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I'm not sure I'd call that groping, but the video was very choppy at C&L.  It's not as though he grabbed her ass.  If all he did was briefly grab and massage her shoulders, then I think this is simply a cultural gap.  You'll find that it's a fairly common gesture in the Deep South among both men and women -- a way of saying, "Hey, how're ya doin'?" to someone after he or she has had a long day.

I can understand how it would be odd to people who aren't from this region.  And, again, that's all I was able to see on the video and in the pictures.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:12:52 PM EST
So, is it acceptable in the Deep South for a black man to do that to a white woman?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In most parts, yes, it is.  It might become a problem in (say) rural South Alabama or South Georgia, but people tend to overstate racial tensions in the South.  In Appalachia, for example, it wuld be perfectly acceptable, as it would in Charleston, Savannah or Atlanta.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there has been a lot of progress in racial relations in those cities, but I still can't imagine a black man dumb -- or uncouth -- enough to grab a white woman he barely knows in a public forum.
by Matt in NYC on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 02:45:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing so to a white woman, or any woman for that matter, he doesn't know would certainly be awkward.  It's more a gesture between friends and family.  You would typically be expected to at least know the person.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 03:36:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i love it....
'drew's state-by-state guide to southern etiquette.

don't spoil your chance at success with a silly gaffe, you're not in arkansaw any more!'

foot rubs in nashville....a nono!

bumsqueeze in birmingham...ok!

i think merkel has ptsd from growing up in e. germany, and thought the stasi was coming to rendition her ass.

but, no-o-o-o, it's our favourite alky uncle who can't keep his hands to himself.

save it for laura, dude!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 03:15:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
drew's state-by-state guide to southern etiquette

Ha!  Well, perhaps state-by-state, East of Kentucky.  We're a fun, though touchy-feely, lot in the South, as long as you stay away on Sundays (not that I've been to church in fifteen years). ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 04:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup that's just how i had you southerners pegged, all leo buscaglia-types!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 at 06:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Florida, too, by the way, but Florida never really qualified as being a state in the Deep South, with the exception of a few counties between Jacksonville and Tallahassee along I-10.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll find that it's a fairly common gesture in the Deep South among both men and women -- a way of saying, "Hey, how're ya doin'?" to someone after he or she has had a long day.

So this is the cultural equivalent of kissing someone on the cheeks as a hello or goodbye? I remember arriving back from home for my second semester my freshman year and a female acquaintance coming up to give me a hello and happy new year hug. I automatically reacted by beginning the triple cheek kiss that is standard in Geneva. She was a bit flustered though not upset since she was aware of the custom, but if she hadn't known about it the situation would have been much more awkward.

by MarekNYC on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Different messages, but, yes, it's a similar clash of cultural norms.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 01:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew, check out a better version here (click on the image caption in the small box titled "Video" at left). I mean better if you have enlough bandwith.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 02:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a little better but still only shows Bush grabbing her shoulders and massaging them briefly.  Again, I think it's simply a cultural difference.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 02:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NOT the "Deep South."

This has nothing to do with regional customs. It's just the public face of Bush's innate sadism. Merkel is lucky he wasn't around when she bared her buttocks in that British tabloid photo.

http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=31064

by Matt in NYC on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 02:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's from Connecticut, but he lives in Texas, which, granted, is not the Deep South but has some similarities.  Or, mathematically,

Deep Southerner + Penis Envy + Fake Southern Accent - Class = Bushie Texan

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 03:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only people who are close acquaintances and family do it, though.  And only when they are in a casual situation.  Say, after having had a few beers at the family picnic.  Bush 1)was acting in his professional role as President (could you do that at work?  I couldn't!) 2)is from Connecticut and 3)looked like he'd had one shot of vodka too many all weekend, which would explain a lot.  

I don't know if it is sexual harrassment.  I could see him trying the same move on Blair.  I think he was just acting like an oaf.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 04:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only people who are close acquaintances and family do it, though.  And only when they are in a casual situation.  Say, after having had a few beers at the family picnic.

But then again, everyone can do that, not just Southerners.

It's all about context.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 04:40:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's as clear as is reasonably possible (from the admittedly choppy videos) that it was not sexual harassment.  I think it's also clear that he was acting like an oaf, but that's a given whenever Bush appears with other world leaders...except perhaps the Japanese prime minister, whose Elvis impression was one for the record books, as far as stupid things done by world leaders in the presence of other world leaders is concerned.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jul 19th, 2006 at 07:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree completely it is not sexual, it is just bullying.
With the anecdotes of Bush's alpha-male gestures adding, I cannot help but think of a colleague of mine as I worked in a meditteranean country, that is southern of my own native culture. The more southern, the more physical contact occurs as communication, as the prejudice goes, and it is true. But that colleague was extreme and special: it was always about taking the upper hand over the others, regardless of the official status in the company. He had started on the production line, and as he was not dumb, was on his way upwards (union representative, clerk job...).
I had seen him coming, and knew if you give in, he would go on, it was compulsive by him: take a finger, then the hand, then the whole arm... So the first time he reached to grasp me, I just plainly hit back hard on the shoulder with a smile. He understood very well, and we were again on a very sane basis ;-)
But Bush comes from a Wasp family, I can't figure someone like him using such way of "communicating" his dominance.
And I can't figure such a primitive way of setting the relations among heads of state: WTF are symbols and protocol made for!!???
I loath Chirac, but:  Bush would never tried such cheap shots with him, as far as I know: every bully find some day his alpha-male...
I believe he made a mistake: Angie is tougher than she looks, more than one CSU bully broke his teeth on her.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 05:37:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I can't figure such a primitive way of setting the relations among heads of state: WTF are symbols and protocol made for!!???

One thing that Bush has made very clear is that he has no grasp for the necessity or usefulness of protocol. But then again, he is not only culturally insensitive but borderline psychopathic.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 05:42:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But then again, he is not only culturally insensitive but borderline psychopathic.

Yes, it's a nasty habit among Texans.  (Why do you think we refuse to accept them as member of the Deep South?)  I maintain that Texas is not a state but a planet unto itself, although a great friend of mine in Atlanta lived outside of Houston for a few years (and picked up the accent in a matter of minutes).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 05:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It feels a bit like watching an adolescent randomly pick from a repertoire of observed behaviour without knowing the deeper connotations.

So I'd agree with not "sexual," probably not even "intentionally bullying," just immaturity/inexperience.
(Which is actually not a problem if Cheney et al are running the place ...)

by Number 6 on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 09:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to have to let you borrow my Saturday Night Live tape of presidential skits one of these days.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 05:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"You want me to beg? I'm begging. You want me on my knees? I'm on my knees. Please don't make me a one-termer!"
-Dana Carvey as "George HW Bush", Saturday Night Live, 1992.
(Transcribing from memory.)
by Number 6 on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:31:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, no.  You need to see the Bush Sr. and Jr. hunting skit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I think I've found it. The one with the antlers? "Probably only be four years anyway."?
by Number 6 on Mon Aug 7th, 2006 at 04:32:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascinating. I wonder how Hook'em horns would be interpreted by, say Berlusconi.
by Number 6 on Thu Jul 20th, 2006 at 09:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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