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Dinner at Da Franken-Mizzy!

By: Mr. Wonderful

It had to happen sooner or later – the perversion of all that is good, right and true by the insidious forces of “urban dialogue.”

My fellow Michiganders know what Frankenmuth is; but for my many fans logging on across the country, I will explain. Frankenmuth is an authentic German town in northern mid-Michigan that features, not surprisingly, authentic German food, shops and culture. It’s home to Zehnder’s and the Bavarian Inn – both famous for their chicken dinners – as well as Bronner’s, one of the world’s largest Christmas decoration stores. Sure, Frankenmuth is a bit of a tourist trap, but on a more personal note, it’s always had a special place in my heart as it’s been the destination of many Wonderful family dinners ever since I was a child.

(show)

Posted by Mr. Wonderful on 03.26.2008
Tim (mail):
So Mr. Wonderful is also a racist. Nice.

To dismiss urban slang as a "bastardization" of the english language shows how closed-minded and ethnocentric you are. And you're saying if they don't talk, act, and dress like you (thus being different i.e. not in step with mainstream "white" culture.) then they are contributing to the erosion of American culture?

I'd argue that the Patriot Act and all that this administration has either tried to enact or has enacted is a far greater threat than what you are suggesting.
3.26.2008 1:12pm
TQL:
I wouldn't say he's a racist... Does it sting a little reading this from a White man? Sure it does. But that doesn't make it any less true.

As a Black woman, I don't find Mr. W's blog particularly offensive. I see the proliferation of *urban culture* in my own community and it drives me insane. Hell, *urban slang* is a bastardization of the English language. Why do you think educated Black folks are bi-lingual in a sense - we know when it is appropriate to speak slang and we know when it is appropriate to speak proper English.

*Urban culture* in many ways does cater to the lowest common denominator while also being held up as the only way to be *authentically Black* It gives White folks the perception that is all we are. Is it a part of Black culture, but it is not the whole.

I think the fact that you are quick to call Mr. W a racist while feeling all noble by coming to the defense of Black folks is interesting. Next time, pick a more worthy opportunity to defend us.
3.26.2008 1:24pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Jeez, so now you can't criticize urban culture without being tagged a racist? That's pretty fucked. Wow...I'm stunned. I guess that means the fact that I won't let my kid dress like an idiot with his pants halfway down his ass makes me a racist too?

Oh wait, I've already been tagged a racist because I think Obama isn't more qualified than Clinton or McCain to be the leader of the free world.

And you're saying if they don't talk, act, and dress like you (thus being different i.e. not in step with mainstream "white" culture.) then they are contributing to the erosion of American culture?

It's not even American culture. It's little Bavaria. You wouldn't feel amiss if the lovely Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii went from being about Polynesian culture and more about Far Right Evangelicalism?

You'd be spitting mad and nobody would call you shitty names for it...
3.26.2008 1:32pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
TQL;

I couldn't agree with you more. Be careful though, agreement with Mr. W. could constitute someone having the nerve to suggest that you are a racist. ;-)
3.26.2008 1:36pm
TQL:
...I was thinking more like Aunt Thomisina. ;o)
3.26.2008 1:39pm
Jerry K. :
Tim,

Mr. Wonderful is not a racist. I find his commentary thought provoking. I don't agree with some of his stuff, but I'm not going to label him a racist for it.

Jerry
3.26.2008 1:41pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
I was thinking more like Aunt Thomisina.

LOL. OMG, I just choked on my diet coke!
3.26.2008 1:45pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Tim,

Was that comment just a hit and run?

How very SPoDEish...I expected more from an Army strong soldier.
3.26.2008 2:06pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
Wow! And I didn't even have to defend myself on this one. But perhaps I shouldn't crow ... the day is still young.
3.26.2008 2:12pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
You can crow. You've scared them all away. Well, not all. The reasonable ones will still talk and Mark can actually argue/agree without resorting to name calling.

The rest are hiding...
3.26.2008 3:19pm
Tim (mail):

How very SPoDEish...I expected more from an Army strong soldier.


No words....

Good luck with the whole blogging experiment...I'm out.
3.26.2008 3:30pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
Good luck with the whole blogging experiment...I'm out.

In other words, if we don't play the game he wants to play, he's going to take his little red ball and go to another playground.

I wish I could say you'll be missed Tim ... but I've always been told that it's wrong to lie.
3.26.2008 3:34pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Really? After being called SPoDEish and Trudyesque by you...you can't handle it when you get called on the carpet?

Incredible.
3.26.2008 3:34pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Of course, you missed the fact that it would be SPoDEish if the answer to my question was yes - that was just a hit and run comment...whatever.

Although, I'm used to public displays of temper/sadness/outrage...if you recall
3.26.2008 4:01pm
McKiernan:
Okay, now that all that baloney stuff is/has been settled,


Tell us dear Mr. Wonderful, what precisely is the

real point of yorn post ?


Its okay to respond, I'm frum Michigan and I'm bi-chocolate, loving both white chocolate and chocolate chocolate Easter bunnies.
3.26.2008 5:36pm
shep (mail):
I'm with Tim. Who ever thought even race-baiting could be made boring. Buh-bye.
3.26.2008 6:02pm
double-plus-ungood (mail) (www):
Urban slang, after all, is merely mispronounced, misunderstood and bastardized English language;

Jeez, Mr. Wonderfule. How many words, terms, and idioms in your post are based on misunderstood and bastardized English?

All of it, actually.

I find posts like this one are based on the false premise that the language can be misused, whereas the only real criteria is whether one is understood or not.

You might want to read up a bit on the history of the English language, and all of the bastardizations that have made it what it is today - the world's most flexible, vocabulary-rich, expressive, and difficult-to-spell language.

By the way, why are all the examples that you list from one particular ethnic group? Surely there are other bastardizations to which you object?
3.26.2008 7:13pm
double-plus-ungood (mail) (www):
Mr. Wonderful, you aren't by any chance a fan of Ed Anger, are you?
3.26.2008 8:13pm
Mark Adams, who's always correct, get used to it. (mail) (www):
Damn boys, I figured we'd all just boycott W's posts from here out. There's no sense engaging the senseless.

Leave him alone, really alone. Since the pleasure is all his anyway, do we really want to watch him pleasure himself?

Not.

There's much more interesting porn on the intertubez than reading his mental mastubations if you're into that sort of thing.
3.26.2008 9:00pm
double-plus-ungood (mail) (www):
Damn boys, I figured we'd all just boycott W's posts from here out. There's no sense engaging the senseless.

Not so hasty there, comrades. I smells me an April Fool prank.
3.26.2008 9:10pm
Eric M (mail):
Can someone show "Mr. Wonderful" the door....and let the door hit him in the ass.
3.26.2008 9:48pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
In the words of Sally Fields, "You love me; you really love me!"
3.27.2008 12:03am
Arnold Harris:
I keep hoping there is some town in the USA I could walk into, which would have an authentic German camera store. More significantly, an authentic German camera store that carries parts for authentic German 35mm rangefinder cameras manufactured during the great 1950s era. Specifically, my Voigtlander Vitessa-T models, of which I now have a huge collection.

But, alas. I am sure that some place in northern Michigan is not at all like Muenchen in September 1974.

The nice thing about German stuff is that it was always so well designed and well built.

The bad thing about German stuff is that it was always built as if nobody would ever have to tear it apart and fix it. And especially, that anybody would think of doing this for themselves, far away from any source of spare parts, and long after the company that built your stuff shut its doors and sold their logo to some enterprising Japanese.

Nevertheless. I assume Franenmuth is good for a nice plate of wurst and bavarian kraut with some dark rye bread and a bottle of good beer. (But hold the cheezy marching band music.)

Arnold Harris
Mount Horeb WI
3.27.2008 9:14am
Frankie J (mail):
Fitty Cent makes a whole lot more money than any of us do for talking like that...

I realize that I'm a newbie...but so is Mr. Wonderful. So, here goes.

I wouldn't call Mr. W a racist for that post, but I would like to ask him why he's so afraid of African-American culture cutting in on his nice little white German community.

I'm sure that you laughed as you wrote that post, but it wasn't funny to me. It sounded more like the missing Jerry Lewis chapter of "Mein Kampf"...talking about how someone else is taking over your "Germany in the States".

I guess that Tim and I don't have the same sense of humor as some of you about these things.

I guess that's because the Army has used both of us to teach Equal Opportunity classes regarding racial discrimination.

"Utilizing urban dialect for reasons of commercialism and/or mass appeal such as this is an example of stupidity at its most glaring. It’s yet another example of a society where ignorance is rewarded, which only serves to discourage intelligence and culture in lieu of the much easier-obtained lowest common denominator. Urban slang, after all, is merely mispronounced, misunderstood and bastardized English language; while it might be perfect for the latest hip-hop album, it has no place in an upscale restaurant such as Frankenmuth."

Are white people the only people that eat German food? I thought that the object of marketing was to get as many people to use your product as possible, regardless of ethnicity or race. I can't wait to see your Bud Light commercial that's full of uptight Harvard grads, drinking their beer while fox hunting on horses. That one's going to be funny.

I'm very happy that you've found a place to amuse yourself, though. Good luck with that.

Maybe in the next ten years, Eminem will tear down your precious Frankenmuth and build Black Disneyland where it used to be. The spot will probably make more money than a town full of schnitzel.
3.28.2008 11:38am
TQL:
Are white people the only people that eat German food? I thought that the object of marketing was to get as many people to use your product as possible, regardless of ethnicity or race.

So Frankie, are you really saying that the only to market to Black people or other people of color is to use *urban slang*? I actually find it pretty damn offensive when businesses think that the only way to reach Black folks is to *urbanize it*.

Or rather, let me make it plain. A message doesn't have to be ghetto to appeal to Black folks. Black does not equal ghetto! And, "Chillin' with my gnomies" is ghetto! More of us are educated and middle class or at least striving for that. We would appreciate it if we were seen for something other than the least of us!
3.28.2008 11:44am
TQL:
Fitty Cent makes a whole lot more money than any of us do for talking like that...


Contrary to what capitalism tells us, just b/c someone makes money off of it doesn't make it right or beneficial.
3.28.2008 11:51am
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
A wonderful rebuttal, TQL ... so eloquent, so moving. Sadly, Frankie will not appreciate the full measure of it because the cause of black people is much better defended when put in the hands of well-intentioned white liberals than it ever will be if it's headed up by educated black folk such as yourself.

Didn't you know?
3.28.2008 11:54am
Frankie J (mail):
TQL...the key part of your quote was the end..."regardless of race or ethnicity".

"So Frankie, are you really saying that the only to market to Black people or other people of color is to use *urban slang*? I actually find it pretty damn offensive when businesses think that the only way to reach Black folks is to *urbanize it*."

Did I say that? I've been to concerts for artists that are labeled as playing black music...who else is at these shows? Teenage white kids is the answer. "Urban slang" does not necessarily have to be geared towards the black community...hence the reason that I didn't call Mr. W. a racist.

The part of Mr. W's post that got me ready to roll was his calling of that type of commercialism stupid and ignorant. It obviously gets the point across to some consumers. I guess if more Americans were as educated as you guys are...this type of marketing wouldn't work.

Mr. Wonderful...

How do you know how I'm going to feel about TQL's response to my post? The reason that I'm writing on a blog like this one is to hear other peoples voices and opinions on a variety of subjects. If I only wanted to listen to myself talk, I wouldn't be here. You learn from others...not yourself.
3.28.2008 12:33pm
TQL:
Did I say that? I've been to concerts for artists that are labeled as playing black music...who else is at these shows? Teenage white kids is the answer. "Urban slang" does not necessarily have to be geared towards the black community...hence the reason that I didn't call Mr. W. a racist.

Actually, you did say that...
...I would like to ask him why he's so afraid of African-American culture cutting in on his nice little white German community.


The problem is that *urban slang* does become synonymous with Black culture, no matter how many white kids are kickin' it at a T-Pain or FLO-RIDA concert.

I guess if more Americans were as educated as you guys are...this type of marketing wouldn't work.

Which I guess begs the question - which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does this kind of marketing occur b/c it is a reflection of the community it is trying to reach? Or, do communities try to maintain the images they are fed because they sell and are legitimized? That's the tricky and unfortunate thing about marketing and media - sometimes it's hard to tell who's fed what...
3.28.2008 1:01pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
Hence the reason that I didn't call Mr. W. a racist.

You’re right, Frankie … you didn’t call me a racist – outright – but you sure as hell implied it. By referring to my blog as “the missing Jerry Lewis chapter of ‘Mein Kampf’” not only implies that my post was racist (which is wasn’t), it also links me to the Nazi party and its philosophies (I’m not). What you did was no different than me telling my ex-fiancee that she was “acting like a bitch.” Sure, I didn’t call her a bitch, but the suggestion was very thinly disguised, at best. She didn’t buy it with me, and I’m not gonna buy it with you.

Tell ya what, Frankie … since you’re so keen on learning from others (your words), how about I drop some intellect on ya? (How’s that for urban dialogue?) It’s clear to me that you completely missed the meaning of my post. I never once suggested that black people shouldn’t be allowed to eat at Frankenmuth. Blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanic people all eat at Frankenmuth and frankly, I couldn’t care less.

My concern is the use of urban slang, and in this case is was no doubt used by white people. When businesses use urban slang, it has a tendency to legitimize it in the eyes of the average American, especially young people. In essence, it tells them that sayings such as “Chillin’ with my homies” is okay. That it’s natural. And that this is the way EVERYONE should talk. What kind of world is this making for the next generation? Really?

Somehow how I think that if my daughter were to walk into a job interview and holler out, “What up, bitchaz?” and threw a gang sign in the air, that her chances of employment would be very slim. Worse yet, she would probably become indignant that she didn’t get the job, claiming, “But everybody talks like this!” But just because “everybody” is doing something, it doesn’t make it right.

So I reiterate my point … this type of commercialism is ignorant. It’s ignorant because it lowers the bar, the standards and the expectations of future generations. No longer will young people aspire to be the next Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (to name a few). Instead, they will turn out to be the next 50 Cent or Young Jeezy ... people who have nothing better to offer the world than ignorant, bastardized catch phrases put on top of a funky beat that you can dance to.

In short, this bullshit (for that's what it is) is leading future generations down a very dangerous path … one that will no doubt end in unwanted pregnancy for some, and prison and/or death for others. We should want more for not only our children but everyone's children ...

So you see, my argument is not one of culture … it’s one of class.

Now that you’ve read this (which I hope you have), I gotta ask … are ya feelin’ me, dawg?

Mr. Wonderful
3.28.2008 2:07pm
shep (mail):
"I actually find it pretty damn offensive when businesses think that the only way to reach Black folks is to *urbanize it*."

Oh for God's sake. The biggest consumers of urban black "culture" are white adolescents (a hugely bigger market), or hadn't you heard. You may know something about black culture (unlike the author of the post, at least you know something) but, apparently, not much about marketing or "white culture".

Or, perhaps, you just have a chip on your shoulder about how blacks are rendered to sell crap to white kids. If so, you should really appreciate having a fantastic black role model for all of white America to see and resent the hell out of moronic denigrations of him on crappy white blogs.
3.28.2008 2:15pm
TQL:
Oh for God's sake. The biggest consumers of urban black "culture" are white adolescents (a hugely bigger market), or hadn't you heard.

You may have a point, but the ones that it has the most lasting and detrimental effects on is Black youth. Because Becky and Adam can take off the hip-hop gear and get right back in line with what society expects them to be much easier than their Black counterparts. Or hadn't YOU heard...?

It's a little bit more than just a chip on my shoulder seeing as I see the devasting effects of such marketing on a day to day basis. I would think that you, as a Great White Liberal, would understand that. Unless your *defense* is just for show...

Don't sit here and try to school me about how urban culture has minimal effect on Black youth and to not be concerned because it's really done for White youth. I'll call bullshit everytime...

In terms of Obama-fever around here... I'm not going to be so simple-minded as to assume that just because Rose doesn't like Obama that she (and others) are automatically racist. For one, I don't know her well enough to make that assertion. And two, it's intellectually dishonest to just assume that because someone doesn't like A Black person they are automatically racist.
3.28.2008 2:27pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Crappy?!?!?

Now THAT is offensive. So I guess you have a scat fetish then?
3.28.2008 2:28pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
You may know something about black culture

Something? Something? She's a black woman, you imbecile ... I daresay she knows a lot more than "something" about black culture. She's lived the experience of being a black person in America. She understands that struggle, and (in my opinion) is able to describe it to the world in very thought-provoking terms. Definitely more than I can say about you.

If so, you should really appreciate having a fantastic black role model for all of white America to see and resent the hell out of moronic denigrations of him on crappy white blogs.

And now you're telling a black person how she should feel? And you liberals say that conservatives are racist ...

Wow!
3.28.2008 2:28pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
Thank you TQL.

For the record, I think they all suck. And I actually hated John Kerry &Al Gore with a passion that is unmatched, I only dislike Obama.
3.28.2008 2:31pm
Frankie J (mail):
I'm feeling you a little more than I was three hours ago. And I realize that my initial post didn't quite come out the way that I intended it. I still don't agree with you, however.

You specifically said that you didn't think that this type of commercialism belonged in an "upscale restaurant such as Frankenmuth".

"Somehow how I think that if my daughter were to walk into a job interview and holler out, “What up, bitchaz?” and threw a gang sign in the air, that her chances of employment would be very slim."

If your daughter, or anyone else, isn't smart enough to know the appropriate time to use said slang, then they probably don't deserve to get that job in the first place. Going into a job interview like this would be like going into a job meeting and saying "fuck" thirty times. You might say "fuck" at the club...but you know better than to say it to your possible future employer.

This is no different than violence in video games, movies, or music. Individual people will make their own decisions. "Chillin' with my gnomies" is not going to make the next generation any less educated any more than Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox is going to make my little brother go carjack somebody.

Every generation there has been something like this, Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal, you name it. The youngsters that want something in life are going to go out and get it...no matter what they see on TV.

By the way...you implied plenty in your original post. You didn't "outright" say they were directed towards African-American culture, but it was pretty obvious. You made this a black thing when you used the word "urban", which is "suburban" slang all on its own.
3.28.2008 3:25pm
shep (mail):
"Don't sit here and try to school me about how urban culture has minimal effect on Black youth and to not be concerned because it's really done for White youth. I'll call bullshit everytime..."

You still don't get it (you're going to fit in well here). Black urban culture wouldn't be having much of an effect on anyone if it wasn't making a gazillon bucks for Sony and Viacom.


"In terms of Obama-fever around here... I'm not going to be so simple-minded as to assume that just because Rose doesn't like Obama that she (and others) are automatically racist. For one, I don't know her well enough to make that assertion. And two, it's intellectually dishonest to just assume that because someone doesn't like A Black person they are automatically racist."


I seldom assume very much. Rosemary's prejudices are great and many, and probably cross the line to actual insanity when it comes to liberals and Democrats. But I do know her well and I also know who her homeys are. It's no assumption to suggest that when you lie down with pigs (see above) you're going to get dirty.
3.28.2008 3:28pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
Frankie, Frankie, Frankie …

You specifically said that you didn't think that this type of commercialism belonged in an "upscale restaurant such as Frankenmuth".

And I still don’t! And apparently, you feel the same way, basically admitting that this is not a proper means with which to carry yourself in most public and professional situations. To wit:

If your daughter, or anyone else, isn't smart enough to know the appropriate time to use said slang, then they probably don't deserve to get that job in the first place.

Hmmm … sounds like you’re dancing to a different tune than you were earlier, Mr. U.S. Army Diversity Guy.
3.28.2008 4:21pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
I seldom assume very much. Rosemary's prejudices are great and many, and probably cross the line to actual insanity when it comes to liberals and Democrats. But I do know her well and I also know who her homeys are. It's no assumption to suggest that when you lie down with pigs (see above) you're going to get dirty.

My homeys? Shep, I consider most everyone here one of my friends to some extent or another. I don't lay with pigs and I'm hardly insane. Of course, if I were insane...I wouldn't know it but those close to me would and nobody has called the white coats in to pick me up.
3.29.2008 3:16pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
You know what bugs me the most? Despite the provocation of Mr. Wonderful's post, he made some good points and only a few people deigned to notice. Instead it's the same knee-jerk - "you're new and we don't like you" circle jerk that happens all too often on blogs.

Too many can't see beyond the rhetoric to even discuss something that could have been a worthy discussion.

Everyone gets all pissy when I tear down Obama but instead of telling me WHY I'm wrong I get called names. Wonderful writes a provocative piece on the dumbing down of American culture, and yes, it is dumbing down. Crass slang, be it "urban" or otherwise, is nothing more than street talk and it doesn't belong in businesses and polite society anymore than picking your nose or farting does. It also does give people an impression that the originators of said slang are not as intelligent as everyone else.

Why is it such a taboo to discuss? Because the author is white? Change the sentence from "chillin with my gnomies" to "Hey, Big Pussy...fuggetaboutit". There now it's not "urban" - is it still acceptable?

Now they are marketing to the Sopranos fans - do you want to see 5 and 6 year olds posing in that thing with that slogan? Why not? What's the big deal? It's just marketing...isn't it sweet?
3.29.2008 3:40pm
Mr. Wonderful (mail):
Well said! That's why she's the Queen!
3.29.2008 7:23pm
Rosemary, Queen of All Evil (mail):
How wonderful you are to say so... ;-)
3.29.2008 8:03pm
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