Life Imitating Parody

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says state legislators are "girlie men" because they refuse to stand up to special interests by curbing spending. The New York Times, citing "an aide to the governor," explains that "the 'girlie men' remark was a play on a 'Saturday Night Live' skit with the fictional bodybuilders Hans and Franz, who parodied Mr. Schwarzenegger's physique and accent." Since his political career is itself the realization of a joke from Demolition Man, I guess it makes sense that Arnold is now quoting parodies of himself. The next step, I suppose, will be for SNL to bring back Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon for a sketch in which they complain that the governor is ripping them off.

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  1. Presumptively assuming prejudicial content of a term ‘is’ an indicator of prejudice.

    Additionally, the average populace needs to grow some stones. Anyone who says they’re traumatized or cheapened by a *word* has much bigger psychological problems to deal with.

  2. Sheila is a crack-up. Unfortunately, she is as obnoxious today as she was to Dobey Gillis. I do notice she no longer “skrunches” her nose to make a point though. Is this “growth” or “botox”? Inquireing minds must know!!

  3. Which is not to say that I think Ahnuld’s a homophobe – I have no idea. He’s probably just riffing off the SNL sketch. Just pointing how inane your swipe at the state Senator was.

    Well, you failed. You concede what everyone knows — that, thanks to the SNL sketch, the term is widely-used by non-homophobes. It was, therefore, logically fallacious for the senator to claim that Schwarzenegger’s use of the term was homophobic or anti-gay.

    Some A are X.
    Some B are X.
    Arnie is X.
    Ergo Arnie is A.

    That was the senator’s reasoning, which you leapt to the defense of in accordance with your “Democrat = right and good, Republican = wrong and evil” programming.

    When someone uses a prejudiced term, noticing its connotation is not an indicator of prejudice

    First of all, the term “girly-man” does not have homophobic connotations. It has Hans and Franz connotations. It is no more “prejudiced” than the word “lazy”, which is frequently used by racists to describe Mexicans and blacks.

    Secondly, she didn’t “notice its connotation”. She called his use of the term “blatant homophobia” — a claim is both moronic and slanderous and, thus, natually, defended by you. After all, it wouldn’t do to let minor details, like truth or reality, get in the way of important things, like the fact that Arnie is a Republican, and therefore evil.

  4. I’m not a big fan of Arnold as gov, but I think he was just having fun with the crowd. Nor do I consider “girlie men”, as used on SNL and riffed on by Arnold, a homophobic term. Nonetheless, I think that Arnold should not go too far in attempting to entertain the crowds; there is a good chance that he will say something truly damaging.

  5. Fabian Nu?ez, the Democratic speaker of the Assembly, said that when he first heard of the governor’s comment, he was incredulous.

    “Certainly my mom and my sister aren’t happy,” Mr. Nu?ez said. “He lost a couple of votes there.”

    The mom and sister of the Democratic speaker of the assembly don’t vote Democratic?

    He IS a girlie-man!

  6. Well? He’s right, isn’t he?

  7. Yeah, he’s just calling it like it is.

  8. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty funny. Aside from Ron Paul, Arnold is fast becoming the only politician who doesn’t make me want to flee to a deserted island.

  9. Ahnuld gets a lot of leeway because of the novelty-candidate background. If people see he’s trying to take advantage of their indulgence, the honeymoon will come to an end real soon.

  10. Remember how much fun Jesse Ventura was as gov at first?

    Me thinks Arnie is gonna flame out like him in this first term.

  11. When I first heard this, I got a real kick out of it, but I just hope for Arnie’s sake that he doesn’t make a habit of it.

  12. Maybe you-all ah homosexuals toooo.

  13. I confess that I didn’t vote for Schwarzengroper in the recall election, but after his “girlie man” remarks I may consider doing just exactly that next time through.

  14. Forgot about McBain! He should do that ‘fat kid’ check with the calipers like McBain did (“Come to papa…”) and slap on “FAT” stickers.

  15. Ahnold borrows 15 billion to pay the bills and calls the folks he arm twisted into it girlie men. Looks pretty much like business as usual.

  16. I want to give Arnie a pat on the back for not apologizing to the professional whiners. It’s so reflexive for any public figure that a special interest takes offense to to apologize profusely with a prewritten statement, it’s great that he’s standing up to them.

  17. I’m extremely impressed that Jacob Sullum remembers anything from Demolition Man or, for that matter, anything from Stallone’s pre-Cop Land “dark period.”

  18. My favorite was this line: State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to “blatant homophobia.”…and that it was “as misogynist as it is anti-gay.”

    Thinking that gay men are all emasculate is blatant homophobia. Even gay men don’t like girlie men.

  19. Here we have a politician who is obviously making fun of himself and the caricature perpetuated on him… and people whine that he’s making fun of them? I really don’t get it.

  20. “Thinking that gay men are all emasculate is blatant homophobia.”

    Yes it is, rst. That’s why homophobes like to insult those they dislike by calling them effeminate – to a homophobe, it’s a suggestion that they’re gay, and to a homophobe, that’s a high-caliber insult.

  21. Which is not to say that I think Ahnuld’s a homophobe – I have no idea. He’s probably just riffing off the SNL sketch. Just pointing how inane your swipe at the state Senator was.

    When someone uses a prejudiced term, noticing its connotation is not an indicator of prejudice.

  22. Since when was it ok for a politician to be a “girly-man”?

    That said, saying “coward” would have been a lot safer to say, albeit not as amusing.

  23. Mr. Schwarzenegger has compared lawmakers to kindergartners who need a timeout…He is also appearing in the districts of vulnerable Democrats and promising to “terminate” those who stand in his way.

    Kindergarten Cop and Terminator? Let’s just hope he doesn’t start dropping lines from End of Days.

  24. Dan, the logic demonstrates that Arnie is not necessarily A. It does not demonstrate this he is absolutely not A. Or perhaps a better way to phrase it would be, “Which is not to say that I think Ahnuld’s a homophobe – I have no idea.” Gee, why didn’t I think of that.

    You have to be pretty determined to convince yourself that deriding men as girlish has no homophobic connotation.

    “After all, it wouldn’t do to let minor details, like truth or reality, get in the way of important things, like the fact that Arnie is a Republican, and therefore evil.” Which is pretty tough position for you to defend, given that I said Arhold is probably not a homophobe. I think you’ve got liberal-in-your-head syndrome.

  25. The Democrats in Cal. are reduced to trying to invoke PC politics because they can’t defend their reticence to cut spending.

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