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BS: Black Anne Boleyn

Big Al Whittle 31 May 21 - 04:52 PM
punkfolkrocker 31 May 21 - 06:20 PM
Ebbie 01 Jun 21 - 05:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jun 21 - 05:19 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Jun 21 - 05:53 AM
Donuel 01 Jun 21 - 06:45 AM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 21 - 07:07 AM
Charmion 01 Jun 21 - 09:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jun 21 - 09:57 AM
The Sandman 01 Jun 21 - 11:01 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Jun 21 - 11:15 AM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 21 - 12:23 PM
Donuel 01 Jun 21 - 12:31 PM
Jack Campin 01 Jun 21 - 12:41 PM
Bonzo3legs 01 Jun 21 - 12:45 PM
meself 01 Jun 21 - 12:48 PM
meself 01 Jun 21 - 12:56 PM
meself 01 Jun 21 - 01:02 PM
Donuel 01 Jun 21 - 02:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jun 21 - 03:53 PM
The Sandman 01 Jun 21 - 04:05 PM
The Sandman 01 Jun 21 - 04:14 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jun 21 - 04:22 PM
vectis 02 Jun 21 - 12:55 AM
The Sandman 02 Jun 21 - 01:23 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Jun 21 - 01:39 AM
Mr Red 02 Jun 21 - 02:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jun 21 - 03:33 AM
Raggytash 02 Jun 21 - 04:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 21 - 05:07 AM
meself 02 Jun 21 - 11:24 AM
Raedwulf 02 Jun 21 - 12:48 PM
Mr Red 02 Jun 21 - 03:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jun 21 - 03:49 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jun 21 - 08:25 PM
meself 02 Jun 21 - 09:11 PM
The Sandman 03 Jun 21 - 06:54 AM
Raggytash 03 Jun 21 - 07:54 AM
Bonzo3legs 03 Jun 21 - 08:22 AM
Raedwulf 03 Jun 21 - 10:17 AM
meself 03 Jun 21 - 10:59 AM
Raedwulf 03 Jun 21 - 12:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jun 21 - 12:24 PM
Manitas_at_home 03 Jun 21 - 01:01 PM
Mr Red 03 Jun 21 - 02:17 PM
Mr Red 03 Jun 21 - 02:26 PM
meself 03 Jun 21 - 02:47 PM
Raedwulf 03 Jun 21 - 03:26 PM
meself 03 Jun 21 - 04:57 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jun 21 - 04:58 AM

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Subject: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 May 21 - 04:52 PM

I wondered how many people are planning on watching the new Anne Boleyn mini series.

I've got no ideological beef about Anne being portrayed by a black actor - I'm just wonder if I'm quite ready for yet another re-telling of this gruesome tale - the murder of Anne, her brother and four other innocent men.

The Tudors and the success of Wolf Hall and its companion work are still very fresh in my mind.

I expect I will watch and wonder what fresh angle, we are to be offered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 May 21 - 06:20 PM

Don't worry, the "we're not racists" on the internet,
have been getting 'concerned" about this for weeks since they find out about the lack of whiteness...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 05:10 AM

Question: In real life what was historically England's view toward mixed race relationships? Were any of your dear 'enry's wives non-white? If there is no such record, it seems to me that it is telling a different story. Why not have a mostly black cast in that case?

But, frankly, my dears.... I'm sitting here in an idle moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 05:19 AM

The Anne Boleyn Society has forbidden racist comments - which means there must have been some..

I suppose - it is a departure.

On one hand, we have Hilary Matel charting in forensic detail where every character was on a certain day, before setting pen to paper.

On the other we have this, which frankly deals with the story as though its like something out of Shakespeare - that artists can make free with.

Either way, its a horrible story which reflects badly on us as a nation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 05:53 AM

Such casting is total idiocy, not the least bit interested in sutch rubbish, rather like casting a white man as BB King or Idi Amin!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 06:45 AM

Humans portraying humans is fine but humans portraying aliens is an insult to aliens and is practicly cosmic racism. :^/


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 07:07 AM

There is some discussion of Renaissance England's attitudes to race in Jerry Brotton's "This Orient Isle".   Its culmination ia a mindblowing take on what Shakespeare was saying in "Othello". Race in itself was less important than religion and political alliances.

It would be nearer to the sort of conflicts Shakespeare was working with if somebody got Shamima Begum to play the lead in a documentary about Princess Diana.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 09:17 AM

A black Anne Boleyn in a ruff and farthingale is as distractingly nutso as a black MacBeth played in tartan with claymores.

The Stratford Festival (the one in Ontario) routinely casts black actors in roles traditionally played by actors of paler complexion, and women in roles traditionally played by men.

I notice that pale-pink actors don't get to play Othello or the Emperor Jones, and men don't get to play Lady MacBeth or Eliza Doolittle.

Cross-sex casting worked well in The Tempest, with Martha Henry as Prospero, but in Julius Caesar (the title role) and Othello (as the Duke) it was a flop. I have a pretty good idea what Julius Caesar looked like -- a balding bloke with weather-beaten olive skin -- and to cast a woman in the role, however well she delivers the lines, is to give your audience a dose of crude second-wave feminism instead of a history play about a power-grab gone wrong.

A black Coriolanus (Andre Sills) made just as much sense as an Irish one (Colm Feore), the Roman Empire having been the multinational mix-up that it was, but the title role in The Music Man -- not so much, if you know ANYTHING AT ALL about the United States before the First World War.

Casting should help the audience suspend disbelief. Deliberately casting actors who emphatically don't look like well-known historical figures doesn't achieve that objective.

In my not-so-humble opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 09:57 AM

Well we'll have to see....


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 11:01 AM

thank god i do not watch television


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 11:15 AM

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:23 PM

People playing roles against their actual race, age or gender is a phenomenon as old as theatre itself, all over the world.

The only one that really pisses me off is British theatre censoring working class identity. Imposing RP accents when there is nothing at all in the role that makes it necessary is just plain class hegemonism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:31 PM

I remember seeing Dame Judith Anderson portray Hamlet.
No one was outraged. Trump could have been outraged but he dosen't know Shakespear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:41 PM

Perhaps we could keep Trump happy by always playing Roi Ubu in an orange wig and fake tan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:45 PM

maybe it's a pantomime!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:48 PM

I'm with Jack on this: I've found the RP accents 'distracting' - not to say annoying - from the first time I saw or heard a Shakespearian production.

As for the rest - the only reason a Black Anne Boleyn or Macbeth may be 'distracting' is that we're not used to it, plain and simple.

"pale-pink actors don't get to play Othello" - they certainly did until recently; in fact, until recently, you would be more likely to see a 'pale-pink' actor playing Othello than a dark-brown one. I saw John Neville play Othello at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, NS - and there's a (BBC?) production on film of Anthony Hopkins as Othello (with Bob Hoskins giving a brilliant interpretation of Iago), as a couple of examples. On the other hand, when my mother was involved as a university student in a production of Othello, the otherwise most obvious candidate for the lead role was passed over because of his race: he was Black. (The director told my mother that the audiences that they would be playing to were 'not ready to see a Black man kiss a White woman' - not sure where that occurs in the play, but I suppose it does.)

Must say, I'm a bit ... 'surprised' by the attitudes shown in this thread .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 12:56 PM

Btw, in An Actor Prepares, Stanislavski has a bit about his fictional 'method' actor putting on blackface to get himself into the role of Othello - before he's anywhere near an actual stage, as I recall.

Just a factoid available to be used on one side or the other of the argument ... !


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 01:02 PM

Just glancing through the thread again, I suppose I should withdraw my "'surprised' by the attitudes" comment .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 02:51 PM

Changing your mind can be an elevating experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 03:53 PM

I have just read that C5 have dropped "Our Yorkshire Farm" in favour of Boleyn.

Sad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 04:05 PM

i dont care if ann boleyn is green yellow blue or purple. i have better things to do... for example reading books and playing music
than sitting in front of the goggle box.. but each to their own


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 04:14 PM

of course rqding a book and listening to the wireless is passive consumerism too but it uses ones imagination, which television does not


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jun 21 - 04:22 PM

Dick. Just because you don't like TV doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with it. You seem to be implying that you are somehow superior to us plebs that enjoy the magic box. You aren't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: vectis
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 12:55 AM

I got uncomfortable watching Bridgerton because it was so very historically inaccurate to see so many non-white faces amongst the gentry. It was explained in the series and it was a decent story but it still looked so wrong from a historical point of view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 01:23 AM

Dave the Gnome,i believe i am superior to you, but not because you watch the box.
I know I am superior to you


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 01:39 AM

Colour blind casting, whatever the artistic merits,
is worth it just for triggering the
"I'm not racist, but.." brigade.

Despite their claims not to be racist,
they do have an unhealthy obsession with race...???

So anything that provokes them into outing themselves in public, that helps identify them, is surely a good thing...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 02:09 AM

and men don't get to play Lady MacBeth or Eliza Doolittle.

Weeeeeeeeeeeell............. In Shakespeare's day, actoresses were few and far between, so yes - men of a certain stature (yes I am being heightist), certainly did play against type. Hence all that cross dressing in "Much ado about two gentlemen of Elsinor at midnight**" etc.

**other plays written by Shakespeare (discuss) are available


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 03:33 AM

No you're not, Dick. I can rite more betterer than you kan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 04:29 AM

I know very little about the latest Anne Boleyn series, however I do realise that portraying Anne Boleyn with a black actress has garnered a great deal of publicity for the programme.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 05:07 AM

Yes undeserved attention really. I didn't stick with it to the end, and I'm a bit of a Tudor nut since reading Wolf Hall. I get to Hampton Court and the Tower when I can.

I can see why Henry got shut of her - better than I could see him giving Nathalie Dormer the chop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 11:24 AM

I get uncomfortable when I watch a Western and all the cowboys are White, and not one of them speaks with a French-Canadian accent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 12:48 PM

The bit that puzzles me these days (never having been more than a very, very occasional theatregoer & never having seen Shakespeare in the flesh (as it were)), is what happens these days if a white actor is cast as e.g. Othello?

Now once upon a time, of course, it was always white actors playing the parts of other races, because the other races didn't have visible actors (if they had actors at all). Not only that, but the white actor would "brown up". And I do mean "brown up"; I'm not so much thinking of white actors playing Othello here, but of Bernard Bresslaw playing Bungdit Din in Carry On Up The Khyber. ;-)

I'm not going to make an argument here; just a point. The Black & White Minstrels, that older UK 'catters will remember, ran as late as 1978. I was young (as well as younger!), but whilst I don't remember a great deal about them, they never struck as being unkindly meant. Looking back from now (or even 20-30 years ago), racist stereotype? Yep. Ultimately, based on unkind mockery? Yep.

But at the same time, you can make a decent argument that Morris sides who black up are engaging in tribute, not mockery. The most popular / likely etymology for Morris is Moorish & we're back to Othello. I've always understood that Bill intended Othello to be seen not merely as dusky or Arab, but as black Moorish. Again, I stress I'm not offering a point-of-view of my own here. You can agree or disagree with the "Morris" argument as you please. I'm not a Morrisman, it's no odds to me; I'm simply pointing out that the argument exists & it seems to have some validity to me.

So what happens when a white actor gets cast as Othello nowadays? I'm assuming that he (or she!) simply plays the part without blacking up. But that also seems weird if Bill really did envision him as (the old word) a 'blackamoor'.

Ultimately, whilst my lip might curl a little at "agendaism" (whether you're an Ismist or an Anti-ismist, you're agendaist; you're not fighting for equality as you should be, your fighting for "your" side), I do wonder why, with things like this, folk can't just watch the performance & judge it on its merits without fussing about the window-dressing...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 03:15 PM

The most popular / likely etymology for Morris is Moorish

And the most likely beginnings of Morris is the Morresque. Athletic dancers & accomplished tumblers giving performance to the rich. Dancers from the Middle East and maybe as far as India. You can just imagine (and scholars have) that the locals would want a bit of the same money earning jobs and would "brown-up" to look like the Morresque (sound familiar?). And incorporated into the routines would be local fare. As with all high fashion, with time it moves down the price ladder and acquires subtle changes on the way. Like its name.

cf the appelation "Designer" - meaningless now us oiks have got hold of it.

Told to me by an historian - so argue with him, not me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 03:49 PM

I always thought the black face traddy thing was to do with miners , being the spirit of the strength that comes from coal.

I seem to remember something in AL Lloyd's book about it.

Still I guess that's the trouble with an unwritten constitution - no one really knows the roots of anything.

The Black and White Minstrels were a pain in the arse - worse than Rolf Harris and the Younger Generation. I was glad when we had an excuse to get rid of the buggers.

I would have tipped them all the black spot and made 'em walk the plank.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 08:25 PM

Example of an inexcusable fuckup: I once saw an Edinburgh performance of Gerhard Hauptmann's "The Weavers", written in 1892 about a Silesian weavers' uprising in 1840. This should have had direct Scottish relevance - we had the Paisley weavers' revolt of 1820, which ended with the execution of Baird and Hardie - the last armed mass insurrection in British history. But the director (a personal acquaintance) didn't even seem to have heard of it, let alone made the connection. Instead we got actors with Gielgud accents playing characters whose position in society was the same as the Paisley weavers - whose descendants spoke in the same language and could have played the same roles far better.

(They also made no effort to research the music - Tannahill and Rodger's songs would have been fine, but instead they went for a recording of Bruckner's Ninth. Bruckner was a religiously obsessed conservative who would for sure have backed the bosses' militia).


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 02 Jun 21 - 09:11 PM

OTOH, there was a TV docu-drama back in the '80s(?) - a UK production, I believe - based on Lech Walesa and the shipbuilders' strike in Gdansk - in which the workers spoke, in English, with working-class accents. It was refreshing - once you got over the shock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 06:54 AM

so will we see a chinese person playing the role of martin luther king?
or an eskimo playing the part of malcolm x ?
or a red indian playing the role of robin hood?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 07:54 AM

Eskimo ?

Red Indian ?

What century are you living in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 08:22 AM

Eskimo, red indian abo / 21 century


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raedwulf
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 10:17 AM

Now, now, Raggy. Everyone's allowed the occasional Fox Par for the cou… Sorry, I mean, faux pas, aren't they? ;-)

It's a valid enough question , if not well worded. When we will we see a Chinese playing Martin Luther (even King), an Inuit playing... There surely must be prominent actors & actresses who are or have Native American / First Peoples' heritage (I claim no particular expertise, but having met one or two, my impression is they don't much mind what you call 'em, so long as you don't call 'em that!! Samndman, please note. ;-) )

What's more to the point is what will happen when someone is so cast. What annoys the crap out of me is not a black actress playing Anne Boleyn, it's... First, is this a decent non-liberty taking retelling of historical fact, or just a histrionic piece of "Oh, but this is just entertainment, dahlink!"? Second, if it's decently accurate, is the script actually any good, does it 'feel' right? I've never seen one, but I'm always a bit dubious about the notion of e.g. Bill, again, being "modernised" in scenery or language. Third, do I believe that characterisation? I'd rather watch Madame Black Actress play Anne Boleyn (or Good Queen Bess or whoever) convincingly, than watch Madame White Actress do it badly.

Which is what I'm getting at with the term "window-dressing". What does annoy the crap out of me, though, is hypocrisy, If You (the impersonal You!) wants to insist that a black actress can play Anne Boleyn, I won't accept any squawking about Chinese (or Inuit or White or Purple with Green Spots) playing beloved black icons. Etcetera.

Either you fight for equality on all sides, wherever something 'wrong' is brought to your attention, or you're just another bigot. Ismist* or anti-Ismist, you're just another bigot...

* For those of you who are curious (or downright peculiar ;-) ), yes Ism is a standalone word, not merely a suffix. It's been used as such since the mid-17thC. And another explanation for "blacking up" that I've run across is not coal miners, but soot. I know not why, but it used to be considered lucky to have a chimney sweep at a wedding (I don't whether he was 'lucky' at other functions!). No doubt the sweep would make sure he was liberally covered with soot to suit! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 10:59 AM

Raewulf: you've slipped into a practice that's not unusual on the internet - setting up a strawman and become indignant about his supposed behaviour. "I won't accept any squawking about Chinese (or Inuit or White or Purple with Green Spots) playing beloved black icons." This "squawking" has not happened, AFAIK - why so eager to lay down the law about it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raedwulf
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 12:15 PM

No, I'm not playing strawman, meself. I know about the ten (eleven, twelve) rubbish bad arguments. The only two I can usually remember the right terms for without looking the bloody things up are strawman & ad hominem.

I certainly don't wish to attack the arguer (if I gently chide Sandman (I hope I gently chide, Sandman! ;-) ), I've seen enough of his posting to think he might well have a chuckle & concede that that one could have been... phrased differently? ;-)

As for strawman, no. I am not either trying to distract or obscure. If you want to dig a little deeper, my logical debating point would be that the original was not a single argument. If you're going to argue that black actors & actresses should be able to portray traditionally "white" (or whatever) roles, you also have to consider the question of what happens with the casting of non-whatever in whatever roles (black, male, whatever).

I'm not meaning to set up a strawman; I'm saying "this is a facet of the gem of human experience that has not yet been considered / implied by the original question; consider it now alongside

If you see what I mean? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 12:24 PM

Yebbut when are we going to get real Klingons in Star Trek or proper Elves in LOTR?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 01:01 PM

Liv Ullman's ears aren't real?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 02:17 PM

I always thought the black face traddy thing was to do with miners

Ah, well, er, um, let us just say there are as many answers as there are Morris dancers to answer.

In Victorian times, "black" face was easy to make from bacon/beef fat & burnt cork. And it certainly hid the faces (& embarrassment) of people begging at Christmas, always a time of hardship for farm workers.
Then again at hiring fairs the fittest potential workers were the most vigorous dancers, and if they had been hired the year before and not covered themselves in glory, it was helpful to hide their identity. Add in the Morresque and you have 3 of my collected explanations. I am sure there are many more if you ask the right historian. Given 300/400 years of evolution - pick a year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 02:26 PM

Eskimo - AFAIK there are a Geographic group of "First Nationers" who actually prefer to be called Eskimo, and certainly want distinction from the appellation "Inuit". I guess it all depends on which Aluet/Iñupiat/Yupik you ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 02:47 PM

And "First Nations" refers only to those Indigenous (groups of) people formerly known as "Indians" - the Inuit are a separate group altogether, and tend to resent being lumped in with those others, in my experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Raedwulf
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 03:26 PM

Christ (this from a pagan! :p ), but you lot are bleedin' 'ard work sometimes. Can we at least agree on "let's try to be nice to everyone else. Even if it means a small smile, a crook of the lip, a brief, silent "Oh well...""

You're no more perfect than I am. And I know I'm imperfect. Nitpicky bunch of pedantic... :p ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 21 - 04:57 PM

In some cultures, 'a small smile, a crook of the lip, a brief, silent "Oh well...""' indicate hostility, and are considered aggressive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black Anne Boleyn
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jun 21 - 04:58 AM

When explaining different types of Morris to the uninitiated I used to tell them that in the Cotswold tradition they wore soft shoes so they could leap up high to encourage crops to grow. In the North West tradition they wear clogs to stamp down hard and loosen the coal in t'pit


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