Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hard And Fast Rules


There are times when rules set in stone work out well, but mostly I find that rules without reason can lead to stupid decisions, such as examples of political correctness gone wild.

Nappy Headed Ho's
The recent kerfluffle about Imus, the radio show host, calling the Rutgers Women's Basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed ho's" is a perfect example of how it doesn't always work to apply rules without at least looking at the intent of the rules first.

Before saying anything else, I have to say, I don't listen to Imus, I don't care what happens to Imus, and I have no idea of the context of what Imus said on his show, except what I have seen excerpted on various news shows.

The two sides of the argument seem to be:

1. His words were hateful, he should be fired.
2. His words were stupid, but intended no animus, and he should just apologize.

To bring this issue closer to home for me, I compare Imus' comments to Anne Coulter's calling John Edwards a faggot.

Here are my thoughts on both situations. Whether Imus had hate in his heart when he said what he did, or whether Anne Coulter was only making a joke, I think it's still necessary to look at the circumstances surrounding their comments. Are either of them able to ignore the fact that there comments are heard by millions of people? Do they not realize that even without a hateful intent, that they give creedence to hateful words? Can they not understand that their words give permission to every bigot that hears even a snippet of their comments, the right to use them in a hateful way. Have they no grasp of how insulting and demeaning their words are to the folks that the words were aimed at?

I think they both do, and I also think Imus should be fired for his comments, and Coulter should be dis-invited to any public speaking engagements (unless the radio stations or forums that would invite Imus or Coulter want to let it be known they support ignorant, hateful speech and folks can decide on whether they care to listen). I say if they can't use their public platforms responsibly, they should be taken away, or at least limited to audiences that want to hear that kind of speech.

Current Knitting
I've barely started on the first sleeve of the colorblock cardigan. Which could be considered decent progress, because I had to do all the calculations for how many stitches in the cuff and the rate of increases.

I'll post a picture in the next post.

Current Spinning
First of all, I wanted to show you the knitted swatch that I used to compare the four different color-plies of the multi-colored merino.



From left to right, it's just the multicolored merino, the multicolored merino plied with bright, cherry red, plied with bright pine green and plied with deep plum.

As you recall, I decided to ply all of it with the deep plum, and I was able to finish the second hank of yarn.



I have one more hank of yarn to ply up before I can get to work on Mel's roving from Madelyn, the alpaca.

Also on the spinning front, I finally got this back from Fingerlakes Woolen Mills.



First of all this is a LOT of fleece. I put the colorblock cardigan in the background to give a little perspective. Second of all, this was from the fleece I bought last year at Rhinebeck, and it's been so long, I don't even remember what breed of sheep it came from. I'll have to go back in archives and see if I documented it. This should keep me busy for a good long time.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the Fair Isle sampler picture in the last blog entry, Lynne E. asks, " Is this the sort of thing that is supposed to show that you have no color sense?" and Angie Cox, who requested the picture writes, "...it's the one top left of the three. It is really beautiful"

This goes all the more to demonstrate my point to Sofi, that color-sense and beauty is subjective, and not necessary learnable in a color theory class. I originally posted that picture to demonstrate what I consider to be an ugly sweater. I'm not a fan of multi-color sweaters with a white backgrounds and I found this one to be way too busy from a pattern perspective. While I would enjoy the challenge of knitting something like this sweater, I don't find it at all aesthetically pleasing.

Regarding the colorblock cardigan, Anonymous asks, "WIll the sleeves also be in blocks of colors? Are will they be a solid color so the completed garment looks like a vest over a solid colored sweater? Or maybe stripes of the block colors?"

They will be colorblocked exactly like the body of the sweater. I considered doing something different with the sleeves, but none of the options you mentioned seemed like they would look very good, so I went with the safe route.

Janet writes, "Would you think of not doing the sleeves for the colour block sweater? I think it would look good as a waistcoat."

I agree that it would make a lovely waistcoat, but I don't look very good in waistcoats, and I have more of a need for a cardigan. Even if I did want to make it a waistcoat, I would have had to make the armhole much deeper, otherwise, I'd look like I was wearing wings.

Julie writes, "Love the sweaters--the colors are gorgeous. And is that Kafka in the background?"

Yes, Kafka's portrait is a painting by a local artist in Lambertville, NJ, named Paul Matthews. It's one of my favorite art pieces in our house.

12 comments:

Mel said...

Actually, Imus was stupid AND hateful in his comments, and he should be fired. Ann Coulter is just plain evil. She knows full well the venom in her words and uses them with the intent of being hateful. Which is why Fox loves her so.

Kit said...

I am not a listener, so this is second hand. I'm informed that Imus regularly fills his commentary with insults, though this one was worse than usual. So perhaps he already has been limited to an audience who wants that sort of thing. Ann Coulter certainly has already so limited herself, she just deceives herself as to how large that group might be. Both of them have gone past the line of what ought to be decently allowed in public, IMO, and rate being thwacked solidly across the nose with a wet newspaper. I don't think the message will get through with either, unfortunately.

M-H said...

Doan' know nuttin' about Imus, have barely heard of Coulter. But I do know that if you put a google toolbar in your blog's sidebar you (and you readers) can search your blog archives quickly and efficiently.

Lynne said...

Bravo! Well said. Imus is an idiot and should be fired. Ann Coulter, should just be shunned permanently.

Yvette said...

Imus is yet another sexist and ignorant idiot. There are too many.

Oh, and I *love* the deep plum.

MollyBeees said...

There was a whole hoop-de-doo on tv this morning about whether we should blame 'poor Imus' or if he was just an indicator of a bigger problem. They compared him to African American wrappers using the same kinds of words in their songs.
That hit me as an apples to oranges comparison but...Of course there's a bigger problem! There's always been a bigger problem and there always will be as ignorance will always roam the earth. But let's not use that as an excuse to let 'poor Imus' out of the hot seat. He is a public figure who, regardless of his values or what is in his head/heard apparently was not able to rein in his words even though he was well aware of his audience. That makes him unqualified for his job and he should be fired. End of story.

Sherry W said...

While I think one should be accountable for one's words, I also start getting a little worried when we limit free speech. I'm not into firing people automatically just because they say something stupid or even hateful.

As far as I'm concerned, hate and discontent is the whole point of these moronic talk shows anyway (I assume this person is a shock jock of some sort). So unless he has broken a law or part of his employment contract, I don't think he should be fired.

Good intentions can smother one of America's most important rights. The right to make yourself look like an arsehole in public.

GoldieLocs said...

I'm usually a lurker and will return back to lurkdom after I say this, I agree with Sherry. I do think that freedom of speech is an important right. I think it's impossible to control hatred and ignorance through censure. It doesn't get at the heart of the matter.

If he's fired, what then? The true power lay in the hands of all of the ordinary folks. Don't listen to Imus. Don't listen to or purchase rap music. If the market is demanding this type of behavior, then this is the behavior we get. If there's no demand, he'll go away. The problem, the real problem, is the demand for the Coulters and Imuses of the world. This is an examination of our culture and not these two individuals.

You're an awesome knitter and I shall return to lurkdom. 'Night!

Ann (yet another) said...

I like the one plied with the Cherry. Heck, I almost wrote Cheery!

As for Imus. Yeah, there is a reason his ilk are called shock jocks. Surprise surprise that he is an insulting nasty speaker. Kudos for the advertisers who decided that they didn't want to be associated with his show. As for firing - gee, it's not like they bought a pig in a poke - shock jocks say shocking things! GEE! As far as I can tell, his words weren't actionable via the FCC rules, so he's probably safe via his contract. MSNBC is probably safe to pull him since his advertisers balked, but CBS probably has a team of lawyers rereading his contract for a detail to boot him on.

I think what most people found most horrifying about the insult was that it was directed at a team of stellar young women. It was just such a gutter insult out of left field to a group who frankly aren't exactly in the public eye.

But, obviously some people listen to these shock jocks or they wouldn't get ratings, advertisers and salaries. I don't and never have listened, as a drive time full of insults has never been my favored way of starting the morning.

Marilyn said...

What horrifies me is the continued polarization of this country. Don Imus is one of many who need to be ignored. There is a larger problem here than just Imus's racist comment. There is the lack of true dialogue about racism on all sides. Rather than use this awful incident as a means for real, productive discussion, the media is allowing it to turn into an angry circus, with Captain Al Sharpton as the ringleader.

Al Sharpton is absolutely one of the most polarizing factors in this. Listen to the Rutgers coach, a woman of incredible intelligence, strength, and wisdom. Listen to Jesse Jackson. Tune out Sharpton.

angie Cox said...

Oh dear I thought you had designed that sweater Joe , but as you say one girl's "lovely" sweater is to another eye too busy .At least you have the decency to acknowledge that unlike dear old anonymous. I am chuckling though ...doing a Google search for "Modular knits" is where it came up.

Julia E said...

I think the one thing people forget about those hateful comments regardless of racism - they were made about a group of young college girls. One of those girls put it quite plainly during an interview - she said thier team was in the championship and instead of enjoying thier victories, they had to deal with this. All that hard work for them - what a shame