As part of the 10-year anniversary of PIC, Court the Deer encouraged the writers to write a response to ANY article on the website. Being the narcissist I am, I naturally picked one of my own—my most recent column in fact. I originally intended to abstain from this part of PIC's celebration, but one email changed my mind.

Robert King,

Sorry about the negative comments. I think you're probably a level headed person that isn't a racist. But, I think your article is marginally unethical. I can't help but think that your cost benefit analysis of writing a racist article is flawed because it doesn't factor in the cost of lose of credibility to you and the site and potentially the other writers on the site. It is true that polarized topics are able to drive hits for the site by virtue of being googled, and that because the interest in subject had to already exist in the subject/words, then the article isn't a perpetuator of racism; however, people's perception is reality and if people perceive you as a racist, for all intents and purposes, you are a racist. Unfortunately, there is no stat for how that will effect the rest of your or anyone else's life. That is why you shouldn't post articles of a racist nature, especially if you're take a stance that you don't actually believe in that if actually held would be unethical.

I guess I should have done this before commenting. Again, sorry for the negativity. I try to be as constructive as I can be. I guess that explains why I wrote this.

J.E. Weimer

Racist material is a double-edged sword. Racism, like sex, sells. But at what cost? First of all, I'd like to thank J.E. for taking time to write. I believe I can speak for all of the writers at PIC when I say that we appreciate every email, comment, and page view the readers give us. PIC wouldn't be what it is without the support of our readers (and advertisers, haven't forgotten you guys!). But before I continue, I want to make one thing clear:

I stand by what I wrote in "The N-Word Still the In-Word."

The column is racist and offensive. I wrote it that way for a reason, which can be found within the column's final paragraph. But the purpose of this current column isn't to defend my previous writing. I want to discuss the finer points of J.E.'s email, which raise some interesting topics for discussion.

The Ethics of Promoting a False Opinion

Jonathan Swift - A Modest Proposal book coverShould we as writers always write our true beliefs? No, I don't think so. Take something like A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift. He proposed that Ireland skin infants for clothing and eat them for food as a solution to the economic destitution of Ireland and its people. Swift didn't truly believe his proposal to be a fantastic idea—the opposite actually.

Early on, A Modest Proposal drew heavy criticism because readers couldn't tell if Swift was serious. Today, however, A Modest Proposal is regarded as (arguably) one of literature's most notorious satires.

I personally like that Swift didn't spoon-feed his readers his true opinion. His work encouraged readers to discuss and digest his words in order to find their true meaning. This is something I hope to ascertain from my own work. Well, that and erotic Facebook messages from our lovely readers. One step at a time though.

Cost-Benefit of Racist Articles on PIC

Black girl hairstyle in braidsRacist material is a double-edged sword. Racism, like sex, sells. But at what cost? By publishing material like "The N-Word…" or "Ten Things I Don't Understand About Black People," PIC runs the risks of alienating readers and losing credibility to advertisers. However, PIC's first and foremost goal is to make readers laugh, whether it's by giving you a guide on how to be a cool girlfriend, a manual on masturbation, or perhaps teaching you a useful life skill like how to be a drug dealer. Furthermore, I'd like to believe that our site contains enough variety to keep a reader entertained, even if the reader doesn't care for a particular writer.

All this being said, the last thing I'd want to happen is for anything I write to be a detriment to myself, any of the other writers, or PIC as a brand. What I write must meet my own personal standards of approval (they're pretty low, don't worry), but the final decision on whether content goes live is left ultimately up to Court Sullivan.

Points in Case is Court's baby. For ten years he's nurtured this site in order to make PIC the glorious beast it is today. If something didn't meet his or the site's standards, I hope that he would tell me and any of the other writers to print the article, crudely fashion the paper into a dildo, and then promptly go fuck ourselves. Or to simply rewrite the article. Either one works, but I really have my heart set on the first option.

Perception is Reality, and Reality is Perception

Southern redneck wedding outside a trailerJ.E. makes a valid point when he says that people will literally interpret my words, and thus view me as nothing more than a privileged racist with the luxury of an internet connection. As a Southerner, I'm very conscious of how the outside world views me. Often, we Southerners are stereotyped as overall wearing, non-white hating, family fucking, toothless hillbillies with nothing better to do than make moonshine. Let me be the first to assure everyone that Southerners are nothing like this. We gave up making moonshine for meth ages ago.

The Future Effects of Racist Articles

Unemployment office door windowHow will writing a sarcastic sentence like "I love racism" affect my future? With anything involving the future, there is no way to know until the future becomes the present. When I initially started writing for this site (about two hours ago), I was given the option of using a pseudonym instead of my real name, because often writers regret using their real names when it comes to getting a real nine-to-five job later. But that isn't who I am. I'd prefer to endlessly draw unemployment checks.

Life is short. If you're always worried about what happens tomorrow, you'll never experience today. The gritty truth is, as a species, our only biological purpose is to have sex, propagate the next generation, and continue our own survival. Why? Who knows. But what a person does in between orgasms is a matter of personal preference. Me, I like to live my life like the alphabet. And you can't get to O without using a few N's first.

More PIC 10th Anniversary articles »

Community: View our Submissions page for article and list guidelines.
Education: Punch up your comedy writing and technique with PIC's Coaching and Feedback.