Liberals believe in their right not be offended, and their right to offend non-liberals as much as they please

Alternet writer wants to purge the Rolling Stones from expensive organic store playlist. Tipper Gore, call your office!

Isn’t it funny how the older generation was offended by The Rolling Stones while the liberals were all about mocking the morality of the older generation. Now we’ve come full circle — the new crop of liberals is offended by the music of their liberal Baby Boomer parents! Fascinating!

But Lynn Stuart Parramore, don’t you realize how much liberals have offended everyone else in the name of free speech, which you have no intent of granting to us in our turn?

Also, get the class markers. Trader Joes is an expensive organic store. On Sixth Avenue in NYC, whatever that is. Sounds like an expensive place.

It’s right out of the cartoon about upper class liberal hypocrites, The Goode Family:

ECONOMY
AlterNet / By Lynn Stuart Parramore comments_image 1 COMMENT
Trader Joe’s NYC Store Defends ‘Racist, Sexist, and Misogynistic’ Songs on Playlist
Even after Elliot Rodger’s killing spree, Trader Joe’s manager says the store will keep playing a famous song that demeans women.

You go girl! Speak truth to power to those low paid grocery clerks!

June 9, 2014 |

Last Friday evening, I was shopping for food at the packed Trader Joe’s on Sixth Avenue in New York. I like shopping there. The prices are pretty good, the employees friendly, the store inviting.

As I was standing in line, I heard the jaunty marimba of the Rolling Stones’ 1966 smash hit, “Under My Thumb.” We’ve all heard the song 1,000 times — it’s a very catchy tune. But it also features lyrics that are not exactly friendly toward women. As I listened, I thought about how the song plays in the wake of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree, fueled, as the killer explained in a lengthy manifesto, by his rage against women and desire to control them.

We’ve been wringing our hands, asking how young men can become so hostile and eager to dominate to women. Well, isn’t it because our culture feeds them the message at every turn, even in the most mundane settings?

In “Under My Thumb,” the singer boasts about how he’s gained control of his girl, comparing her to, among other things, a squirming dog. A sample:

Under my thumb
The squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways

It’s down to me
The way she talks when she’s spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She’s under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe, yeah

And so on. My problem is not so much with Sir Mick, who penned the lyrics with Keith Richards when both were 23 years old in a bygone era, before I was even born. The young rockers had found that copping a swaggering sexual posture was money in the bank. Truthfully, “Under My Thumb” is not even their most aggressively misogynistic song: that prize goes to “Brown Sugar,” which celebrates slave owners raping black women: “Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright / Hear him whip the women just around midnight /Brown sugar how come you taste so good?”

“Under My Thumb” is nevertheless considered by many to be one of the most misogynistic rock songs of all time. In a grim twist of fate, it was actually the song the Stones were playing when a fan named Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by members of the Hell’s Angels hired as security guards at the Altamont Speedway concert in 1969.

History aside, what I wanted to know is, have our attitudes changed much since 1966? What kinds of messages do we think are OK today? Why should I have to hear about a guy comparing his girlfriend to a dog while I’m buying vegetables?

I decided to ask Trader Joe’s this question. Just so they would know I wasn’t making things up, I printed out the lyrics to “Under My Thumb” and brought them into the store with me. I was directed to a young man named Kyle Morrison, to whom I explained in friendly terms that I was a frequent shopper and that I had heard a song playing over the sound system which, in the wake of the Elliot Rodger killing spree, made me feel uncomfortable. I told him the name of the song, and offered him the paper with the lyrics.

Without looking at the page, Morrison’s first response was to tell me rather smugly that art was a matter of interpretation. I asked him to read the lyrics, and let me know how he interpreted them. He said he didn’t have time, so I read off a few for him.

“Do you think those lyrics are offensive to women?” I asked.

He looked uncomfortable. “It’s just like the radio in your car,” he argued. “There are all kinds of songs playing on different stations.”

“But it’s not like the radio in my car. I can turn that off.”

Morrison hemmed and hawed, explaining that Trader Joe’s playlists were “edited for appropriateness.” Yet he also admitted that probably a lot of the songs were “racist, sexist, and misogynistic.”

“So why are you playing them?”

Flustered, Morrison said he had no control. The music was up to “corporate.” If I was in the store and the song was playing, I could ask him to turn it down. That was all he could do.

When I asked how to get in touch with “corporate,” Kyle Morrison gave me a card printed with the name of the store “Captain,” Justin Matthews, two phone numbers, and an uplifting message that Trader Joe’s had a mission to provide “the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride and company spirit.”

I went home and called both numbers, and was told that Captain Justin Matthews could not be reached at either. I did manage to reach Trader Joe’s customer service department and spoke to someone named “Nicki” (she refused to give her last name), who told me robotically that the music lists were set and Trader Joe’s would not change them.

“Even if they are offensive to women shopping in your stores?” I asked. “No one ever complains,” she said curtly. “I’m complaining,” I replied. She thanked me for my feedback and promised to pass it on. “To whom?” I asked. “To the store manager,” she said. The one who could not be reached.

I returned to Trader Joe’s to speak to a harried Kyle Morrison, who insisted that the numbers he had given me were the right ones. Finally a colleague said that Captain Justin Matthews could only be reached at one of the numbers when he was in, and he wasn’t in. I would have to come back another day.

Morrison told me he would write down the name of the two satellite companies that compile the music lists, Mood and Muzak (actually they are one company: Mood bought Muzak in 2011). “Maybe you could call them,” he offered.

“But Trader Joe’s is the company that makes the contracts. Doesn’t Trader Joe’s have any responsibility?”

“I’m sorry,” Morrison said. “There’s nothing I can do.”

Yeah, me, too.

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet senior editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of “Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.” She received her Ph.D. in English and cultural theory from NYU. She is the director of AlterNet’s New Economic Dialogue Project. Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

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26 Responses to Liberals believe in their right not be offended, and their right to offend non-liberals as much as they please

  1. PA says:

    That Lynn Parramore sounds like a cunt. Only a cunt would hassle a working stiff store manager and menstruate his full name in a publication.

    Camille Paglia, by the way, wrote how feminists back in her college days also bitched about that song.

  2. KO says:

    “…and the beards have all grown longer overnight.”

    Ha ha! It’s your revolution. Own it!

  3. Rollory says:

    I gotta defend the alternet girl here. A lot of that music that gets played in the stores is stuff that really can be over the line. I know there have been times when I realized just what it was that was being played at me and left the store from being annoyed at it.

    The Rolling Stones aren’t a group I’d lift a finger to defend. For one thing they’re perfectly capable of doing it themselves.

    • mindweapon says:

      I’m not defending the Rolling Stones. Notice I tipped my hat to the legitimate objections of the older generations. What I’m doing is bashing LIE-beral hypocrisy. Lynn Stuart Parramore probably laughed at Tipper Gore back in the day. Now she IS Tipper Gore!

  4. PureEvil cont. says:

    This is hilarious, these dorks have so thoroughly defeated American society that they have no one left the fight except their own selves from 5 minutes ago. Check it Lynn honey, chicks like to be under a man’s thumb, now go have a heart attack over that!

    • mindweapon says:

      Outstanding comments, PureEvil cont.!

      • PureEvil cont. says:

        Thanks. These dorks wish so badly that the “conservatives” would stop ducking them, but they won’t so they become even more shrill, now they are throwing their toys out of the crib, while “conservatives” stand befuddled. I say we just throw their toys back into the crib and mock them.

  5. Erin says:

    What a useless feeder.

    PS. Although Trader Joe’s does carry gourmet food,, it also has reasonably priced regular food.
    one thing they do really well is offer frozen food without a bunch of chemicals in it.

  6. Stary Wylk says:

    When I listen to that song, I hear a guy who is crowing because his girl (who used to control the relationship) is now the one controlled, Parramore would probably have loved the prequel.

  7. Just Here says:

    Liberals are just like muslims (no wonder they import a ton of them), you have free speech and freedom as long as you submit to them and their rules.

  8. Ryu says:

    Nice cartoon. I’ve never seen that one before. It’s 100% accurate.

  9. The Goode Family was the most hilarious, hysterical show ever. The satire was so precise and always hit the target so squarely.

    Don’t miss the one where the wife is accused of slavery for her live in refugee. “I’m not sure if this is an issue for the Board of Labor or the Justice Department!”

    Seriously, just about every single episode is side splittingly funny, if you happen to know these sorts of people.

  10. “Under My Thumb.” We’ve all heard the song 1,000 times — it’s a very catchy tune. But it also features lyrics that are not exactly friendly toward women. As I listened, I thought about how the song plays in the wake of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree, fueled, as the killer explained in a lengthy manifesto, by his rage against women and desire to control them.

    Ok, my particular area of expertise might help explain this woman’s actions. “Under My Thumb” was singled out by feminists when it first came out, for the lyrics as well as the BDSM themed art that went with it. This explains why it is so popular/controversial with feminists.

    That half Asian pretty boy has inspired more sticky erotic fantasies for feminists with one shooting spree than I could in a month of writing spanking stories.

    Just sort of imagine the scenario:

    Hello, Trader Joe’s employee. Here I have printed out the lyrics to a song about a BDSM scene, which uses demeaning language to describe a woman being restrained – “a squirming dog.”

    I’m a woman and I’m offended. Do you think of me as a squirming dog? Do you want to tie me up? Do you feel entitled to my body? You want to use my body like an object, just a tool for your own selfish pleasure. You want to demean me, calling me awful misogynistic names like “slut” and “whore” don’t you? I’m you’re little slut aren’t I? I’m your little slave!

    Seriously lady, get a room or something. She is essentially sexually harassing the poor Trader Joe employee.

  11. Though I was just a kid back then, I remember the brouhaha that feminists of the time kicked up about “Under My Thumb.” Rather than pulling something offensive off the shelves, and going a’grovelin’ on an apology tour, the studio executives let the market decide what the public wanted to hear. Indeed, the feminist flap backfired miserably, because the more the squawking, the faster this single flew off the shelves. The sales didn’t cool off until the furor died down proving there’s no such thing as bad publicity and Banned in Boston is even better.

    I was never crazy about this song on general principles, even though I recognized that it all came part and parcel of The Sexy Bad Boy Antihero Package that Hollywood had also been selling since the late fifties. After all, if you think about it, the same Billy Badass who makes any leftist female swoon by flipping off the establishment won’t suddenly morph into a White Knight who is chivalrous to the ladies. Not at all. If he’s going to flout convention, he’s going to flout every aspect of it.

    So, my reaction to The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” is an apathetic MEH, Whatever. Boyz will be boyz. I’ve dealt with it; I’m over it.

    However, the main reason why I got involved in feminism in the past when I was young and idealistic was that I loathed double-standards. I felt (and still do) that one standard of behavior should apply to everyone. Which leads me to:

    MY irritation with this self-subscribed feminist stemming from my gut-feeling that her attacks on sexism and misogyny draw the line with WHITE males. I don’t remember any Solidarity and Sisterhood articles by this woman where it comes to African-American cRAP music where it goes beyond the power shift in a personal relationship to all wimmenz are bitches and hos.

    I don’t see this same woman carrying on about the abysmal way MUSLIM men treat women. This was, is and remains about castigating White men from Christian European traditions, the BEST of men for not being Alan Aldas on Estrogen.

    Bitch, you need to shut up and step off. AFAIC, you DON’T get to bitch at MY brothers while giving Men of Color a free pass. Your Anti-Whiteness is showing. Now, go take a Midol.

  12. thordaddy says:

    “Feminists” are dykes or de facto dykes (female sexual liberationists) with not a shred of femininity to be found within. And since the Western dyke aka “Butch” is desirous of the position of Alpha White Man then this goes to explain the seemingly various “contradictions” as it relates to calling out/or not calling out certain men or coming to the support of/or not coming to the support of other women. So Western dykes stood by Clinton and trashed his females victims because he was a “good” model of “Alpha White Man.” And Western dykes are mum on Muslim woman because they have no use for prolific breeders of jihadists which then explains their silence on Muslim men and their reproductive use of said Muslim females. Ditto for black female/black male relationships. Western dykes are also anti-children (biologically mandated) and show no real concern for the fate of our nation’s children especially female children (read: staunch supporters of abortion). But what really signals dyke “nature” is an irrational aggressiveness that attempts to inflict on others a shared personal indignation. This manipulation is part and parcel of Liberalism’s demand for total integration.

  13. ben tillman says:

    “Under My Thumb” is nevertheless considered by many to be one of the most misogynistic rock songs of all time. In a grim twist of fate, it was actually the song the Stones were playing when a fan named Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by members of the Hell’s Angels hired as security guards at the Altamont Speedway concert in 1969.

    Look at how she gratuitously injects the name “Meredith Hunter” into her screed. I think she wants us to think that Meredith Hunter (a Black man) was actually a woman.

    • Stary Wylk says:

      She likely thinks so; these people seldom bother to be informed of details that don’t fit the story they want told.

  14. ben tillman says:

    In “Under My Thumb,” the singer boasts about how he’s gained control of his girl, comparing her to, among other things, a squirming dog. A sample:

    Under my thumb
    The squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day
    Under my thumb
    A girl who has just changed her ways

    Funny how she ignores the song’s first verse:

    Under my thumb
    The girl who once had me down
    Under my thumb
    The girl who once pushed me around

    Isn’t that context kind of important?

    • moishe says:

      I LOVE THAT SONG – ITS QUITE INVIGORATING IN A HAUNTING KIND OF A WAY – KEITH LOOKS LIVELY COMPARED TO THE AGED WALKING DRUG-FACTORY HE IS TODAY:)

  15. Jon says:

    There are no rights to offend others or not be offended. Only privileges.

  16. thordaddy says:

    But the real point is not that this female liberationist is truly offended, but that this random individual be offended on her command so as to put a crimp on his “free will.” In the zero sum game of “radical autonomy,” one female’s “freedom” equals another white male’s guilt. In other words, if said female liberationist can coerce this white male into a sense of guilt then via liberated mathematics she will have gained more “freedom” for herself. This is liberation without separation and the hallmark of tyrannical integration.

  17. Smiley says:

    This sums up my entire feelings towards feminism, this dykes article, and the miserable, non-orgasmic Ms. Parramore herself. 🙂

  18. Attila says:

    “OOOOO the whole world is against MEEEE” —this cuntry is getting more ridiculous by the day. When people can’t agree on minimal life-affirming values- it’s all out war – “all against all”. This wide-eyed, probably miscegenating babe is learning the hard way.

    • mindweapon says:

      Attila,

      The commenters are eating her alive over at Alternet and probably Salon too:

      • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      Anna Keye • 19 hours ago
      Next time Lynn walks into Trader Joe’s, the DJ is going to spin “You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ in her honor.
      9 • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      Lynn Parramore Anna Keye • 19 hours ago
      No, you can’t always get what you want. But you can keep speaking up against the oppression of human beings when you come across it. As many times as it takes.
      2 • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      cvxxx Lynn Parramore • 10 hours ago
      What oppression? Get into the real world.
      1 • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      Anna Keye Lynn Parramore • 19 hours ago
      Stop patting yourself on the back, social justice warrior. Want to do something about oppression? You’re in New York, opportunities abound.

      Head on up to the South Bronx or over to Corona, Queens or the myriad neighborhoods that are being gentrified and the long time residents forced out.

      Censoring muzak in Trader Joe’s, for spurious reasons, no less, isn’t even on the scale of “speaking up against oppression”, social justice warrior. Aw, Mick’s fictional lady done him wrong and he got revenge. It hurts my feelings to listen to it.

      #firstworldproblems
      10 • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      Lynn Parramore Anna Keye • 18 hours ago
      I’m of the view that the oppression of women is wrong in any society in which we find it; first world, third world. We’re part of one world, and a wrong against one is a wrong against all.
      1 • Reply•Share ›

      Avatar
      Andrewrogers Lynn Parramore • 13 hours ago
      So then Tina Turner is oppressing men here, right?:

      2 • Reply•Share ›
      Avatar
      judf Lynn Parramore • 17 hours ago
      seriously, shop somewhere else…
      2 • Reply•Share ›

  19. Maryland Country Girl says:

    I have had about enough of these damn liberals being offended by everyone and everything. They’ve gone as far as to be offended for other people, who are not offended by terms or opinions. The Redskins for example. The Native Americans are not in the least, offended by the Redskin’s logo (ninety plus percent of them, that is), but the white liberals have decided that the Native Americans SHOULD be offended. So, let’s make a case against the Redskin name and logo, so we can create another reason to be offended.

    Whoever has time to run around being offended over a song, team name, or word(s), (brown bag for example), certainly has entirely too, much time on their hands. Maybe these people should get off welfare and get a job, like the rest of us. I’m sure I just offended ninety percent of the liberals out there. Either way, get a job and stop crying over the most ridiculous things.

    By the way, I am not offended at all, by this song. I’ve gotten entirely too many important things in life to worry about.

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