Chatological Humor Updated 7.06

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Gene Weingarten
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; 12:00 PM

Gene Weingarten's humor column, <a href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/03/25/LI2005032501927.html' target="">Below the Beltway</a>, appears every Sunday in The Washington Post magazine. It is syndicated nationally by the <a href='http://www.postwritersgroup.com/writersgroup.htm' target="">Washington Post Writers Group</a>.<br><br>At one time or another, Below the Beltway has managed to offend persons of both sexes as well as individuals belonging to every religious, ethnic, regional, political and socioeconomic group. If you know of a group we have missed, please write in and the situation will be promptly rectified. "Rectified" is a funny word.<br><br>On one Tuesday each month, Gene is online to take your questions and abuse. This month, that day is <b>Tuesday, June 29 at Noon ET</b>.He will chat about anything. Although this chat is sometimes updated between live shows, it is not and never will be a "blog," even though many persons keep making that mistake. One reason for the confusion is the Underpants Paradox: Blogs, like underpants, contain "threads," whereas this chat contains no "threads" but, like underpants, does sometimes get funky and inexcusable.<br><br>This week's polls: <a href='http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/322411/chatalogical-humor-6-29-poll-no-2' target='new'><b>highbrow poll</b></a>; Lowbrow poll: <a href='http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/322236/chatological-humor-6-29-women' target='new'><b>Women</b></a> | <a href='http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/321552/chatological-humor-6-29-men' target='new'><b>Men</b></a><br><br><i>Important, secret note to readers:</i> The management of The Washington Post apparently does not know this chat exists, or it would have been shut down long ago. Please do not tell them. Thank you.<br><br>Weingarten is also the author of "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death," co-author of "I'm with Stupid," with feminist scholar Gina Barreca and "Old Dogs: Are the Best Dogs," with photographer Michael S. Williamson.<br><br>New to Chatological Humor? <a href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/05/AR2005120501314.html' target="">Read the FAQ</a>.

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Gene Weingarten: Good afternoon. We all wish her well in her recovery, which should last about 17 years. I made up the Nipplesworth. you gals have indeed come a long way, baby. Just the same I appreciate it very, very much." When she arose to give a committee report at the Convention, the band was so overcome with her looks that they spontaneously broke into "Oh, You Beautiful Doll."-- You don't seem to be knowing them. Rachel is a highly skilled professional and I am confident that she will perform flawlessly without the sligh404 Page Not Found¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿. ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿, ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿, ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ 2000 ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿-¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿. ¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ 2008 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿............................................................................... .............................................................................. .............................................................................. .....................,..,Z+,,.,..IDZ:...I$................................. ......................:.7=$II.,+$O?.IM,.IOI,?.:............................. .....................:+,,+III?O+OMI?MI$NO:==.$.......................... .....................7:.DOI+I:$O8ZMZDM.=DN8OI:,M8:,.......................... ..................II.$=NO.ID$ZOM$8I+IZDD8DNDMMI.............................. ..................O7NO+Z=8$?O?O8ZZM8I8?OMO=:,=IO?:..,....................... .............+I.,,N?NNIID$$M$ZMMN=OM88O...,,..,IO......................... ..............I$=78MD8$DI:MN7+D$IDNO..:,,...:DM8$ZDD$I........................ ..............=M$=$MM8,N$8OO8NMNZMI.,,..=$DNDI...,?8MZ....................... ..............=M$ZMMI??OM$88+$8IOD8,,?+MMN7..,..,,....ZM?..................... ..............=MNZMD7I+IM8+MOIMI?M7,,7?I=..,.......,..O?7:................... ...........ZM=7MMM$7NMM7ODDM8ZM?...:,,O=.............Z8.=$,................. ...........,$MZID888MMDMM$$Z,NI.MM,,,+8$.....DM$......IO.NO.=................ ...........=NMD$ND7DMZ8MM??I,8..OM+.,::DN..,..8Z,......Z$:.DM:,............... ..........:MI8MDMMZ+MMMN,.,..$MZ=.=$8Z,:MM+...........Z8,==,DZI:............. ..........:MZMMMMMO?8DM8,:..DM=..,,..$MN=8M8,=,......7D:====::MI.............. ..........MMMNMMDDM$,I+:,8N..,....:7+,NN.DMD$ZMMMD.+I::+?7IOO............. ..........+?ZMMMMNMM7::::+$.........?7:I88Z.,=$Z8O==N$::I8MMMMM==,........... ........?NOMNMMMMNDMI:=:D?...+MN....=D77Z?:==,,MMMMMMM+$M$:........... ........IN+OMMMMMMMMZ:=+8,..?O:....:7MMZZD7+,:::=:.OMMMNMN=I$=.......... ........IMDNMMMMMMDM$.,ZMZ.,...,=:$M7D:Z?+====,:M==,,,.Z+........... .......,.:MM8DMMMMMMMI=+,:MM=::::7NM=:MM.ZDDMO$I+,+===.Z7.==,:N=.......... ..........,NOMMDNMNM7,,=:.ZMMO8NMZO787?NMMMMMMMMM8=:=:,M+,::::Z:.......... ...........+NMMMMDMN8====++:,::.ONOMMMMMMMMMMMND8?77N=:=.IO,.=M=,......... ...........DMIDMMDNNZ?=+=====+:::$MMMMMMMMMMMMMM+$.,:I,,,8,:.I8I......... ..........==Z:8D8ND.=+===+=I7DMMMMMMMMMMMD=..:IZII::====++,,:,M7.,......... ..........=+8:?O.8N8===+==++ZDMMMMMMM8$==?=8MZ+Z?,=:::::,,:,=N::.......... ...........N8:,:M?I$==+==++8MMMI+$+88MMMMMMDDO+:,=::::::::,7O$,.......... .........,.=IZZ+.++D$====+=,++,+===,::,,:::::::::::,D+............ .........,..=OZ8OMIM7,+I==++:,:======:::::::,:::::=,$Z............. ..............$D=$87ND+:=+==+===:::=:::::==,M$.............. ...............=$$IO88NO:====+:==:::::::=.+M............... ..............,...,.M$+N?:===+==:=====.:8MI................ .....................:M+M$:======::=====+:.+MM7................. .......................ZM,+8$=:=+=+++++=====:==:::::+8MMM+....,.............. .........................7M=7OD88?=+===:?+,7MMMMDMMO...................... ..........................=DDI?$$ZZZ$$7I787+=I88Z$OOZM8....................... ............................+MI,INM77+==+=I8ZODMNMO7N:.:..................... ..........................$8:NN.=:Z8ZDO88OZNNNDZI=OIOM$?I.,................... ............................:7MM8+N:++++II?=+77??ZZMMM+......++............ .............................8M=ZDMN,=++I$$+7$?+ZOD+DZMMDO?+Z.=+..,:++,,.... ............................?MZ?I,OOMN7+:,,Z$:OMMNO8MI.MN=?OOZ7DMD?7?7=7=..DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY! DESTROY!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Okay, let's go.

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Gene Weingarten: We begin with our Clip of the Day, which Rachel found and which really should be the last word on the vuvuzela.

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Examples: Bipartisanship, Redskins Defense. Bridezillas: Is there a picture of Liz and Rachel in a deep passionless staged kiss? I'm having trouble visualizing the passing on of the moderation torch and feel strongly that this would help. Otherwise I'll go complain about Barney and Clyde being a waste of ink to the comics editor.

Rachel Manteuffel: Yep!

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Famous Last Breaths: I'm sure that you have heard the old story about how every time you breathe, you are taking in a few molecules from Julius Caesar's last breath. O wise one, can you tell us how many molecules from Julius Caesar's last fart are in each breath that each of us takes? Thanks in advance - I have been pondering this for a while now.

Gene Weingarten:

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See-thru pin-up: I thought this was interesting, if not really arousing. I worry that my main reaction is that the model(s) got a large radiation dose.

Gene Weingarten:

Rachel Manteuffel: All is Vanity

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Can we still put clever palace names in the topic?: Gene, Did you see the news that Michaelangelo apparently hid an anatomically correct image of the human brain stem on God's throat in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Can you think of a bigger, better, more subversive middle finger to organized religion? Isn't this the artist saying to Christians, "Hey, it's all in your head"?

Gene Weingarten:

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The Filial Smackdown: So what exactly was your instant reaction to the 16-year-old Dan punching you? And what was his?

Paul Williams: Gene and Dan Weingarten, drawn together by their comic strip, 'Barney & Clyde'

Gene Weingarten:

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Chat format: Any chance of enabling a teeny bit of HTML in the questions? It'd be nice to be able to post a link or, you know, EMPHASIZE something without using caps.

Rachel Manteuffel: Neener.

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Willing to Grow it Out if You Are: Gene, Have you ever worn a beard? I ask because I understand there is an uncomfortable phase between "stubble" and "beard" that is prickly and itchy. Perhaps one suffers an ingrown hair or two. As a woman I cannot confirm this, but I have noted that this particular stage of a beard is not very attractive.I wonder if you realize that your recent (republished?) "call to arms" on a specific personal grooming choice carries with it a level of physical discomfort for those who might heed it. If you really want us to do as you've asked, I suggest you show your commitment by growing out that topiary on your face. I should insist you shave other areas for full empathy, but I'll settle for your neck. Also? No fair scratching your chin in public. (Hey, look at that! I spelled it right on the first try.)

Gene Weingarten:

Rachel Manteuffel: Click through to number two (though they are all pretty much adorable.)

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A. Nonymous: Gene, is it true that the new chat format does not provide the anonymity that your chatters have come to expect when discussing such hot-button topics as VPL and public restroom habits? Look at this from the Free Range on Food chat on Wednesday, June 16th. "Nice try, but we know you ARE the original poster. Think we can't see your IP address? Well, we can." What's next? Will the Washington Post be deploying aerial drones to peep in our windows and monitor our behavior? Will WaPo interns be rifling through our garbage cans? Won't somebody think of the children?

Rachel Manteuffel:

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We Want More!: Gene, can we have your full commencement address to your alma mater? Pretty please with nerd planck glasses?

Gene Weingarten: I suggested they change it to "The Bronx High School of Teenage Vampire Love and Roundhouse Kicks to the Head."

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Barney & Clyde: I admit I wasn't much of a fan after the first two weeks of the strip, but this past week I've definitely felt that it's picking up some steam and is starting to grow on me. I think I understand what you mean when you say that you need to give it a little time. But, I'm sure plenty of people didn't give it enough time or don't intend to. How do you think a new comic can better approach that lead-in time frame?

Gene Weingarten:

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Fairfax : Can someone who said "niggardly" is a problem word speak up as to why, please? Good lord, SO many people said yes to that -- more than almost every other word! WTfudge?

Gene Weingarten:

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Yuma, Stbekiddingme: I'm a gay man who wasn't bothered by sissy by voted down "that's so gay." My theory is that some expressions are so far removed from their origin as slurs (welshing on a bet, getting gypped) that people don't even recognize where they came from, but others (Jewed down, that's gay) continue to associate negative connotations with a minority group. And really, does anybody use "sissy" to mean "gay" anymore?Thinking about it reminded me of the recent comments by the doofus mayor of Yuma, AZ, who called gay troops "lacy-drawered" and "limp-wristed." These are so quaintly stupid that I couldn't really work up much umbrage, although the third-grade level of the slurs made me wonder how bad the other candidates for mayor of Yuma must have been. Here's a clip. Even better, he later shrugged off the remarks, saying he was sure Washington or Lincoln would have said much the same.

Gene Weingarten: The best part of the clip is where he says "I don't want to compare myself to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, but..."

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ketchup: I don't know what crappy ketchup you buy, but mine says to refridgerate.So Dave was right.

Gene Weingarten:

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Cause for Concern?: I have a medical question for you. I found what looked like a little blood in my ejaculate after my last orgasm. This has never happened before. I haven't tried again yet, but wanted to get it in for this chat. I'm kind of worried but maybe (hopefully) it's nothing.

Rachel Manteuffel: I am only letting this through because I am 78% sure it's not true.

Gene Weingarten: And also that I do relish the opportunity to bring comfort and joy:

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washington, dc: In the previous chat, you discussed the t-shirt you bought your son in NYC and someone mentioned that they're glad their child is too young to read so they wouldn't be offended. This reminds me of my brother. When he was three or four, my dad and he were out and about and saw a 20-year-old guy wearing a shirt that said, "I f$&@ like a gorilla". My dad hoped that my brother, being in that young, read-everything-and-ask-questions stage, wouldn't notice the shirt. But he tugs on my dad's pantleg and says, "Daddy....what's a gorilla?".

Gene Weingarten:

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Taking a Test Clyde: Well, the excitement here in St. Petersburg yesterday wasn't the hurricane in the Gulf or the BP mess, but the publication in the St. Pete Times of "Barney & Clyde." The paper noted, "We are trying out this comic strip. Let us know what you think." They're giving you and Dan a four-week trial. Unfortunately, they started cold with yesterday's strip, rather than with the introductory pieces of a few weeks' back. Any other papers giving you a tryout like this, or in fact picking you up for real?

Gene Weingarten:

Gene Weingarten:

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Poll and "white trash": At 10am, most respondents say "white trash" is not racist. What surprises me is how clueless these people are. Calling somebody "trash" is not racist but by adding "white" to the expression, you are differentiating them from "other trash" and the implication is that non-whites are all trash. Therefore, by calling somebody "white trash", you are calling all non-whites trash by default. If somebody is trashy, call them trashy without specifying their color.

Rachel Manteuffel: As a German-American, I have always been offended by "Powhite Parkway" and "Charles Krauthammer."

Gene Weingarten:

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Marjorie Williams: Hey Gene, I've just finished The Woman at the Washington Zoo, and Reputation before that. I read your name in the acknowledgments; were you one of her editors? I'd not heard of her until coming across her books on Amazon and... wow was she amazing. Not to be too cliched but I laughed, I cried, and I find myself really wanting to track down everything she wrote for the Post or Vanity Fair that didn't make it into the collections....

Gene Weingarten: This was her nut paragraph in that story: The answer to that mystery lies in the story of how he made himself the monumental figure he is, and of how eager Washington always is to think of its fixers as statesmen."

Rachel Manteuffel: The Halloween of My Dreams

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Arlington: Did President Obama make the right call in relieving General McChrystal? Yes, the principle of civilian control of the military is inviolate, and the statements of the general and his team undermined that. At the same time, however, I don't think the quotes in the Rolling Stone piece were particularly newsworthy. Most were from the junior officers on McChrystal's team, and frankly if we took all the officers, soldiers, and marines who didn't like this President for legitimate or imaginary griefs, then we wouldn't have much of a military left. The piece was more gotcha journalism. Reporters try to get politicians to say something stupid on camera all the time, and avoid the substance of the issues we're facing. The more important aspect of the piece is that our strategy in Afghanistan isn't working. I don't recall Hasting quoting anyone on McChrystal's team saying anything derogatory about that, but that's where the substance really is, not "which reporter can find somebody to say something stupid?"

Gene Weingarten:

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Arlington, Va.: Interestingly (or perhaps not), the only two things men found offensive were "that's so gay" and the Jewish reference. I said that's so gay is not offensive, but the "jewed down" was the only one in the entire poll I cited as offensive.I am gay, and not Jewish.

Gene Weingarten:

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Unmined hilarity in patent applications: Exercising a cat: The helpful illustration & "discussion of prior art" section are particularly enjoyable.

Gene Weingarten:

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Barney and Clyde: So, Gene, I have read every panel of your strip and I have to say, I am not impressed. The ones that are supposed to be funny aren't, and it is too heavy handed and predictable in its liberalness. And let's talk about that liberal message, as it appears to be fleshing itself out - that not working and spending your day on a park bench leads to a better life than working. Yeah, that would make for a great country! The park Bench Sitters are who have made this nation great! So it seems you need to decide - do you want it to be funny, or do you want it to be another preachy, boring liberal screed like Doonesbury?

Rachel Manteuffel:

Gene Weingarten:

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Politically correct words: I did not grow up in a Jewish household; there were few Jewish people in our town. Even so , in my household "Jewing someone down" was definitely used as a compliment, more so in the first person. Curiously, I was taught in COLLEGE that "gyp" was a bad word, because it insulted Jews, not gypsies.

Gene Weingarten:

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Family values: Being a deep thinker, you know how to make the most out of an opportunity. Any clues about when you're going to get revenge and punch Dan in the face? Will you make a video and post it, or are you afraid it could be used against you in a court of law?

Gene Weingarten:

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It's Only Seven Minutes In: And I'm in love with Rachel.

Gene Weingarten:

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Wishing for Old Format: I wish the Washington Post would reconsider using this new chat format. Invariably, I do not even get to see what is being posted until many minutes later, as refreshing or closing and opening don't work. I've complained about this before only to have the producer or chat host say they need more information, but by the time I see their response, the chat is over! That's the problem!For what it is worth, I'm using IE as my browser (although the same problem occurs with Firefox). It is a work PC (Federal Government) and has some kind of virus software. Also, the blogs (like the Sports blogs) often take a long time to load.

Rachel Manteuffel:

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This horse is not dead until I've had a chance to give it a good whack.: I think the football puzzle would have been excellent if, in order to signal a touchdown (or an extra point, or a field goal), referees were in the habit of giving a little hop, a slight demi-plie, and then throwing their arms up haphazardly, even joyously, as though attempting to backstroke upwards through the air and then losing interest halfway through the maneuver, landing in what yoga enthusiasts term a "Warrior Pose."Sadly, the correct signal is not nearly as inventive.

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Mario Galaxy: So in the chat last week Dan said he got Super Mario Galaxy 2 in December. That game didn't come out until May. What's up with the blatent lies? Did he think he could try and sneak that by? Doesn't he know we are crazy?

Gene Weingarten:

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Woman in the Washington Zoo: Good on ya for reminding me of this book. I just downloaded it to my Kindle. Thanks.

Gene Weingarten:

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"The Complete Front Pages of the New York Times": Sounds like an interesting book... important question, though - does it ONLY have the front pages, or does it include the rest of the story? Like, you get three paragraphs about an investigation, then it just stops with "the off-"?

Gene Weingarten:

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Married vs. Maiden Name: Can you explain to me why someone (a man) would get offended at the notion of a woman keeping her maiden name if she gets married? This woman is not refusing to take this particular man's last name, but the very idea that she would refuse to take any man's moniker after marriage, even though there would be no children and she's kind of gotten used to her own name after 40+ years, apparently means she's a raving feminazi that's bringing ruin to society. It just seems like such a ginormous EGO thing.

Gene Weingarten:

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does this site actually work?: I'm on a govt site. The new format doesn't even begin to load anything before it times out and reloads....nothing.

Paul Williams: (Not sure if you'll be able to see this, but) -- are you going directly to the page: http://live.washingtonpost.com/gene-weingarten-0629.html

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Gyppo: I think of Gyp as not bad because the whole concept of Romani as coming from from Egypt seems pretty retarded. It's like calling white people white instead of pink. Wrong to the point of silly stupidity.

Gene Weingarten: So it's okay to make fun of "Indians," because Native Americans aren't really from India?

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Barney and Clyde: Please please assure me that there will be some subtlety in the B-C universe. Barney can't be all loser and Clyde can't be the happy philosopher king all the time. It would only be funny if there some mixing of status/roles. Please. If they don't mix it up it becomes "Prickly City" with good writing and good art.

Gene Weingarten:

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I mean, really: From yesterday's Style piece about Gen. McCrystal: "..., but also demonstrated disdain for President James K. Polk (D)." Polk (D)? Does James Polk really need a party designation? What's next? Millard Fillmore (W)?

Gene Weingarten:

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ASCII Art: I love that ASCII art! Who made it? I especially like the way you have embedded Nuclear Launch Codes.

Rachel Manteuffel:

Gene Weingarten:

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What about spaz?: I participate on a discussion board where there are lots of Brits... twice in recent memory some American used the word "spaz" and got blasted by the Brits for saying something offensive. Apparently this happened to Tiger Woods (poor chap) when he said on British TV that he'd played like a spaz and his word choice caused an uproar. Do you even associate this word with people who have muscle control problems? To me it just means clutzy and has lost any connection to disability. I think many of these expressions have been completely sanitized by time. A few of them have not. "Retarded" is on its way but it's not quite there yet - it doesn't offend me to hear it in casual conversation with my retarded friends, but I don't use it myself.

Gene Weingarten:

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On the offensive: Here was my rationale: I realized I based my answers on whether the group would be offended. Most gay men would probably not object to you saying "that is so gay." The French people I know think Frog is funny. Women don't care about "p*@#y" in that context. I don't know any Welch people or Gypsies so I kind of don't care. I do know and care for Jews and so I feel less likely to hurt their feelings. "Retards" however can't defend themselves, so I wouldn't offend them. Even White Trash call themselves White Trash. It can be a badge of honor.

Gene Weingarten:

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Powhite Parkway: Rachel, you're an actor/tress by choice. Doesn't poverty come with the territory? And why has "actress" become a term of disparagement?

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Word sounds: "'Rectified' is a funny word." - Gene Weingarten."'Words that start with a 'k' are funny. 'Kumquat' is a funny word." - Neil Simon.In the same manner, "niggardly" is offensive - not because of what it means, but because of how it sounds.

Rachel Manteuffel: In this context I am not sure we can publish "kumquat."

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Do beat reporters hold back?: If anyone doubts that they do, read this.

Gene Weingarten:

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NitpickIN: Let's see if you can take it as well as you give it...in your Father's Day story you say, "you love and have always loved each of your children exactly, precisely, mathematically, the same identical amount." Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember you railing against the use of "same exact" at one point...how it "same identical" less sinful???

Gene Weingarten:

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McCryst, AL: I'm curious about what you think of this whole affair, particularly the journalistic angle. Grousing about your superiors is a time-honored military tradition, and while it's pretty stupid to do it in front of a reporter, it's not hard to let your guard down when the guy's been embedded with you for a month. It's a shame to lose such an innovative and effective leader over this, but clearly Obama had no choice.What I can't understand is why the reporter wrote what he did. Weren't there were more weighty matters he could have covered than McCrystal's staff's trash talk? Repeating your garden variety macho chest-thumping is not exactly exposing an impending military coup. And certainly Michael Hastings had to realize that his story would cost McCrystal and his staff their jobs. Was that his objective?Would you have written that story? After spending a month on the assignment, would you have focused the entire feature on what amounts to idle trash talk? Would Tom the Butcher have let Hastings write it? Or am I missing the point and this was a shining example of journalistic integrity?

Gene Weingarten: (A case in point: When Jesse Jackson used "Hymietown" to describe NYC, a writer who understood that Jackson meant it off the record, to black reporters, felt it was something deeply significant about the candidate that needed to be aired; the story gave full context.) I also doubt that there was a clear off-the-record understanding, though McChrystal and his aides may have ASSUMED there was, ironically, BECAUSE of the incendiary nature of what they were saying.

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Antecedents: Good luck with Barney & Clyde. Like what I've seen so far, looking to see how it develops. I can't help but notice, and I wonder if you and Dan have discussed the fact that you are treading the ground of a well-established literary theme -- the worldly rich man getting lessons in life from simple poor man. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Actually I can't think offhand of another strip in the comics mining this particular vein, and we sure don't need another kid strip/dog strip or whatever. In fact I have to say, I was delighted to see that in your very first strip, you cribbed a joke from one of the classics of that genre, "Boudu saved from Drowning." (For those who missed that night at the French Cinema Club, Boudu, a bum living in a Parisian park, holds open the door for a rich swell getting out of a car. When the rich guy fumbles in his pockets and can't find anything to give Boudu for a tip, Boudu hands the guy a coin that he had just received from a young girl. When the rich guy asks what it's for, Boudu answers with the same words the little girl had said to him, "To buy some bread." ) So if you're going to steal, steal from the best. And it wasn't until a few strips had run, and we learned that Barney worked for a pharmaceutical company , that I realized there was irony in the comment Clyde made to him when he handed him a dollar: "Don't use it to buy drugs." Points for that.

Gene Weingarten:

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The Wonderful Rachel: Item one. Rachel is hilarious, but much more of a presence than the redoubtable Chatwoman.This is praiseworthy but only if it means that we get more responses -- that is, if Gene used to give us 60 responses and Liz 3, we should get Gene 60 and Rachel 20, rather than Gene 43 and Rachel 20.Item two. We should come up with a good nickname for Rachel along the lines of "Chatwoman." Unfortunately, knowing Rachel's history, all I can come up with at the moment is "Employed." Surely others will do better.

Gene Weingarten:

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Spyies Among Us: One of these Russian "spies" is incredibly hawt! On this alone, I feel they should drop the charges. Is this wrong of me?

Gene Weingarten:

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poll results SNAFU: "41.70% say yes, it's racist while 58.3% say yes, it's racist"

Rachel Manteuffel: Ten points for you!

Gene Weingarten: The minority should be "yes."

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I am 1/16th "Gypsy": Also, if you want to be really sensitive, you're actually not supposed to say "Gypsy" anymore. The people are called "Roma."

Gene Weingarten:

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The "P" word: Advice columnist Dan Savage, upon reader suggestion, has stopped calling people "p---ies" when they are weak, noting that, "P---ies are strong, they squeeze out children." Instead, he will now tell people to increase their fortitude by saying, "Don't be a scrotum."

Gene Weingarten:

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Lack of curosity?: So you think a few of us stayed away from drugs because we had no curosity? Perhaps we were just too stupid. Not to mention that I was a Mensa member and have an earned PhD. Those are trivial elements if we have never been stoned. I guess.

Gene Weingarten:

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Here's what's wrong with white trash : Gene darling: I voted against "white trash," which until recently was a term that I occasionally used. Then it finally dawned on me that it assumes that all black people are trash, and I struck it from my vocabulary. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Was it because I myself -- small-town Texas, middle-aged woman (but with no VPL) -- am white trash in the eyes of some?

Gene Weingarten:

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Lowbrow: What a completely fascinating Lowbrow poll. My attitude is that either all of these are objectionable or none are. I went with the latter because I cannot stand the oversensitized politically correct world in which we're living. I understand that there is at least a perceived difference between "brain dead" and "lame" on the one hand and "jewing down" and "white trash" on the other, but come on. People need to grow up. Sticks and stones...

Gene Weingarten:

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BTB: Loved the column. It's been a while since you were funny in BTB. What was the parent reaction? Did people complain to the admin. about you speaking and the subject matter?

Paul Williams: Commence worrying: Gene delivers some words to the wise

Gene Weingarten:

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Are you?: Too sexy for your job? Don't answer that.If you get plastic surgery, wear tight fitting sweaters and short skirts with stiletto heels, then complain about all of the attention you're getting, are you, in a way, asking for it?

Rachel Manteuffel:

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:

Gene Weingarten: Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward have been found not guilty of all charges in their conspiracy trial in the death of lawyer Robert Wone.Anyone wish to discuss?

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The Word Police: I find grownups who say things like the "f" word or the "n" word to be totally "f'd" up! And I believe one of the dumbest of the new phrases is "person of color," but maybe that's only because I'm a person of white...

Rachel Manteuffel: My brother reports hearing the phrase "persons of gender."

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goodbye: Gene, your diss of Emily's List was the last straw. Thanks for many years of entertainment.

Gene Weingarten:

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You are th, IN!: Was browsing the Pulitzer site and came across a pic of you accepting your 2008 award. You can definitely tell that you are lean in the body, but that can be masked by your jowls, which are clearly droopy as evidenced by this profile shot! I believe this photo puts this case to rest.

Gene Weingarten:

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Just saying...: Your poll is the most retarded poll ever, and anyone who likes it is a BAD WORD FOR CAT.

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Barney & Clyde: As far as I know, I have never before read a comic strip from its actual beginning. I am enjoying the inception of Barney & Clyde. It's fun to meet the characters, and I even laughed out loud once.But I am super perplexed by the credit line below the strip which says @ Weingarten s & Clark. Notice the space between Weingarten and s. It's almost like there was an apostrophe there that was deleted. Of course an apostrophe there would be wrong because, as we all know, the plural of Weingarten is Weingartens. So what's with the space?

Gene Weingarten: An apostrophe would be clearly wrong, but no space at all would imply someone named Weingartens.

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Update Gene's bio!: Just want to point out that Gene's bio on the Chatological Humor page only mentions one of his Pulitzers. Please fix. To make this message slightly more entertaining, I will add that for some reason, the iPhone on which I am typing wanted to change the word "point" to "poon." You're welcome.

Paul Williams: Fixed!

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Doing these polls in the new format: OK Taking the polls in the new format is OK, seeing the results is next to impossible. The pie charts are all over-labeled and you can't tell which answer you gave. Please fix for next time. Thanks

Gene Weingarten:

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Rachel's nickname: The F bomb

Gene Weingarten:

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Gimpy Knee, DE: Are you still a gimp, or have you regained full mobility? Do you get easily fagged?

Gene Weingarten:

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I am feeling blue: I have a one person experiment which I hope can be duplicated by others. Please do not buy this product unless it is something you really like, but there are some new blue Twizzlers out there. When I ate them, the blue dye passed through me and turned my poop blue. Is it just me, or, have we created something fun for the whole family: blue poop?

Rachel Manteuffel: It was more like a race than an experiment.

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We'll cease our surveillance when you put on some pants. : You seem to have mistaken one of us for Chatwoman, aka, The Pantless One.

Rachel Manteuffel: I bet Desmond was grateful.

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Xray pin up: Ok - I am fascinated by this. What are the shoes made of that they show up? Would breast implants show up in an Xray? Can we assume this pin up was natural in that department?

Rachel Manteuffel: I'm not sure we can know the pinups are women.

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Politically correct: My friend was talking about how his friends from Richmond, who are white, call each other the N word when they are joking with each other. He said that they weren't racist, but just used it in reference to each other and didn't have negative thoughts toward African Americans. And the entire time he said the actual word. The whole time I was debating him I used "the N word." In recanting a story, do you think he should have used the actual word? Is it offensive? Am I too PC for not wanting to even speak or write the N word, even in an intellectual conversation?

Rachel Manteuffel: I know you shouldn't be using "recanting."

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World Cup: Are you following it? The most enjoyable part for me was watching the French team flame out in such spectacular fashion.

Gene Weingarten:

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BAD WORD FOR CAT cat - will this make it through?!?: That's so gay is equivalent to calling a man a BAD WORD FOR CAT in that it refers to a particular object or action. For example, my wife and I were catching up on food tv's little next food tv star program and some goon slobbered all over the fact he met wolfgang puck. his manner and mouthing of "oh....my,,,,god!!!!" was in fact very gay. For the record the only chef i would slobber over is thomas keller, and perhaps nigella lawson (for entirely different reasons and manner of slobbering)

Rachel Manteuffel: That's so blatantly heterosexual.

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I have always been offended by "Powhite Parkway" : It's rude to make fun of Southerners' pronunciation. We say Po-White and if you make fun of us, you're being bigoted.

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: What are Rachel's views on pleated pants?

Gene Weingarten:

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Landscaping: Now that summer is here, it would be a good idea to consider a chat on the merits of whether one prefers a neat well-manicared lawn, one left untended, or one wacked down to the surface...

Rachel Manteuffel: WACKED?!

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Palo Alto, CA: I would guess that "gyp" insults Jews by implying that gypsies are able to get a better deal than them.

Gene Weingarten:

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Re: Last Name: When I got engaged, my fiance at told me she wanted keep her last name. She felt it was too traumatic of a change, and didn't like the connotation of being "owned." It bothered me a little, but I told her I was OK with it. Later on, I told her I didn't want to wear a ring once we were married, since I hated jewelery and had never worn it, and also didn't like the connotation of being owned.We're still married, I wear a ring, and she wears my last name. Marriage is all about compromise, no?

Gene Weingarten:

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Girls DO Like "Calvin & Hobbes": In your chat last week about working with Dan, a poster stated that "Calvin & Hobbes" was strictly for boys and that the addition of Susie was needed to get girls to read it. I have three daughters, all of whom were born after C&H ended its run. On their own, without any prompting, they discovered some of my book collections and are now huge fans of C&H and "Far Side." They even drop C&H and Far Side references as part of their regular conversation! I am so proud of them! (By the way, they also caught that Susie Derkins is the only character in Calvin & Hobbes that has a last name)

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Poll!: How many complaints are you getting about the new polling software? Come on, be honest. It sucked, didn't it?

Gene Weingarten:

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Clyde: So just what kind of fiduciary inducements and subtle coercion were required before Liz agreed to make the middle name of her son "Clyde"?

Gene Weingarten:

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X-Ray Centerfolds: There is a chance that the X-Ray centerfolds are really just a way to appeal to people with a shoe fetish. I mean, check out those heels.

Gene Weingarten:

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State of Confusion: Who's moderating this chat?Rachel?Paul?ScarJo?

Rachel Manteuffel:

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Rachel Manteuffel:

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:

Gene Weingarten: Here are some of the outtakes: So, I repeat, he got the mock-heroic shtick just fine. d like to work from within to get the Goppers to reverse course on that one.--

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Weigel: Do you think Dave Weigel should have been handed his hat by the Post because of emails on a private listserv that were LESS objectionable than many of the things regularly said on, say, Fox News?

Gene Weingarten:

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Weak Logic: Gene: "If you want my simplest explanation for why I am an atheist -- as you know, I have some complex ones, too -- it's that Pol Pot dies at 89, and Marjorie Williams at 47."So you believe that if a supreme being existed, good people would live forever and bad people would be exterminated at or before birth? You can't reconcile the possibility of a deity and bad things happening to good (innocent, etc.) people? There are a lot of good reasons and arguments to believe that there is no god, but if this is your most basic reason, it's really weak.

Gene Weingarten:

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White Trash: Sorry, but I don't get the point on this one. I've referred to myself as White Trash, only to separate myself from the balance of the white population. I had no idea that I was insulting anyone else - expect maybe other white trash that thought I was not good enough to be included in the club.

Gene Weingarten: Why not just call yourself "trash"?

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Hypochondria?: How do you know if someone is a hypochondriac or just extremely cautious?I fear my wife is sliding down the path to the former. Over the 10 years we've been married, she's believed that she's had: anemia, asthma, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, diabetes, ulcers, parasites, and probably a handful of other diseases that I've forgotten. To be fair, she does seem to be prone to getting sick, but no doctor has ever confirmed any of the above.The latest is that she's deathly afraid of getting a stroke, so she's bought a blood pressure monitor and is taking readings literally every 30 minutes.Needless to say, this is having a significant impact on our lives, yet she refuses to believe that this is not normal behavior. She is adamant that she's just being sensible and won't listen to me when I say that it's not.Is there anything I can say or do to convince her otherwise?

Gene Weingarten:

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Wone Conspiracy Verdict: I don't know whether these guys had any role in Wone's death or covered anything up, but the prosecution's evidence was so weak i have to wonder why they brought the case at all. Without a jury, there's no way a judge is going to convict on those facts. Any theories as to why the case was brought? Political pressure?

Gene Weingarten:

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Price et. al. Not Guilty: I have been viewing thiswhole trial as a perfect example of what constitutes legal evidence and reasonable doubt.I firmly BELIEVE that these three gentleman know what happened and they conspired to prevent the police from knowing but I have to say, the evidence at trial left me feeling that they deserve this verdict.

Gene Weingarten: I have a theory:


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