A reader who studies linguistics sends along an interesting piece about the phrase “talk about me like a dog”. I like the fact that wingtards thought it indicated that Obama was a Muslim.
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by DougJ| 85 Comments
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A reader who studies linguistics sends along an interesting piece about the phrase “talk about me like a dog”. I like the fact that wingtards thought it indicated that Obama was a Muslim.
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I love the fact that linguistics blog at upenn uses the phrase “sekrit muslin” to make fun of republicans.
The wingtards think everything is about Obama being a Muslim. That lipstick on a pig comment would today be considered proof that Obama is a Muslim because Muslims don’t eat pigs. Did you know that if you play The Beatles’s White Album backwards you will hear a message from John Lennon about this? Amazing.
Oh yes, they’d take Obama’s saying “I am not a Muslim” as evidence of his being a sekrit muslin.
The conclusion can’t change, only the evidence.
I don’t understand the issue here, but I am from the south and have heard the “treat me like a dog,” and “talk about me like a dog,” etc.
for my whole life. It probably says a lot about how folks down here treat canines, but there sure as hell isn’t some sort of code in there!
I was reminded of Wally Shawn’s line in My Dinner With Andre:
@Liberal Sandlapper: I’m from the South as well, and for not for nothing on the South’s history, but it seems to me that the South racial past, has come to make some of the “shared colloquism” between Black and White Southerners, more integreted than our friends up north
I consider myself a well “integrated” person, but it never ceases to amaze me how one sided that is. As an African American minority, I have to at least have some knowledge of what the majority considers common place saying, expressions, coventional wisdom, etc, but the reverse is so obviously not true. I can kinda understand that I guess, the majority rarely needs to know much about the minority unless, the minority can REALLY affect the minority i.e. voting blocks, etc.
But this whole “talk about me like a dog” thing, really illustrates the “one-sided” – ness of it all, quite well i think.
Now I may be generalizing a bit, but my ears (and I would say to most Afr Am ears), I new from jump street what the President meant. I idea, that conservatives (mostly white) actually thought this saying had something to do with the “Obama is a Muslim” meme, just goes to show, that they will use ANYTHING to perpetuate it.
Personally, I love when the Pres does some “ethnic”/”ebonical” shit on people. The reactions from these people are hilarious. Remember during the campaign when Obama did the “brush yo shoulders off” move, and all the old, white pundits thought he was sweeping his hand of in some obscene gesture towards Hilary Clinton??
@Liberal Sandlapper: The issue is that they see evidence of Obama being a Muslim all around them, most notably in the voices in their heads.
Jimi Hendrix’ song “Stone Free” has something along the lines of ‘they talk about me like a dog.’ Nobody thought he was a Muslim. Somebody’s reaching a bit, it seems.
I wish Obama would convert to Islam, publicly and overtly, just to make all of those conspiracy theory heads explode.
“You thought I was a Muslim?!? Well, by God, I’m a Muslim now, and you all have seen the last damned pork chop you will ever see served at the White House!!”
They could make the Washington Memorial into a minaret.
He could go on the haj on his next vacation. For, like, two weeks, with no cell phone, ‘cos he’d be all praying and shit.
Wouldn’t that be fun? I mean, seriously, non-stop, knee-slapping, conservative-head-exploding fun. It’d be fun 24/7 for at least six months.
I’d pay damned good money to see it.
Speaking of dogs, there’s a great “Far Side” cartoon, the panel split with the same picture of a dog being spoken to by a human, with the same-shaped speech bubble, one with a long sentence which includes the dog’s name and one with “blah blah blah blah [dog’s name] blah blah.” The caption is, “What dogs hear” – and I’d say that Obama’s remark makes me think that the updated version would show Obama saying something – e.g., “I am glad that the full Ninth Circuit granted my legal team’s arguments in favor of using ‘state secrets’ explicitly to thwart a torture lawsuit against Bush Administration actions” – and on the “What Republicans hear” side, it would just say, “blah blah blah I AM A MUSLIM blah blah blah.”
@russell: And then they’d complain that his conversion was faked in attempt to hide the fact that he is a secret atheist.
This video always makes me laugh, cause if you look closely, the Black guy behind Obama is the first one to get what he was actually doing.
When I first saw this video, I just busted a gut. Cause you can see that the people around the Black guy are just clapping cause everyone else is.
It’s why this stuff makes me laugh.
@russell: There honestly is no real world equivalent to what I would do in this case.
I just can’t capture a strong enough hyperbole to demonstrate.
It would surpass the awesomeness of if you could roll Anchorman, Animal House, Airplane and Tommy Boy all into one.
I seriously think between heads exploding and me jumping up and down while giggling nonstop the earth may shift on its axis.
On another note, I’ve kinda got the hots for Meghan McCain now.
dont feel good at all. relly hurt but have good drug on cool iv button thing. doc said op went verry well and be happy. Also my phone im typing this on sucks. Will hae more 2morow when less stoned.
I can’t imagine why someone would want Mr. Obama’s job. The majority of Americans are just assholes to work for.
Get better soon.
@soonergrunt: glad to see you commenting, but get some rest. and remember which button gives you drugs and which calls the nurse
Hooray! Glad to hear it, sir. Get as stoned as they let you. Rest. We need your voice.
Any sports-savvy person would get the reference right away. It’s a diss that’s common enough. What’s up with people who are so goddamn stupid they don’t even get playground insult discourse?
I thought we covered this shit in Do the Right Thing! Please, white people (full disclosure, I’m a whitey too), you can’t have it both ways. You can’t love what Vlad Guerrero does and then think the Prez is a Muslim (with the double neg of race/relig). Just do what Jesus says and love thy neighbor, dumbass.
@soonergrunt: @soonergrunt: Let me be the first to say “Excellent News!”. Be happy, indeed.
Glad the doc said it went well. Hope you start feeling better soon.
Glad to hear it went well!!!!!
@soonergrunt: Oh, good goddess! Feel better, dude. And as someone else said, please remember which button does what. Shit, a friend was walking down the hall after spinal surgery last week, accusing the staff of kidnapping.
Well, I’m a white liberal and didn’t know this particular idiom. Which means my instinct is to try to find out what it means.
But I don’t think these wingnuts even care about what it means. Maybe they knew or maybe they didn’t. They just know that most of their ignorant followers don’t, and might buy into the sekrit mooslim schtick one more time. Just Frank Luntz grinding away at his frame machine.
@Delia: That reminds me that I’d like to give a big shout-out to Frank Luntz.
Fuck you, you fat balding worthless cuuuunt.
OK, I feel better. And soonergrunt, don’t grab the nurses unless they grab you first.
When all you’ve got is a hammer fervid belief that the President is a Sekrit Muslin, everything around you looks like a nail more evidence of his hidden Al Qaeda membership.
But, yeah, it’s perfectly appropriate that the supposedly weird phrase, whose novelty had these bigots once more slinging “Sekrit Muslin” accusations, was unknown to these assholes because it’s used by African Americans and by Southerners. After all, it’s clear that (other than just being a Democrat) Obama’s main offense, the thing that really makes them buff up their Junior Deputy Sekrit Muslin Detector badge is his Blackity Blackness. Or, as I prefer to refer to it in the hopes of being misheard or misunderstood, his albedo.
Really letting balloon-juice down. That’s just not the way we do things around here. More drugs, more posting.
@soonergrunt: Glad to see you’re as well as can be expected. Go get stoned some more.
Oh, and anyone who’s seen pictures of Obama in college, when he was a tall skinny youth with an afro and was modeling some nifty hat for a budding photographer, might guess that he was a bit of a Hendrix fan.
Not that appearance means much – I’m a Hendrix fan, and I’m a fat white (Jewish) guy.
I had no idea that it was a common phrase, but I’m middle-aged and uncool, so it didn’t worry me too much.
(I’m so uncool that I thought it was cool that a couple of knitters got a picture of themselves and the original members of Kiss holding a sock in progress. For the Obot knitters, follow the link’s link to a picture of Candidate Obama similarly holding a partially completed sock.)
@Warren Terra: close your eyes and think of any white kid who has ever cared that Hendrix was black.
They wouldn’t fit in a Smart car.
like a dog:
referring to the president of the united states by his first name Only, excluding honorifics .. ya know, little stuff like Obama, instead of President Obama
Come Obama! Do what I tell you! Bad Obama! Reverting taxes on Billionaires is EEEEEeeevviiiiilllLLL!!!! Bad Obama… Play Dead! Bad Obama, Why are you standing up for your positions?! Bad Obama!! Bad!
etc.. etc.. etc…
Uh, Obama is his last name. His first name is Barack. People refer to presidents and ex-presidents by just their last names all the time — cf, Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr.
The disrespectful people are the ones who insist on calling him Barry.
@soonergrunt: Thank you for thinking of us, and FEEL BETTER SOON! (Meanwhile, stay stoned, the less pain the faster healing.)
It lives! Good to know! Get Well Soon, you old fucker!
We’ve been discussing that this whole thread!
I have to say being a southerner, though I haven’t heard the phrase in memory, I knew exactly what he was saying.
I was actually confused by the normal blogs that I read that it was a hard to understand statement.
Mnemosyne, although I basically agree, I remember the tv news in 1993 shifting from “President Bush” to “Clinton.”
NS. they are called President bush/clinton/whatever.
When was the last time you consistently saw in ‘mainstream’ news the president not being called the president?
sure as a blogger and private citizen I can utter the curse: Bush!!
but what other time have entire political parties descended into petty silliness like I am likely to do?
@lamh32: I loved it then and I love it now!
Not always. In print, people are often referred to by their honorific only the first time they’re mentioned and by their last name only from there on out. It’s actually a bit jarring when you read The Economist, where people are always “Mr./Mrs. So and So” and never just “So and So”.
Here you go.
Sooooooooooooooner’s back! Here’s a picture to make you feel better.
Soonergrunt! Ride the meds, dude. They are your friend.
Still sending healing energy your way.
@<a href="#[email protected]soonergrunt: Only came here tonight to see how you are doing. So glad to see you posting. Tells me you survived and are on your way to recovery. Couldn’t be happier. Looking forward to your next post.
You do not observe the frequency of the various citations, do you? (or their source, obv.)
perhaps try comparing the frequency of the derogatory with the frequency of the proper usage for all presidents over the last 30+ years.
Loved that link! The line
is epic. Epic.
By the way, how are things going with your father-in-law? I was sending him healing energy about a month ago because of chemo and radiation, but I haven’t seen an update since then. Hope he is doing well.
@soonergrunt: I dunno. We don’t like the pain thing, but we wouldn’t mind you stoned :)
Feel better like NOW.
Fully echoed. Get well soon.
Pretty much the entire 8 years that Bush II was president. The wingers were constantly complaining about how the MSM wasn’t being sufficiently respectful.
Not to go off on a whole OT rant, but it’s been the trend in journalism for 20 years to drop titles and only refer to people by their last names after the first reference. The New York Times is probably the last holdout in all of American journalism. (They also refused to use “Ms.” for years and used to have their fact checkers call the subjects of stories and demand to know if they were “Mrs.” or “Miss.”) You’re noticing it right now because there are a fuckton of internet commentators saying rude things about the president, but I assure you it is absolutely not a new phenomenon. Miss Manners (Judith Martin) has been complaining about it for a couple of decades now.
He’s doing okay — one more week to go on the radiation/chemo. He was hoping to not lose his hair but, well, chemo is like that.
It is, unfortunately, a nasty little tumor that sends tendrils out into your brain, so there’s really no way to go in and yank it out, so even if this round goes well, it’s going to be constant vigilance until it finally gets him. On the plus side, it’s still pretty small, so we may have a good 5 or 10 years of constant vigilance.
@soonergrunt: Glad to see you reporting in, sooner. Please let the drugs be your friend, and I’m still sending a bright white light in your direction. Be well.
The dog line–I loved it, and I knew what he meant. I am neither white nor black, so what does this mean?? Seriously–this is what the ‘wingers are freaking out about?
But they don’t realize, they’re the ones who’s square.
What gets me is the people who throw around “Soetero” like a dagger. As if it, you know, proves something.
It’s particularly irritating to me because anyone who’s ever been in a stepfamily — like, say, my family — knows that the last name you use isn’t always your legal last name. One of my stepbrothers went by the “wrong” last name until he turned 18, joined the Marines, and had to start using his legal name. One of my nephews, same thing — it was just easier for everyone in the family to go by the same last name than constantly try to explain why the oldest of four kids had a different last name.
And yet these are often the same people who run around sneering about “Barry Soetero.” Assholes.
@Mnemosyne: Well, it’s also a way for someone to deny Obama his real name. What one calls oneself is very important, and someone else who deliberately takes that away is saying how little respect s/he has for the first person.
Are some of you White folks serious?
you honestly didn’t know what ‘ talking about me like a dog ‘ means?
come on….you’re pulling my Black leg.
please break it down for me like I’m in preschool:
tell me how ‘ talking about me like a dog’ relates to being a Muslim.
I’m sitting here, trying to follow right-wing illogical ‘connect the dots’, and I can’t find the dots.
@rikyrah: Some Muslims don’t like dogs. Apparently, they are considered unclean. Therefore, Obama is a sekrit Muslim because he is showing his disdain for dogs by making the comparison. Or something like that.
ETA: It’s also why some wingers have brought dogs to their protests.
The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’ list, via OKCupid
WTF is soul food, black people?
The imam behind the 5,000 foot statue of Osama bin Laden on Ground Zero says that it’s a bad idea to force them to move, and the calm, moderate opposition refudiates his argumentationizing.
See? It’s not about any sort of unjustified discrimination, it’s “a turf war” between Us and Them and we need to take on the whole radical Muslim world to show them they ain’t gonna be building no fucking mosques in the god-damned land of the fucking free, baby.
Glad the surgery went well. Take full advantage of the drugs. Feeling less pain will help you heal faster. Rest up and feel better soon.
@roshan: “Soul food” became a popular phrase (after the phenomenon itself became common) to describe food primarily prepared and eaten by formerly Southern blacks who escaped the Jim Crow South to northern and midwestern and other areas. It’s usually the emigrants who begin to most appreciate in any organized way traditional cultural habits.
Several million African Americans fled the South from 1910 to the 1940s (and many later, as well, but this first migration was in part an organized defiance of segregation as well as flight from poverty).
In the South, it was just “food”. It was common though with differing ingredients with whites too — it’s often pointed out that much of the cuisine began with slaves’ use of those cast-off meats and plants which the owners and middle classes didn’t want, but it’s not like the vast majority of poor whites could afford meat either, because what you did have (and didn’t get by hunting) would have to be sold.
Maybe I’m getting old, but I distinctly remember the left being accused of TREASON when they criticized Bush and his baseless Iraq war. The color coded terror alert disco did its trick for many in those 8 yrs. That was probably the most blatant and shameless use of terror propaganda by the right wing to make people vote for them. It’s also one of the reasons why Kerry fell short of votes in 2004. That and the Ohio vote count, which was most likely rigged too.
@roshan: When Republicans are in power and Democrats or liberals question or criticize Republican war or ‘security’ arguments, it’s treason.
When Democrats are in power, their very policies and arguments are treason.
Honestly, no. I mean, I can tell from the context that he means that they’re saying mean things about him, but I really am that middle-aged and nerdy. Plus I never, ever watch sports. On the other hand, I could define a lot of slang for you circa about 1600, so there’s that.
(I just found out that the title of “Much Ado About Nothing” is actually a pun — “nothing” was a common Elizabethan slang term for a woman’s ladyparts, so the title also means “Much Ado About a Vagina.” Now you know.)
For some reason, teabaggers have become absolutely fucking obsessed with the fact that traditionally Muslims don’t really like dogs. It’s become this weirdly personal insult to them, like every Muslim in the world walked up to them and said that they’re ugly and their mother dresses them funny.
Because they’re totally fucking obsessed with this idea that Muslims hate dogs, they hear President Obama (the sekrit mooslim!) say the word “dog” and they can’t think of anything else except that it must have something to do with Muslims not liking dogs. Even though the man has a goddamned dog living in his house so he obviously likes dogs.
A lot of people have said that “Muslim” has taken the place of the n-word when teabaggers talk about Obama, and I think that’s absolutely correct. They know they’ll look bad if they say the n-word in public, but they can say “Muslim” instead, mean the same thing, but slide past. Like the way some racist a-holes were using “Canadians” as a code word for black people.
This may just be the flip side of Palin’s disgusting theme that rural, white folks are the most authentic Americans, but when I heard Obama make that comment it struck me how nice it was to have a president who spoke like a real American, like a person I would bump into and enjoy talking to for a few minutes.
That’s a new one by me, but then I’m perfectly happy not being exactly au courant with the latest racist codewords.
Random presidential photo before I head off to bed: my all-time favorite, found in the White House Flickr feed. I just love the expression on the cub scout’s face.
Okay, okay, one more:
Who’s a good dog? Is Bo a good dog? Yes, yes, he is a good dog!
@Mnemosyne: My dad used to use “Ethiopians” when I was little.
@Mnemosyne #73: I *know* that little kid is going to be POTUS one day about 40 years from now, and that picture will illustrate every campaign biography. GREAT face!
@roshan: #Cocks head to one side# Really? Huh. I don’t buy the Asian bit at all.
This. All this. I was amazed that so many folks never heard that term “Talked about me like a dog”, and asked if the Prez got it from a Hendrix song. With much respect to Jimi, I’m pretty sure that saying has been around long before he put it in one of his songs.
But, I’m black, too, from the South originally (my family is from Florida and Georgia, but I’m a military brat, so I’ve been around), so that saying is nothing new to me.
Hope you get better sooner (get it, get it? Ok, that WAS lame ;) ).
Muslims hate dogs…
And the conservatives forgot very fast that throwing shoes is an extreme insult. Just,… that funny journalist throwing shoes.
I am not sure if even Bush absorbed how much they actually hate him. Kind of the opposite of Sally Field at the Oscars.
Roshan @ 64
It is a dating site, how honest do you think the responses are?
I don’t even think the phrase is uniquely [Southern] American. I’m from Trinidad, and I could recall relatives using the phrasing (or something similar) when I was little. Hell, I used to the phrase recently when I had to discuss some un-pleasantries with a friend of mine.
Maybe it’s just a black thing …
Here’s hoping you have a speedy recovery!
Get rest and get well!
@russell: Well said!
Paul in KY
Mnemosyne, thank’s for sharing that photo. That scout will have a story to tell for the rest of his life.
Michael E Sullivan
Apparently this phrase is from the “Muslonics” dialect of english.
You know what I mean.