football is sexist and racist? no way!

the 49ers are in a bit of trouble over a "controversial" training video. you can watch the video here, courtesy of ifilm. among other things, people are saying that the video contains racists representations of chinese people, sterotypical representations of gay men, a pair of topless lesbians, and then in a later scene a lot of topless women. now after watching the video myself, i agree that it's inappropriate and offensive, particularly the chinese restaurant bit, and the hot lesbians making out (although admittedly, i tend to stare whenever i see hot lesbians make out at bars or wherever). however, i can't help but think that there are some contradictory types of protesting going on. in fact, getting in a tizzy about the topless women seems a little puritanical to me.

are we so naive as to think that professional football players don't frequent strip clubs and aren't entertained by dick and fart jokes (which is what much of the final scene basically amounts to)? i'm not saying it's right to parade women around as objects, but in terms of the NFL, teams do it all the time in the form of cheerleaders. is anyone protesting them? i'm just thinking that the alternative is your basic run of the mill HR training video that all people just tune out anyway. so i will at least give props to the guy who is in trouble for attempting to make a rather mundane training activity interesting. again, not to say that he did it correctly. i'm not really sure what my point is, but i think that to call the 49ers complete bigots may be going to far. it's not like there's a pattern....oh wait...forgot about garrison hearst.

also, the chinese guy bit. while the glasses and the buck teeth are extremely offensice, the accent, in my opinion, really isn't that offensive. there are plenty of people out here in california who are chinese immigrants who do speak with a heavy accent. they do pronounce their r's as l's. there are plenty of times where things get lost in translation, and the resulting sentences are funny.

as for the gay representation part, again, i think it's a little offensive, but i find that people seem to pick and choose when to say something is a bad stereotype or not. are not the same effeminate gay male stereotypes perpetuated in other shows like queer eye for the straight guy or will and grace? both of these are shows that i've enjoyed at one time or another, but i've always felt a little uncomfortable with some of the jokes because in some other contexts they could be considered extremely offensive. i've always wondered why i've never heard of gay activist groups making noise about these things. then again, it's not like i'm trying to get gay activists groups to do anything about it, so maybe they are making some noise about these things and i just don't know.

my final point, i guess, is that the video, in the context of the fact that they're trying to train hypermasculine football players, should definitely not shock us, given the fact that sports in general are and always have been set up along racial and gendered hierarchies anyway. or maybe my point is that this video should make us more aware of other types of media representations that we usually let skate. or maybe i'm trying to say that this just proves again, what a second class organization the niners are how they'll never able to match the class and dignity of the world's greatest sports franchise the dallas cowboys.

p.s. for those of you who are following the whole t. cruise-katie holmes romance/sham, robomuffin.com has posted the video of the highlights of the whole crazy-ass oprah winfrey show appearance. (however, for a much funnier edited montage of the whole ordeal, tvgasm.com has put together a little montage of t. cruise's greatest moments set to a fun little guster (one of the ragin' asian's favorite semi-indie bands) ditty called "center of attention".) after you watch that, watch the dane cook appearance on the jimmy kimmel show (next on the list of clips on robomuffin) for more hilarity. geez, tom cruise is so g. a. y.

update 06-06-05 - it looks like that robomuffin has exceeded their bandwidth for the month. so you can't get to the tom cruise video there. however, as always, ifilm comes through and provides us with the footage here.


Erik said...

Asshat, you have surpassed even your usually ridiculously huge hard-on for professional atheletes. Despite knowing that you would give Steve Nash free reign to commit first degree murder, I'm still astonished at your ability to write hundreds of words of BS to try to justify the wrongdoing of these losers. Seriously, let's look at your logic here.

1) Problem exists that we all know about.

2) We get evidence of specific individuals doing bad shit.

3) Therefore, we should take no action because we already knew that bad shit was going on.

Let's think of an example.

1) We all know racism exists.

2) We get evidence that UCSB is refusing to grant tenure to all Asian professors, and uncover a tenure-related memo sent to all faculty that cracks jokes about Chinese immigrants.

3) So, we should all just relax and do nothing because 1) We all know racism exists.

You spend a lot of time just to find a part of the video that you say "really isn't that offensive." And basicallly your argument is that we should just be happy and allow these professional atheletes to get on with their important and entertaining lives, unfettered and unbothered by our pedestrian mores and laws.

Bob, this video is a training video - a sensitivity training video - and is therefore an explicit example of institutional, structural racism. For you to not be raging at this shows that you have a ridiculous pro-athelete bias that can only be explained by homo-erotic tendencies.

You engage in the "contradictory types of protesting" that you seem to lament when you note that this video isn't so bad (because it's just trying to "make a rather mundane training activity interesting") but other forms of media that use the same types of entertainment that we usually let "skate" should be reconsidered.

Stop equivocating and start living up to the title of your blog, wuss.

Bob said...

some good points e, but here's my response.

1) it's not that i don't think that athletes should be able to do what they want, but rather, i think that it's dumb to go apeshit when athletes or in this case athletic organizations do something so mundane as making comments, under the premise that they make millions of dollars so they should set an example. there are lots of people who are making millions of dollars that are doing things much more evil such as denying their employees the right to organize unions. the people who pick on athletes are typically the same people who let stuff like this skate. of course, someone as enlightened and well...important as you and your blog, don't fall into this category, but like i said before, a large majority of people who pick on athletes don't say anything about other evil people like dick cheney and the walmart family. and one of the main reasons these people pick on athletes and not CEO's is athlete's tend to be black and CEO's tend to be white.

2) activist organizations wonder why they're so ineffective. isn't there a national movement to ban gay marriages? isn't thier effort better directed there than at the 49ers.

3) it was not a sensivity training video. it was a video that dealt with how to deal with the media. true, there is much irony in the fact that part of the video was about being very careful of what you say because it portrays the organization in a poor light.

4) i still contend that the only real offensive parts are the characterization of asians and the gay weddings. swearing...please, grow up...mention of beer and hookers...again, i don't know what country you live in, but beer and hookers are pretty plentiful where i live. not talking about it isn't going to make it go away...the shower scene, slightly sexist, but so are cheerleaders, do you think we should get rid of them? my real point is that there were some parts that were bad, but some parts that weren't. and that the concept of offensive representation is more complicated than either the far left or the far right would have you believe.

i don't think i said that the niners should skate on this. so i apologize if that's what you thought i said, you ignorant slut. thank your for helping me to clarify my point. although after reading my post again, the things that i just said should seem pretty apparent to most people of average intelligence.

so anyway, my point is, dealing with homophobia and racism via going after the 49ers is not the wrong thing to do, but it largely a band aid type solution. to deal with these things, we should attack the problem at the root...by killing whities!

Bob said...

also, it's pretty amazing that this happened in san francisco, probably the most liberal city in america. yeah, that dude was pretty stupid.

i also forgot to mention the response by the organization saying that no one knew that the video had what it had on it, which of course is complete b.s. many more people were aware of what was going on, and the niners response of denying and firing is a pretty transparent and ineffecitve ploy at saving face.