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Posted on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Dave!I hate Microsoft Windows.

I really, really, really, hate Microsoft Windows Vista.

And it's not because I'm a Mac Whore, or Bill Gates kicked my puppy, or I was attacked by Steve Balmer in a fit of monkey-induced rage... it's simply because Microsoft Windows Vista sucks ass. It is the steaming pile of shit upon which computer users beg for death. Every single time I use a PC running Vista, I have some kind of stupid problem which makes me enter a thermonuclear rage.

Fortunately, I don't have to use Vista very often. Otherwise, I would need to be institutionalized.

What pisses me off is that when Microsoft finally fixes their bullshit, I'm going to have to shell out more money to get the "Windows 7" upgrade. That is really fucked up. Microsoft should have to pay ME to upgrade as compensation for having to deal with their crap OS all this time...
   

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave is a Mac... Lil' Wayne is a PC!

DAVETOON: PC has a Blue Screen of Death crash!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave can't find PC's reset button!

To see all of the Lil' Dave Mac vs. Lil' Wayne PC ads, click here!

And speaking of PC (as in Political Correctness), what the heck is going on over at Comedy Central? This morning I wanted to check out clips from Russell Brand's upcoming DVD, so I went to their "video section." I got distracted by a new email while the video was buffering, only to see a black man dancing around while eating fried chicken when I clicked back to Comedy Central again. Horrified at such a racist stereotype being offered up as "comedy," I immediately clicked to a different video link.

This time I saw the entire "commercial" which consists of various people acting like chickens interspersed with people eating fried chicken. I have no idea what it's all supposed to mean, but it still freaks me out that the only thing keeping this from being something terribly, terribly wrong is context...

Chicken Commercial from Comedy Central

At first I thought it was just me. Maybe I'm overly sensitive? Maybe I'm seeing racism and cultural insensitivity where it doesn't exist? Maybe now that Barrack Obama is in office, it's okay to air out cultural stereotypes for fun and profit, and I missed the memo.

Or did I?

So I ran a Google search and ended up over at Black Voices where there was this quote from their Black Spin section...

"Fried chicken, watermelon and minstrels are part of the racist stereotyping of black people in America," said New York City Councilman Charles Barron, according to the Times. "It's outrageous. You have to be sensitive and knowledgeable."

Okay then. It's not just me.

Which begs the question... when they handed this black actor two pieces of fried chicken and told him to dance so people would laugh... nobody saw anything wrong with it? I'd like to think it's because we, as a society, have moved passed crap like this being used as a tool to mock people. But I honestly don't know what to think.

This much I do know... the day I click over to Comedy Central and they have a white guy dancing around with chocolate pudding, I'm going to sue somebody.

UPDATE: (from the comments) The mystery has been solved. This is an advertisement for KFC baked chicken. The "commercial" I saw on Comedy Central never mentioned KFC... so I'm guessing that it was supported by a banner or other ad elsewhere on the page that I missed. Or maybe there was a malfunction that cut off the commercial before the KFC stuff was displayed. I never saw anything KFC-related, so I don't know.

Comments

  1. yellojkt says:

    Black people aren’t allowed to eat fried chicken or fried chicken places aren’t allowed to market to black people? I’m confused.

  2. Dave2 says:

    Of course anybody can eat chicken… if they want to. But it wasn’t a commercial for a restaurant. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t a commercial for anything.

  3. Can’t judge without seeing the context, but sometimes it can be a satire of the stereotype showing how ridiculous it is. Not saying this is – we haven’t seen it (Well, Kiefer has but it just made him jones for cole slaw) – but there’s a lot of defusing of the vicious old world’s symbols going on, which might not be bad.

  4. Dave2 says:

    The context is what you see… people acting like chickens and eating fried chicken. As far as I can tell, it’s more a “bumper” than a commercial, because they’re not advertising anything. I think it’s just supposed to make you laugh.

    I guess my point is that if you were to take away the white people from this piece and just have a black woman dancing like a chicken while a black man is dancing and eating fried chicken… well… maybe they were trying to find the funny in ridiculing old world stereotypes as you say… but simply adding white people to the mix doesn’t seem like a very good approach. Or maybe I’m just not getting it? These young people with their edgy humor now-a-days!

  5. Hilly says:

    I’ve gone to the site and refreshed many many times yet have not seen that advertisement, which I wanted to see before commenting here. While I vehemently oppose stereotyping black people with fried chicken and watermelon and was supremely ripped about that Obama/chicken debacle, I don’t feel the same outrage here that you do. My simple reason for this is that these actors/comedians/whatever CHOSE to be in this advertisement. In a way, they are making fun of themselves the same way fat comedians, asian comedians or whomever else does.

    Is it right? No. Is it totally cool? Probably not. However, without knowing the full context, I’m unable to find my true inner hippie on this one.

    I know this won’t be popular opinion with your commenters but if I am not true to what I think then it’s a mad mad world. ;)

  6. Dave2 says:

    Oh I’m not outraged… well, I am outraged about Microsoft Windows Vista… but the chicken thing? As I say… I just don’t know what to think.

    On one hand, racism isn’t going to go away if we pretend it’s not there… it needs to be confronted, people need to be educated, society needs to move forward… but, to me, this just seems like an opportunity to dredge up stereotypes so that backwards-thinking viewers who buy into such things can laugh at somebody. I don’t think adding white people to the mix magically makes it funny. But, then again, maybe that’s the point they’re trying to make? I honestly don’t know.

  7. B.E. Earl says:

    I’ve been running Windows Vista for over a year and I haven’t had any real problems. I mostly just use it for web surfing, email and spreadsheet analysis so I’m no Alpha-user, but it works fine for me.

    Macs, on the other hand…I can’t get used to. My hands just work better on a PC.

  8. Dave2 says:

    Then I really envy you, because I’m not alpha user (on Windows, anyway) and still run into complete melt-downs or any number of problems that come from nowhere. Today, my Windows Media Viewer on my PC box all of a sudden decided that the components which allow it to play movies are unauthorized. So now it can’t play any file with video… audio is just fine… it’s only video. I have found no way to restore or “authorize” these components, so I guess I’ll be re-installing the entire Vista OS… AGAIN!! My Dell has been reformatted and reinstalled so many times that I’m surprised the hard disk still has a data coating on it.

  9. Sybil Law says:

    I haven’t seen it, either, but basically, what Hilly said. :) (Sorry, cat on my lap… not much typing…)

  10. Tracie says:

    I didn’t even know that was a stereotype for black people. I thought it was just a southern thing…

  11. sizzle says:

    I don’t think you are being oversensitive on this. From the looks and sounds of it, it sounds pretty disrespectful.

  12. Dave2 says:

    Unless they’re trying to do something constructive and I’m just missing it. I’d like to give them the benefit of doubt here, but it’s still a very curious approach…

  13. Nicole says:

    Even if it was meant to mock stereotypes they obviously didn’t do that great a job of it AND that doesn’t mean it’s not offensive. If you were offended by it, it was offensive, hands down. It doesn’t matter what the original intent behind the commercial was.

    Oh, and I hate PC’s because Bill Gates kicked my puppy. Bastard.

  14. Avitable says:

    I don’t understand. Are both columns from the commercial?

    I think it’s a stupid stereotype. Lots of people eat fried chicken. Places shouldn’t be afraid of having someone of color eating it just in case they’re deemed racist. But I haven’t seen the commercial so I’m only commenting generally.

  15. Dave2 says:

    The “A” version is what airs at Comedy Central… what I saw the first time I viewed it is was just the section I’m calling the “B” version.

    I agree… fried chicken is a really stupid stereotype. But the fact remains that things like fried chicken, watermelon, and chitlins are still associated that way, having come from very real roots of slavery and blackface. Everybody has to form their own opinions, of course… there is no right or wrong here… but having a black man dance around minstrel-style while eating two-fisted fried chicken seems questionable to me. Questionable, because the reason some people will find this funny is going to be the entirely wrong reason to be laughing at it.

  16. sue says:

    I have been converted to MAC. Sorry, Bill.

  17. Kim says:

    That is a stupid commercial. And now I want chicken.

    Oh, and 100% agreeance on the Mac. Not that I’m biased or anything… ; )

  18. Chaz says:

    The videos you saw on the Comedy Central site aren’t actually an advertisement for fried chicken at all. They’re part of the ad campaign for KFC’s new Kentucky “Grilled” Chicken. Visit the KFC site you’ll see all those people dancing around and eating grilled chicken like idiots. I think the new slogan is “UNTHINK: Taste the unfried side of KFC.”

  19. Dave2 says:

    But the segments that aired on Comedy Central said nothing about KFC! At least not that I saw. Maybe it was cut off… or maybe the KFC ads themselves were in the header. I have no idea. I honestly thought this was supposed to be some kind of funny “bumper” that Comedy Central put up to introduce videos.

    Oh well, mystery solved… thanks for that! :-)

  20. Ian says:

    It’s a man with chicken. Not a negative generalization saying all black people eat chicken because they are black. Seeing it as the latter seems more racist than a video of a man with chicken.

    Every object has connotations and associations. If we are all forced to communicate in way that does not invoke these then there is nothing that can be communicated.

    When you can see a man with chicken and not scream “racist” is when there will be no racism.

    BTW Little Nirvana Dave has been making good decisions for me lately. Thanks for the iPhone app!

  21. Dave2 says:

    And if I had seen it as part of a commercial for KFC, I’d agree. But there was no way for me to know that because there was nothing tying it to KFC that I saw. In that context, it was on Comedy Central and assumed to be funny. This makes one question what about a man eating chicken is supposed to be funny. THAT’S what I didn’t understand.

    And, for the record, I did not scream “racist”… I questioned the role of racial stereotypes used in the context I just described.

  22. Ian says:

    Agreed, there isn’t much funny about a man eating chicken. Dancing with chicken can be silly. And I can understand your perception, especially considering how mad the movie “The Birdcage” made me. I was sitting in a theater of people laughing at guys being gay. I was pissed beyond belief. So yeah if a black man with chicken is supposed to be funny cause he is black then it is probably inappropriate. If it is supposed to be funny cause its a man dancing with chicken well that’s another story…

  23. Dave2 says:

    Hmm… I never thought of The Birdcage that way. I found it funny because it was a flamboyant gay male couple that was trying to pass as a straight man and woman couple… not because they were gay characters. Something new to think about! :-)

  24. I couldn’t miss an opportunity to say that I LOVE RUSSELL BRAND. Ok, back to business now.

  25. Did the black man even realize what he was doing when he got handed the fried chicken, or was the money blinding him?

  26. Sue says:

    Josh has a Macbook. I still use this Dell, with Vista. Every day somebody in the house can be sure to hear me mouthing off to the computer. It’s name as been a long line of swear words since we bought it. I’m currently saving up for a Mac. (No, I’m not going to consider the financing). It won’t be too long now. Vista is evil.

  27. Dave2 says:

    I think he was probably under the assumption that he would be in a KFC ad, and didn’t realize portions would be played out of context with no explanation at Comedy Central! :-)

  28. Minstrels?! There’s a word I haven’t heard in a while! Then again, I did miss attending the local Renaissance Faire the last two years in a row.

  29. Robin says:

    ::sigh:: If Comedy Central was trying to push the race card envelope (which I SO believe they were/are with this ad….the sprinkling of the random white chick in the ad doesn’t fool me, Viacom!!), they really should have picked a better stereotype. Seriously.

    But after all of the “tea bagging” protests a few weeks ago, this shit is pretty tame. And the fact that all I do when I see shit like this is shake my head and ask myself “why am I not surprised??” in today’s society makes me more disappointed than offended.

    I agree with you regarding Vista – it sucks hairy balls. I want a Macbook SO BADLY but the one I speced out features-wise would cost me a small fortune.

    I’ll stop talking now.

  30. I typically don’t subscribe to the PC brigade. That said, KFC and McDonalds have campaigns that are borderline stereotypical at best. At least in this area, they both seem to market exclusively to blacks.

    Then again, I think all companies should get rid of ads that show woman’s body parts separately for the “sex sells” reason and men always being shown as complete dimwits (yes, I realize the history behind this one).

  31. martymankins says:

    I tried the new KFC grilled chicken. It was ok. Nothing to make me want to start eating it on a regular basis. Although I still like their cole slaw.

    Love the BSOD. Brings back some memories.

  32. What I find fascinating (and sad) about Windows Vista is that Microsoft had to pay to convince people to use “Adobe”, a “new” updated Windows and, oh look! isn’t it grand? Whoops! It isn’t a new version, it’s Vista. As if the word “Vista” is what made it suck.

    Sad, sad state of affairs.

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