Friday, March 09, 2007

"Myspace and the Mainstreaming of the New Racism" or "The Real O.C. is full of Nazis"

In a previous post, I mentioned how I'd discovered a whole nest of white-pride nasties via the myspace profile of one Josh Waring (aka the troubled son of Lauri Waring from the Bravo series The Real Housewives of Orange County). Said profile is now set to private, perhaps to prevent nosy people like me from happening upon the profiles of random white supremacists and writing irate letters to the vulcans at I finally got a response today (I wrote the letter two weeks ago) saying that the content had been removed.

Even though the terms of use state the racism/hate propaganda are not allowed in the myspace community, a google search for "white pride" + "myspace" reveals that white supremacists are pretty annoyed that their nazi profiles get deleted. This seems to point to something -- I'm not sure what -- but something that suggests an interesting semantic trend regarding the ways terms like "community" are overlaid with "functionality." Why do white pride people want to be part of the myspace community? Probably because Myspace is one of the largest and most popular social networks on the web. And probably because posting content on myspace allows one to "publish" or "promote" all sorts of material to all sorts of people, not just those who are already in agreement with one's nazi agenda. In other words, myspace is a way to "mainstream" the racist vitriol.

And this is something that seems to be happening in many places these days, not just in some internet community frequented by the 13-30 set. The list of known racists in Hollywood just keeps getting longer. We know that Paris uses the n-word and other racial slurs. We know that Jason Wahler (one of the boneheads from MTV's Laguna Beach) slung racial slurs and spat at police officers. And then there's the good ol' boys: Mel Gibson and Michael Richards. WTF?

This trend seems to parallel the obvious racism in "the war on terror" and, for that matter, the whole stupid war(s). Never mind the obvious racism in the "immigration debate." I've heard people say that this is a "post-9/11" thing or a "post-hurricane katrina" thing. These explanations -- to me at least -- seem too simple. Especially against the backdrop of a trend which seems to indicate that casual racism is becoming increasingly mainstream.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lonely Girls?

The Shangri-las. Mary Weiss was about 15 when they recorded this song.

"My mother kind of signed my life away when I was 14"