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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hallowe'en costumes
Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

I think many of us win and lose simultaneously without realising it.

I am curious though. Why is white classified as non-colour?
If we classify it as a colour, doesn't that then ascribe similar respect to all colours- without setting it apart?

--------------------
Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Patdys:
We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

I think many of us win and lose simultaneously without realising it.

I am curious though. Why is white classified as non-colour?
If we classify it as a colour, doesn't that then ascribe similar respect to all colours- without setting it apart?

Seriously, WTF? SO, if we reclassified you as pink, all the history disappears? All the current inequity is rectified and racists suddenly go, "Oh, now that we are a colour as well, the scales are dropping from my eyes! We are all as one"!

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Wesley J

Silly Shipmate
# 6075

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Um, dude, elves aren't real.

Icelanders will disagree.

--------------------
Be it as it may: Wesley J will stay. --- Euthanasia, that sounds good. An alpine neutral neighbourhood. Then back to Britain, all dressed in wood. Things were gonna get worse. (John Cooper Clarke)

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Patdys:
We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

I think many of us win and lose simultaneously without realising it.

I am curious though. Why is white classified as non-colour?
If we classify it as a colour, doesn't that then ascribe similar respect to all colours- without setting it apart?

Seriously, WTF? SO, if we reclassified you as pink, all the history disappears? All the current inequity is rectified and racists suddenly go, "Oh, now that we are a colour as well, the scales are dropping from my eyes! We are all as one"!
Why do you assume I'm white? Is it because of my avatar? What inference should I make from your avatar?

Culture change takes ages. There is no easy fix. But one of the fixes is to stop reinforcing inequality. So no, my question does not make everything magically alright. And I am not stupid enough to think that it does. But why should we see the world as coloured/non coloured? It is one way, among many, that may improve the future.
I hope this explanation makes more sense.

--------------------
Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Laud-able

Ship's Ancient
# 9896

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Patdys: You must understand that attempting to engage with the offenderati is an exercise in futility. To them all is black and white. The idea that circumstances alter cases is alien to their comprehension.

--------------------
'. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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The problem with the attitude that circumstances alter cases is that groups can get very settled into actions that may not be offensive to anyone in their current circle, but very offensive if things change just slightly.

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Teekeey Misha
Shipmate
# 18604

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
But racism isn't only about hate. It is reducing someone to their colour. Or associating that colour with an attribute, positive or negative.

I'm not sure that a white person blacking up to look like a black person is about "reducing them to their colour"; it's recognizing that the black person is black. One could argue;
  • that merely recognizing that the black person is black is racist (although that would be a pretty shallow argument.)
  • that a white person blacking up to represent a black person is not "reducing them to their colour"; it is representing one important aspect of who that person is.
  • that representing a black person without blacking up is racist, since it ignores an important aspect of who that person is; it doesn't "reduce them to their colour" but removes even their colour.
quote:
Originally posted by Balaam:
If they find it offensive then it is offensive.

I am, when I read comments like this, inclined to respond:
quote:
Originally uttered by Stephen Fry:
Oh you're offended are you? Well so fucking what?

It comes down, I suppose, to "right". People have "the right" to be offended, but that's not the same as being right to be offended; people seeking reasons to be offended deserve to find what they seek. So, you're quite right, if somebody finds something offensive then it is offensive. Being offensive, though, isn't necessarily a Bad Thing™. We all have the right to be offended but none of us has a right to be "unoffended". More importantly, perhaps, none of us will remain unoffended. Offence is a two-way street; for everybody giving offence there needs to be someone to take offence. Some take it more easily than others but we all take it to some degree and it is, surely, always about choosing to take it?

"If they find it offensive then it is offensive" is true enough, but equally if "they" choose not to be offended then it's not offensive.

--------------------
Misha
Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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Has anyone thought to ask the sports player in question whether he was offended? If he wasn't, but was for instance, flattered, what does that say?

I'm dubious about the "if anyone is offended, it's offensive" line. It sounds nice until you look at real-life examples. Are the harry Potter books offensive because they portray witchcraft in a positive light? Some would say yes.

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Has anyone thought to ask the sports player in question whether he was offended? If he wasn't, but was for instance, flattered, what does that say?

Again, if I were reporting on the story, this would be Step 2 after interviewing the kid.

However, one problem is the player has a vested interest in being kind to his fans, so no matter how he really feels, he is almost guaranteed to make light of it. That's why I thought getting a few more folk of the same background to respond would be important.

--------------------
"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
I'm not sure that a white person blacking up to look like a black person is about "reducing them to their colour"; it's recognizing that the black person is black. One could argue;

  • that merely recognizing that the black person is black is racist (although that would be a pretty shallow argument.)
Ridiculous is the word, not shallow.
quote:
  • that a white person blacking up to represent a black person is not "reducing them to their colour"; it is representing one important aspect of who that person is.
  • that representing a black person without blacking up is racist, since it ignores an important aspect of who that person is; it doesn't "reduce them to their colour" but removes even their colour.

  • It is funny, but a white athlete, actor, politician etc. is seen as being an athlete, actor or politician first. Race isn't part of the description. Add some melanin, and that is suddenly the most important thing.
    There is a massively popular American play called Hamilton. In it the white historical figures are played by non-white actors. And it works magnificently because whiteness isn't seen as an essential part of who they were. There whiteness is merely the default, the background.
    Perhaps, someday, one could cast Roots without regard to the colour of the actors, but it wouldn't work now.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:

    quote:
    Originally posted by Balaam:
    If they find it offensive then it is offensive.

    I am, when I read comments like this, inclined to respond:
    quote:
    Originally uttered by Stephen Fry:
    Oh you're offended are you? Well so fucking what?


    That quote, out of context, is meaningless. Here is a brief snippet from the interview that the quote came from. The full segment gives a more nuanced view the the short quote, though it is not completely satisfying.
    He is speaking of the religious' right to be offended by disparaging comments, that offence itself is not enough. And yet, make an antisemitic or homophobic comment and he is immediately livid.
    Yes, some people are more easily offended than they should be. But waiving off all offence because of that is stupid.

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Patdys:
    Why do you assume I'm white? Is it because of my avatar? What inference should I make from your avatar?

    It is because you presented what appeared to be an overly-simplistic solution that I most often hear from white people.
    But it still is an assumption and I shouldn't have done.
    quote:

    Culture change takes ages. There is no easy fix. But one of the fixes is to stop reinforcing inequality. So no, my question does not make everything magically alright. And I am not stupid enough to think that it does. But why should we see the world as coloured/non coloured? It is one way, among many, that may improve the future.
    I hope this explanation makes more sense.

    That does make more sense. However, it isn't seeing the world as coloured/ none coloured, but in the values we assign to the particular labels. And the inequities of the past cannot simply be ignored. For one, they have created the inequities of the present.
    You are right, it is a long process. And, yes, changing what we think skin colour means is an important first step.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    Patdys: You must understand that attempting to engage with the offenderati is an exercise in futility. To them all is black and white. The idea that circumstances alter cases is alien to their comprehension.

    Right. Oppress people for a couple of hundred years and when they complain, they are offenderati. [Roll Eyes]

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Teekeey Misha
    Shipmate
    # 18604

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    It is funny, but a white athlete, actor, politician etc. is seen as being an athlete, actor or politician first. Race isn't part of the description. Add some melanin, and that is suddenly the most important thing.

    Is it? I don't know where you live so perhaps you see it that way, but I don't see it at all. By which I mean that I don't see reports on the news about "black athletes", "black actors" or "black politicians". Perhaps your news bulletins are different to mine. The only times I see reference to "black anybody" on TV is when being black is the point of the story. (E.g. An Olympic gold medal was won by Mo Farah, not "black athlete Mo Farah", but I do hear about "American police officers shooting dead black youths.")

    I'm well aware of the original context of Fry's comment, but it's not meaningless used in other contexts. Why would it be? If it only applied in relation to "the religious right", it would be "stupid" (although I don't think that is ever a helpful description - if it were, it would, in itself, be "stupid".) And, to be fair, I didn't claim that Fry had used it in a general context; I said that "I am inclined to respond..."

    Perhaps it's important that Fry goes on to say, "I'm sorry; you get some of my sympathy but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy because self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity." That, I suspect, is what "being offended" is about more often than not. It's self-pity and Fry is right; it is ugly. Or as you might say, "It's stupid."
    quote:
    Yes, some people are more easily offended than they should be. But waving off all offence because of that is stupid.
    It's that word again - "stupid". Why is it "stupid"? Is it not just as "stupid" to take offence as to wave it off? It is only "stupid" to wave off offence if taking offence is rational, but taking offence isn't rational; it's personal, it's subjective, it's selective, but it's not rational.

    In terms of the Australian mother who blacked up her son to imitate his Fijian hero, the footballer in question was interviewed. I found his response disappointing. He said, "The young blood’s innocence merely attempting to emulate his hero hurts my heart... Honestly I’ve encouraged this mistake in the past but I’m now educated of it’s origins." So he's offended (or "his heart is hurt") not because it is offensive, because he has been told that it is offensive. You want to know what's "stupid"? THAT is stupid.

    Where does it become "stupid"? With comments such as this:
    quote:
    Originally posted by you:
    Right. Oppress people for a couple of hundred years and when they complain, they are offenderati.

    If you call me a dick, I might have grounds to be offended because you've called me a dick.

    If that were the grounds for offence, I'd expect those around me to say, "Ooh that's not nice. Never mind. You're bigger than that," or some such.

    I don't, though, have any grounds to be offended because your ancestors were beastly to my ancestors, or because "your people" have been "oppressing my people" for generations. If that were the case, I'd expect those around me to say, "Fuck right off and get over it."

    There are plenty of reasons for people not to be racist (or sexist or homophobic or bigoted in any way); other people being "offended" is not one of those reasons.

    --------------------
    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    Teekeey Misha
    Shipmate
    # 18604

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    And FWIW:
    In the case of the Australian mother who blacked up her son to imitate his footballing hero, the Fijian footballer was interviewed and said:
    quote:
    The young blood’s innocence merely attempting to emulate his hero hurts my heart... Honestly I’ve encouraged this mistake in the past but I’m now educated of it’s origins."
    So-o-o-o... he was offended (or "his heart was hurt") by what happened not because he was offended by what happened but because he has been told that what happened was offensive. You want to talk about "stupid"? THAT is "stupid".

    --------------------
    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    Laud-able

    Ship's Ancient
    # 9896

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    lillBuddha: You persist in seeing this particular case as having some general application. The costume of the boy has nothing to do with any act of oppression: it is play-acting in an individual act of homage from the obscure to the (relatively) famous; from the poorer to the richer; from the fan to the star.

    Is it perhaps that you believe that - although the original act is innocent - you are obliged to protest on behalf of 'the principle of the thing'? I would suggest that your role as Saviour of the Oppressed would be better played in another setting.

    --------------------
    '. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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    Teekeey Misha
    Shipmate
    # 18604

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    Apologies - I decided not to include the point about the Fijian athlete in my post, but then did and then decided I ought to and forgot I already had.

    --------------------
    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    Eliab
    Shipmate
    # 9153

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Eliab:


    Or is it just harmless dressing up? Because it seems to me that if you accept that it isn't racist (which, IMAO, it clearly isn't) you can't convincingly maintain that the respectful counterfeiting of a Fijian footballer's skin tone for similarly frivolous reasons is. There's no moral difference between the two.

    Um, dude, elves aren't real.
    Yes! And so you recognise that it would be fucking stupid to imagine that dressing up as one is a racist act.

    I think it is exactly that fucking stupid to imagine that a kid dressing up as an admired sportsman is a racist act. It's just obvious to anyone who thinks for a second about why people dress up, and what they are trying to do, and why they might find it fun, that there's another, more likely, explanation that covers all the facts, and is completely inoffensive.

    Now either you disagree with that, and think the kid's actions were an expression of racial hatred (in which case you're delusional), or you realise that that it wasn't, and there was no malice or prejudice or insult at all - and still choose to be offended by something that you know to be innocent.

    That makes absolutely no sense to me. I suppose have the right to feel that way if you choose to, but since it's entirely your choice, I don't see that any one else has the obligation to give your self-inflicted hurt feelings a second's thought.

    --------------------
    "Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

    Richard Dawkins

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    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
    By which I mean that I don't see reports on the news about "black athletes", "black actors" or "black politicians". Perhaps your news bulletins are different to mine.

    I think it is my perspective that is different.

    quote:

    I'm well aware of the original context of Fry's comment, but it's not meaningless used in other contexts.

    I did not say that, exactly. Using the quote in an "ooh I'm so terribly clever" fashion is merely attempting to shut down a conversation.

    quote:

    Perhaps it's important that Fry goes on to say, "I'm sorry; you get some of my sympathy but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy because self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity." That, I suspect, is what "being offended" is about more often than not.

    I am offended with just cause.
    You have some reason for offence, but are being a bit precious.
    They are being self-righteous whingers.


    quote:
    It is only "stupid" to wave off offence if taking offence is rational, but taking offence isn't rational; it's personal, it's subjective, it's selective, but it's not rational.

    So Fry should "fuck off" when someone makes Jews in the oven jokes? When told that Hitler was a quitter?

    If I walked up to you with a smile and said a word in a language you did not understand and you were not offended, hurt, angered, etc., that would be normal. If you later learned that it was a word* that was derogatory towards you, that might well engender negative feelings in you.
    And understandably so.

    But the blackface issue is not whether or not a particular individual is offended or not.
    Let me put it another way. The swastika is a symbol in many cultures. American Indians, various Asian cultures, even in some European cultures.
    Still, most people would agree that white people using a swastika is not advisable, regardless of their intent.


    *Perhaps one meaning stupid, as that seems to flummox you. Which is infinitely amusing given that you are posting in Hell.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:

    Is it perhaps that you believe that - although the original act is innocent - you are obliged to protest on behalf of 'the principle of the thing'? I would suggest that your role as Saviour of the Oppressed would be better played in another setting.

    Saviour of the Oppressed

    I shall have that emblazoned on a banner that I may announce my new position to the world.

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Laud-able

    Ship's Ancient
    # 9896

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    '... shall have that emblazoned ...'?
    I assumed that such a banner had long been hanging in your closet alongside your armour of self-righteousness.

    --------------------
    '. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

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    Eliab
    Shipmate
    # 9153

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    But the blackface issue is not whether or not a particular individual is offended or not.
    Let me put it another way. The swastika is a symbol in many cultures. American Indians, various Asian cultures, even in some European cultures.
    Still, most people would agree that white people using a swastika is not advisable, regardless of their intent.

    The swastika is so closely associated with the Nazis that you don't need to be deluded or uncharitable to think that the negative meanings it conveys might be intentional, if you have no other information. Few white people other than white supremacists would wear a swastika armband. It's entirely reasonable to be suspicious of someone wearing one, even before you know for certain why they are doing it.

    But suppose a white guy has a swastika on his arm for an entirely innocent purpose - perhaps he's an actor in a play, or something like that. As soon as you know that, then your reason to take offence vanishes. The only reason ever to be offended was that you might have thought the guy was advertising his racist views, and now that you know he isn't doing that, that reason is gone. If you still choose to be offended, that's really your problem, not his.

    [ 01. October 2016, 22:17: Message edited by: Eliab ]

    --------------------
    "Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

    Richard Dawkins

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    Teekeey Misha
    Shipmate
    # 18604

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    I think it is my perspective that is different.

    But you didn't speak of "perspective". You have changed your argument from being of a specific "I hear them say..." to one of a vague perspective; "I interpret what they say as meaning..." And you don't see that this is your problem as opposed to "theirs"?

    quote:
    I'm well aware of the original context of Fry's comment, but it's not meaningless used in other contexts.
    I did not say that, exactly.

    Forgive me, but you did. "That quote, out of context, is meaningless" is what you said. If it's meaningless out of the context in which it was spoken, then it is meaningless in any other context.

    quote:
    Using the quote in an "ooh I'm so terribly clever" fashion is merely attempting to shut down a conversation.
    I don't agree either that I would use it either in such a manner or to such an end. Perhaps I should take offence at your presumptuous stereotyping?

    quote:
    But the blackface issue is not whether or not a particular individual is offended or not.
    So what is the issue? It seems that you want the issue to be whether or not "somebody" has decided that a whole class of people should be offended by something, whether they are actually offended or not. How amusingly, hellishly "stupid".

    --------------------
    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    lilBuddha
    Shipmate
    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Eliab:

    But suppose a white guy has a swastika on his arm for an entirely innocent purpose - perhaps he's an actor in a play, or something like that.

    Not a god comparison. A better one would be a person, completely ignorant of history, who encountered the symbol and decided to wear it. Upon learning of the history, a better reaction would be to stop doing it, not start complaining that Jewish people were unnecessarily offended by it.

    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    '... shall have that emblazoned ...'?
    I assumed that such a banner had long been hanging in your closet alongside your armour of self-righteousness.

    The armour. No, I sold that on eBay; too heavy, all the straps and the polishing...

    And the chafing, oooh the chafing

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    anoesis
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    # 14189

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    Well, this has been a bit of a sad read, really. Why are all these people I respect savaging each other like this? It's hard to see where it started to descend, but I couldn't read it without wondering what folk in the rest of the world would make of some things I encounter regularly. Also, it has raised questions of what are the intersections between 'costume' and 'performance' and 'participation' and 'cultural appropriation'.

    With that in mind, what do people think of the following things?

    [What follows is very link-y, but given that a picture is worth a thousand words, it will actually save you all time.]

    I watched a rugby game this afternoon. It's a thing we do here, y'know. An English game that the colonials (and ha, ha, the Welsh) have kind of taken and run (away) with. Anyway; what do people think?

    Should this guy, our current captain, who, let's face it, is basically a Viking, be allowed to front this, which has nothing whatever to do with his own cultural tradition? Or is that cultural appropriation? Or is it mocking the heritage of say, this guy , given that the thing itself never had anything to do with rugby, or any kind of sport, in the first place, and if it belongs to anyone, it is to the descendants of this guy. (Who have, as a matter of fact, expressed some concern over its use in this matter, but NOT concern of the nature "Hey, why is a white guy doing this thing?", and much more of a "Hey, why is a corporate behemoth more closely associated with this thing than we are?" nature.)

    Following on from that, how about kapa haka? It is, in a sense, a traditional art form - although as practiced today, it's often quite different from its origins (polyester costumes, petroleum-based make-up, poi crafted from dacron and supermarket-shopping bags, regional competitions sponsored by banks) Are these the things that matter? And who gets to say? It's a very popular activity among primary-aged children here. Oh, look, here's a charming photo! Or is it cultural appropriation? Or mockery? And who gets to say? One of those blue-eyed blondies could be my daughter. As far as intent goes, I can testify that for kids that age, the art form is interesting because it involves singing and dancing, not because it is a window into another culture. Is this a problem? Who gets to say? Is it a problem for me as a non-indigenous adult, to have a position, any position at all, on any of this stuff? Who gets to say?

    --------------------
    The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

    Posts: 986 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
    Eliab
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    # 9153

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    A better one would be a person, completely ignorant of history, who encountered the symbol and decided to wear it. Upon learning of the history, a better reaction would be to stop doing it, not start complaining that Jewish people were unnecessarily offended by it.

    But there is such a thing as unnecessary offence - and you are taking it.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't be offended by actual racism or malice. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be offended by things that you could reasonable take to be malicious. I'm saying that you shouldn't be offended - that it is stupid and uncharitable to be offended - by something which you know to be of innocent intent.

    That's why the swastika is really a good comparator at all. A swastika is, in my culture, primarily a statement, which communicates support for the cause of Nazism. It has a meaning, and that meaning is a statement of racial hate. It can, of course, mean something else in a particular context, and so there is scope for genuine misunderstanding and miscommunication. That can be minimised with good will on all sides - and part of that good will include not using the symbol where it would inevitably communicate hatred, whether or not that is intended.

    A children's fancy dress costume is not a statement of that sort. And no one thinks that it is. No one thinks that a child who wants to dress up as an (Indian) Princess, or a (Fijian) Footballer, or a (Roman) Legionary, or a (French) Musketeer, or an (American) Astronaut is doing so in order to make a statement of hatred, mockery or oppression about people of that ethnic or cultural group. There's no misunderstanding or miscommunication, as there was with the swastika example - what we have are people who understand the innocent intent of the costume perfectly well, were never under the least misapprehension about it, and yet still want to take offence.

    That is unnecessary offence-taking, and it is quite reasonable to point out to you that that is exactly what you are doing, and that wilfully choosing to be offended by what you know to be innocent is stupid and wrong.

    --------------------
    "Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

    Richard Dawkins

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    lilBuddha
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    anoesis,

    Who gets to say? The people being affected.
    The All Blacks began as an all Maori selection, have had Maori in participation throughout their history and do the haka is done respectfully. It was begun as a team chant by the Maori. As I understand it, the Maori are protective of their culture and they approve. It is considerably different to blackface.


    quote:
    Originally posted by Eliab:
    But there is such a thing as unnecessary offence - and you are taking it.

    I do not think I ever said I was offended.
    And I do believe I acknowledged the mum and her son had good intentions.
    I am saying that blackface is offencive. I am saying that the mum should have known better and it is sad that she did not. And she should now understand why people are offended. I do not think any vitriol should be directed towards her or her son.


    quote:

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't be offended by actual racism or malice. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be offended by things that you could reasonable take to be malicious. I'm saying that you shouldn't be offended - that it is stupid and uncharitable to be offended - by something which you know to be of innocent intent.

    This does not mean that the history of an act should not be noted or that the act should be deemed as fine to continue.

    quote:

    That's why the swastika is really a good comparator at all. A swastika is, in my culture, primarily a statement, which communicates support for the cause of Nazism. It has a meaning, and that meaning is a statement of racial hate. It can, of course, mean something else in a particular context, and so there is scope for genuine misunderstanding and miscommunication. That can be minimised with good will on all sides - and part of that good will include not using the symbol where it would inevitably communicate hatred, whether or not that is intended.

    How is this different to blackface?
    quote:

    A children's fancy dress costume is not a statement of that sort. And no one thinks that it is. No one thinks that a child who wants to dress up as an (Indian) Princess, or a (Fijian) Footballer, or a (Roman) Legionary, or a (French) Musketeer, or an (American) Astronaut is doing so in order to make a statement of hatred, mockery or oppression about people of that ethnic or cultural group.

    It is not the child, but the parents and other adults whose position matters.
    A person's child could innocently wear a Nazi uniform. Doesn't mean it is bad form to point out why it is not in the best taste.

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

    Posts: 17082 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    I think it is my perspective that is different.

    But you didn't speak of "perspective". You have changed your argument from being of a specific "I hear them say..." to one of a vague perspective; "I interpret what they say as meaning..." And you don't see that this is your problem as opposed to "theirs"?
    No. I am saying that my perspective as a person affected means I notice things that you might not.

    Regarding the Stephan Fry comment. I did not say out of the context. But I can see how that might not be clear. What I mean is that the quote needs some sort of context or it is just an insult. Your use seemed to imply that the quote could appropriately be used without any context and it is to that I am objecting.

    quote:
    Perhaps I should take offence at your presumptuous stereotyping?
    How is that sterotyping? Assumptive, yes. Perhaps even rude or dismissive, but not stereotyping.
    quote:

    It seems that you want the issue to be whether or not "somebody" has decided that a whole class of people should be offended by something, whether they are actually offended or not.

    No, a whole class of people were offended, I'm explaining why.

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    anoesis
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    I realise that we are potentially streaking away from the point of the original post, but there are one or two things here that want answering, so;

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    anoesis,

    Who gets to say? The people being affected.

    This presumes that there is a unitary Māori voice with regard to such topics, which there most assuredly is not, or potentially that there is a unitary voice within Ngāti Toa (Te Rauparaha's iwi) - at least in that case there exists a hierarchical structure for making 'on behalf of' decisions.*

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    The All Blacks began as an all Maori selection,

    This is news to me, I must say. It could be so, but the following photograph of the first touring test team seems to suggest not.
    (the link does work when copied and pasted but will not code with the ship's URL function, nor will tiny url accept it, for some reason)
    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aucklandcity.govt.nz%2Fdbtw-wpd%2FHeritageImage s%2Findex.htm&AC=QBE_QUERY&TN=heritageimages&QF0=ID&NP=2&MR=5&RF=HIORecordSearch&QI0=%3D%22NZG-19051216-39-1%22

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    have had Maori in participation throughout their history

    Certainly I am not aware of their ever having been prevented from participating - unless South Africa was involved, of course. [Disappointed]

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    and do the haka respectfully.

    Well, as it happens, I would agree with you that it is done respectfully, but I am apparently not one of those who gets to say whether this is the case, and, respectfully, neither are you.

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    It is considerably different to blackface.

    Sure it is. I didn't mention blackface in my post. I was discussing cultural appropriation, and trying to distill what makes something a genuine expression of a cultural tradition, albeit with alterations to detail** and/or context, and what might render a thing a mere pastiche. I think we have established that my own views are of limited value in this context, but for what it's worth, my concerns with the use of the haka at rugby matches, and of schoolchild kapa haka competitions, are that they allow us (the corporate us) to tell ourselves the comfortable lie that we are basically a nation of jolly decent blokes who are pretty tolerant after all, because, look - and also, see! the bilingual street signs and so on, and that this makes us less, rather than more, likely to actually attempt to explore and understand the very real differences between our two cultures. It has overtones making everything shiny with a bit of Māori varnish, and expecting all concerned to see that as the best way of doing things. And if that is indeed the case, then I am one of those who is affected. Though obviously the effect is not exactly the same for me as it is for any, or all, Māori.

    *In fact, Ngāti Toa do have a [relatively recent] agreement with the NZRU regarding the use of ka mate
    **such as costume, or the gender/ethnicity of participants

    --------------------
    The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused. -- Dafyd --

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    Doc Tor
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    So now we have lB explaining the New Zealand rugby team to a New Zealander. [Roll Eyes]

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

    Posts: 8907 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by anoesis:
    This presumes that there is a unitary Māori voice with regard to such topics, which there most assuredly is not, or potentially that there is a unitary voice within Ngāti Toa (Te Rauparaha's iwi) - at least in that case there exists a hierarchical structure for making 'on behalf of' decisions.*

    No one body gives the opinion of all its members. However, it seems a good rule the what the majority feel about such things should be the guide. I do not presume to speak for them, but my mate Google suggests that the majority of Maori are not offended by the All Blacks haka.

    quote:

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    The All Blacks began as an all Maori selection,

    This is news to me, I must say. It could be so, but the following photograph of the first touring test team seems to suggest not.

    I see your one photo and raise you an article. It even includes the very same photo.
    BTW, when the Ship's software fights a url, I use tinyurl to beat it into submission. Not being a smartarse, just a helpful hint.
    quote:

    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    have had Maori in participation throughout their history

    Certainly I am not aware of their ever having been prevented from participating - unless South Africa was involved, of course. [Disappointed]

    They were still part of the team. Didn't say there were no shameful bits of the All Blacks past.


    Regarding the last bit of your post, it is a bugger of a thing. Cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation/blending vs patronizing. There will always be some contention as to where the borders are. And everyone involved should be part of the conversation.* But those who have the most skin in the game should have the greater voice.

    *As long as it is a conversation, not merely people shouting "get over it".

    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    So now we have lB explaining the New Zealand rugby team to a New Zealander. [Roll Eyes]

    Cute, but weak. Randomly poll in any country and you will find loads of people who haven't a clue about their own history and none who have complete knowledge of everything.
    Whilst the results will likely run the range between, I'd wager the balance would weigh more towards the generally ignorant than those with comprehensive knowledge.
    I am not saying anoesis is ignorant or that I have greater knowledge of New Zealand than she/he. In fact, I would wager that I do not.
    But I do know how to type words into this website and then read the results. I still might be incorrect, waiting for you to show me where I am.

    In regards to the All Blacks, that is. The Ship hasn't the server space to list everything.

    [ 03. October 2016, 01:13: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Laud-able

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    lillBuddha, you do not say that that you were offended, but you insist that blackface is offensive, and the mother should have known better.

    Are you then taking vicarious offence? And whose ‘better’ is this? What you demand is in no way better for the mother and her son. Are you suggesting that the mother should have said to her son: ‘No. If you want to go as a footballer, you must go as a white footballer.’?

    Some seventy years ago when I was the age of the boy footballer I was cast as Melchior in our Sunday School Christmas pageant, and I was fitted out with a splendid costume that included a swarthy makeup. There were at the time in Melbourne no magi whose opinions might be canvassed. In later years in the course of school and university theatricals I directed two separate productions of The Mikado, and played the part of Ko-Ko in a third. I did not then - and would not now – think it necessary to canvass the opinions of any Japanese. Play-acting is part of my culture, as I suppose it is for the young footballer, but you apparently refuse to distinguish between playfulness and reality.

    --------------------
    '. . . "Non Angli, sed Angeli" "not Angels, but Anglicans"', Sellar, W C, and Yeatman, R J, 1066 and All That, London, 1930, p. 6.

    Posts: 279 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
    Teekeey Misha
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    # 18604

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    How is that sterotyping? Assumptive, yes. Perhaps even rude or dismissive, but not stereotyping.

    "Tr.vb. To believe unfairly that all people [who use the Fry quote] are [Using the quote in an "ooh I'm so terribly clever" fashion] and are [merely attempting to shut down a conversation.]" Sounds a fairly convincing instance of stereotyping to me.

    quote:
    No, a whole class of people were offended, I'm explaining why.
    Were they and are you, though? Or are you explaining why you think they ought to be offended? As previously mentioned with regard to the Oz rules footballer; the man who had the right to be offended wasn't - or at least he wasn't until somebody told him he ought to be. The whole class of people who you assert were offended - were they? Or were they just looking for offence where they had been told it was to be found? You assert the former; I disagree.

    We have been told that "if someone finds it offensive, then it is offensive," but what if they only find it offensive because they have been told they should find it offensive?

    What of this? Why do they do it? Nobody really knows but there are four theories about how this custom started in the UK in the 1600s, one of which is that it might be blacking up to look like Barbary pirates. Of course, it might not. Should it banned in case someone from the region's black community (or even somebody on the end of a computer line on the other side of the world) chooses to be offended by what it might represent?

    --------------------
    Misha
    Don't assume I don't care; sometimes I just can't be bothered to put you right.

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    Doc Tor
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    # 9748

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    The issue of blacking up in Morris dancing is very much a live one. It's almost impossible to disentangle its past meanings with its present one - it's almost certain it has nothing to do with Moors, which was a convenient retcon.

    Black people have been on these islands for millennia (some of the auxiliaries on the Wall were from Africa). They're part of our story, and always have been. Black people have both attacked and defended the practice. So if you're part of a traditional Morris side, whose opinion do you take? Those black people who believe it's too freighted with the Black and White Minstrels to be acceptable now. Or those who acknowledge that white people going out poaching at night would black up in order to avoid detection, and Morris blackface is a descendant of that?

    But I'm lB will be along in a minute to explain my heritage to me.

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

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    Moo

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    # 107

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    I have a problem with people who do not live in an area insisting that a team name be changed because they find it insulting.

    In the 1930s the Blacksburg High School adopted the name 'Indians' for their sports teams. About ten years ago, it was changed to 'Bruins' because outsiders considered the name Indians offensive.

    Many local Indians said they liked the name, and if any Indians objected, they didn't speak up. There were two letters to the editor of the paper written by Indians who had been students at the school when the name was first adopted. They said they considered it an honor, and their fellow students appeared to see it that way also.

    However, local opinion was ignored, and the name was changed.

    Moo

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    ---------------------
    See you later, alligator.

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    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
    Sounds a fairly convincing instance of stereotyping to me.

    Leaving aside that people who quote Stephan Fry aren't a generally recognised group, you left out the bit about context. Generalisation. Is that the word you were looking for? It could be considered a generalisation.
    quote:

    quote:
    No, a whole class of people were offended, I'm explaining why.
    Were they and are you, though? Or are you explaining why you think they ought to be offended?
    There were loads of people actually offended and that is why the story was in the news.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    lillBuddha, you do not say that that you were offended, but you insist that blackface is offensive,

    So, you are saying blackface isn't offensive?
    quote:

    and the mother should have known better.

    Yes. And reading more, it appears she did, but chose to do so anyway.
    quote:

    Are you then taking vicarious offence? And whose ‘better’ is this? What you demand is in no way better for the mother and her son. Are you suggesting that the mother should have said to her son: ‘No. If you want to go as a footballer, you must go as a white footballer.’?

    It was her idea to paint him. The jersey and dreads would have been enough.
    And, given that she apparently recognised that her choice would cause a stir, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that an explanation would be forthcoming regardless.
    quote:

    Some seventy years ago when I was the age of the boy footballer I was cast as Melchior in our Sunday School Christmas pageant, and I was fitted out with a splendid costume that included a swarthy makeup.

    Because the audience would be too stupid to know you were a wise man had you left off the paint? Funny that no one fails to recognise Jesus though he is almost invariably played by a white man who has not blacked up.

    [ 03. October 2016, 16:17: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Teekeey Misha
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    # 18604

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Generalisation. Is that the word you were looking for? It could be considered a generalisation.

    No, I think I have quite a good grasp of English vocabulary. If I'd meant "generalisation", I'd have used "generalisation".

    "Generalisation: N; A general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases." (OED)
    "Stereotype: Tr. vb. to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same."
    If you think there is much of a difference between those two it must lie in the inclusion of "unfairly". Since your assumption was unfair, I think we can agree that you were stereotyping.
    quote:
    There were loads of people actually offended and that is why the story was in the news.
    That's where I don't agree with you. Were they actually offended or did they really not care much but assumed offence because they have been led to believe it was offensive? Your merely stating over and over again that "loads of people were offended" doesn't address the issue I raised.

    [ 03. October 2016, 16:45: Message edited by: Teekeey Misha ]

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    Misha
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    no prophet's flag is set so...

    Proceed to see sea
    # 15560

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Moo:
    I have a problem with people who do not live in an area insisting that a team name be changed because they find it insulting.

    Is this is the same sort of thinking that allowed Confederate flags to be accepted for so many years?

    --------------------
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    \_(ツ)_/

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    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Teekeey Misha:
    No, I think I have quite a good grasp of English vocabulary. If I'd meant "generalisation", I'd have used "generalisation".
    "Stereotype: Tr. vb. to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same."

    How is people who quote Stephan Fry's bit from that particular interview a characteristic?
    quote:

    That's where I don't agree with you. Were they actually offended or did they really not care much but assumed offence because they have been led to believe it was offensive?

    So you, from 9,000 miles away, are somehow qualified to judge that what people say is either an outright lie or self-deception?
    Though I am also not in the proximity of the particular incident, so I choose to take the word of those who are unless you can show me that they are disingenuous.

    [ 03. October 2016, 17:59: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    Some seventy years ago when I was the age of the boy footballer I was cast as Melchior in our Sunday School Christmas pageant, and I was fitted out with a splendid costume that included a swarthy makeup.

    Because the audience would be too stupid to know you were a wise man had you left off the paint? Funny that no one fails to recognise Jesus though he is almost invariably played by a white man who has not blacked up.
    Laud-able was blacked up to play Melchior so that the audience knew, not that he was a wise man, but that he was Melchior.

    Or are your panties so bunched that you're going to take offence at a 70 year old casting call?

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

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    Leorning Cniht
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    # 17564

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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    So, you are saying blackface isn't offensive?

    I think there are several issues surrounding blackface.

    One issue is the "let's make a mockery of your ethnicity" issue, which neatly covers minstrels in blackface, "Sexy Indian" Hallowe'en costumes and the like.

    There's an entirely separate issue to do with actors - having a caucasian actor wear makeup to play the part of an ethnic minority person is a problem because it ties in to racism in hiring. In some hypothetical world where there was no racial discrimination in hiring, and it was just as common for, for example, a black actor to wear makeup to play the part of a white person as vice versa, this wouldn't be a problem, but the first sort still would.

    (Of course, on the stage, "accurate" makeup is often not required. Films are a much more "realistic" medium, though.)

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    lilBuddha
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    # 14333

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    Some seventy years ago when I was the age of the boy footballer I was cast as Melchior in our Sunday School Christmas pageant, and I was fitted out with a splendid costume that included a swarthy makeup.

    Because the audience would be too stupid to know you were a wise man had you left off the paint? Funny that no one fails to recognise Jesus though he is almost invariably played by a white man who has not blacked up.
    Laud-able was blacked up to play Melchior so that the audience knew, not that he was a wise man, but that he was Melchior.

    Or are your panties so bunched that you're going to take offence at a 70 year old casting call?

    I did not say I was offended. I know that you are not required to read for comprehension, but it would be ever so nice if you tried.
    Melchior Is a fictional representation of a person/people/idea who had no physical description in the source material. Unless you think 'from the east' imparts such. If the magi existed, none would likely be white. So why is it an important characteristic in the play that Melchior be dark skinned when none of the other people are? And when who the hell was which wise man isn't important.
    Oh, but you say, our apocryphal description says he might be. There are depictions from the "there were three blokes" tradition that have them all white. Way longer ago than 70 years.
    Am I offended by a 70 year old incident? No. It was less likely to be a consideration then. Does that mean it was right back then? No.

    --------------------
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    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Curiosity killed ...

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    Some of the theatres I frequent practise colour blind casting*, which can be fascinating. Last year's Measure for Measure with a black actor playing Angelo was amazing. Yesterday I saw a production of Cymbeline with a white actor playing Cloten, strutting his bad boy stuff, and a black actor playing Posthumus. It did rather make Imogen crying over Cloten's body dressed in Posthumus' clothes less believable.

    * Not black actors using white make up, just the best actor playing the part.

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    Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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    Doc Tor
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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Melchior Is a fictional representation of a person/people/idea who had no physical description in the source material. Unless you think 'from the east' imparts such. If the magi existed, none would likely be white. So why is it an important characteristic in the play that Melchior be dark skinned when none of the other people are? And when who the hell was which wise man isn't important.

    There you go yet again. You have a complete tin ear when it comes to a centuries-old tradition. You have no idea of what source material they were using. You have no idea why Melchior is black, when others aren't. You have no idea why which Wise Man was which is important. Utterly, painfully, culturally ignorant.

    I'm not surprised, however. You have form.

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    lilBuddha
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    Enlighten me. Why is it important that Melchior be dark skinned?

    [ 03. October 2016, 19:41: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Curiosity killed ...

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    It was centuries old tradition to beat children. Beating the bounds in some areas included beating the apprentices on the boundary stones. We seem to regard that tradition as something to be discarded now. Are all traditions worth keeping?

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    lilBuddha
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
    It was centuries old tradition to beat children. Beating the bounds in some areas included beating the apprentices on the boundary stones. We seem to regard that tradition as something to be discarded now. Are all traditions worth keeping?

    Or defending?

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Doc Tor
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    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Enlighten me. Why is it important that Melchior be dark skinned?

    Because he's a black man? Geez.

    But you're not interested in enlightenment. You're interested in petty point scoring and controlling the conversation. Go away, and look up the script of a Mystery Play or five. Actually do some work that doesn't involve your knee jerking.

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    Nick Tamen

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Laud-able:
    Some seventy years ago when I was the age of the boy footballer I was cast as Melchior in our Sunday School Christmas pageant, and I was fitted out with a splendid costume that included a swarthy makeup.

    Because the audience would be too stupid to know you were a wise man had you left off the paint? Funny that no one fails to recognise Jesus though he is almost invariably played by a white man who has not blacked up.
    Laud-able was blacked up to play Melchior so that the audience knew, not that he was a wise man, but that he was Melchior.
    Well, if the audience was at all knowledgeable about the tradition, they assumed he was Balthazar, not Melchior.

    Of course, if the audience was knowledgeable about the tradition, which of the three magi he was could also have been conveyed by his age (young) and by the gift he carried (myrrh).

    [ 03. October 2016, 20:19: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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    lilBuddha
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    quote:
    Originally posted by lilBuddha:
    Enlighten me. Why is it important that Melchior be dark skinned?

    Because he's a black man? Geez.
    No, he is fictional.
    quote:

    But you're not interested in enlightenment. You're interested in petty point scoring and controlling the conversation. Go away, and look up the script of a Mystery Play or five. Actually do some work that doesn't involve your knee jerking.

    Again, all I am asking is a simple explanation as to why Melchior must be black. What part of his blackness is intergral to the part?
    I've a couple more questions if this one isn't too taxing for you.

    --------------------
    So goodnight moon, I want the sun
    If it's not here soon, I might be done
    No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

    - A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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    Doc Tor
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    Why must he be black? He's been black for at least 500 years.

    Or are you suggesting - I'm guessing you are - that black people don't belong in European history, European stories, European religion, and should be erased because you don't like them being there. A black man, worshipping the infant Jesus, equal to his light-skinned colleagues, a Wise Man, a Magi? No, the past is racist. Only you are enlightened.

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    Nicolemr
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    If I'm not mistaken the idea behind one of the wise men being from Africa is that there were wise men from each of the then-known continents, Africa, Asia and Europe, symbolizing the whole world coming to worship the baby Jesus. Therefore it is, symbolically, very important for one of the three to be black.

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    On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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    Doc Tor
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    No, no, no. You've got it wrong. We did it to mock black people.

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