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  1. #151
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Vote 1 Rex. I did.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  2. #152
    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    Well, @Wid-up rex asked me my thoughts about this subject so I just copy it all from the VMs I sent her (poor inbox):

    Nevermind, reading through the thread (yes, I am doing my homework and I'm reading all the posts) the meme was posted and even though I'm not even from the USA so I'm that deeply familiar with the racial structure from more than what I've learned through my studies; I'm inclined to agree. It's racist or has strong racist undertones. The problem is the entire presentation of the meme which is ultimately quite tasteless. Not only is Will Smith appearing to grimace or in other words, making a "funny" face which relates back to the idea of blacks being lazy and ultimately lesiure-seeking; the photoshopped cigar in his mouth further emphasizes and stereotypes this image of the poor southern working class black man with a cigar in his mouth, something even Disney is guilty of in the cartoon they did about Santa Claus and his factory at the North Pole (remember the toy of a black man smoking a cigar and is trying to entertain Santa and the rest of the toys?) which is toppled with the "punch line" that is not only syntaxically incorrect, the spelling is clearly referencing the southern accent strongly associated with working class black people. Not because the southern accent itself is stereotype, but having an accent at all is strongly related to class and people of the working class, especially men, actually tend to emphasize their accent whereas females who strive to improve their social mobility tend to drop theirs for example. There have been studies of that done about that in Sweden and I would find it strange if the same is not true for all cultures as it has to do with how we as humans shape our identities. This is for example why you see children to first- and second genereation immigrants with middle or even higher social status still speak with an accent, especially among friends even though there is no need. This phenomenon has also been studied in Sweden and how Swedish migrants still speak with an accent as a way to emphasize their immigrant identity.

    Because our speaking patterns are a part of our identity and represent the groups we associate with, insuniating that Will Smith is speaking in a southern accent despite him coming from Philadelphia and he does not speak with a southern accent in the film, suggests that whoever made the meme certainly projected racial stereotypes onto Smith for simply being a black man despite being neither working class or southern. It is however not a parody since it does not attempt to subvert the power relations between race as the black man meme does which was also linked in the thread. Instead it just wallows in them. White man privilege yes. It's only funny because "the nigger is put in his place", as someone put it. The power relation and the natural order between races are restored. Will Smith's power within white society as a respectable person despite being black is removed by likening him to the southern working class black man and there are people who get off on enforcing their sense of privilege.

    Addendum (in reaction to the meme she posted which is this one)



    The version of the meme you posted is actually not AS bad and at first glance I did think it was remotely funny because the way the text is presented with the American flag being reflected in it is quite clever (I'm a GFX artist myself so I can appreciate these things from an artistic POV also), although I think the "earf" could have been dropped in favor of "earth" and the message would still be the same without losing much of what I think this variant of the meme makes it funny because it's clearly so exaggerated it becomes ridiculous. It's playing off the stereotype more with the American flag thing just like for example female Asian adoptees (citing a study I read a couple of years ago) might adopt an exaggerated geisha-like attitude towards their body and sex as a way to subvert the stereotype projected that Asian females are promiscuous, sexually viable and so on. So it's not just that they are viable, they are TOO viable. It becomes a parody and it thus subverts the stereotype since it makes us realize that the stereotype is unrealistic.

    The other meme variant I saw with the text in white on a black background below the image though? No, that was just tasteless. One can however still argue that even this variant plays off the whole "gangsta nigga" stereotype which is what makes it work by trying to depict Will Smith more as badass (I think this impression is much stronger because of the text with the American flag on top), because Will Smith is actually representing USA, he's defending USA as a patriot. However, the question becomes, would the effect be the same if we'd replace Will Smith with a popular action movie actor from the 80s (that this variant of the meme arguably draws more from) such as Sylvester Stallone? Perhaps if the variant was done more similar to Chuck Norris memes that in some ways aren't that different. Clearly playing off masculinity roles but nevertheless; why would a black man be seen as more inherently badass if he's depicted as a "gangsta nigga" than simply being a regular action hero without the racial stereotype attached?

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  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am sufficiently well-versed in the topic to assure you that this is red herring. The problem isn't teacher tenure or evaluation, it is the focus throughout education on process rather than outcome; put otherwise, the means justify the ends. Stop making teachers (and students and everyone else) slaves to standardized tests, burdensome administrivia, spurious credentialing, political correctness, and one-size-fits-all educational policies, and let them do what it takes to get the class they have in front of them to learn what they need to learn. (Yes, I realize this begs a very big question, but I'll defer that for now.)

    Charter schools can in theory provide more latitude, but too often are little more than experiments at the expense of the students, and have too little accountability for performance. They are also even more likely than public schools to reflect the socioeconomic status of the immediate vicinity, meaning that a charter school in a wealthy neighborhood will be a boon, while one in a poor neighborhood is just a warehouse.
    Avoiding a Rush to Judgment: Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Quality


    And from the New York Times:

    U.S. Students Still Lag Globally in Math and Science, Tests Show

    The tests, which are designed by the International Study Center at Boston College in collaboration with government education officials and academic researchers in participating countries, are administered to a random selection of demographically representative students across the world.

    Fourth graders in 57 countries or education systems took the math and science tests, while 56 countries or education systems administered the tests to eighth graders. (Education systems include American states or regions like Hong Kong in China or Northern Ireland in Britain.) In reading, 53 countries and education systems participated.

    Hong Kong and Russia had the highest average test scores in fourth-grade reading, with American students ranking sixth. Students in Florida, one of the states to break out results separately, achieved a higher average score than students in the nation over all.

    Students in Finland, which is often held up as a model education system for its teacher preparation and its relative absence of high-stakes testing, outperformed American students on all the exams. But students in countries with intense testing cultures also exceeded American students. “Some of the high-performing math and science countries have extremely rigorous testing regimes,” Mr. Buckley said.

  4. #154
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I disagree. It's making me pop like sixteen ladyboners for charity.
    I'll need an example of that.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  5. #155
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I was talking about the country, not the land.

    An obvious distinction.
    Obvious, and ethnocentrically presumptive. In any case, the two are inseparable, as even the founding fathers acknowledged. Pretending nothing of importance occurred in "the land" before the U.S. was established denies a significant part of our history.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Whats keeping that from happening is the lack of robust economic growth, which last time I checked you had no plan for.
    Last time I checked, "trickle-down economics" didn't work for anyone except the few on top. It's not my personal job to create economic growth for the nation. If you, however, (or anyone else) want people to take conservative ideas on how to fix welfare and medicare seriously, the burden of proof is on them (you) to show how they will actually correct the problems without creating worse ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Those recalcitrant folks get should get nothing. A system that doesn't pursue welfare fraud against such folks implicitly sanction's their actions.
    We should at least put them in jail. Then they can have rudimentary shelter, food, and medical care. Perhaps some counseling and job training, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    You have a sufficiently vested interest in protecting teachers regardless of the outcome, which was made readily apparent in the thread regarding the Chicago Teachers strike.

    Your time is coming once we get to education, which given the state of our public schools should be soon.
    Not sure what this last is supposed to mean, but I actually have no more vested an interest in protecting teachers than anyone else. As a school volunteer for many years, though, I see firsthand the constraints on teachers, students, and parents that tie everyone's hands, preventing them from using their creativity to help kids learn in ways that translate directly to success as an adult. The stupidity of many of the things schools and everyone in them are required to do is mind-boggling. What we need to get rid of is red tape/bureaucracy, arbitrary standards, overemphasis on standardized testing, and archaic schedules. If you really want to reform teaching as a profession, we need to get rid of the ridiculous licensing and education requirements that keep too many talented people out of the field to begin with, and force those who do go in to focus too much time and effort on useless classes at the expense of subject area knowledge. I see the effects of this firsthand also, in the limited ability of far too many teachers in STEM fields (and resulting poor preparation in high school graduates).

    As for your linked article,
    Students in Finland, which is often held up as a model education system for its teacher preparation and its relative absence of high-stakes testing, outperformed American students on all the exams. But students in countries with intense testing cultures also exceeded American students. “Some of the high-performing math and science countries have extremely rigorous testing regimes,” Mr. Buckley said.
    It doesn't specify whether the Finnish students outperformed those in the "rigorous testing" nations. In some years, the Finns came out first, at least in certain grades. In any case, it seems like the Finnish model would be cheaper to implement, since rigorous standardized testing is expensive, especially if one expects the test actually to mean something.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #156
    hypersane Hive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaT View Post
    The problem is the entire presentation of the meme which is ultimately quite tasteless. Not only is Will Smith appearing to grimace or in other words, making a "funny" face which relates back to the idea of blacks being lazy and ultimately lesiure-seeking; the photoshopped cigar in his mouth further emphasizes and stereotypes this image of the poor southern working class black man with a cigar in his mouth
    I disagree. I don't think it's a "funny face" meant to perpetuate a racial stereotype. To me it looks like they chose that particular picture because it's Will Smith looking all tough, with the photoshopped cigar to further portray the badass action hero trope (compare it with this picture for example). What makes it funny is that he messes up the pronounciation because of the cigar, which is meant to make him look tough and macho but instead makes the whole thing comical. I would have actually found the meme funnier if it featured someone like Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone, because they are even more stereotypical badass action heroes.

    While I'm not arguing the meme couldn't have racial overtones, I think this particular conclusion was pretty farfetched.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As for your linked article,

    It doesn't specify whether the Finnish students outperformed those in the "rigorous testing" nations. In some years, the Finns came out first, at least in certain grades. In any case, it seems like the Finnish model would be cheaper to implement, since rigorous standardized testing is expensive, especially if one expects the test actually to mean something.
    The most salient point from the article is that the Finnish model is the one out of all the others that doesn't test teachers.

    Given the fact the we aren't nearly the social democracy that Finland is, I don't see our system reformed without the use of hard student data in evaluations.

    You can try to push the Finnish model all you want, but the preponderance of other systems at the top of the educational distribution implies that other models are equally (or even more than equally) effective.

    Hopefully the era of "drive by" evaluations by principles is coming to an end.

    The students should come first.

  8. #158
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsung View Post
    I disagree. I don't think it's a "funny face" meant to perpetuate a racial stereotype. To me it looks like they chose that particular picture because it's Will Smith looking all tough, with the photoshopped cigar to further portray the badass action hero trope (compare it with this picture for example). What makes it funny is that he messes up the pronounciation because of the cigar, which is meant to make him look tough and macho but instead makes the whole thing comical. I would have actually found the meme funnier if it featured someone like Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone, because they are even more stereotypical badass action heroes.

    While I'm not arguing the meme couldn't have racial overtones, I think this particular conclusion was pretty farfetched.
    I was too lazy to type it, but that's what I think, too.

  9. #159
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The students should come first.
    This is how candidates lose presidential debates.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Last time I checked, "trickle-down economics" didn't work for anyone except the few on top. It's not my personal job to create economic growth for the nation. If you, however, (or anyone else) want people to take conservative ideas on how to fix welfare and medicare seriously, the burden of proof is on them (you) to show how they will actually correct the problems without creating worse ones.
    I don't think I've ever used the term "trickle down" on this site.

    More specifically, exactly the kinds of growth in spending we see in Sen. Murray's new budget have been and are linked directly to our current budget issues.

    The onus is actually on you to show how more of the same as far as gov't spending does not imperil our solvency.

    We should at least put them in jail. Then they can have rudimentary shelter, food, and medical care. Perhaps some counseling and job training, too.
    Well these people aren't a danger to others just the tax payer.

    I say just bar them from ever collecting the kind of welfare they defrauded.

    Prison isn't day care.

    Not sure what this last is supposed to mean, but I actually have no more vested an interest in protecting teachers than anyone else. As a school volunteer for many years, though, I see firsthand the constraints on teachers, students, and parents that tie everyone's hands, preventing them from using their creativity to help kids learn in ways that translate directly to success as an adult. The stupidity of many of the things schools and everyone in them are required to do is mind-boggling. What we need to get rid of is red tape/bureaucracy, arbitrary standards, overemphasis on standardized testing, and archaic schedules. If you really want to reform teaching as a profession, we need to get rid of the ridiculous licensing and education requirements that keep too many talented people out of the field to begin with, and force those who do go in to focus too much time and effort on useless classes at the expense of subject area knowledge. I see the effects of this firsthand also, in the limited ability of far too many teachers in STEM fields (and resulting poor preparation in high school graduates).
    It means that the days of ridiculously byzantine and restrictive teaching contracts are coming to a close.

    Parental involvement and socioeconomic background play a role, but not one which can't fairly easily be kept from creating statistical noise in the evaluations.

    As long as we get several years to track student performance individually to create a baseline of performance to work from that takes into consideration the home and socioeconomic conditions for the student, I see no reasons to worry about including student performance in teacher evaluations.

    Unless that is, that you want to contend that teaching in the US is so different as to preclude us from needing these evaluations despite the fact that nearly all other countries substantively evaluate their teachers, and that every other profession on the planet has to submit to performance reviews.

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