Sunday, April 23, 2006

Krebs Cast #29: What are words for when no one listens anymore?

  • New intro.

  • A discussion of the fire fight between Madge and Adam Curry, what I learned from it, and what it made me think about.

  • Listener voice-mail and the usual podcasting stuff.

    Enjoy! Remember you can contact me by emailing me at or you can call my listener line...


    Krebs Cast #29

    Krebs Cast Page

    Blogger John said...


    Great analysis of the recent events. It was extreme of Madge to flame Adam Curry for the incident but I'm so glad she stood up to say it. It wasn't because I felt Adam deserved it - far from it - but it was a catalyst to open a discussion of the language we use and how it's perceived.

    Just one point Adam C made that was dissapointing, however, was that "it was just words" as if it should be ignored. Yet he reacted strongly when certain words were directed towards him. It's something to think about - how we decide if something is offensive to us and how strongly we react.

    Thanks for posting this podcast. The things you've said ring true with me. And thanks to Madge, Wanda, and ETHS who lead me to your blog. Keep up the good work.

    10:35 AM  
    Blogger Kalvin said...

    Good cast. And completely agreed on having more respect for people who can acknowledge their mistakes.

    4:45 PM  
    Anonymous Robert P. said...

    Very, very good show. That's all I have to say. :-)

    7:14 PM  
    Anonymous Alden said...

    I was thinking about when I first heard the word "fag". It was in the eighth grade. During the yearbook staffs' slideshow thingy set to music in the auditorium. A picture of me and my best friend came up. And I heard some girls scream this word. I remember that even though I had no idea what it meant I still felt like I'd been slammed in someway. It was all in the delivery. They could have said something as innocent as "cookie monster" and in the tone and circumstance it was said I would have still felt as confused and hurt.

    11:16 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is always a tough one.

    If I love and respect someone very much and call them, with a smile and a glint in my eye, a "cocksucking, pillowbiting fag", and and I know full well this person would basically agree with me - then the two of us would know there was no bad will. There might even have been some lust :)

    On the other hand, if someone who hates hates hates gay people said to me, "You're a pretty ok gay person", I'd still know deep in his heart he dispises all gays, and thinks of me first as a gay man, though more tolerable than most.

    To a certain extent, it doesn't matter what people are asked to not say. They'll find a new way to get their hatefull meaning across to you and others.

    So, complete prohibition of words will have a limited long-term effect.

    Don't get me wrong. People should respect other people with what they say. And using any term to spread hate is ugly and should be actively rebuked.

    I've been known to go off on someone using hate-talk when I know they mean it that way. But what I personally want is not so much for them to change what they say, but what they believe.

    And they can only do that of their own free will, with the help of good people who might be able to change their mind.

    I know, it's not a simple solution. Maybe a little of both - help tone down the hate talk, but don't stop there. Over time, show poeple the error of this kind of animosity. Make the words lose their power.

    Yeah, it's kinda pie-in-the-sky. But nothing worthwhile is really easy, I guess.

    11:14 AM  
    Blogger VJnet said...


    I agree with you that it's not per-say the actual words that are important because anyone can change the way they talk to express what they believe. The difficult part is having people change their beliefs. When they can't see what harm they are doing when using words that they may feel are not diminutive, but are to others. They do not understand because they have not experience what some gay people have to endured everyday and are ignorant to that fact that they are being hatful. It will take time. It's not going to be easy.

    4:52 PM  
    Blogger Brian said...

    hi - this is Brian from Seattle -

    I just heard your show; I would have to say that I was blown away (much like Adam C. talked about in Monday's DSC) by this whole experience; it proves that they are DEFINITELY onto something with this new media--it felt like sitting at the dinner table of a dysfunctional family with Mom & Dad going at it.

    I thought Adam's passionate anger on Friday's DSC was incredibly amazing to listen to, and thought it showed oodles of integrity and maturity when Richard apologized for singling out Adam Curry.

    On the "faggot" issue though - I have to disagree with pretty much everyone. :) They are _just words_ - the only reason they're offensive is because small minded people know that other people are easily offended by these words. Words themselves should have zero power over people. People _allow_ themselves to be offended. It's silly.

    Madge really has driven home the concept of simply repeating these "off limits" words to take the sting out of them - when I first started listening to her show the words were kind of funny because you don't really hear anyone else calling people "nigger cunt whore faggots." But she repeats them so often that I am pretty much numb to them now. As it should be. Words are cheap & too easy to use. They're a copout. If we stopped letting the words themselves offend, the offenders would actually have to use their brains to hurl insults - which would take work, which would probably stop them in the first place.

    (OK, this wasn't exactly as eloquent as I had hoped but you know what I mean. :)

    7:09 PM  
    Anonymous sam said...

    omg, whoever wants to hear back from katie couric is no one i want to know. great food for thought. the mic sounds awesome; i can tell the difference.

    10:59 PM  

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