Friday, September 28, 2007

John Hawkins Loves White People Like "A Fat Kid Loves Cake": The Battle for Framing in the Case of the Jena 6

"I love you/ like a fat kid loves cake" (from Get Rich or Die Trying).

Poetic recitation time being over, let us now repair to the topic of the moment. For a long time the position taken by M at
Separation of Spheres was the only one an interested party could find on the Internet and on the News. Well, actually that's not entirely true: In truth the way it started was the story was simply being buried by the media.

But then, thanks largely to socially conscious liberal bloggers like M, the corporate media was finally forced to come in and throw the big light on the bizarre and sad recent happenigns in Jena, Lousiana.

But anyway, when Harrogate first got wind of the story from the liberal bloggers, he wondered: are the conservatives defending this? Are the white students or their families or the DA speaking out in their defense? What, o What could they be saying in light of what looks to us like a clear case of justice miscarried by the good ole boy system? Here the importance of what famed linguist George Lakoff has to say about framing and contemporary politics is, it seems to Harrogate, very clearly illustrated.

There was a period where the conservative pundits layed low on this story and so the liberal blogosphere remained free to dictate the terms of our moral imaginations.

But the silence is over, and now the real battle for framing is afoot. As it heats up, the implications of this tussle will not extend to Mychal Bell himself, who already has been released on bond and now, quite appropriately, awaits his day in juvenile court to face charges dramatically reduced from what had started out as no less than Attempted Murder. But the battle has rhetorical and, therefore, political implications that are in many ways far more important than the fates of any of the individuals involved, or even for that matter the fate of Harrogate himself.

Increasingly popular pundit John Hawkins has captured, Harrogate believes, the essence of conservative apologetics for the Jena DA's original approach to the case. Harrogate exhorts ye, o readers, to peruse Hawkins' petition to the people that we have all been had by the hucksters of race.

Is there merit to his case? Harrogate reports. Ye decide.

(BTW, far be it from Harrogate to introduce the Ad Hominem element into his otherwise sober, wholly unironic, erudite political and rhetorical discourses. Yet he nevertheless feels it both necessary and even somewhat entertaining, in a morbid sort of way, to remind readers that when they're reading the ruminations of this god-prattling, gun-championing, homosexual hating, war supporting fella, you're also reading someone who very recently reminded us that the people of New Orleans need to stop milking Katrina sympathy, show some of that can-do American attitude and get over it already)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Mask

Police releashed this image of the mask in question. One student stated it was "fleshy-colored" and "wrinkled."

I have no idea what it represents.

It appears that the gun was loaded but it only contained one round. The student, who has a history of mental illness, did not carry any other rounds.

Update: The New York Times reports that it was a Fred Flintstone mask.

And how was your day at work Honey?

At around 2:30 pm today, a crazed lunatic who wore a mask (some say it was the mask from Scream others say it was a mask of George H.W. Bush, but it looks like Reagan to me-- and I am being serious) and carried a rifle tried to enter the building in which I teach. Some of my students were last to class and, when I asked why they were late, they stated campus police were arresting a man with a rifle. I thought that to be a reasonable excuse.

The gunman had put his rifle in a bag and, when confronted, tried to get it out. Police sub-dued him before he could. It seems that someone noticed a man with a mask and a large bag, thought it was strange, and called security.

No one was hurt.

I will add more about this tomorrow.