BREAKING: How many pundits watched the match?


Pseudolibs and dittoheads together:
At something approaching the speed of light, the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins was able to spot the sexism.

The events in question transpired late Saturday afternoon. By Sunday morning, this hard-hitting headline graced the front page of the hard-copy Washington Post:
Sexist power play ruins powerful final
The headline appeared, on page A1, atop an opinion column by Jenkins. According to the hard-hitting headline, Jenkins had spotted a "sexist power play."

At issue was the conduct of Carlos Ramos, the tennis official who umpired last Saturday's match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. That headline captured Jenkins' assessment of two, or possibly even three, decisions Ramos made.

Jenkins offered an instant assessment. Another part of her fiery piece made us wonder if she had actually watched the match.

We'll quote that passage below. First, let's consider a fiery assessment which appeared in Tuesday's New York Times.

Jenkins is a major sports columnist at the Washington Post. Wesley Morris is a major "performance critic" at the New York Times.

Jenkins had quickly spotted the sexism which caused Ramos to behave as he did. As part of a lengthy assessment, Morris worked in the racism too:
MORRIS (9/11/18): ''This is unbelievable. Every time I play here I have problems,'' she told Ramos, justifying the question I whisper to myself before she starts any U.S. Open: Which of the bad old times would she draw upon if things go awry?

You remember Serena Williams's temper for how it singes but also for its aberration. Actresses might win Oscars for emotional combustion, but there's little tolerance for a nonfictional black woman undamming herself. Black female rage is an incarcerating stereotype whose social costs remain absurdly high.
This is the way we pseudo-liberals now play the game. But as we kept reading, that basic question recurred:

Had Morris watched the match?

In part, we wondered because, by sheer happenstance, we had watched the (rather lengthy) part of the match in question. We'd accidentally flipped to the tennis match just as the (lengthy) dispute was beginning. We sat and watched the (lengthy, multi-game) discussion, tirade or colloquy which followed.

We've often been struck by the smart, sane, sensible interviews Williams conducts on TV. (So too with her sister, Venus Williams.) But on this occasion, we thought she behaved extremely poorly, as almost everyone does at some point along the way.

In part for that reason, we found ourselves wondering if pundits like Jenkins and Morris (and quite a few others) had actually watched the match. Their accounts of what had occurred struck us as almost comically selective, except in the way they toyed with the subjects of gender and race, topics which shouldn't be toyed with.

That said, we modern liberals sometimes seem to live for the joy of toying with gender and race. We drop our bombs with lightning speed and with stunning certainty. Three days after the fact, we may compose groaners like this:
MORRIS: I've always found Williams's eruptions at the U.S. Open acutely depressing. As someone who's watched her in awe, suspense and pride, I find what's particularly awful is the way that pride—in her excellence, in her improbable historicism, in her grit—has compelled me to make excuses for her descents into viciousness. It's just ... Serena.

We're uneasy about how to criticize Williams's behavior without that criticism seeming racist or sexist, given the racism and sexism that Williams and her sister Venus continue to endure. You see something like an Australian op-ed cartoonist caricaturing Williams as a kind of Jim Crow-era savage and Osaka as a faceless blonde (she's the daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian father) and have just a glimpse of what else Williams has been lugging with her onto the tennis court these many years.
Did Morris watch the match? Even as he seems to say that Williams may sometimes "descend into viciousness," he spots the racism in a cartoon in which Osaka was portrayed as, of all things, a blonde!

Osaka's parents are Japanese and Haitian! Morris seemed to know what that just had to mean about her hair! That said:

Whatever a person may think of that Australian cartoon on the whole, it's fairly obvious why it portrayed Osaka's hair as it did. The sheaf of hair protruding from the back of Osaka's cap that day was indeed curly and blonde, just as it appeared in the racist cartoon which Morris diagnosed as he did.

Had Morris actually watched the match? Did he have the slightest idea what Osaka had looked like that day? Even as he tossed his claims and insinuations around, did he have even the first idea what he was talking about?

Morris had had several days to get his reactions together. Jenkins had spotted the sexism right away—but had she watched the match?

We wondered about that Sunday morning because her general account of what had occurred seemed cartoonishly selective. But also because she offered the highlighted claim about the way the fiendish Ramos refuses to "take it" from women:
JENKINS (9/9/18): The controversy should have ended there. At that moment, it was up to Ramos to de-escalate the situation, to stop inserting himself into the match and to let things play out on the court. In front of him were two players in a sweltering state, who were giving their everything, while he sat at a lordly height above them. Below him, Williams vented, "You stole a point from me. You're a thief."

There was absolutely nothing worthy of penalizing in the statement.
It was pure vapor release. She said it in a tone of wrath, but it was compressed and controlled. All Ramos had to do was to continue to sit coolly above it, and Williams would have channeled herself back into the match. But he couldn't take it. He wasn't going to let a woman talk to him that way. A man, sure. Ramos has put up with worse from a man. At the French Open in 2017, Ramos leveled Rafael Nadal with a ticky-tacky penalty over a time delay, and Nadal told him he would see to it that Ramos never refereed one of his matches again.

But he wasn't going to take it from a woman pointing a finger at him and speaking in a tone of aggression. So he gave Williams that third violation for "verbal abuse"
and a whole game penalty, and now it was 5-3, and we will never know whether young Osaka really won the 2018 U.S. Open or had it handed to her by a man who was going to make Serena Williams feel his power. It was an offense far worse than any that Williams committed.
That was the proof of the sexism! When Nadal "told him he would see to it that Ramos never refereed one of his matches again," Ramos just sat there and took it. It was worse than what Williams said!

He'd tolerate that crap from Nadal. He just wasn't willing to "take it" from Williams. Except he did exactly that. In fact, he did it two times!

Sad! As Jenkins would have known if she watched the match, Williams specifically told Ramos, at two separate points, that she would never let him referee another one of her matches.

She told him this after the fifth game of the second set, then again after the seventh game of the set. The second time she made this statement, she went so far as to tell Ramos this:

"You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live.''

Williams dropped this bomb on Ramos at two separate point this day. And as with Nadal, so too here: Ramos simply "took it" each time!

He did, in fact, "allow a woman to talk to him that way;" he did so two separate times. It was only when Williams continued ranting that he charged her with "verbal abuse," as he certainly could have done long before that.

Did Williams stage a "meltdown," as some have now said? That word came to mind for us as we watched her go on, and on, and on and on, berating Ramos over the course of five games during this second set.

For ourselves, we were mainly impressed by the rudeness and disrespect Williams was exhibiting toward her 20-year-old (female) opponent, who was forced to endure a storm of shouting and booing from the crowd when Williams stopped her ranting long enough to let the match continue.

Everybody can have a bad day. As we watched the match, it seemed to us that Williams was having a corker. She said several things which made no earthly sense, and even as she insisted, over and over, that she would never cheat, her coach was telling a TV reporter that yes, as a matter of fact, he had been coaching when Ramos made that initial call. If Williams never accepts any coaching, why does her coach provide it?

We thought Williams had a very bad day. That said, Jenkins and Morris had strange days too. Had they watched the match?

No law requires the modern pundit to evaluate events in a balanced, intelligent way, but a few still manage to do so. On September 10, the New York Times' Juliet Macur reviewed the events at issue in this basically fair and balanced column. She added many of the points of complexity which most pseudo-liberal pundits quickly erased from view.

Macur engaged in something resembling traditional rational conduct. While presenting a range of possibilities about Williams' extremely long harangue, she even went so far as to perhaps suggest a possibility:
MACUR (9/10/18): [I]nstead of a match for the ages, the heralding of a young and deserving talent, it will probably be remembered for Williams's calling the umpire a sexist liar and later saying her complaints were made for the equal rights of all women. But on closer examination, it's also true that this umpire has been tough on top male players, too. The difference is that the men didn't belabor their arguments with him.


Ramos officiated with his usual exacting eye. He gave Williams a warning for receiving coaching in the second set. His action was warranted because Williams's coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted to coaching her.

But Williams exploded into a tantrum that included her shouting that she would never cheat because she is a mother now and wants to be a good example for her daughter. She pointed her finger and demanded an apology from Ramos.

You can argue the nuances. Lots of coaches coach and lots of players are coached from off the court. And lots of umpires don't call them on it. You also have to wonder if Williams would have gone after Ramos so relentlessly—and with such conviction to stand up for women's rights—if she were winning.
Is Ramos equally "tough" and "exacting" with women and men? We have no idea, and very few of our legion of pseudo-liberal pundits seemed to worry about such niceties as they scattered their bombs about and delivered their scripted views.

Late in that passage, Macur might even have seemed to suggest that Williams might have staged her multi-game rant as a way to stir up the crowd against Ramos (and against Osaka). As we watched the events that day, it didn't seem that Williams was trying to do that—but she did produce those showers of catcalls and boos, and she did, in the process, show gross disrespect toward her younger (female) opponent.

Osaka was able to tough it out and win the match when Williams finally let it proceed. But to our eye, Williams had a terrible day, as we humans sometimes do, in ways which were often disappeared by impassioned scribes like Jenkins and Morris.

Are we famous "rational animals" able to reason at all? As we swith the focus of this site, we're trying to explore this eternal question.

Again and again and again and again, we contemporary pseudo-liberals give our answer: no. Especially when gender and race are involved, it tends to be narrative all the way down within our impassioned ranks.

Tending toward narrative all the way down: Also from Macur's column:
MACUR: Billie Jean King, a pioneer for women's equality in sports, weighed in on Twitter.

''When a woman is emotional, she's 'hysterical' and she's penalized for it,' '' King wrote. ''When a man does the same, he's 'outspoken' and there are no such repercussions. Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.''

Hard to argue with that. But it was disappointing that King said nothing about the poor timing of Williams's powerful voice. It made me think back to last year's Open, when the Italian player Fabio Fognini unleashed a barrage of Italian curses upon a female umpire and was kicked out of the tournament.

So sometimes, there are repercussions.
When men do that, they're called "outspoken?" We'd love to see the cite for that from within the world of tennis. The cite may exist, but no one seemed inclined to present it. There were too many bombs to drop!

That said, many members of our tribe have followed King down that road. Inevitably, the Times felt the need to print this ridiculous letter:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (9/12/18): We should apply the same standard of sportsmanship for men and women. Women currently have much less leeway when it comes to what's considered good sportsmanship...

John McEnroe challenges a call and smashes his racket, and he's praised as a competitor. Serena Williams does the same and she's disrespecting the sport? Please. Not allowing female athletes to be hotheaded, fallible and unsportsmanlike fails to recognize female athletes as having a competitive spirit equal to that of their male counterparts.

S— M—, Los Angeles
McEnroe played long ago. He was routinely called a jerk, which is what he routinely was.

Pundits branded him "McBrat." In service to current pseudolib scripts, such history must disappear.

Are we able to reason at all? Again and again and again and again, we pseudolibs join our dittohead pals. We give a loud answer:



  1. "we thought she behaved extremely poorly"

    No one disputes this. The question is whether the same punishment, which cost her the match, would have been given to a male or white player.

    Somerby seems to imply that it is ridiculous to refer to racism and sexism in this context, as if the entire history of mistreatment of black female athletes can be ignored in evaluating this situation. For one thing, Williams experienced that reality, day in and day out, and brought it with her to that match. It changes a person to be treated that way repeatedly. Somerby never deals with the Australian cartoon -- he ignores it because the umpire presumably didn't draw it -- but Williams is the brunt of that and other slights routinely and she cannot ignore it. It is her life. But Williams didn't accuse the referee of racism or sexism. She accused him of being a bad referee, of being unfair and making bad rulings. She called him a thief, not a racist.

    Somerby repeatedly says "watch the match" but watching it won't answer any questions about racism and sexism in sports. It will only show Williams behaving badly, which no one disputes she did. So why does Somerby tell us to watch it?

    Now there is a debate about whether Williams was treated fairly, on the court and in the press. Somerby seems to be saying that if Williams wishes to be better treated, she needs to show no anger on the court, stop her bad behavior. I have to ask whether Somerby has ever played a competitive sport well enough to win, whether he has experienced bad officiating, whether he has felt those strong emotions as a competitor. Obviously not, would be my conclusions, since he gives her ridiculous advice to stop feeling strong emotion and stop reacting strongly when she is wronged on the court (first by an event that didn't even involved her).

    The point of the sexism claims is that the public insists, along with Somerby, that women behave better than men, and it punishes them more harshly when they don't. People did chastise McEnroe, but what he did was far worse than what Williams did. When men do the same as what she did, they don't get penalized the way she did. Some reporters have commented that her penalties were routine, automatic. Not the first one (where she did nothing), and not the last one that cost her the match. Only the racket breaking penalty was automatic. But, telling women to behave better is sexism. All players should behave better -- the issue is whether there is a double standard that insists that women behave differently then men and punishes them when they do not.

    This post demonstrates once again that Somerby is clueless when it comes to sexism. He doesn't understand the issues that face women, and especially female black athletes. Williams is trying to break those special rules and stretch the constraints under which women must play the game. She attracts negative attention with things like her cat suit, but men don't and never have had to wear white tennis skirts. Until they have similar restrictions, they need to do more listening and less criticizing when women like Williams and King call for change.

    This has nothing to do with reason. It has to do with life experience. Somerby is being an ass again.

    1. June 1977 - Screamed obscenities at French Open line judge while winning mixed doubles final with Mary Carillo, but was not fined.

      Referee Fred Hoyles said he had come within two tantrums of disqualification during early match against Tom Gulliksen. [how many tantrums does he get?]

      January 1990 - Thrown out of Australian Open and fined $6,500 after receiving third warning for misbehavior against Mikael Pernfors. [third warning]

      July 1988 - Warned for racket abuse during defeat against Australian Wally Masur at Wimbledon. [warned not automatically penalized]

      When you read through his list, ask yourself whether Williams rises to the level of any of his bad behavior, fines or not.

    2. “I’ve said far worse,” McEnroe, a seven-times Grand Slam singles winner, said on ESPN. “She’s right about the guys being held to a different standard, there’s no question.”

    3. Sorry but all kinds of people are disputing that She behaved extremely poorly and Bob names some of them.

    4. Is the question really whether or not McEnroe's behavior was worse or if William's behavior reaches his level of his bad behavior over a quarter century ago? Is the question not instead whether or not William's behavior broke the current rules as stated which are “verbal abuse is defined as a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator, or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting, or otherwise abusive."? Or are some here arguing that though her behavior did break the rules it is unfair because others, mostly men, similarly broke the rules and were not called for it? Let's see your proof. Men were called for far more penalties in that tournament that women.

      What about when William's told a limeswoman "I swear to God I’ll fucking take the ball and shove it down your fucking throat.”. How do you people view that through the lens of race and gender? Or when she told umpire Eva Asderaki, “You’re a hater and you’re unattractive inside. . . . What a loser!”? Under what burdensome double standard did Williams, as a beleaguered black female superstar athlete, suffer on that occasion?

    5. Women should definitely be harshly punished when they behave like men.

    6. @2:32 From what I've read, it seems likely that men on average are held to a lower standard. But, that doesn't mean that Serena experienced bad officiating. On the contrary, the three warnings she received were all precisely proper under the rules.

      We learn this principle in childhood. When your parent catches you doing something wrong, it's no defense to say, "Johnny did something even worse."

    7. If you read the comments to Drum's website, especially those who follow tennis, you'll see that this isn't so cut and dried. Some facts omitted by Somerby include that the first penalty for coaching was discretionary, not mandatory, and that Osaka's coach was doing it too but wasn't penalized. Apparently, coaching is allowed in some tournaments but not others. It is only all for women, not men (sexism). So Ramos was being arbitrary.

    8. Williams has obscenely threatened female judges as well, for which She was roundly praised by the Times in a worshipful profile. And maybe you wonder why the base doesn’t care what we say about Trump?

    9. Why don't you deal with the substance of any of my comments?

  2. She had some help from her coach. Do you play your best after having been wrongly accused of cheating for something you didn't do?

  3. "Only pseudolibs care about sexism or racism. Despite the massive existence of these things historically, a true liberal never talks about them. A true liberal, a la Bob Somerby, argues the truth of Trump's talking points and derides liberals." ---implied Bob Somerby

  4. What a relief not to talk about Godel.

  5. Why is it that Somerby's opinions always represent the side of reason, whereas others' opinions do not? Who died and made him Aristotle?

  6. When Somerby becomes either black, a black female, a world class tennis player, or a black female world class tennis player, maybe then Serena might have some reason to listen to Somerby. Otherwise, perhaps he might stop talking and listen to what Serena has to say and try to understand her point of view.

    1. If he doesn't want to listen to Williams, Somerby can listen to the many other tennis players who are supporting her position.

      Even Navratilova, who criticizes her on court behavior, first says this:

      "Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished — and not just in tennis."

      The point of the articles quoted by Somerby is not whether Williams bad behavior should be permitted, but the DOUBLE STANDARD in how her behavior was punished compared to white and male tennis players.

      Somerby should be asking why we, as a society, feel the need to punish bad behavior by black people more harshly than bad behavior by white people. Why are black children suspended more often from school, tazed by school security, incarcerated for minor crimes more frequently, shot by police more often.

      Women's anger is always punished more harshly than men's anger. Look at Trump's temper tantrums, his abuse of his own staff. No one condones it, but no one punishes it either. Men are permitted such behavior, even if they are not respected for it. But Serena Williams gets mad and she loses a title.

      Somerby thinks that is fair -- just watch the match he says.

  7. Did Somerby even see the racist Australian cartoon that is being referred to in his quoted excerpts? He doesn't provide a link to it, but when you track it down, it shows a clearly white woman with long flowing blonde hair coming from her cap, not a woman of color with curly reddish-blonde hair. The change in race of her opponent, as the ref says "can't you just let her win" is obvious.

    Also, if Somerby watched the match, he must surely know that Williams was not angry at Osaka. She was angry about the referee. Williams was not throwing a tantrum over losing the game, nor was she trying to upset her opponent. She was mad at the officiating, which she felt accused her of cheating.

    Why on earth would a black woman be sensitive about being accused of cheating? Why would that be more infuriating than a bad line call? Did Somerby even watch the match?

  8. "This is the way we pseudo-liberals now play the game"

    There's nothing 'pseudo' about you and your zombie death-cult, Bob. And it's not 'now', it's always. That's what your tribe is - and has always been - all about... Sad? Yes, Bob. Very sad.

    1. Democrats were opposed to sexism and racism during the civil war? Who knew?

  9. OMG. Many of my fellow liberals have lost it! Williams smashed her racket incurring a second warning that cost her a point. She continued to berate the umpire which cost her a game. These are the rules, not sexism. She was not playing a man. Ramos had issued similar rulings against men. The cartoon was about Williams behavior. It's just like when an african american pulls out a gun and is killed by the police. This is then called racism. We have come to the point where some behavior is never criticized in the name of getting rid of racism and sexism when neither was involved in the incident. Why do people not criticeze Serena for being coached, smashing her racquet and berating the umpire. This is not acceptable behavior in tennis and is against the rules of the sport which the players know about. That not all umpires always apply the rules in the same way does not mean the rulings are sexist and racist. In baseball, some umpires trat a situation differently than others. That is just human nature. Serena, for all her greatness, broke the rules and was appropriately disciplined. This was not racism or sexism unless you change the definition of racism and sexism t mean holding any african american or woman accountable for their behavior.

    1. Note how you skim over the first infraction, where she was accused of cheating because her coach made gestures from the stands. You also omit her third penalty which arose because she called the ref a thief for her previous penalty. You also failed to read the comments above which document that players such as McEnroe do much worse things yet are not penalized as severely. That is the sexist part. OMG your version of things ignores so much!

    2. The comments above document McEnroe doing much worse things and being penalized more severely also little Ms Ignores So Much.

    3. Only after being allowed to behave badly way more than Williams. He pushed the limits but also showed that those limits were more lenient for men. The players themselves say so.

  10. If this is the cartoon,

    Naomi Osaka is definitely not depicted as white. She's shown with about the same complexion as Serena Williams, contrasting with Carlos Ramos.

    The caricature of Williams is indeed ugly. But it represents a black woman behaving badly. If it had been a caricature of her in a good mood and behaving well, it would have depicted an attractive black woman. So what's a cartoonist to do? Don't draw women of color at all?

    Williams is privileged. She got rich and famous doing something at least as stupid as proving incompleteness theorems. So she can take her lumps.

    Athletes in general should be required to behave decently. Any insolence toward officials should result in penalties, forfeits, and bans: zero tolerance.

    Now let's enjoy a song.

    1. The ref, Ramos (a man of color) is portrayed as pink. Osaka (a woman of color) is portrayed as gray-brown, the same as the lightest parts of Williams. She is nowhere as dark as the darker parts of Williams. Her hair is straight, blonde and long instead of curly and bushy. Osaka is a medium dark skinned person who is muscular and not the lanky woman shown in the drawing. Her face is round, not long as depicted. [image of Osaka]

      The portrayal of Williams is stereotypical, with very large lips and a big nose and features resembling a shrunken head. It is not merely unattractive, it is racist. It doesn't look like an angry Serena -- it looks like the historical racist images used to malign African Americans. If imp is unfamiliar with them, he needs to visit a museum.

      It is not OK to stereotype any African American with the belief that she's rich so she can take it. The whole race is maligned, not just Williams, when you use such stereotypes. The cartoonist should draw from a photo and accentuate the features of Williams herself, not make her a generic negative stereotype that doesn't look like her or anyone real.

      Your point about zero tolerance is part of what Williams is angry about. The men don't get penalized according to the same standard as women do. If zero tolerance were applied to all athletes, she wouldn't be making that point.

      You think she should shut up and be civil. Isn't that exactly what they have said to all protesters throughout the civil rights movement? This IS a civil rights issue. You have missed it. Maybe you should play less music and spend your time reviewing the history of the civil rights movement. Start with the PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize.

    2. Bob linked to a photograph of Naomi Osaka. For your convenience, here it is again:

      Here's Carlos Ramos:,_wrong_number.%22_(19509842541).jpg


      See the one of Angel Food McSpade, for example, three rows down on the right.

    4. Yes, imp. Osaka is nearly the same color as Williams and Ramos is brown skinned, not pink. That isn't how they were depicted in the cartoon.

      Somerby says: "Whatever a person may think of that Australian cartoon on the whole, it's fairly obvious why it portrayed Osaka's hair as it did. The sheaf of hair protruding from the back of Osaka's cap that day was indeed curly and blonde, just as it appeared in the racist cartoon which Morris diagnosed as he did."

      The cartoon didn't depict Osaka's hair the way it appears in real life. It was depicted as straight and long and blonde, not reddish and dyed black hair, straight blonde hair. The body type and features of the woman were changed to stereotypically white (thin, long, straight) and her rounded, muscular body (much like Serena's) was not as it appears in real life. She looks like a white woman, not like Osaka. That is racist.

      Our culture has a black=bad, white=good dichotomy. It may be the artist unconsciously emphasized the whiteness of the umpire and opponent in order to make Serena clearly the person being criticized for her bad behavior. He may have worried that viewers might confuse Osaka and Williams if he made them more similar, that his message about her badness might be missed if it were more subtle. But drawing on stereotypes is racist.

      Somerby needs to acknowledge what was done, not point to Osaka's "blonde" hair and say the artist did nothing wrong. Look at Osaka and that cartoon side by side -- if they look the same to you, you are a liar.

    5. Here is a picture of Williams and Osaka together:

    6. "The portrayal of Williams is stereotypical, with very large lips and a big nose and features resembling a shrunken head. It is not merely unattractive, it is racist. "

      Those are the words of a RACIST who describes her lips and nose as "large" and "unattractive" because your standard is smaller. Blacks DO have larger noses and lips than whites and other ethnic groups. You equate that with "bad" because you're a racist.

      You morons are so un-self-aware.

    7. Look at the cartoon and then look at the Jim Crow stereotypes at the links provided above. Then look in the mirror and tell yourself: "I will not behave like a moron." Thirty times ought to do it, unless you are unusually stupid.

    8. Anonymous on September 15, 2018 at 6:49 PM,

      Ferris State has it wrong. Angelfood McSpace is not a cartoon from the Jim Crow era, which spanned 1872-1965. The character is the work of Robert Crumb, the R.Crumb of Zap Comix, which was firmly in the camp of the so-called counterculture of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. A.S., who appeared from 1967 to 1971, was an over-the-top commentary on the racist tenor of the times, combined with a perhaps-unhealthy dose of Crumb’s sexual imagination. Crumb stopped drawing the figure because of people like you and your friends at Ferris State who can’t tell the difference.

    9. Drawing a racist image in a different time period doesn't make it less racist. You can suggest that R. Crumb was being ironic but there is nothing about him or his life that suggests that is true. He was also a major sexist, in my opinion. I did like Mr. Natural though.

    10. I'm not suggesting that Crumb was being ironic. Crumb says that he was, and only someone clueless, like say, yourself, would take AS as anything but a lampoon of racist attitudes. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make a case that AS is still offensive, but that’s different. For instance, I don’t think The Producers is very funny, but I don’t think “Springtime for Hitler” makes Mel Brooks an antisemite. YMMV.

    11. Q: But the irony — considering how much "Zap" is often thought of as a product of that time, this seminal countercultural touchstone — is that none of the hippies in your drawing seems seem to get it.

      Q: And when did you start hearing that "Zap" was racist and misogynistic?


  11. Did Serena Williams display racism? She grossly insulted a non-black umpire, calling him a "liar" and a "thief". That's understandable bin the heat of the moment. But, after she calmed down, why didn't she apologize to Ramos? After all, he had done nothing wrong.

    If Ramos were black, would she have insulted him like this? If she did insult a black umpire, would she apologize?

    1. David, getting angry at a person of color is not racism. Attributing bad traits to all people of color is racist. Treating an individual differently because of their color is racist.

      She didn't apologize to Ramos because she felt he had made a mistake as umpire. That's why she complained and called him a thief during the match. According to her, he did do something wrong.

      You are welcome to catalog the times Williams has complained about umpires and see whether they are white, black or brown. Let us know the results of your survey. My guess is that she would apologize if she felt she had made a mistake, and not apologize otherwise. That's what most people do.

      Most observers are sympathetic to Williams' anger but disagree with her expression of it. The ones who are tennis players are agreeing that there is an unfairness in the way women are treated by umpires. That is the sexist part. The racist part is the way she was portrayed in that cartoon and the way people discuss her behavior. For example, I have a friend who told me he likes Venus better than Serena because Serena is "too ghetto." I think that's a bit racist.

    2. “She didn't apologize to Ramos because she felt he had made a mistake as umpire.”

      In fact, she told Ramos that he should apologize to her. It’s on film. No matter.

      Near the head of this post by Bob, “Sexist power play ruins powerful final.”

      Is that an accurate statement? Since both of the players were women, it seems unlikely. It’s such a stupid thing to say in that context. If the writer were to really turn up the heat, she would have used “racist.”

      Since both players were women of color, that may not have played so well. But I suppose one cannot overlook the fact that, even in dark-skinned societies, attractiveness is in some way defined by lightness of skin color (sorry, no link Bob).

      Perhaps the ref preferred Osaka because she was marginally less brown? Or is it possible that the penalties against Williams were deserved?

      Is it possible that men receive better treatment? That seems, often, to be the case.

    3. He preferred Osaka because she was better behaved, knew her place, didn't make noise or complain.

    4. 1. The umpire selectively enforced a rule that both players' coaches were breaking in order to penalize Williams but not Osaka.
      2. When Williams kept complaining, the umpire made things about himself by giving her a verbal abuse penalty. From what the umpire said, he was upset that she was not respecting his authority.

      People who regularly watch tennis understood these nuances. Somerby doesn't watch tennis much, so he thinks Williams has no legitimate complaint. The tennis players get it, that's why most are supporting her.

      The sexist part is that (1) this is a male umpire asserting his authority over women in making a biased call; (2) men's games are not officiated in the same way because there are different rules, including about coaching from sidelines; (3) women players have called for an end for the differences but have not been listened to; (4) women's infractions are punished differently than men's; (5) Williams is punished more harshly because she is more outspoken about these differences.

      One difference women are asking to have changed is the number of sets played. Why is this not equal? Playing 3 out of 5 instead of 2 out of 3 would have lessened the impact of losing that game taken as a penalty.

      The picture changes when you know more facts. Why didn't Somerby report all of the information from Drum's website, including the tennis aficionados who corrected him in comments? There is sexism involved, but it makes liberals seem like they are manufacturing that issue when you leave out the facts about it, so Somerby is being selective. That is dirty pool.

    5. Many tennis aficionados, pros, writers and coaches and other refs have publicly sided with the ref as well, fucking dingbat.

      She broke the rules.

      End of story.

      What about when William's told a lineswoman "I swear to God I’ll fucking take the ball and shove it down your fucking throat.”. Under what burdensome double standard did Williams, as a beleaguered black female superstar athlete, suffer on that occasion?

      The funny thing is you don't even realize Somerby's key point is that you and others are "toying" with subjects of gender and race, topics which shouldn't be toyed with. It's so deeply engrained in your DNA, you do it by instinct and don't realize the consequences. (less votes, more Trumpism)

      Sleep tight.

    6. Osaka broke the rules too and wasn't punished.

      Explain that away.

      Somerby thinks the pundits didn't watch the match because if they had, they would agree with him. It doesn't work that way, any more than things are as black and white as you want to make them.

      What rule permits you to verbally abuse me simply because you disagree with what I've written? You think you wouldn't blow up at an umpire occasionally under the pressure of competition?

      You think any black athlete deserves what they get as the price for being allowed to play and make a bunch of money being good at tennis? Maybe Williams thinks that no matter how good she is, she still gets treated differently than white players. Wouldn't that tend to make you mad?

      Gender and race cannot be compartmentalized the way you want them to be. Somerby is as far from woke as anyone can be. There is a kind of irony to you telling me to sleep.

    7. You are not woke to the damage playing the race card willy nilly does the Democrat party and I'll verbally abuse you any time I want idiot, cuntrag whore. Especially when you act as stupidly as you are now. She played the race and gender card because those were the only cards she had left to play and you stupidly jumped on board because it is all you know. There is no empiricism behind your boring pronouncements. Internationally famous, black, professional, women tennis pros are not treated differently that their white peers moron. You diminish real racism and sexism when you echo that ridiculous charge. But I realize you are just doing the best with what you have. You don't understand the ramifications. You haven't studied history. Enjoy your somnambulistic journey into oblivion and defeat. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

    8. 2;35,
      If there are still folks who don't know Republicans, and Conservatives in general, are reactionaries, I'm not sure you pointing it out here will get it through their thick skulls.

    9. 515 I'm a Clinton voter idiot. Your argument s would still be invalid and weak if I was the Queen of England.

    10. Speaking of somnambulistic journeys into oblivion and defeat, you keep pointing out that she's playing the racism and sexism cards, and she'll keep dominating tennis tournaments.
      You'd be better off learning how to return her serves, rather than whine about what cards she's playing.

  12. @6:39 you make some good points. However, I disagree with sugar-coating Serena's offensive behavior. She did not just "disagree" with Ramos. She grossly insulted him and several times threatened to blackball him.

    1. No one is excusing her behavior. They are asking for equal treatment of men and women on the courts.

    2. 8:31... all kinds of people are excusing her behavior as Bob illustrates clearly. You seem to have a hard time reasoning things out.

    3. Won't pointing out that Serena behaved badly, just make her act worse? Or is that type of nonsense argumentation only reserved for Republicans?

  13. Bob comes close to getting this just right, and it reminds up how useful he was once was when he was willing to call BS on the left AND right.

    Oddly, Mao is partly correct, these are liberals in error, nothing pseudo about them. And not all liberals got it wrong: Kevin Drum took on the conventional liberal wisdom, if politely. This is the sort of matter Bill Maher would have called BS on, long ago and far away, but he seems to have abandoned that sort of thing as the years have gone by.
    I do think you have to factor in that beyond racial or matters of sexual politics, hero worship of stars is at play here in a big way. Those corporations liberals are supposed to hate have spent Millions brain washing them into worship of their spokespeople. They show an odd lack of "resistance" in such matters.

    1. Bill Maher is a Libertarian who has recently switched to Democrat because of Trump. Kevin Drum got schooled in his comments, which you apparently didn't read.

    2. I did, But Drum is right and you are wrong.

    3. I didn't write any of those comments in Drum's comment section. But I disagree that Drum is right. They made some good points, in my opinion. Drum likes to play the cautious moderate and that appeals to Somerby because it gives him cover for criticizing liberals over here.

      Race card = civil rights. Why should liberals stop supporting civil rights? Why should liberals tell someone like Serena Williams (who has the support of many other tennis players) that she should shut up when she complains about inequality in her sport? How can Kevin Drum possibly know more about such inequalities than she does?

      But you go right on believing in Drum and Somerby.

    4. I think it’s important for progressives not to dismiss out of hand arguments against the Democratic Party just because there’s some overlap between those criticisms and criticisms that traditionally were directed against those who were trying to bring about greater equality for African-Americans.

  14. Williams behaved disgracefully. Tennis officials should take a hard line against degrading the sport by excusing conduct like hers.

    1. They should take a hard line against EVERYONE who degrades the sport. Otherwise they themselves are degrading the sport by introducing bias. That is bad conduct too.

  15. Bet Somerby defends Kavanaugh on Monday. Poor man is being accused by some woman who won't even give her name (so the death threats can be properly addressed). All rapes committed while drunk don't count. Neither do ones committed against minors, cause young girls do lie to get attention and why should a man's life be ruined by some bitch who lies like that? And if the rape was true why didn't she come forward years ago when Kavanaugh was doing George Bush's dirty work? Why now? Somerby will defend all men by defending Kavanaugh, because keeping Catholics on the court is more important than women's concerns. Wimmin! Right Peewee? Williams needs to shut up and just play tennis so that Somerby can devote his superior reason to defending bigger fish, like Kavanaugh. Count down begins now: ten, nine, eight...

    1. They should take a hard line against all rapists who degrade high school drinking parties.

    2. I am sorry to see that my Senator Dianne Feinstein really screwed the pooch. The way she handled this complaint, it will have no effect on Kavenaugh's confirmation and she's being vilified by both liberals and conservatives. I hope this incident won't cause her to lose the primary election on June 5.

    3. 2:50,
      Agreed, that since Kavanaugh's repeated lying under oath, had no effect on his confirmation, it's hard to see how this sexual abuse claim will.
      BTW, remember the 90s when Conservatives were all shouting "Rule of law?" Good times.

    4. David,

      You will find Diane Feinstein more congenial in the senate than her opponent.

  16. You said you were high-class, but I'd have seen through that.

  17. "I like your tan."

    Awesome. Thanks Caesar.


  18. Countdown to Somerby's defense of

    1. Betting on him going back to current events M-F? Interesting.

  19. This blogger is a toothache come alive. How does he live with such volcanic rage inside of him? "We liberals" - amazing.

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