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Antisemitc soccer chants think-piece
Posted: 23 September 2013 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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So what was Liberace doing out there, literally and figuratively, becoming the most famous gay man in the world?

He was not openly gay (in fact, he won a libel suit against a newspaper that claimed he was), and most (straight) people back then had no idea he was gay.  I was around in the ‘50s and ‘60s and I remember him well; he was considered very strange and he made a lot of people (mainly men, I suppose) uncomfortable, but you would have had to have been quite the urban sophisticate to realize he was gay.  The past is a foreign country.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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But the general point about the 50s not being as innocent as Happy Days nostalgia makes it is quite true. One movie that strikes me in this regard is Kiss Them For Me, a screwball comedy starring Cary Grant. It’s a run-of-the-mill studio production, although it does have some really witty, rapid-fire dialogue as only Grant can deliver. But in the midst of this otherwise unremarkable movie, which is about Navy flyers on shore leave in San Francisco in the midst of WWII, very dark themes keep cropping up. The film deals with post-traumatic stress disorder (it doesn’t call it that), sailors slowly dying from their wounds, and the toll and sacrifice that people make in war. Keep in mind, this is a light-hearted comedy. It was the era of the Cold War, McCarthyism, civil rights struggles, and much, much more.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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But the general point about the 50s not being as innocent as Happy Days nostalgia makes it is quite true.

Well, duh!  No era is innocent, generally speaking; the Victorians would have laughed themselves sick to see how they’re regarded these days (by people who haven’t studied a lot of history).  But every place and time has its blind spots, and homosexuality was one of those in the pre-Stonewall US.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Returning to the issue of ethnonymic sports mascots and team names: Though I have Amerind ancestors, I am just another American mongrel, so my opinion on the topic is irrelevant. However I have over the years had dear friends who are full-blooded Amerind, and their opinions on the topic are by no means uniform. One Navajo in particular is a die-hard fan of the Cleveland Indians, and is definitely not offended by their name, nor the names of the Braves and the Redskins. Also see this article on the topic, which may or may not open some eyes to the fact that not all Native Americans find these names of sports teams offensive, rather the contrary.

. . . And even though an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name, and even though linguists say the “redskins” word was first used by Native Americans themselves, and even though nobody on the Blackfeet side of my wife’s family has ever had someone insult them with the word “redskin,” it doesn’t matter.

[ Edited: 23 September 2013 12:13 PM by Recusant ]
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Posted: 24 September 2013 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Marks on export porcelain: In 1891 the McKinley Tariff Act was instated, requiring items imported into the United States to be marked in English with the country of origin. The name “Nippon” was chosen for items coming from Japan. (Nippon is the Japanese name for Japan.) In 1921, the official country of origin name requirement was changed to “Japan”, thus creating a defined time period 1891-1921 in which wares were marked Nippon. Previous to 1891, items were either not marked at all, or marked with Japanese characters. During the period 1921-1941 porcelain should be marked “Japan” and roughly after 1941, marked “Made in Japan”, though numerous exceptions appears to occurs. Pieces marked with JAPAN or MADE IN JAPAN in plain text without any company marks, in general date to the period immediately after the second WW. Some come with the addition of OCCUPIED JAPAN. [from Wikipedia]

If the British are Brits and the Japanese are Japs why can’t the Nipponese be Nips?
Is it rude to call the Russians “ruskies”?
When a sign in China reads Yankee Go Home do people from Alabama have to go?
Why is being called ‘politically correct’ not considered an insult among politicians and educators and the simple-minded.
If you are an Okie from Oklahoma why is that not Ok?
Inquiring minds want to know.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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milum - 24 September 2013 07:35 PM

If the British are Brits and the Japanese are Japs why can’t the Nipponese be Nips?
Is it rude to call the Russians “ruskies”?

This was touched on further up the thread. I think the central issue is who is doing the calling. I am a Brit and quite content to identify myself as one. It also doesn’t carry any kind of slur (that I’m aware of), so I don’t mind other people calling me one either. I don’t think you can say the same about Japs/Nips/Ruskies.

Brit is also slightly unusual in that it usefully fills a gap. There doesn’t seem to be an ‘official’ noun corresponding to British. Given that nationality and ethnic identity is a surprisingly complex issue for a relatively small country, Brit handily packages up and blurs over several possible meanings: ‘citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies’/’person from Great Britain’/’person originating in the British archipelago’ and possibly other shades too.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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If the British are Brits and the Japanese are Japs why can’t the Nipponese be Nips?
Is it rude to call the Russians “ruskies”?

This was touched on further up the thread. I think the central issue is who is doing the calling. I am a Brit and quite content to identify myself as one. It also doesn’t carry any kind of slur (that I’m aware of), so I don’t mind other people calling me one either. I don’t think you can say the same about Japs/Nips/Ruskies.

I’d say that Jap definitely has hostile overtones in Britain. It’s what we called the Japanese when we were fighting them in WWII and they were maltreating British POWs on the Burma-Siam Death Railway, and that history colours the word.

It’s a sad comment on the universality of xenophobia that national or ethnic nicknames are very rarely entirely inoffensive; it’s often not the overt meaning of the name but its past usage (or the factthat it’s used at all) that makes it so. On the face of it, there’s no obvious reason why you should not describe a person of Pakistani origin as a Paki; but you really, really shouldn’t do it.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Note that in Australia, unlike the UK, Paki does not have negative connotations.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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"Paki” is virtually unknown in the U.S.  In fact most Pakistanis would probably be called Indian, as most Americans (in my experience) don’t distinguish much among South Asians or between South Asians, Middle Easterners, and north Africans.  Case in point, some racists targeted the recently crowned Miss America as having links to Al Qaeda even though her ancestry is Indian and her family is of the Hindu faith.  Another case in point, a Sikh college professor was beaten up in New York the other day by a gang of ghetto youths who called him “Osama” and “terrorist” because of his turban and beard.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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On the face of it, there’s no obvious reason why you should not describe a person of Pakistani origin as a Paki...

I think it’s important to remember that in the case of racial/national slurs, the terms used are irrelevant because they don’t actually refer to a race or nationality but to a negative stereotype. When you call someone a Paki, you’re not calling them “a person from Pakistan,” you’re saying they are that negative stereotype. When a term is used in a dismissive way, it’s the dismissive attitude that is offensive. It’s basically saying, “you have less value as a person than me” and that’s always offensive and really has nothing to do with logic.

The fact that “Jap” is offensive but “Brit” isn’t has nothing to do with comedy routines about driving on the parkway and parking on the driveway.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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The fact that “Jap” is offensive but “Brit” isn’t has nothing to do with comedy routines about driving on the parkway and parking on the driveway.

For example, not me.
I mean to demean when I call a Brit a Brit, but not when I call a Japanese a Jap.
The Brits can be a bit snooty but I feel a real kinship with the shy politeness of the Nipponese people
except for that time they bombed Pearl Harbor.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I mean to demean when I call a Brit a Brit, but not when I call a Japanese a Jap.
The Brits can be a bit snooty but I feel a real kinship with the shy politeness of the Nipponese people
except for that time they bombed Pearl Harbor.

I have no idea whether you’re serious, but just on the off chance, do not call a Japanese a Jap.  It is just as bad as calling a Jew a Yid.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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The Brits can be a bit snooty but I feel a real kinship with the shy politeness of the Nipponese people except for that time they bombed Pearl Harbor.

Troll alert ...

[ Edited: 25 September 2013 02:11 PM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 25 September 2013 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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troll alert - alerted by ElizaD

Hmm?
I can see the irony of calling someone a “troll” in a discussion about politically correct words
but I can’t understand why you would choose to alert others to my so-called ‘trollness’.

Whatever a troll is, I ain’t.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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happydog - 25 September 2013 08:13 AM

On the face of it, there’s no obvious reason why you should not describe a person of Pakistani origin as a Paki...

I think it’s important to remember that in the case of racial/national slurs, the terms used are irrelevant because they don’t actually refer to a race or nationality but to a negative stereotype. When you call someone a Paki, you’re not calling them “a person from Pakistan,” you’re saying they are that negative stereotype. When a term is used in a dismissive way, it’s the dismissive attitude that is offensive. It’s basically saying, “you have less value as a person than me” and that’s always offensive and really has nothing to do with logic.

Here’s the kernel of truth. Well put.

Slightly shifting the discussion from the adjectives or adjectival nouns to nicknames, I had a discussion with an English bloke in a pub once and the topic of Scottish independence came up, due to my accent rather than any conscious suggestion on my part. This was a year or two back, but he was saying how we were all the same folk, Welsh, Scots, English (and N Irish) and how we all made jokes about each other as witty, good-natured banter.

I said that I was aware of many such jokes, but the nicknames of the various nationalities in the jokes (and in general conversation in the uk) revealed one odd thing. The Scots are usually called Jocks, the Irish are Paddys, the Welsh are Taffs… but the English do not have a similar nickname in general culture (I’m excluding war terms like Tommys f.e. - even though on reflection I’m not sure if that was for English or Brits). Americans use Limeys, and Australians Pommies, but those do not fit in the British cultural scene.

So the rest of us render unto the conquering English by not daring to have a nickname for them.

I always get the feeling that these waters tend to run quite deep… but I could be wrong?

[ Edited: 25 September 2013 04:27 PM by BlackGrey ]
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