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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)


Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 17 - 11:13 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Jan 17 - 11:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 17 - 11:16 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Jan 17 - 11:27 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Jan 17 - 11:39 AM
Senoufou 17 Jan 17 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Guest 17 Jan 17 - 12:01 PM
Jeri 17 Jan 17 - 12:21 PM
Jack Campin 17 Jan 17 - 01:45 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Jan 17 - 02:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 17 - 04:08 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Jan 17 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Jon 17 Jan 17 - 06:15 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jan 17 - 09:34 PM
Backwoodsman 18 Jan 17 - 02:32 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 17 - 05:23 AM
Mo the caller 18 Jan 17 - 05:27 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jan 17 - 07:28 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Jan 17 - 07:30 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 17 - 07:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 17 - 09:00 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 17 - 10:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 17 - 10:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 17 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,jojofolkagogo 18 Jan 17 - 10:51 AM
punkfolkrocker 18 Jan 17 - 12:01 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 17 - 12:55 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Jan 17 - 01:07 PM
GUEST 18 Jan 17 - 01:59 PM
punkfolkrocker 18 Jan 17 - 02:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Jan 17 - 02:59 PM
Backwoodsman 18 Jan 17 - 11:08 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jan 17 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Jan 17 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,Mathew 19 Jan 17 - 03:51 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 17 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Pariah 19 Jan 17 - 10:27 AM
Joe Offer 24 Jan 17 - 03:19 AM
Will Fly 24 Jan 17 - 04:37 AM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 17 - 05:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jan 17 - 07:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Jan 17 - 09:33 AM
Noreen 24 Jan 17 - 11:03 AM
Noreen 24 Jan 17 - 11:10 AM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 17 - 11:53 AM
GUEST 24 Jan 17 - 12:00 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 17 - 12:04 PM
Noreen 24 Jan 17 - 12:06 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 17 - 12:11 PM
punkfolkrocker 24 Jan 17 - 12:14 PM
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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:13 AM

I would agree with that, David and made the decision not to do so myself some time back. I would however not dream of imposing that choice on anyone else. Make up is a very personal thing - Just ask any of the ladies here :-)

Provided that it is obviously not a 'minstrel' type of make up I can't see how it would cause offense but at some point, someone may take offense anyway :-( Why risk it when there are many good alternatives?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:14 AM

David Carter (UK) - ok... in my estimation.. it doesn't really matter what the original intent and motivation was..
perhaps too far lost back in time...???

What is important is..

Now.. how is Blacked up face morris perceived by a majority of British multi ethnic population
who are not interested or knowledgeable in our specialist hobby / academic obsession...??? 🙄

.. and then it's not as if most of them will ever encounter morris anywhere in their lives..
apart from maybe stumbling across a morris side on a trip to the shops in a town or city centre...

Just like any the other oddballs and nutters who take their turn at putting on a show event in a public space..

Actually what is more entertaining or outrageously offensive to a a casual passing uninformed public audience..
blacked up face morris skipping about in feathers and boot polish,
or any of the sermonising evangelical religious zealots
shouting that we are all doomed to hell as we make our way to the pound shop or Argos....


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:16 AM

Just as I hit post I thought of what may make, in my mind, an excellent alternative. How about Green Man-esque type camouflage? Links in a couple of pagan elements quite well :-)

D.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:27 AM

There's very interesting & intelligent stuff going on amongst the pagan folk culture bands / artists in Europe..

Which does involve some forms of face darkening..


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:39 AM

For example 😎


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 11:47 AM

No thanks Jeri, I have no wish to start anything with anyone.
I'm off.
Eliza


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 12:01 PM

If you want to do your own research start with the following (generally easier to make sense of than the confusing and inaccurate Wikipedia page):
Gordon Ashman, 1988. Custom in conflict : the morris dance in the Shrewsbury and Ironbridge area of Shropshire. Traditional Dance, 5/6, p. 135-151.
Teresa Buckland, 1990. Black faces, garlands, and coconuts: exotic dances on street and stage. Dance Research Journal, 22(2), Autumn 1990, p. 1-12.
Roy Palmer, 2004. The folklore of Shropshire. Almeley : Logaston Press, p. 263-269.
Roy Dommett, 2012. Blacking up and "Border" morris. Morris Matters, 31(1), p. 15-16.
Derek Schofield, 2005. A black and white issue? English Dance & Song, Summer 2005, p. 12-14.
Chloe Metcalfe, 2013. To black up or not black up? Morris Federation Newsletter, Winter, p. 6-9.
Charlotte Burne, 1886. Shropshire folk-lore, vol. 3. London : Trübner & Co.
E. C. Cawte, 1963. The morris dance in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire. Journal of the EFDSS, 9(4), p. 197-212.
Dave Jones, 1995. The roots of Welsh border morris. Putley : Annie Jones, 75 p.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 12:21 PM

I might as well weigh in on this.
It doesn't seem to me that "blacking up" has much to do with minstrelry. The latter pokes fun at Black people while appropriating their music. It's about acknowledging the quality of music while ridiculing people.
The morris dancing doesn't seem to ridicule, doesn't usurp anyone else's traditions. The only thing it has in common with minstrelry is the black faces. In short, I don't see any hatred, disdain, or ridicule. I don't know (does anyone, for sure?) that the black faces aren't chimney-sweepesque or a form of disguise. Even if they ARE trying to look like Black people, without the negative stuff, I don't see the problem. People who try to look like another group of people are pretty common.

I realize some people will take offense. To some extent, perception=reality, and no matter how factually wrong they may be, their opinions and feelings are real. Whether folks adjust their behavior based on other people's perceptions is decision only they can make. I don't want to get caught up in saying whether they're right or wrong.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 01:45 PM

It is also relevant that prior to the same period blacking up was illegal under anti-poaching laws

"Roll up! Roll up! We're your local poaching team, here to entertain you with our traditional dance..."

I don't think so. Sounds about as likely as a pickpocketing shanty.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 02:45 PM

ok.. heres one of them there metaphor thingies for consideration

Our very small west country market town where I grew up..

[20 miles down the road from where i now live..]

In the mid 1960s when I was kid walking to junior school and back with my mates we'd often pass by one of the harmless town nutters..

All year round he rambled the streets of the estate in nothing but a very tight T shirt
and a very skimpy pair of speedo style swimming trunks

.. dunno .. maybe some kind of health freak..

He never approached or bothered us kids, and the adults laughed him off as that soft in the head bloke in his Y fronts...

Fast forward to 2017.. would he be so casually tolerated near kids nowadays..???

Times and appropriate public behaviour have seriously changed, and people need to adapt for their own survival... 🙄

I won't even mention weird old Alfie who lived in the bungalows... ???


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 04:08 PM

Doesn't this all seem very strange? Unreal...
I mean really, who gives a shit about Morris dancers?

perhaps their mothers, i suppose...perhaps...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 05:57 PM

Well, me for one, Al. There may be a lot who would agree with you but without dance, music would not be as rich as it is. One of the beauties of English folk music, to me, is that a lot of it has roots in both social and ceremonial dance. I can't imagine a world without all manner of dance and even though I am well past my sell by date when it comes to Morris, the traditional tunes can still set my feet tapping. I cannot say the same for a lot of contemporary folk but I would never suggest no one is interested.

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 06:15 PM

I think I have an odd relationship there dtg. I love dance tunes and play a few (mostly Irish). I can also like to think a tune is going the way imaginary dancers would enjoy. But my "home" is really a session.

In a sense I suppose the dancers are not needed but where would the music have been without them???


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jan 17 - 09:34 PM

Jeri, I think it's wise to be moderate in moderation. This is a controversial subject, and no doubt there will be controversial posts. Until people start killing each other, it's best to let the discussion work itself out. I undeleted a few posts, but left the ones deleted that were just infighting.
Folks, we try our best to allow free discussion in the music section, but we do depend on people working on their own to self-moderate. If somebody's obviously trolling, please don't respond to them. We'll take care of it, if there's a need.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 02:32 AM

Wise words, Joe.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 05:23 AM

Times and appropriate public behaviour have seriously changed, and people need to adapt for their own survival...

Times are aways changing. There have always been multicultural societies where people avoid day-to-day conflict through a combination of tolerance, courtesy (maybe of a formal kind) and sensitivity to others.

Times may have changed such that activists (and anti wierdo vigilante groups) can usually get away with abuse without risking an on-the-spot fight.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 05:27 AM

Another Morris team has just voted to accelerate their move away from black to patterns (already most of the side wore 2 colours, now they all will)


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 07:28 AM

"Times may have changed such that activists (and anti wierdo vigilante groups) can usually get away with abuse without risking an on-the-spot fight."

I detect a touch of the pejorative there, Guest. There are definitely two sides to this. The Morris team Mo referred to represent the other side where common sense and sensitivity prevail. Mind you, Mo, don't let the Zebra Liberation Front hear about those stripes! 😉


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 07:30 AM

Oops, you didn't say stripes, did you? Where did I read that...? 🙄


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 07:47 AM

Using stripes or patterns was common certainly going back to 1901 in Abram, Lancashire. There are two examples on the back row of that photo. Not sure about the chap second from the left though!

Abram Morris have kept the tradition to the present day. I don't know who the handsome chap in these two photos is as he is obviously disguised but he seems very familiar...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 09:00 AM

As always you miss the point in the usual attempt to sling shit, Dave. Usually ably assisted by your Mudcat mates.

The point I was making - who would mastermind a public intrusion into what consenting adults get up to, usually - it has to be said - whenever it ventures forth from folk festivals and country jamborees to mass indifference. the image of morris dancers folornly jumping around to the leaden beat of a drum, melodeon and badly strummed guitar in a shopping precint near you - will be a familiar one to many of us.

it goes against the tolerant and laid back tenor of the times we live in. I think it will be interesting to see what next artistic endeavours comes under attack from this group.

They're going for the weakest first, like Mrs Whitehouse did with Gay News and the National theatre a generation ago.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 10:15 AM

I detect a touch of the pejorative there, Guest.

Not at all. I was promoting tolerance and civilized procedures.

That line followed on from punkfolkrocker's "Fast forward to 2017.. would he be so casually tolerated near kids nowadays..???". It is not uncommon for non-tolerance in that sort of context to make itself seen in the form of ad-hoc group from the community who runs little risk of getting puches on the nose. There are better procedures to deal with such concerns.


Similarly for worries over the perception of blacked-up dancers. My disagreement with punkfolkrocker is over how times have changed. 200 years ago protests against a bunch of dancers may have ended up in a fight - but the protest may not have happened for that reason. We are more civilised now. It is not neccassary to try to knock dancers hats off etc. Unless you are after publicity rather than reasoned debate.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 10:21 AM

As always you miss the point in the usual attempt to sling shit, Dave. Usually ably assisted by your Mudcat mates.

Huh?

No shit slung by me, Al. I thought it was you who said "I mean really, who gives a shit about Morris dancers?" and my response was "... but I would never suggest no one is interested."

Still, I suppose you have proven the point that whatever anyone does someone will take offense!

Thanks for that :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 10:28 AM

I also just noticed the image of morris dancers folornly jumping around to the leaden beat of a drum, melodeon and badly strummed guitar in a shopping precint near you - will be a familiar one to many of us

None of the Morris sides I have ever seen folornly (sic) jump around. They are enthusiasts and enjoy it remendously. Nor can their music be descriped as leaden or badly played. If this is an example of you not 'slinging shit' I would hate to see what happens when you bend your mind to insults!

What on earth do you have against Morris dancers? Or am I missing the point again? If so, could you please explain?

DtG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,jojofolkagogo
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 10:51 AM

The reference to use Woad is an excellent one - have just wiki'd and seen that blue Woad was used over 200 years or more ago, so that makes it certainly "traditional" - but I think blue or even lime green or pink would offend some - the quote "you cant please all the people all the time ... " comes to mind ... personally I feel it would be a shame to lose the traditional black - I still have a Golly-Wog !!   Jo


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 12:01 PM

eh...??? I just slapped together a quick simple metaphor while a bit bored, as much for my own amusement as to make any enlightening point...

.. but GUEST you've got me so confused with your convoluted interpretations of it,
that i might just end up disagreeing and falling out with myself...???? 😕 😜


Btw, I don't accept or condone aggressive abuse, or violent attacks on anyone
whether it be politically/religiously motivated, or pissheads and fuckwits lashing out at anyone a bit different to their boneheaded world views...

But I do strongly advise that blacked up morris think carefully about how they might be winding up the kind of folks who do want to have ago at them...

and take sensible and aware precautions in these increasingly austere & divisive times...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 12:55 PM

It was only convoluted bcause I was trying to cover whatever your ellipses (...) may have meant.

Did I imagine a link to a very measured response from a source that one might have expected to be more critical of the dancers?


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 01:07 PM

"ellipses" - bloody hell.. it's over 4 decades since i went to grammar school.. I needed to look that one up...

oh.. I see... nah I don't use "..." to indicate omissions...

I just have a bad habit of using the little dot buggers to represent pauses and time lapse.. like stopping for breath... or thought....

errrr..... a bit sorta like poetic / dramatic effect....... 😜

[also a bit more like a nervous tick really.....]

But enough about my increasingly crap as i get older writing skills...



Now back to the thread subject matter...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 01:59 PM

I often wonder why tolerance is so often a one way street ?


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 02:26 PM

"I often wonder why tolerance is so often a one way street ?"

easy... the good guys are tolerant..

the bad guys aren't.....

left or right, religious or non believer..

ranters and zealots [and the sneaky silent noxious colluders..] are life force sucking socially dysfunctional arseholes.. 😣


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 02:59 PM

dysfunctional arseholes

I had one of them for ages. Loperamide sorted it out.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Jan 17 - 11:08 PM

"I often wonder why tolerance is so often a one way street ?"

easy... the good guys are tolerant..

the bad guys aren't.....

left or right, religious or non believer..

ranters and zealots [and the sneaky silent noxious colluders..] are life force sucking socially dysfunctional arseholes..


Sounds to me like you just described perfectly the people who attacked the blacked-up Morris-Dancers, PFR. In a civilised society, nobody should be attacking and abusing anyone.

'Tolerance' is accepting the dancers' explanation of the reasons for, and meaning of, blacking-up.

'Intolerance' is attacking and abusing them, despite their honest assurances that blacking-up is in no way intended to mock or offend dark-skinned people but, rather, is a reference to disguising oneself in order to avoid accusations of begging.

Sometimes, it could be argued, 'offence' and 'intolerance' are precisely the same emotion.

IMHO, of course. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 12:33 AM

This discussion has come up here at Mudcat on several occasions over the years. Early on, there seemed to be near-unanimous agreement among UK Mudcatters that blackface was a tradition that had nothing to do with racism, and that it must be preserved.

There are still many who think that, but I think that many others are changing their minds. We've seen a few extremists post here, who think maybe they can take advantage of this blackface tradition to promote their own racism. And there are others who are beginning to wonder how African immigrants feel about the blackface tradition, even though they may not speak out against it.

So, at least from this side of the pond, it appears that attitudes may be changing in the UK about blackface. In the US minstrel tradition, there's no question - blackface is racist, and there's no defense for performing in blackface in the U.S.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 03:50 AM

I can't help thinking the arguments put forward here are very similar to the ones put forward in the discussion of the Dutch Santa's little helper 'Black Pete'.

Black Pete : racism row

In that discussion defenders pull out the whole 'tradition, we've been doing it for ages, it's what we are' argument with a bit of 'PC gone mad' for added flavour. And while it may or may not be that the Saint's servant is a moorish pirate or not or whether there are racist overtones (in practice, there are, in the case of St Nicholas' assistant, IMHO)it doesn't really matter. People are offended and that should be reason enough to at least consider what the problem is and if anything can be done to make changes that form a comprise acceptable to all. Traditions are, after all, not set in stone.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 03:51 AM

Joe, I hadn't even considered this in Canada or the US. That would be a very uncomfortable experience indeed.

My question is this, has blackface had the same racial connotation in the UK as it has definitely had on our side of the pond?

Either way I wish nobody was hurt.

One love, my friends.

I often wonder what legends like Stan Rogers and Pete Seeger thought about the black faced morris dancing.

Very interesting, regardless of how uncomfortable it is


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 04:37 AM

As Morris sides continue moving over to a less controversial disguise I would expect the general view to shift as they will then be explaining/justifying their change within the Morris fraternity.

Self-justification or like ex-smokers often being the most vociferous in favour of people giving up.

Shrewsbury Folk Festival was mentioned. Two or three years ago a black American performer did describe (on stage or in an streamed interview, I can't remember) their initial reactions to seeing blacked-up Morris dancers for the first time.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST,Pariah
Date: 19 Jan 17 - 10:27 AM

Anent 18 Jan 17 - 07:28 AM;

You surely don't mean to say, Steve, that you would actually wish to live in a world where decency, common sense and sensitivity would trump (if you'll excuse the word) "the right[sic] of people to present themselves as they see fit", do you?


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 03:19 AM

Hmmm. As an ex-smoker, I can't say I'm in favor of people giving up. I lament the lack of smokers at folk music gatherings nowadays. There's nobody left to scrounge an annual cigarette from...

Even my reliable North Carolina sources, have given it up. You people know who you are...

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 04:37 AM

I know the feeling, Joe. I stopped smoking cigarettes over 40 years ago, but - very occasionally - loved to smoke a decent Havana cigar (never inhaled, you understand). When the ban on smoking in public came in over here in the UK, that was the end of Havana cigars for me. They can't be smoked with pleasure outdoors and I've never smoked in the house or near the family. and - to be sure - it probably lessened my chances of getting cancer of the throat or jaw as well (remember Sigmund Freud). It also put more money in my pocket!

But - just now and then - I can recall the fragrance of those Havana cigars...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 05:46 AM

I packed in smoking cannabis in my early 20s.. 3 and a half decades ago..

When I walk from my front door to the town centre shops, I can usually smell it hanging over certain areas on the streets along my way...

.. and does it make me want to start again...??

does it be buggered... this modern high potency strain of weed stinks like a mix of burning shit and rubber..

no wonder it's called skunk... !!!! 😬


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 07:54 AM

I have nothing against Morris Dancers. I suspect I know more Morris dancers than most. I suppose I do tend to think the music could frequently do with a bit of a kick up the bum with a more spirited rhythm section.

What i was saying was if the national pastimes had a league table - with watching telly being Manchester United. Morris dancing would somewhere round about Tranmere Rovers.

So how come a telly crew and reporters just happen to be on hand when some Morris dancers decide to dance in Brum town centre. A place usually associated with tight lipped Brummies dashing from one department store to another.
Then there are press releases to all the papers. Gotta be. Morris Dancing in front of Brum town hall is never even a news story.

Call me suspicious. but I spy dirty work afoot.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 09:33 AM

Was there a telly crew and reporters about? I don't recall seeing anything to indicate that but you could well be right. I got the impression the clip was a 'stock' clip of the dancers and the incident was only reported after it happened.

D.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 11:03 AM

I feel rather grubby now, having waded through the last chunk of this thread.

It would be lovely if, when you were carrying on contributing to such a thread over several days, you could take the time to actually get to know something about the subject- which several posting here admit they don't.

I take particular exception to punkfolkrocker's repeated jibes at the supposed motivation of the morris sides dancing out in Birmingham:

How many may be deliberately, knowingly, provocatively participating in this traditional dance with the added intention & motivation of winding up the 'lefty liberal PC Brigade' and stirring up racial disharmony at a time of escalating divisive cultural tensions...???

and

...and accept the consequences when they inadvertently [..maybe even, deliberately...???] antagonise and offend........

This says more about the way you see the world, pfr, than anything else. Anyone even thinking this has obviously never spent any time in morris circles or ever met a morris dancer (they're not all men, you know).
As with folkies in general, all morris dancers of all persuasions that I have met, played and danced with, are inclusive, largely apolitical and just wanting to share our traditions with others while having a good time, and are horrified by recent upset stirred up by others for their own ends.

In years of dancing out blacked-up we have never once had anyone complain or take offence- as Senoufou quoted her (very black) husband saying "if anyone thinks they're trying to look like me, they need their eyes testing!" (paraphrased)
People often ask about the history and why we do it of course, but only in an interested way, not because they are offended in the slightest.

Morris dancers have been dancing out on Plough Monday as on other significant days of the year for a very long time, going into the local towns to spread the fun and entertain. This applies to Birmingham too, where the local side are based who invited Alvechurch and many other sides to dance with them.
Birmingham has changed a lot of course over the years, but us traditionalists still like to remind others of the phases of the year by dancing out, as has always been done.

You imply this was done deliberately now to stir up trouble, which could not be further from the truth.

You hit the nail on the head with your earlier suggestion:

What if a vociferous minority of political agenda driven zealots are exploiting morris as a vehicle for stirring up media attention and racial disharmony...???

Unfortunately that is our world, today.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 11:10 AM

There was not a "a telly crew and reporters... on hand", nor were there "press releases to all the papers". Where did you get that from?


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 11:53 AM

"I feel rather grubby now, having waded through the last chunk of this thread.

Fair enough.. now maybe go back and read a little more of this thread
and you will become more aware, that I have [in my own sarcastic/tongue in cheek style] strived to remain reasonably balanced & objective..
..asking necessary questions within the broader social perspective...

There have been more than a few vile provocative comments from xenophobic morris supporters,
for us to respond to..

Unfortunately, such is the nature of mudcat moderation, that you will not read their deleted inflammatory right wing posts... 😣

.... I actually like the striking theatrical look of blacked up face morris..

What I do find uncomfortable is the apparent complacency of morris members/supporters who think they can brush off questions & critiscism
with inward thinking smug disdain...


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 12:00 PM

There have been more than a few vile provocative comments from xenophobic morris supporters

Links please. Just a few will do.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 12:04 PM

Noreen - Btw..

"You imply this was done deliberately now to stir up trouble, which could not be further from the truth."

I questioned the extent to which this may be a problem morris needs to intelligently self examine and respond to
in the context of post brexit divisiveness......???

I also like to be optimistic and look for the best in people,
hoping that mudcatters are broad minded sophisticated thinkers..

I personally don't do "simplistic".... 😐


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 12:06 PM

I HAVE read the whole thread, from the beginning, when it happened pfr.
What I meant was I have just caught up with the last few days' posts.


Several sides were dancing out in various locations in the city centre throughout the day with no problem, as they have done many times before.

Some local youths started to cause trouble, firstly with one of the Cotswold sides (not blacked up) then with the Alvechurch men. They wouldn't be reasoned with and one of the lads filmed himself saying "isn't this racist" at length- this clip was put on YouTube.
How this was picked up by the press is anyone's guess.

It became an issue, with police involvement, because a morris side were attacked (hats knocked off) threatened and subjected to very nasty abuse (after he'd turned his phone off) and prevented from dancing.


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 12:11 PM

GUEST - ha ha ha... ooh you are a one... here's one of the milder examples

"From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 07:31 PM

Why is everyone pondering to political correctness here, this is traditional BRITISH folk let those fuckers protesting and complaining go fuck themselves.

Britain needs to reclaim it's culture, voting UKIP is a positive start folks.
"

.. and you know fully well I can't link to any deleted posts...

[though I have saved & archived as many as I could from complete oblivion before moderation removed them.. just saying..]


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Subject: RE: blacked up morris dancers abused in uk
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Jan 17 - 12:14 PM

Noreen - you could have posted that earlier.
First hand accounts, or a retelling of a reliable witness's version of events
would have been more than welcome earlier in this more speculative of debates...


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