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blacked up morris dancers abused in uk

Related threads:
Shrewsbury FF to ban 'blacked up' Morris (264)
All Black Tup (7)
Black-faced Morris dancers (286)


Jack Campin 10 Jan 17 - 08:19 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Jan 17 - 08:29 AM
David Carter (UK) 10 Jan 17 - 08:53 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jan 17 - 08:55 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 17 - 08:59 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jan 17 - 09:16 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 17 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Pariah 10 Jan 17 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Morris-ey 10 Jan 17 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 17 - 12:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 17 - 12:28 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Senoufou 10 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jan 17 - 12:58 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Jan 17 - 01:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Jan 17 - 01:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 17 - 01:50 PM
meself 10 Jan 17 - 03:18 PM
Good Soldier Schweik 10 Jan 17 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 17 - 07:51 PM
RTim 10 Jan 17 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Andrew Wigglesworth 10 Jan 17 - 07:55 PM
JP2 10 Jan 17 - 08:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM
RTim 10 Jan 17 - 08:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jan 17 - 10:38 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 17 - 03:30 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 17 - 03:31 AM
Manitas_at_home 11 Jan 17 - 03:36 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Jan 17 - 04:02 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 17 - 04:08 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jan 17 - 04:31 AM
Howard Jones 11 Jan 17 - 04:36 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jan 17 - 05:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 17 - 05:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Jan 17 - 06:20 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 17 - 06:24 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Jan 17 - 08:42 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 17 - 09:10 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jan 17 - 09:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 17 - 10:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Jan 17 - 10:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jan 17 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Guest Tim 11 Jan 17 - 10:25 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 17 - 10:42 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 11 Jan 17 - 10:52 AM
Andrew Wigglesworth 11 Jan 17 - 11:49 AM
GUEST 11 Jan 17 - 01:57 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM
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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:19 AM

The assailants have been described as 'Asian' - this is UK mainstream media code for 'Muslims.

It isn't. It could equally well apply to a Sikh, Hindu or Parsee.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:29 AM

DavidCarter ...Derby Tup,not THE Derby horserace


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:53 AM

Ah, right, just looked it up and although most search results are about a pub, I do see something about a mummers play. Looks interesting.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:55 AM

[dialling tone].... Hello, you have reached the PC Brigade.. how can we help you ?

Please listen to the menu and press the appropriate number to report the horrible dim mean spirited people
you require us to educate and encourage to behave in a more enlightened and positive manner...

We are sorry but the 'report a blackface morris side' team are very busy at the moment and you may have to wait... you are number 27 in the queue...

Please hold, or try again later..

If you require emergency protests and boycotts, please wait until the end of the message and press 'zero...

Thank you for calling and have a progressive day.... 😜


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:59 AM

Well I did a rude and tasteless joke involving the word "tits" in the sports bra thread, so I can't possibly be a member of the PC brigade!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 09:16 AM

P C cup Brigade... ??? 😜


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:50 AM

Using face paint or masks as disguise was and still is part of many street festivals and performances. Superficial anonymity is part of the fun. The paint has to be dark enough and matt enough so that the way the light falls on the face is disrupted enough to conceal the features.

Woad isn't dark enough (and it is hard to get off). So maybe something closer to navy blue would be better

That said, I think there is case for limiting the situations in which concealing of the face in public is acceptable - I include large dark glasses as well as and paint, masks etc.

If people didn't keep going on about minstrels how many people in the UK, including non-white ones, would think of it? Most people under 50 will only have heard of the Black and White Minstrel Show as history. It's different in the USA obviously. How long do we have to keep going on about something that is gone for good.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Pariah
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 11:03 AM

I've never believed that there's any such thing as PC, just common decency and sensitivity.

Exactly so.

Goes beyond sheer naivety.. to almost verging on deliberate arrogant willful provocation.

Again, exactly so.

Rather like the idiots who insist on shoving the Confederate Battle Flag in the faces of all and sundry.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 11:43 AM

A few thoughts on Border Morris and Blackface Border:

The first Border, and Blackface, I came across was Silurian from Shropshire, who had an inspired and inspiring leader who explained blackface as disguise.

The second was Shropshire Bedlams who, in my opinion made Border into a spectacle that no other Morris could match. The downside was the spawning of so many of the truly shit Border (blackface or not) that we see today.

Border is the most modern style of the Morris revival and the least supported by any real historic evidence.

What I am absolutely sure of is that Blackface in Border, whether in its time or now, has nothing to do with Minstrelsy or Racism.

The Birmingham protestors were British Asians. It does not matter whether they were black, white, Asian.

Times and attitudes and moral sensibilities change. Morris must recognise this.

If your "tradition" requires disguise then by all means do it, but be a bit more 21st century about it.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 12:24 PM

"almost verging on" Is not good enough, unless...

"Rather like" Is not good enough, unless...

... a debate up to 2016 referendum/election standards is all that is required.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 12:28 PM

i believe Eddy Murphy did white up in one movie, without generating -mass'outrage'.

anyway - who the hell is talking about outrage. this is obviously some twats idea of a media happening! the idea that people just fell about in paroxysms of rage on seeing a gang of nutters armed with handkerchiefs is ridiculous. someone was tipped off and thought this nonsense up.

what morris dancers get up to is about as much interest to the general public as what the British Chess Society gets up to.

(have you noticed how the bastards always make the black chess pieces go second?)


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM

I understand that a hotel manager recently angrily evicted a whole gathering of chess convention guests who were making a lot of noise in the hotel lobby. When asked why he'd chucked 'em out, he said "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Senoufou
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM

Haha Big Al, I doubt whether any self-respecting Border Morris side would be seen dead waving hankies!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 12:58 PM

As simplistic and as lazy as it is for the reactionary right to condemn and dismiss everything that confounds & displeases them
as loony left PC Brigade gone mad...

..it still makes me chuckle every time i see one of them resort to posting this empty headed cliche in our threads...

... daft old blinkered conservative pillocks..

Personally, I won't even consider joining the PC Brigade unless I like the look of the uniforms,
and they provide xxxxl size jackets...

.. and even more incentive if the PC Brigade have their own Brass Marching Band
and a cool imaginative morris side...!!!??? 🙄


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 01:34 PM

How about a Mudcat border Morris side with faces covered in Mud.
Should Joe Offer be Squire?, Bagman?, or Fool?,Joe should definitely be leader.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM

i stand corrected.
folk dance is very complicated. i don't know anything about it. and to be honest when you talk to the participants - they don't seem all that interested or concerned about the whys and wherefores.

i get invited to a lot of folk dance occasions but i can never work out who's doing what to whom, and where the hankies come in. and the hoops. and ribbons. and bells, sticks.

it all melds into one at the wessex folk festival. it all takes place round the harbour in Weymouth. i just hope to fuck morris dancing doesn't become a magnet for political dissent. possibly violence.

the atmosphere seems so pleasant at the moment.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 01:45 PM

Where are EFDSS in all this should they not showing support for Folk Dancers.
EFDSS is the national folk arts development organisation for England. We are here to champion the English traditional arts – music, song, dance, storytelling, customs and traditions – as part of the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the UK.

We're about preserving them, and we do that in our award winning library, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) named after our former president, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

But we're also about promoting - shouting about the richness and huge variety of art forms and wonderful people that work under this all-encompassing, very elastic term called FOLK, and providing endless opportunities for people to get involved.

And we're about developing. Folk is living, breathing and constantly being re-invented; we encourage artists to be inspired by the songs and dances that have been handed down through the generations and support them in various ways to create new songs, tunes and dances.

From big bands to solo singers, morris dancers to contemporary choreographers, schools to mass participation, intimate folk clubs to major concert halls – our work reaches far and wide. And we'd love you to be a part of it.

Take a look around our website to find out more about our activities, or let us know what you're up to through Facebook or Twitter.

Welcome to the world of folk!"

Katy Spicer
Chief Executive


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 01:50 PM

i suppose it would be nice to get a definitive answer from an expert as tp whether the black face is an important strand of the folk tradition that needs to be explained, or as Jim says, just a load of bollocks.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: meself
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 03:18 PM

From what I've gathered, following these same old arguments on this forum for years - really: nothing new here - and reading the linked articles, etc., there is no definitive answer.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 06:10 PM

meanwhile EFDSS sleeps the sleep of the dead.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 07:51 PM

So the "politics" of Twitter outrage and Facebook abuse have come onto the streets.

Black people in Britain statistically have a lower life expectancy, are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty or be in gaol.

These things are caused by systems of economic power, privilege, and divide and rule in a capitalist society. Racism is fundamentally about power over others, especially economic power ... not Morris dancing.

It's a wonderful diversion, the right-wing get to wail about "PC gone mad" and liberals get to show-boat their "outrage" without having to fundamentally examine or challenge the society they live in.

The trouble with "Minstrel shows" (there were plenty of other names for them in the past which were far less pleasant), was not just the blacking up. It was the systematic strereo-typing of black people. The "mammy", the lazy bum, the stupid one etc etc. This stereo-typing came out of (mostly) US society and it reflected the racist structures of that society. The music, the actions, the stereo-types (often actually acted by black performers btw) played to the prejudices of the audience, reflected prejudices about African-Americans and rationalised those prejudices in crude forms.

I think you've probably worked out what I'm going to write next ... what has this got to do with Morris dancing? In what way does Morris dancing stereo-type or caricature black people or black peoples culture? In what way does Morris dancing pander to the prejudices of the powerful against the less powerful?

I go back to the shallow meaningless style of "politics" of "Twitter outrage" and the failure of any of them to actually deal with the fundamentals of racism.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: RTim
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 07:54 PM

Good Soldier (and like many I know who you really are!)
The EFDSS have made a clear and unambiguous statement about Blackface, if you don't agree with it OK, but don't make them look bad because of your own aversion to what they do!!

Tim Radford

And I DON'T want to hear you answering back with some withering comment that is irrelevant to the point in question!!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Andrew Wigglesworth
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 07:55 PM

So the "politics" of Twitter outrage and Facebook abuse have come onto the streets.

Black people in Britain statistically have a lower life expectancy, are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty or be in gaol.

These things are caused by systems of economic power, privilege, and divide and rule in a capitalist society. Racism is fundamentally about power over others, especially economic power ... not Morris dancing.

It's a wonderful diversion, the right-wing get to wail about "PC gone mad" and liberals get to show-boat their "outrage" without having to fundamentally examine or challenge the society they live in.

The trouble with "Minstrel shows" (there were plenty of other names for them in the past which were far less pleasant), was not just the blacking up. It was the systematic strereo-typing of black people. The "mammy", the lazy bum, the stupid one etc etc. This stereo-typing came out of (mostly) US society and it reflected the racist structures of that society. The music, the actions, the stereo-types (often actually acted by black performers btw) played to the prejudices of the audience, reflected prejudices about African-Americans and rationalised those prejudices in crude forms.

I think you've probably worked out what I'm going to write next ... what has this got to do with Morris dancing? In what way does Morris dancing stereo-type or caricature black people or black peoples culture? In what way does Morris dancing pander to the prejudices of the powerful against the less powerful?

I go back to the shallow meaningless style of "politics" of "Twitter outrage" and the failure of any of them to actually deal with the fundamentals of racism.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: JP2
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:15 PM

Silurian Morris are based in Ledbury,Herefordshire not Shropshire!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM

Tooting Popular Front stand up to the crypto fascist running dogs of mudcat.

for those of us not in the know - what is EFDSS's clear and unambiguous line on black face morris man. not that i'm thinking of becoming one.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: RTim
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 08:49 PM

The EFDSS stated:

Following the decision of Shrewsbury Folk Festival not to programme dance sides that "black-up" and the ensuing publicity this brought, EFDSS would like to be clear about its position.

As we understand, historically dancers used soot or burnt cork to disguise their faces but there is evidence to suggest that the boot-polish, full-face, blacking-up tradition gained popularity during the boom of the late 19th Century Minstrelsy tradition.

EFDSS wants to engage all people in the folk arts, regardless of sex, age, race and religion, so we do not support actions that can alienate sectors of the community. We use contemporary images of dance sides that disguise their faces with the use of masks or non-black paint and patterns in our print, online, and teaching resources, and engage such dance sides for EFDSS events and education projects.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jan 17 - 10:38 PM

well fair enough - if the experts say its non essential. that should be good enough for everyone, its a thing of the past. lets all drop it!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 03:30 AM

"Tooting Popular Front stand up to the crypto fascist running dogs of mudcat."
Name-calling is not particularly helpful in these discussions Al - it's too easy to pin on labels and avoid the realities of the argument - "P.C", "do-gooders" and "bleeding hearts" have all become terms of insult in order to excuse injustices an d inequalities in our society and those who persist in using them need to work out the opposites of their meanings.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 03:31 AM

Didn't quite finish
"I've never believed that there's any such thing as PC, just common decency and sensitivity"
This seems to have been one of the most sensible statements in this argument
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 03:36 AM

Jim,

I think you should find out who the Tooting Popular Front are. Al is indulging in satire.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 04:02 AM

RTIM,you have answered the question that should be sufficient, your post of 8 49 was the correct way to answer, unlike the slghtly unpleasant 7 54pm post, please take note.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 04:08 AM

"I think you should find out who the Tooting Popular Front are. Al is indulging in satire."
I know who Wolfie's crowd are M a.t., I always took them to be sit-comers rather than examples of satire - now, Jonathan Swift, on the other hand.....
I took it, based on Al's earlier remarks, that he was taking a poke at us "P.C.ers" and "do-gooders"
If I misunderstood, I aplologise, of course
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 04:31 AM

... now if "PC" became universally accepted to stand for "Progressive Compassion"... 😎

though thinking about it... "Politically Correct" is already absolutely spot on...

because the dim witted use of "PC" as a dismissive insult by the reactionary right
indicates clearly that they are utterly "Politically Wrong"...


.. Pillock Conservatives...!!! 😜


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 04:36 AM

The ifs, buts and maybes of blacking up we discussed on here at considerable length only recently. The problem is that the "experts" do not agree, and there is very little hard evidence on either side of the argument. The waters are undoubtedly muddied by the minstrelsy craze. My own opinion favours the disguise argument, since blacking up is most associated with the begging customs such as Border and Molly (the Plough Monday customs are little more than demanding money with menaces). If minstrelsy were the origin, why did Cotswold morris not adopt blacking up? Surely the south Midlands were just as exposed to the minstrelsy craze as the Borders and East Anglia, and it certainly adopted some minstrel tunes, so why did they not black up?

However the origins are probably irrelevant in a modern multicultural society. We can't expect a casual audience to know, or care, about the origins of a tradition, they will form their own conclusions based on what they see. Whilst I think it takes a lot of imagination (or perhaps too little) to look at a morris dancer and think they are impersonating a black person, this is the perspective of a white person with some knowledge of folk customs. It is understandable that the uninformed, especially if they are black, see only the blacked up faces and jump to conclusions.

So what to do about it? Had this happened to any other culture celebrating their traditional customs it would probably be regarded as a hate crime. Dancing blacked up in such a multicultural city as Birmingham might be seen by some as provocative, but a poll by the Birmingham Mail following the incident showed that the majority of respondents supported the dancers, and at least one of the supportive quotes was from someone with an Asian name.

Using a different colour is the obvious solution which many sides have adopted, but while this can be striking I don't think they have the same visual impact as black, neither are they as successful as a disguise. Shropshire Bedlams have changed to wearing masks, but I haven't yet seen these live.

I think some sides which continue to black up could do more to explain the custom, both on their websites and at events (maybe hand out leaflets?). I regret the move away from blacking up, as I don't think the alternatives are as effective, but I think it is probably inevitable. I think we will lose something, but if it means the morris can continue to thrive perhaps this has to be accepted.

I am also disappointed that the EFDSS couldn't have taken a more nuanced approach and been more supportive. However it is now a branch of the Arts Industry rather than an organisation which supports folk traditions so its position on this is unsurprising.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 05:33 AM

If the fundamental purpose of the 'black face' is to celebrate a tradition of rural criminality and to appear menacing..
Then I'd see no problem with the pragmatic adoption of armed robber thug style black stockings or balaclava ski masks...

These are clearly visually powerful disguises that resound with contemporary imagery whilst upholding a tradition of underworld activity....


I do agree that the black face makeup looks very effective as a purely artistic theatrical visual device,
but it is not a mask - more of a direct transformation of skin colour..
and that is overladen with too much contentious and confrontational ideological baggage in this 21st cent multicultural society.

I'd argue that serious creative artists should feel free to refer to to and directly use minstrel imagery
in furtherance af intelligent theatre, performance and gallery works of art..

But a bunch of provincial Jeremy Clarksons that might constitute a mediocre morris side
are hardly on a level with the bad boy Banksys and Damien Hirsts* of modern agit prop art...??? 😬

[*.. and any of those other ones who's names I cant remember this early in the morning - time for first mug of strong black tea..]


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 05:46 AM

Modern day 'guisers

Click and scroll down a little.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 06:20 AM

Bromsgrove Advertiser,
"Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid denied traditional Morris dancers with black face paint are racist. 
Writing on Twitter, he said: "Proud of traditional Morris dancers from Alvechurch (in my constituency). They are as racist as I am #PloughMonday." "


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 06:24 AM

Sajid Javid has never, in my experience, ever opened his mouth and uttered anything even remotely sensible on any topic, I think we can safely let that one go, Keith. 😂


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 08:42 AM

Steve, no.He is Asian and he does not find it offensive, his views on anything else are not relevant,
we need to be fighting racism, for example people being abused because of their colour or segregated because of their colour, or refused jobs because they are irish or if they are romanian hearing that Farage would be uncomforetable with them as neighbours.
Farage lives in Downe in kent a village, where i used to live in the 1950s and 1960s, there is still hardly any, if any black people living there it is white wealthy and middle class with expensive property prices


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 09:10 AM

I tend never to take Tory buffoons seriously, Dick.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 09:16 AM

The obvious point that may need re-emphasising is that whilst black face morris might not in itself be inherently racist,
what really matters is how individuals within morris sides may be exploiting that traditional folk art
to further their own personal agendas of petty minded xenophobia and intolerance...???

In this particular instance in Brum city centre I have my suspicions...

Naturally, any stage managed protests by the activists accused of abusing the poor misunderstood black face morris side,
are playing straight into the hands of right wing press media
who can manipulate and discredit any progressive voices of resistance and multicultural solidarity to appear as PC gone mad... 😣


Btw... Citizen Smith was a popular sit com of stereotypes that could raise a good laugh
from all sides of the political divide.. even if the writers may have been more biased towards an establishment viewpoint...???

Classic British TV of it's era !!!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:01 AM

One of the dancers has reported the incident to the police as harassment and abuse. Maybe it is cynical of me but I sponsorship by the Daily Mail in the offing...

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:01 AM

i'm sorry Jim theres such a predictability about the Wrigglesworth post that that PC could stand for pathetically childish.

i can sympathise with the requests for a more nuanced approach. if your group have been doing their dances that way for over a hundred years - it must feel like a tradition.

i remember when i was a kid at grammar school this kid came from America, and he said to us - how come you guys don't have any traditions? our school in america had loads of traditions.
upon talking to him - it turned out his American school only dated back to the 1930's. but this kid thought the traditions were big deal.
our grammar school in Boston dated back to Henry VIII, and there was a tower in the grounds belonging to Lord Hussey whom Henry had decapitated. yet somehow wehad less traditions...what i'm saying is Jim - you may attach no value to dancing in a way that this blokes grandfather and great grandfather danced, because you suspect it was racist in origin. but why is your suspicion more valuable than these blokes traditions.

anyway. i sort of agree if it DOES cause distress, we shouldn't indulge in a traditional practice.

but i wouldn't give an inch to the Dave spart/Wolfie mouthie gits that you traditionally line up with. its a lousy tradition. it causes me distress. i wish you would stop.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:12 AM

I see sponsorship etc...

Not sure of your point, Al. There are some traditions that are worth keeping and some that are lousy and deserve to be done away with. In my opinion of course.

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Guest Tim
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:25 AM

You may be interested, this made Jeremy Vine this lunchtime...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:42 AM

"Jim - you may attach no value to dancing in a way that this blokes grandfather and great grandfather danced,"
I do Al - honestly.
I said at the beginning that I have no real problems with blacking up in regards to Morris, (some of by friends have been Morris Dancers, but I wouldn't like one to marry my sister (joke!!)
I think we should be aware of the possibility of giving offence and avoid them were possible - there really are ways around it rather than stating "it's our tradition, so there!!".
If we're honest, many of these customs are revivals rather than part of a continuum, so where's the harm in adapting them to meet changing times?
I have little tome for strident demonstrations against these practices, I just say that, in the present circumstances, I understand where some of them are coming from.
"Tradition" has been used to cover a multitude of sins in the past - dog-fighting, kicking matches bear baiting, cock-fighting..... and don't get me started about that 'killing for pleasure' foxhunting mob!
I can't remember the cartoonist (maybe it was Bill Tidy) who summed the whole thing up with his Lancashire 'Grannie Hurling' Olymics'.
I have to say, I was one who protested loudly when feminists took offence at many of our folk songs - there was a way around that one too.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 10:52 AM

publicity for morris dancing, anyhow


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Andrew Wigglesworth
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 11:49 AM

From: Big Al Whittle ... "i'm sorry Jim theres such a predictability about the Wrigglesworth post that that PC could stand for pathetically childish."

Sorry Al, I genuinely haven't a clue what you're trying to say there (it's "Wigglesworth" btw).

From: Howard Jones ... "I am also disappointed that the EFDSS couldn't have taken a more nuanced approach and been more supportive. However it is now a branch of the Arts Industry rather than an organisation which supports folk traditions so its position on this is unsurprising."

I think there is some truth in those words, and I'm also rather disappointed but unsurprised.

Jim Carroll ... I have a great deal of sympathy for what you're saying, or, rather, I can see the point that you're getting at and it is a reasonable contribution. Personally, putting on a disguise in the form of makeup, whilst dressed and dancing as a Morris dancer does not come anywhere near blood sports or Lancashire Granny Hurling (it does sound like a Bill Tidy thing). The "moral outrage" shown by some organisations who seem to want sensationalist publicity I would put almost on a level with tabloid journalists who want sensationalist headlines. Morris dancing gets little enough support in the media (none, or ridicule/disdain usually in, say, popular TV) that I find it quite distressing to find it in the middle of such a febrile debate with many characterising it in openly prejudiced or even offensive language.

Despite some of the silly words written here about conspiracies led Morris dancers and parts of a right-wing establishment, Morris is not is a strong position. There are no paid lobbyists, no real political mileage for supporting it, lots of scope for attacking what's seen as a soft easy target. Any "support" on this issue from the likes of the Daily Mail I would shun. It's a classic example of a political debate being held on entirely enemy ground.

Morris dancing may lose this one, it'll continue to exist, but the position of racism in our society will not have shifted one iota. If "politically correct" simply means the use of the "correct" language and the "correct" outwards appearances whilst not challenging and in fact maintaining exploitative economic systems ... then I will maintain a right to criticise those who profess it in that way.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 01:57 PM

Certainly in Croydon, which is one of the most multicultural areas in the UK, so much so that you could probably hear anything up to 20 different worldwide languages within the space of 5 minutes' walking through the centre, to say nothing of the the many badly spoken local English accents - there are certain culprits who delight in jumping on anything as "racist" !!!


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM

i suppose it would be nice to get a definitive answer from an expert[...]

Your joking I hope, Mr Red. I seem to live in a world of alternative truths, one where alignment with ideals yields the truth and (if my memory re Brexit is correct) one where experts may not be needed...

back to topic... I'm not sure where I stand on this. I did very briefly belong to a Border Side (before deciding tunes were my real interest and favouring Irish sessions...) and never (and I guess still don't) saw anything sinister in people blacking up.

On the other hand, I guess it might offend some and the suggestion of woad seems reasonable and is probably the route I'd prefer.

(And if I ever returned to this stick bashing myself, I guess I could wear it despite the risks of being considered a pagan, or worse, a Tory...)


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