Thursday, August 15, 2013

Deen's Deliverance, Part Duh

Calhoun's Cannons for August 15, 2013

Woe betide an employer who has an employee who feels she/he hasn't been given enough -- enough money, enough respect, enough credit, enough shared fame and glory, or enough of whatever "enough" is.

Several months ago, Lisa Jackson sued Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, claiming she suffered sexual harassment and racially offensive employment practices while working for five years as a manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant run by Deen's brother. This being a case that was claiming racial discrimination, Deen was deposed and from her mouth -- under oath -- out popped the N-Word and the media pounced.  The firestorm that ensued was fueled by the Trayvon Martin zeitgeist, the call for a national "discussion" of racial issues by a country dangerously unsettled in its mind over anything racial. 

And the media went nuts.  Deen became persona non grata du jour,  sponsors of her TV show scampered off her sinking ship, product endorsements dried up, heck even Smithfield ham dumped her.  Suddenly toxic, Deen watched as her empire crumbled in a matter of weeks, all because she had testified that years ago she had once used the N-Word -- a word that 99.99% of Americans have likely muttered once in their lives.  But her sin was compounded because soon cringe-worthy TV clips turned up showing she was most certainly a Southern Lady of a certain age with an apallingly tin ear and a good degree of clueless silliness.  It was an eye-rollingly bad combination for a anyone trying to run a multi-million dollar empire -- TV show, cook-book publishing, cookware and product endorsements, shilling for a brand of insulin  -- while facing a mob of pitchforks and flaming brands.

And in typical fashion in a country bereft of any sense of context and operating with a kind of National Short Term Memory Syndrome, in an eyeblink the fury was over, gone.  Deen's hash was considered settled and she and her travails disappeared from the front page.

Until a few days ago.  There, buried a couple of pages in, was The Rest of the Story, a brief notice that Lisa Jackson's lawsuit was mostly tossed out as having no standing since Lisa is white, Deen and Bubba are white.  Can't have a racial discrimination case if everyone's the same race. But, still left standing are her claims for sexual harassment, but that claim is laid against Bubba, not Deen. And, as of this writing, the remaining claims against Deen herself may also be tossed out as well.

So we'll then be left with, what?  A case of sexual harassment against a Southern Good O'l Boy of a certain age, a tin ear and a good degree of clueless pigishness?  

And what about Deen, now?  Was she a victim of someone who didn't have "enough"  and so used a flimsy lawsuit to get, what?  Justice? Revenge?

Or was The Great Reveal the point?  Sworn depositions given by attorneys on fishing expeditions can be a potent weapon in service of someone looking for some sort of extra-legal rough justice.  One should never underestimate the powerful human love of exposing the motes in other people's eyes while ignoring the planks in our own. And if one is aggrieved, if one is treated unfairly, if one doesn't have "enough," while others have "more," or are getting away with something, then that's a powerful motive to settle old scores. Spill a few nasty beans, shake out enough messy laundry, hit the zeitgeist at the right time, and public disapproval and fury (and corporate skittishness) will inflict punishments undreamed of in any court of law.

As a morality play, I'm sure the Deen case still has more chapters left to play out. Like Deen showing up at some point on Oprah's couch to shed a few tears, declare how this whole episode was a wake-up call and an opportunity for redemption and transformation, how her suffering has now made her a much better person (She's gone vegan and lost 47 pounds) and she's now written another book, (Available on Amazon), developed a new TV show, (Bravo Channel) so be sure to tune in (Wednesday's at 10 a.m.)

A Come to Jesus happy ending, at last! Crime & Punishment,  American style.



Anonymous said...

Nice column, Ann, although I would not confuse any time on Oprah's couch with a "come to Jesus" moment, and none of Oprah's couches seem to sit in front of TV cameras these days

Anne R. Allen said...

Great piece. The only thing the public loves more than raising people to celebrity status is tearing them down. We need human sacrifices to garland with flowers before we lead them to the sacrificial altar. We can project all our sins upon them, and then our sins disappear when they've been dispatched. If that was fun enough, we get to do elevate them again: rinse, wash, repeat.

Glad to see Blogger let you back into your blog this week!

Churadogs said...

Anon, Think Oprah's still doing all those Come to Jesus, confession-time, in-depth, soul-searching "What The Hell Were You Thinking" interviews for miscreants, like Lance Armstrong? Think they're "specials" now rather than her weekly show.

anne: The whole Deen thing was such a puzzle to me. Something about it just seemed so out of proportion -- the punishment simply didn't fit the crime, the magnidutes were way out of whack. Very odd.

Blogger hasn't blocked the blog, it's just screwed up the overview, settings, etc for some reason. A check of their site for "issues" brought to their attention is incredibly discouraging -- it's one long list of constant screw ups on their part, most likely brought about by their "improving" things, all followed by the reply, "We don't know what's causing the problem but we're working on it."

Churadogs said...

Ann writes:

"And for those who had no clue what went down, it would be a shrug and, "Yeah,that was one screwed up mess, alright. Oh well . . ."'"


Uh, well, like I recently exposed, "over 4,000" PZ property owners (including you, Ann) are STILL (present tense) being fleeced twice a year, every time they cut a check for their property taxes... until the year 2034.

The situation is beyond ridiculous: Over 4,000 PZ property owners are STILL paying for the Tri-W fraud -- a disastrous non-project that never even came close to working, and that will never exist, yet "over 4,000" Los Ososans will continue to be fleeced for that scam, twice a year, for the next 20 years, and most of them have no idea they are even being fleeced.

And the only reason I can think of on why Supervisor Gibson's phone isn't ringing off the hook from "over 4,000" REEELLY pissed off PZ property owners, is BECAUSE of the worse-than-nothing local so-called "media."

What they do there (how they handle me) is some of THE worst journalism ethics I've ever seen: If I get to a story first (which, when it comes to Los Osos, is all the time), like the amazing story of how more than 4,000 PZ property owners are being fleeced twice a year -- for the next 20 years -- for a non-project that will never exist (because it was nothing more than a fraud), then the Trib and New Times, and I'll just go ahead and toss in CalCoastNews, HAVE to pretend that that story doesn't exist, because if it does, it means that I've been right (of course) for the past 13 years, and their "reporting" has been embarrassingly horrible.

And what that does is leaves ALL the victims in the PZ just a-twistin' in the wind (not me, mind you -- PZ victims twistin' in the wind -- YOU guys are the ones getting burned by their scummy journalism ethics), because now it's just little ol' SewerWatch reporting it, using nothing but excellent, primary source documents, as usual, and, obviously I, alone, can't get the necessary traction for this spectacular story to take hold. (Fer god's sake, I'm just this tiny, little blog.)

(By the way, that is also why I don't understand the hate towards me from the anonalosers, which they just make up: "Monthly government disability checks?" I wish! The hate makes no sense whatsover. Uh, anonalosers? I'm trying to HELP you.)

Ann also writes:

... "but nothing will be done about it, nobody will be held to account..."

And that goes straight to the heart of why I LOVE my overall story these days: BECAUSE thousands of PZ property owners are STILL (present tense) being fleeced, and will (future tense) continue to be fleeced until the year 2034. Awesome!

Now look what I get to do (and this is just great): The next round of property tax bills starts to be due on November 1, a little over two months from now, and unless something is done between now and Nov. 1, "over 4,000" PZ property owners will be fleeced AGAIN, and this time Bruce Gibson is AWARE of the fleecing (I sent him an email asking him if there was anything he could do to help those "over 4,000" property owners that are being fleeced twice a year, and he never replied, of course, and has yet to lift a finger to help all of those victims).

How... great... is... THAT?

Yes, it REALLY sucks for the thousands of victims in Los Osos, but, trust me, on a journalism level, it doesn't get much better than this. I friggin' love it.

WAAAAAAAYYYYY too much fun.

Churadogs said...

Billy Dunn sez: (And Ron Crawford sez: comment above Billy's)

"I think once again Ann you’re omitting another important demographic of Los Osos, quite possibly the largest. Those who are not lazy thinkers, or just throwing their hands up in surrender, and are not ignorant or uninformed; those certainly not affiliated with any “side” or agenda. It’s simply those who do not share your opinion of what is best for Los Osos, and who differ with you in their interpretation of events concerning the sewer drama of the past 30 or 40 years. I guess you and others can call us whatever you’d like, but please don’t call us lazy thinkers or uninformed, or acquiescent.

And I appreciate your movie-themed mantra about the sewer saga: “Chinatown,” but after witnessing some of the most unbelievably hostile, miserable, immature, obsessive, rude, twisted behavior (from admittedly a small percentage of Los Ososians, who are ill-represented by these scumbags), I prefer “Hellscape,” or “Bad People,” or “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Sorry Bill & Ron, these comments didn't take, but Blogger has screwed up the blog, partly; the settings icon on the dashboard's gone. I've been hollering for them to fix it and hopefully will get it fixed. I set the comment section to close after a few days (to avoid spammers from going back into old comment sections and selling Viagra) and before Blogger screwed up their product by "improving it," I used to be able to moderate comments when I got notice they'd been posted. Now, let's see if Blogger will allow ME to post. Sigh.

Anyway, to Ron and Billy's comments, I can only reiterate what I think people are feeling out here: fatigue. Whether they know about being "fleeced" or not, they know nothing will be done about it. How's that old movie cliche go, "Escape is futile?"

It's all a done deal now, there is no fixing anything, no making it right. The silence Ron got from Supervisor Gibson (indeed silence you got from all of them since I presume he cc'd them all his postings?)tells you all you need to know.

And, Billy, for the Hideous Sewer Wars, all your film titles are apt. "Chinatown" is just the coda.