END-OF-YEAR MANIFESTATIONS: "Goddamn Karen" slaps old coot!


"Bitch" just wouldn't sit down: We'll admit that we've decided to treat this week as the Irish allegedly do—as a full-blown Christmas week. 

We expect to return to full services next week. At that time, we'll attempt to describe the novelization which has come to dominate the way our tribe behaves in many instances. 

We refer to a novelization—a devotion to Storyline—which has led our journalists to shed basic logic, and misstate basic facts, in a wide array of circumstances. Routinely, our tribal behavior has been very bad—and The Others are told about this.

We're going to wait until next week for that. We're handling this week like the Irish.

That said, our post on Friday will involve the topic which interested us most deeply this year. This topic plays exactly no role in the nation's daily discourse.

For today, we'll start by guessing that Patricia Cornwall, age 51, may have consumed a few extra cocktails during her recent Delta flight to Atlanta, or perhaps shortly before it.

Actually, we hope that Cornwall consumed a few extra cocktails that day. Otherwise, her conduct on this two-minute videotape doesn't make a lot of sense.

Eventually, Cornwall slaps a fellow passenger who has been calling her names. According to the Washington Post, the incident started like this:

BELLA (12/28/21): On Thursday, Cornwall was returning from the restroom when she saw a flight attendant conducting beverage service and blocking the aisle, according to the [official criminal] complaint. After Cornwall asked the flight attendant to help her find her seat, the flight attendant requested that she find an available seat until the conclusion of the beverage service, the complaint says.

“What am I? Rosa Parks?” said Cornwall, who is White, according to the complaint.

Upon hearing the comment, the complaint says, the male passenger sitting in seat 37C told Cornwall “it was an inappropriate comment and that she ‘isn’t Black … this isn’t Alabama and this isn’t a bus.’ ” He then called her a catchall term popularized in recent years to describe an entitled, demanding White woman who polices other people’s behavior.

“Sit down, Karen,” he said to Cornwall, according to the complaint.

Cornwall's alleged remark about Rosa Parks isn't recorded on the videotape. To see the full criminal complaint, just click here. Please note that it is largely based on the male passenger's allegations—on his account of what occurred.

Cornwall's initial alleged remark isn't recorded on the videotape. Given her subsequent ridiculous conduct, it isn't had to believe that it did occur.

What is recorded is the way the male passenger repeatedly addresses Cornwall by that "catchall term popularized in recent years"—by the "catchall term" which is used "to describe an entitled, demanding White woman who polices other people’s behavior." 

(For the record, he employs that catchall term as he polices her behavior.)

As reported by Timothy Bella, that catchall term is "Karen." In fact, the highly principled male passenger is shown on the videotape angrily saying this:

“Sit down, Karen! You're a goddamn Karen! Sit down!"

After repeatedly addressing Cornwall as "Karen," the male passenger proceeds to address her as "Bitch." At this point, she seems to slap him. 

The male passenger then starts saying that he's been punched. He sasses Cornwall, saying she'll soon be going to jail. 

That prediction may turn out to be sound! For what it's worth, we're hoping that the highly principled male passenger may have had a few extra cocktails that day too. 

(It seems he may be slurping one down as his name-calling starts.)

We note the following points:

Is the term in question best described as "a catchall term popularized in recent years?" In our view, the Post should be embarrassed for having published that dodge. 

In the criminal complaint, the term seems to be described as a "derogatory" term. In fact, it's a derogatory racial term—a race-based insult which has been "popularized" within our tribe in recent years. 

In the past, we've suggested that it may not be the best idea to invent and "popularize" new forms of racial name-calling. That said, our tribe increasingly seems to enjoy such behaviors—the kinds of behaviors which once belonged more exclusively to The Others, in the not-so-distant past.

In fact, the catchall term is a race-based insult. Let's review what can be seen on the tape:

The male passenger—for the record, he's an older "white" male—starts out by addressing Cornwall as "Karen." He then refers to her as "a goddamn Karen."

Quickly, he moves on. Before long, he addresses Cornwall as "Bitch," and/or directly calls her a "bitch," at least four separate times.

The gentleman is highly principled—and he quickly turns from the newly-popularized racial insult to the old misogynist standard. As a general matter, our tribe may be too self-assured, too morally pure, to notice a problem with this.

He started out with racial name-calling, then moved to the classic gender-based putdown. It seems to us that the Post's report may perhaps be obscuring these facts. 

In the past, we've suggested, on several occasions, that the popularization of new types of racial name-calling may not be the greatest idea. Beyond that, we've occasionally suggested that the self-assurance of our tribe—concerning matters of gender, let's say—may occasionally outstrip our real-life performance.

Watching this creepy old coot move directly from "Karen" to "Bitch" may serve as a case in point! Meanwhile, we think the Post should be embarrassed by the bowdlerized way it has chosen to report this possibly wine-soaked incident.

He addressed her by a catchall term, one which has been popularized! That's the way the Washington Post chose to describe his racial/sexual name-calling.

The Others are told about matters like this. This may help explain why we have trouble assembling working majorities out in the political realm.

Tomorrow: Some other passing matter

Friday: Our question of the year!


  1. So, dear Bob, your smug liberal-hitlerian cult invented a new insult. It's certainly not the first, and in all likelihood not the last.

    So what. We take your lousy insults as compliments.

    ...needless to say, Miss Patricia Cornwall, age 51, should've restrained herself.

    1. It figures that Mao would be the one to cancel culture the woman.
      It’s almost like every Right-wing accusation is really a confession. Without the “It’s almost like” part, of course.

  2. https://digbysblog.net/2021/12/28/the-pity-party/

    In keeping with Republican techniques, Somerby sees victims instead of bullies in conservative wrongdoers. This is strong evidence that he is not a liberal, as he repeatedly claims to be.

    Today Somerby says: "(For the record, he employs that catchall term [Karen] as he polices her behavior.)"

    And for the record, the man was asking her to comply with the flight attendant's instructions so that she would not impede beverage service to others on the plane.

    Notice how Somerby today turns it around so that the woman who began this altercation by refusing to comply with flight attendants, which is an actual FAA offense punishable by a fine of up to $25,000, is the victim of a man who calls her Karen until she punches him, then jeers at her because she has assaulted him. That woman is not the victim. But notice how conservatives turn it around, as Somerby does today, by pretending that asking people to consider the needs of others is somehow interference with their freedom, making them martyrs.

    Somerby pretends that he is mainly worried about the name "Karen" but the idea is that an entitled person refuses to consider the needs of others, much as when Trumpies wear t-shirts saying "fuck your feelings" and routinely ignore rules that are designed for the benefit of everyone, because it might inconvenience them in their entitlement. White women do this and get called "Karen". White men do this and get called jerks. When an person with no consideration of the needs of others engages in antisocial behavior, yes, other people will object and call them on it. And Somerby pretends it is the name "Karen" that is wrong and calls the guy a "creepy old coot" with all the entitlement of the veriest Karen himself, as if "creepy old coot" were an OK term, compared to Karen.

    This woman started the racial name-calling by appropriating Rosa Parks' name. Soemrby portrays the man who told her to sit down as a drunk in a "wine-soaked incident". I've been on planes, as have most other people, and we have all experienced the jerks who won't get out of the aisle before. It doesn't matter what they are called, they are in the wrong. And so is Somerby today.

  3. "Bitch" is a gender-based putdown (to use Somerby's terms) only when it is used to put down a woman who is doing something that a man would not be censured for doing, ie. for engaging in role non-conforming behavior.

    This woman was acting like a bitch so the term was appropriate. Note that the man didn't use it until after using less strong terms to ask her to sit down, as instructed by the flight attendant. He escalated because she refused to comply.

    But this is not a gendered situation. A man would be expected to sit down too. He would be more likely to be called an asshole if he persisted as this woman did. If a man punched another man, the pilot would immediately land the plane and have him removed (assuming there was no air marshal aboard). This woman's assumption that it is OK for her to punch men under provocation, demonstrates her sense of entitlement further. She is lucky he didn't defend himself physically and only responded verbally. Men don't get to hit women -- that part IS gendered -- and she took advantage of that reality to hurt him.

    Somerby is so wrong about this. It does say a lot about his attitudes toward women and his conservatism that he got this so wrong. Does Somerby actually believe that this woman should be permitted to do whatever she wants, say whatever she wants, and even hit people without reaction? In what world?

    But Somerby instead turns around liberal beliefs in order to use them against us in order to defend a miscreant who is misbehaving. Because that's what Republicans do these days. And no, I do not accept his attempt to redefine feminist complaints about the use of the word bitch to limit female behavior, to instead apply to generic namecalling, especially of folks who deserve it.

    1. Indeed. This poster can seemingly rationalize anything, as long as it goes against whatever Somerby wrote it's fine, sound logic!

    2. 12:52, I notice you did not point out any logical flaws in 12:12’s argument. Can you?

    3. Really? The first paragraph is as far as you need to go.

      Do you believe it is okay for a man to call a woman a "bitch", and intend it as an insult?

      Follow up, do you think that in that situation it is a gender-based putdown or not?

      Then we can move on to analyzing whether water is wet or not...

    4. 1:34, why are you asking me? Can you not state your own views?

    5. Sorry, I was curious how you were rationalizing things.

      I don't believe it's okay for a man to call a woman a "bitch" and intend it as an insult. I do think in that situation it is a gender-based putdown.

      So now that I have stated my own views, do you want to step in at this point since you were the one that opened this dialogue?

      So for the record I am both asking you and stating my own views. Hopefully we don't get stuck on that!

    6. Regrouping to "get" Somerby again tomorrow I suppose. Or lost track of alt accounts and just needs a nap.

    7. If you hink the anonymices are comically preposterous today, just remind yourself how the flip would switch… if Bob had castigated the chick.

    8. @2:19

      Men call women bitches and cunts all the time, especially when together with other men (or without women present). This daintiness seems performative to me.

      You might read this to see how feminist women feel about being called a bitch:


      mh didn't write the comment at 12:12, I did.

      Many women feel that courtliness and protectiveness by men is part of the set of restrictions that prevented women from fully participating in work and politics and other venues outside the home. Such gallantry is intended to restrict women, not help them. The word itself is not inherently bad (female dog?), but the use of it often displays male anger, often because they feel that women have overstepped their place in society. THAT is what women object to, not the word.

      In this case, Cornwall was clearly abusing any civility the flight attendant extended. She did this by interfering with their performance of their job and consequently denied other passengers their drinks. The male passenger's anger was justified, in my opinion, and had nothing whatsoever to do with any gender issue. A man doing the same thing would have provoked the same anger, rightly in my opinion.

      Being called a bitch is no different than being called a son of a bitch. Throwing a hissy fit because feminine womanhood has been disrespected is not just a legacy of Victorian times, but it is part of the white supremacist creed, which fights for the purity of white women and their return to family duties and childrearing. Republicans come dangerously close to that same view of womanhood, which I consider to be pernicious and much more of an insult to women than a word like bitch.

    9. The Link is to the Bitch Manifesto, an early essay in second wave feminism, copyrighted in 1970.

    10. The official complaint makes it clear that she called him a pussy first. Does that change anything for you guys who think women shouldn't be called names such as "bitch"? Pussy is a gendered term if bitch is.

    11. I personally think everyone is WAAAYYYY overanalyzing this. Is it possible that we simply have a situation where two jerks acted poorly/made poor decisions. The female passenger by not just letting the cart pass (it's like Bruce Lee always said, be the water, take the seat and get on with your day) and the male passenger for throwing fuel on the fire by getting involved (did he really think he would help the situation by name-calling...especially someone that seems like a total idiot in the first place, no, that could only incite). Whatever the underlying motivations will probably never be known, and really don't matter all that much, they were both jerks and made an inconvenience situation (waiting for the bar cart to pass) into an internet sensation and the latest controversy for everyone to overanalyze. I would venture to guess that both are a ton of fun to talk to at parties.

    12. Yes, and when people want to claim that they are Rosa Parks, thus belittling a civil rights hero, we should just shine that on too, because it doesn't matter what bigots say about either. This guy was initially polite but pointed out that she was not a black lady on a bus in Alabama protesting segregation.

      I personally don't believe that someone is being a jerk when they defend the importance of civil rights from entitled white women who disparage people like Rosa Parks.

      I would guess that this woman is a great deal like our own Cecelia, who thinks that her sarcastic jokes about libs are funny and expects people here to applaud them, forgetting that Somerby may be conservative but many of the commenters here are actual liberals. This woman may have forgotten that not everyone on that plane agrees with her knee-jerk Republican quips and many will find them offensive.

      But you seem to want to label the people who call out jerks as jerks too. I don't think that's correct or fair to someone who was standing up to right=wing casual racism. (As if what Rosa Parks did is equivalent to having to sit down while the beverage cart goes by.)

      All behavior comes from beliefs, attitudes and assumptions and these are revealed in that behavior. That is why it is possible to analyze this situation. Is it worthwhile to analyze a white sense of entitlement and flippant attitudes toward racism? Somerby says no. Liberals tend to say yes. You seem to be saying "what's the big deal" thereby showing a lack of understanding about why racism still exists as a problem in our society. But you are correct that there are lots of jerks around, maybe more than two.

      This woman was arrested and can be sentenced to prison for assault and up to $25,000 for interference with airline attendants during their work. That makes the context far from trivial. You might ask yourself why your reaction is to brush it off.

    13. Oh, you you forgot that Cornwall was chiding the man over not wearing a mask while all the while wearing her mask under her nose. That’s a liberal to the bone, Anonymouse 10:26am.

      My only reaction to the elderly gentleman would have been to say, “ Right, and you ain’t Big Daddy.”

  4. "The male passenger—for the record, he's an older "white" male"

    And then Somerby calls him a drunk and a creepy old coot. Given Somerby's age, this is an example of the pot calling the kettle white.

  5. Referring to the word "Karen" as a racial insult is sort of like calling the word "racist" a racial insult. This is another obvious attempt to turn the left's values about not being racist against us. But the term "racial" doesn't mean the same thing as "racist".

    Somerby wants to eliminate all considerations of race from all aspects of society, claiming that not seeing race is the solution to racism. No liberal agrees with that. And no feminist these days thinks that the way to eliminate sexism is for men and women to be treated as if they were the same either. Remember when men thought that eliminating sexism meant doing away with common courtesy? This sounds like more of the same.

    When a woman sings in a high voice, she is called a soprano. When a man sings in a high voice, he is called either falsetto or tenor or counter-tenor, but not soprano. Our language has legitimately gendered terms. Karen refers to a white woman with an overblown sense of entitlement who is interfering with the legitimate activities of others (who need not be black). Black women cannot be Karens because our society has not permitted them to have the same sense of overblown entitlement and they might be jailed if they attempt it (except for Oprah).

    Somerby speaks English. He is obviously trying to make a political point here, not a linguistic one. And his politics are not liberal.

    1. “ Black women cannot be Karens because our society has not permitted them to have the same sense of overblown entitlement and they might be jailed if they attempt it (except for Oprah).”

      Oh, good grief!

      How is it that you’ve gone your entire life without ever encountering a black woman?

  6. Nothing about the standard issue Reagan Republican’s murder spree in Colorado, Bob?

  7. Cornwall is a very good-looking woman. Her career benefited from her good looks. Did being attractive helped fuel her self-importance?

    1. Being white fueled her self-importance.
      In her defense, it worked. She wasn't shot to death, like Michael Brown, when she didn't comply with the rules.

    2. Somerby doesn’t care what actually happened. He is only “worried” about the term “Karen”.

      So, for example, if a white woman mowed down 25 people in a movie theatre, and one of the victims called her a “Karen” before his brains were splattered all over the floor, Somerby would tell us how problematical this “Karen” term is and what shitheads liberals are for (supposedly) “popularizing” it.

    3. She's a stone cold fox!

    4. Evidently, she is an actress.


    5. She was wearing a cute ensemble.

    6. She looks like she’s dressed as flight attendant.

      Maybe she’s a method actor.

    7. Like Rittenhouse?
      His performance, as someone who isn't really a bigot, fooled bunches.

    8. It's sad the way she's been treated.

    9. Anonymouse 5:12pm, she’s just been compared to Rittenhouse. By tomorrow, she may rate a hit piece on The Raw Story.

    10. Rittenhouse has a gorgeous head of hair.

    11. Micheal Brown did not comply with the rules? You mean when he brazenly shoplifted, then rushed a cop and tried to take his gun away?

    12. David is trolling today. By commenting on Cornwall's appearance he hopes that liberal commenters will complain that he is discussing her in gendered terms, since no one has mentioned R.S.M's attractiveness (except Somerby who called him an old white coot).

      It would make more sense to comment on her size, since she was unable to sit down anywhere and was blocking the beverage cart. No matter how gorgeous her body, her personality seems pretty ugly. I'm thankful I don't have any friends who would pull this shit on a plane.

      Or maybe David does just think about women in terms of their appearance, like Cecelia and her friends here.

    13. Greg,
      Yes, Michael Brown didn't comply with the cop who was shaking him down.
      I bet if he hadn't been murdered by a blood-thirsty cop, that controversial minx wouldn't even wear a mask in public, just to show he wasn't a sheep.
      Say what you will, but Michael Brown had that all-American individualistic spirit. Such a shame he got sniffed out by a thug.

    14. I heard he signed some kind of sponsorship deal with Prell.

    15. 5:28,
      Maybe they'll compare her to the Right-wing's greatest intellectual, Sarah Palin, next.

  8. Nice. Somerby decides to join the Political Correctness police when it serves his purposes.

    And actually, that woman on the plane sounded like she might be a feminazi* or a slut** to me.

    *copyright 1991, Rush Limbaugh
    **2012, Rush Limbaugh re Sandra Fluke

  9. “for the record, he's an older "white" male”

    Somerby puts white in quotation marks because he believes that race is illusory, a construct. Or at least, he pretends to believe this in order to mock liberals.

    But to what extent does Wilson’s sociobiology (mentioned in a recent post) support the idea that there may very well be racial differences amongst humans?

    This is a deeper implication not touched upon by Somerby. He just had fun mocking Wilson’s liberal colleagues for criticizing his theory.

  10. Our Somerby isn't very accurate in presenting the facts of this situation. Following is a quote from the official complaint against Cornwall:

    "R.S.M. advised CORNWALL then turned her attention towards R.S.M. R.S.M. stated he told
    CORNWALL to “sit down Karen” to which CORNWALL responded, “sit down pussy”. Additional
    derogatory comments were made by both parties involved. CORNWALL then struck R.S.M. with
    a closed fist, striking R.S.M. about the head, causing visible injury. CORNWALL then spit in
    R.S.M.’s face and head area."

    Somerby's headline says she slapped the man (R.S.M.) but this complaint (supported by video and the flight attendant) says that Cornwall hit him with a closed fist in the face. That is punching, not slapping. It also says she spit on him, an assault in these days of covid (was she not wearing a mask herself that she could spit like that?). And here is another part Somerby left out. She called him a pussy. That makes it harder for Somerby to suggest that his name calling (bitch) was gender-based when she called him a pussy first, again initiating the conflict.

    Not surprising that Somerby would omit facts that are inconsistent with his own storyline. He does that so frequently that it is wise to look at his sources before believing anything he says.

    Ms. Cornwall was taken by on-board security and restrained until the end of the flight. That suggests that she was perceived as the troublemaker in this situation, not the man she assaulted. Somerby didn't mention that either, pretending that this was a he said-she said type of situation in which both parties were wrong. Not so, according to the complaint describing the incident. But it is hard to portray someone as a victim after mentioning that they had to be restrained after committing physical assault on another passenger.

    1. Yep. Bob puts his hand on the scale again. As on matters with race, he insists we only call racism in the most flagrant cases. When the arise, he laughs them off. Being drunk was once considered a weak excuse for bad behavior. Now Bob tries to use it where it’s not in evidence.

  11. “Passing matters” is mostly what Bob writes about these days, and once you give one side a “pass” on electing a psycho gangster as leader of the free world and refuse to examine said in any serious way, it’s all one big passing matter, right?
    I tend to agree with most of what Bob says here. The Rosa Parks line strikes me as another example of our jokey society encouraging unfunny jokers.
    If Bob was still serious about what he was doing, he might consider how the media looks for gotcha clips substantiate for stories that give us insight into the actual nature of things. The old Bob might have noted this.

    1. Should be “substitutes.”

    2. A serious story might discuss the increase of assaults on planes with covid and its connection to stress, the wisdom of serving alcohol on planes, the complaints by airline crews about the lack of protection from passenger misbehavior and its impact on their own burnout rates, and the plea for the FAA to protect crews and take this problem seriously. These assaults are not jokes, just as Karens in real life have the potential to get innocent black people shot for doing nothing wrong.

    3. But talking about that stuff might come dangerously close to being media criticism.

  12. I don't know too much about what happen in this instance (and honestly the female passenger does seem like a loud-mouth, just take the seat and wait for the cart to pass) but you have to ask why did this second, male passenger feel the need to get involved? Let the flight attendant handle it. All the second passenger did was throw fuel on the fire and make a marginally bad situation worse.

    1. He did it because she made an offensive racist reference to herself as Rosa Parks. He first objected to that. Then she insulted him by calling him a pussy. He himself was perhaps one of the people waiting to be served. People get stressed on planes.

      Somerby makes an idiotic comment about this being a "wine-soaked" event, but the beverage cart was only then moving down the aistle on a one-hour flight (which means the attendants had limited time to serve everyone and no time to deal with foolishness). How could anyone get drunk without receiving any beverages yet, much less receiving seconds on wine?

  13. ""Bitch" just wouldn't sit down:"

    This initial phrase of Somerby's essay implies that he sees this situation as a power struggle between a woman and a man, and not as an unruly passenger who was refusing to cooperate with a flight attendant to the point where she irritated other passengers who also tried to get her to cooperate. A struggle between a recalcitrant individual and the community is very different than a gendered power struggle between a man and a woman, as Somerby tries to frame things.

    So, the question is, which is it? The woman and the man have no relationship whatsoever. Further the woman initiates the conflict by making several offensive remarks (pussy, Rosa Parks), and by not complying with an authority (actually a worker just trying to do her job). How does this then have anything to do with gender roles? The person asking her to sit down was also female. The man was called a name when he tried to support the attendant and the remaining passengers waiting for beverage service. I just don't see this Somerby's way, as a gender-related power struggled.

    So, the question then is why Somerby sees it this way. He could be someone who frames all male-female encounters in terms of a power struggle, because of his history with his mother. Or he could be doing this for political reasons, to turn liberal support for gender equity against liberals who tend to support the man and not the woman (calling her a Karen). Or he could be criticizing the press who saw this woman as wrong (as did the authorities who charged her at the end of the flight). Somerby doesn't clairfy his own intentions. It is clear that Somerby's interpretation is the right-wing one, not the liberal one. Based on comments above, our own conservative commenters consider Cornwall a babe and the guy a jerk and want to dismiss the whole incident as two jerks exchanging words, even though she punched him in the face and spit on him (both assaults). They seem to think that jerks are entitled to assault people, especially if they are good-looking and the incident can be construed as humorous. I'm sure the other passengers didn't consider it funny at all.

  14. "We'll admit that we've decided to treat this week as the Irish allegedly do—as a full-blown Christmas week."

    Many companies take the whole week off between Christmas and New Year's but that isn't particularly Irish. The Irish engage in charity and community activities on Christmas Day and celebrate Boxing Day (St. Stephen's Day), as do the English, but didn't originate the practice of taking a whole week off. Kwanzaa, and very occasionally Hanukkah, falls during this period but mostly businesses close because people aren't very productive during that week.

    Notice that the Irish are not mentioned at all in this article about the week between Christmas and New Year's


  15. Speaking of narrative and storyline:


  16. People are getting into fights cause of the virus. It's bad on service workers

  17. I think there are some issues that need to be clarified in this article grade calculator