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Melissa Harris-Perry: Nerdland


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#31

heebiejeebie

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 5:30 PM

For me the nerd references are not so much false deprecation as it is a recognition that the people who play watchdog on politics get dismissed for being geeks and nerds and obsessed and don't have better things to do, like pay close attention to every little detail of Whitney Houston's death or wallow in outrage over aDele flipping the bird of whether Lindsay Lohan will be in jail or in front of an audience hosting SNL. For me Melissa and Chris and Rachel and Ezra have all used it as more of a recognition as "yeah YOU think we're weird; but we have been talking about legislative moves against contraception for over a year now and suddenly the outrage reaches the level normally held for Kim Kardashian's wedding".

Even when I do get a sense of false self-deprecation; hell even outright condescension, at the risk of sounding pompous, I'll still give any of them a pass as long as I am watching the show before noon on a Sunday on a network that then airs Caught on Camera for four hours straight.
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#32

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 8:29 PM

Please keep a high level of political discussion on...TV

And please stop begging Beyonce to be a guest. I know it might give a ratings bump, but you're better than that!
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#33

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

I agree with those who have spoken about "nerd" being code for intellectual.

I disagree. Nerd is, to my mind, used here simply as a description of a particular type of knowledge -- stat heavy, detail-oriented, tech-savvy, as opposed to the more high-flown philosophical intellectualism of, say, Buckley or Cornel West. If it's deprecating at all (and I think the nerds have largely reclaimed it from infamy), it's deprecating to the degree that it connotes stereotypically accompanying poor social skills. I picture Nerdland as being tinted slighty orange with cheetos dust. ;)
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#34

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 6:39 PM

The Guardian has a good article about MHP, nerdland, public intellectuals, and ethnic studies.

I'd also recommend reading Mark Sawyer's article, linked in the Guardian story, about the Cornell West-MHP brouhaha. Well, it's kinda unfair to call it the Cornell West-MHP brouhaha when it's been almost entirely one-sided, but nonetheless....
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#35

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

WaPo has a piece on the show. In the 'style' section. Because we are not allowed to talk about the ladies in the main part of the paper, apparently. Sigh.
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#36

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 2:32 PM

I read the Washington Post article and, frankly, I think that's just where it belonged. She's not the first TV personality to have her profile in the style section and I don't think any of these "journalists" actually merit being on the front page or in the national news section. Sure, she's engaging (lisp notwithstanding), but...well...that's all.
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#37

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 3:24 PM

Great show again today. I don't think they're putting up segments of the show yet, but I'd love to be able to post their discussion about The Help elsewhere. I enjoyed the discussion and feel having a current domestic worker on the panel was important. Keep up the good work, MHP & crew!
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#38

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

Yeah, I loved the discussion about The Help, too, and that she had such a great panel to discuss it. I don't think I had seen Elon James White before, but I really liked him. He was spot-on with so much. My only real gripe was early in the show, when they were talking about feminism and were at odds about whether feminists hate men or patriarchal men, and I wanted so badly to stop them. Feminism isn't about hating men. It's about being your own person, and not just existing in the shadow of men, so it completely undermined the whole point. It was only a few comments made in passing, but it was just that with so many intelligent women on the panel, I wish someone had made that distinction.
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#39

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 4:38 PM

Why is there so much background noise during this show? It's like they are in the middle of a telethon.
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#40

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 6:23 PM

At first I thought it was coming from the remote in Detroit, but it continued. They need to put the rings in that office on silent for the duration of the show - it was awful.
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#41

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 7:14 AM

I thought The Help conversation was a bit uncomfortable as the domestic worker really liked the movie, and the rest of the panelists didn't want to insult her but seemed a bit incredulous. They don't call it the magic of Hollywood for nothing.
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#42

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

I liked some of the things Elon James White had to say but that stupid hat had to go. It was way inappropriate and I guess his mama never told him to take off his hat inside. Plus, his suit looked too tight. Yes, appearance does matter if you're going to be on television and run your mouth.
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#43

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 3:17 PM

I thought The Help conversation was a bit uncomfortable as the domestic worker really liked the movie, and the rest of the panelists didn't want to insult her but seemed a bit incredulous. They don't call it the magic of Hollywood for nothing.


It made me wonder when she was being booked for the show, if MHP automatically thought she wouldn't like the movie either because everybody else on the panel genuinely did seem thrown for a loop.

ETA: I really enjoyed Irshad Manji on the show but I was wondering if other people had difficulty following her thought process at times? There were a few times where I thought I understood where she was going with her point but then she would say something else and I'd be confused again. For example: her reasons for referring to God as 'He.'

I also enjoyed the interactions between her & Elon James White.

During the Affirmative Action segments, not being from CA, myself, I was confused by the points Nona was trying to make re: UCLA & UC Berkley?

ETA: Thanks, attica finch :)

Edited by Bigwheels1971, Feb 26, 2012 @ 6:15 PM.

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#44

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 5:11 PM

I think (and somebody will correct me), that UC Berkeley and UCLA are harder to get into than the other UCs, that their selection criteria are narrower, giving them less a diverse student body.

Gosh, I dug Anita Hill. I found myself wanting to enroll in a class of hers. Good thing I live too far away, because I am fully happy to have my term-paper-writing days in my rearview mirror. But maybe that's one of the things I like about this show and Up -- a master's class of content with no papers or exams!
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#45

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Posted Feb 27, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

Seeing Anita Hill interviewed made me realize I have not seen a single image of her since her testimony during the Thomas hearing, because my first thought was - she looks so much older.
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#46

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Posted Feb 27, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

It felt like the panel wanted to tell the domestic that "Don't you understand that they are exploiting you!" It was something out of a Bloom County cartoon.

More people apply to UCB & UCLA, so it is harder to get into. It is my understanding that some other UC schools are becoming magnets for other minorities. At UCB - its 42% Asian, 31% white, 12% hispanic, 4% African American; UCLA it 36%-A, 31%-W, 17%-H, 4%-AA, 4%-AA; UC Irvine (go Anteaters!) - 51%-A, 20%-W, 18%-H, 3%-AA; UC Riverside - 39.9%-A, 17%-W, 28.9%-H, 7.9%-AA

No matter how much I may agree or disagree with the panel, I really like this show. Some of the guest need to understand that cross talk really doesn't work here.
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#47

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Posted Feb 27, 2012 @ 6:51 PM

I feel like MHP is trying to straddle too wide of a gap. She starts out her show each day trying to coddle the "opposite crowd," whether they be Republican operatives or "libertarians." Then she quickly moves to "this week in identity politics" which is so ott that it's not believable to any kind of broad audience (I love it personally, btw).

It feels like she's pandering to an "opposite" audience and then hunkering down amongst her own. Chris Hayes seems to spread the dissent more equally throughout his show.

I love MHP and I don't disagree with her on any issue, but I worry she's marginalizing herself.
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#48

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Posted Feb 27, 2012 @ 6:58 PM

Yeah, I see what you mean, but I think she also may be just finding what works for her. I think in the next couple of months, she may have evolved it into something that works well for her.

And while I am also really enjoying Chris's show, I hope he works on his moderating skills. Jeremy Scahill and Anne-Marie Slaughter took over in that discussion and neither could be heard because they were both trying to be heard, and then Hooman Majd could hardly say anything - on the subject on which he is the bigger expert. I hope Chris can get his wrangling skills down, so we can hear everyone's points. We don't need another shouting show.
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#49

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Posted Feb 29, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

It feels like she's pandering to an "opposite" audience and then hunkering down amongst her own.

I've noticed the same thing, and wondered if her leading off with a Conservative Establishment White Dude is a subversive way to get Villagers to watch for a few minutes, and then they get sucked into the liberal goodness, before they know what hit them! I'd like to think that. Otherwise, it's not a thing that works for me.
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#50

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Posted Feb 29, 2012 @ 2:55 PM

Every time Melissa mentions "Nerdland", all I can think of is the song, "Lullaby in Birdland" and then I wish TPTB might use it for theme music - at least at the beginning of the show. I also think the show is great and a nice addition to the weekend morning news shows. I just wish they would find other shows for the afternoons. Lockup just isn't my cup of tea.
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#51

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 2:11 AM

The fruit isn't fake! Noticed bare grape stems this morning, so someone has been nibbling. Had thought it wasn't real as it hadn't appeared to change from the first weekend... Figured she's trying to set a good example with the fruit bowl in addition to just a couple of pastries; when Chris's new baby is older, he'll be pushing a fruit bowl on set, too! ;)
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#52

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

I think it was Rev Al. The grapes were definitely eaten Saturday, but I think they were untouched Sunday.

I'm disappointed Cory Booker's time was taken over by Obama's speech. I hope he comes back sometime soon.
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#53

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 1:18 PM

Would it really upset the apple cart to just have Melissa's show bookend the speech? Have her start the show at the regular time and just have her stay longer to analyse the speech and then have on what was planned?

One small gripe for me is that her show seems to try for an overal theme of sorts. This can work well but it also seems that some subjects are just talked to death. The Oscar inspiration going from the The Help didn't really go as deep as I think it should have in how "the help" stand today in terms of benefits pay and employment protection. There are so many nuances as to how "the help" ties into the current labor issues on the state level, immigration and health care and I feel that instead there was too much focus on a movie (and a book) that in the end is too much subjective entertainment. No matter how much Melissa is on point with her criticisms I feel that in many ways how she approaches the matter is tilting with a windmill. Because she approaches it as a "what the book got wrong" logic that just slams against the subjective unreason of what is really nothing more than a Disneyfied Pollyanna comes home from college with a smoking habit and the ability to hold her liquor. People were entertained and got involved in a feel good level with the film and now Melissa wants them to repent in some ways.

I agree with Melissa on most of her points about both the book and the movie. But too much good was lost in the dicussion last week for me.
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#54

attica finch

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 1:53 PM

I'm disappointed Cory Booker's time was taken over by Obama's speech. I hope he comes back sometime soon.

I find it really difficult to suppress my "Marry me, Cory" impulses whenever he's onscreen.
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#55

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

He came to my company to speak a couple of months ago. He's got It. He won't be just in charge of Newark for long.
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#56

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 4:16 PM

I'm disappointed Cory Booker's time was taken over by Obama's speech. I hope he comes back sometime soon.

So President Obama's speech should have been tabled so that Corey Booker could have his time? I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, I like Cory Booker, and I do hope he comes back soon, but I think a President's speech should take precedence over a talk show guest. I think that this President, in particular, has been shown enough disrespect by certain people as it is, so I'm glad that his speech was on.

ETA: Maryland's Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown: Watch out for him, too.

Edited by Ohwell, Mar 5, 2012 @ 4:18 PM.

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#57

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 4:33 PM

I'm not critiquing the show for airing the President's speech; I was just disappointed that it was scheduled for that particular time. Both Booker & Perry were promoting his appearance like crazy on twitter.
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#58

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 7:25 PM

Dorian needs to stop giving those looks right into the camera. I do appreciate that he looks into the camera when trying to get Buddy Roehmer to actually answer a question via remote. For some reason several guests on CNN shows tend to look slightly off to the side to address the face in the monitor instead and it bugs.

But every now and again he does this glance over right into the camera. And I find myself completely unable to track the conversation that is going on from that point. I'm completely unable to imagine how anyone interested in the male form can concentrate on anything except how nice he looks during one of his lectures. Yeah I'm that shallow.

Buddy annoyed the hell out of me this time. Because I do think he does float some ideas out there that are pure politics and yet something most politicians pretend doesn't exist. But he was all talking points and stump speeches. And it was sad because I think he actually had the answers that Dorian and the young lady whose name I kept forgetting (those lingering glances that I swear were directed at me!). If he had listened and actually gone with the topics instead of using them as jumping off points back to the same old same old, it could have been a great discussion. And Melissa needs to be more forceful about taking back the reins of the show when someone like him goes off on a tangent.
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#59

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 12:56 PM

heebiejeebie, I hate to tell you this, but I am certain that Dorian was intending those looks for me! Certain of it. sigh. Back to the show, I agree, I usually think Buddy Roehmer has some valid points, but he was an angry little talking points man the other morning. And I have to say, I really enjoyed the segment on Biggie and hip hop. I would have liked more time on that. The entire panel seemed to be enjoying themselves and I must say, Melissa has a very hearty laugh that I enjoy.
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#60

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 3:04 PM

Alex Witt was so thrilled that she actually had a pertinent anecdote to add to the Biggie conversation, but really it was just that she was outside covering the funeral, so she saw people who were actually his fans grieving. I doubt she had any idea who he was when she got the assignment.
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