to pull away from Europe.

have pollution and corruption, and wage labor that borders on slavery. In fact, you can look back 100 years in American history and see a very similar trend. Unchecked capitalism is something that can make just about any other economic system look good.
Comparing a poor country like Mexico with USA is like comparing apples and squids. What would the trend without NAFTA had been?

All countries start out more or less where Mexico is. Some stay there -- like all noncapitalist countries in history.

And where in hell do I advocate "Unchecked capitalism"!? Straw man! Sigh...

There are many economic alternatives between capitalism and communism.
I live in one and I'm thinking about moving out because I think it'll continue to slide downhill.

Can you point me to a nice place to live that work and is stable? It should be well tested, because the majority of new ideas fail..

[ Parent ]

Two Ways to see it (none / 0) (#129)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:32:07 PM EST

Here are a couple of quotes

Noam  Chomsky
In the academic social sciences, in the United States at least, these questions scarcely exist. When this year's Nobel Prize winner in economics [MIT economist Paul Samuelson] considers the range of possible economic systems, he sees a spectrum with complete laissez faire at one extreme and "totalitarian dictatorship of production" at the other. Assuming this framework, "the relevant choice for policy today" is to determine where along this spectrum our economy should properly lie.10 No doubt one can place economic systems along this scale. There are other dimensions, however, along which Samuelson's polar opposites fall at the same extreme: for example, the spectrum that places direct democratic control of production at one pole and autocratic control, whether by state or private capital, at the other. In this case, as so often, the formulation of the range of alternatives narrowly constrains "the relevant choice for policy." 10. Paul Samuelson, Economics, 6th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964), p.39

Here are few other interesting quotes

We are presently taught in schools to endure boredom and to take orders--because that's what capitalism needs from most of us. In a Parecon we will learn to become as capable and creative and productive as we can, and to participate as full citizens.

- MIchael Albert
Source: Participatory Economics, Life after Capitalism talks, Porto Alegre 3

Within capitalist firms there is a hierarchy of power that is greater even than that in dictatorships. Stalin himself never dreamed of demanding that the Russian population should have to ask permission to go to the bathroom...a condition that very often prevails for workers in corporations.

- Michael Albert
Source: Participatory Economics, Life after Capitalism talks, Porto Alegre 3

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not already completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry, because what this delicate little plant needs most, apart from initial stimulation, is freedom; without that it is surely destroyed....I believe that one could even deprive a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if one could force it with a whip to eat continuously whether it were hungry or not.....

- Albert Einstein

[ Parent ]

Socialism stands on pretence morals (1.00 / 1) (#132)
by word man on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:01:03 PM EST

Capitalist society has its questions. But they are not the ones asked by the Stalin-Chomsky crowd. Yes, that whole range of idologies builds economics on pretence moral grounds. The origin of human morals is elsewhere.

[ Parent ]
That post is completely unintelligable. (none / 0) (#135)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:11:00 PM EST

I think you mean word man-Stalin crowd, don't you?  Chomsky never supported Stalin, but you seem like the kind of guy who would like Stalin.  

Other than that, you haven't really given me enough to respond to.  

Perhaps you could elaborate a bit more.  I'm particularly confused by the "pretence moral" grounds.  Are you saying that people are making up morality merely to grab control?  

So, I'm supposed to believe that corporations worked people 14 hour days and people got killed here in the US because the owners of corporations are a bunch of good guys?  While anyone that challenges these "good guys" is using morality to try to take over?  So, when Reagan spent an enormous amount on arms, a large part of which got siphoned off to benefit his rich corporate friends in the face of a collapsing Soviet Union, we're supposed to believe he did it for "defense"?  We're supposed to turn a blind eye to corruption and bend over a little further?  I see, well, you can go ahead an do that.  If you think working 60 hours a week in a cubicle is what freedom is all about, while your debt climbs and the basic necessities such as housing pulls further from your grasp, well, then you go ahead and enjoy your "freedom".  I'll continue to fight for what I think is right.  

[ Parent ]

Making up morality merely to grab control! (1.00 / 1) (#148)
by word man on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:37:31 PM EST

Are you saying that people are making up morality merely to grab control?
Some do it and the rest follow them. The Stalin-Chomsky crowd that I refered to, share common morality. They differ in means not in ends. The moral intentions are the same, only Stalin's means contrdicted even his invented morality. That's why he had two moralities - one short term, one long term. Both pretence. Chomsky's got only one - the long term one. Still fake though. The place to start researching on genuine morality is the Gospel.

[ Parent ]
Show a working alternative or relevant arguments! (none / 0) (#143)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:15:47 PM EST

I'm sorry, but I can't help thinking you are pulling my leg. What the flying fsck has your really strange education references to do with my thesis that no other economic system is efficient?

Your Chomsky quote wasn't relevant either -- it just argued that the present economic system isn't perfectly democratic, in that the elected politicians doesn't control the majority of the economy.

Your problem is:
According to your definition of democracy, it is impossible to democratically decide on society areas that should not be politically controlled.

Show me working alternatives as effective as capitalism. Oh, no examples?

Michael Albert and education:
Trivially, education without boredom and discipline is impossible. E.g., to learn the interesting stuff in computer science you have to study some (imho) boooring algebra.
Show me a working large scale example of that kind of school and I'll put any kids I might get there.

And were Russian factory lines really stopped when someone felt like a bathroom visit...!? (And, please explain the relevance...)

[ Parent ]

Sorry for the confusion (none / 0) (#145)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:24:43 PM EST

Some of the tail end quotes didn't quite fit.  I wasn't quite paying attention when I pasted.  You were supposed to pay attention to the first quote.  

There is nothing else to really say in response to your post.  Really, if you don't want to put any effort into making the world a better place, go ahead and ignore what is going around you and turn on the tv.  As far as working examples, there are none in large scale practice.  But that has to be the stupidest reason not to try something that I have ever heard.  If that were the reasoning two hundred years ago, then we never would have tried capitalism.  There are other books and models out there, to name a few, and since you seem to be too lazy to do anything more than arm chair politics, I'll give a few links so that you can read them at your leisure.  

http://www.parecon.org/

http://www.prout.org/

I'm more partial to parecon, but there are alot of others that are out there.  You can read the articles out there, if you find any flaws, let me know.  

[ Parent ]

Flaws (none / 0) (#146)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:30:27 PM EST

As far as finding flaws goes, look at Parecon, I haven't really read much into Prout, but I've heard that it also has some decent ideas for creating a more equitable economy.  Parecon was designed by Michael Albert, and is presented in very clear terms.  I have yet to find any major flaws in his system.  

[ Parent ]
You can start here. (none / 0) (#147)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:32:37 PM EST

http://www.parecon.org/writings/hahnelURPE.htm

[ Parent ]
Almost all theories on society fail, you know... (none / 0) (#151)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:57:22 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Sadly enough (none / 0) (#156)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:17:42 PM EST

This post has about as much substance as most of your other posts.  

[ Parent ]
So why can't you answer? (none / 0) (#182)
by BerntB on Fri Mar 07, 2003 at 07:15:37 AM EST

This post has about as much substance as most of your other posts.
So why can't you answer?

In this case, I again repeated the trivial point that the statistical chance for a total new way to organise society will work half as good as the present way is, more or less, nil. (Based on the complexity of the task, the speed things change -- and that the only known way that works is to use people's self interest to guide the behaviour of organizations.)

Your answer to date has been to claim that it has no substance (as above) and that you don't like the answer (which doesn't change the world, except in idealist minds).

Both "answers" are, frankly, pathetic.

[ Parent ]

Again: Show me a WORKING example! (none / 0) (#149)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 05:40:16 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I will (none / 0) (#157)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:19:05 PM EST

Give me a few years.  

[ Parent ]
My answer showed up at top level!?!? (none / 0) (#175)
by BerntB on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 05:22:24 PM EST

See this for an answer.

[ Parent ]
OK, I'll discuss what you want to discuss instead (none / 0) (#152)
by BerntB on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 06:15:32 PM EST

if you don't want to put any effort into making the world a better place, go ahead and ignore what is going around you and turn on the tv.
My honest opinion is that 99% of all abstract theories about how societies should be organized are dangerous and will get lots of people killed if implemented. (Especially if they come from idealists that found another hard drug than religion or heroin.)

Go ahead and try them out -- there is a small chance something better comes out of it, at least the world learns how not to do something. But don't try them anywhere near where I live!!

As an old misantrophe, I'm also depressed about the world today. There are some political upheavals now, but with the industrial revolutions that seems to be in the pipeline the coming 10-30 years (robots, biotech, nanotechnology, etc) most of the present problems will probably be fixed.

Consider this -- I'm a misantrophe looking forward to a world without hunger, opression and everyone wasting their time in front of stupid tv programs... A world like a Disney cartoon.

Maybe you are right and I should support some idealists instead to get their ideas implemented globally!

(I've got a feeling you're younger than 20, right? The people I know that were young 1968 excused themselves with "if you're not red at 20, you've got no heart -- if you're still red at 30, you've got no brain!")

[ Parent ]

That's a terrible argument.. (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:11:10 PM EST

My honest opinion is that 99% of all abstract theories about how societies should be organized are dangerous and will get lots of people killed if implemented. (Especially if they come from idealists that found another hard drug than religion or heroin.)

That's a terrible argument, again, by your reasoning, we should never try anything new and just leave things the way they are.  Given this argument, we can justify all sorts of bad ideas, since, who knows, we might fail.

Go ahead and try them out -- there is a small chance something better comes out of it, at least the world learns how not to do something. But don't try them anywhere near where I live!!

You don't have to join.  Most of the newer economic systems that I subscribe to are decentralized, meaning, no need for a dictator or any other such nonsense.  Theoretically, a fledgling participatory economy could exist in your backyard and you wouldn't know the difference.  You really  need to put down the high school economics books and start thinking criticially.  It only takes about 30 seconds to realize that markets are inefficient and that they carry a host of other problems as well.  THAT's why I don't think you are ready.  You aren't ready because you don't want to think outside of the propaganda that has been handed to you.  You refuse to take a critical look at alternatives.  


As an old misantrophe, I'm also depressed about the world today. There are some political upheavals now, but with the industrial revolutions that seems to be in the pipeline the coming 10-30 years (robots, biotech, nanotechnology, etc) most of the present problems will probably be fixed.

How old is old?  I'm curious, as long as you are going to use ageism, we might as well get it out of the way.  I will tell you that it's a horrible way to debate, and you will not win any of my respect even if you do happen to be older than I am.  


Consider this -- I'm a misantrophe looking forward to a world without hunger, opression and everyone wasting their time in front of stupid tv programs... A world like a Disney cartoon.

Yes, you're an optimist, that much is clear.  My brother is a Republican (that's conservative), and he is an optimist too.  He's very optimistic that someone else will fix these problems for him.  

As far as viewing the world like a disney cartoon goes, try looking at the propaganda more often.  According to the propaganda, the US is the benevolent super-power that can do no wrong.  Businessmen are honest and greed is this wonderful thing.  Yeah, right.  The real world has sweatshops, corruption, a government that spies on it's own people and is tightly controlled by concentrated centers of power and wealthy elite.  In the US, over 80% of campaign contributions come from the top 1/4 percent of the population.  The candidate with the best financing wins 95% of the time.  That means the top 1/4 percent of a population determines who comes out on top 95% of the time.  Yes, I'm sure you can twist the logic up if you would like, but the point remains that there is a strong correlation between financing and the politician that comes out on top.  This is the real world, not Disneyland that you love to refer to so often.  

Maybe you are right and I should support some idealists instead to get their ideas implemented globally!

No, you should take responsibility for the events around you.  

(I've got a feeling you're younger than 20, right? The people I know that were young 1968 excused themselves with "if you're not red at 20, you've got no heart -- if you're still red at 30, you've got no brain!")

I'm 28 and I'll be 29 in April.  As far as your refernce to being an idiot goes, then that means that Einstein, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Albert(who graduated from MIT) are all idiots.  You are saying that two of the foremost geniuses of the 20th century are idiots because they both support socialist ideas and concepts.  

As long as we are talking about credentials here, I should list mine.  I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition, a minor Biology and a 160+ IQ.  What exactly is supposed to make you so special?  Politics is something that I have recently gotten into after writing it off as bullshit for many years.  I still think that it is bullshit, however, it is bullshit for a reason.  It is designed to be that way in order  to keep people powerless.  I can't comment on your country, but here in the US, we have an enormous amount of propaganda intended to make people feel powerless.  There has been quite a bit of success in smashing unions and destroying worker's rights.  People are getting to the point where they are willingly throwing away the rights that were fought for in the earlier 20th century.  It's disgusting and it needs to stop.  There is more to it than idealism.  If someone does not put a stop to this, eventually wages will drop down to the lowest level possible.  If you want to see what that is, look at the industrial revolution in the US.  The wages and working conditions back then were disgusting and I will not tolerate a return to it.  

[ Parent ]

2nd attempt (none / 0) (#171)
by BerntB on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 01:45:33 PM EST

(I wrote a longer and better written article yesterday night reasoning amongst others on Sweden/USA, but kuro5hin's code seemed to eat it :-(. )
That's a terrible argument, again, by your reasoning, we should never try anything new and just leave things the way they are.
You don't argue with my thesis that a very large percentage of new ideas (especially ideas to organize societies!) fail terribly, so you should be very careful about living in those places.

Rather, you seem to argue that you don't like the way the world is. Typical idealist. Please realize that the world is almost never the way we want it to be.

It only takes about 30 seconds to realize that markets are inefficient and that they carry a host of other problems as well.
I already have answered that:
My position is that there is no tested other way of organizing a countries' economy that is a fraction as efficient -- so arguing that a market economy is not perfect is not a relevant counterargument!! (See, I've never claimed anything so stupid.)

This was not your first straw man argument. (-: If you're not a kid but have an IQ of 160+, as you claim, you should have understood these kind of distinctions when you studied logic in your CS classes... :-)

You aren't ready because you don't want to think outside of the propaganda that has been handed to you.
I'm doing an argument based on simple observations on how fast society changes and that almost all new ideas fail. Care to explain how that is relevant? (YASM -- Yet Another Straw Man)

misantrophe:
I'm sorry, I thought that joke was quite obvious... Should have added a ":-)". My fault, excuse me for wasting your time.

According to the propaganda, the US is the benevolent super-power that can do no wrong.
Yeah, all countries have a totally selfish foreign policy -- and lie about it. Not exactly new. I believe it is because non-citizens don't have votes at home so not even governments of democracies care that much (until it gets too terrible and media back home start to investigate).

I'm sorry for being a bore, but I don't really see how that has anything relevant to do with my argument!! Either.

About sweat shops, etc, what do you think of Krugman? (Please note that he is hardly any of your rightwing nuts.)

[ Parent ]

Corperations is people (3.66 / 3) (#118)
by pyro9 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 11:29:54 AM EST

Corperations are made up of people. A moral person will have nothing to do with an immoral corperation. They will not work for one (or if they do, they will refuse immoral directives). They will not buy from one if they can help it. They will not sell to one if they can help it.

Unfortunatly, it's very hard to observe the above in absolute terms because immoral corperations have become ubiquitous. Short of living off of the land in a small cabin in the woods, one is hard pressed to avoid consorting with immoral corperations in any sense.

It is somewhat possible to manage in a more limited sense while living in the world. This consists of avoiding the worst offenders and making an effort to see past 'spin' to the truth of the matter. It will probably require willingly paying more than the bottom dollar for goods and services, and passing up otherwise attractive (in the short term) job offers. NOTE: owning stock in an immoral corperation contributes to it's immorality unless you ACTIVELY use your vote to change it's behaviour

If enough people did that, even amoral corperations owned by amoral stockholders and employing amoral people would have to behave morally in order to stay in business. Ultimately, only moral corperations would prosper.

For those who prefer, feel free to replace 'moral' with 'ethical' above. The idea is the same.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
True (none / 0) (#127)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:02:56 PM EST

That's the problem with present day American society.  Corporations are becoming big enough to challenge government itself, and completely dominate the government of smaller government and states.

So, if corporations are big enough to dominate government, what choice does someone with no property, a mountain of debt, and a family to feed have?  The bottom 20+ percent owe more than they own.  Even someone such as myself, who is well-educated and has two degrees, will owe more than I own for another two years, at which point I will be 30.  So, what choice do I have?  I have the choice of starvation, or working for a corporation, or possibly the state.  That's "freedom".  

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#136)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:22:19 PM EST

Corporations are becoming big enough to challenge government itself, and completely dominate the government of smaller government and states.

is supposed to be

Corporations are becoming big enough to challenge government itself, and completely dominate the government of smaller countries and states.


[ Parent ]

Understood (none / 0) (#189)
by pyro9 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:25:21 PM EST

There is little choice sometimes. Sometimes the best you can do is work for the least immoral corperation you can find. If your employer begins to behave immorally, look for another job (I also recognize that that's no easy task these days).

If enough immoral corperations have to pay more money for less quality employees than their compeditors and still come up with a shortage, good ol' capitalism will finish them off.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Mr Rogers has it better than Chomsky (2.00 / 2) (#122)
by word man on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:03:30 PM EST

They are greedy by their very nature... However, corporations are not people,.. If corporations are not people they cannot have a mind or a will of their own. You'r contradicting yourself here. Not to speak that "very nature" is not an argument but hand waving. Yes the people are the root, actualy their values and faith. The feeling of insecurity and lack of respect for self and OTHERS comes only to people with rotten values and no faith. If that is given the rest is simple tweaks in the legal system.
"If a CEO causes a woman working in a sweatshop in India to die due to poor working conditions, he's not to blame, after all, he's just doing his job. It's the job that needs to be questioned." The CEO does not "cause" the woman to die. He slacks on working conditions. And he does it because he feels insecure regarding profits and secure about a corrupt legal system that will not hold him accountable. Chomsky is typical comie propaganda, simplifying everything on the way to the beloved conclusion "Kill the cororations. I, I, I will rule". And that is the insecurity Mr Rogers is talking about...

[ Parent ]
Proof? (none / 0) (#124)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:56:32 PM EST

<i>You'r contradicting yourself here. Not to speak that "very nature" is not an argument but hand waving. Yes the people are the root, actualy their values and faith. The feeling of insecurity and lack of respect for self and OTHERS comes only to people with rotten values and no faith. If that is given the rest is simple tweaks in the legal system.</i>

You're kind of missing the point on purpose aren't you?  Yes, I'll agree that perhaps, maybe, using the word "greed" is best used for a person.  However, you get the idea.  Corporations are amoral, and their only purpose is to make greater and greater profits.  

<i>The CEO does not "cause" the woman to die. He slacks on working conditions. And he does it because he feels insecure regarding profits and secure about a corrupt legal system that will not hold him accountable. Chomsky is typical comie propaganda, simplifying everything on the way to the beloved conclusion "Kill the cororations. I, I, I will rule". And that is the insecurity Mr Rogers is talking about... </i>

"Slacking on working conditions", is known as neglect, and would be criminal neglect here in the states.  While it might not be a breech of law in all states, it certainly is a breech of ethics.  Chomsky is not a communist, he is a socialist.  Socialism is doing quite well in countries like Canada, and even here in the US, where we have welfare to take care of the needy.  Most of Chomsky's writing has little to do with what he promotes, and he believes it is up to people to decide.  However, to be specific, he is for libertarian socialism.  What he promotes is a democratic government, not a dictatorship.  I think most of our readers can tell you that there is quite a big difference between democracy and socialism.  

Perhaps you should study your history.  Start by reading the third link.  Americans, not people in the peanut gallery such as yourself, but Americans with courage that fought to free us from the tyranny of British rule, were very suspicious of corporations.  Corporations have all the disincentivizing power of Communist rule without any of the advantages of a safety net.

I'll let the readers decide.  I'm not going to debate someone who will resort to ad hominem attacks and lying, as you did about Noam Chomsky's motives.  I just thought that I would set the record straight for our audience.  

[ Parent ]

Mr Rogers still stands. (1.00 / 1) (#131)
by word man on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 02:47:14 PM EST

I did not say that "corporations are good by nature". I said "corporations are not bad by nature" or rather "they have no nature". We make them the way we are. Market economy is a complex system that we need to understand and direct. The best way to screw ourselves is to run after lunatic fancies that ruined other countries. Canada would be one cold big nothing if US wasn't next to it. A "safety net" is not out of consideration in a market economy. It shouldn't be too safe though, lest people start willingly jump into it. Last but not least, I'm not arguing with you... please figure out the rest.

[ Parent ]
I disagree. (none / 0) (#134)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 03:02:43 PM EST

I did not say that "corporations are good by nature". I said "corporations are not bad by nature" or rather "they have no nature". We make them the way we are. Market economy is a complex system that we need to understand and direct. The best way to screw ourselves is to run after lunatic fancies that ruined other countries. Canada would be one cold big nothing if US wasn't next to it. A "safety net" is not out of consideration in a market economy. It shouldn't be too safe though, lest people start willingly jump into it. Last but not least, I'm not arguing with you... please figure out the rest.

Ok, I see what you are saying now, but I disagree.  I think that it's more likely that they make us who we are than vice versa.  It's wishful thinking that the average citizen has any real influence on most corporations.  We simply don't have enough power alone.  However, the corporate machine, with it's mechanisms for reinforcing greed, can certainly bring out the worst in us, as well as reward the most ruthless among us.  I do agree that by themselves they are inanimate objects, and that it is people who are to blame.  However, that doesn't mean that you keep the institution around.  It's kind of like saying that communism isn't bad, it's the people running communist countries that are bad.  The proper response is,"Yeah, so?".  You still have an obligation to get rid of the system because it brings out the worst in people.  So, despite splitting hairs over whether institutions can be greedy, I still stand by my original point that corporations are illegitimate in much the same way that USSR based communism is illegitimate.  They bring out the worst in people by design.  The nice guys get weeded out.  

I do agree with your comment about not having freeloaders.  This is one of the areas where I disagree with Marx, who would have said that you should give to people according to their needs.  I think that people should be rewarded for hard work, not simply need, unless they have some disability that renders them unable to work.  However, we're a bit backward here in the states.  We can't reduce wellfare without giving people the chance to work.  If you have an unemployment rate (unofficial, since official doesn't count people that have been out of work for more than 12 months) of 10%, then you definitely need a way of at least feeding those people.  

[ Parent ]

Proof? (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:57:11 PM EST

You'r contradicting yourself here. Not to speak that "very nature" is not an argument but hand waving. Yes the people are the root, actualy their values and faith. The feeling of insecurity and lack of respect for self and OTHERS comes only to people with rotten values and no faith. If that is given the rest is simple tweaks in the legal system.

You're kind of missing the point on purpose aren't you?  Yes, I'll agree that perhaps, maybe, using the word "greed" is best used for a person.  However, you get the idea.  Corporations are amoral, and their only purpose is to make greater and greater profits.  

The CEO does not "cause" the woman to die. He slacks on working conditions. And he does it because he feels insecure regarding profits and secure about a corrupt legal system that will not hold him accountable. Chomsky is typical comie propaganda, simplifying everything on the way to the beloved conclusion "Kill the cororations. I, I, I will rule". And that is the insecurity Mr Rogers is talking about...

"Slacking on working conditions", is known as neglect, and would be criminal neglect here in the states.  While it might not be a breech of law in all states, it certainly is a breech of ethics.  Chomsky is not a communist, he is a socialist.  Socialism is doing quite well in countries like Canada, and even here in the US, where we have welfare to take care of the needy.  Most of Chomsky's writing has little to do with what he promotes, and he believes it is up to people to decide.  However, to be specific, he is for libertarian socialism.  What he promotes is a democratic government, not a dictatorship.  I think most of our readers can tell you that there is quite a big difference between democracy and socialism.  

Perhaps you should study your history.  Start by reading the third link.  Americans, not people in the peanut gallery such as yourself, but Americans with courage that fought to free us from the tyranny of British rule, were very suspicious of corporations.  Corporations have all the disincentivizing power of Communist rule without any of the advantages of a safety net.

I'll let the readers decide.  I'm not going to debate someone who will resort to ad hominem attacks and lying, as you did about Noam Chomsky's motives.  I just thought that I would set the record straight for our audience.  

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#126)
by composer777 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:59:26 PM EST

I think most of our readers can tell you that there is quite a big difference between democracy and socialism.  

should be..

I think most of our readers can tell you that there is quite a big difference between democracy and dictatorship.  


[ Parent ]

Typical Chomsky (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by epepke on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 07:33:15 PM EST

Clever, anally retentive to the point of almost schizophrenic concrete thinking, giving the initial impression that some Great Fact has been conveyed, but totally irrelevant to the question. It's not so much as missing the forest for the trees, but only seeing the bark.

The question was "Why is there corporate corruption?" This obviously is a question about the entire process that leads to corporate corruption. Answering that corporations inherently attract corruption is no more enlightening than it would be to answer the question "Why are there nuclear weapons that kill hundreds of thousands of people?" by pointing out that it is the nature of nuclear weapons to blow up and kill people.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten (5.00 / 4) (#112)
by Quila on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:58:12 AM EST

Fred Rogers was right, to an extent. Taking all his wisdom to heart can give you a good baseline to leading a happy life.

Did anyone else hear "The Rest of the Story" on the radio by Paul Harvey? If you don't know it, he starts by telling you an interesting story that later turns out to have a strange twist when he tells you who it's about. This one went like this:

Fred was the son of a relatively wealthy man and an overprotective mother. She kept him a virtual prisoner in the mansion and used "he's sickly" as an excuse not to let him do anything that might hurt him. He endured a lonely, inactive childhood. Then his maternal grandfather took notice of what's going on and started visiting him, taking him out for walks, playing, etc.  Fred was finally getting the chance to be a child.

The pivotal moment of Fred's life was at the end of one visit where his grandfather told him that the day had been very special to him just because Fred was there, nothing else. Grandfather then told him "You know, it's you I like, just the way you are." When he grew up, Fred decided to share that unconditional feeling of being special with millions of other kids.

And now you know "the rest of the story."

I wish I was... (3.66 / 3) (#116)
by Meatbomb on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 10:08:42 AM EST

...a little more like Fred. There is something so innocent and so purely good about him.

Reading and singing that poem to myself, I have to admit being a bit teared up thinking that he's gone.

Love your kids unconditionally, and show them you appreciate them. Make sure to tell them everyday not just "I love you", but "I like you, just the way you are".

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]

Who was your favorite Mr Rogers' character. (5.00 / 2) (#113)
by unstable on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:58:28 AM EST

Having a extremem liking for trains as a young kid I would have to say trolly was my favorite. even when I started to get "too old" to watch the show and at the point were I knew it was just a model, I would sometimes daydream about being the guy that "drove" trolly onto the set from behind the scenes. To me at the time that would have been the dream job.

When I heard he was coming back to do a special show for the kids after 9/11 I had to smile. Now that he is gone I feel a piece of me is gone too.

as an adult now I can really see how much of a great man he was, we really do need more Mr Rogers in this world.



Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Link to original poem he was reciting... (4.00 / 2) (#117)
by magpi3 on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 10:52:23 AM EST

here (misterrogers.org)

I dunno but.... (4.33 / 3) (#120)
by sunyata on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 12:47:34 PM EST

Do you think Fred Rogers was a Bohdisattva?

What is a Bohdisattva?

While the Mahayana tradition acknowledges the validity of the arhant path, it holds as its own ideal figure the bodhisattva. The word bodhisattva means "enlightened essence", or "enlightened being". Bodhisattvas are characterized by a number of features that distinguish them from arhants. Probably the most important characteristic of the Bodhisattva path is the increased emphasis that it places on "compassion" (karuna). As seen from the Mahayana point of view, the arhant ideal is worthy enough (as far as it goes), but since it places an emphasis on the spiritual achievement of one's self, it does not embrace directly enough the suffering of others and the importance of Buddhism as a vehicle that was intended by the Buddha to liberate all sentient beings from suffering. Note the following important characteristics of the Bodhisattva path:

Lingering in Samsara to Help Other Sentient Beings. The greatest of Bodhisattvas are fully attained beings -- that is, they have reached a state where they could extinguish their own individual existence in Nirvana -- but they have vowed to remain in the midst of Samsara to help other beings reach enlightenment. It is typical of the Bodhisattva path that one makes a vow not to achieve one's own final liberation from samsara until a specified number of sentient beings have been brought to liberation. These vows sometimes use astronomical numbers to specify the number of beings to be saved, and this symbolizes the intent of Bodhisattvas to develop their spiritual abilities to very high levels so that they might be used in service of others. This is an especially important characteristic of Celestial Bodhisattvas, such as Manjushri or Avalokiteshvara (Guan-Yin), whose spiritual powers are so great that they are, in effect, gods. As such, they have many devotees, both among the laity and in monastic communities. It is important to recognize, however, that normal people can also be understood as Bodhisattvas, since their own quest for enlightenment is very closely commingled with works of compassion for others. Within Mahayana compassion for the suffering of others tends to be a higher priority than liberation for one's self. Or, more properly put, focus on compassion is understood to be one of the most powerful vehicles to facilitate liberation, both for others and for one's self. Since, after all, being concerned with the welfare of others diminishes selfishness, Mahayanists understand the cultivation of compassion to be one of the best ways towards the elimination of ego, desire, and suffering for one's self.

No (2.00 / 1) (#140)
by stutefish on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:35:19 PM EST

Mr. Rogers was ordained a Presbyterian minister.  I imagine there's quite a few tenets of the Christian faith that would disqualify a devout believer from meeting the requirements of bhodisattva-hood.

Every religion necessarily excludes all others, often in subtle ways.  Christianity, though, is explicitly and obviously exclusive of all other religions.  Mr. Rogers could not possibly have been a Christian and a bhodisattva.  Christianity denies that there is such a thing as a bhodisattva.  Mr. Rogers could only be a bhodisattva if Christianity is wrong... but then he'd be pretty unenlightened, wouldn't he?

[ Parent ]

Exclusivity (none / 0) (#142)
by scruffyMark on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 04:47:46 PM EST

I'm not sure of the figures here, but I'm pretty sure this is the right ballpark: ~80% of Japanese are Shintoist, and ~75% of Japanese are Buddhist. So there are at least two religions that coexist reasonable happily...

[ Parent ]
Free Masonry (none / 0) (#153)
by Sheepdot on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 06:21:36 PM EST

Free Masons are sometimes thought of as another religion that includes others. Although I think fundamentally you can't be both, it didn't prevent the founding fathers of the US to be both Christian and Free Mason.

[ Parent ]
Freemasonry isn't a religion (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by it certainly is on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 04:41:11 AM EST

it's a fraternal organisation. Members may be of any religion as long as they're male.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by mcburton on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 10:11:11 PM EST

Just because he was a Presbuterian minister shouldn't disqualify him as potentially being a bodhisattva. In fact I'd argue it makes him more likely to be a bodhisattva. He grew up in western civilization under western ideologies, becoming a minister was sort of a western version of becoming a bodhisattva. I was raised presbyterian and I feel that type of christanity leaves a lot of questions open to personal interpretation. In my view its perfect fine by the "rules" of christianty to adopt buddhist ideas as well. At their very core both of these doctrines preach the same thing. When we ask if Mr. Rogers was a bodhisattva this goes beyond the realm of religion and into spirituality. "It is important to recognize, however, that normal people can also be understood as Bodhisattvas, since their own quest for enlightenment is very closely commingled with works of compassion for others." my first post at k5, go easy on me.

[ Parent ]
Mr. Rogers is very right... (4.33 / 3) (#121)
by poopi on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 01:01:02 PM EST

...life is very simple - just people seeking validation. They are seeking validation when millions are not enough; they are seeking validation when they protest in the streets; they are seeking validation when they love those who hurt them; they are seeking validation when they hurt those who love them. Everyone needs to feel that they have a valid reason to exist - and the only way to do that is to have another confirm it - you can't live a full life in your own mind. Just mu 2c and NO! I didn't just have a big fatty! |-]

-----

"It's always nice to see USA set the edgy standards. First for freedom, then for the police state." - chimera

Wrong. (2.66 / 3) (#163)
by Wulfius on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 11:19:23 PM EST

Women seek Validation.
Men seek Approval.
People seek Happines.

---

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

I prefer Feynman and his (none / 0) (#161)
by bjlhct on Wed Mar 05, 2003 at 08:56:19 PM EST

"what do you care what other people think".

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
And what chance do you have...? (none / 0) (#170)
by BerntB on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 01:15:51 PM EST

Sigh, you seem to agree with my argument that most new ideas fails. And that is when the people implementing aren't idealists that let the map go before the terrain...

There are simply many more ways to fail than to succeed.

So, you should agree with me that if you implement any major experiment (more than a few million people, more than 20 years), the chance of success is very small.

Also, by that time -- society and how people think will be so different that your model probably aren't relevant anymore. That is certain unless you stop technological progress, which is not possible without a hard line dictatorship...

Flexibility is the only thing that works.

A local SF author (Sam J Lundgren) wrote a book about utopias and dystopias ca 20 years ago. His thesis, well argued IMHO, was that in practice there was little difference in living in an utopia or a dystopia.

Oops... (none / 0) (#174)
by BerntB on Thu Mar 06, 2003 at 05:19:59 PM EST

Egg on my face. It was going to be a comment to this.

Sorry if the context was "strange"... :-)

(I commented on the article and the comment showed up at the top level!?)

[ Parent ]

Mr.Rogers, Hypnotist (none / 0) (#190)
by pantoja on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:29:38 PM EST

Can anyone recall feeling strangely subdued or hypnotized by Mr. Rogers? In the midst of insipid scooby-doo reruns and other shit cartoons that made me feel embarrassed to be watching them, even as a kid, Mr.Rogers held my attention. He calmed me down, spoke directly to me and the most elaborate sound effect was the trolley bell. At the end of each episode when he put on his sweater and left, I snapped out of this hypnosis that I realize now was actually mental respite from being a kid who was bombarded with media garbage. We know, as kids, what cuts it and what doesn't. Maybe we don't know that we know, but we know.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood... | 190 comments (161 topical, 29 editorial, 0 hidden)
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