Mark Terry

Friday, October 03, 2008

Joe Six Pack

October 3, 2008
Okay, language mavens. Let's hear your comments.

Part A.
Is Joe Six Pack:

1. A compliment.
2. An insult.

Part B.
Please define Joe Six Pack and identify which part of the country you hail from?

Rarely a compliment, often used as an insult. As in, he's no genius, he's just Joe Six Pack, the image being that he's some schlub who spends all his free time in jeans and a grubby T-shirt working on his 1957 Buick in his garage while drinking Pabst. He's probably unemployed. Alternately, I suppose it could mean an ordinary kind of guy, the kind that, you know, races snowmobiles and works on fishing boats, not, say, some elitist graduate of Harvard Law School.

So the real question is, guys, if someone called you Joe Six Pack, would you be offended by it? Frankly, yes. But then again, who wants to be thought of as ordinary? And also, I might add, I have a lot more in common with the Washington "elite" than I do with a blue collar guy who works on his cars as a hobby. I'm not denigrating them at all, just, my idea of a good time is reading, I can barely figure out how to open the hood of my car and on the rare occasions I do drink beer, I can't stand drinking it out of a can. Nor am I a particular wine and arugala kind of guy, although wine can be good and hell, even McDonald's has arugala in their salads.

And I'm from Oakland County, Michigan, which is one of the wealthiest counties in the country. So maybe I'm part of that Beltway Elite Palin kept slamming last night.

Mark Terry

p.s. And do politicians really think the "heartland" and "main street" are so different from them? The rhetoric these days just pisses me off.


Anonymous Jim said...

It depends on who is saying it.

If Obama said it, I would assume he was being insulting (fitting in with his "clinging to guns and religion" sentiments) and I would feel annoyed and insulted.

If Biden said it, I would assume it was part of his fake b.s. about having blue collar roots (he's about as blue collar as Bush) and I would feel annoyed and insulted.

If Palin said it, I would assume it was meant in a folksy inclusive way and I wouldn't mind it (unless she were to keep it up over and over...)

If McCain said it, I would figure he was trying to emulate Palin but failing at the task and I would feel annoyed and insulted.

However, I'm still probably going to vote for Obama as being the lesser of two evils.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I'm sure Palin didn't mean it as an insult, rather she was just trying to be folksy. Still, although I thought she did a respectable job of arguing on behalf of her running mate, I dislike her more after having watched her debate. What is it about this woman that makes my skin crawl?

7:07 AM  
Blogger lucidkim said...

Part A.
Is Joe Six Pack:
1. A compliment.
2. An insult.

I believe Palin doesn't mean for it to be insulting...however, I can't imagine she also could believe it is a compliment. Even if that's what you do, I can't imagine you want it to be your defining characteristic. (I could be wrong.)

Part B.
Please define Joe Six Pack and identify which part of the country you hail from?

Drinking lots of beer gets expensive so I don't think Joe Six Pack can be unemployed (unless he gets 'his woman' to buy the beer) - what I think of is someone who works in construction and comes home and watches wrestling while drinking beer. (and who likely defines Palin as "hot" but will never take her seriously because she is a woman)

I think emphasizing you are trying to appeal to people who by that description aren't the sharpest tools in the shed is an odd tack to take. I guess you go for the votes you think you can get.

I'm currently living in Indiana, but was a Navy brat and have lived all over. I've never lived anywhere where being Joe Six Pack was an idealized pursuit.


7:40 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

She meant it as charming. She is a traitor to all women.

Moving on from that, what makes me want to puke about that statement is when has this country decided being SMART is a LIABILITY. Is it elitism to say I want the SMARTEST man/person for the job of running a country this size, with the stakes so high and his/her finger on the nuclear button? Why is SMART elitist? And thanks to the idiot in the White House now, that's what we're reduced to. Candidates like that traitor woman making comments about Joe Six Pack to say, "Don't trust the smart people . . . common sense is enough, even if I can't name a SINGLE SOLITARY constitutional law decision by the Supreme Court except Roe v. Wade." How are Americans so BLINDLY STUPID to this? Being smart is a GOOD THING. Being able to grasp complexity is what we WANT. Say what you want about where Clinton stuck his penis, the man is BRILLIANT and everyone--both sides of the aisle--who ever met him will tell you that. If I though McCain or Palin was intellectually the equal to the smartest guy in the room, I would say may the best person win. But they're not. Not even close. And yet . . . she thinks beer-swillin' Joe Bob . . . well that's who we need runnin' the country and shootin' off her rifle.

E, who is spending tomorrow working on the Obama campaign so that traitorous witch doesn't get near the White House

8:35 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

P.S. Oh . . . I am originally from New York. And was raised by a Russian immigrant to believe that education is the key to everything. That being the smartest person in the room is what you aspire to.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous john harrison said...

I don't think that the potential Vice President of the United States should be making generalized statements like this. I'm pretty sure she is referring to me. I'm a white, blue collar pipe fitter. I wander if it would be ok for her to refer to gay men as Gary Quiche eater? How about African American men as Leroy Watermellon? I could go on and on with this. What if she starts making cute little names for people in other countries? This is not a viable choice for second in command of the free world, people.

8:42 AM  
Blogger GeekyQuill said...

That's funny, John -"Gary Quiche eater."

I'd be very amused if someone called me "Joe Sixpack," but I don't take insult easily. Not to mention it would be oddly random in my case.

I think Palin was trying to say she identifies with regular folks. I actually like her and wouldn't mind looking and listening to her for the next four years.

My location?
The San Francisco Bay area.

9:16 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I don't get it at all. I never heard the expression until lately. What drives me crazy, is she's trying to sell us this "I'm-one-of-you" bs. Does she REALLY think we're that DUMB? Seriously?

That's what drives me crazy. They assume we're really dumb and can't watch YouTube or read the news.

11:08 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Ohmigawd, John! I'm sorry, I just read your comment and I'm in tears. That just cracks me up! You're absolutely right!

I didn't get until now that six pack meant beer, btw. I was thinking six pack abs, LOL.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'll pass on being called Joe Six-Pack, but if someone wants to call em Joe Six-Pack Abs, I'd welcome it.

I just don't think it's going to happen. As someone who works out A LOT, I have been heard to comment, "I do have six-pack abs. They're just buried beneath a 12-pack of flab."

7:23 AM  
Anonymous The Old Codger said...

An insult without a doubt. No matter who says it. This is despite the fact that I am probably best known as The Town Drunk.

On the Record: Joe Sixpack

7:01 PM  
Anonymous David Gordon Schmidt said...

I had been believing Sarah Palin’s authenticity based on her public speaking, but when she once again brought up the “Joe Six Pack” reference during the Vice Presidential debate, I started wondering. Most blogged opinions seem to concur that the label is at best, patronizing, and at worst, a “doggone” insult.

Whereas Hockey Mom signifies qualities like endless energy and tireless dedication to the child-rearing years, Joe Six Pack seems to be a stereotype akin to the term “hillbilly” from days gone by.

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