Racial harmony is the name of the game when corporate sends a diversity instructor to the office to host a seminar, but things quickly turn ugly when Michael decides to take matters into his own hands. Dwight reminds us again why people like him are relegated to beet farms, and Jim finds an unexpected surprise waiting for him at the end of an otherwise rotten day.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

This one should be a no-brainer considering that it’s the namesake of this site:

Michael : Abraham Lincoln once said that, “If you’re a racist, I will attack you with the North.” And those are the principles that I carry with me in the workplace.

That never gets old — it’s still one of my favorite quotes from the show.

Dwight Being Dwight

Dwight : A hero kills people, people that wish him harm. A hero is part human and part supernatural. A hero is born out of a childhood trauma or out of a disaster that must be avenged.

So, what kind of superhero would Dwight be? I’m thinking someone with the cold, ruthless attitude of a Batman but with none of his heroic qualities. I guess that would leave us with some guy parading around in a batsuit with no actual talent for fighting crime.

The Many Faces of Jim

This one is easy to miss, and I have the DVD commentary to thank for pointing it out, but check out the faces Jim makes as Dwight is giving his spiel on what defines a hero. There are at least four good ones in there.

Confessions of a Receptionist

Pam : If I have do this, based on stereotypes that are totally untrue, that I do not agree with, you would maybe not be a very good driver.

Pam is like the anti-Michael — she is easily the most unassuming, least-offensive character on the show. “Stir the pot. Stir the melting pot, Pam!”

The Jim/Pam Index

This episode features what I would say is our first Jim and Pam moment when we catch Pam resting her head on Jim’s shoulder. His delivery on his closing line is great: “Not a bad day” he says, unable to hide the wide grin on his face.

Despite his nonchalant attitude towards his work, it’s pretty clear that the job does mean something to him. I think he was really looking forward to enjoying that bottle of champagne — it’s probably one of the few pleasures he extracts from his job as a paper salesman, and when Dwight poaches his customer, well, it probably ruins his week. The fact that a simple, inadvertant gesture from Pam can overcome all of that tells you a lot about what really motivates him.

Diversity Day gets an Up rating on the JP Index on the merits of that one scene alone.

Supporting Nod

Oscar : Two-fif — that fraction doesn’t make any sense.

Oscar, because he does such a fine job of cornering Michael, first about his alleged Native American heritage, and then on the issue of the word Mexican.

The Superstar

Michael continues to deliver. He simply cannot be stopped.

Transmissions from the Office

  • Dwight : Dit for tit.

    I call this Schrutespeak.

  • Michael : Why don’t we go around, and everybody… everybody say a race that you are attacted to sexually.
    Dwight : I have two: White and Indian.

    Huh? I don’t know whether to be more disturbed by Michael’s question or Dwight’s swift response. Actually, no that’s not true. Dwight wins all of these by default.

  • Michael : Were there any connections between any of us. Did anyone look each other in the eye?

    Jim and Pam have a connection as Michael is going off, one that involves some pretty serious eye-rolling.

  • Michael : This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell out of here.

    This statement doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until you realize that Michael was saying it to Toby, and then it makes complete sense.

  • Michael : Diversity… is the cornerstone of progress, as I’ve always said. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s take a look at the tape.

    Ok, we won’t take your word for it. Instead, we’ll watch a tape of you saying what you just said.

  • Michael : You’ll notice I didn’t have anybody be an Arab. I thought that would be too explosive. Uh, no pun intended.

    In case you didn’t think it could get any worse than the Olympics of Suffering. Somebody’s going to hell for that one.

  • Kevin : You want to get high?
    Angela : No.
    Kevin : I think you do, mon.
    Angela : Stop.

    The scenes between Angela and Kevin are all gold. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I think it has something to do with the fact that he’s gigantic and speaks with a thick drawl, and that she’s tiny and speaks using short, blunt sentences.

  • Stanley : It’s collard greens.

    Stanley does the most eye-rolling per capita in the entire office, no contest.

Odds and Ends

  • Watch how Michael times his entrance at the beginning of the episode to coincide with Mr. Brown’s exit from the conference room and then proceeds to have to a blatantly contrived conversation with Oscar.
  • It turns out Michael’s bit on Arabs isn’t even the worst of it. Ultra-offensive Michael rears his ugly head when Kelly enters the room and is promptly slapped into submission.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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James, the Lincoln reference is also one of my all-time favorites!

It's just the beginning of many memorable Michael lines in this episode.

Some of my other faves:

Michael: ...openmindedness, is that even a word?

Michael: Okay, get as much done as you can before lunch, because uh afterward, I am going to have you all in tears.

Michael: Hi, I'm Michael Scott. I'm in charge of Dunder-Mifflin paper products here in Scranton, Pennsylvania. But I'm also the founder of Diversity Tomorrow, because today is almost over.

Michael: Is there a term besides "Mexican" that you prefer? Something less offensive?

Michael: That would have really really showed him up, wouldn't it, if I brought in some burritos, or, colored greens, or some, pad thai, love pad thai...
Stanley: It's collard greens.
Michael: What?
Stanley: It's collard greens.
Michael: Uh, doesn't really make sense. Cuz you don't call them collard people. That's offensive.

Michael: Buena vista, Oscar.

As you say, James, Michael is unstoppable.

1Posted by Jennie on December 11, 2005

One more thing: you must watch the deleted scene from this episode (go to the official NBC.com site), where Michael comes up with his own set of diversity talking points. Unfortunately, the resulting acronym spells i-n-c-e-s-t.

If that isn't must-see TV, I don't know what is.

2Posted by Jennie on December 11, 2005

so i was bored. i zoomed in on the 80's picture newsletter (dated Sept 2004). i typed out the column on the right side of the 80's pic. the article is titled "Top Salesman Award"...

welcome to yet another exciting edition of the dundler mifflin employee newsletter. thanks to all of the staff and new contributing writers for putting this together for all of you, and also many thanks to the folks at Designtown for printing this up for us. hopefully you will find alot of useless information contained herein that will help you do your job better, faster and quicker and cheaper and happier.

as anybody can easily tell, this newsletter doesn't really have alot to say. it's really just a prop to fill some space and sort of look like a newsletter without really being much of a newsletter at all. by typing alot of words in these columns on the front of this page, we can achieve the look of a newsletter without really reporting much news or provide any real information to the reader at all. in fact, at times we can probably get away with not using real english words, such as kjgavbitwpo, gvcviqvck, or the much beloved dfbiowvsuiegpherilk. these words can also be strung together to form a sentence, paragraph, or even a whole prop book, magazine or newspaper.

thanks to all of the staff and new contributing..... (repeats)

3Posted by eddie on March 9, 2006

crud. i posted that on the wrong episode. this was from alliance.

4Posted by eddie on March 9, 2006

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