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Xenophobia

AlistairUK 16 Mar 99 - 04:34 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 99 - 05:04 PM
AlistairUK 16 Mar 99 - 05:22 PM
Bert 16 Mar 99 - 05:29 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 16 Mar 99 - 06:29 PM
Bob Landry 16 Mar 99 - 08:37 PM
catspaw49 16 Mar 99 - 10:12 PM
ddw in windsor 17 Mar 99 - 01:24 AM
j0_77 17 Mar 99 - 01:41 AM
Steve Parkes 17 Mar 99 - 04:02 AM
AlistairUK 17 Mar 99 - 05:43 AM
catspaw49 17 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM
MMario 17 Mar 99 - 10:17 AM
Cara 17 Mar 99 - 11:09 AM
The Shambles 17 Mar 99 - 11:28 AM
j0_77 17 Mar 99 - 11:35 AM
AlistairUK 17 Mar 99 - 11:36 AM
Steve Parkes 17 Mar 99 - 11:57 AM
Pete M 17 Mar 99 - 04:08 PM
catspaw49 17 Mar 99 - 04:32 PM
Bert 17 Mar 99 - 04:46 PM
Lonesome EJ 17 Mar 99 - 04:52 PM
katlaughing 17 Mar 99 - 05:43 PM
catspaw49 17 Mar 99 - 05:51 PM
Pete M 17 Mar 99 - 06:27 PM
Penny 17 Mar 99 - 07:25 PM
Penny 18 Mar 99 - 03:03 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Mar 99 - 03:43 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 18 Mar 99 - 04:04 AM
Banjer 18 Mar 99 - 06:46 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Mar 99 - 08:01 AM
AlistairUK 18 Mar 99 - 08:41 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 18 Mar 99 - 10:45 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Mar 99 - 10:56 AM
Neil Lowe (inactive) 18 Mar 99 - 11:43 AM
Zena Fobic 18 Mar 99 - 01:12 PM
Bert 18 Mar 99 - 01:30 PM
AlistairUK 19 Mar 99 - 11:00 AM
Cara 19 Mar 99 - 02:25 PM
Banjer 19 Mar 99 - 06:58 PM
LEJ 19 Mar 99 - 07:32 PM
Steve Parkes 22 Mar 99 - 03:47 AM
AlistairUK 22 Mar 99 - 04:56 AM
catspaw49 22 Mar 99 - 05:03 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Mar 99 - 07:02 AM
Banjer 22 Mar 99 - 07:05 AM
Ferrara 22 Mar 99 - 08:53 AM
AlistairUK 22 Mar 99 - 08:59 AM
Neil Lowe (inactive) 22 Mar 99 - 09:04 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Mar 99 - 09:08 AM
Ferrara 22 Mar 99 - 09:20 AM
katlaughing 22 Mar 99 - 10:12 AM
Banjer 22 Mar 99 - 06:03 PM
catspaw49 22 Mar 99 - 10:22 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Mar 99 - 11:19 PM
katlaughing 22 Mar 99 - 11:19 PM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 12:58 AM
AlistairUK 23 Mar 99 - 05:43 AM
Banjer 23 Mar 99 - 06:43 AM
AlistairUK 23 Mar 99 - 06:54 AM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 07:01 AM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 12:46 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 01:45 PM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 02:50 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM
catspaw49 24 Mar 99 - 12:14 AM
catspaw49 24 Mar 99 - 05:26 AM
katlaughing 24 Mar 99 - 10:28 AM
Bert 24 Mar 99 - 10:41 AM
Big Mick 24 Mar 99 - 10:51 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Mar 99 - 05:03 AM
Sean MacRuaraidh 25 Mar 99 - 06:51 AM
Ferrara 25 Mar 99 - 07:57 AM
AlistairUK 25 Mar 99 - 12:42 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 99 - 01:37 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 99 - 01:42 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 25 Mar 99 - 01:52 PM
Sean MacRuaraidh 25 Mar 99 - 02:00 PM
katlaughing 25 Mar 99 - 02:29 PM
MMario 25 Mar 99 - 03:08 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 99 - 04:15 PM
25 Mar 99 - 04:59 PM
catspaw49 25 Mar 99 - 05:08 PM
Pete M 25 Mar 99 - 06:18 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 99 - 10:00 PM
sean MacRuaraidh 26 Mar 99 - 05:38 AM
Penny 26 Mar 99 - 07:32 AM
Steve Parkes 26 Mar 99 - 07:49 AM
AlistairUK 26 Mar 99 - 12:37 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 99 - 07:54 PM
Penny 27 Mar 99 - 04:05 AM
Ferrara 27 Mar 99 - 08:25 AM
The Shambles 27 Mar 99 - 08:39 AM
Ferrara 27 Mar 99 - 09:41 AM
The Shambles 27 Mar 99 - 01:32 PM
Ferrara 27 Mar 99 - 10:31 PM
katlaughing 28 Mar 99 - 12:47 AM
The Shambles 28 Mar 99 - 03:08 PM
The Shambles 28 Mar 99 - 03:51 PM
The Shambles 28 Mar 99 - 03:55 PM
katlaughing 28 Mar 99 - 04:49 PM
Lonesome EJ 28 Mar 99 - 11:38 PM
catspaw49 29 Mar 99 - 12:52 AM
Steve Parkes 29 Mar 99 - 02:31 AM
Frank in the swamps 29 Mar 99 - 05:57 AM
Hazel 29 Mar 99 - 07:37 PM
cypher 29 Mar 99 - 11:11 PM
gargoyle 30 Mar 99 - 01:07 AM
The Shambles 30 Mar 99 - 02:05 AM
AlistairUK 31 Mar 99 - 05:47 AM
Penny 31 Mar 99 - 06:37 AM
katlaughing 21 May 99 - 02:59 PM
The Shambles 08 Jun 00 - 03:10 PM
The Shambles 08 Jun 00 - 03:15 PM
bubblyrat 22 Mar 07 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie 23 Mar 07 - 07:01 AM
catspaw49 23 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,B.M.Baillie 23 Mar 07 - 09:44 AM
Leadfingers 23 Mar 07 - 09:59 AM
catspaw49 23 Mar 07 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 10:20 AM
bubblyrat 23 Mar 07 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 05:36 PM
Stringsinger 24 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 04:34 PM

I have created this new thread as a sort of rant that I always had with the folk world. In response to something BenM said in the mingulay boat song's minch thread. This thing about english speaking only is worth the bother is really narrow minded and hurtful...I'm sure that BenM was joking...infact I think I could bet that I know he was joking...but there are those out in the world that take this very very seriously.

In my time in the very small folk world of the british isles, I was lucky to have been associated with some of the most open minded people I have ever met. Yet there were those who would get up and walk out of the room if someone sang a song in French, or patronised a 'foreigner' when they came to the clubs to play or to sing. This became increasingly irritating as time went by and I felt that I was being pushed away from the music that I loved. I know that xenophobia is traditional, but does that mean we have to preserve it...I was oft' heard to say. Now in the macrocosm, as it were, of the folk world I would like to see that xenophobia doesn't find its way into this world...by definition the 'net is far from insular (which folk clubs are, but attitudes are.

Okay I've started and I'll let you lot finish...this is an effort to create a discussion NOI to anyone...even though I used BenM's name at the top there I was not singleing him out just that his joke was a handy example (sorry Ben). I have found everybody here to be extremely open minded about stuff and I feel that I have, once again, been lucky in the people that I have encountered.

Alistair


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 05:04 PM

Alistair,

I think you might mean PeteM., as there is no BenM. on the Minch thread. And, I am equally sure Pete, who is a great guy, meant it as a joke. I agree with you, though, that a lot of people might not realize that.

Anyone who has read my comments on the subject knows that I am not xenophobic. I've not seen much evidence of it here on the 'Cat since I've been on, which was in January (not quite continously!). I've seen much discussion on the old songs of Foster and others not being PC and whether folk choose to make them so or not.

I am glad you started this thread, because there have been a couple of things which bothered me, too. When I think of trad music, I think of music of all indigenous cultures, so I guess I think of it more as "world" music which, for me, is something to be honoured and respected.

My husband was raised speakign Canadian French, learned Spanish while working in Venezuela; I took Spanish, German, and Latin in school; my son-in-law is from Antigua and his step-mother in CT speaks St. Martin French. We've lived in neighborhoods where several other languages were spoken. We loved it,our kids loved, and most of all, we loved sharing the trad music of each of those cultures with each other and our friends.

I have found most people on the 'Cat to be very openminded and caring. I think, because it seems to be dominated by those of us in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland, we may have a tendency to go on with inside jokes, etc. without making sure what we are talking about is clear to anyone reading,including those to whom English is a second language. Although, I've seen a good amount of Gaelic on here, too, I'm actually trying to learn it now, so I can translate those thread names!

Anyway, thanks for starting this. It will be interesting to see what everyone else has to say. we still love ya', Pete!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 05:22 PM

whoops Pete...gotta remember that. Thanks Kat. And yes my purpose was to only start a discussion and not 'pick'on anyone...it was just Pete's comments that started the thought off in my head. I agree wholeheartedly with all that you have said. Except the love thing at the end there, well, that's sort of girly, oo gender roles...there's another thread....hmmmmmmmmm


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Bert
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 05:29 PM

When I lived in England one was SUPPOSED to tease people about their origins and their language. It was to make them feel loved and wanted. If they weren't foreign you teased them about what part of England they came from. If they came from London it was which side of the river they lived on. If they came from you neck of the woods you had to torment them about living down the next street. It was just the done thing.

I've not lived in England since the early seventies so perhaps things have changed; but I hope that the PC police have not curtailed this wonderful piece of folk behaviour.

Bert (so if you don't live down our street - Watch Out!!)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 06:29 PM

I went to England for the first time at 12 years old and was astonished that people said I had an accent and teased me about it. To my mind, accents were something English, Scottish, Irish, and American people had, and a few other people like my relatives in Cape Breton. What's worse, they thought I was an American! I was nearly in tears with indignation.

Canadians, to me, spoke only the purest English as spake by the angels themselves.:)

I remember at about the same time of my life some old holy roller exclaiming, no doubt in reference to some supposed plot by the French Canadians, that if "English was good enough for Jesus and the Apostles to speak and write, it's good enough for me!"


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Bob Landry
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 08:37 PM

Xenophobia ... that's a concept I have a hard time accepting, but I have had to learn to live with the fact it exists. Maybe I remain naive as I'm getting older and should be acquiring the experience and wisdom needed to accept the inequities of the world. Research arising from my recently awakened interest in genealogy revealed to me the rampant xenophobia which led to centuries of linguistic, cultural and religious (among other forms of) persecution and exile foisted on my ancestors, the Acadians of Nova Scotia. I regret the fact that I spent a large part of my early adulthood successfully eradicating all traces of my natural French accent in order to conform. That was an immature gut reaction to peer pressure. None of that was necessary ... Xenophobia is not a virtue ...

See "Un Canadien Errant" in the database. Though written 100 years later by an exiled Quebec revolutionary, this plaintive song could just as easily express the despair of any of the 10,000 people deported from Acadia in 1755 and subsequent years.

Having vented my abhorrence of xenophobia, let me express my opinion that the Mudcat is not, in any way, shape or form, a haven for xenophobes. To the contrary, I've come to see Mudcatters as some of the most generous, sincere and open-minded people I've ever met. I am proud to be part of the Mudcat experience.

Bob Landry


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Mar 99 - 10:12 PM

Man am I amazed to see this thread here...thought maybe I was the only one and I hated to admit it. This is so exciting to have others that share my fear. I mean I've watched that Warrior Princess show and she scares the hell out of me. Just one of her fighting mad looks sends me down to the local "Shoot & Scoot" for a big bottle of that Immodium stuff so I don't foul up any more u-trou. Lemme' go back and read what has been written so far....

Oh...Sorry

catspaw

P.S. ... Mandatory catspaw joke is over.

We live in a world and society where the bigotry of the herd instinct becomes paramount. Self-esteem is so important that the easiest attainable positives come from inflicting pain on the minorities. I wrote to someone early on around here that I am rarely offended by anything...except the way we treat each other. Sometimes my greatest fear is that the people who may talk the best line lack the courage of their convictions. Do I fear for my wife and family by taking stands...certainly. But what children do I rear by letting others do my bidding. But we must keep a sense of humor, to quote Lord Byron (George Gordon)...a favorite of mine...

" And if I laugh at any mortal thing, tis that I may not weep."

DO what's right...and to Hell with them!

(soapbox returned to corner)catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 01:24 AM

Interesting thread.... I would never argue that xenophobia is good, but it does seem to be the natural reaction of most people when they meet something they don't understand -- like a different language or culture. I think differences scare people and when we're scared we react with anger. What we have to do is keep in mind that words are just words, skins are just skins and people are just people. That way, the world isn't so scary and we don't have to build our little mental fortresses and shut everybody out who doesn't think or act exactly as we do.

Enough of that rant.

Tim... Getting set to go to England for a month this fall, so I guess you've warned by about the ribbing I'm likely to take. Funny, but when my very English wife goes with me to the U.S., the comment she gets most often is "I lo-o-o-ve yoah accent." She just smiles and says, with all sincerity, "I love yours too."

See you at the Press Club....

ddw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: j0_77
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 01:41 AM

Golly gosh - wot a thread - hmmm I used be in the 'i'm a this that or the other' untill looking at the names of my ancestors told me - YOU ARE A HEINZ 57 - variety. Sooo now I always ask not where are you from but where are you going

Hugzzz earthling! hehe


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:02 AM

Well, you can say what you like, but English xenophobia is the best in the world!!

Listen very carefully - I will say zis only once: I'm not xenophobic, even about the French! There is a long-standing tradition here that Johnny Foreigner is somehow not quite the thing, and the French in particular have been, historically, our enemies for hundreds of years. I don't share this view at all. I do like to poke fun, however; and I am perfectly happy to be poked fun at. There: end of confession; back to normal.

Catspaw, I have to disagree about the Warrior Princess: any woman who goes around in a leather corset gets my vote!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 05:43 AM

I believe that xenophobia is a learned trait. It is something that is common to some races but not others. The Pacific Islanders when confronted by Bligh and his crew and by Cook, had no fear of these strange men with their funny language and their strangely coloured skin. But they soon learned to hate them. Why? Because we taught them. We made them fear our skin coour, we forced them to try and forget their language and learn ours.

In the western world xenophobia is all around us, passed down from generation to generation ( even in Quebec, when I was there a couple of years ago I felt embarrassed when I spoke english, everybody could see I was an Anglo and so immediately the enemy. And I must admit, I have travelled all over the world and that was the first time I have ever felt like a 'foreigner'in its negative conotation)but is not natural to us, it is cultural baggage.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM

Steve...Latex might help.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: MMario
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 10:17 AM

here in the "melting-pot" of the US my father was born of immigrant parents...and was a native Italian speaker until he entered school. He had to have a classmate translate for him until he picked up enough english to get along. However, due to the discrimination against "foreign languages" during his youth (1917 into the 1930's)he did his best to forget his birth tongue...and did NOTHING to teach it to any of his children. This is something we all regret...because we COULD have grown up bilingual, and had something of cultural value to pass on to our own children. Dad says if he was to do it over, that is the one thing he would change about raising his kids.

MMario


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Cara
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:09 AM

A good example of cultural misunderstandings, and their lingering effect. Also I challenge you to find another post that contains the word "labiodental".

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore be incapable of fighting in the future. > > This famous weapon was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or"pluck yew"). Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!" Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrow used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird".


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:28 AM

Pluck Yew! Can't answer that in words, but here is a song that I think says want I to say.


Down on the border

Down on the border, where do you draw that line?
Well here I can lay down my life for a land that will never be mine
If I was standing on the outside, you wouldn't let me in
It might be my religion or the colour of my skin

Down on the border, when you draw that line
Am I standing inside, or am I left outside?

They're telling you life should be rosy, "ain't you living in your own backyard"?
The stakes are getting higher, time to play that nationalist card
That joker's a wild one, eager to get out of the pack
It ain't so easy, trying to get the bastard back

Down on the border, when you draw that line
Am I standing inside, or am I left outside?

Does the fruit really taste better, just because it's home grown?
Why should there be an improvement, when we are ruled by one of our own?
When they come and they tell you. it's time to make a stand
Remember the good and the bad apples, growing on your land

Down on the border, when you draw that line
Am I standing inside, or am I left outside?

Whatever country claims you, it's no measure of your worth
You can take no credit, it's just an accident of birth
Why not strive for a union, a federation of states?
Sustained by co-operation, where nations are maintained on hate

Down on the border, when you draw that line
Am I standing inside, or am I left outside?

Roger Gall 1997


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: j0_77
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:35 AM

Ahh the strings of the Yew. It is happy to recall that when tired of the Roman yoke the English threw them out. In this century the Irish tired of the English yoke threw them out. In both instances the sides soon made friends again and became tight as thieves. Wonders if the cycle is starting over again. Ireland now being so like the rest of Britain - many names common in both Islands etc etc etc. Example (Both of these are now in the heavenly choir and both were very good at what they did) Micko Russell (Trad Musician Ireland) Bertrand Russell (Professor Writer Oxford England)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:36 AM

Ok I sympathise with Mario...because my mother is Brazilian and my father forbade her to teach my brother and portuguese because he wouldn't be able to understand( why he couldn't learn it as well was always beyond me). Anyway, we both grew up only knowing english...thankfully, after living here in Brazil for six years I can now talk with my mother in a language other than english.

The PLUCK YEW thing is really clutching at straws...the word FUCK actually comes from the middle english word (I think this is right) FUCH or somesuch (I'm doing this from memory folks so don't hold it against me) which means to fuse together/to combine.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 11:57 AM

The story that's common over here is that it was the first and second finger the French threatened to cut off, which is why we traditionally wave two fingers. I've heard the theory pooh-poohed on the grounds that you use the second and third fingers to draw a bowstring; I wouldn't know, but just try waving 2 & 3 instead of 1 & 2 and see where you get. And pardon my French(!), but I'm sure the expression the Goddams shouted would have been "Fuck you!".

It's interesting to note, while we're on the subject, that the Western gesture for "OK", forming a ring with the thumb and a finger, means "arsehole" ("asshole") in some Eastern parts. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Pete M
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:08 PM

Well as an indirect progenitor I suppose I'd better add something to this thread. there are lots of points so this may be a bit disjointed, so apologies in advance. First, thanks for the support Kat (blush).

Alistair. I'm sure I know what you intended, but lets be quite clear that although it is a normal human reaction to make fun of things that scare us, poking fun at others is not necessarily xenophobic in origin. As Bert and Steve note, poking fun at people as "foreign" as the next street is common in the UK, and you don't have to read many threads to see that it is a common trait here, with no derogatory overtones.

I do have to disagree with you about your examples from the Pacific. It is very difficult to attribute motives for actions several hundred years ago even within ones own culture, and to do so for others is even more fraught. I agree that there is little or no eveidence of xenophobia in its literal meaning in these encounters, but don't make the mistake of thinking that this meant there was no hostility to outsiders whether European or from other Islands. The pre European political groupings in the Pacific (the largest being the Hawaiian archipeligo, and the Tongan inter-archipeligal empire) were created by conquest and "removal" of people who were "different". They and the Maori did not fear European visitors any more than Europeans feared them, because both were confident of their ability to survive any hostility, and of the pre-eminience of their own culture.

Having said all that I do accept that styles of humour are not universal, and that others may have taken my post at face value despite what I thought were fairly heavy hints to the contrary, and if so please accept that they were indeed intended in jest.

Right, soap box back to corner.

Cara, you have got rather mixed up I fear. The extended middle digit is a conmmon Western European insult (obviously phallic in origin). There is some by no means conclusive evidence that the peculiarly English use of the V sign for this purpose derived as you note, but Fuck is good Anglo-Saxon and pre dates Agincourt by a long bow shot.

Anyway Xena is a New Zealander after all, so - if any of you'se guys are interested in old saucepan lids, only worn once, still slightly warm....

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:32 PM

BTW...katlaughing ... Forgot to say in my previous post how much I admire your family.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Bert
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:46 PM

I was working in Bahrain and a couple of guys in the office were trying (without success) to teach me Arabic.

One day Hussein said to me "Say 'Fetchek Abd'"
After a few tries I was able to pronounce it and asked him what it meant. He wouldn't tell me and went home.
Well, not to be deterred I asked the only other person around. That was Bilal, a black Bahraini, VERY black, you know, one who gives real meaning to the term 'black is beautiful'. Bilal just rolled over laughing. It means "Go and get fucked by a blackman". Was my face red!!!

Fortunately for me he was a happy little man and not a big mean one, so I'm still alive to tell the story.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 04:52 PM

Does it strike anyone as ironic that the one person who would most likely sort out this "pluck yew" single-finger salute topic- I mean Penny- would not go near this topic with a 10 foot pole?


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 05:43 PM

Catspaw,

Thanks! I'm guessing you mean the hodge-podge of languages, cultures, etc? Me, too!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 05:51 PM

Hey Group...Some of you may remember the late and great Allen Sherman, the comedian. (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, Here I am at Camp Grenada)...a truly hilarious cat. He wrote an incredibly funny book, "The Rape of the A.P.E."...American Puritan Ethic. If you can acquire a copy I guarantee many thought provoking belly laughs. His "Scientific Analysis" of why lies are better than the truth would not be funny were it not true.

HOWEVER...A MUST READ is the chapter named "Short Chapter, Long Footnote." The chapter is one word long...FUCK. The rest is a footnote and some of the best and funniest info you can find about the word. Explanations of euphemisms such as "He slept with her." No one has ever successfully fucked while sleeping. Or "Fornication"...anyone who would use the word fornicate cannot be interested in fucking.

Seriously, you'll bust a gut laughing.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Pete M
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 06:27 PM

LEJ, the origin of lewd gestures, including the V sign, is discussed by Morris in one of his books (Naked Ape I think). The definitive work on the longbow is Hardy's "The long bow - a social and military history" If there is any foundation to the Agincourt story it should be in there. So far I've not read it, but its near the top of my list.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Penny
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 07:25 PM

How did yew think of little old me? Actually, it so happens that I'm sort of half started on a bit of research on churchyard yews in Britain. Only the government constantly moving the goalposts in teaching is eating up my time, so I haven't got very far. I have read a few yew books though, and some retail the medieval bowman tale about the two fingers. None, however, mention the verbal accompaniment. I think it's probably clutching at straws, too. No help in the Anglo-Saxon dictionary. There are no words between b and d or l and m after either fo or fu of any meaning at all. So sorry, can't sort it out.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Penny
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 03:03 AM

Correction, I do know my alphabet, but it was late, the computer was not typing what I thought, and I had a phone call while doing this. I meant before l. And it should be almost none. There is a cake called foca.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 03:43 AM

Penny, let me recommend a little book called Roger's Profanisaurus, which is a compliation by Roger Melly, The Man on the Telly, of all the words and expressions you won't find in the dictionary (even Partridge!). It opened my eyes, I can tell you! Despite the unsavoury nature of the contents, just approach it with a willing suspension of unbelief and you'll find it very entertaining. Impress all your friends!

Steve

P.S. They're in alphabetical order too!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 04:04 AM

Cara: your story is apocryphal, I'm afraid. The origin of the profanity is the Anglo-Saxon verb 'fukan', which means 'to plough'.

Anyway, I agree with all the Brits on this thread - being Welsh, I know what it is to be gently ribbed about my origins, and know that my ribbers expect to be ribbed in return. It's all phathic communion, as Chomsky said.

However, I can't condone the wearing of white dresses and pointy hoods, or shaving off of hair and wearing Union Flag t-shirts, etc. etc.

I think that anything not intended to cause offence should be taken in the spirit it was intended...


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Banjer
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 06:46 AM

The last line of the previous post is a perfect example of which we speak here. "I think that anything not intended to cause offence should be taken in the spirit it was intended..." It is difficult to know how something I say in jest, not meaning any offense at all, will be interpreted by those hearing my words. Indeed if I say something to two people, one may be offended and the other may see it as a joke.

I do remember one incident in my younger years I will admit to. I was in the Army, stationed in Seoul, Korea in 1969. We had a group of Korean soldiers(KATUSA) that were assigned to our unit. A fun loving group of guys whose command of the English language had vastly improved since their assignment to us. The Seargent in charge of the KATUSA and several of us GI's decided it would be fun to teach some of the new incoming KATUSA some new English which they could use. Several days later when our 1st Sgt and CW2 arrived for the start of the day they were "honored" to be met by the new Koreans troops greeting them with such phrases as "Kiss my a**", "Go to hell", and "Your mother wears combat boots", which they had been taught in our late night lanquage course as meaning Good Morning, How are you, and Is there anything you want me to do for you. The powers that be suspected who was behind it, but were never able to pin the act on anyone so no punishment was meted out. I'm sure the statute of limitation has run out so it is safe to tell this now. ;)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 08:01 AM

I think if someone invited me to meet him in a bar and he'd buy me a drink, then he didn't turn up, I'd be offended enough to tell him to go and plough something. However, most Welsh people I've met have been generous and forgiving, and they'd probably invite me for a drink in return (I'd get the first one in).

Obscurely, Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 08:41 AM

PeteM: Ok just to set the record straight, I wasn't pinning anything on you...I certainly realised that what you said was exteremely tongue in cheek and I think I did mention that in my initial posting. You remarks just got me to thinking and I thought this might have made ( and I think I've been proved correct)and interesting subject. I'm sorry if you thought I was picking on you, I humbly apologise and will go and flog myself immediately (Whilst watching videos of Xena).


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 10:45 AM

Oops again, sorry Steve, I hear you. Cellar Bar on Monday OK?

Yours snowed-underly,

Dai P.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 10:56 AM

I'll be there, Dai! Any other 'Catters will be welcome too, but if you don't know where it is you're too far away to get there ...

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Neil Lowe (inactive)
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 11:43 AM

First off, 'Xenophobia' threw me for a loop and I definitely had to look that up before continuing....then let's see...since reading this thread I have come across...ummm....'laboidental'.....'fricative' (immediately after I was trying to recuperate from 'labiodental',no less)....and 'phathic'(phatic?)....

Not to mention the theoretical origins of a commonly used vulgarity......brief history of French and English conflict hundreds of years ago....

So that's English, History, and Etymology....all from a thread about xenophobia. My dictionary is really getting a workout today. I'm glad I took my vitamins. I'm not sure I've had all the prerequisites for this course, but I'll stick it out for the enlightenment nonetheless. Eyes and ears open, mouth shut.

Regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Zena Fobic
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 01:12 PM

How many long time Mudcatters feel towards newcomers with bad threadiquette


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Bert
Date: 18 Mar 99 - 01:30 PM

Thanks Zena.

I love your name!! (and also your namesake, but we won't talk about that)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 11:00 AM

Refresh *hehehehe*


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Cara
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 02:25 PM

Oh my. I didn't believe the pluck yew thing--I got it as a joke over email right after I first read this thread and I thouhgt it would speak to cross cultural misunderstandings (again, tongue in cheek). With all of the discussion of the gesture and the etymology of the "F" word my post has engendered, I can't believe no one has hit upon the obvious root of the word: The King of England ordered his subjects to replenish the population after the plague years, and the act of doing so was expressed like this: Fornicate Under Command of the King, or in its abbreviated form, F.U.C.K. I thought everyone knew that.

(Again, TIC-{tongue in cheek})!!!!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Banjer
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 06:58 PM

Good thing it was a king and not a queen in power, how would one pronounce fucq?


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: LEJ
Date: 19 Mar 99 - 07:32 PM

I always heard that FUCK was printed on the stocks where the criminal perpetrators of such sins of the flesh were locked up and displayed. Stood for "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", which by the way was also the title of a Van Halen LP. Apparently those who had done this deed were pelted with stones and rotten vegetables by those who were not getting any. Of course, if you have ever been in the not-getting-any situation for very long, you probably felt like throwing a few rotten potatoes yourself...LEJ


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 03:47 AM

This is beginning to sound like the derivation of the Aussie word "Pom[mie]" for an Brit, or (and excuse the indelicacy) the UK word "wog", originally meaning an Egyptian, but now a derogatory word for anyone evem vaguely Indian. I modestly leave the floor open for other know-alls.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 04:56 AM

Actually WOG is used for antone with a darker than white complexion and I have it on good authority that it came from the acronym Western Oriental Gentleman.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 05:03 AM

Being of some Italian lineage, the word WOP dbviously comes to mind. Originally coming from WithOut Papers, it is an example of how a word may start out as a joke, to mildly derogatory to extremely derogatory to "Use Only To Start Immediate Fight!" Realizing how intense the feelings are that the word evoked by the 40's, ot's hard to believe that during World War I, there was a minor song hit titled, "When Tony Goes Over the Top," with the second line being, "Keep(a) you're eyes on, that fighting Wop."

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 07:02 AM

While looking out songs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start(!) and later the end of WWII, we came across a once-fashionable anti-Axis song entitled "The Wop and the Jap and the Hun" (apologies - NOI now!), which would probably get you arrested if you sang it in the UK now (not to mention Italy, Japan and Germany).

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Banjer
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 07:05 AM

I've usually only heard those terms used in describing the actions and sounds of flat tires.....You know, when the air goes away, daygo wop, wop, wop.....(TIC, NOI, *BG*, etc.) Which brings to mind a story.....I can hear the groans already....Son says to Dad, Poppa, can I have a Ginuea Pig?.....Poppa replies, Aw Son, why not find yourself a nice Irish girl? AGAIN REMEMBER TIC, NOI, *BG*


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 08:53 AM

catspaw, mmario, and all other Italians reading this thread, my dad said that when he came to this country (around 1921, I think), he and the other Neapolitan boys would address each other as "O guappo," pronounced "Oh WOP-oh". It's a Neapolitan expression meaning neat, cool, you're looking good. It's still used to some extent. It was a common greeting, "Eh, guappo!" that they would call to each other. But the American kids picked up on it and called them wops so they stopped doing it.

I'm convinced this is a likely origin for the expression "wop." (If you have information to the contrary, please don't try to confuse me with facts. :-)) I would imagine the same scenario taking place in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and other heavy centers of italian immigration.

My mom (from Georgia) said when she married my dad, one of her mother's friends stopped speaking to her because she had married an Italian. I later met a man who said his sister was cut by many of her friends when she married an Italian. It was considered an interracial marriage by many people in those days.

My dad was twelve when he came here, mmario, and he spoke no English so they put him in kindergarten, where he was "surrounded by a bunch of little five year old kids who were so dumb they couldn't even speak Italian."


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 08:59 AM

My father was( maybe stil is) vehemently anti-irish, and vocal about it too. Until I pointed out to him that his grandfather came from Belfast. And I come from a town in the UK that has got a high immigrant population, notably asian ( our asian, not the american sino-asian asian...erm...if you see what I mean...any way indian, kashmiri, pakistani.) and there were those Indians who had become "anglicised" and would use the racist terminology of the whites to talk about non-anglicised asians. MAn talk about Uncle Tom.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Neil Lowe (inactive)
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 09:04 AM

In Panama, a man on the street says "guappa" to a woman who catches his fancy as she passes by- the equivalent of the American "wolf whistle."


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 09:08 AM

"Guappa" is Spanish for "pretty", but my mate's dad, who speaks several languages, says the Spanish (in Spain, at any rate) use it the way we say "Phoarr!!" in Britain. I don't actually know the US English.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 09:20 AM

Sorry, I think I spelled it wrong. The Italian spelling is "Guapo," I suspect. I have a set of 19th century costume sketches from Naples that I bought when I was visiting family there in the late 60's. One of the sketches is of a young man all dressed up for a promenade around the village square and it's labeled "'O Guapo." 'O is Neapolitan slang for il, lo or the. None of this has anything in particular to do with xenophobia, as you can see.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:12 AM

I was always told that "Wops" came from the south of Italy and "Dagos" from the North (NOI!!!!) or vice versa, can't remember. This was used to explain to me why mom and dad's very good friends were Italian, yet blonde!

The only real prejudice I feel I grew up with was towards sheepherders, esp. Mormon ones, because of a dispute my cattle ranching greatgrandfather had with them.He killed one in self-defense in a shootout, they tried to get the court to hang him until the widow came forward and testified that it was the best thing anyone had ever done for her. Her son became my grandad's best friend. (this original material is one of dad's many stories which will be in a book I am working on.)

When people ask my daughter if her husband is black (when they see her twin baby boys, who are mixed) she says, "He is Antiguan". To her, and the rest of us, there is no colour; as she puts it, "We are all of the human race".

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Banjer
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 06:03 PM

Well put Kat, It is what is inside a person that makes them what they are, not the color on the outside! Discussions like this always remind me of a perfect example that occured when I was in the service. We were sitting around the day room listening to an LP one of the guys was playing. It had on it songs such as "Is Anybody Going To San Antone", "You've Got To Kiss An Angel Good Morning", and a real nice gospel number called "Did You Think To Pray". I enjoyed the songs and when I asked to see the album cover I was amazed to learn that Charlie Pride was a black man. That lesson still sticks with me after 30 years! It taught me to look at things in a whole new light.

Ref: the term WOP. I had always heard that it meant, as someone pointed out earlier, With Out Papers. Those whose passports or other credentials were in order could pass on through the process, while those that had no proper paperwork were detained for processing in a seperate area.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:22 PM

Wop does mean WithOut Papers as I pointed out earlier though I do like Ferraras explanation. My grandfather was a wop and I carry the Ellis Island name change to prove it! But more interesting than that is the phenomenon of each group's ability to cut on itself in derogatory terms and laugh about it...but let an outsider say it and the fight is on.

I remember a new restaurant being built in town and no one knew what it was going to be. After several months a sign went up and as we drove past my Dad said, "Aw, Christ (pronounced KEE-RICED), another Dago place to eat!" He was personally hoping for a good Chophouse. After his trip to Africa, Richard Pryor quit using "nigger" in his act...he had seen black people in their own land. It is most important that we know who we are and not what we are called and to take away the power of the words, most powerful as they may be. Perhaps that's why we use them inside the group.

We sometimes go outside the group with friends, but it is always risky. But we do need to develop insights and relationships that eclipse the words and render them powerless. Sometimes the previously derogatory becomes respectful. I had some brief passing thought of this when I referred to Big Mick as a big Mick. It's a funny relationship we build here in cyberspace. I felt I knew Mick well enough, and I credit him with the intelligence and insight needed, to see, without abbreviations or icons, that I meant no harm. I'm sure he too had a passing moment as I did, before he went on saying, "It's just catspaw." I'll take a chance again and go one step further...I think Mick is an erudite, caring, intelligent man and may well have seen the line as a mark of respect...I think he has enough astute insight into ME that he knows I see much more in him than ancestry. He may be an Irishman trapped in an American body, but the person that is the real Mick stands above any label we might attach.

Somehow, sometime, someway...we have got to defuse the words and see beyond language, the dialect, the color. It would be easier sometimes to do that if we all didn't think of ourselves in those terms as well. There is a fine line between the pride of heritage and the anger of bigotry.

At one point or another Mick and I will meet outside of this "village" and when we do I think we'll both be comfortable enough for me to say, "Damn! You really are a big Mick!" To which he can respond, "Geez, a downhome Dago in the flesh!" Then maybe we can do a little Dylan as a compromise.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:19 PM

WOG, reportedly, was stencilled on POW clothes and stood for Ward Of (the) Government.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:19 PM

WELL PUT, Catspaw! InsightFULL, thoughFULL, and eloquent...that's what I love about the 'Cat!

And...you can get out of the litterbox now. Good kitty!

luv ya all! katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:58 AM

Catspaw, BRAVO! Well said! Maybe when Katlaughing is done with her book, she can pull together the eloquence in some of these threads into her next book. I trust an appropriate title for the book could be found.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:43 AM

Catspaw: Wish I was as eloquent as you, but here goes. You said a number of very fine things and I strongly agree with all of them. But, as NightOwl pointed out above in her(?)comment about Katlaughing and books, words have power. Words and expressions have a power to move, just as yours did cat, and they are a very, very strong weapon. There are two ways that we can deal with these words, the words like WOP, Nigger, Coon ,Dago, Frog, Jungle Bunny, Nightfighter (these are extremely powerful words, you say one of these to someone and see what the reaction would be). We can say them all the time and in time they would lose there power. This can be illustrated by swear words such as 'bugger' and 'bloody', words that at one time were shocking, but with use have now become less so. As is 'fuck' getting that way, repeated overuse and American movies are sort of taking away the power to shock. I can see in 100 years your maiden aunt coming round to tea and her greeting you:

"Ooo you handsome motherfucker, I haven't seen you in a goddamned motherfucking age."

to whit you reply:

"Come in in you motherfucker and take your motherfucking sonofabitch coat off."

humm so we can go around using these words all the time and they would lose their power?

No, I don't think so. but the slow censorship of these words and the fostering of an attitude that makes these words repugnant to use so they are slowly forgotten is the best option.

another thing, you said that Richard Pryor stoped using 'nigger' after "...he had seen black people in their own land." Is the United States not their own land as well?


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Banjer
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:43 AM

Damn, You people are a hard act to follow...It appears all has been said, and how nicely! I believe we are witnessing an ongoing evolution of our spoken lanquage. I would not bring home some of the jokes that went around the workplace and share them with the wife because of the risque and bawdy double entendres and colorful lanquage in some of them. Not that long ago SHE broke the ice by telling me and one of our kids, (he is the youngest and 25 yrs old, and I'm sure has heard much worse) a joke she had heard at her work place. She explained that it would lose meaning if she changed it. Since then we have both "lightened up" a little in our self-censorship. Many examples come to mind of the evolution of the meaning of words. Did you ever think what mental pictures youngsters of today think as they sing the words of the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls"? Don we now our GAY apparel? (I ain't putting them clothes on!!) Or how about when father tells son to "go get me a faggot"?(Meaning of course to go fetch a bundle of sticks?)Just two examples that jump to mind from questions raised by my own kids when they were growing up! AlistairUK raises a question about Catspaws saying that Richard Pryor had seen Black people "in their own land" and asking is the United States not their own land as well? I would answer that NO, the United States is NOT THEIR own land, it is EVERYBODY'S land. We are all AMERICANS and all have an equal interest here regardless of our origins. This is not to say that we all should forget where we came from, it is important to retain our individuality and heritage and blend it in to the overall scheme of things. That is what makes this great melting pot work. Isn't that how much of our beloved folk music got started? Ah, but I tend to ramble......


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:54 AM

Actually i think that heritage in a new land is one of the roots of the problem. Here in Brazil you have an enormous mix of Portuguese, dutch, french, german, black,native, italian, japonese, hungarian, polish, spanish and even english. But here the heritage is in the background it's not a big aprt of society as it is in the United States. There are no little italies and the only races that do tend to keep there own little colonies are the germans and the poles and the japonese to a certain extent. But the culture of BRAZIL is wholely its own. Its music is Brazilian music, its literature is Brazilian literature.

Although racism does exist here, for a country that is built along similarly diverse nationalities as the U.S. it has a considerably lot less than the aforementioned.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:01 AM

Night Owl: this is the second time I've typed this in. The first time my cat's butt hit the clear entries button! You must have been reading my mind. I have been thinking about how great it wouldbe to put together a book of the best of the 'Cat, with everyone's permission, etc., of course. It wold take a lot of time etc., but I think it would be neat and most fof the profits would go to the Mudcat. How 'bout it Max?

AlastairUK: Whiel agree with your suggestion that the power of words will dissipate through disapproval of their use, I don't think Catspaw meant we should go around and use them will he-nill he. Your example was amusing and brought a hearty guffaw, BUT it will be a cold day in hell before I would ever use that language with my grandsons when they are grown up or not and I know their parents feel the same!

I do use salty, bawdy language and tell risque jokes like Banjer mentions, among certain friends and family, although I have found myself telling people when I think a story or joke crosses the line into offensiveness re' women, racial, or whatever. My only problem about letting words die out is m'slef. How do you change the stripes on a "salty dawg" Kat? (Am I a mass of contradictions or what!?)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:46 PM

katspaw, my previous post about a book was not entirely tongue in cheek...I love your humor and writing.....think about it...I can do the "grunt" work, you do the creating........Catspaw can do the title and intro!(CRINGE)


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:45 PM

NIGHT Owl:

What are you doing up this time of day? And, I take it/I hope you meant (like most cats, I crave attention!:-) "Katlaughing" at the beginning of your last message? If so, thank you very much for your compliments. And, yes Catspaw could write an intro, so could Big Mick, and a few others!

My tongue might've been in my cheek, but I was fairly serious about the book, too. I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now, everytime I print something off to save, cause it's just too good to get lost in the threads! Almost posted a thead about it the other day. A kind of "Best of the Mudcat: A Folkie CyberCommunity" or "Wisdom of the Mudcat" or, "Wisdom, Humour, Thoughts, and How to Rule the World from the Mudcat*" *with assorted remedies and advice on condom usage"***grin***

My mind was pretty occupied with this last night. I was thinking maybe everyone could post their favourites into one thread or email them to me or you or whoever, then we could categorize them, then do some editing (just frivolous, non-essentials), then joila!

Because it would take up an enormous amount of time, even if all of us pick out our favourites, or if just a few of us make suggestions, or whatever, I was even wondering if there might be a social science grant or something out there we could apply for, as it really would be a new "study" thingy - "a microcosmic distillation of a true and distinct community in cyberland" Ooooo! I'm hummin' now!

I've only been on here since January and have already filled a one inch ring binder of some real gems. Plus I've sent off several packets to my dad, each at least an inch thick.

While I am not independently wealthy, I do have a very supportive hubby, who nonetheless, is really, really happy when I DO make some kind of money from my writing/editing/jewelery-making, so....if we could find grant money or something....anybody out there have experience at grant-writing?

Seriously, but still laughinglyKat p.s. names COULD be changed to protect the innocent...not us! Our families!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 02:50 PM

katlaughing: obviously, I shouldn't be up at this time of day..sorry about the name last night. I posted a new thread, took a nap..(ie-tried to really sleep and couldn't)overanxious for feedback on the other thread. WHAT IS THE ANTIDOTE for reading these threads and being unable to stay away from the SUBMIT button on the computor??????????? I have the day off today and am SUPPOSED to be taking trash to the dump and other errands!RE: the book....step 1: Max is it legally doable? step 2: another thread to suggest names for it (ouch). Didn't at all mean to be exclusive to Catspaw...just still laughing at something s/he posted.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 03:11 PM

NightOwl,

The sleepless thing must be going around. I got up at 430a because i just couldn't turn over and fall back asleep! AND, there IS no known antidote for Mudcat addiction, the only thing that ever works is going cold turkey! And, that only works if you want to! Ain't for me!

Trashdumping, ugh...chores, ugh...

As to the book. I don't think a name is as important, right now, as deciding how to choose what to include and who all will do the choosing, etc.

I think it would be doable, with Max's permission and a signed waiver from anyone who wanted their writings to be considered. If folks don't want in it, that is their right. Also, though it would cost a bit more, do people want their photos in it? And, do we want to include a listing of everyone's bands, businesses etc? Do we want to sell ads to Elderly & the rest as a way to finance it? THESE ARE JUST THOUGHTS, FOLKS, THAT'S ALL. I am just throwing ideas out here for brainstorming.

So: yes, Max, is it legal?

Do Mudcatters want this and, if so, will they give peremission for use of their material? Would the proceeds be divided among each with the largest percentage going to the Mudcat or what?

I still would be interestd to know if we could apply for any grants. This is new territory...we are breaking new ground!

Thanks,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 12:14 AM

Thanks to all for your comments...wasn't meant to evoke anything...just an opinion,much like an asshole. Always nice to get yours kat...and Night Owl too.

BTW...Richard Pryor simply meant that he'd never been anywhere that being black was the norm. Very different for him and made him think about the dignity of his race.

Alistair, your comments are the subject matter of books and thesis papers and they'll be the text for countless more. The United States is unlike anywhere else. Certainly not better though often more arrogant. We can't be compared to anywhere else since no one else is as mixed a bag as this place. We have no long standing traditions as we have no long standing. So in that human need for roots, we are far more prone than most to describe ourselves as *******-Americans. This has led to much infighting over the years as ancestral hatreds have overcome pride of heritage. You asked why that was so important. You can list history back thousands of years...we are only good for two hundred. It's a matter of roots. AND we are the most impatient country...but things move very fast...which sometimes is beneficial and sometimes disastrous. But if you do it twice, it's a tradition. The Brazilian comparison is entertaining, but before I got too far along with it I think a stop at the WorldBank might be in order. Also I can take you places right now where grandmothers call their 10 year old grandchildren saying, "Come here you lil motherfucker,"...and no, they're not black. No need to wait a hundred years here. Like I said, it's an impatient place.

Alistair, there is no way that I can justify many things that go on here, nor in some cases, would I if I could. I'm just a plain old country hick and I can only report things as they are. But like Bobby K., I like to envision and work toward what could be and say why not?

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 05:26 AM

I woke up, always a better option than not waking up, a bit bothered by something in my last post. After reading it again, I decided it was okay, but I'm glad I did read it again. Specifically the opening two sentences!!

katlaughing and Night Owl...It is always nice to get your comments...NOT your ASSHOLES. I really don't know what I'd do with your assholes if I had them so please don't send them.

Now I'm unbothered by the thing that was bothering me and I now have saved myself the embarassment of facing the FedEx person and saying, "There's gotta' be a mistake. I know I didn't order any assholes."

Maybe I can catch a few more Z's.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 10:28 AM

I can always count on you for a laugh, Catspaw! Never read it that way, so my arsehole is intact! katl


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Bert
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 10:41 AM

Dick,

Folklore in England gives a different origin for the term 'WOG'.

It is said to originate from the British Forces in Egypt in WWII. To discourage soldiers referring to the Egyptians as 'sand niggers' or 'ragheads' the army decreed they would henceforth ONLY be referred to as 'Worthy Oriental Gentlemen'

Isn't folklore wonderful?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 10:51 AM

I have followed this thread with interest since the beginning. Alistair, you are to be commended for starting it, and I found your posts to be well thought out, sincere and, for the most part, right on the mark. Well, at least as far as they can be coming from an Englishman, he said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. As badly as I wanted to contribute, I found that between yourself, Katlaughing, Catspaw, MMario, Steve P and all that it was not necessary for me to contribute. You are an amazing bunch. And I was very happy to see Bob Landry contribute the plight of the Acadians.

So instead of going over old ground, let me talk of the future. The problem is that so much of this has to do with how we are raised to fear or mistrust that which is different. As most of you know from reading other posts of mine, that I believe it is the nurturing of this which causes the generals to be able to send us to war against one another. The ability to turn us against one another, to make the different something to be feared is at the root of most of the major problems in the world today. I fell prey to it at a younger age. It was on one of my periodic disappearances into the woods that I figured out the next step. From time to time I have the need to get away and sit and figure things out. Nothing mystical here......it is just easier to hear the eternal when you are sitting under the stars and pondering God's best work. You can look around and be amazed at how it all fits together like a perfect puzzle. And you can look at the vastness of it and realize that you are part of that puzzle. I had developed a deep revulsion for racism, dehumanization, ignoring problems because they weren't "our" problems and so on. But I wondered what it was that I could do. And as I am watching the natural world and lost in my thoughts, I start to see the birds with their young, saw a fox with a kit, and so on. And it came to me that the answer lies with our children. That we canna make a massive change and solve it. But I can raise children that are sensitive to others. Instead of being fearful or uncomfortable about that which is different, I can teach them to be curious about it. I can teach them to celebrate that which is different about us all, and to worship that which we have in common. I can teach them not to follow the herd when it is headed in the wrong direction. I can teach them NOT to be silent, when the ancient voice of their people speaks to them from inside, and warns them of the injustice they see. Some people refer to this as conscience or intuition. I prefer to see it as the voice of all that have gone before trying to give us the benefit of their experiences. If one will peel off the pretexts that we find ourselves sheathed in, and try to see each encounter in its purest terms, perhaps a little at a time, we can erase our fear of that which is "foreign". Perhaps we can realize that nothing, and no one, is truly foreign. Just different...................And that is marvellous, another of God's best works.

KatlaughingYou are among the best among us. I love your insights, and your obvious love of life. I read your posts and realize that you are probably exactly what I refer to. My guess is that you have raised marvelous children who share your love of life. And it seems that your hubby knows what a 'pearl of great worth' he has in you. And you probably also drive him nuts.***belly laugh***

Catspaw, you dago, you. You are right on the mark with your comments. So much of this revolves around what you mean, as opposed to what you say. What one is, speaks much louder than what one says he/she is. I found nothing offensive in your comment, in fact I took it as a term of friendship. And we certainly have become friends. You have become an essential piece of this community.To all of the rest, thanks for being a part of this thread. It is the Mudcat at its best. Kat, this thread should be a part of the book. It could serve as a primer of what is right in this little hunk of sod that we all live on.

All the best to all of you,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 05:03 AM

Amen, Mick! My son's been brought up in a multi-cultural and multi-denominational background. He had an argument with a sixty-year-old racist (a neighbour's relative) when he was ten. I expected it to end in tears (mine and the neighbours'!), but he held his own with no bother, common sense beating bigotry. If only real life was like that! My daughter plans to out-shoe Imelda Marcos, but that's the only right-wing tendency she has. I worry for my children, but they make me confident.

When I saw the words "Irish Gentleman" a few posts back, I admit I was tempted to think a wicked thought; but all the Irishmen I've met have been gentlemen (and I have my suspicions about a couple of the women too!). An Irishman's an Irishman, whether he comes from Brummagem or America - be proud!

It saddens me to admit it, but it's mostly the fault of the English that there are so many Irish and Scots abroad. Guerres Sans FrontiŠres was always our national sport, not Germany's. When it comes to going into other poeples' countries and knocking seven bells out of 'em, we're the boys for the job.

Still, I can't stop making jokes; and if they make others smile, the world is a slightly better place for it. The only trouble with making a joke of something unpleasant is that it doesn't solve the problem: it only stops you doing something about it. A good way to handle a situation with no hope, but a bad way to deal with evil. Let's laugh at each others' jokes, but never forget about Truth, Justice and the [insert name of country] way.

Oh dear, philosophy - and I haven't had a drop since yesterday!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Sean MacRuaraidh
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 06:51 AM

What is unnatural about putting your own nation/tribe/family before others. Wasn't this always the way ? To say Xenophobia is about skin colour is an over simplification. Xenophobia is as much about cultural differences and power struggle - hence the problems today in places such as the Balkans and Northern Ireland.

I think it is acceptable to admit that Xenophobic tendencies exist naturally but I do not think that it is clever or pretty to indulge in abuse when it is uncessary.

We may all be part of the new 'cross culturalised' world society because of the internet, tv, radio, cheap communications, gene pool mixing, education and travel but I don't believe for an instance that such a state of mind is sufficient to allow one to say 'I am totally accepting of all other cultures and races'. To believe this is to believe that you have lost your tribal protection instincts - how fast do you think the human psychology evolves (actually there is no evidence that I know of to suggest that it has evolved at all ) ?

Todays tribes are created by the employers (paymasters)and our allegiance is to them. This of course gives us the room to drop our other Xenophobic attitudes as the arena of competition for resources has shifted from other tribes to other companies.

Are we all sitting in ivory towers, comfortably warm sitting at our keyboards; human nature - does it really change ?

Sean MacRuaraidh


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 07:57 AM

To start with the most important issue: catspaw, I read your opening sentences exactly the way you didn't intend them. I laughed like crazy, thinking, oh, lord, somebody's gonna call him on that but it ain't gonna be me!

kat, and all, yes, yes, yes, let's authorize a book and, kat, dear, will you allow yourself to be nominated as a candidate for its author? I hereby so nominate you. Who wants to start a new thread so we can all argue this idea into oblivion or glory? (I'm sorry, katlaughing is too many keystrokes, and furthermore I have to spell it out as I type it. If you'd prefer not to have your name abbreviated, though, I'll make the sacrifice.)

Some years back the local folk music DJ, Mary Cliff, put together a Christmas program from singing done at the Folklore Society's Christmas party. She phoned each person the day before the show was to air, asking their permission to use their singing in the show. It seems to me this would be a good approach to use with the book. A two-pronged approach would work. First, anyone who has strong feeling about wanting to be excluded, or willingness to be included, can e-mail the designated author up front. Second, the D.A. can check with anyone he or she would like to include in the book who hasn't already stated their preference.

Money is a separate issue. One alternative is an arrangement where the first x dollars go to support Mudcat. Period. Then, if the thing actually makes some real profit (say, more than $300.00 *smile*), figure out a way for some of that profit to go to the people whose words were used. Maybe. That could be an administrative nightmare. How do you apportion royalties? Based on the number of posts? The number of words per post? The number of contentious responses to the post?

As far as profiting from the book, maybe we should be content to have a bio, with booking info etc, for each contributor. That can be done once and not drive some poor accountant crazy. If we start a book thread I'm sure hundreds of ideas will be proposed and argued and twisted and I can already start imagining the condom jokes. But let's do it! - Start the thread, I mean.

Sean, your post was the last one so I'm responding last, to tell you that I agree with you, xenophobia is not just a result of cultural influences and upbringing. Even chimpanzees, who are pretty harmonious in their own band, will go on murderous forays upon bands that border their territory.

Still, not everyone has the killer instinct, but everyone has the instinct to follow the crowd. Young people whose intolerance is a result of following the crowd can be reached. There is a group in this country whose motto is "Teach Tolerance," and that is what they do. They prepare teaching materials which they distribute without charge to elementary through high schools. Often intolerance is just a result of never having thought about what you're doing. And, Sean, there's an example of the human race having evolved a bit: Two thousand years ago, I'm pretty sure, in most parts of the world a course on teaching tolerance would have struck a chord in a lot fewer hearts.

In many parts of the world there's no longer the same survival value in xenophobic feelings that there was even 500 or 600 years ago. Do you see what I'm getting at? If the neighboring peoples are hostile, xenophobia is a survival trait. Trusting, open people get killed or stolen as slaves. The instincively suspicious ones have a real survival edge. Then their progeny are also likely to be instinctively xenophobic. But. In certain parts of the world this hasn't been as true for centuries, and I believe that it leads to milder-natured people.

Recently I found a book that took place in Czechoslovakia during WW II. The author made the comment that the Nazis were using Czechoslovakia as a door to Yugoslavia, but they wouldn't have it easy there, because the Serbs were true fighters. It was so sad to me. The very quality that made the Serbs heroes in WW II is making them villains now. The instinct to fight fiercely is neutral, neither good nor bad, unless you can't turn it off. Then it's bad. If no one is attacking you, or keeping you subjugated, you attack someone.

Well this doesn't solve anything but I think it explains some things. Sean, you pushed one of my buttons. I'm fascinated by the way that various survival needs may have helped the world become the way it is. The way I see it, certain problems can't be solved, human nature being the way it is; but it's the duty of every thinking person who sees the problems, to keep up the fight. You can make improvements, you can fix some things. You just can't fix it all.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 12:42 PM

hmmmmm...

catspaw me old hick china :o). Liked the comments. Ok the United States is as much a mixture as Brazil or vice versa. The diversity of races here is always an amazement to me. What I was trying to say was that from the start the people of Brazil agreed unanimously that they wanted their own identity, not italian, not portuguese (the only portuguese that do are the angolan refugees that came to brazil rather than go back to Portugal. They seem to be even more rabidly patriotic towards portugal than the portuguese themselves. No one here calls themselves 'afro-brasileiro' or 'italiano-brasileiro', they are simply 'brasileiro' and also on a wider scale 'Americanos'. Yes , therre are problems here, big problems. after years of being bled dry by unscrupulous politicians and industrialists, we are now struggling to make things fairer. Yes, there is racialism here, of course there is, but not xenophobic, it is classist racism. Who was it that said one 'drop of blood makes you black.'? Well that doesn't apply here, racism is used as a tool to criticise and keep down the lower classes, and used by people that come from a mixed background. So I do believe that there are two types, distinctly different, of prejudice. One is Xenophobia and, as Sean quite rightly pointed out, that one doesn't rely on skin colour. then there is racism which does and is a hatred for those who haven't got the same skin tone as you.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 01:37 PM

Sean

I think it could be argued that xenophobia was a survival instinct, in a world where we did not know that other types of people even existed or the extent of our world. Very natural, but that very instinct that would serve us and does serve animals very well, is now the major threat to the survival of the ONE tribe we all belong to, THE HUMAN RACE, on the ONE WORLD we have.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 01:42 PM

It is very natural for animals to leave their young to die if they are not giving the right responses or that they cannot be provided for, but it does not make it right that we do the same


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 01:52 PM

Ferrara, you said it! It goes along with an awareness we all have for the longing for community- it's very noticeable here in the so-called melting pot of the US, but it's a human trait to need the affirmation, sustenance, nurture, and protection of like-minded others. Our cities and towns are less able to pull us together than in the past, so we look for it in other ways.
Here on the 'Cat we have the best of the "cyber-community" syndrome- but we don't have the warm, face-to-face presence (although we're working on it!) that makes true community.
Xenophobia is the dark side of the force- in order to feel "in" someone else has to be "out": it's played out in our middle school cafeteria where to be a student from overseas automatically bans you to the "unpopular" lunch table. A young friend of mine bemoans the fact that she is now "unpopular" because she actually likes Yoko and Crista and some of the other "foreign" girls. Ah, middle school- the world played out on the small screen!
My, how I do go on!
Peace, Allison


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Sean MacRuaraidh
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 02:00 PM

Todays climate is one of discouragement of Xenophobia and that is to be commended. I don't hear anyone recommending it and that is the line I take too. I would argue that it is easy for us to take this line because we are not in a conflict situation - I am not directly competing with you for food/space.

Maybe it will always be like this i.e. no more competition and tribal instincts will evolve away like our appendices and tails.

I believe that the contributors to this group are living in societies were xenophobia is not a critical survival behaviour - but this may not true across the whole world as there are constant civil wars happening (Africa, Balkans etc.).

It is easy to pass judgement on people for being racist, xenophobic or otherwise but they may have their reasons. On a discussion group like this there is no need for any of it. Since there is no need for it why have it ? If the only reason is that it used as a form of humour sometimes then I say drop it from your text in case you offend someone (IMHO the humour is lost when you put NOI after a statement so that isn't a good alternative ). My advice would be 'If you feel you must get into a racial slagging match with someone then why not ask them for their e-mail address and carry out your discussion away from this group'.

Incidentally - with the population increase thats taking place right now I think we can expect more wars. Alls well if your part of NATO of course - I'm alright Jack etc.

Sean MacRuaraidh


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 02:29 PM

Sean:

I understand what you are saying, but I think one of the extraordinary thngs about this thread, in particular, is that we all ahve felt comfortable enough with one another to post and discuss the offensive terms we've all heard, learned, and maybe used.

This has happened in other threads, too. I cringed when I first started to read the postings on Vietnam songs; I was worried that everyone would be polarized and angry. I didn't know everyone on here as well then, and I was pleasantly surprised and overjoyed that it seems with distance of time and retrospect of maturity, everyone was very respectful of one another's positions in that time of our world, some were even able to see it from the other person's perspective.

Also, some tribal customs are good and I think we could use a return to some of them, esp. the nurturing of extended family-types, whether it's blood relatives or friends of like mind and goals. I understand about fighting for food, territory, etc.

The only answer I can think of to that, is the more we teach people everywhere about one another,teaching how to understand and accept our differences, even embrace the diversities of culture, etc., the less we will all have to fear. It all boils down, in my opinion, to fear of the unknown or differences.

The example of the animal world is valid, except in the colour issue. I LOVE that my cats and dog are "colour-blind" when it comes to their spots, stripes, etc., as is the rest of the animal kingdom. we can learn a lot from our dogs***smile***:

This was just recently in our paper:

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when something goes wrong through no fault of yours and those you love take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can face the world without lies or deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, colour, religion, or politics, Then, my friends, you are almost as good as your dog.
(From the Ann Landers column of March 20, 1999; org. from the San Pablo Catholic Church Bulletin, Marathon, Fla.)

HERE'S TO THE DOGS OF THE WORLD!***BIG GRIN***NOI!!!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: MMario
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 03:08 PM

Something that seems to be a difficult lesson for almost everyone; that DIFFERENT does NOT mean *better* OR worse*. It just means *different*.

Something it warms the cockles of my heart to see stated here is that the "intent" should be considered - rather then that the "perception of offense" should be taken for the deed.

I once addressed a co-worker as "my dear" and nearly had my head ripped off. It was not meant to be offensive, she found it to BE offensive. I pointed out to her that:
1)it was not meant in a derogatory way
2)it was an expression of MY emotional state
3)I found it offensive that she felt she could dictate MY emotions
4) regardless of the above, if offense was percieved and no offense was intended, then in my opinion it was the person PERCIEVING the offense that should apoligise
This is a simplistic view, and I will admit that normally I would have apoligized and not used the term to her or in her hearing again...however I was being particularly prickly that day and lambasted her in return for her ripping into me.

So much is subjective, and that is where it truly becomes difficult to handle, especially when dealing with emotional issues. I know growing up I was called by a (commonly percieved as )derogatory nickname for my ethnic group...and it was done by most in an affectionate way. There was nothing derogatory in the use of the name...except by one perticular person. When used by that person it was not my nickname, it was a slur, meant as a slur, and not just to me, but my family,and to many of my friends. This was not just my perception, it was the perception of many...but he could never understand why "wop" said with friendship was acceptable and "wop" said with dislike was not.

MMario


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 04:15 PM

We can look to the natural world to solve many of our problems, as long as we look through human eyes. We are the one species that has been given the ability to reason and evolve in a spiritual sense. And it is the latter that I refer too. One of you made a comment about not denying our inate tribal instincts. The question posed was something along the lines of "what is wrong with that?". There is nothing wrong with it if one chooses not to evolve in the spiritual AND intellectual sense. But we can, by our reasoning abilities, take steps that allow us to hold on to our basic instintual traits, while evolving in an intellectual sense of what that means now and in the future. It is what I referred to when I told of making the decision to teach my children to celebrate our cultural differences while worshipping those things we have in common. It is what allows me to remain a person who loves his ancestral homeland, its culture, music/arts, take pride in its contributions to the world, it's rebel movement which created the Republic; and yet see the way to permanent peace which respects the varying views of the peoples that live there. It is what allows me to have great respect and love for English people and their culture, and yet debate furiously the actions of their government in the North of Ireland.

As to the comment that seemed to imply that it is easy to have these ideals at this keyboard, because we are not competing for space and food, I agree especially because I live in a country that thinks poverty has to do with not being able to have ones own CD player instead of where one finds enough food to keep their small children alive, or how to stop other groups from killing them because "nits make fleas". But I would point out, without rancor, that it is just as easy to make that pronouncement because you don't know what has brought people to this stage in their lives. I have had a great many opportunities in my life to sell out my principles, some of them with life or death consequences. I do not tell these incidents for any reason other than to allow my experiences to give others fodder for thought. Sometimes we elevate the complexity of problems, instead of reducing them to their simplest denominator......Damn, I am being thrown off the library computer.......I am on the road today.........More later.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From:
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 04:59 PM


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 05:08 PM

Once again I seem to find that one of us is echoing the other Mick. We are granted a capacity for reason that allows us to go beyond instinctual behaviors and to make choices. Denying that ability is, for me, the definition of stupidity. The older I become and the more I challenge what I believe, the more I find that there is one cardinal sin, not usually found on the list, but standing well above the others......and that is stupidity. I am not the first person to express that thought and I would commend to you a book by Barbara Tuchman(sp) titled "March of Folly." All of our decisions are not necessarily the correct ones and indeed we often act in the worst possible way. But we are capable of changing.

Now I have to go get a few things ready for supper and I can ramble on later. Yet perhaps not. I think we may be reaching the point in this thread where we are all preaching to the congregation.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Pete M
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 06:18 PM

Like Mick, I have been watching and wondering what I could possibly add to the thoughtful, concerned and above all humane contributions. Mick has addressed what is perhaps our best hope for the future, but sadly the events set in train at 1900 Z Wednesday and which I fear may be a far darker portal than it first seems, made me think again about the two sides of the coin which we are discussing. The first, the use of epithets for 'out groups' is, it seems, a fundamental human trait. Mostly these remain mildly derogatory, the user intends no malice, and no offence is taken. What then causes one of these to make the transition from convenient label to insult?

Why is it that to some groups their "identity" bolstered by events which took place hundreds of years ago, is so important that they will continue to demonise those ancient opponents? Why are some groupings able to absorb immigrants who in their turn are happy to consider themselves members of their new home whilst others will support "their" country '..right or wrong..' even though they live half a world away and have only one ancestor from there and that several generation in the past?

The most basic understanding of sexual reproduction gives the lie to any concept of ethnic or cultural purity except in the cases of very isolated populations and over very short time spans, eg Martha's Vinyard between 1630 and the 1880's; whilst a more detailed study of human genetics destroys even broad spectrum theories of cultural displacement such as the supposed isolation of the Celts to the Western edge of Europe, rather than the actual biological and cultural assimilation and evolution.

The use of racial, religious, and cultural caricatures by those in authority to facilitate warfare by portraying them as 'interspecies' conflict has been documented from the beginning of history, but even these do not, in the normal course of events, outlive the conflict that gave rise to them.

So where does that leave us? I am certainly not suggesting that we should not be proud of our past, either individual or cultural, what I do suggest is that we allow ourselves to be proud of all parts of our heritage, not just the bits that are fashionable or appeal to us. Given my more immediate ancestry some might expect me to take a particular side in, for example, the Northern Ireland question. What they are asking is that I should condemn one half of my family because of what they did three or four hundred or so years ago to another part of the family. Now if that makes sense to you then in my opinion Mick is wrong and man is not a reasoning animal, nor do we have moral judgement.

There is plenty of evidence that xenophobia is normal, although I would disagree with Sean about it being a survival trait from a species point of view, which is the only one that counts if you are considering evolution as a driver. Where it does seem to have a survival value, and perhaps this is the key, is in perpetuating power structures. Whether that helps to explain the different attitudes in Brazil and the US I don't know, but I suspect it is a major factor.

So sorry, no brilliant insights, only more questions, but as has been said before, the fact that we can discuss it and that we share the view that "our" community transcends the petty cultural differences fostered by our countries, actual, adopted, or historical, gives me some hope.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 99 - 10:00 PM

First to Pete and Catspaw, Well said!!!! Initially I was drawn to the 'Cat by the music. What I discovered was that, as Bards of the modern era, we are naturally drawn to questions and discussions such as this one. Our music, whether happy or sad, inspiring or depressing, patriotic or protest, of love and of hate, causes us to want to understand the human condition. All of you have contributed to my understanding in this thread.

Let us take a turn here, if you will permit. Given the events of this week, and the protests as well as the support actions, I would love for us to have a discussion as to what action would be appropriate. I have seen war, fought 'em and protested 'em. I have seen despotic actions, and heroic actions. I hate war, I hate having to have an enemy, and most of all I hate the effect on the people of the battlefield, especially the kids. But what is the appropriate course of action when a nation is practicing what amounts to genocide? What do we do when we have tried to negotiate and the answer is the slaughter of soldiers AND civilians? Is it appropriate to sit back and say "It is not my country, hence it is not my business"?

I am not advocating any position, although I do believe, having been a warrior in my life, in what the Catholic Church calls "the just war". I believe that there are circumstances that demand a response, and that ultimately one must make a judgement as to whether they must fight. But I am looking for your views of the reality with this question, not lofty philosophy. I know that may seem a strange question from one who often philosophizes, but it is the part of me that has seen death and oppression in its ugliest reality that is interested in this discussion.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: sean MacRuaraidh
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 05:38 AM

Katlaughing wrote :-

If you can start the day without caffeine, etc.

I almost predicted the ending and the comparison is possibly not fair but the point is well made.

What bothers me is that it made me laugh at my own patheticness

Sean


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Penny
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 07:32 AM

I wish I knew the answer. I grew up pacifist, but I find these sort of issues deeply disturbing. I can't believe that it is a solution to attack the innocent. Yet again and again, governments seem to act as if any government has some divine right to rule, no matter how they came to office, and that they have a sovereignty over the people who happen to live in their states that is inarguable. A sovereignty which can be expressed by imprisonment and slaughter without anyone having the right, let alone the duty, to oppose it. Even in democratic states, once elected, the politicians seem to pick up this feeling that other leaders matter more than the people who should be their care. I did try working out a declaration about this, a while back, over the Pinochet claim to sovereign immunity, which really spelled out this view as having a right to exist. I also grew up wishiing that we had joined in signing the Declaration of Independence over here, too. Except that the USA seems to be afflicted by the same disease, too.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 07:49 AM

I think a big part of the "politician" problem is that the people who want to be in government (in democratic countries) are politicians! These are not the sort of people you'd buy a second-hand car from. I htink it's a control-freak thing.

But how do you deal with evil governments? Is it worse to stand by and let them get on with it than to intervene by force? Either way, a lot of people are going to suffer. Maybe if enough of us went and lay down in front of the tanks it would stop them, but there's an awful lot of tanks.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 12:37 PM

What is an evil government? The UN in it's infinite wisdom, has decided to bomb a small part of the world that is predominantly moslem, why? I never understood. The Xenophobia, and it is here that it truly is xenophobia, in the balkans has existed for centuries. Once before the world got drawn into the fight between moslems and christians, serbs and croats, one race (and religion) and another, they called it the 'Last Great War'.

Xenophobia is about power. the power that one type of people has over another. The percieved difference in race is an excuse to put someone else down. A good example of this was the Southern United States where 'white trash'was the same, equivelent social class as blacks. but were still considered better than their african-american neighbours. Why? Because of the colour of their skin. So I suppose in a way xenophobia is a survival trait of the human race. It makes us feel better when we can put someone else down.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 99 - 07:54 PM

Alistair I think I have to agree with Pete, if it is a survival trait is is one for power structures rather than of the human race. The pathetic Slobodan Milosevic played the Nationlist card to prevent himself and his followers from following other comummist leaders down the toilet. He just replaced the Red flag with the Serbian one.

How can members of the human race killing one another be described as their survival? Surely it is the very opposite? The ones that die do not survive and the ones that do, will do their best to get revenge on their oppresors.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Penny
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 04:05 AM

Just heard on BBC Radio 4, actually about the territorial behaviour of corporations, and the natural instincts of most of us as peasants, (actually from Margaret Attwood), a rhyme relevant to this. Anyone know the rest?

This land is my land, This land ain't your land, I've got a shot-gun, and you ain't got one.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 08:25 AM

I don't believe xenophobia is a political thing. Power grabs and military aggression for political and economic advantage are political, yes. But Xenophobia is an attitude, and it's cultural and individual. It focuses on how bad, wrong, wicked and inferior the target peoples are, not on how much stuff their side has that our side wants. It can be a reason for military aggression but it's not the only one.

I do agree with Steve Parkes about politicians. I've said pretty much the same thing for years. I think there's an unavoidable flaw in any form of government: overall the people who rise to the top will be the kind of people who are motivated by power, control, and the need for structure. Folks who don't much care about power and control, generally aren't motivated to compete for the positions of power. Once in power, politicians turn to imposing control and structure on the world and their ideas of what needs to be controlled and how, tend to be both restrictive and power-oriented, not people-oriented.

That works fine for people who are economically comfortable and/or worry a lot about law and order, but less well for people who are powerless economically, or more free wheeling (I don't mean criminal!!!) in disposition. There are exceptions, especially with the kind of people who see an abuse and run for office in order to get the power to correct it.

Wow, Steve, I've been trying to make this point for years: that the trouble with politics, in any system, is that it attracts politicians.

Have I put words in your mouth that you didn't mean? Correct me if I'm wrong.... - Rita F


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 08:39 AM

Yes it is an attitude, but it a weakness for those politicians to exploit, for their own ends.

We MUST recognise it as a weakness and not keep swallowing the bait.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 09:41 AM

To The Shambles, those of us contributing to this thread certainly do recognize xenophobia as a weakness and a crying shame. The problem is, what to do about all the people who don't recognize it as a problem, and have swallowed it, hook, line, sinker and all?

There is a great group of people working on this problem, whom you might like to know about. The Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org) is a non-profit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through eductation and litigation. They are the people who created the Teaching Tolerance kits for schools that I mentioned above. I think they are doing good work. They can always use more support from people who feel as they do, that intolerance and discrimination are wrong.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 01:32 PM

Ferrara

Some of those contributing to this thread are saying that xenaphobia is a survival trait, not a weakness to be addressed and it is to those people that my comments are directed.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Mar 99 - 10:31 PM

To The Shambles, as to whether xenophobia is a weakness or a survival trait, I should say that I feel that it's both. I don't approve or condone it, I'm grateful beyond belief that my kid is growing up able to relate to people for their peopleness, not their ethnic traits.

But I believe it is ingrained in the species because *at certain times,* and *in certain places,* it is or has been a survival trait. In today's world it is a horror, one of the most pernicious and damaging forces that drive the human race.

I guess I think of weaknesses as character flaws, like greed, and there's truth in that in both cases (xenophobia and greed). But it's also true that human nature has a strong ingrained tendency to be greedy and xenophobic and I believe we've evolved that way for a reason, i.e., the greediest people often had the most offspring and therefore the trait of greed was carried on.

I guess my point is that you can't will away an evolved trait. You can do everything in your power to counteract it, but it will still crop up and be very strong in some people. Arguments and moral persuasion won't influence those people, and you can't educate greed or xenophobia out of the entire human race. But. You can educate them out of a whole lot of people, so let's keep on trying!!!

Shambles, please don't take this post as meaning that I'm giving you an argument on this subject. I'm enjoying very much the opportunity to discuss it with you. We agree on the need to combat xenophobia. My only reservation is that I don't believe you'll ever get rid of it entirely.

Oh. One more thing. "Survival trait" has two meanings. One is that something is a survival trait in the current environment. Xenophobia is not that. I'm certainly not saying that xenophobia should be encouraged to help human survival, not even individual survival much less the survival of the community or the race.

The other meaning, the one I've been using, is that it is so common in human beings because it was a survival trait in earlier times when territorial fights between small groups or tribes were common, and therefore it became a very strong tendency in the human race. That makes it hard to get rid of altogether.

I am enjoying this discussion. I wouldn't keep on with it if it weren't a subject that's dear to my heart. So much of the most tragic news in my lifetime has been a direct result of xenophobia on some group's part. It matters!!!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 12:47 AM

Just yesterday my sister was substitute teaching a class of 6 year olds. One little girl, whom a boy wouldn't sit beside after being told to several times, piped and said to my sister that he didn't want to sit beside her( the little girl) because she is black. Of course, he is white.

Bless my sister, she took that as a "teaching moment" and talked to the whole class about us all being the same on the inside, no matter the colour outside. Then she taught them a song (music reigns!) about how special they each and every one are. It almost broke her heart that a little boy, whom she really enjoys, also African American, barely sang, casting his eyes down in a manner reminiscent of the old days of "Massa".

She was so sad and appalled that at that young age they already had the experience to bring those attitudes out. We discussed the home life which must have contributed to this being the case.

And, I wonder, sometimes, what my mixed grandsons will have to face. I know their parents will probably never live close to where i am because they won't want to leave the part of New England they are in because there is a diverse population which makes them more comfortable. Right now, in their four-plex, there are a Cuban family, an Africa American family, a Puerta Rican family, and them, a blonde mostly Scottish/Irish/English and an Antiguan with their beautiful, beautiful baby boys (okay, I might be biased, but they ARE beautiful! Everybody says so! And, any of you who go to Mystic Seaport in June may get to confirm this. I've told Kyrsten they have to go & watch for Mudcat T-shirted people. Maybe I'll send them some that say "We're Katlaughing's family she always brags about! Or the babies could say, "Our grammy's a Kat & she laughs!")

For what she went through to have them (19 weeks of bedrest), I have to trust the Great Spirit and know there was a good reason for those two souls to have joined us and entrust them to the care and protection of the God/dess of my heart.

Thanks for listening,

U-Kno


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 03:08 PM

Ferrara

I did not think that you were arguing with me, but it would be OK if you were, this is a very good place to exchange views, for the reasons you and others expressed so well, earlier. At this time in particular it is good to have people to talk with, the only other thing I have found myself doing, to my surprise lately is going into a church and praying? I feel we at least owe these two things to the ones that are currently suffering the worst effects of our xenophobia.

I do find myself agreeing with your views and most of the others posted in this thread. There isn't much point in posting that though. As with others I only post if I think I can add something to, or challenge what is being said.

I certainly agree that the subject matters, I have only to look a my TV today to see A NATO spokesman say that there are some half a million families being forced from their homes.

I think that it is true that human nature is xenophobic and greedy, but I think that for some people that is an easy cop-out and enables them to carry on doing and saying things, that in their hearts, they know is wrong. For human nature is also caring and selfless and not just in wealthy western countries cushioned from the day to day struggles with these problems. Some of the most notable acts of real charity and bravery are conducted in moments when human beings are stressed, as well as the more despicable acts.

Kat

We all Knownow that we are not a small tribe, but one big one. We have no real excuses to continuing our old skirmishes. The hope is as Mick and others have said is our children, for they already know that and demonstrate it when they take other children at face value. We must stop teaching them to become sad old small minded bigots like us.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 03:51 PM

Islands and Oasis

Islands and oasis, all the safe places.
Shade from the sun, a place in the warm,
Somewhere to lie,
In the eye
Of the storm
Islands and oasis, it's written on their faces
They can't run, too tired to fight
Leave me please
In peace
Tonight

I've crossed the borders of many lands
I'm used to orders and commands
But those words still cut you like a knife
Why must it be so hard, to lead a simple life?
We don't expect to know the reasons
For we are but strangers here to freedom
We're travelling with no destination
Just keeping low, with no, high expectations

Islands and oasis, all the safe places.
Shade from the sun, a place in the warm,
Somewhere to lie,
In the eye
Of the storm
Islands and oasis, it's written on their faces
They can't run, too tired to fight
Leave me please
In peace
Tonight

In the dark streets of this town
There are some places to be found
Where you can be, but not belong
For soon they will return, to move you on
Your home may be a place of safety
But it was no such place for me
I left the violence and the lies
But the secrets still creep in
When I close my eyes

Islands and oasis, all the safe places.
Shade from the sun, a place in the warm,
Somewhere to lie,
In the eye
Of the storm
Islands and oasis, it's written on their faces
They can't run, too tired to fight
Leave me please
In peace
Tonight

Roger Gall 1998


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 03:55 PM

If we could only refrain from placing labels on human beings, men, women and children, exactly like ourselves, it would maybe make it more difficult for us to cut them down like weeds.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 04:49 PM

Boy, Shambles, you guys sure know how to make a gyrl cry! What a beautiful poem. Made even more poignant for me, as my niece and grandnephew, "bet's" daughter and grandson, are at Aviano in Italy, where her husband is stationed.

Bet just talked to them today and I guess it's pretty scary there, too, particularly because of the fear or retalitation. Took her one and a half hours to drive to the base instead of the usual twenty minutes because of all of the press, extra forces and Italians who love to watch the big planes fly out.

I hope you and Mick are right about the children. I know it is true for some. I wish everybody could get the one tribe thing. Thank you Shambles.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Mar 99 - 11:38 PM

I believe that xenophobia is what the root word means, a fear. As a fear it has a deep and subconscious effect on our actions.This fear is a ready tool to the hands of a despot, but it does not embody power. Fear is a primal emotion that is based in self-protection, a fall-back position that underlies and undermines our best intentions. I am not sure that whatever degree of enlightenment we are able to attain will entirely subjugate it.

We are poised on the edge of a precipice that has been spawned from xenophobia, a centuries old back-and-forth surge of slaughter and reprisal. From our point of objective enlightenment, we observe the genocide of one people against their neighbors and we are outraged, and we seek to punish the perpetrators of this crime. And we fling lightning bolts down at these primitive hate-driven criminals, for the noble purpose of making them stop. But fear of our retribution will only force them to do their deeds under cover. You see, in their eyes, they are seeking justice.

Perhaps we make them stop. But I fear the price of that action. Must we send our young men and women to die in that place as the price of this stopping? Perhaps it is a thing worth dying for. It is certainly an easier decision for those to make who will not be doing the dying. And do we not run the risk of being pulled down by the tentacles of that same cycle of vengeance?

And so our noblest aspirations grapple with the most basic of our fears.

Regards to all, LEJ


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 12:52 AM

Jesus Leej..........Well Stroked!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 02:31 AM

COming back to you, Ferrara (at last!): that's exactly what I dud mean - thanks for putting it so well.

"Human nature, Mr Allnut, is what we were put on Earth to overcome." Apologies if I misquoted slightly.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 05:57 AM

As far as our instincts go, we are really not that different from any other animal, we'll kill for food (or resources) or to defend ourselves. All social animals have inate means of diffusing agonistic behaviour, dogs roll on their backs, exposing their bellies, we open our arms and smile. Difficulty with humans is our intellect, we have cunning and can trick one another, hence, we have difficulty trusting our instincts or our judgement. With the awesome power our species has, we are in a position of not being able to negotiate peace & cooperation unless we are in a position to enforce any contract we agree to.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mick that we have to teach our children well (groan, CS&N soundtrack goes on), but I would add that we also have to maintain, at great expense, the frightening ability and willingness, to rain down death upon any who threaten the children.

If we only had the wisdom to know when to use that power, and when to keep it sheathed.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Hazel
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 07:37 PM

This planet isn't big enough for any of us to be xenophobic. Look at the Balkans, for gods sake.

Our wee folk club in east coast Scotland is certainly not that. We have members from several countries and many of our patrons go to the bother of learning songs in different languages! Bulgarian for one!

I think that because "folk" music is every where, we can all understand a little of what each of us is trying to say in our own way. I just wish every one every where would make a bigger effort to try understand their neighbours. We just have this one piece of rock in space to play with- so lets stop farting around!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: cypher
Date: 29 Mar 99 - 11:11 PM

My only observation is that xenophobia does not exist in the natural world. There is no xenophbia at the waterhole on the Serengetti Plain. Tis a true "Human " conditioon for man is the only species that fears his own kind.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: gargoyle
Date: 30 Mar 99 - 01:07 AM

Given another 100years I have no doubt that most of the world will begin to resemble California....(Yes they are out to Cali-fornicate the world)

The "white" population throughout the state dropped below 50% in the month of February. This is the first time this has happened in 150 years. Current mix is about 49% white, 33% Hispanic, 12% Asian, and 6% black.

The intermixing of the races is creating some of the most stunningly, esthetically beautiful children on the face of the earth. A blue eyed girl - of Black, French and Asian parentage is not uncommon, nor is a black eyed blond - of Irish, Asian, Hispanic lineage. In addition to being better looking this "new breed," as judged by college admissions, appears to be more intelligent, and from personal observations hardworking, and even tempered. They celebrate their diversity.

The faces of Califonia have changed...soon the rest of the world will follow.....with such divergent backgrounds in 200 years perhaps the word xenophobic will be as archaic as 'mulatto' is in California today.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 99 - 02:05 AM

Gargoyle

My observations on obviously (for we are ALL mixed race) mixed race beauty is that what you say is true they are some of the most stunningly attractive people you can see. The sad fact is in most case I would suggest, they do not yet feel, themselves that they are beautiful or that there is a place where they belong.

Hopefully as you say that will change and we can help it do so.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: AlistairUK
Date: 31 Mar 99 - 05:47 AM

Refresh let's keep this going guys


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Penny
Date: 31 Mar 99 - 06:37 AM

Heard a program this morning about Tiger Bay in Cardiff, with a guy who had Jewish, West Indian, Filipino, North Welsh, Norwegian and Irish in his family tree. It may not quite be California, but the results should be stunning. And, apparently, the people of the area were getting on well, with a shared culture, so it can be done.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 May 99 - 02:59 PM

Thank you, Shamb! I hope everybody will give this a good and thorough read.

kat


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 00 - 03:10 PM

With all the thread titles around recently (to which I plead guilty, I thought it might be a good idea to refresh this one?

As this is a bit big now, I will start Xenophobia 2, for new contributions and will provide a link in the next post to this one.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 00 - 03:15 PM

For new contributions, click here Xenophobia 2.


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: bubblyrat
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 08:00 PM

Gosh !! I always wondered what Xenophobia meant !!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:01 AM

Cara,
I think you'll find if you do some research on the English Longbow that that the arrows were feathered with goose feathers, not peacock, also they used spanish or italian yew which was apparently of better quality than English Yew


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:17 AM

Well thanks there Guest Bruce, but Cara hasn't been around here in 5 or more years and this thread is 7 years old. (;<)) But that's good info anyway!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: GUEST,B.M.Baillie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:44 AM

...So it is! silly me I never look at the dates, I stand chastened!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:59 AM

Z is for xenophobia - A morbid fear of Buddhists A line from the Dyslexic Alphabet song


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:02 AM

No,no....not chastened! I think we've all done it! I tell ya' what's worse though......when you've been here as long as I have and have posted a lot, someone pulls up one of these old threads and you begin reading, not noticing the date.   All of a sudden you discover that the post you are reading is YOUR OWN from 7 or 8 years ago! Worse yet, just before you realized it was yours from awhile back, you're thinking, "What kind of idiot wrote this friggin' piece of tripe?"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:20 AM

And then, of course, Cara was telling what was fairly obviously (sorry) an elaborate joke, and which she went on to declare was a joke, a year or two or three later, but in this same thread ...

So yes, yes ... chastened!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: bubblyrat
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 04:57 PM

If Man is the only species who fears his own kind, then how do you explain the behaviour of Chimpanzees in the wild who will, on encountering a "strange " chimp. from another troupe, who has strayed into their territory, chase down, catch, kill, tear to pieces,and then eat, one of their own . ???? Humans, like Chimpanzees, are conditioned to live in small - to - medium "groups" , and instinctively become uneasy and unsettled when confronted with aliens, whose prescence triggers primeval subconscious responses to the threats posed to their food supplies, womenfolk, power, etc., hence the " Fear of Strangers " that the word Xenophobia implies. The citizens of the United States are probably more tolerant of "strangers" than the British, as they have not,to my knowledge, ( The Americans ) been invaded and subdued by, Saxons, Jutes, Angles, Danes, Norwegians, Romans, French, and very nearly by the Spanish and the Germans.
          I was always taught that a WOG was a WILY ORIENTAL GENTLEMAN , all Italians were either WOPS or EYE-TIES : All Spaniards are DAGOS ( from " Don Diego ) whilst the Germans are either KRAUTS or THE HUN . The Japanese, of course, are NIPS ( from NIPPON ) whilst the term FROG, as used to describe the French, has almost become a term of affection !! The British , particularly in the armed forces, always refer to the Chinese as CHINKS or CHOGUES , the term SLOPEHEAD being unknown other than in American films , where one might also encounter GOOK, NIGGER and, yes !! --LIMEY !! All this malarkey is a defence mechanism, a coping strategy for dealing with the realities of everyday multi-racial and multi-cultural society. It"s not just that we are AFRAID of strangers----We don"t actually LIKE them very much, given the way we have been conquered and overrun by them for the last 2000 years or so !! So if we are less than enthusiastic at the prospect of our favourite daughter marrying a Touareg slave-trafficker , perhaps the rest of the world could be a bit more tolerant and understanding ??? Please ??


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 05:36 PM

Where's that time-machine someone was talking about in another thread - I want to go back to 2007, quick!


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Subject: RE: Xenophobia
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM

Xenophobia, love it or leave it! :)

I'll take the latter.

Frank


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