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Thread: Playing the -------card

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Playing the -------card

    The first time I heard the phrase "playing the (whatever) card" was in connection with the OJ Simpson trial where a legal analyst speculated whether the defense team would 'play the race card'. Subsequently, it seems I've heard the expression used in connection with a lot of different situations. A few months ago someone on Cyburbia was carrying on with a screed about how he served in the military and how all you other schmucks on Cyburbia didn't/couldn't appreciate the cost of freedom unless you'd done the same blah blah blah (I think Mendelman called him on it and ended up telling him back off). I thought to myself at the time 'he's playing the military card'.

    I guess the meaning of the phrase 'playing the ------card' is clear enough.....because of this one personal attribute, knowlege, or experience, I can invalidate your arguments because you have not done, know about, or experienced this certain thing.

    Sounds pathetic to a point, but at the same time there has to be at least a kernel of legitimacy to the principle or no one would ever do it.

    What are some of the more egregious examples of 'playing the -----card' you've encountered? Alternately, if you buy into the notion at all perhaps you could share an anecdote of a time you really shut someone up by playing your own card.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Oh man....good topic!

    A couple of my fellow planning students and I were summer interning with the City of Detroit and four of us would carpool from Ann Arbor to Detroit everyday (and switching driving responsibilities between the 3 of us with cars). Anyways, we were on our way home from work one day and my friend was driving and needed to stop at some gas station on Detroit's mid-Westside to fill up the tank. So he goes into the gas station to pay and while waiting in line he hears a classic (if stereotypical) "playing of the 'you're a racist' card".

    Ahead of my friend in line was an African-American woman asking the Chaldean (Christian Arab) store clerk for cigarettes. Well, apparently, the store clerk refused to sell her cigarettes, because he knew she was buying for the underage kids outside, so she proceeded to comment that "it was because she was black", which is considered playing the race card, in my book.

    Well, my friend was (and may still be) a Rockefeller Republican, so this woman's comment really ranckled him.

    Also, recently I was walking with my wife and our dog one evening through the neighborhood and a group of young teenage (12-14) african-american girls walked by and one asked if I had any change for her. I told her no (because I didn't actually have any on me, not that would have given her any, if had some), and as she and her friends walk away, she comments "it's because I'm black." Grrrrr...that pissed my off.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    There's the "PhD Card" that some learned folks casually play during small talk at parties to advance their legitimacy. No one is talking about their educational background, but for some reaason, some dork has to bring up his or her pedigree and tangentally relates it the subject(s) at hand. Talk about low self-esteem and the need to feel important.

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    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    My Ex used to play the "Al-Non" card to explain why she would go bezerk, nag or make ridiculous comments at me over little things, usually associated with having a beer at dinner.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    There's the "PhD Card" that some learned folks casually play during small talk at parties to advance their legitimacy. No one is talking about their educational background, but for some reaason, some dork has to bring up his or her pedigree and tangentally relates it the subject(s) at hand. Talk about low self-esteem and the need to feel important.
    Oooooh good one! The ol' PhD (post hole digger, right?) card. I had a prof. who started his very first class (it was a poli sci class) with the arrogant pre-emptive announcement that "you can disagree with me in class if you like, however I trust all of your classmates will recognize the relative validity of our respective positions - I hold two Phd's and have written 14 books on this topic" (the implication of course being that no one could possibly hold a contrary view with any merit unless they'd done the same)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I had a prof. who started his very first class...
    That prof must have had some bad experiences with mouthy students in the past.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Anybody here ever do a site plan review and have the "Jesus Card" played on them? I've done two site plans for churches, and have found the Lutherans to be very easy to work with, while the Non-Denominational Christians were loose cannons.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    That prof must have had some bad experiences with mouthy students in the past.
    Maybe. My impression, however, was that he just a plain ol' self-centered, egotistical prick!

    So, Wanigas are you experiencing snow over on your side of the state? We are. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot - you really don't understand what winter is about. You see, over here on the west side of the state we get this thing called 'lake effect snow'. It makes winters pretty tough but folks around here are made of sterner stuff as a result. But like I said, folks who aren't from around here really wouldn't have a clue about what winter's all about, now would they?



    The cold climate/harsh environment card
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    So, Wanigas are you experiencing snow over on your side of the state? We are. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot - you really don't understand what winter is about. You see, over here on the west side of the state we get this thing called 'lake effect snow'. It makes winters pretty tough but folks around here are made of sterner stuff as a result. But like I said, folks who aren't from around here really wouldn't have a clue about what winter's all about, now would they?
    We are getting it here too, even though we aren't on the lake. And, I'm heading up to Wanigas' stomping grounds to stay with my parents, so hopefully it's not too bad up there. Hubby is already complaining about driving, but I refuse to stay here by myself because he has to work.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Oooooh good one! The ol' PhD (post hole digger, right?) card. I had a prof. who started his very first class (it was a poli sci class) with the arrogant pre-emptive announcement that "you can disagree with me in class if you like, however I trust all of your classmates will recognize the relative validity of our respective positions - I hold two Phd's and have written 14 books on this topic" (the implication of course being that no one could possibly hold a contrary view with any merit unless they'd done the same)
    I've faced that in a couple of other on-line discussion boards that I occassionally follow, these relating to alternative history. It seems like those sorts of message boards are infested with pointy-headed intellectual elites whom all stare down their collective noses at anyone without an alphabet soup after their names, even though they (including I) have had perfectly valid points to add to the discussions....

    It is one of the big reasons why, if I can help it, I never again want to set foot into a university classroom/lecture hall (unless, of course, I have an absolute assurance that something positive will be awaiting me when the term is over).

    Mike

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    So, Wanigas are you experiencing snow over on your side of the state? We are. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot - you really don't understand what winter is about.
    Ha ha! That was good!

    Off-topic:
    Actually, tonight the wife and I are heading up to her parent's place up by the Traverse City area and we will be driving through that lake effect mess. Normally a three-hour drive, probably going to be a four- or four-and-a-half hour drive tonight. I don't mind so much, since we'll eventually be in downtown TC on Friday afternoon to shop and it's so much nicer with white stuff on the ground!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I once had a consultant for a developer object to my critique of his impact analysis. He was particularly upset that I lowered the sales estimates and cannibalization from a Wal-Box that would anchor the project. He began to cite a researcher when I interrupted him to casually mention that "yes, I discussed this with him when we were golfing last weekend and he agrees with me on it."
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I once had a consultant for a developer object to my critique of his impact analysis. He was particularly upset that I lowered the sales estimates and cannibalization from a Wal-Box that would anchor the project. He began to cite a researcher when I interrupted him to casually mention that "yes, I discussed this with him when we were golfing last weekend and he agrees with me on it."
    Which reminds me - have any public sector planners have had their views invalidated by the ol' "well, this sort of idealistic planner-stuff is all well and good for folks who don't have to worry about bottom line, but we are trying to run a business and have to make money and that of course means we need xxx number fewer parking spaces less than required, a sign xxxx square feet larger than permitted, five additional access points on this already overbusy major thoroughfare......you wouldn't understand that, of course"

    I'm sure no one here has ever had that card played on them or had any sort of private sector experience they could cite to counter it, right?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I hate the "I'm a lawyer" card, especially when it comes to planning law, because most lawyers don't understand it to the extent experienced planners do. Of course, I use the reverse card, which is "I'm not a lawyer, but.......".

    How about the "hired engineer" card? I've had licensed engineers argue at a public hearing before, which just cracked me up since figures don't lie.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  15. #15
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I'm sure no one here has ever had that card played on them or had any sort of private sector experience they could cite to counter it, right?
    A local McDs is looking to redevelop their existing restaurant site to update it. Well, during a prelim. meeting when we got to the architectural elevations for the proposed building, the architect asked about doing the entire building in dry-vit. Well, we bascially said the Design Commission would probably rip them a new one (not the exact words) and that it would probably have to be 90% masonry with dry-vit for detailing.

    Well, the architect goes into a short lecture that "the current marketplace is in 15 year cycles and masonry construction would be unecessarily expensive and burdensome for the client (McDonald's...yeah...this would hurt them....wahtever ).

    Myself, another development planner, and the director of planning must not know anything, right?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    The AICP card!

    Among arguing planners... one pulled out the "I'm AICP" card in an attempt to win an argument.

    I think these need to be distributed to all AICP folks.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  17. #17
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The PhD card - There's a lady that writes letters to the editor complaining about City stuff and always signs them with "PhD" on the end. The catch? Her PhD is in childhood education, not exactly an expert in public management, right? Unfortunately for her, a public administration professor (with a PhD) saw it and happened to know her from another university. He wrote a letter in and called her on her use of "PhD" when she didn't have the expertise and refuted her claims.

    The Race Card - I've had that played on me before. I responded, "it's not because you're hispanic, it's because you're being a jackass."

    The "I'm older with more experience" Card - I get this a lot being only 24. I take particular pleasure in proving these people wrong, especially when it costs them a lot of money.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    We are getting it here too, even though we aren't on the lake. And, I'm heading up to Wanigas' stomping grounds to stay with my parents, so hopefully it's not too bad up there. Hubby is already complaining about driving, but I refuse to stay here by myself because he has to work.
    Playing the "Poor Midwesterners and their Nine-to-Ten Months of Climactic Misery" Card, it'll be 65-75 and sunny here in Northern California

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    maudit anglais
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    Don't make me play the "mod" card...

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    The "I'm older with more experience" Card - I get this a lot being only 24. I take particular pleasure in proving these people wrong, especially when it costs them a lot of money.
    I had this one played on me when I was interning for IDOT (I was 19).

    contractor: "I've been pouring concrete for 30 years and I can tell you there is nothing wrong with that load"
    me: "I've been testing concrete for 30 days and I can tell you, you're not using it"
    out comes the "over your head" card - guess who won

    There is also the "we do this in every other town" card; and the similar "the last guy let us do it that way" card.

    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Don't make me play the "mod" card...
    Is that the yellow one?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I had a County Commissioner who liked to play the "I'm just a dumb farmer" counter card. He usually would follow this assertion up with a poingant straight forward question that would clearly point out the shortcomings of someones argument.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  22. #22
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I hate it when people use the “age” card. It has happened to me way to many times. I often hear “What do you know about it, you’re just a kid!”

    Other cards include:
    The “Professional” card
    The “Woman” card
    The “Man” card
    The “Parent” card
    The “Experience” card
    The “Beautiful People” card
    The “Gay” card
    The “Disabled” card
    The “Religion” card

    And my personal favorite
    The “Stan” card.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  23. #23
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    IAnd my personal favorite
    The “Stan” card.
    Give us an example of how THAT works.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    How about the "I'm not Michaelskis" card?
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    The ....climate/harsh environment card
    Sorry, but I got you beat on the climate/harsh environment!!!

    Playing the hurricane victim card........
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

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