The gold standard

What makes a good role model, or a bad personal credit rating? Table Talkers answer this week.

Published March 3, 2006 11:21AM (EST)

Social Issues

Racism doesn't exist anymore?

Dr. Zachary Smith - 07:31 a.m. Pacific Time - Feb. 28, 2006 - #55 of 65

I'd rather see the media elevate black intellectuals than black figure skaters.

I'd rather see the media celebrate black authors than black basketball players.

I'd rather see the media run profiles on black artists, black novelists, black poets, black academics, black engineers, black chemists, and black doctors than black rappers.

Want to screw the stereotypes? It'd be nice to do so big time.

White intellectuals are elevated to a certain extent in MS culture; black intellectuals less so, and -- in certain large parts of black culture -- not at all, compared to sports figures. There's no doubt that all of American culture is anti-intellectual; but large parts of black culture take that stance to the extreme.

Many Americans can easily name sports figures, black and white; a smaller number, black and white, can name, for example, white American novelists (even if of dubious quality -- e.g., King, whom I happen to like); very few at all can name a black novelist, much less a living black novelist. Should novelists be elevated by a quota system? Of course not. Should all parts of our culture examine themselves in terms of anti-intellectualism? You bet. But I would argue that such self-examination -- and presumed self-correction -- is actually far more vital for large parts of black culture. I stand with DuBois in this regard -- the necessity for celebrating, cherishing and emphasizing intellectuality in black culture.

Private Life

Since You Asked 3: Bloodfeud

Clarimonde - 01:31 p.m. Pacific Time - Feb. 27, 2006 - #1442 of 1495

I know (vaguely) a woman who has been divorced three times and is only 40 or so. She paints herself as a hard-luck sweetie-pie victim, but in reality she's screaming batshit. I mean, THREE divorces? That's edging into Henry VIII territory. It's also a huge red flag that this person is impossible to deal with.

That's not to say that there are NEVER hard-luck sweetie pies who just happen to be coupled up with nasty poo-poo headed jerks, but most healthy people: A) learn their lessons and grow from them and B) realize that it takes two to tango and nine times out of 10, a dysfunctional relationship can't be blamed on just one party.

A lot of people who seem to get involved with crazy people, or people who need to be taken care of, etc., again and again have a deep need to control, as well as be seen as superior. The partner of a dysfunctional psycho or needy flake gets to be the competent, in-command and superior one. They also get martyr points -- "Poor Jenny/Josh, how does she/he put up with that?"

Both men and women are equally guilty of being Rescuing Control Freaks, though in practice men get Needy Flakes and women get Charming Perpetual Children. And, in the end, they all get a crappy credit rating.

By Salon Staff

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