Posts Tagged ‘sociology’

I figured my lovely loyal readers should know what I’m up to when not knockin’ on Palin–I, um, have been looking up rugby videos on the youtube while trying to study for my Sociology of Race and Ethnicity midterm.

That’s right, my life has been split down the middle, sociology on the one half and rugby on the other. Its not a bad way to live really, just sort of difficult to find a balance for everything else. I promise you more hard hitting political and social commentary–right after I figure out the nuances of a scrum.

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The following exchange occurred on a message board at www.mgoblog.com, an outstanding Michigan sports blog:

Posted on: September 18th, 2008 at 11:46 PM #17
Jim Harbaugh Scramble Joined: 2008-06-30
David Terrell’s nickname was “Bomb-ass Dick.”

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:19 AM #18
Tim Waymen Joined: 2008-06-30
I heard that story!!…

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:24 AM #19
PattyMax64 Joined: 2008-07-21
A Story?  I think that needs to be told…

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:39 AM #20
Tim Waymen Joined: 2008-06-30
I just googled “david terrell bomb ass dick.”  Well, not only did I get hits that would even make R Kelly cringe, but apparently it’s a famous part of Michigan lore and not one that only my friend would know.  The story is that David Terrell was overheard asking a young female co-ed to whom he was making love, “Who got da bomb-ass dick?”

Funny story from a haloscan convo I came across: “Rich Eisen heard about that story when he came back to campus one year. I was watching Sportscenter the next week and DT caught a long pass. Eisen goes, ‘Who’s got the bomb? David Terrell’s got the bomb.’ I about fell out of my chair.”

So why in the name of Trapped in the Closet did I tell you that story?

Mireille and I were discussing the use of “-ass” as a suffix.  As in, “grown-ass man,” “punk-ass bitch,” or, less commonly, uh, “bomb-ass dick.”  “-Ass” serves to provide emphasis for the word it modifies.  “Grown-ass man” is used to reaffirm one’s maturity, responsibility, masculinity.  (“Grown-ass woman” serves a comparable purpose.)  “Broke-ass” (noun) is a common / formation / as well, while Urban Dictionary presents us with at least three permutations of “honkey” with “cracka.”  “Bad-ass motharfucka” is vernacular enough for an abbreviated t-shirt.

So where’s this come from?  We thought about it for a long-ass time, but had no conclusions.  There’s really no way to Google the etymology.  Where does this originate?  Who coined the formation and when?  We have our hunches, but not a lick of evidence.

Credible, (sourced) theories please?

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Don Haskins dead at 78

Don Haskins was the head basketball coach at Texas Western (now UTEP) in the 1960s.  Haskins made history in the 1965-1966 season when he started five black players in the national championship game against the University of Kentucky.  Although college basketball had already been integrated, Haskins’ Miners were the first all-black starting five to play for a title.  In the championship game, they defeated the top-ranked, all-white Wildcats, coached by four-time national title winner Adolph Rupp.

Haskins denied wanting to make a social statement.  Rather, he insisted, he simply wanted to start his best players.  Assistant coach Moe Iba explained: “He’d have played five kids from Mars if they were his best five players.”  Whatever his intent, Haskins and his team made history and paid for it.  The team was not offered the customary national champion’s appearance on Ed Sullivan; much worse were the barrage of death threats to the players and coach.  Haskins called the weeks after winning the title “the worst time of his life,” and the media spread rumours questioning the players’ academic credentials. (Four of the seven black players on Texas Western received their degrees, while the remaining three went on to careers as a detective, a buyer for El Paso Natural Gas, and an Executive with a Houston liquor company.)

The full Times obituary is here.

…and on a poetic side note:  Head coach Tubby Smith, who led Kentucky to the 1998 national title, is the son of a sharecropper.

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The decline and fall of the car song

The awesomely-named Washington Post music critic Josh Freedom du Lac had a piece on Sunday lamenting the disappearance of the car song.  J Freedom attributes this to the transition of cars from “objects of lust, symbols of liberation and power” to something more “utilitarian.”  Cars are no longer “reflections of teenage culture,” but rather “impersonal and ubiquitous” as the exoticism has worn off.

It’s worth reading the whole thing, here.  He’s right that the best car songs are from days gone by.  I can’t think of any really good ones of recent vintage.

One problem though, J Freedom claims that Neil Young “never really did car songs.”  No, ole’ Neil didn’t write anything as direct as the Beach Boys.  But for my money, this is still the greatest car song of all time.

Favorite car songs?

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Prompted by the epic love of Levi and Bristol, liberal media giant New York Times examines the realities of teen marriage from a sociological perspective.

Its actually a good article about the abysmal chances of teen marriage with some solid insight on intersection of age, class and ethnicity.

Both Dr. Sternheimer and Dr. Wilcox said that the debate over whether teenagers are prepared for marriage was being framed through the lens of a middle-class, well-educated demographic, for whom marrying before being able to drink legally now may look alien, or hillbillyish. In fact, they said, 18-year-olds in working-class and immigrant families in particular already shoulder a lot of adult responsibilities, including fighting the war in Iraq, supporting their families and raising children.

“We like to infantilize teens, or focus on their bad behavior, even though some of them are functioning as adults,” Dr. Sternheimer said. “We have this image, and it’s popular in the press. It’s the Montel Williams, ‘Help, my daughter is a slut! What can I do? My teen daughter wants to get pregnant on purpose.’

As Marx points out in the post below, the ruling ideas of an era are those of the dominant class. At one point, the elites (which I begrudgingly count myself as one of) would have not only have condoned Levi and Bristol’s union, but seen it as the only viable action. If you really want to go back in history, most Puritan women were pregnant on their wedding day. This was not seen as something to be ashamed of so long as it was clear who the father was and they made good in the eyes of God and the community before the birth (this is why Hester Prynne got into so much trouble).

The criticism of how this reflects on Sarah Palin’s attitudes about sex education are more than fair, but the gleeful dismissal of the whole clan as backwards hillbillies is classism (and one can easily argue racism, i.e. lower class whiteness as “other”; demonstrating deviant values that are unacceptable by the dominant class of whites ) of the all-too-common sort. Whatever prejudices I have against the folkways of white evangelicals, I at least try to temper with good sociological detachment.

That being said, I do not have the strength of character to dissect Levi’s redneck pride without getting a little flip.

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The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of the society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force…The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance…In so far, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch.

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