“asshole” is a noun, not an adjective. At least when it stands on its own, and in sentences like “Are you calling Lorcan a bitch?” if you replace “bitch” with “asshole”.
You could no doubt make an argument that in spite of being morphologically a noun, “asshole” is used as an adjective in phrases like “My asshole boss”, on the other hand.
Oh. I hadn’t heard about that. Damn.
“I went up and down areas with a cosh (a club), hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him,” the actor said in an interview published on Monday in Britain’s Independent newspaper. He used air quotes when saying the words “black bastard.”
Promoting his new film, “Cold Pursuit,” a tale of revenge, Neeson told the reporter he had found out about the rape after returning home from abroad. He did not specify who had been attacked, but said: “There’s something primal — God forbid you’ve ever had a member of your family hurt under criminal conditions.”
“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said of the victim’s reaction. “I asked, did she know who it was? No. What color were they? She said it was a black person.”
Neeson went on to add that he did “learn a lesson” from his reaction to the rape. He noted that he had grown up during the Troubles, a period of huge unrest in his native Northern Ireland, and that while he understood the primal drive for revenge, it ultimately leads to more bloodshed.
The comments do not seem to take into account that Neeson isn’t justifying his behaviour back then, but giving it as an instance of going off the rails. On the other hand, his main concern doesn’t seem to be his the racism in his actions, but that he was this close to killing a random innocent in revenge for something that happened to his girlfriend.
And if this wasn’t also about talking about his being a racist back then, he shouldn’t have told that aspect of the story. It was really, really daft. And he was also unlucky that the journalist wasn’t quick enough on her feet to immediately ask him about the racial aspect of it, but instead spoke to a psychologist about it later. Some clarification in the interview itself might have made a difference.
The original article with his comments is here:
I doubt that he’ll be “done” in Hollywood, like the Variety article suggests, but this’ll do some heavy damage and I’m surprised he hasn’t released a statement yet. I think a well-worded statement explicitly condemning the racism of his younger self might salvage the situation still, at this point.
It really is ridiculous - it’s essentially a “thoughtcrime” that we only know about because he offered it up himself, some 30+ years after the fact.
This guy put it well:
It’s very difficult to have a nuanced conversation about provocative issues these days, so it’s maybe not surprising that the reactions to this have been so extreme.
I think this column by John Barnes has quite a balanced view of the whole thing.
Neeson should have known, really. He’s been working in Hollywood long enough to know that any race-related comments need to be worded very carefully indeed, and he shouldn’t have thrown this out in the way he did.
It’s a good article, but here’s a thing:
The way the media frames the discussion is very influential: “John Barnes commends Liam Neeson for saying he wanted to kill a black man”, vs “John Barnes commends Liam Neeson for amending his previously held racist views”. Of course the first of these headlines will attract more attention, but sensationalising complex topics like this hurts the discussion we need to be having about racial bias.
The thing is that Neeson doesn’t do this, explicitly. He says that he is “ashamed to admit” the story he’s telling, but that is in the context of considering violence - against someone who is innocent - for revenge. He doesn’t make clear, at any point, that the racism inherent in his action is condemnable in and of itself.
However, the Guardian article mentions an ABC interview where Neeson does try to clarify that.
It’s interesting though. Even when the interviewer tries to lead him more into this aspect of it, he really finds it hard to admit to his reaction being racist and to talk about that aspect of it.
He does get there in the end, though, and seems to be very sincere about it. So that should really be the end of it.
EDIT: I posted the clip with the interview on ABC, but it was autoplaying in my browser, so I disabled that by putting it in quotes.
Enough about Neeson, you posted an autoplay clip you bastard. This is never acceptable, break out the pitchforks, molotovs etc.
The outrage machine is the problem here. Nelson shouldn’t have done anything different. He offered a human story on how he’s changed as a person and the adult response to that should be to commend him. Instead we’ve let the idiots take the story because their nonsense gets clicks.
I can’t expect every tweeter to grow up, but I don’t need to respect their nonsense or even pay attention to it. Their outrage shouldn’t be validated in any way.
I’m pretty sure they are all piloted by robotic eunuchs.
In other words:
If people had shitty racist views several decades ago, are they allowed to grow and become better people who no longer have shitty racist views?
Or do we need them to stay like that for the rest of their lives to satisfy our need to neatly categorise people as either good or bad?
And look how I noticed and fixed that even before I saw your post!
…um, could you get that pitchfork out of my back then, please? It’s kinda starting to hurt here…
Yeah, I’ve heard strange things about that church and there’s just a weird vibe coming off Chris Pratt in general.
The only people you can trust in Los Angeles are the Satanists.
Creepier than the “Church” of Scientology?
Actively walking around armed and hoping that a black person confronts you in some way so you can feel justified in killing them goes further than just thinking something racist.
Well, the point was that he is well aware of that. He gave it as an example for a time when he was doing something awful in reaction to his friend being raped; he was in no way trying to justify it.
He does have a bit of a hard time acknowledging the racist element (there is that moment in the interview when the interviewer asks “Why did you ask about his skin colour? Why didn’t you ask about his height” and so on and he answers that he did ask about all these things - but he didn’t go out and look for tall people to beat up). But I think that’s just because he isn’t very good at talking about race, not because his heart isn’t in the right place. He does acknowledge very clearly that his actions were terrible, and he talks a lot about how much it has to do with him growing up in a violent and bigotted time and place.
I would not be shocked. Far too many wolves in sheeps clothing (and gay guys hiding behind doing conversion “therapy” and such hogwash).
Meanwhile, I fear a friend has been engulfed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. This may call for some deprogramming. Damn, I haven’t done that in a good while! (I got lucky a few years back and got insider tips from someone who had broken their hold. I’m fairly confident in deprogramming Scientologists and Witnesses - it’s the Jim Joneses of the world that worry me.)