How tolerant are you?

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

What would you do?

Hold on. Are you trying to tell me that you “win” if you are able to sit amongst these “bad boys?”

That this is “just” an ad for beer is irrelevant, it exists because it knows we want it to be true that tolerant people are, well, awesome. Hmm. Tolerant people also appear to be oppressed minorities. What’s up with that?

This is a meta-setup. You are told the theatre is full of “bad boys,” so you, the viewer, know that they are NOT “bad boys, and you are thus already prejudiced against anyone NOT willing to sit with them. Note the “winners” clearly brand themselves, are advertising themselves as distinct from the “bad boys:” pink shirt couple; black couple; “nerds.” So the point is not that those people were liberally minded heroes who embrace all their human brothers; the point is that those minorities are better than the dumb white couples who were too stupid to sit with, gee, I don’t know: thugs? Is that wrong to say? They did smuggle beer into a movie theater. “The pink shirt couple is hetero!” Sure they are.

I know the world wants to pretend racism and sexism and homophobia is “bad”, which it is, but it’s disingenuous to pretend it is “wrong.”

At what point is it not ok to sit in a crowd because you fear for your life? Ok, it’s a movie theater, maybe not a high lethality scenario, but what if the black couple refused to stay? Is that some weird reverse racism, or merely a practical understanding that in George Bush’s America (I said it right) bald white guys with goatees are always 100% a problem, except the few times they’re not, but why stick around to find out? Yes, I know this is Belgium, but doesn’t that make it worse? Ok, so if a black couple gets a pass in this scenario, why don’t whites? Why can’t it just be a simple case of, “I saw Sons Of Anarchy, and I don’t want to know if that was actually a reality show”?

And here’s a superbly sexist thing to say: they were couples. i.e there’s a woman there. I’m not saying their individual behavior would be different, but when a guy is with a woman there is/should be an entirely different calculus. Yeah. I may love to get drunk to the point I can’t see blue or yellow but when you’re “responsible” to another person even I switch to decaf.

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  4. Budweiser ad is both gay and not-gay, and not about either.

44 Responses to How tolerant are you?

  1. JMiller says:

    I don’t disagree and the last point is particularly insightful (and can be a substantial source of stress), but as for… “Tolerant people also appear to be oppressed minorities. What’s up with that?”

    What’s up with that is that (I speculate, ignoring the probability of staging) the minorities are used to feeling uncomfortable and thus the difference between a “normal” room and the room they have entered is substantially less than the difference for the “majority” people who aren’t used to feeling uncomfortable such that their reaction is more a matter of shock than distinct (from the minorities’) discomfort.

    For my part, I would’ve focused on the two guys adjacent to the two open seats: they didn’t look hostile (one looked bored the other looked reasonably good-natured in a sedate way) and then got between them as quickly and quietly as possible and not budged an inch for the whole of the film. Had more rowdy members of the group been seated next to the open seats, I probably would’ve left. (Tangent question: if the theater had only had ~5 pairs of rowdy looking guys around the perimeter with Line Of Sight on wherever the normal couple sat, would that have changed the reactions? I’d have been more nervous in that more-predatory staging.)

    On the other hand, the “we didn’t pay for this” reaction also wasn’t wrong: if the theater had been packed with moms towing (ravening!) swarms of toddlers, I’d have walked out on the expectation that I simply wouldn’t be able to enjoy the film in that environment. But it’d probably be irresponsible to show the toddlers boozing it up, hence they didn’t try that staging…

  2. AdamSaleh1987 says:

    Every single man in that video is a coward, the only think I would worry about it the smell. Also, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is an awkwardly titled, mediocre film.

    • Guy Fox says:

      The bikers are cowards too? The bystanders in the lobby? Make sure you got enough rounds in that piece before you go off shootin’, Tex.

  3. JohnJ says:

    There are lots of things that shouldn’t be tolerated, and celebrating the inability to make rational decisions based on available evidence is about the most anti-reason philosophy I can think of.

  4. Fifi says:

    All in all it’s achieved it’s aim as stunt advertising, which is to get people reposting and talking about the ad.

    • BHE says:

      You sound like my dad.

      “Welp, gotcha talkin’ ’bout it, didn’t it!”

      • Fifi says:

        Apparently your dad understands how stunt advertising works (manufacturing controversy is hardly a new tactic), our at least how he uses controversy to his own ends if this is something he says to you when he gets you aroused about a subject. I’m not actually promoting or praising the tactic, just pointing out that the whole point of doing this kind of thing in advertising is to get people talking about the ad (and any false controversy being created) and reposting the video (and TLP has obliged).

  5. Guy Fox says:

    It’s kind of obvious as a setup, though, isn’t it? Two seats are empty, and they’re the best seats in the house?

    It might just be the case that the ones who left are the ones convinced that there’s danger around every corner, that their neighbours secretly covet their IProducts and would steal them at the first opportunity, and the smelly guy at the train station remembers their faces from one week to the next. When they saw the room full of bikers but for two empty and fantastic seats, they don’t think “well, that’s fishy”, but “Honey, this is exactly why I’ve wanted that gun! Let’s get out of here before I have to display the martial utility of those yoga classes I’ve been taking!”.

    The minorities, on the other hand, tend to grow up in nastier neighbourhoods, or if they grow up in more socially sanitary conditions, they’ve at least suffered enough in life to be able to recognize danger. Ask pink shirt how many wedgies or insults he’s suffered in life for being different, and I’ll be damned if he hasn’t plotted it in Excel. He’s not worried about the bikers, who, if they are ruff ‘n tuff, will want to avoid trouble in a cinema; he’s worried about the blond, gelled, well-built guy who walked out and might mock pink shirt to get man-points with his pliant date. Black dude knows that he’ll get beer intentionally spilt on him as the signal that “we don’t take well to yer kind” before the dude behind him spontaneously pulls out the garotte wire/stiletto and goes to work, which is exactly blondy’s nightmare/fantasy.

    If you hear hoofbeats see a suspiciously large group of bikers in a suspiciously suburban setting, think horses reunion, not zebras these brutes are all here to get ME.

  6. geerussell says:

    If I walk into a nearly full movie theater and the crowd is silent and ranging from neutral to grim-faced and staring at me, I will probably back out slowly. I don’t care what the race, gender, orientation dynamics are, that’s just weird.

    If the mood and activity of the room are a normal random mix of people talking to each other, looking bored, texting and what not… I take the two empty seats. Like Guy Fox said in the comment above–horses, not zebras.

    Also, I’m not assuming the beer is smuggled. I have no idea if the Kinepolis serves alcohol but I can get a beer with the movie at several of my local megaplexes here in the US .

  7. Fifi says:

    Let’s remember this is an ad and not even close to being a scientific study, it’s a bit silly to try to deconstruct it as if it is or to use it to try to critique real life. Because it’s an ad, it means that the advertising agency that made it already knew what script they wanted the players to follow and edited the results to convey the message they’d chosen. It’s not random chance that the people who were portrayed as “scared” (and, yes, this is a portrayal and not real life, it’s about as authentically “real” as “reality TV”) were the young white males – this is an editorial choice, it’s not reality. Why is this? Because they’re there for other young white males to laugh at as cowards while they imagine they’d be sharing a beer (a Carlsberg to be exact) with the bikers because THEY are not cowards like other young straight white males. Obviously showing any “typical” straight white couples sitting down comfortably with the bikers would ruin the joke (not to mention the intended manipulation) so they’re hardly going to include those in the ad because it would make it entirely ineffective. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t an American ad so all the American (and personal) values and prejudices being projected onto it say more about the projectors than it does about what’s going on in the ad (for instance, pink shirts on a man are not considered so “out there” or a signifier of gayness in Europe). Sure you can make it about your beliefs and/or unconscious projections but then it’s not actually a deconstruction of a cultural object/event or a cultural critique – it’s a bit closer to psychoanalysis (from the patient side, not the therapist) because it reveals more about you (or me if I’m doing it) and actually reconstructs the object/event in your own image rather than formally deconstructing it.

  8. operator says:

    I know the world wants to pretend racism and sexism and homophobia is “bad”, which it is, but it’s disingenuous to pretend it is “wrong.”


    • Rocket Surgeon says:

      I think the point was in the “real” world we have to (or at least to be safe, we should) factor these things into our decisions in everyday life. If it was a 148 KKK members or Neo Nazis sitting there? I don’t think people would be so quick to shrug their shoulders and sit down. You walk into the middle of an obviously gathered homogeneous group, you might want to take second before you start putting your best face forward. I also think TLP was highlighting the fact that it is generally a sexist idea to be a male and it is your duty to protect your female date (the “weaker” sex), but that it is their responsibility and they should take that seriously when walking into a group of 148 other males.

      • operator says:

        Okay, so our anthropomorphic world is making a value judgment on the reaction prescribed by racism, sexism, homophobia, not pretending that those things are wrong and leaving the implication that, sans pretense, they are somehow right%EOF;

        print Expression::$gratitude[rand()] .”, initial reading did not compute.”

  9. Fifi says:

    And who or what is this “world” that is spoken of? There are plenty of cultures in the world where racism, sexism and homophobia aren’t considered “bad” or “wrong” (or even bad or wrong). Even a quick look at the “world” reveals that Alone isn’t speaking about “the world” in any objective sense (even if this claim is true of America or Alone’s subjective experience of his immediate environment, it’s not “the world” but “Alone’s world”). Once again, this is not a deconstruction but a construction/projection of a “world” built from subjective beliefs and/or prejudices – it’s assuming one’s personal bias and subjectivity is objective.

  10. Rocket Surgeon says:

    Let’s move this even further along. You go to a movie theater to enjoy a movie, and I assume without to much hassle. What if it was 148 toddlers? 148 soccer moms? Is it fear that’s driving you away or is it the fact that there is a good chance you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the movie as planned?
    Enter real life. I go to a night showing in a movie theater with a date. Movie theaters generally employ teenagers and no security. I walk into an overly crowded theater, and my first thought is that it probably won’t be as quiet as I like it but maybe I can move along. I notice 148 sets of eyes are looking at me. Attached to those 148 sets of eyes are looks of anger or unpleasantness. Along with that I notice they are all dressed in the same garb. I notice this distinctive dress usually belongs to a group of people that have don’t have the most respectable past. All kinds of thoughts would occur to me at this point. The least of which is “It’s cool, I’ll just take a seat right there in the middle.”

  11. Torgest says:

    The stunt in the video could just as easily be interpreted as a test of balls. Was it intended to say something about tolerance? Maybe, but I don’t see it.

    The thing is, that audience is wearing costumes, poses, and expressions calibrated to project hostility and violence. That is the whole point of the biker look. You aren’t born with it, and it doesn’t somehow slip over your head against your will. If people don’t want to be in an auditorium full of people who project hostility on purpose, that’s got nothing to do with tolerance and everything to do with common sense — or balls.

    If the audience had been all black or brown (not dressed to look like gang members, for the same reason as above), or Down’s-syndrome kids on a field trip, or little people — some attribute not of their choosing — then it would have been about tolerance.

    • xylokopos says:

      “or little people”

      Finding myself in a packed movied theatre where everybody is 3-4 feet shorter than me is a sure sign that god loves me and wants me to enjoy the movie.

  12. Fifi says:

    Rocket Surgeon…do you mean “move it along” as in “move it along, nothing to be seen here”? All you’ve done is reveal your own fears of being in a situation where you are in the minority based upon your own prejudices. You’re not seeing the people as individuals but as bit players in your own movie (they are simply an externalization of your fears). Being able to effectively deal with dangerous people who intend to do you harm and/or dangerous situations involves dealing with the reality of the situation and the individual with which you’re engaged in interacting. If you’re replaying a script of your deepest darkest fears, you’re highly unlikely to be able to gauge reality or act as effectively as you could. The idea that you can tell how dangerous or safe someone is to you based on how much they appear to be like you on the surface (clothes, skin tone, political colours) is pretty prevalent but not particularly accurate (most rapists aren’t the scary Other lurking in an alleyway, most child molesters are people the parents or child knows and there’s plenty of violence and bullying done within in-groups, etc).

    • Torgest says:

      Your point about the inaccuracy of judging a by the surface is well taken, Fifi, but you’re forgetting that these particular books chose their covers deliberately to send a particular message. The biker get-up is meant to project hostility and violence, not to mention these guys made a point of glaring at whoever came into the auditorium. They’re communicating, and their message is not peace, love, and understanding. Reading hostile intent into hostile communication does not reveal a fear of simply being in the minority, nor prejudice, nor that you’re seeing people as bit players in your own movie — it reveals an ability to accurately read the message those bikers are projecting, which is the opposite of narcissism.

      Alone has made the point before, as I recall, that you are free to dress up in a whatever particular costume — whatever identity — but not free to demand control over how people react to it. In other words, you don’t get to dress up, stare, walk, and pose as a biker, an identity specifically crafted to imply violence and tribalism, and then demand that everyone react to you as something other than a biker.

      If the audience had been full of, I don’t know, rastafarians or Buddhist monks, the story would have been entirely different.

      I think Rocket Surgeon’s point is perfectly valid. Assuming you didn’t catch on that this was a stunt, you’d be rational to assume that theater was going to be loud, at the very least, just as a theater full of toddlers (or teenagers) does not promise the optimal movie-going experience. Walking out in those cases is not a sign of intolerance.

      • Fifi says:

        Torgest – Heh, aren’t the men who look like bikers still controlling how you perceive them by dressing in a costume that (apparently) makes you scared of them? If you’re simply reacting (instead of choosing action) you’re already being controlled by the image they’re projecting (and your own fears).

        BHE’s response, to get more information and then to make a decision is taking steps to discern what the reality of the situation is. This isn’t a crisis situation (even if it creates an internal crisis for some people). Not everyone reacted with fear and avoidance in the ad (though that too is a construct so we shouldn’t be taking it as reality either).

        • Rocket Surgeon says:

          What is the reality here, and even if you asked how could discern if it is true? Nobody said anything about crisis situation, that is your own prejudices coming to light here on other people’s views.

          • Fifi says:

            Rocket Surgeon – The point in bringing up the fact that it wasn’t a crisis situation is to point out that it didn’t demand immediate action – there was no immediate threat other than the imagined one. This means there is time to gather more information and assess the situation based upon the information gathered instead of just reacting with fear, meaning we can choose our actions rather than just reacting. Reactions aren’t making a choice (sometimes this is very useful, it’s why martial arts training isn’t about making choices but creating an effective reaction).

            Granted, we’re all working with limited information and our personal subjective realities/worlds are all constructs, that’s why making the effort to discern one’s own biases and learn more about the world and other people is useful if we’re interested in more than just asserting that our subjective perspective ARE reality.

          • Rocket Surgeon says:

            Meh. I’m not sure what reality you’re trying to discern here other than the obvious one proposed. If you’re proposing that it’s totally cool because it was obviously a commercial, I’m pretty sure everybody gets that. After all, that was the payoff: *Loud Cheers* “You don’t need to be scared after all!”
            Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like that. Fear is a useful tool, as are reactionary decisions. Even better are reactionary decisions based upon years of tried and tested knowledge. Is saves you a lot of hassle rather than sitting around puzzling out every single decision. “Should I wear pants today? Well, my reactiveness dictates that I should based upon my fear of being decent and moral and not showing my junk off, but blahblahblah…” You can take most situations and cross reference the the Fear/No Fear action (reaction, whatevs) with the Smart/Stupid choice and in some instances correlate No Fear = Stupid Choice, regardless of bandying about the idea that “Fear is always bad”.

    • Rocket Surgeon says:

      It seems your taking up the high ground on this one, Fifi? Everyone has prejudices, and I would be baffled to hear anyone proclaim otherwise. Like The Game, the minute anyone says “I like”, they lose. But the fact remains, anyone who steps into the theater that isn’t a part of the biker gang is the minority. The mind working off of empirical evidence isn’t always the best route, but if it keeps your butt safe then perhaps it isn’t the worst. Especially in these types of instances. Yeah, sure saying “what’s going on? Is this a private screening?” wouldn’t be a bad tactic but factoring that in I’m not sure if that would change my thoughts on whether that is going to be a hassle free show.

      Brushing aside responses here with “that’s what you think” isn’t really telling us anything. What are your thoughts on the video, besides the fact that it is a commercial?

      • Fifi says:

        Rocket Surgeon – “But the fact remains, anyone who steps into the theater that isn’t a part of the biker gang is the minority.”

        Sure but why be afraid simply because you’re in the minority? Do you automatically perpetrate violence against anyone different in your midst in a movie theatre or elsewhere? Do you avoid going anywhere where you might run the risk of being in the minority? I’m not assuming you do, I’m just trying to suggest another perspective.

        I’m not so much trying to take the high road here or pretend I don’t have personal biases (or a personal and subjective construct of reality), I’m used to being around all kinds of different people and am not uncomfortable with being in the minority or around people who are superficially (or even deeply) different than me. Part of this is due to my own experiences, of course, so I’m now speaking about my subjectivity ;-) I may or may not be a minority in this respect but I’m certainly not alone as I’ve met plenty of other people who view others as individuals (it’s even possible to do with people one doesn’t like or fears). But, hey, as long as you (or I or they) avoid people and cultures that are different out of fear we’ll keep feeding that fear and lack of understanding/ignorance (and make people into players in the scary movie you’re starring in).

        Well, the fact that it is a commercial means that I deal with it as a commercial – it is what it is. My thoughts are that it’s silly to pretend a commercial is offering a window onto reality but it’s obviously a very effective bit of advertising. For all the talk of how “threatening” the bikers are meant to be in the video there were people who weren’t scared (though I’d wager that the outcome of the ad – the final version – was well defined before the stunt was undertaken…all to say, this wasn’t an actual experiment but a setup with a forgone result, it was just about gathering the reactions so they could be constructed into the pre-written narrative).

        • Rocket Surgeon says:

          Sure but why be afraid simply because you’re in the minority?

          I never said that. That was your implication

          Do you automatically perpetrate violence against anyone different in your midst in a movie theatre or elsewhere?

          I didn’t propose this either. My thoughts run along the lines of “how much bullshit am i going to put up with here?”

          Do you avoid going anywhere where you might run the risk of being in the minority?

          Nope, but not all situations reduce to being equal.

  13. BHE says:

    Wouldn’t your response be to ask somebody in the front row what was going on? That’s what I would have done anyway. I’d have seen a hundred bikers, figured there was some kind of meeting or reunion, and then asked what was going on to make sure I was welcome, all the while being friendly. Who would beat your ass for buying a movie ticket?

    Now on the other hand, if I walked into a strange bar and there were 100 bikers in there, I’d GTFO as fast as my legs would carry me.

    • Rocket Surgeon says:

      Who would beat your ass for bumping into them? Stepping on their shoes? Talking to a friend of theirs? Go to a busy club on Friday night and I’m positive you’ll see at least one example.

      • sunshinefiasco says:

        That’s ridiculous. Are you honestly going to claim that a bar/club (any bar with loud music and alcohol) is the same as a movie theater before the film starts?

        Because those misunderstandings happen anywhere with “big” men, loud music, essentially unlimited booze, and a feeling of “this is our/my turf”, whether we’re talking about a high school basement party, a biker bar, or a techno club.

        All we have in the movie theater equation are big men (you’ll note that none of the bikers are conspicuously drinking when the couples are deciding whether to sit– that’s why the effect of the toast is so surprising). Would you walk out if it was 148 black guys dressed in baggy jeans and oversize jerseys? What about 148 sailors/soldiers?

        (And let’s not pretend that any of those couples walked out because they were worried about people talking during the movie– that’s the “Well, this will be cozy”, people. Besides, any packed theater can get loud).

        Personally– I’d take a theatre with 148 dudes in it over 148 moms with babies. Just moms, yeah, okay.

        • Rocket Surgeon says:

          I don’t understand if you’re agreeing or not. If you look at what I was responding to, it was the idea that people get in disagreements about the most trivial things. So in that sense we agree. Of course there’s context that’s easily passed over in these “what if” scenarios, and yes a bar is different than a movie. But so what? I’ve watched The Last Dragon. Shit goes down sometimes!

          • sunshinefiasco says:

            Shit does go down sometimes. People get in fights, or start fights with people when they really meant to start fights with other people. But you seem to be arguing not that it’s “okay” for people to walk out of the theatre, but that the others are stupid for not walking out.

            Point 1: Bikers aren’t going to kick the shit out of you for asking a question like “Hey, man, are we in your way?”, and they definitely aren’t gonna do it while at least semi-sober in a movie theater. Worst case scenario, the nasty “wild man” of the bunch tell you to fuck yourself. But even that’s really, really unlikely. (Just generally, when was the last time you heard of a biker hurting anyone that wasn’t a biker/biker chick (auto collisions excluded)?)

            Point 2: If the above is true, and my comments about the conditions necessary for a ass-kicking are true, then what leads you to walk out of the theatre? Is it being a pussy? Because “walking into the middle of an obviously gathered homogenous group” is not an inherently dangerous proposition, even if the group looks like they don’t like you/has a history of crushing skulls that look like yours. It’s something that millions of people do every day. Ask anyone brown in the U.S.. Or non-neighborhood people who regularly have to walk through bad neighborhoods. Or any woman that’s been in a dark public place alone/with one other woman. Or an ex-pat living abroad. You don’t have to walk into all of those groups/rooms, but if you can’t even handle a movie theatre full of bikers, if you don’t attempt to assess the situation beyond BIKERSSCARYRUN, then you are a pussy (or, you’re a middle-class white man who never HAS to be anywhere where he’s the demographic that stereotypically comes to harm).

            (Ironically, IF those dudes are looking to bust a square’s ass and take his woman, talking shit, walking out of the theatre (or doing what one guy did, letting his girlfriend go into the row, then saying, fuck it, let’s get out of here) is the way to get your ass kicked/woman took.)

            Point 3: If it’s correct (not all right, but correct) to walk out when there’s 148 bikers, is it correct to walk out when there’s 148 thugs? What about 74 biker/thug couples? Or 32 thug couples and 32 biker couples? When does the biker quotient reach the danger threshold? Is it the same for thugs, or different?

          • sunshinefiasco says:

            TL;DR: Bikers are one possible ingredient in ass-kicking. But basing your decision to walk out without looking at the context/asking a few questions is like assuming that a cop in the car over KNOWS you’ve got weed on you:

            It might be a safe assumption, and there’s a miniscule chance that you’re right but you’re a paranoid pussy who needs to take it easy, and acting like a paranoid pussy is more likely to attract the negative attention you seek to avoid.

          • Rocket Surgeon says:

            But you seem to be arguing not that it’s “okay” for people to walk out of the theatre, but that the others are stupid for not walking out.

            No. No I’m not. Not at all. I don’t know where you got that from.

            Also, your conditionals are based upon…? Because I don’t have a response for random unsubstantiated “facts”. But good luck with that.

  14. sunshinefiasco says:

    Something I don’t think has been mentioned yet: this is happening in Europe. I have no understanding of the cultural role of bikers in Europe. I imagine it’s a similar reputation to those in the U.S., but there’s got to be some difference. I do think that if they did the same thing in the majority of the U.S., far more people would have sat down. Because bikers, in all honesty, are by-and-large pretty nice guys, and they aren’t prone to violence outside of small percentages of their bars and gatherings, and that’s a trope that’s already been exploited in our advertising media.

    Another question: It’s a European setting and a European beer, but who is the target? Is the answer European men? Or American men who look like the men walking out in the video, but who consider themselves more macho than Europeans?

  15. Guy Fox says:

    this is happening in Europe. I have no understanding of the cultural role of bikers in Europe. I imagine it’s a similar reputation to those in the U.S., but there’s got to be some difference.

    Good point, but backwards. Bikers are perceived generally the same in that they’re just criminal rather than ideological, but the rest of society is more obviously ideological. Since bikers use violence primarily as their stock in trade, you needn’t worry to much if you see a herd of them in a cinema because it ain’t the right setting for a bloodbath. A poorly lit parking lot at the edge of town is a different story – and even then, they don’t care about you; they care about the competition, which is pretty much the same as in yanqui country.

    At least in N. Europe (less around the Med), though, it’s pretty easy to tell what party someone voted for by looking at them. Pink shirt was obviously a green/social democrat voter (post-communists prefer black), and a dime will get you a dozen that black dude was social democrat, statistically speaking. It’s a lot harder to tell from 50 paces if a given American is waiting for the rapture or wants to hang bankers. They’re more stylistically homogenous.

    If the cinema had been full of NPD troglodytes , Czech boneheads, mouth breathers with “Made in England” tattoos or similar, it would have been much more threatening for pink shirt and black dude, and they would have been out of there post haste. Whereas the bikers use violence as a form of capital to support their business, the others mentioned use it to reinforce their identities. The former survives by being invisible to most people, the latter by being visible – a big difference indeed.

    Rocket surgeon was correct above that the whole calculus would change if it were “148 KKK members or Neo Nazis sitting there”, but not because the bikers are different; because everyone else is.

  16. AnonymousAtLarge says:


    If you choose to dress in a way that suggests you are a criminal or inclined to violence, you need to expect that people are going to not want to sit next to you in a movie theatre. I am not a bigot for refusing to sit next to you and making a conscious effort to avoid your just released from jail ass.

    Humans can be biased against things for stupid irrational reasons, but the ability for the human mind to form prejudices is actually very valuable. Bias in of itself is not bad, and tolerance is not good. Bias saves lives. If I am walking down a dark street, and I hear, off in the distance, the sound of young men making a lot of noise suggesting they are intoxicated and TROUBLEMAKIN’, I would be a frigging moron to continue to walk in that direction. Don’t want to be “intolerant” of drunk, loud young guys, after all, that would be incorrect of me to form an opinion of someone based on their group characteristics and not take the time to get to know them as a person. PS, I don’t give a f*ck and I rather like staying alive/not getting my ipod done stoled.

    Now, the thing is, the problem I have with this POST is that TLP is making a switch-a-roo here where he is suggesting “if bias against violent-looking people is not wrong, then that means all forms of biases are natural and okay”. There is a big difference between avoiding someone showing CLEAR SIGNS of being antisocial and dangerous, vs avoiding and not liking someone because their skin is a few shades darker and their nose is just a little different, even though they are exhibiting no signs of being dangerous/unsavory/violent.

  17. thecobrasnose says:

    I get the feeling a Slut Walk is going to break out any second…

  18. suicism says:

    I wouldn’t sit down not because of the tattooed bikers, but because the whole thing looks like such a candid camera / advertising / something-media-related set up. It’s not about tolerance, it’s about gullibility–and perhaps appetite for a certain reality-TV-style of “risk.”